Kicking Off The Project With A Bang

Like so many other major IT projects, the Cenemex ERP project falls prey to every single one of the four "favorite" leading project time wasters. We will first see the project as it unfolds without the benefit of facilitated sessions. Then we will explore how facilitated working sessions can help keep the project firmly on track as Dave organizes and delivers a much-needed "Project Recovery Workshop" (see Exhibit 3).

Exhibit 3. Recovery Workshop Agenda

AGENDA FOR DAY ONE

8:00 a.m.

Continental Breakfast

8:30

Introductions/Overview/Agenda

8:45

Kickoff by Executive Sponsors

9:00

TEAM NORMS

(Establish rules of conduct for the team)

9:30

PROJECT DEFINITION

(Non-negotiable factors: define Charter, Scope, Exclusions)

10:30

Break

10:45

REALITY CHECK — evaluate existing plan

1.Completed

2.Under way but not complete

3.Under way and in jeopardy

4.Not started

5."Major concerns"

12:15 p.m.

Lunch

1:00

REVISED PROJECT PLAN

l.Project charter, scope, and phases

2.Schedule and key deliverables

3.Dependencies and/or competing priorities

2:30

Break

4.Team roles and responsibilities

5.Priority-setting mechanism

6.Executive committee project involvement

4:50

SUMMARY and FEEDBACK

5:00

Close

AGENDA FOR DAY TWO

8:00 a.m.

Continental Breakfast

8:30

REVIEW MATERIALS FROM DAY ONE

(Confirm and edit the document)

9:30

CRITICAL SUCCESS FACTORS

10:00

Break

10:15

CONTINGENCY PLANNING

11:15

COMMUNICATION PLAN

(a) Project team

(b) Executive committee

12:15 p.m.

Lunch

1:00

(c) Business units

(d) External stakeholders

(e) "Other communication factors"

2:30

Break

2:45

PROBLEM-RESOLUTION PROCESS

3:15

ACTION PLAN

- next 30 days

- next 60 days

4:00

WORKSHOP REVIEW

Log any Action items and prepare summary

4:30

PRESENTATION TO EXECUTIVE SPONSOR(S)

4:50

Feedback and acknowledgments

5:00

Close

Dave Doyle, ERP project manager, has been with Cenemex for five years, all of it in corporate IT. He has earned the respect of CIO Belinda King, a fast-track executive who has been with the company just under two years. Belinda knows that a successful outcome of this ERP project will place her firmly in the running for an executive VP slot within the next 18 mo nths.

Of the 14 full-time corporate IT project team members, about half are highly technical and work independently on most projects. The other half is split roughly between seasoned project managers and individual contributors who spend most of their time as part of project teams. In addition to the core team members, another eight to 12 field IT professionals make up the "extended" team.

The project, slated to last between 18 and 24 months, has been blessed by the executive committee members, who have high hopes that a successful ERP will provide the competitive advantages they need to sustain profitability. Belinda had persuaded them that for a $22M investment, Cenemex could expect to see dramatic reductions in manufacturing and distribution costs, significant increases in revenue, and a 50 percent decrease in the "time to order" to "time to cash."

With help from Belinda and one of the more senior project team members, Dave pulls together a two-day project kickoff meeting. His overall objective: To get the project off to a smooth start by agreeing on fundamentals such as project goals, scope, roles and responsibilities, and critical success factors. He would also like to use this off-site session as an opportunity for team-building, given that some of the team members have not worked well together in the past.

Included are the core team members, four of the remote IT team members, and two consultants from the systems integration company that will participate in the early stages of the project.

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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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