- Being organized isn’t only a big firm trait. This particular firm has 10 primary project managers running projects according to their personal style and client preferences. There is no central, shared location for information or data, there are no real staffing discussions, and most people aren’t using project financials to measure or make decisions. The ideas we came up with would address these issues – because that’s just good project management and good business. Being organized isn’t the same as a bureaucratic, paperwork heavy, red-tape system. This firm doesn’t have enough employees where that could even become possible. Being organized is an operational advantage, not a trait to be avoided.
- Procedures are also an insurance policy. The frustrations of living with this madness started the conversation and attempt at improvement in the first place. Documents and emails were lost. Delegation of project elements was tough. Whenever a project manager left the firm, picking up the pieces meant starting from scratch. Identifying if a project was on or off track was impossible. Having certain guidelines in place, and then followed, generally ensures these sorts of pitfalls don’t happen. It’s a guard against poor client service, loss of profitability, and anxiety across the team – and that’s a good culture to foster.
- Madness is not a great cultural nuance. My client has already enjoyed growth the last two years – more than they anticipated and accomplished without any kind of planning. They brag about it (as well they should). However, even in that period of growth, it doesn’t appear they lost any of their beloved “culture.” It’s only when we frame guidelines around a better project management system that this loss is feared. The self-described “madness” works for a time, and it’s transferrable, but it’s not sustainable or sellable. What potential employee wants to work in a maddening project atmosphere? What client would hire you if they really knew your planning or QA/QC process was haphazard?
PM Perspectives: A method to the madness
May 03, 2013
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