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Tailor Project Management Processes to Fit Your Projects

Spend less time managing processes and more time delivering results.

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Contributors

  • Lindsay Scott, Director, Arras People
  • Ron Rosenhead, CEO, Project Agency
  • Sean Whitaker, CEO/Consultant, Crystal
  • Matt Brudzynski, Founder, Next Insight
  • Rick Morris, President, R2 Consulting, LLC
  • Terry Jones, Senior IT Manager, State of Oregon
  • Juan Riesgo, EMEA SAP Service Delivery Manager, El Dupont De Nemours and Company
  • Jeremy Clement, Director of Finance, College of Charleston

Your Challenge

  • Lack of upfront project planning can result in IT projects going over budget and time, resulting in poor stakeholder satisfaction and a widespread perception that IT is not delivering value.
  • While getting better at project management is the key, it’s common for organizations to overshoot and adopt best practices that far exceed their current levels of process maturity. This results in an excessive overhead that time-strapped project managers and teams typically can’t sustain for very long.
  • While it’s important that best practices be understood, it’s equally true that best practices aren’t always the best fit. These frameworks commonly set unrealistic expectations for resource-constrained IT departments, and in their clinical approach, fail to address the day-to-day challenges that project managers face on the frontlines.
  • A right-sized approach to your project management processes works best. Take what you need from those formal frameworks, and then tailor a process that’s going to work for your organization and for the variety of projects that come your way

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Lightweight is often just right. A lightweight approach to project management process suffices for the vast majority of IT initiatives. Establish different tiers of PM rigor to ensure that you’re not weighing down potential quick wins in too much process and that you’re applying the right amount of rigor to more complex, high-risk initiatives.
  • Apply the right tools to the job. Your project management processes will succeed or fail based on the quality of your artifacts and how they are applied. Build an actionable project management toolkit that can accommodate projects of all sizes and that will help facilitate optimized communications with project stakeholders.
  • Put your processes in context. Project management doesn’t exist in a vacuum. If your project management practices don’t inform effective decision making, then your investments in process discipline will be all for nothing. Develop processes that provide a gateway to the “big picture” and help facilitate effective portfolio management practices.

Impact and Result

  • The right amount of upfront planning is essential to improving project throughput and closure. Right-sized initiation and planning rigor will provide more reliable scope statements, more well-rounded requirements definition, and increased executive buy-in and engagement.
  • Investing in formal project execution processes is critical for projects of all sizes. Rigorous project execution processes will result in more successful projects that deliver greater value to the organization at a lower cost.
  • Consistent and repeatable processes will not only help reduce errors and inefficiencies during project planning and execution, but they will also improve collaboration and communication between project managers and IT decision makers. This will help facilitate better visibility into the big picture of all the organization’s project activity.

Research & Tools

Start here – read the Executive Brief

Read our concise Executive Brief to find out why you should tailor project management processes to your projects, review Info-Tech’s methodology, and understand the four ways we can support you in completing this project.

1. Lay the groundwork for project management success

Assess the current state to set the right amount of project governance and define levels of projects for which right-sized PM methodologies will apply.

2. Build a lightweight project management process for small initiatives

Optimize project management processes for small projects to increase project throughput and the processes’ effort-to-value ratio.

Guided Implementations

This guided implementation is a fourteen call advisory process.

Guided Implementation #1 - Lay the groundwork for PM success

Call #1 - Determine your current level of PM process maturity
Call #2 - Right-size your project governance structure
Call #3 - Differentiate between a project and a non-project for your organization
Call #4 - Set different levels of projects

Guided Implementation #2 - Build a lightweight PM process for small initiatives

Call #1 - Discover opportunities for streamlining PM for small, low-risk projects
Call #2 - Tailor Info-Tech’s PM approach for small projects to your organization

Guided Implementation #3 - Establish initiation and planning protocols for medium-to-large projects

Call #1 - Learn about Info-Tech’s recommended best practices for project initiation and planning
Call #2 - Tailor Info-Tech’s fully featured PM approach for medium-to-large projects to your organization

Guided Implementation #4 - Develop execution and closing procedures for medium-to-large projects

Call #1 - Learn about Info-Tech’s recommended best practices for project execution and closing
Call #2 - Tailor Info-Tech’s fully featured PM approach for medium-to-large projects to your organization

Guided Implementation #5 - Implement your PM SOP

Call #1 - Create a single document for planning a medium-sized project
Call #2 - Estimate PM overhead cost
Call #3 - Develop a training plan for project managers
Call #4 - Build an implementation roadmap

Info-Tech Academy

Get Info-Tech Certified

Train your staff and develop a world-class IT team.

