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Unlock the Power of Project Management: for Business Leaders

1. Stewardship

Acting as a diligent and responsible guardian of the project's resources and interests, prioritizing ethical considerations and the welfare of all stakeholders.

Good Practices to Implement

  • Regularly review and optimize resource allocation.
  • Uphold ethical standards and transparency in all project activities.
  • Foster an environment of mutual respect and integrity.

How to Measure

  • Conduct stakeholder satisfaction surveys.
  • Monitor resource utilization rates against benchmarks.
  • Track ethical compliance through internal audits.

Real World Example

A project manager at a construction firm ensures that all materials are sourced ethically, labour is fairly compensated, and the environmental impact is minimized, reflecting stewardship in action.

2. Team

Building a culture that promotes accountability and respect among team members, enhancing collaboration and project success.

Good Practices to Implement

  • Encourage open communication and feedback.
  • Define clear roles, responsibilities, and expectations.
  • Recognize and celebrate team achievements.

How to Measure

  • Evaluate team performance through regular reviews.
  • Measure team morale and engagement through surveys.
  • Assess the clarity of roles and responsibilities via feedback.

Real World Example

A software development team implements agile methodologies, fostering a collaborative environment where each member's contributions are valued, leading to innovative solutions and high team satisfaction.

3. Stakeholders

Actively engaging and collaborating with all parties impacted by the project to understand their needs and align expectations.

Good Practices to Implement

  • Identify and map all stakeholders early in the project.
  • Establish regular communication channels and updates.
  • Involve stakeholders in decision-making processes.

How to Measure

  • Track stakeholder engagement levels and feedback.
  • Monitor the alignment of project outcomes with stakeholder expectations.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of communication strategies.

Real World Example

In launching a new product, a company conducts focus groups with potential customers (stakeholders) to gather insights, ensuring the final product meets the market’s needs and expectations.

4. Value

Ensuring that the project delivers outcomes that are beneficial and offer tangible value to the organization and its stakeholders.

Good Practices to Implement

  • Align project objectives with organizational strategy.
  • Implement value management practices to prioritize features based on their return on investment.
  • Regularly review project deliverables to ensure they meet user needs and business objectives.

How to Measure

  • Use performance metrics to assess the project's impact on business goals.
  • Conduct post-implementation reviews to evaluate the realization of benefits.
  • Gather feedback from end-users and stakeholders on the value received.

Real World Example

A healthcare provider implements a new patient management system to improve service delivery. The system reduces wait times, improves patient satisfaction, and streamlines operations, demonstrating clear value to both the organization and its patients.

5. Holistic Thinking

Recognizing and managing the interdependencies within the project and its environment to make informed, comprehensive decisions.

Good Practices to Implement

  • Employ systems thinking to understand the project's context and interrelated components.
  • Facilitate cross-functional collaboration to leverage diverse perspectives.
  • Conduct regular risk and impact assessments to anticipate and mitigate systemic issues.

How to Measure

  • Evaluate the effectiveness of decision-making processes through outcome analysis.
  • Track the frequency and impact of unintended consequences or systemic issues.
  • Assess the level of cross-functional collaboration and integration.

Real World Example

A multinational corporation launching a global marketing campaign uses holistic thinking to consider cultural sensitivities, legal requirements, and market conditions in different regions, ensuring a cohesive and effective strategy across borders.

6. Leadership

Inspiring, guiding, and fostering an environment where the project team can achieve their best work through effective leadership.

Good Practices to Implement

  • Develop leadership skills such as empathy, communication, and problem-solving.
  • Set clear visions and goals for the project team.
  • Provide support and resources for professional development and problem resolution.

How to Measure

  • Assess leadership effectiveness through team feedback and performance metrics.
  • Monitor the achievement of project milestones and team objectives.
  • Evaluate the growth and development of team members over the project lifecycle.

Real World Example

The project manager of a software development project leads by example, actively resolving impediments, facilitating knowledge sharing sessions, and encouraging innovation, leading to the timely delivery of a high-quality software product.

7. Tailoring

Customizing the project management approach to best suit the project's unique context, ensuring methods and practices are appropriate and effective.

Good Practices to Implement

  • Assess the project environment to determine the most suitable methodologies (e.g., Agile, Waterfall).
  • Adapt processes and tools to meet the project's specific needs and challenges.
  • Involve the team in the tailoring process to leverage their insights and buy-in.

