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How to Undertake a Project Quality Review that will Increase Your Bottom-Line

How to Undertake a Project Quality Review that will Increase Your Bottom-Line
By Michael Stanleigh

A project quality review helps to identify the root causes of problems on a flailing project and provides detailed guidance for how to get it back on track. It has a direct, positive impact on an organization’s bottom-line. When undertaken at the end of a project it provides valuable “lessons” for project teams working on future projects.

In my consulting work in project management I am often called upon to audit projects or undertake project quality reviews of problem projects. Bringing in an outside auditor/consultant to conduct the project quality review is a good practice; it provides project team members and other project stakeholders with the opportunity to be candid and share their opinions and feelings about what is happening or happened on the project without risk of lash back.

The process for conducting a project audit or project quality review is similar regardless of whether one conducts it mid-term on a project or at its conclusion. Read the Complete Article

Risk Management… The What, Why, and How

Risk Management… The What, Why, and How
By Michael Stanleigh

What Is Risk Management?

Risk Management is the process of identifying, analyzing and responding to risk factors throughout the life of a project and in the best interests of its objectives. Proper risk management implies control of possible future events and is proactive rather than reactive. For example:

An activity in a network requires that a new technology be developed. The schedule indicates six months for this activity, but the technical employees think that nine months is closer to the truth. If the project manager is proactive, the project team will develop a contingency plan right now. They will develop solutions to the problem of time before the project due date. However, if the project manager is reactive, then the team will do nothing until the problem actually occurs. The project will approach its six month deadline, many tasks will still be uncompleted and the project manager will react rapidly to the crisis, causing the team to lose valuable time. Read the Complete Article

Leadership – Take a 360-degree Look at Yourself

Leadership – Take a 360-degree Look at Yourself
By Michael Stanleigh

This is a story about a woman named Josephine and her leadership blunders. One day Joe (her nickname) got a great job in a large company in the Human Resources Department. She became the department’s Director and reported directly to the VP of Finance.

Joe’s boss, Michelle, the VP of Finance, was also a very successful woman. She had held this position for several years. Michelle worked extremely well on the executive team. She consistently demonstrated an ability to influence the executive with her ideas and listened to and adopted their ideas as well. She was seen as a very collaborative yet influential leader. Collectively, this executive became a powerful force, driving the organization successfully forward. Michelle was not only an excellent team player; she had built an excellent team of employees. She coached and guided them – directing them to strive forward to meet the organization’s short and long term strategic plan. Read the Complete Article

Future Trends in Quality Management

Future Trends in Quality Management
By Michael Stanleigh

Where is quality management going in the next decade? Being able to look at current trends and see where they will take us is an interesting and thought provoking exercise. It can give us a much needed competitive edge to move ahead of the pack.

Through our continuous, extensive global research studies we have identified a number of key trends that will have a positive impact on organizations and how they manage quality initiatives over the next decade.

Here are 8 trends you can expect to see happen that will help you gain organizational momentum:

  1. Quality Management is not dead – it continues to evolve

    Quality Management never really died. It evolved. Rather than being relegated as a position title or a department, it has been infused into the way everyone works in every single position within their organizations. Quality is about products and services.

Read the Complete Article

Increase the Effectiveness of Projects by Using Project Management Templates

Increase the Effectiveness of Projects by Using Project Management Templates
By Michael Stanleigh

Project Management Tools and Templates are critical components for consistent project management delivery and research shows that they help improve the success rate for projects.

Recent research shows that senior management and Project Management Offices are struggling with the issue of consistency in the management of their projects and there is a significant opportunity for organizations to improve their productivity, market share and shareholder value through improved management of their projects. Using project management templates is a good way to ensure consistency of project delivery. To create your templates you should give consideration to the following factors.

1. Establish Project Governance

Establish your terms of governance. This can be done through a PMO or management committee. Governance establishes decisions that:

  • Define expectations for how projects will be managed.
  • Grant power to those responsible for the successful management of projects.

