Project Management - Expediting
Execution and Results
The nature of work today necessitates that people from different
levels and functions work together to achieve results. The
principles of Project Management provide the structure and
discipline to bring it all together to achieve the desired
outcomes. Poor planning and a lack of “how to”
skills often result in projects that do not achieve the desired
outcomes and projects that are not completed on time and within
Effective project management forms the execution backbone
for speed, flexibility and cross-functional coordination for
the high performing organizations.
Important people and team skills
Many organizations struggle to implement and use project
management, because there is too much focus on tools and techniques
and not enough on the people and their interactions that produce
deliverables. Team and people skills such as:
- Effective communication on project goals, assignments,
- Negotiating timetables and resources
- Facilitating group involvement in problem solving, decision
making, and planning
- Building teams that are committed to project success
- Managing performance by setting expectations, monitoring
performance, and providing feedback
- Developing a common project management language and approach
within their organization
The Stage-Gate approach
This is one of the modern approaches to project management
and very well received by most project team members and project
leaders. It allows for the completion of a piece of work and
then seeking executive approval before continuing. Although
this approach might seem to take longer it cuts out excessive
scope creep and monitoring problems. The stage-gate approach
has definite phases of project completion with each phase
having its own approval process. These phases and approval
gates could differ depending on the type of project being
executed. This approach is displayed in the following diagram:
1. Project Definition and Concept Authorization
It happens quite often that good ideas are ignored or even
worse, that poor ideas are nurtured into full-fletched projects,
only to be shelved at a later date. This project stage is
the gate for screening good ideas. The second gate in this
phase is about defining the project’s objectives and
constraints, which would clarify the project’s purpose
and scope. This stage gate will mature initial ideas into
a proper business case.
2. Statement of Project Work and Project
This is the stage whereby the project team will gather more
accurate information about the proposed project. The emphasis
is on getting as accurate information as possible to aid in
the decision of whether to commit major resources, or not.
This normally involves the feasibility studies and the gate
in this phase would authorize the business case.
3. Project Scheduling and Implementation
Participants will be able to outline what tasks have to be
accomplished in order to meet the project objectives. Once
participants have determined these, they will map out what
resources will be needed to accomplish the tasks. The gate
in this phase is to get an authorization for project to go
Participants’ thorough planning will be obvious as the
tasks are carried out and they monitor the project’s
progress at all times. If changes are made, they will modify
the plan to accommodate or take advantage of them. As problems
and opportunities arise, they will implement their contingency
plans. This is all done in a very systematic way to achieve
the project objectives.
It is the ideal opportunity to learn from previous experiences
and to incorporate any learning from how the last project
was handled. This is the stage when project people want to
move on, but it is also the best way to improve the company’s
Company and project members’
Thinking Dimensions presents a combination of 2-4 days training
workshops using a simulation as the basis for learning. This
practical 2 to 4 day workshop has the following special features:
- Participants have the option to work on job-related projects
or a simulation during the workshop.
- Individual attention from instructor ensures mastery
of all key project management skills.
- Participants can network with other professionals in
the workshop and gain from their expertise.
- Over 60 percent of the workshop is spent on cases and
specific job applications or simulations.
- Special workshops with software integration.
- Workshop is PMBOK compliant.