Regardless of your business’s size and whether you have a project manager or program manager or an entire project management office (PMO), your business goal remains the same…deliver projects faster to achieve your organization’s strategic goals. Studies have found the top barriers to project speed (in order of importance) sponsor or key stakeholder decision delays, subject matter expert (SME) bottlenecks, lack of team clarity on priorities, and unclear business or bureaucratic processes. Implementing these three key steps below can help you achieve the goal:
Reduce sponsor or key stakeholder decision delays. During project kick-off, make sure the sponsors and project team understand and agree upon the project goals, objectives, and timeframe. Implement an escalation process if a critical stakeholder does not make a decision affecting the project schedule. View the sponsor as part of the project team to participate in regular meetings and remove roadblocks (rather than causing them).
Increase the impact of existing expertise. Examine ways to make more effective use of the existing expertise within your organization. For example, does a senior level person need to make every decision, or can a less experienced employee contribute to decision making and removing barriers. Another way to increase expertise is by cross-training current employees through formal training, job shadowing, and mentoring.
Foster a climate of speed. Make sure everyone involved in the project understands that the initial timeline for completion is not a guideline but a definite date. Think about how your management staff and PMs communicate their message around project speed, including how project teams operate and implement metrics that are leading indicators of project speed. The traditional solution of using repeatable, known processes often does not drive the degree of speed necessary to deliver the business outcomes. Sometimes engaging an outside consultant (for a short period) to take an independent view of your current practices and provide actionable recommendations on increasing the speed to completion can help foster the climate of speed.
Following project management basics of establishing clear and open communication, making the work visible (so the team and project sponsors quickly know the project status), and regular tracking and maintaining real-time dashboards all help your team deliver projects faster. If your organization needs an evaluation of current practices to provide an “outsider” view or additional resources or expertise to help complete projects, Dewpoint is here to help. Our project, program, and portfolio managers have in-depth experience with projects varying in size and scope. Contact us today so we can help you deliver projects faster.