Is Your Project Team Ready To Move Quickly?

When winter storms hit, we’re reminded of the need to be prepared—with flashlights, snow shovels, spare tires. Project teams must also be ready to move quickly when the need arises. It may be in response to a problem, such as a new piece of equipment that arrives broken or the departure of a key PMP®. But there are also positive situations that call for Project Teams to act without delay. When an emergency or a time-sensitive opportunity crosses your team’s horizon, are they ready to mount a swift response?

Know who to call. Whether it’s good news or bad news, everyone in the Project Team should know who is in a position to help. Be sure the team has ready access to an up-to-date contact list of every approved vendor (or qualified and trusted vendors, if the organization doesn’t require them to be established in the accounting system or have legal contracts in place prior to starting any work). The last thing you want is to be searching blindly through file drawers in hopes of stumbling across that scrap of paper with a vendor’s name on it.

 

Know how to get funding approved. Most project budgets include some amount of contingency dollars, but situations may arise that go beyond what could have reasonably been expected. Unless the team holds significant approval authority, you should be prepared to develop and present justification for a funds request without a lot of lead time. Have a clear flow chart for the approval process and indicate who may act as an alternate signer if someone is unavailable. This ensures that even a PMP® who is new to the team will be able to follow the steps and get funds flowing quickly.

 

Know where limitations exist. If an unexpected opportunity to generate revenue presents itself, can the necessary changes even be made? The Project Team will be wasting its time (not to mention infuriating its stakeholders) if it undertakes a feasibility review without first knowing if an insurmountable roadblock exists that will prevent the necessary actions from occurring. Industries that fall under regulatory oversight know this all too well, as space, equipment, and processes are often difficult and time consuming—sometimes impossible—to modify. Having this data upfront is the smart way to go.

 

Know your champions. There may be times when the Project Team’s influence alone is simply not enough to move obstacles out of the way in a timely manner. In those instances, a well-positioned and committed champion can be a life saver, but only if you’re able to get them working on the problem in time. The team should constantly be nurturing relationships with influential sponsors and other stakeholders, as those connections could one day mean the difference between jumping on an opportunity or being relegated to just watching it go by. Remember, too, that champions don’t always need to be at the executive level in the organization. Someone who isn’t highly placed but who does control large swaths of the budget or a significant labor pool could be a very useful ally someday.

 

Know your workload. The best opportunity in the world isn’t worth the effort if your team is already overbooked. You may be able to offload some portion of the project to external partners but only your Project Team knows if that’s an option. Providing team members with regular project status updates and soliciting information on where PMP®s are focusing their time will help the leadership group know immediately where free time can be found, or if there’s simply too much to do and no one is available to take on new responsibilities.

Project Experience

Experience
Portfolio Management
Successful portfolio management calls for exceptional data management skills and diligent oversight across multiple efforts.
Experience
Manufacturing
Demanding, time sensitive, and finely tuned, manufacturing projects require close attention and experienced oversight.
Experience
IT Projects
Organizations must be able to successfully execute challenging and highly visible technology projects to maximize revenue.
Experience
Power Plants
Power Plants must be able to keep these vital infrastructure assets current, efficient, and economically positive.
Experience
Energy
High-profile hurdles and expensive risks of failure make these projects critical to manage properly from the very beginning.
Experience
Aerospace
Presents complexities at nearly every stage, from allocating resources to controlling schedule variances, or clearing regulatory & safety hurdles.
Experience
Cross-Functional
Ensuring team members are able to move outside the silos of their department or discipline is the key to achieving success.
Experience
Product Dev
Design and other early-stage activities must be carefully orchestrated while maintaining visibility on future impacts and resource needs.
Experience
Mergers & Acquisitions
Among the riskiest and most strategically important initiatives a company can undertake, and their outcomes can make or break the business.
Experience
Finance & Insurance
Technology implementations call for the right level of planning detail and diligent oversight.
Experience
ERP & SAP
An ERP implementation can be among the most disruptive and strategically important initiative an organization can undertake.