Project Execution Improvement Workshops
Executives build PMOs to ensure people follow a process. Companies require project management certification. Project managers have religious battles over agile and waterfall. Mistakes occur and managers implement more processes to prevent their reoccurrence. Yet there is another philosophy that says this is the wrong direction completely. This ideology feels that people need more independence and less bureaucracy. The people who follow this think that people need more leadership training. People or Process, as the name implies, looks directly at these arguments and the role of people versus process in a project's or an organization’s success or failure.
Almost every project has some form of outsourcing. It may be bringing in a contract laborer, a programming team, or someone to build the entire product. The reasons are varied and include staff augmentation, acquiring a specific talent, risk mitigation and more! Regardless of the situation, project managers need to understand the outsourcing process from all angles to ensure each party gets value from the partnership. Creating the correct business agreement is crucial to attaining the best results for your project.
The ability to deliver initiatives that make breakthroughs in the business is the differentiator of a truly successful organization. However, project success rates are dismal. Failure rate estimates range from 40-75% of projects are over budget, late, or fail to deliver the required functionality.
Whether you are a project or a functional manager, estimates are a daily part of your life. Team members need to make estimates for a variety of reasons, these include:
- The amount of time for a task.
- The cost for resources.
- The cost of software, hardware and other materials.
- The time required to finish a task.
The subpoena shows up at the front desk and you get the call to come and pick it up. You get that nauseating feeling in your gut that it is going to be a long day… no… a very long year. The subpoena asks for every contract, statement of work, change order, log, email, document, physical mail, specification, test document, picture, drawing, scratch note, etc. that ever existed on your project. You reflect back on the project and wonder how many corners you cut for the sake of getting the project done.
Most projects’ problems exist long before there is approval for the project to begin. Unrealistic expectations, misaligned goals, improper supplier involvement, and poor definition are a few reasons that projects go awry. Therefore, looking at different methods to start projects—getting engaged with the customer long before the project starts—is critical.
We all know ethics plays a large role in running projects. When you are rescuing a project and trying to solve root cause issues, however, it is even more critical. When projects have gotten to the point of requiring rescue, the actions of bringing in a recovery manager are usually coincident with talking to lawyers about alternative routes. One must be very thorough and mindful of the fact that news of the failure can hurt stakeholders, stockholders, and ordinary innocent people.
Daily, we are involved in two acts—developing and following process and generating estimate. We cannot escape them; they are part of the human experience. Processes are required to maintain consistency, accuracy, and abide by regulations. Estimates are required in every task we do. Add people—people with personality, prejudice, and protest—and estimating becomes quite demanding.
Project failure is rampant in nearly every industry. In the US alone, the cost are huge with estimates running as high as a trillion dollars a year. In most cases, the project manager and his or her team are blamed. The project, however, is only the symptom with the source of the failure imbedded in the organization. Project pressure stresses the weak links in the organization causing them to snap.
Daily, we are involved in two acts—developing and following process and negotiating with stakeholders. We cannot escape them; they are part of the project management experience. Processes are required to maintain consistency, accuracy, and abide by regulations. Negotiation is required to create a valuable solution that meets the triple constraints.
To deal with the reality of business, you need a toolbox of techniques that can address the needs of the people who supply and consume information and the competing interests of stakeholders.