Archives par mot-clé : project management

Project review? Prepare the good scenarii

Image result for business meeting

I have just attended to a meeting regarding one project of my running program. This kind of meeting is called « Project Meeting ». Initiated by the project manager, it aims to discuss with the program manager and other selected stakeholders some important facts about the projects before the official Project Review. It aims to deal with important issues and collect options from important sponsors beforehand.

Really often the project team uses those meetings to announce:

  • a budget exceeding,
  • a delay

What I realize today is that in most of the meeting I have participated to, the project team forgive to bring important information that are keys to their counterparts: a plan.

Explaining that budget is going wild, planning is dead and gold-plated deliverables are everywhere is in a sense not really interesting to take decision about the project. What the project team should focus on are its strategy to take the project on track according to the available options:

  • Budget should remain unchanged
  • Planning should remain unchanged
  • Scope should remain unchanged

According to those 3 different strategy the team should provide scenarii to their stakeholders in order to have clear direction.

What is the plan to keep the budget unchanged while our scope is booming or delay is out of control?
What are the consequences if we keep the original planning (i.e. deliverables dates) regarding to the scope (descoping) or budget?

When experiencing troubles on projects, project teams should of course understand the reasons and act to stop the deviation but also work on alternative and scenarii about the future of its project. If not, the decision taken during a project review could be somehow definitive.

Do you see other things to focus on in that case?

 

thanks for reading.

 

 

Why are they more innovative than you?

Startup Stock Photos

In your own company or outside, you meet people that have always something new to present, a new product to sell, a new project running/starting/ending… Why are those people more innovative than you? They have in mind and managed to implement in their environment those 8 characteristics which make their actions more innovative. Let’s discover them and see how you can leverage them.

  1. Listen to your customer. Outside and inside the company. Ask for feedback, what’s good, what’s wrong, what should be changed or improve. Listening to your customer is something that will always, ever, pay off.
  2. Created a momentum and more important, keep the high pace. Innovation today is more a question of pace and speed than a question of size, engineering capabilities or so… Install an innovation momentum from the start of your project, stimulate your team to creative thinking.
  3. Kick-off lazy managers. You don’t need any manager in your projects just to look and steer. Focus on actions. Ask those managers to come and join. Innovation is a game but also a war. Invite them to share their knowledge and drive the other wild dogs to the success.
  4. 3 words: Team, Team, Team. You can’t innovate alone. With your project team you are on a mission ans thus you will be able to innovate better and faster. Let your team embrace the project objectives and make their. Let them decide where and how to go. You will have astonishing results
    Startup Stock Photos
    Startup Stock Photos
  5. Use Creative Problem Solving. Being creative and innovative is a process. Creative Problem solving is a very good tool to help you getting new approach and ideas. It works on organisation, process and technology.
  6. Structure your approach. use canva and testing methods, use tools to validate your hypothesis and evaluate the value creation.Management support
  7. Encourage versatility. More ideas and insights come if you encourage your team to switch position or change their habits. allow your team to visit customers, talk to clients, go to some place to inspire them…
  8. Prepare the business. The most important part of your job: insuring that your deliverable will be included into the business and create value for you and your customers. Prepare the hands-on with production team, with sales team etc…

I hope those 8 tips and good practices I have identified will help you to innovate more in practice. Let me know in the comments section if you see some more.

Agile + Design Thinking

I have found on Medium a very interesting article about combining AGILE and Design thinking.

Both Agile and Design Thinking require a state of mind and an organisation to be fully deployed with all necessary steps and create the most value.

This article is somehow one of the most interesting I have read so far on the subject of Agile and Design Thinking, A must read: Agile and design Thinking by Tom Roach

 

 

Stuck project? Restart it!

We all have been confronted to a stuck project. I remember me on my seat, looking at the project data, talking to my team and telling me how we will manage to turn it into, even not a success but at least something we could speak about later without any shame. Not talking about avoiding the complete disaster 😉

Often working with your project team and making the diagnosis together one will find an acceptable way to continue the project and deliver what should be delivered. The force of working as a team, accepting all together the current situation and the actions to take to get out of it is just awesome.

