Attendees of my workshops learn that systems enable sustained high levels of excellence. The alternative to a systems approach is a personality based approach. It is not unusual for organizational successes to first be the results of certain people. But if an organization fails to capture the individual’s system, then the organization risks the loss of sustained performance.
This is where systems like the project management process can help.
According to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, the project management process includes 5 groups.
1. Initiating process authorizing the project. Ensure clarity of shared, detailed, and measurable expectations
2. Planning processes defining and refining objectives. Set a clear “way-ahead” including a shared vision of success which enables informed decision making
3. Executing processes and coordinating people and resources to carry out the plan. Ensuring the completed, 100% engagement of the team including sustained and shared accountability
4. Monitoring/Controlling processes to ensure that the project objectives are met. Advance progress through continuous and transparent dialogue between the team and stakeholders
5. Closing processes and formalizing acceptance of the project. Engage the team with measures of success and an evaluation as to how to get better in the future
These five process groups can easily be joined to create a systems approach to project management.
By EXERCISING this systems approach, organizations can STRENGTHEN the potential for results. While the system forms the basis for success, there is an even more important element…people.
Employees who find themselves managing projects often seek ways to “mechanize” success. Some attempt to use the system to minimize or eliminate the need to deal with people. But without the buy-in and engagement of the people, any system [especially project management systems] will be sluggish at best and a complete failure at its worst.
In the book, Project Management for the Unofficial Project Manager, the authors point out the importance of engaging people to advance project success. I agree with the authors who believe that most everyone in every organization is indeed a project manager. This is true whether project manager is in their official title for not.
That’s why this book is central to my new Intro to Project Management course. Click on the book to find a link to Amazon and grab a copy today.
Increased performance despite dwindling budgets is the norm. It is essential that employees learn ways to balance the new norm with achieving results. Exercising a systems approach to project management together with good people skills can strengthen the potential for project success. This helps ensure the sustained and high levels of performance in the new era of workplace excellence.
Do you have a systems approach to workplace performance?