Take today’s 1-minute assessment:
- Do your projects start with a well-known set of defined activities, that people will do, in an integrated and coherent way, to develop and support the products and services, that your business partner is requesting? (A mouthful, but follow along. Reread it if you have to.)
- Do you have a shared vision for the deliverable across the team, including 3rd parties, as well as those folks on the other side of the country, and those on the other continent?
- Do you integrate the plans of the various contributors? It’s OK if they’re loosely coupled, as long as there is some overarching and controlling view of it all.
- Do you then manage the project using that integrated plan?
- Do you coordinate, and facilitate collaborative sessions, with the teams? Consider how well you manage dependencies, and resolve coordination issues.
- Do you exercise change management across the integrated team?
- Does communication flow easily up, down, and across the integrated teams?
Did you answer NO to any of these questions? If so, you might have opportunity to improve the way you set up and manage your projects, and involve your stakeholders.
Consider goodness when starting projects, right out of the gate, and help each project through a well-known series of start-up events, to assure consistent and thorough kickoff.
These events take the wonderful and varied mix of people on the project, through a number of well-scripted exercises, to get them to discuss and formalize initial scope, charter, and plan.
It is an opportunity to agree to the organizational processes that the people on the project will use, to get to know one another, to break bread together, to create vernacular and enjoy the camaraderie, to find early risks, to impart vision, to gain commitment, and to assure one another that we’ve each got the others back.
See You Get What You Don’t Pay For, and consider this: invest in the Project Start-Up Coach, a group of respected, senior project and program managers. This is not a junior position. These are the folks who know how to make it happen. Leverage them at the source, at the fount, of where each project in your organization begins.
Spread their smarts across it all. Provide them the talent they need to then continuously intervene in those projects, in value-added ways, not as auditors but as mentors and coaches, to further help in facilitating major milestone events for those projects now underway. Leverage your leaders to create more leaders.
The lifecycle will maybe manifest itself through some extra-sensory magic that is unique to your organization. But I doubt it. You need to apply levers to keep pushing the rock uphill until you reach a point, and then let it roll.
© Michael C. Simonelli, onthegocio.com, 2013