Project Execution Improvement Workshops
The subpoena shows up at the front desk and you get the call to come and pick it up. You get that nauseating feeling 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 and meeting the customer's incessant requests for more or different features and functions.
You wonder if along with bringing in the lawyers you should also bring in an expert to help you build your defense. This keynote helps you understand what experts witnesses look for and how they prepare their case.
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 that ethics plays a large role in business. We see the challenge almost daily making headline news. It does not just pertain to the people at the top of a company but to everyone inside the organization. Ethics and accountability are at the core of what it takes to be a leader. This keynote presents real situations that occurred asking for audience input (via Mentimeter) on how to handle the situation. They are also told the outcome of the actual situation. These are not sanitized, simple issues.
Table of Contents
Rescue the Problem Project
A Complete Guide to Identifying, Preventing, and Recovering from Project Failure
by Todd C. Williams
PART I Understanding the Process
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 the US alone, the cost estimates for failure run as high as a trillion dollars annually. Regardless of the industry, executives seem powerless to alter this direction. The challenge for them is understanding where to focus their time and energy. All too often, they take the seemingly obvious move of zeroing in on the project manager, their teams, and technology. Other executives, reflect on their contributions to the failure. That self-reflection is time well spent as executives are essential in setting direction, aligning projects to corporate goals, implementing effective governance, and providing the needed resources. In other words, being effective leaders. This keynote explores the actions executives need to take to have the greatest impact on project success.
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.
People often fail to realize how many actions in work and our personal lives rely on negotiation. It could be negotiating a raise, setting up conditions about using a resource, determining a task's scope, or adjusting a delivery date. We do some form of negotiation daily. Even though we learn to negotiate at just about the same time that we learn to communicate, we rarely understand the science and art behind it. By establishing a process around negotiation, we maximize our chances for success. A process ensures that we understand the wants and needs of the person on the other side of the table.
Many organizations have only one methodology for running projects. However, nearly all organizations perform a variety of projects—deploying hardware, developing new products, changing internal processes, and running custom projects for customers. Some methodologies are much better for specific styles of projects. Therefore, organizations need a portfolio of processes that matches their portfolio of projects and their culture. Phasing, critical chain, agile all have valuable attributes that can be applied in specific areas.
The fate of a project is often sealed long before the first person is assigned or charters, contracts, or SOWs are written. Experience with auditing dozens of projects and doing root cause analysis projects has shown that corporate decisions, not project decisions, have a very larger effect. This presentation, designed for executives, PMO managers, and senior project managers, focuses on a number of techniques learned while recovering projects that greatly improve the chances for success. It introduces the concept of guidance teams that get involved with the project at the customer inception stage and follows the project and team through to its completion.