New to Info-Tech Academy? Learn more here

Project Management Course

Position IT projects to finish on time, on budget, and within scope.
This course makes up part of the PPM & Projects Certificate.

Course information:

  • Title: Project Management Course
  • Number of Course Modules: 7
  • Estimated Time to Complete: 2-3 hours
  • Featured Analysts:
  • Matt Burton, Sr. Research Manager, PMO Practice
  • Eric Wright, SVP of Research and Advisory
  • Now Playing: Executive Brief

Onsite Workshop

Discuss This Workshop

Book Your Workshop

Onsite workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Module 1: Lay the Groundwork for Project Management Success

The Purpose

  • Set a governance framework for project management and define what a project is.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Alignment of project governance to applicable industry best practice.

Activities

Outputs

1.1

Assess current state of project governance and management.

  • PM assessment report and maturity
1.2

Set a governance framework.

  • Project governance COBIT alignment
1.3

Differentiate project from non-project.

1.4

Set project levels.

  • Project Level Definition Matrix

Module 2: Right-Size PM for Small Projects

The Purpose

  • Optimize project management processes for small projects.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Increased project throughput and effort-to-value ratio of project management processes for small projects.

Activities

Outputs

2.1

Set expectations for managing small projects.

2.2

Adapt Info-Tech's PM approach for small projects to managing your small projects.

  • Level 1 Project Management SOP and artifact templates

Module 3: Develop a Fully-Featured PM for Larger Projects

The Purpose

  • Create fully featured project management processes for larger projects.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Injection of standardized, rigorous project management methodologies for large projects with high risks.

Activities

Outputs

3.1

Create initiation processes.

3.2

Create planning processes.

3.3

Create execution processes.

3.4

Create closing processes.

  • Level 2 & 3 Project Management SOP and artifact templates

Module 4: Implement Project Management SOP

The Purpose

  • Develop a rollout plan for the new project management methodologies.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Implementation of the new process that will realize the benefits of tailored, right-sized project management.

Activities

Outputs

4.1

Create a rollout plan for new PM methodology.

  • Project management process roadmap
4.2

Create training material for staff.

  • Project management staff training material
4.3

Develop an implementation timeline.

  • Project Management Process Implementation Timeline

Member Testimonials

Schedule Analyst Call

After each Info-Tech experience, we ask our members to quantify the real time savings, monetary impact, and project improvements our research helped them achieve. See our top member experiences for this Blueprint, and what our clients have to say.

Client

Facilitator(s) effectiveness

INFO & materials effectiveness

Overall experience

Understanding of next steps

Testimonial

Peer 1 Hosting

7.5

8.0

8.0

7.0

Cherokee Nation

9.0

9.0

9.0

9.0

The Project Management workshop was excellent. The facilitator gave us lots of tools, and gave us suggestions on what software to use and the differences between using a spreadsheet and Microsoft Project for tracking our project goals. It was helpful. The facilitator went through several of our projects and put those into the templates he had helped develop for us. It was a real-world experience. I feel very confident, primarily with the final tools Info-Tech gave us, to be able to just look at them like a dashboard, and report that back up to the executive directors. It was a very good learning experience for us all. I'm really happy with how engaged the managers were in this workshop. We had very good dialogue with the Info-Tech facilitator; he was very easy to approach. I just feel good about it.

Glatfelter

9.0

8.5

8.5

8.0

The one-day on-site preparation session was instrumental to alignment. It required Paul to travel and dedicate some personal time to make it possible. Paul customized the standard Info-Tech slide deck to eliminate some content we did not think was relevant or that could confuse the audience. This was very diligent as it was not directly in scope for this engagement. Paul's facilitation was effective. He earned respect from the audience very quickly and was able to engage. The rhythm was very good as it relied on a lot of breakout sessions that kept the audience actively engaged throughout. Using Glatfelter projects for examples and as the base of the breakout sessions contributed to people getting incremental and immediately applicable value.

The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino

9.0

8.0

9.0

7.0

Towson University

10.0

10.0

10.0

9.0