Setting new planning, setting new deliverable, setting new resources requirements all in accordance with the situation and the possibilities offered by the organization is necessary. First it clarifies to all stakeholders the new projects perimeter and then it shows to the team that the « new » project is achievable.

I would summarize the process to un-stuck a project as follow.

stuck projet
stuck project

Achieve a consensus with the project team, establishing a new road to success, and re-motivating all involved people are the key parameters.

I have also found this interesting video.

This is a Periscope replay of the #DailyMentor.

What was your way to restart a stuck project?

INNOWEO most read articles (a 6 months feedback)

05_10_15For 6 months now, INNOWEO is providing you with exclusive contents regarding innovation, corporate innovation and project management.

Time for me to have a look back and look at the most read articles on the website (not ranked).

  1. Your next product idea is right here, in front of you.
  2. INNOVATION TOOLS: design thinking tools that works in corporate
  3. INNOVATION TOOLS: How to create a Persona (Design Thinking)?
  4. 5 tips to use BM canvas wisely (and also other canvas)
  5. Open Innovation (1): What are your fears? & Open Innovation (2): good practices
  6. Qu’est ce que le « Design Thinking » ?
  7. The Leader’s guide: Why I kickstarted Eric Ries’s next book

I would also suggest to have a look at the following articles which are, I humbly think, really interesting.

Leadership is key for your project

We all want to be the project manager of a successful project. To manage that goal you have to build an organisation within your project team that enables creativity and innovation, drives results and deliveries and always look to be better.

To do so one should focus on 6 leadership tasks.

  1. Share your vision of the project
  2. Build a common agreement on objectives
  3. Ensure continuous improvement
  4. encourage connections and collaborations
  5. Focus on results
  6. Reward performance.

If you manage to implement all that 6 tasks, you will be able to put the project on the good rails.

Visual Project Management: why you should give it a try

 

In the Last issue of PMNetwork from the PMI I have been really interested in an article called: « Now you see it » about the advantages of visual modeling in project management and moreover in gathering requirements.

A short experience

I have myself used Visual Project Management to manage a Continuous Improvement project this year.

Mur Pit Stop visual management
What you can’t realize from the pic is that this tool helped us for:
  • Planning
  • Risk analysis
  • Stakeholder mapping
  • Cost management

We did not use it for requirement analysis but know we have seen that we could do that visually too.

The main interest is as everything is represented graphically, with dedicated colours, with earned-value indicators, and positioned within time (just a funnier and more complete Gantt chart). So you can really see each morning what is late, what you should have on your desk, what is the next task/deliverable/risk to be mitigated…

You have your project under your eyes at a glance. And not only you as project manager. But the whole team. Everyone gets more involved, responsible and accountable for his tasks, in a gentler way that usual Project management tool. That’s one of the most impressive effect of Visual Project Management: Team involvement.

Where should I look to find visual project management tools?

Lost of tools exist and are already mastered into your company. don’t try to reinvent something that your organisation masters. However some new tools can enrich this approach for the best of your project.

  • Continuous improvement tools
    Such as Ishikawa, Value Stream Mapping, Process Workflow and so on can be used to gather requirements, find interactions and lean-ify your project
  • Visual management
    Of course Visual Project management is first of all… visual management so please take a look at your dashboards and see what could be useful for your projects.

Those first two are kind of classic. However I would like to mention one family that is of a big interest for my actual projects

  • Design thinking tools
    Yes really. Design Thinking. Customer journey, Blueprint, persona etc… are very good tools to manage a project and model its interactions, requirements and deliverables. Planning can be fined tuned using Customer journey. Give it a try!

Of course most of the tools that helps you to analyse a situation or predict scenarios can be helpful.

What for?

More than just tools, Visual Project Management will have a major impact on your project. A faster agreement on requirements is done using a Ishikawa like diagram called « features diagram » or « features tree ». You can build a better common understand of the project and its deliverables using the Customer Journey. Project monitoring is easier when leverage on Visual management tools and techniques.

As a conclusion

You should really try the Visual Project Management. Definitely. After my first experiment of it I use it every day to manage my R&D/Innovation portfolio together with more classical PMP processes. It helps me to leverage the portfolio approach while giving me the opportunity to better understand and model the interactions among the projects, esp. the resources, and to communicate at the easiest with all stakeholders.