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Process Performance Zone. 8½ Steps To Making A Project Method Stick. Neil Whittington MD & Principal Consultant neil.whittington@arturian.com +44 (0) 1932 268657. Today’s Session. 30-40 minutes duration Usable suggestions, hints and tips

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slide1

Process

Performance Zone

8 steps to making a project method stick
8½ Steps To Making A Project Method Stick

Neil Whittington

MD & Principal Consultant

neil.whittington@arturian.com

+44 (0) 1932 268657

today s session
Today’s Session
  • 30-40 minutes duration
  • Usable suggestions, hints and tips
  • Based on experience implementing project & development methods in many different types and sizes of organisation
  • Session is not specific to any project method – Prince II, PMBOK etc
  • Advice can be applied outside of Project Management – e.g. SDLC, IT Service Management..............
presenter background
Presenter Background
  • 20 years practical experience in IT, Manufacturing and Financial Services
  • Established Quality Assurance functions and software testing centers for top-tier Investment Banks
  • Implemented several company-wide Software Development Lifecycles including one supporting 2,500 developers
  • Developed and deployed project and development lifecycles for clients across UK, Europe and USA
  • Importantly....also been a Project Manager for many years
1 challenge 2 principles and 8 steps
1 Challenge, 2 Principles and 8½ Steps
  • At some point, most organisations look to standardise the way projects are run
  • Once the fanfare is over – how do you stop people drifting back to their old ways of working?
  • There are 2 simple principles to making change stick
    • It must be easy for people to understand what they need to do
    • It must be useful – i.e. there must be something “in it for them”
  • This session explores 8½ pragmatic steps any organisation can take to achieve adoption of any project method
chinese philosopher lao tzu wrote
Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu wrote ..

“A Journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”

So, if you are going on this long journey ……..

step 1
STEP 1

…make sure that wherever you are going is worth the effort!

DON’T OVER-ENGINEER THE SOLUTION

  • Make sure what you need to achieve is clear - the biggest barrier to adoption is an overly complex / bureaucratic process
  • Be pragmatic and make sure the method is scalable – does a 3 year, 10 person project really need to be run the same as a 1 month project?
  • Talk to similar sized organisations, see what they have done – did it stick?
step 2
STEP 2

…make sure you take a good map!

MAKE IT SIMPLE FOR PEOPLE TO FIND WHAT THEY NEED

  • Provide a clear and simple representation of the process
  • Make everything people need available in one place
    • Processes
    • Guidance
    • Templates
    • Training
  • Ensure everything is under good version control
step 3
STEP 3

...always ask a local for directions!

ENGAGE PEOPLE WHO WILL USE THE PROCESS IN DEVELOPING IT

  • Create a working group, engaging staff from different disciplines (PMs, business users, testers) and groups – but don’t make it a management forum!
  • Provide a forum to gather ongoing feedback on processes & templates
  • Identify “Champions” in the PM user community to act as reference points and to take a temperature check with their peers
  • Include identifying process improvement suggestions after each project in every PM’s annual objectives
step 4
STEP 4

…check to see if there are any rickshaws running to your destination or better still, go by plane

PROVIDE PRE-BUILT TEMPLATES, GUIDELINES AND EXAMPLES

  • Providing pre-built templates together with simple guidelines for use will accelerate adoption and encourage usage
  • Provide a Project Plan template that has all the tasks, resources and dependencies built it
  • Engage the “Champions” in gathering other good templates in use and make them available to the rest of the organisation
  • No training can beat a good example - take good documents from different sized projects and make them available to everyone in your process repository
step 5
STEP 5

…make sure you only pack what you need

PROVIDE A SCALABLE PROJECT CHECKLIST

  • Scalability is key to the success of any project model
  • Provide a single checklist for a PM to use for their project that helps them
    • Categorise their project and select the right model
    • Engage the right people / groups at the right times
    • Produce the right documents / deliverables / signoffs
    • Maintain through the project to act as a compliance tool for reviews
step 6
STEP 6

…It’s ok to take a detour, as long as the destination is the same

BE FLEXIBLE AND ALLOW FOR EXCEPTIONS

  • Provide a control mechanism that allows projects to deviate from the standards where appropriate
  • Publish “self assessment checklists” for key documents
    • Checklist of attributes / information that should be contained in the document – regardless of document format
step 7
STEP 7

...a phrase book will be essential!

ENSURE COMMUNICATION IS CONSISTENT AND STRAIGHTFORWARD

  • Identify 4 or 5 simple “rules of the road” that relate to key challenges or compliance requirements - for example
    • All changes requiring over 2 days total effort must follow the Project Lifecycle
    • Requirements must be signed off by project sponsor
    • Test results must be documented and approved
  • Ensure all affected parties know what is changing, why and how it affects them.
  • Use a newsletter to keep people up to date, alert to new templates and provide hints and tips on areas people are struggling with
step 8
STEP 8

…when you get somewhere special, send a postcard

PUBLISH INTERNAL SUCCESS STORIES AND CASE STUDIES

  • People often associate process with bureaucracy - good PR for the method is worth its weight in gold
  • Publish case studies demonstrating how a successful project was implemented – and how some of the principles in the project method helped
  • Gain agreement from project teams using the method to act as a reference for teams being introduced for the first time to it
re cap
Re-Cap

Keep it practical - don’t over engineer the solution

Make it simple for people to find what they need

Engage the users of the process in its development

Provide pre-built templates and good examples

Provide a scalable Project Checklist

Remain flexible, but controlled and allow for exceptions

Keep communication simple and consistent

Publish internal case studies and success stories

and finally step 8
AND FINALLY........STEP 8½

TAKE SMALL STEPS AND KEEP CHECKING YOUR PROGRESS

  • Get people doing one or two things well then move on