This chapter describes four common time wasters that undermine IS projects and discusses how to avoid them by using facilitated workshops with key team members and sponsors. A checklist to help project managers make the most of facilitated team communications is included, as well as guidelines for deciding when to use a facilitator and choosing whom to hire (see Exhibit 1).

Exhibit 1. How to Select a Facilitator

Not just anyone can pull off the successful facilitation of an IT project kickoff. Important qualities and attributes include

Trained and skilled in group facilitation techniques

Seen as impartial and not vested in outcome of session

Regarded as able to lead all team members fairly

Excellent communications skills particularly listening and paraphrasing

Is politically "wise"

Plays a dedicated role

Has time to prepare adequately; is not "added in" at the last moment Can effectively deal with tough issues likely to arise

Understands when digression from agenda is likely to produce positive results

The enterprisewide project you have been leading has been declared "a complete success" by your business sponsors. End users report they have never experienced such a leap in productivity and quality in such a short time. You have helped your manager become a hero in the eyes of the CFO: Not only is your project on time, but you have managed to deliver the promised results at 80 percent of budgeted cost. Your competition orders a top-notch headhunting firm to "offer whatever it takes" to lure you over to its side so you can duplicate your astounding success. For most project managers, this scenario might sound like science fiction. But it does not have to.

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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