Continuous Project Mgmt Improvement through Best Practices


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A presentation to the UTP Project Management Symposium in 2010.

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Continuous Project Mgmt Improvement through Best Practices

  1. 1. 4th Annual Project Management Symposium Communications Continuous Improvement through Best Practices Implement processes that identify, capture, and communicate Program and Project Management process improvements Ed Paris, MBA, PE, PMP create your future
  2. 2. Background • Competition is driving Program and Project change – Increasingly complex – Greater acceptance of risk • Organizations standardize processes to increase likelihood of success • Standardization is by definition inflexible and reduces the opportunity to innovate • Organizations need processes that are lean, consistent, and foster improvement create your future
  3. 3. People and organizations learn over time • Primarily through experience • The best also learn through the experiences of others – Informal “tribal knowledge” process – Formal knowledge sharing processes create your future
  4. 4. “Tribal knowledge” is the natural Continuous Improvement process • Very informal, passed person to person • Improvements not documented • While some knowledge is maintained in the organization, good ideas and process improvements are often lost over time create your future
  5. 5. “Lessons Learned” is the most used process for Continuous Improvement • Process created in an attempt to capture and record both successes and failures • More formal – Knowledge collected through meetings and individual communication – Results formally documented • Knowledge stored for later analysis and use • Cost required to adequately research is often perceived to outweigh the benefits gained create your future
  6. 6. Other Continuous Improvement processes • TQM, Six Sigma and Kaizen are popular processes available • Widely employed in manufacturing and service industries • Not as cost effective on low volume, variable processes like those in projects or programs • What is needed is a low cost, formal process that not only gathers organizational knowledge, but places it in context with the existing knowledge of the organization. create your future
  7. 7. What is a Best Practice? OPM3 definition: “…the optimal methods, currently recognized within a given industry or discipline, to achieve a stated goal or objective. In the OPM3 context, Best Practices are achieved when an organization demonstrates consistent organizational project management processes evidenced by successful outcomes.” create your future
  8. 8. What is a Best Practice? definition: “Methods and techniques that have consistently shown results superior to those achieved with other means, and which are used as benchmarks to strive for. There is, however, no practice that is best for everyone or in every situation, and no best practice remains best for very long as people keep on finding better ways of doing things.” create your future
  9. 9. The Best Practice Development Process Identify Analyze Communicate create your future
  10. 10. Identification • Methods of identification – – – – – Internal suggestions SME observations Lessons Learned Maturity Assessments Benchmarking • The process(es) selected should be based on the organization’s strategic goals and operating environment. • A combination of methods are often the best solution create your future
  11. 11. Analysis • The results should represent the best thinking of the organization • Best Practice SMEs should: – Review each candidate – Utilize brainstorming techniques to determine if the improvement is • • • • create your future Discarded Used as is Improved further based on the SME’s knowledge Combined with other improvements.
  12. 12. Communication • Meetings, training sessions, email, web posting, paper publications, wikis, document management systems, and videos all have their place in the communication process • As the size, complexity, and urgency of a change increases, the communication method should be more comprehensive and immediate • The goal of this phase is to impart understanding and wisdom to the users of the best practice create your future
  13. 13. Establishing a Best Practice Process • Conducted by the most knowledgeable SMEs in the organization • Identify a champion • Establish the organization, policy and procedures • Create detailed implementation plan • Complete the initial identification, analysis, and communication cycle – Create standards of minimum and best practice – Create publications and training courseware – Provide the initial training for PMs, team members, and external stakeholders create your future
  14. 14. Summary • An organization’s PM processes must be governed by a guidance document that establishes both minimum and best practice standards with guidance on how to tailor processes to specific circumstances • Information gained from the assessments and lessons learned should be synthesized into actionable knowledge or Best Practices • Guidance documents should be created that represent the best thinking of the organization • These Best Practices should be quickly communicated to the organization • Successful implementation will result in a highly competitive organization that embraces continuous improvement and maximizes process value. create your future
  15. 15. Questions? create your future