Most companies focus their attention on business processes and ignore projects, but everything new that you create or any improvements that you make happens as the result of a project. Even the implementation of your strategic plan happens through projects.
Projects that do not get completed, are late, are over budget or are off target impede your progress towards reaching your strategic goals. If you don’t lead projects effectively, you’ll lose competitive advantage.
So, how do you begin to improve the effectiveness of projects? We use our project effectiveness maturity model (PEMM) to assess where you are on the effectiveness continuum.
Most businesses are at level one, the ad hoc/chaos stage, where there is no standard project leadership process and no defined project steering process. (The project steering process is the process that the leadership team uses to select, prioritize, allocate resources and oversee the portfolio of projects.) In order to move to level two, Standardization, you need to do the following:
- Chose a standard project leadership method.
- Make sure project leaders use basic project leadership skills.
- Make sure sponsors write charters for all new projects.
- Make sure project teams use basic project leadership templates.
Level two creates the basis for developing a core competency in project leadership across the organization. As you begin to move to level three, Core Competency, you’ll to need spread the training process for basic project leadership skills to project team members, and continue the development of your project leader’s skills.
In addition, you’ll need to establish the rudiments of a project steering process, which should be run by the project steering council (a subset of the leadership team). At level three, every manager in the organization accepts accountability for the effectiveness of the organization’s portfolio of projects.
Not at level three or even level two yet? Well, you’re not alone. You can improve the way in which you create new products and services (either for external or internal consumption) or improve existing ones by improving your organization’s capacity to do projects well.