What leads a company to move towards using project management within its business? Is it by some mystical way; maybe a glaring error within a project (over budget or late), maybe the sheer size of the agenda?
Why the question? Does it really matter?
Yes it does! If there is a desire within the business to deliver its strategic agenda then the company needs processes to ensure the strategy is delivered. Now you may think this is self explanatory but I have come across organisations that seem to think that by identifying the strategic agenda “it happens”. Let me give you an example: 8 strategic objectives were identified – only 3 were actually delivered within the required period. The next year they identified a further 8 strategic objectives PLUS the 5 which were not delivered. When I examined what process they had in place to deliver the agenda very few were found. But they still expected their staff to deliver all 13 agenda items.
Now I am not suggesting project management is the only approach that should be used. What I am saying is that project management needs to be pretty high on the agenda for any organisation that has a desire to deliver its agenda.
This is a 3 part article with parts 2 and 3 appearing shortly. In this article I will focus on 3 key aspects:
Developing your own project management system(PMS): this is a written document that shows staff the way you want projects to be delivered in the company, a house style.It is developed with you and by the staff. This approach leads to buy in from stakeholders who are used to champion the whole process. Does having your own PMS work? Yes! KPMG suggested that:
“Organisations that keep to the rules of their project management system with stringent compliance reported a project failure rate of 20% while those with a moderate compliance reported a failure rate of 80%”
I have developed a unique approach to creating your own PMS. Click here to find out more.
Training: ensure you train the right people for the right project management role. I see too many people on project management training courses who have little or no connection with a project while those who are engaged in delivering key projects are often overlooked. As other blogs have and will point out, please don’t forget to train senior managers; a key group. I have developed a simple tool for looking at who needs to be trained and attend which course. Contact me to find out more
Project office: create a project office. This is usually a central point in the company which owns and reviews and updates the project management system, supports project managers and sponsors in its use and acts as an internal adviser. You do not need a large staff to run this project office and my experience shows that there is probably someone doing this in embryonic fashion anyway.
Watch out for articles 2 and 3 which will appear shortly…