The Risk Of Informal Processes

Informal processes risk generating inconsistent outcomes. Sometimes proposals are written up and analyzed in excessive detail. Yet, in other situations, only a cursory analysis is done before committing a major investment of resources. It is also frustrating to those submitting the proposals if there is no transparency or consistent rationale as to why their projects are not selected. Without feedback, it is hard for participants to improve their proposals or even remain engaged in the process....

The Cost Of Wasted Ideas

In any organization, every employee possesses a unique viewpoint. These viewpoints create a tremendous opportunity. Under Toyota's production system, which is seen as world class, not utilizing these employee ideas is actually seen as a form of waste (Ohno, 1988). This waste is placed in the same category as using more raw materials than are required, or the inefficiency of having to repeat a process due to a poor quality outcome. Thinking of failure to act on employee ideas as a form of waste...

More Outsourcing

Outsourcing is happening today as the frictions in contacts between organizations decline, global communications become more seamless, and specialization of a particular organization on a specific task increases. Most projects contain team members external to the firm. This happens when team members are suppliers, vendors, or consultants. Of course, every piece of outsourcing is itself a project at least containing a request for proposal (RFP) and probably much more. Therefore, as with anything...

Know What You Have

Before you start your process, understand the resources and skills that exist across your organization. Project management will occur within businesses without any explicit action from executives. It is core to getting things done. Therefore, assuming you have a blank slate to start with is wrong. Project management, and indeed portfolio management, will occur with the organization, albeit in perhaps an informal, ad hoc, and inconsistent fashion. Understanding how this occurs is critical to...

Integration with Personal Task Management

Today, personal task management systems are seldom used, and they are rarely integrated with project management systems. There is a need to bridge this gap, which will help both the individual and the team work more effectively. Ultimately, any work items require the individual to take action. Personal task management tools, which may be integrated into e-mail, help individuals manage and prioritize all of their work, even where it is not part of a larger project. In addition, systems such as...

Case Study Building Consensus for a Project Management Tool

Richard has successfully driven project and portfolio management initiatives across several multinational organizations. He successfully builds executive support while creating a network of engaged project managers. The outcome is world-class project management skills and processes across the organization. In his experience, a key aspect is to recognize and harness the multitude of project management skills the organization already has, rather than coming in with a blank-slate approach and...

The Cultural Importance of Goal Setting

Implementing a project management system provides a means of institutionalizing goal setting within the organization and monitoring progress toward those goals in a structured and predefined way. The act of setting goals should encourage greater organizational focus and foster innovative solutions where needed in order to achieve the desired goal-based outcomes. If the implementation of the portfolio management system can drive a culture of aggressive goal setting with corresponding...

The Importance of Smart Goals

Ambiguity at this stage leads to ambiguity in execution. Using SMART goals will aid you in communicating your strategy. Do not allow disagreement between senior leadership to result in a vague strategy. Confront the areas of disagreement rather than settling for vague goals. Setting SMART goals is an effective way of focusing the strategy of the project. Each goal should have the following characteristics Specific. Very clear description of what the goal is....

Keep everything as simple as it can be

This is necessary to counteract process growth without you taking any action. It is often easier to add a new process than to cut an existing one, but both are necessary to keep the portfolio process in balance and to avoid bloat. Requests to add new processes will come naturally if the process is visible, people are engaged, and the postmortem function is working well. Opportunities to cut or remove portions of the process are just as important but may not...