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Project & Portfolio Management

How to Right Size your projects in 2019

2018 has flown by and in the real world 2019 is going to bring newer and possibly more complex projects. The key to success is by starting with the right approach to deliver projects.

Well, 2018 has just passed and out in the real world, 2019 will bring a new wave of projects launched by our organizations. What is changing are the types of projects that organizations are undertaking and the ways in which projects are completed.

Success starts with the right approach to delivering projects. Organizations will continue to use more than one project management approach and combine different techniques to cope with their own distinct challenges

PMIs Pulse of the Profession found in the 2018 findings that “regardless of the approach that is used—predictive, agile, or hybrid—organizations that use some type of formal project management approach are successfully meeting their goals, within budget and on time. Further, champions are better at choosing the approach that best fits their needs.” (https://www.pmi.org/-/media/pmi/documents/public/pdf/learning/thought-leadership/pulse/pulse-of-the-profession-2018.pdf

93% of organizations report using standardized project management practices. Embedding consistent standardized practices reduce risk and lead to better outcomes, particularly when the use of these standardized practices is used throughout the organization. Yet 70% limit their use – Why is this? 

Many organizations regardless of having a standardized process or not struggle with:

o       Gaining visibility into adherence with core standards from the beginning of the project instead of at the end

o       Rigor of process Vs Velocity - how can we have a process that can handle all types of projects and yet provides the right level of control/ transparency/governance

o       How to effectively use teams and resources across the organization with the goal of increasing efficiency and project success

o       How to ensure discipline and delivery when working with outside parties like partners and vendors

The Common Approach that a lot of organizations take looks something like this:

o       Organizations employ a one size fits all approach for executing tasks

o       Applying the same process, tools, and techniques to every task regardless of size, complexity, and risk

o       Creating large template plans and having projects shoehorned into these plans

Organizations start out with the good intention of creating and standardizing on a single process but the quest for uniformity and economies-of-scale quickly backfires

o        Always need to create the same 30-page requirements document?

o        Always needs to create the same 100-page test plan?

o        Always creating the same review briefings for each phase?

This leads to organizations burring PMs in process-related documents, checklists, templates that may or may not actually add value or eliminate risk for the projects. The backfire typically manifests in everything slowing to a sluggish pace.

Sound familiar?

Or organizations hear the opposite from the PMs on the ground: "We don’t need a Project Method. Our projects are not that big, and a project method will add a lot of unnecessary paperwork."

This leads to projects where there is no insight into what is going on!

Sound Familiar?

There is an Alternative Approach!

Project Tailoring means adapting the requirements and specifications of a project to the current operational needs of an organization through reviewing, modifying, and supplementing the project processes to ensure that the project is performed successfully according to the organization’s operational and business requirements.

Tailoring is an approach where tasks and tools used for a project is proportionate to the size, complexity, and risk level of the project 

How Tailoring Can Benefit your Organization

There are many ways that you can benefit from Right Size Tailoring here are 3 major ones.

1) Embracing the concepts and empowerment methodology of Project Tailoring can have an impact on project cost by:

By aligning the process with project risk and complexity, tailoring can reduce demands for:

o        Forms

o        Checklists

o        Processes

o        Templates

Can free up valuable time for resources that cause small projects to proceed at a sluggish pace.

2) Improve repeatability through tailoring

o        Tailoring helps organizations define a repeatable, reproducible process that eliminates the reinventing-the-wheel phenomenon associated with many projects.

o        This approach helps achieve greater economies of scale and deliver projects in a more consistent, on-time manner.

3) Mitigate Risk

Tailoring enables organizations to reduce risk by:

o        Pre-populating schedules with compliance/risk-related processes, templates, and policies

o        Providing a Compliance/Risk Checklist that enables the team to clearly gauge progress using a stoplight model

o        Provide Oversight and transparency on risk to program and portfolio managers


More in the next blog…… Process Maps and Tailoring go hand in hand


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