There has probably never been a better time.
Now is a great time for organisations and the human race itself to take a good long hard look at ourselves; a time to reflect on past behaviours, to take stock of what matters, and set new intentions for the planet, our immediate future and for generations to come.
In my experience and observations over the years, most projects (insert – IT, software rollout, new software product, digital transformation, organisational transformation, office relocation, telecommunications upgrade, you name it) are severely challenged well before the Project Manager is assigned.
Statistics* show that while there have been improvements in some areas, financial wastage is increasing. Furthermore, the introduction of more widespread Agile practices is likely to continue to have detrimental effects going forward unless the causal problems addressed.
Different yet the same
Organisations often make changes without understanding the root cause of problems.
Have you ever worked for an organisation that is continuously changing its structure and never actually gets any better?
- Engagement scores remain the same
- Morale the same or worse
- Projects continue to struggle, consistently late, over budget, not realising benefits
Changing the methodology without understanding the actual problem is the same as changing the organisational structure and will reap the same poor results.
Many large organisations are migrating their delivery methodology and processes from Waterfall to Agile (or a hybrid) often for no better reason than everyone else is doing so, and they don’t want to be left out.
Project Managers are struggling to find their place in a world of Agile, Product Managers, Project Managers and Scrum Masters roles and boundaries are becoming less and less clear. Globally, there is a great deal of confusion.
The same yet different
I say use whatever-fall, whilst you should tailor your delivery approach to the actual outcomes you require, it doesn’t matter if you use Agile or Waterfall if your environment and the leadership within your organisation don’t change. I’m not talking about changing the leadership team; that’s the same approach as before.
Organisations are focussing on the wrong areas and for the wrong reasons and frankly, I can no longer bear to watch.
If you want to get 10x results, the following is required:
- Change how your leadership team thinks and behaves
- Pay much closer attention to the environment where your projects live and die
- Learn from your successes and failures – projects call them lessons learned
The first point is easy to say and a lot harder to do. The second two points are more accessible yet, so many organisations don’t even bother.
I hear you say “But these are just words what actions can we take?” So here is a three step guide to give you 10x results that you can start today:
Start with point C
Listen and Learn.
Next move onto point B
Listen and Learn.
You've already started point A
Simply by Listening and Learning.
It defies logic; why in so many organisations, we are not genuinely sharing lessons and learning from mistakes. Sadly your company, like so many I have experienced, may simply be paying lip service to this process.
Often the information does not make it to the people who need to hear it the most. Worse still people don’t feel comfortable talking about mistakes, and so they are hidden from all.
If you hired a temp for a week to collate all information from the Lessons Learned, ask them to group this information into themes and give them permission to send that information directly to the C Level and Executives you would have a goldmine of priceless information right there in your hands.
The Post Implementation Review (PIR) document sits in files on shelves or in the cloud never referenced again. What a waste, what a missed opportunity!
Whist the PIR is considered waterfall or “old skool” it doesn’t matter, the same mentality applies to Agile, outputs of Retrospectives remain unshared with the rest of the organisation.
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.– Albert Einstein
The Humble PM’s Playground
Using visualisation to understand leadership behaviour, the environment, culture and lessons learned are the spaces where The Humble PM likes to play.
If you are looking for specifics on Project Management, then I invite you to head elsewhere, there are thousands upon thousands of resources to help you with the processes and procedures of Project Management and Agile. By all means, go there and learn that side of the equation; when your projects start having issues and running into problems I hope you remember The Humble PM and pay a return visit.
If however; you want dramatic results for your people and your projects, take a look around, subscribe to my blog, I promise it will be worth your while.
Comparison between PMI 2018 Pulse of the Profession and 2020 Pulse of the Profession Surveys *
The Humble PM – A space for introspection, growth and learning, a place where we can be vulnerable, share stories, talk openly about the truth so that you can create better environments for your people and projects.