People, processes, and technology – Getting out of project purgatory
When looking back at the projects that are on hold or that have been in purgatory is frustrating especially for inpatient mover and shakers within your organization. That being said why do so many projects, run over budget, over time, fail, or never launch? In my 20+ years working with teams of all levels my short list is:
- Have a clear business problem the project is solving: The Why are we doing this factor”
- Knowing all the personalities of the team members: One of the most over looked pieces of successful projects! Understanding what folks strengths are their communication preferences, and how they like to be recognized. This can make or break projects.
- Communication: Without consistent communication project timelines are rarely met.
- Documentation and Process Management: Process and documentation is what makes the changes and outcomes of the project sustainable. Knowledge transfer is critical.
- Accountability: This is the second area I’d prioritize as over looked or undermanaged. Accountability in this example is not work ethic but more of the structure in which folks work best under. More structured folks need a clearer picture of what is expected of them and how will they execute their responsibilities of the project. These folks work best in an environment where they can process requirements and follow-up with questions as they hate to make mistakes. Mistakes are perceived as wasteful by highly structure personalities and they prefer to do things correct the first time. While others may prefer an unstructured environment where new territory is being discovered and mistakes are milestones and agility is their strength. They often will not ask for guidance they will execute to what they think is the best possible outcome and may not be the best at capturing the details or following all the rules.
Projects will continue to grow in complexity as credit unions bring on new technologies to stay competitive and hold/capture new market share. Therefore, it is critical projects are managed with the mind set of People first, next Processes, and then Technology; all being managed with the a clear vision of what business problem they are going to solve or what value this project will bring to their customers.