6 Reasons to Rethink Business Processes for Improved Projects [Guest Post]

During project planning, individual tasks can seem simple. However, as the project progresses, more tasks inevitably get added to the workload. Some of the tasks become more complex, making the entire process unwieldy and placing your project at risk. Taking some time to review and improve processes can really simplify the work needed to deliver a project. In some cases, it’s possible to automate some of the more rote tasks and use the structured workflow to keep things running smoothly. Business process re-engineering is a management strategy focused on analyzing and re-structuring workflows within an organization. Usually issues follow the introduction of a new product or service, new upper management, or new technology. When a pattern of inefficiency appears, project managers should promptly rethink how work is done in order to improve productivity and cut costs. Here are six areas to consider. Identify the Problem Identified issues could be due to some common causes: One department may use more than its share of resources. Busy schedules don’t allow time for process changes. Failure to recognize the extent or nature of problems. Inadequate employee training. Outdated or insufficient technology, tools, or infrastructure. Bureaucratic policies that create delays. Staff are not engaged or…

4 Tips to Avoid This Common Project Management Trap

Organizations who are new to formal project management often fall into a trap.  They realize that project management is important and that they need to get something in place. Great, that’s step one. However, it can be tough to know exactly which processes they really need to deploy to get started.  And this is where they start to go astray. It seems like more often than not, organizations make the mistake of trying to implement a  fully-structured project management process on day one. But when you’re just starting out, this can be overwhelming to project teams.  It takes time to build up to that level of project management structure. In addition, you can have small projects and big projects.  Simple projects and complex projects. Teams that are trained in project management, and teams that are not. People who buy-in and people who resist change at all costs. To accommodate this reality, you can’t think of project management as “one-size-fits-all.” Instead, at BrightWork we like the idea of project management as a spectrum. The beauty of a spectrum like this one is that there is no one “correct” spot. Only the spot(s) that are appropriate for you and your team. With all the above in mind, here a four…

Do You Practice Assumption Management With Your Projects?

As few projects start with absolute certainty, most projects will be based on many assumptions. If PM’s had to wait for absolute certainty, most projects would never get off the starting block within organisations. Some assumptions must be made on projects when there is a lack of information available to predict the future accurately. Experienced Project Managers do their best efforts to get better at making assumptions and eliminating as many of them as possible. Assumption Management As projects are planned and executed, some facts and issues are known, others must be estimated. Project Managers can’t just hope they will have the necessary resources to complete a project successfully. For example, if the required resources are not available, then key project milestones may be missed and the project will fail to achieve a successful outcome. Project Managers have to manage and mitigate using informed assumptions and constraints. Project Managers need to make a brief and clear-cut description of any project assumptions related to: Scope Budget Business Sponsorship Requirements Resources Customers Technology Expectations Third Parties Other Assumptions The PM will document and communicate these list of those assumptions to key stakeholders. Assumptions in Projects Assumptions apply at all stages of the…

What Are The Challenges With The Enterprise Project Portfolio Reporting Problem?

Global and dispersed organisations often struggle on how to have an effective status reporting solution for their enterprise project portfolio. PMO’s within many large organisations still use Excel and PowerPoint for project status reporting and although they provide a useful format they are not easily shared in real time. The problem is further complicated when has many PMO’s spread geographically across the globe. Key Enterprise PMO Challenges Many PMO’s within global organisations are constrained to stay with Excel and PowerPoint as their organisations don’t have the appetite for implementing an enterprise project management information reporting tool usually based on incorrect assumptions of high cost or security issues. How to manage a large portfolio of projects over a wide geographical region? How to provide project status reporting from country to region to global audiences? How to present this status reporting in formats suitable for different audiences? How to ensure project management information quality of a sufficient standard? How to make sure project status is current as status can change significantly within days? How to adopt project management best practices with many users who have immature project management skills and knowledge? How to centralise management of projects management information over a large geographical region? How to ensure…

Do You Know These Best Practices for A Lean PMO?

Lean Management is a set of tools that helps to improve productivity, reduce costs and improve quality. A successful PMO aligns continuously with customer value. The goal of Lean Management PMO is the creation of a continuous stream of projects which delivers customer value with minimum waste of resources within the fastest time possible. Some Best Practices for a Lean PMO Simple Processes The key to a successful PMO is to keep the processes simple, fit for purpose, clearly explained and understood, and aligned with the needs of the stakeholders Each project should be viewed as an individual process with inputs and outputs and the project portfolio as a whole is the management of these individual project processes. Identified Stakeholders A PMO needs to identify its stakeholders, their part in the project lifecycle process, their responsibilities, their requirements and align on metrics to measure the PMO performance against their measures of customer satisfaction. Project Charter / Mandate A fundamental critical success factor for a Lean Management PMO is that every project should have a project charter or mandate. A project charter ensures initial alignment between all the stakeholders There should be a clear statement communicated to stakeholders and adhered to –  No Project…

PRINCE2 Vs PMP – Which to Pick First?

If you’re looking to get certified in Project Management, you might be wondering which exam to take? There are lots out there but the 2 main contenders would be PRINCE2® (PRojects IN a Controlled Environment, version 2) or PMP® (Project Management Professional).  Before deciding which to pick, it might be worth which one to focus on and get certified in first. Yes first! I’d highly recommend getting certified in both. So, lets take a look at PRINCE2 Vs PMP. Research First Find out first of all which is being used in your organization, industry andor region. PRINCE2 is used with the majority of UK governments. PMP would be more used more globally, but both are internationally recognised accreditations. Don’t forget to chat to people that are currently in the role. LinkedIn could be a great resource to connect with people if you don’t know anyone. Also, it’s worth doing some research with job search engines. What are recruiters looking for? Why are they looking for it? Methodology or Standard? PRINCE2 is a methodology that would be very process and template driven. It goes into details the roles that each person would play in a successful project and their involvement. It’s based…