Mastering The Music

In this world of PMOs, PMPs, PgMPs, PfMPs and more, we forget that there are quite a number of organizations that have never adopted a standardized project management methodology, never hired PMPs to run projects, never built a PMO or sought out a portfolio or program manager.  But, without a doubt, these same organizations are executing projects.  The question is, how successful are those projects in meeting their goals and producing the desired deliverables, and how could they improve their success rate?

Use of essential project templates to generate meaningful project documentation is vital to ensuring a well-organized, efficient project.  The documents are collaboration tools for the team and visibility devices for leadership.  According to Leyna O’Quinn in her article,  “Why Organizations Need Project Management”,

  • Documentation stimulates and structures critical thinking in planning the project’s goals, risks, and constraints. The document is the evidence and chronicle of this critical thinking.
  • It provides memory containers for managing a level of detail that cannot be kept in people’s heads. This includes the small details easily overlooked during day-to-day project work, as well as the larger things easily remembered today, but potentially lost or forgotten due to the passage of time or critical personnel changes.
  • It keeps the team and other stakeholders synced up and informed about project changes, issues, and progress.

An organization which iSeek recently assisted in establishing a PMO and adopting a standardized project management methodology utilized iSeek Solutions’ iPMPlaybook©containing important project document templates.  The documents that had the most immediate impact on project management activities were as follows:

  1. A number of the organization’s novice project managers, who had no familiarity with project charters, gave iSeek’s Project Charter template strong reviews.  They found value in this document as a foundational tool used to capture the problem that originated the project, the solution to the problem and the goals, objectives, high level budget, anticipated risks, assumptions, and more.  Indeed, some departments began using the template for internal projects for which they were not required.
  2. Project team members and leadership came to rely upon the DRACI Log which merges several project management logs that are typically maintained and managed separately.  This template has been a game changer for some of these teams because the DRACI Log provides ‘one stop shopping’, a central location in which the project manager and team members can access descriptions and current statuses of decisions, risks, action items, change requests and issues.  Teams have come to depend on a weekly review of its content and ask for it by name. 

The Project Charter and DRACI Log are just two examples of the comprehensive, easy-to-use templates included in the iPMPlaybook©.  Among other essential templates included are a Business Requirements Document (BRD), Stakeholder Register, Communications Log, and Project Closure Form.

Imagine, if you will, that a project manager is much like a symphony conductor.  The conductor’s goal is to keep all the various instruments well blended and in tune, to offer balance in volume and tone, and to achieve a particularly rich sound, working as a team to deliver to the audience a single, cohesive performance.  Envision sheet music as the tool that keeps the orchestra in synch; it is the ‘memory container’ that the conductor uses to manage details and drive the orchestra to performance success.  Without the conductor and the sheet music, the performance would fall shy of the goal.

To help your organization create your sheet music and conduct your projects to success, check out iSeek’s suite of resources that includes a playbook of industry standard tools and essential templates.

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