Read the Complete Article

How To Develop a Systematic Approach to Prioritizing All Projects

How To Develop a Systematic Approach to Prioritizing All Projects
By Michael Stanleigh

Developing a systematic approach to prioritizing all projects in your organization or department makes sense but how many organizations really do it? Too often, projects will get initiated without much consideration other than, “It seems like a great idea.” So it’s not surprising that our research shows that only 12.5% of organizations look at their projects to see if they strategically align with their business. Furthermore, 68% of organizations have no process in place to help them prioritize their projects. This lack of process for project prioritization and strategic alignment are major reasons for project failure. Project prioritization includes identifying how each project within each department is aligned with corporate strategy. A successful project management system must include project prioritization and alignment of projects with strategy so that only projects that add value get implemented.

  1. Develop an inventory of all projects in your organization.
Read the Complete Article

Why It Makes Sense to Have a Strategic Enterprise Office

Why It Makes Sense to Have a Strategic Enterprise Office
By Michael Stanleigh

Many organizations create a number of project management offices (PMO) in different departments. According to the findings of a global research study of over 750 organizations, this may not be a good idea. To be most successful, a PMO needs to have direct influence on the entire organization, not just one department. And it needs to be run as a business that is accountable to its customers and to the bottom-line.

Research proves that the very survival of a PMO is often dependent on its ability to service the entire organization, rather than an exclusive department. Furthermore, the project management office team must appear seamless and in sync with their messaging and approach across the entire organization.

Consider the PMO as a Service Agency

Successful project management offices are viewed very much as a Service Agency. That is, they are seen as providing valued services to the business and to the project managers rather than performing as information consolidators and distributors. Read the Complete Article

10 Common Project Management Mistakes and How to Correct Them

10 Common Project Management Mistakes and How to Correct Them
By Michael Stanleigh

We have undertaken global research of hundreds of project management organizations around the world to determine their best practices in project management and through this process have identified 10 common problems. If you correct them, you’ll increase your success with projects.

  1. Running Projects That Don’t Fit with the Strategic Direction of the Organization

    Too often, project managers and project teams are working on projects that are not adding value to the organization. These projects neither support the development, enhancement and/or replacement of products, services or processes, nor do they support the organizational or departmental strategic plan, yet they are using valuable time, budget and resources that could be better utilized in more strategically driven projects. As a result, many project teams complain that senior management are not supporting their projects.

    When projects support strategic planning directives of the organization, management will be much more likely to support them with resources, time and budget.

Read the Complete Article

Why Project Coaching May Be Right For You

Why Project Coaching May Be Right For You
By Michael Stanleigh

Hiring a project coach ensures that the organization will retain project management knowledge and lessons learned and is recommended as a preferable alternative to hiring an external project manager.

Introduction

Often organizations may hire external project managers who are on contract to manage their projects. The reason for organizations to hire contract project managers is because they do not have any internal resources with the training and experience to manage these projects because these projects are often large and complex. However, once the project is closed these project managers will move to other organizations to manage new projects. They take with them their knowledge, their experiences and their lessons learned.
An alternative to hiring contract project managers is to hire a project coach because when their engagement ends, they leave, but their knowledge is transferred to the project manager and project team members within the organization who are now ready to take on additional projects. Read the Complete Article

Increasing Project Knowledge Retention and Transfer of Best Practices

Increasing Project Knowledge Retention and Transfer of Best Practices
By Michael Stanleigh

Individuals within an organization move from one project to another, repeating the same mistakes, managing through similar crises, despairing over under-performing team members, etc. And they repeat this cycle over and over again. The knowledge from one project is not formerly captured. And others at best, informally learn about what made one project successful and another unsuccessful. The research of Project Management Offices conducted by Business Improvement Architects of over 750 global organizations confirms this finding. This comprehensive study indicated that while two-thirds of Project Management Office respondents are responsible for archiving documentation, it is surprising at how few organizations actually capture and retain project knowledge.

Archiving documentation at the completion of a project is the primary method of knowledge retention and transfer. There is an opportunity for more active approaches to ensure knowledge transfer such as Knowledge Management Systems and Knowledge Sharing Sessions. Read the Complete Article

Recommended PM App

Recommended PM App

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