How to Measure

  • Review project outcomes to assess the fit and effectiveness of the chosen approach.
  • Conduct retrospectives to gather team feedback on processes and methodologies.
  • Measure project performance against initial expectations and adjustments.

Real World Example

A project manager leading a complex software integration project combines Agile practices for development with traditional Waterfall methods for client approvals, tailoring the approach to balance flexibility with necessary controls.

8. Quality

Integrating quality into both the project processes and outcomes, ensuring that deliverables meet the required standards and expectations.

Good Practices to Implement

  • Define quality standards and criteria at the project's outset.
  • Implement continuous quality assurance and control measures throughout the project lifecycle.
  • Engage in regular reviews and testing to ensure deliverables meet established standards.

How to Measure

  • Track and analyze defects or non-conformance issues.
  • Conduct stakeholder surveys to gauge satisfaction with the project’s outcomes.
  • Measure the effectiveness of quality improvement initiatives over time.

Real World Example

An automotive manufacturer implements a zero-defect program for a new vehicle launch, incorporating rigorous testing and quality checks at every production stage, resulting in a product that exceeds industry safety standards.

9. Complexity

Navigating and managing the various complexities within the project, using knowledge, experience, and agile responses to ensure success.

Good Practices to Implement

  • Apply complexity assessment tools to understand the project's complexity dimensions.
  • Use adaptive and flexible project management approaches to respond to changing conditions.
  • Cultivate an environment of learning and improvement within the project team.

How to Measure

  • Evaluate project performance in relation to its complexity factors.
  • Monitor the team’s ability to adapt to and manage unforeseen challenges.
  • Assess the effectiveness of problem-solving and decision-making processes.

Real World Example

A technology firm managing a large-scale IT infrastructure overhaul uses an adaptive project management approach to navigate technical, organizational, and operational complexities, achieving milestones through flexible planning and problem-solving.

10. Risk

Identifying, analyzing, and managing potential project risks proactively to minimize their impact and capitalize on opportunities.

Good Practices to Implement

  • Develop a comprehensive risk management plan.
  • Regularly identify and assess new risks as the project progresses.
  • Implement risk response strategies and monitor their effectiveness.

How to Measure

  • Track the number and severity of risks that materialize.
  • Measure the success of risk response actions in mitigating impact.
  • Evaluate the return on investment for opportunities pursued.

Real World Example

During the construction of a new office building, the project manager implements early weather-related risk assessments and contingency planning, avoiding delays and cost overruns through proactive measures.

11. Adaptability and Resilience

Maintaining flexibility and a capacity to respond effectively to change and challenges, ensuring the project's ongoing viability and success.

Good Practices to Implement

  • Encourage a mindset of flexibility and openness to change among the project team.
  • Implement agile project management techniques to allow for rapid adaptation.
  • Build contingency planning into the project's strategic planning processes.

How to Measure

  • Assess the project's ability to adapt to significant changes without derailing.
  • Monitor recovery times from setbacks or challenges.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of contingency plans when activated.

Real World Example

A global event planning company swiftly adapts to the COVID-19 pandemic by transitioning to virtual events, leveraging technology to maintain engagement and deliver value to clients amidst unprecedented challenges.

12. Change Management

Effectively managing and facilitating change within the project and organization to achieve the desired outcomes and future state.

Good Practices to Implement

  • Establish clear communication plans for all change initiatives.
  • Involve key stakeholders in the change process to gain support and mitigate resistance.
  • Regularly review and adjust strategies in response to feedback and outcomes.

How to Measure

  • Monitor the speed and effectiveness of change implementation.
  • Track stakeholder engagement and support levels throughout the change process.
  • Assess the achievement of change objectives and overall impact on the project.

Real World Example

A software company implements a new project management tool across its development teams, using structured change management processes to ensure smooth adoption, with training sessions, feedback mechanisms, and ongoing support facilitating the transition.

References

Project Management Institute. (2021). A guide to the project management body of knowledge (PMBOK® guide) (7th ed.). Project Management Institute

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How to be a great leader | Stephen Wise | Integration Professionals

Colin Powell, the retired US Four-Star General says to remain calm and be kind. He also has a rule - to have a demanding vision. Vision, he says, is our destination.

Have a Vision of the future

Vision, what is it? Where do I find it?

Vision is not “Establishing vaccination guidelines and agreements, activating a network of furloughed retail workers, and implementing a military supply-chain technology for transportation and storage.” That is the strategy.

