Back to Basics

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Back to Basics

Back To Basics

When you work with organizations to help accelerate the productivity and profitability of their project teams there are questions that keep coming up:

‘So this is project management, right? Do you teach scheduling or something?  Can you fix our project management application?’

The long answer is that we work with teams and they become more productive because of how they work together rather than the tools they use as they work together. Project management is the cloak that covers the down and dirty business of changing the behaviors and dynamics within the team.  This is because, as a seasoned project manager, there is an assumption that underlies each team.

The assumption is that they already know the basics of scheduling, estimating and risk management. Well……you know what they say about assumptions.

Regardless of whether you use Agile, eXtreme Lean, Six Sigma or Prince2 as an approach there are some things that remain true.

You need to be able to communicate to your stakeholders.

  • How long will it take?
  • What will it cost?
  • When will it be done?
  • Why might it fail and what can we do about it?
  • Are there possible opportunities to wring other benefits from this work aside even from the stated goals and objectives of this project?

Sometimes you find that even your most fundamental assumption is groundless.  Sometimes you find that, under the extreme time pressure of an ever-faster pace of business, people have lost-forgotten-abandoned some of the basic tools and approaches that would serve them well.

With that in mind, I am delighted that Michael Bender has taken on the challenge and has begun the task of creating micro-lessons – called uLessons on YouTube. These lessons will be taking you back to the basics.  No lesson is very long – you could probably take one or two in and still have time for coffee.

Teams that are on the way to becoming more productive will still actively consider the value of their tools and approaches.

And there are times when a refresher isn’t a bad idea.

Your tip for today: Having the whole team view and discuss the topics of Michael’s uLessons is also a great way to build both Clear Definition and Collaborative spirit. These are two of the four foundational Key Success Parameters. Use this discussion as a way of confirming how your team members each develop their estimates. Is there a best practice that could be standardized? Who on the team can help each other?

So the short answer is ‘No – this isn’t just project management. It’s about how to get your teams to project success.’

If you have a project that is not meeting expectations for two reporting cycles – or more – let us help with our diagnostic and discovery process.


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