Follow A Standardized Process

A common set of tools, procedures, and jargon can help a project progress efficiently and effectively toward its goal. Unfortunately, people often strongly resist following a standardized process. They fear that it stifles creativity and the empowerment of people. As a result, many projects become a cacophony of tools, procedures, and techniques, requiring extensive effort to make them compatible. Naturally, this wastes time and effort, and actually hinders progress toward a goal.

Contrary to popular belief, a standardized process actually encourages creativity and furthers empowerment, rather than impeding both. It encourages creativity by allowing people to work with a given set of tools and techniques; for example, to complete a task. Through standardization, people can anticipate and understand job requirements. Less conversion and relearning are required to complete tasks. People can operate autonomously, knowing the standards to follow during decision-making. When standards do not exist, people are often stymied because everything is unclear.

Standardization, therefore, offers several benefits from a project management and technical perspective. First, it enables the efficient and effective execution of project activities through consistency. Second, it enables better integration of activities because team members can see the interrelationships of their work with that of others. Third, it reduces rework because it enables the use of output developed on earlier projects. Finally, it improves communications because team members are playing from the "same sheet of music."

For projects, standardization involves two distinct areas; one is project management. Standardization involves using tools and executing activities to build plans and manage according to those plans. The other area is technical. Standardization involves identifying requirements and specifications, and constructing a product that satisfies both.

There are many options for moving toward standardization when managing projects. People can join professional organizations, thereby exposing them to what has and has not worked in similar environments. The organization can also purchase or develop a standardized process for managing projects. Regardless of how the organization obtains a standardized process, the key is to develop or adopt one that people can agree to and that is compatible with the company's culture.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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