December 14, 2009 | Author: PM Hut | Filed under: Communications Management, Motivation, People Issues, Process of Change Control, Project Management Best Practices, Project Stakeholder Management, Scope Management
Restoring Projects to Peak Performance
By Joanne Wortman
Here are some quick remedies and prescriptions for fixing ailing projects:
|Sluggish project progress||Project anemia||Transfusion of new resources, including some proven performers from your project SWAT team. If you don’t have a project SWAT team, you’d better call in outside help.|
|Scope creep||Your project is overweight, in terms of the number of requirements you are trying to implement in phase 1||Your project needs a weight reduction program that segments requirements into manageable iterations.
Enforce “portion control” via checkpoints and a strict change control process with appropriate levels of sign-off.
|Poor deliverable quality||Inadequate wellness regimen||Time to break out of the status quo: Your project needs a new methodology, better tools, and/or better resources.|
|Failure to meet stakeholder expecations||Hearing loss||Apparently, the project team is not hearing or understanding what stakeholders are saying. The project needs a hearing aid: a seasoned project leader with good interview, facilitation, and listening skills.|
|Excessive effort that is out of line with actual progress||Central nervous system disorders||Something is wrong with internal project communication - the brain is not connecting with the heart and muscles of the project team correctly. It could be a personality issue, or a project manager who limits communication to firing off email requests for status updates, or a project meeting format that is burdensome and ineffective.
Treatment options include coaching/mentoring, conflict resolution, or a resource transplant.
|Demotivated/stressed project team||Mood disorder||Talk therapy: Make sure you understand the differing motivations of each member of your project team. There will be differences by role as well as generational differences.
Behavioral modification: Set expectations clearly.
Don’t save up all rewards for the end of the project. Encourage high level of commitment throughout with interim celebrations and rewards.
This takes us back to the beginning of the cycle. Periodic triage and interim project health-checks are the best way to make sure your project portfolio will contain fewer implementation failures.
Joanne Wortman, JWortman@edgewater.com, Director of Consulting, Edgewater Technology, Inc.
Joanne Wortman has been leading complex technology projects, M&A integration programs, business process reengineering efforts and change management initiatives for more than a decade. Her work has been published in Buyouts Magazine and at www.vcexperts.com. Ms. Wortman holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Edgewater Technology, Inc. is an innovative technology management consulting firm. We provide a unique blend of specialty IT services by leveraging our proven industry expertise in strategy, technology and enterprise performance management. Headquartered in Wakefield, MA, we go to market by vertical industry and provide our clients with a wide range of business and technology offerings.
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