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Artizen Project Health Assessment - How to conduct one properly.
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Artizen Project Health Assessment - How to conduct one properly.

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How to conduct an independent health assessment. …

How to conduct an independent health assessment.

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    • 1. 1© Artizen, Inc. All rights reserved. Programs and Projects Independent Project Health Assessment
    • 2. 222© Artizen, Inc. All rights reserved. The Artizen Perspective How to conduct an independent health assessment.  Define your objectives  Prepare for interpersonal dynamics  Choose your review format  Pick your evaluators carefully  Personal preference vs „best practices‟  Optimize your evaluation criteria  Define the output format  Decide who will see the output  Decide if results affect performance appraisals  Define review timing  Key takeaways
    • 3. 333© Artizen, Inc. All rights reserved. If you really just want to do an assessment of one project, you should have Artizen conduct the assessment. They cost less than $10,000 and will be done in 3 weeks. First, it is not very practical to decide you want to do an assessment on only one project. This should be a process you wish to implement continually because there is a significant investment required to define your health assessment goals and procedures. It will likely take more time than you want. Independent Project Health Assessment When to Proceed The balance of this white paper addresses organizations who wish to implement a health assessment methodology.
    • 4. 444© Artizen, Inc. All rights reserved.  Do you want a toolkit you can use only when you want to troubleshoot projects that you suspect or know are in trouble?  Are you doing health assessments to identify project mgt problems by individual PM or across the org to make improvements in PM performance?  Are you implementing metrics with a goal of taking a PM team from good to great? What are your health assessment goals? Independent Project Health Assessment Define Your Objectives
    • 5. 555© Artizen, Inc. All rights reserved.  The response from a project manager whose project is being reviewed can be anywhere from cooperative and constructive to threatened, scared and defensive.  Be prepared to manage a defensive PM. Try to put them at ease. If things get too uncomfortable, regroup and reschedule. When you meet again, try to move their posture from defensive to a positive, constructive discussion before you proceed. Be prepared for the interpersonal dynamics of a health assessment Independent Project Health Assessment Managing Personal Dynamics
    • 6. 666© Artizen, Inc. All rights reserved. 1. It is perceived as fair if everyone will be on the “hot seat” when it is their turn 2. The reviewers, as a group, learn from results of other PM‟s review, not just from the results of their review The PM is evaluated by a group of their peers. Independent Project Health Assessment Choosing Review Format Peer Review The advantages to this are:
    • 7. 777© Artizen, Inc. All rights reserved. 1. The health assessment process consumes less team bandwidth 2. It is usually easier to handle conflict and avoid confrontational reviews 3. PM‟s are more likely to open up, ask for advice in a 1:1 setting The PM is evaluated by a reviewer who has seniority. Independent Project Health Assessment Choosing Review Format Seniority Review The advantages to this are:
    • 8. 888© Artizen, Inc. All rights reserved. 1. The health assessment process consumes less team bandwidth 2. It is usually easier to handle conflict and avoid confrontational reviews The PM is evaluated in a face to face Q&A format with project artifacts such as project plans, requirements documents, issue lists, etc. Independent Project Health Assessment Choosing Review Format Face to Face Review The advantages to this are: Perhaps the most typical
    • 9. 999© Artizen, Inc. All rights reserved. You could do an off line only review, but we find the back and forth discussion is where most of the deep insights are found and where the PM gets the most from the review. Independent Project Health Assessment Choosing Review Format Off Line Only Review
    • 10. 101010© Artizen, Inc. All rights reserved.  In a 1:1 senior review format, the evaluator should be a senior PM recognized as experienced and knowledgeable. Alternatively, the evaluator could be up the organizational hierarchy or be an outside consultant. You just don‟t want the PM thinking, “This is stupid, I know more than this guy”.  In a peer review process, they should be the most immediate group close to the PM, the people he or she works with.  You want all of the evaluators to be able to take a sensitive approach. Do not select someone who may be aggressive or confrontational. It‟s important to choose your review evaluators carefully. Independent Project Health Assessment Choosing Review Evaluators
    • 11. 111111© Artizen, Inc. All rights reserved. Reviewers must know the difference between: Independent Project Health Assessment Choosing Review Evaluators Their personal preferences on how to manage aspects of a project The generally accepted “best practices” that should be followed on most engagements.
    • 12. 121212© Artizen, Inc. All rights reserved.  Key dimensions of project management (sponsorship/stakeholder mgt, project planning, status reporting, issue & risk mgt, etc.)  Results metrics (on time delivery, on budget delivery, benefits realization) Invest significant time in defining your evaluation criteria and the review questions you will use to probe performance against those criteria. Independent Project Health Assessment Defining Evaluation Criteria Get Your Criteria Right Typical criteria are: We recommend forming a dedicated committee to do this.
    • 13. 131313© Artizen, Inc. All rights reserved. This is an example dashboard and a set of recommendations like those used by Artizen. Independent Project Health Assessment Defining Evaluation Criteria Define Your Output Format
    • 14. 141414© Artizen, Inc. All rights reserved.  If a PM thinks his scores on the dashboard will be seen by his manager, VP, or the CIO, then you raise the tension levels in project reviews  Sometimes we agree that the output is confidential between the reviewer and the PM. Define who will see the output Independent Project Health Assessment Defining Evaluation Criteria (This can be a much trickier question than you might think)  Get all of this figured out before you start. The PM will ask you within the first 10 minutes, we guarantee it. In these situations we might agree with the PM’s that anonymous results will be reported to managers and executives across a group of projects. A word of caution here, if you make that commitment to the PM’s you need the execs bought in. The first question you will get is, which project has all the red scores on the dashboard. If you said you would not tell, you have to be prepared to stick to it.
    • 15. 151515© Artizen, Inc. All rights reserved.  We believe health assessments should be a constructive process. So in general, we do not recommend a direct linkage to performance appraisals.  If you are, for some reason, not getting the improvements you expect from health assessments, then linkage to performance may be appropriate.  We have not seen clients make this linkage. Decide if review results will impact performance appraisals Independent Project Health Assessment Define Impact of Review Results
    • 16. 161616© Artizen, Inc. All rights reserved. Define the timing when reviews will be conducted Independent Project Health Assessment Define Timing for Reviews Typically, reviews are conducted prior to major phase gates If you do not have bandwidth to review all projects, define criteria for which projects will be reviewed  Project size is the most common criteria (e.g. review all projects with budget above $500,000)  For organizational development reasons, you may choose to schedule reviews to provide coverage across all PM‟s (each PM is reviewed at least once per year).
    • 17. 171717© Artizen, Inc. All rights reserved. Key Takeaways How well you define your objectives, criteria and process will determine your success Choosing your evaluators and review format to match your specific situation is key Generating clear, thorough output and defining how it will be used is essential.
    • 18. 181818© Artizen, Inc. All rights reserved. Web: www.artizen.com Email: Acroft@artizen.com Phone: 650-261-9400 Independent Program Health Assessment Artizen can help. Artizen specializes in large program management— it‟s what we do, and it‟s all we do. Because we offer a deeper expertise, we’ve helped Cisco, McAfee, NetApp and other premier clients for years. Get it touch to learn what we can do for you.

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