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What's the shortest possible path from project initiation to completion? You might say it depends on the size of the project or the work involved. But there's always a shorter path than the one you have in mind -- even for larger projects. There's always a solution that makes better use of resources while providing faster delivery times. It's like when you play Scrabble ® and come up with a word combination that uses the fewest letters and still gives you the highest point value. Say you walked into a job interview, for example, and you were hired on the spot.
My project team and I had embarked on a massive renovation to our company's main movie theater. It was one of the largest projects we'd done to date. And it was one of those "your job is on the line if something goes wrong" type of projects.
What makes projects move and people excel? In my opinion, there are three characteristics that are consistently found in great project practitioners: 1.
Project requirements derive from concrete business needs or business-use cases and constitute the foundation for the project work. Without requirements, projects cannot exist. Incomplete and unclear requirements may result in project failure. Moreover a significant part of project rework is attributable to problems with the project requirements. On the other hand, requirements that are clear, complete and understood by all the parties are of "high quality."
Have you ever thought that as a project or program manager, you indirectly set a precedent on managerial style, behavior, competencies and professionalism. Unconsciously, we are showing our team members how to manage crises, deal with stakeholders and so on. There are many ways that we can unknowingly coach our team members. When dealing with stakeholders, for example, project managers have the authority to set limits and control the discussion to stay on the subject. To be able to do this, we need to know the business process at both a high level and in terms of the customer's business goals. In dealing with stakeholders, we indirectly coach our project team members to do the following things:
Project teams are built of people with multiple layers of skills and competencies. A few will be selected as project leads to have less responsibility than a project manager, but more than a team member. Project leads ensure smooth task management and reporting flow, but how many of them are allowed or trusted to make decisions?
Effective project management governance is becoming an important topic at all levels of many organizations. Project governance focuses on making sure the whole of an organization's project management system is effectively supporting its strategy. Good governance requires that the governing board sets the strategy and provides direction -- and not become involved in the day-to-day management of the organization.
Project management has begun to play an increasingly important role in organizations. Projects are identified to continuously improve the existing business performance and to prepare for the future per organizational strategy. Unfortunately, many of those projects fail. It's my belief that if you approach a project with management, leadership and entrepreneurial mindsets, the success rate of projects will improve.
Solid project planning is a prerequisite for project success. Poor planning, meanwhile, can lead to missed deadlines, budget overruns, poor quality deliverables, frustrated project teams and even project failure. In my previous post, I offered five steps to assist in planning the project-planning phase . One of those steps involved preparing planning documents.
In order to survive, project-driven organizations must compete on many levels. Delivering on time, to cost and with quality is always important -- but so is the interaction and customer experience they provide during the project. Project-driven organizations must consider customer satisfaction as a critical success factor.
Project managers are tasked with many simultaneous responsibilities. They manage and drive the delivery of a project while managing their team to deliver results according to the business expectations, on time and on budget. It's no small feat when this is accomplished seamlessly.
Can someone please help me understand the hype surrounding crowdsourcing? I understand the premise: Tasks are essentially outsourced to a large group of people through a call to action. (For more, see "The In Crowd" in the June 2009 PM Network ® .) This seems like a project manager's worst nightmare. The requirements and quality management alone must be a huge undertaking: How do you ensure a team of people who aren't getting paid remain focused enough to see your project through to completion?
Do you assign yourself a task that's actually framed as an expected result? For example, creating or updating a report is a task, while producing a report is a result of that activity. Or, performing a troubleshooting session is a task; solving a problem is an expected result. Language impacts how we work and what we accomplish.
One of the biggest challenges faced by all sectors of the project management profession is persuading senior executives to focus on implementing effective project governance. Governance is a "top-down" process. Most of the risks and rewards associated with a project or program are determined long before the project manager is appointed. Effective project management delivers a realistic and achievable outcome efficiently. If the parameters for the project are unrealistic in the first place, the best project management can do is stop the situation from deteriorating further. Failure is guaranteed.
Fellow blogger V. Srivinasa Rao recently wrote an interesting post about the Global Distribution Model 2.0 that is launching soon. The model holds a lot of promise and is a great framework for implementing mobile global communications tools. Today, the fastest rising communications and computing technology is mobile.