Just as PMP®s help stakeholders envision the benefits a project will bring, they must also work to build a common vision for project success within the Project Team. Beyond the achievables that are so visible to sponsors and end users, success for those on the project team has some additional layers. If your team wants to increase stakeholder satisfaction and boost performance, consider these tips to ensure everyone in the project office is starting off with the same vision of success.
Even when a project’s achievables are executed successfully, a Project Team that goes over budget may still not be considered effective. Not only does the team need to stick to the approved budget, they should also be of one mind when it comes to managing available dollars. The same expenditure tracking platforms and a common master approval scheme will ensure that each PMP® is able to efficiently allocate the dollars available to them while also keeping the entire team informed about where funding issues may exist.
Using a common strategy to identify and address scope creep is crucial to project success. If team members aren’t relying on similar project management methodologies to spot potential trouble, chances are good that problems will eventually hinder the Project Team’s ability to effectively execute a project. Strong project controls are essential, but their usefulness is diminished if only a few PMP®s on the team use them or if their application is haphazard. Work with everyone in the Project Team to ensure they’ve received sufficient training and understand the importance of a consistent, team-wide approach.
Work disruptions that occur as part of a project are often seen as just part of the process. However, if these events aren’t handled well, they can color stakeholders’ satisfaction and perspectives of the entire project. Applying a single protocol to the management of work disruptions—from the communication of timelines to responding to end users’ questions to reviewing feedback during the project’s post-mortem phase—will help the team achieve better, more repeatable results.
One of the strengths in having a team of experienced PMP®s is that together they can bring many different perspectives and backgrounds to bear when it comes to problem solving. However, that innovation and creativity must be leveraged in a way that allows everyone to contribute and that doesn’t get bogged down between the idea generation stage and actual implementation of a solution.
A skilled facilitator can be helpful in overseeing brainstorming sessions to ensure the team’s efforts are efficient and fruitful. This will also enable the group to quickly narrow the list of potential solutions and identify the one most likely to fix the issue. From there, an established implementation strategy will help to navigate any approval or operational nuances within the organization (think: inter-departmental cooperation). With everyone using one process, the team will be better able to overcome challenges and achieve project success.
The timeliness and effectiveness of communications between the Project Team and stakeholders can greatly influence the measure of a project’s success (as well as the perception of success, which is nearly as important). To ensure a robust flow of information between everyone involved in the project, each team member should follow the same set of standard communication practices.
That may mean that communications leave the Project Team via only a handful of designated individuals, or that specific team members and stakeholders are copied on every outbound communication. This allows key members of the team to remain abreast of current issues. They may then escalate specific concerns if necessary or quickly step in when other employees or traveling or on vacation, preventing stakeholder questions from languishing in the interim.