Recently, I was on a client check-in call with our account management team. We’ve been working with this client for years and have done countless projects. The project we were in the midst of though, was by far the most complex and impactful.
On that call, the client CEO mentioned how smooth the project was going, and even said “man, I’ve been wondering why you make us buy this project management time for all these projects, THIS is why. This project is going so smooth, I wish we had project management in place for all of our internal initiatives if they could run like this”.
This got me thinking, why don’t more organizations put in place a project management process? Is it because it takes a little work to implement? People aren’t sure where to start? Someone has to own it? People complain about too much process and time spent planning? (this last one is my favorite excuse, but I’ll get to that in another blog).
Regardless of the reasons, it’s not too late to get started. Here are a few reasons why you should, and a few easy tips to get you on your way:
Why Create a Project Management Program:
1. To set and manage priorities: We all have a million projects to get completed, with different people pushing that theirs is more important. Implement a process to keep priorities aligned and organized.
2. To align expectations: Ever wonder how you ask for a project but end up with a different outcome than you expected and have to start over? One party thinks the project is a total success, while others are disappointed? Set expectations and goals of the project at the outset — this way everyone is aligned to start.
3. To achieve your goals: If you are always starting and stopping projects, getting side-tracked along the way, or forgetting what the purpose was — create a process to help you stay on track to achieving all your goals.
How to Get Started:
1. Define WHY you are creating the project management process within your organization — what are you hoping to achieve, why is it important?
2. Define HOW are you to achieve this? This does mean the actual logistics, but instead — focus on who will be involved, whose buy-in and support do you need, are you going to implement it internally or with client-facing projects too?
(Bonus tip — this is going to involve everyone to some degree).
3. Define WHAT are you doing to do. Create a few processes -> who is able to submit and request projects, what’s required to submit a project request, using project charters to define expectations and parties involved, how are project priorities determined, how is success of a project measured. If you start with these few, you will be well on your way.
Hopefully this can help you get started and thinking about creating a project management process of your own. Remember, implementing any new process takes some effort to get started - stick to it! The more support you can build, the more successful the process will be, I guarantee it will be uncomfortable at first, but I promise it will pay off.