Consider the impact on your organization, positive or negative of prior internal projects. Have you invested in improved employee benefits? A new 401k plan or revised health care plans, only then to find your employees do not share your level of appreciation for the new benefits? Have you invested in a new ERP system that is not delivering the ROI you expect?
Everyday, government contractors utilize rigorous project management methodologies in delivering services to their customers. Although clear concise project management is used in customer delivery, most companies have not taken the same approach to internal projects. By utilizing the appropriate project management methodology, internal projects can deliver a higher ROI and user satisfaction like just your customer projects. Understand and modify project management methodologies for internal projects to manage operations, growth, employee development, market penetration etc. Follow the three steps below to select, modify and execute a project management methodology for your internal projects.
Selecting a Project Management Methodology
Select the proper project management methodology based upon your project goals. Keep in mind the same methodology will simply not work across all projects. Each project is unique and should be managed that way. There are various project management methodologies available for review via a quick web search.
Two examples of the use of different methodologies:
- In the early 90s, I worked for Deltek when Costpoint was initially released. As we ramped up our consulting staff, we needed to define an implementation methodology. We designed a Hybrid methodology including both Waterfall and Agile methodologies.
- In 2004, I founded a SaaS company and we offered our employees a 401k plan. We deployed our 401k via a standard Waterfall methodology. Years later we utilized an Agile process to deliver a more robust and highly appreciated 401k plan.
A Deep Understanding of Capabilities and Requirements
Understand the solution’s capabilities beyond simply meeting your initial requirements. Your goal is to execute the internal projects once. A deep solution understanding will definitely change your initial project scope. However, increasing project scope initially, is more cost effective than changing scope later as you learn the solution’s capabilities. Consider the investment you are making needs to support the business today and when it grows and changes without requiring a re-implementation.
- A deep and holistic understanding of the solution will provide the foresight to quickly address project issues. Time is focused on the big picture and minor challenges like charge codes are quickly addressed.
Utilize your methodology and project artifacts to manage each project and hold project staff accountable. Every project will have challenges and mistakes that need to be overcome. A project team is created in part to align resources to help one another overcome project challenges. Establish the appropriate level of project review and hold staff accountable for resolving their issues. Although they will support each other, reassign tasks to other resources with more band width or capability.
- Every project utilizes a standardized set of project artifacts: project plan, requirements, design documentation, issues list, etc. These tools are necessary to manage scope, timeline and stakeholder expectations. Utilize these tools to manage your staff and project progress.
Rethink how you are addressing internal issues, consider managing them as a project – like your customer projects. Develop your methodology, revise the methodology as needed to support your projects and staff. Project challenges will remain; however, your entire staff will understand how the organization is addressing the latest challenges.
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