Vision is not “Vaccinating all the citizens against COVID by September 2021”. That is a goal, that will be driven by the Strategy.

Vision is higher than that. Vision is not something that exists today. It is something that is imagined that could be created in the future.

Developing a compelling vision is done by looking into yourself. What are your beliefs? What do you believe is possible? Figuring out who you are, why you are here, and what is most valuable to you.

Cultivating vision is a process. It does not emerge during an off-site, or from reading leadership philosophies, or watching an inspiring movie.

To be visionary you need to set aside significant time to percolate these questions.

Provide Clarity of desired results

Bruce Lee may have said, “The successful warrior is the average person, with laser-like focus.” Results require change. Without change there is no result. Motivating anyone to change is expecting them to work towards the unseen and unknown. At every level of challenge this is a fundamental issue that needs an answer every day.

Giving your team the answer they need is not difficult, your job is to provide clarity.

You need to communicate to your team the information they need to risk working on the unseen and unknown.

Explain to your team what is most important. Work with them so they understand why the choices made are the best choices. When the team is aligned on what is most important they will have clarity on the desired results.

Demonstrate effective Decision making

Nelson Mandela said that “Action without vision is only passing time. Vision without action is merely daydreaming. But vision with action can change the world.” Standing on the shoulders of giants, I say the sum of the actions will not be productive without a robust decision-making process.

The problem with change is that, only after starting, on the way to achieving results, does the solution emerge. The detail is previously unknown on what is required, how it will come together, and what is needed. Leaders who make the mistake of communicating their vision from on high, hiring the best team, and delegating all responsibility for results will be in for a surprise.

Leaders need to reserve time to develop vision and they need to be effective at engaging others to deliver lofty goals. However, do not let go of the steering wheel and don’t look away from the dashboard.

You need to ensure that everyone is aware of and reliant on a process for obtaining your decisions on how the strategy and goals are to being met. You need to ensure that you are aware of and broadly communicating key decisions to all stakeholders. If you miss this – you will more than likely not recognise the final product.

Questions for you to ponder.

  1. What would be an example of a Vision that is supported by the vaccination goal and strategy mentioned above?
  2. How have great leaders from demonstrated these three skills of Vision, Clarity, and Decision-making? (e.g., George Washington, Martin Luther King Jr., Captain Kirk)

STEPHEN D WISE

INTEGRATION PROFESSIONALS

DRAMATICALLY IMPROVE TRACTION

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Delivering Business Transformation Strategy | Stephen Wise | Integration Professionals

Michael Porter’s books on Competitive Strategy and Competitive Advantage led me to embrace Project Management. That is, I have frequently said, a company that invests in Project Management is making an investment in their competitive advantage. Less frustration delivering value, less disruption to teams, improved engagement, etc.

Porter’s Five Forces and the SWOT analysis are now inadequate as concrete underpinnings for strategy design. Strategy is still important, but the amount of change driven by disruption, innovation, and transformation means that the interpretation and implementation of Strategy – which occurs during the delivery – requires a high-touch feedback loop.

An increased importance in the strategy delivery does not mean that strategy design is less important – it means that executives must give equal personal priority and attention to designing the right strategy as to delivering.

Here are three key tips for executives to stay engaged in the delivery phase of business transformation strategy. Governance – Decision Making – Planning & Re-planning.

Governance – Build a governance structure that reinforces the accountability and responsibilities for the vision. Ensure the team is adequality resourced in terms of experience and availability. Review and address risks and interdependencies at the beginning and periodically and through the realization of accumulated benefits. Insist on a complete set of regularly reported metrics and milestones.

Decision Making - Move quickly to re-prioritize and remove roadblocks that are uncovered despite a lack of complete information or analysis. Accept changes to time and budget milestones based on new information from the working team.

Planning & Re-planning – The less time you have available – the more important it is to have a robust plan. Don’t forgo detailed planning, but in today’s business environment planning and re-planning must be rapid and agile. Documenting tasks, task owner, and interdependencies are as important as schedule and budget. Issues impeding success should be discussed regularly and recommendations to tweak the plan fed up to the executive team in order to ensure alignment and ongoing support.

Delivering strategy is like going on an expedition through a deep jungle. Every so often you will get to a hilltop and be able to asses how things went so far and what new landscape is coming in to view. An executive that spends time and money crafting the strategy needs to protect her investment by staying available and engaged for those hilltop moments.

Stephen Wise

Integration Professionals

Dramatically Improve Traction

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