People will tell you all sorts of secrets and keys to successful projects. Of course planning and tools will be on the list. Picking the right team will be high on peoples list too. As will many soft skills you should have as a project manager. We have no doubt that all these will prove helpful to your project. But have your thought about process or methodology and how that can improve your projects?
Process for consistency
Most project managers just think about their project but lets think about this from the organisation’s point of view. your organisation will be running many, possibly hundreds of projects. Having a standard process for managing your project can improve many aspects of its delivery.
Firstly having a standard process allows for common understanding of requirements and approvals. There is always a clamor to start new projects. But not all ideas are sound and well researched. So a process to walk people through the project idea is really helpful. This will make sure the team do enough research on the idea.
Once the project is up and running process can also help keep it on track. For the project manager a step by step guide to the project lifecycle is very helpful. This shows them what to produce when and usually gives templates to help with quality. A good methodology process will also include review points. These can be defined continue/stop points in the lifecycle. When you have these frequent reviews of projects it prevents failing projects proceeding too far. You can then either stop such projects or put recovery actions in place.
Process for documentation
Usually standard processes also require standard documents and templates for a project. The project team members will find templates helpful. They won’t need to do too much research and can just fill in the blanks. For the project team members this gives two big benefits. They need to spend less time producing documentation. The documentation they produce is of a higher quality, so they look good.
Templates are particularly helpful in the process when it comes to collecting data and metrics. Most projects will collect data on plan, risk, issue, finances and even benefits and health and safety. If you let every project collect this differently it will be a lot of hard work to assemble standard reports. So templating the collection for consistency significantly improves the quality and speed of reporting.
For most senior managers their interaction with your project management activity will be in approving projects and digesting reporting. So if using process and methodology improves these aspects then it makes you look good.
Process next steps
At PROJECT in a box we get process and methodology. Many other software tools just provide document libraries but we embed process into the heart of your project.
If you want to try this out you can download our free Community Edition tool and use it for as long as you want, on as many projects as you wish. It contains a number of project methods for you both agile and waterfall. Sign up for free here to use it today.
If you are interested in how this can help your organisation you can explore our demo multi-user site here.
Our YouTube video here walks you through the range of methods we support off the shelf.