Wednesday, 3 January 2018

New Year's Resolutions

I've updated my principles and new year's resolutions from 2015, which have been useful in considering project delivery for the changes I'm involved in.

1) Success

Project success is not just about delivering what the project objectives state. Being really clear about what makes a specific project or change successful, especially mid-project and prioritising the things to bring this about, is a must. People usually focus on high-level time, cost and scope indicators as measures of success. Often success is derived from basic things like making sure a critical requirement is understood, agreed and delivered in a usable form. For example for GDPR this includes being able to demonstrate compliance, not just make the required changes.

2) People

Involving the right people is one of the biggest factors in delivering successful projects, not IT or just using the 'right' methodology. Taking time to make sure the right people with the right experience to deliver this year's projects and challenges, and not last year's, should pay dividends. I use Kotter's approach to change and working with stakeholders, as below.

3) Assumptions

In my book, making assumptions, and not proactively managing them, can kill projects. People managing 'RAID' lists often focus on risks, issues and some dependencies. Problems around scope, resources and other changes often hide in lists of assumptions and are forgotten about once the project starts or when it changes course. Reviewing assumptions regularly and making proactive changes might just help keep that project on track and avoid other common causes of failure.

4) Collaboration

Projects and change seldom involve just immediate colleagues or one organisation. Collaboration with third parties and partners is often critical to delivery. Reviewing past performance, the capabilities required for 2018 and alignment of all parties across the supply chain is essential.

5) Lessons

Lessons are often identified, but not always applied. I'm going to review again the main lessons from projects and change in 2017, summarise what was successful, what could have been better, and think about, and apply, both these areas to 2018's challenges.

Happy New Year to you all!

#projectmanagement #pmot

John Kotter, as published in Harvard Business Review, 2014 and from an article in Project Magazine, 2017

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