Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) help an organization define and measure progress toward organizational goals.
Do you have good KPIs defined? Are they ones that reflect your organization’s goals, ones that you can measure and that you can use as a performance management tool? Find out how to get them at Making Performance Meaningful
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If you are the senior manager responsible for a project, here are a series of questions to ask yourself at the start to ensure success!
- Are the objectives and benefits achievable? The project may be very well intentioned and it may sound very grand but can your organization actually do it (even with advice) and will it be worthwhile?
- Is this the right investment for the organization at this time and how does this project fit within the existing programme of projects and competing priorities for the organization. It may sound right but you may have a lot of other priorities right now – can the resource be made available? Will some other project already underway make this project redundant even before it starts?
- Who are the stakeholders and do they agree on the objectives and benefits? What other parts of the organization and the supply chain will you be dependent on? Will your customers appreciate the benefits you plan?
- Is there anything novel in terms of process or technology and can you cope with it? This particularly important for IT based projects – leading edge is one thing – bleeding edge quite another? If it is IT and you don’t know the difference then definitely take advice!
- Are you clear about the scope – is there a project brief that describes the project in full and from a business perspective? Do you understand where the boundaries of your project are? What is in and what is out? If you don’t know, you may find it very difficult to know when you have a success and also to control your costs!
- Does the project fit well with your organization’s strategic initiatives, frameworks and architectures? Does this fit well with the overall direction of the organization, is it compatible with your existing service contracts – if it is IT, will it fit in with your existing systems?
- Have you tested the underlying assumptions within the project brief and business case? Have you really challenged the team on the assumptions they have made – are they being realistic and do the figures really stack up?
- Does the project have an agreed set of performance measures against which performance can be measured during the life of the project, and at its conclusion? How can you ensure the right quality is being delivered! What will be the key milestones and how will you know when you have got there?
- Does the business case reflect the full cost of the project including associated business change costs? Buying an IT system for example is not completing a project – what about the cost of training you staff? What about the cost of the time they spend training? How much will you pay for support? How will funding be tracked?
- Are you confident that you are the right person to sponsor for this project? Do you have the knowledge needed – if not, have you the time to learn – can you find a mentor? Have you got the time to do it? Are you senior enough? Will you have to refer key decisions further up the line?
If you would like advice on any of this then Wisewolf Consulting will be happy to help! You can contact us at this link
Posted in advice, change, Change Competence, Competencies, Programme Management, Project Management, Work
Tagged advice, business, business change programmes, change, governance, IT projects, Job Skills, leadership, Management, organisational change, Programme Management, programmes, Project Management, Project Sponsor, projects, SRO, support, tips
A competency framework for project and programme managers!
If you plan a career in project and programme management or if you employ project and programme managers and want to assist them in their professional development you will find the document at this link invaluable! It is a competency framework for the programme and project management profession produced by the UK Department of Work and Pensions.
The DWP has a long and successful history of delivering major IT and organizational change programmes. They take the professional development of their staff very seriously indeed and it would be a pity if the work they have done to develop this was not available a wider audience.
But, be warned if you recruiting – you will be very lucky indeed if you find someone who can demonstrate all these competencies to a high level. If you find someone value them highly – they are like gold dust!
Here is the document.
DWP Competency Framework
Common causes of contract failure – summary of NAO Report at Making Performance Meaningful – the G&W Consulting blog – link
Some years ago I had a major change to manage and we needed to transform delivery of one group of services, If the in-house team couldn’t improve performance, while reducing costs, they would be out-sourced! The service lead had no experience of change management but she learned quickly and the whole exercise turned into a major and very public success.
At the end of it I gained a change manager and but I lost a very good service lead. She was no longer interested in operational management and making incremental service improvements. She wanted to do the big stuff – organizational change – and the world is short of people who can do that well! Had she stayed, I thought she, and we, would have been frustrated! She moved on to a sister organization very quickly and has done very well since!
Some outstandingly good change managers need the buzz of change around them! And it is true that if they can’t find positive changes to make they may start “fixing” what doesn’t need to be fixed – negative change rather than positive – fine difference!
With the benefit of hindsight, I regret letting her go! I know now that I could have found a better way to use her and she would have become an ever more valuable resource. What can you do as a manger if you find yourself with someone like this on your team? You want to get the most from them, while still helping them to feel satisfied with what they are doing?
Is there something else for them to fix? Let them find it!
These kind of people (and I have to own up now, it does include me) love the challenge of fixing something! Have you got something you think could be improved? Most of us have something! Turn them loose on your organization and ask for their recommendations. It’s important though they understand you may not implement all their recommendations, but make sure they, and others, understand you are still interested in hearing what they have to propose! But keep an eye on where they are! You may need to re-direct them to places they can make a difference before they waste time and energy on something that will leave them feeling frustrated. Help them understand that their energy and insights are better applied in another area.
Make them justify
If they are interested in making a change and you sense there is a potential benefit from their ideas, don’t just accept them off the cuff. Make them package them, think them through to completion, and present them as coherent, well analyzed plans, rather than coffee napkin ideas. What is the driving reason for the change and how does it fit in with your vision for the organization – is the time right? What are the costs and benefits really going to be?
Not only will you be helping them develop the skills of executing their ideas to completion – something many rapid changers have an issue with! But you are developing their abilities and potential for more senior management as they become a very valuable asset for your organsiation
Posted in advice, change, Change Competence, Continuous Improvement, Job Skills, leadership, Management
Tagged advice, business, change, Job Skills, leadership, Management, organisational change, resource, tips