Why project management matters
Posted on 23rd April 2021 at 08:37
Reports suggest that big projects fail well over half the time. The problem happens when people manage projects like ideas or suggestions, rather than the projects they are. If you start work without the right project disciplines in place, then problems that should be fixed at the start of a project happen later – wasting time and effort unnecessarily. If you have experienced this, you are not alone.
Mondrem have developed a series of simple but powerful tools and messages that make change happen where previously is has not.
Firstly, what is a project?
Any one-off piece of work that isn't part of your usual way of working. It should be work that is actively managed, not just an idea or suggestion. It needs to include things like a named person who owns it and leads it and an agreed start and end date.
By creating a shared approach to project management, you increase the likelihood of change happening. Your customers and suppliers feel secure because you communicate effectively, frequently and in a shared location. Your project delivery people feel supported in their work and able to bring their brilliance where it’s needed. And your senior leaders feel confident in project delivery and can make decisions without being drawn into the detail.
How can you get there?
To build a project management approach that everyone will use, start by building shared understanding. Listen to the wants and needs of everyone and use them to guide the approach you design. If you don’t listen to the people who will be using the approach, then it is unlikely that everyone will use it in the way it was intended to be used. And it’s no good creating a brilliant process if no one uses it.
Begin by carefully understanding what’s important to your staff, leaders, customers, suppliers and any other stakeholders by speaking to them in an open-minded conversation - it will save you time and frustration in the long run.
In doing this, we developed a user-friendly ‘Mondrem toolkit’ to explain and replicate our project management approach. It’s much more than a toolkit though. It explains why what we do is important, rather than showcasing the templates and tools with no explanation. It also helps us to understand why our projects are successful.
In our toolkit, we make it clear that team members have permission to talk about mistakes and things they are unsure about. Insisting that mistakes must not happen doesn’t stop them happening. Only by being open about mistakes can you prevent them or reduce their impact. It’s important to build the opportunity for learning into your project management approach. That’s difficult to do if people feel they have to conceal problems, or things they’re unsure about.
Being given responsibility is important, so too is having a project management approach that helps you break down your responsibilities into manageable tasks. And if the lines of communication are clearly defined, it means your team will never have to waste time worrying about who to talk to.
If everyone in an organisation sticks to good project disciplines, then it is much more likely that you will realise the change you want to see.
If you would like to make sure that change happens, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Tagged as: project management
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