Monday, March 3, 2014

How The C-Suite Can Become Better Project Managers

These days, senior management is seeing its isolation disappear, which is creating a positive development towards a more agile business. Now, the CFO and the CIO must now work closely together on projects to ensure ROI and long-term value, while COOs and HR heads need to unite across change projects.
These new challenges have placed senior management in an area that is crucial for business advancement; Project Management. Here is advice from BusinessExcellence on how the C-Suite can become better project managers.

Understand the Objectives
Now, project management knowledge is essential for everyone, especially as senior executives hold the budgetary and operational keys to success. They are often the main stakeholders or if not, they know who to influence to drive project success. Put an achievable strategy in place, outline the objectives and explain what needs to be done by whom.

Create Two-Way Communication
Never block constructive suggestions as it helps highlight areas of concern, especially for individuals suffering from over-exposure. Project Managers should bear in mind that C-Level stakeholders might have had less exposure to management and need reverse management. The C-Level need to give project leaders space to work and trust their judgment.

Define the Project
Begin by defining the project’s scope, analyze the available resources and potential costs, identify risks and then build a business case that will guarantee commitment from relevant stakeholders. Benefits have to be realistic, measureable and classifiable otherwise return on investment will appear unachievable. These are classified in four ways; direct monetary benefits; direct non-monetary benefits; indirect benefits like reputational enhancement or improved staff morale; and dis-benefits i.e. what will happen if the project does not take place.

Create a Plan
Balance development time and the available resources against quality constraints and management involvement. Schedule time within the plan for review periods so feedback can be provided and concerns aired. Consider creating a critical path, a mapping of the longest route through all dependent activities. This prepares staff and the C-Suite for possible complications and establishes realistic timescales to keep to.

Stay in Control
Project managers should communicate the project’s roadmap to everyone involved and then share progress at significant points. When communicating progress, ensure people actually take it onboard. Ensure people know what is being communicated, rather than just speaking at them. Then,  implement a change process to ensure input is actioned to those in charge.

Maintain Sustainability
If effectively planned and managed, the project will be successful. But, post-launch there are areas to address to guarantee the success of future projects. Highlight what went well and what could have been better, and reflect on failure objectively and without assigning personal blame. 
Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments: