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Oct 8, 2013 by Patrick Icasas in Project Management 101 & Tools

Project Consistency: How to Set the Bar and Stay There

Project Consistency: How to Set the Bar and Stay There

Project Consistency: How to Set the Bar and Stay ThereYour team has finally pulled it off—the Holy Trinity of project management: a project that was done on time, within budget, and with good quality. But professionals aren’t satisfied with one-offs. For your organization to thrive, you need to do on a regular basis. You need project consistency. But how do you achieve that?

Post-mortems

This handy-dandy project management tactic is useful for good projects as well as bad (in fact, maybe a lot more). Pick your project apart and try to determine the elements that led to your success. What methodology did you follow/not follow? What tools did you use? How involved were the stakeholders?

And don’t forget to drill down to individual performance, too. Who was assigned to what task? What were their work arrangements like? What skills were they able to use the most?

Measure the Cost

Before you go and set your team’s current process in stone, ask yourself: how much did the project’s success cost? Did the team have to work unpaid overtime to make milestones? Did you have to slash the project scope in half? Did you cut corners on materials or equipment?

Success is great, but for consistent project success, you have to make sure that your project management methods are sustainable. Otherwise, you’ll just wind up burning your team out.

Set the Bar

Now that you’ve achieved your team’s high-water mark, don’t let things sink back to the way they used to be. Use this successful momentum to motivate your team. Get enthusiasm going by recognizing effort and encouraging positive behavior. If you want, you can even introduce milestone rewards or “chain” rewards for consistently producing outstanding work.

Spread the Word

When you know the ingredients for the last project’s success, spread it around to everyone.

Your team. Tell them the “secret” to their peers success and get them to adopt the same tactics. Some may work, some might not, but you’ll never find out if you don’t try.

Your peers. Compare notes and see what might work for your teams.

Management (especially management). They’ll be more inclined to help you make changes if they see that those changes work.

Management Support

No PMO can truly thrive unless it has management support. Not only does management provide the infrastructure for a successful PMO—the staff, equipment, and training—it also sets the direction and tone for the PMO’s operations. Any changes the PMO needs to make must go through management, and if management is not forward-thinking or trusting enough, then the organization risks keeping a stagnant PMO with hit-or-miss deliverables.

Image credit, Flickr, Omar Reyes

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Patrick Icasas

Patrick Icasas is a former marketing project manager with 7 years of marketing and PR agency experience, managing creative projects for brands such as Nokia, Verizon Wireless, and Adobe. He now spends his time helping people make the most out of their project management software and entertaining his 5 year old daughter.

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