Repeatable and sustainable project management processes (part 1/2)

repeatable and sustainable processes

Having replicable and sustainable project management processes is the foundation for any respectable organization or project team.

Imagine if a project manager and a project team did not have set guidelines for project management, what would happen?

You know what, it would be like taking a random group of random people off the street, having them sit together in an office and expecting to get a job done right

This is basically what happens when you do not have replicable and sustainable project management processes.

An organization’s operations include activities that must be completed on a daily, weekly, monthly or annual basis to ensure that processes run smoothly.

But if these processes are not standardized, replicable and sustainable, it will inevitably lead to chaos.

The processes we are referring to can be very different: from the management of a customer service request to activities that are less often repeated. However, what is important is that each process, regardless of how often it is carried out, should have rules to manage scope, quality and methods.

If these rules are not standardized and sustainable, you cannot strive to ensure the utmost quality by limiting human error.

Simply put, managing activities will turn into an operational nightmare.

To prevent this situation, then, you need to make sure you have replicable and sustainable project management processes.

What is process replicability?

Essentially, process replicability and sustainability means a set of rules regulating how people in an organization should complete a given activity or sequence of activities.

Sound, replicable and sustainable project management processes provide a framework for new projects based on what has been successful in the past and lessons learned from what has not been so successful.

Standardization can be applied to any process, activity or procedure relevant to the organization. Picking up the phone, paying and storing invoices, managing customer information, keeping track of activities, etc. are all tasks that can be standardized.

At the same time, processes need to be flexible enough to allow the necessary changes to address the uniqueness of each project/activity without having to resort to a completely new process every time.

Process Repeatability and Sustainability Benefits

Basically, process repeatability and sustainability means that the project manager, as well as team members, have a proven and well-established process to use.

If done correctly, standardization can cut ambiguity and guesswork, ensure quality, increase productivity and boost employees’ morale.

So let’s recap the advantages of standardization as follows:

  • Improved clarity, because a standard process will remove the need for guesswork, extra research, or “double work”..
  • Quality assurance, because the work is done by default and optimized.
  • Productivity boost, because project team members will not need to search for information or revise any documents to find answers.
  • Employee morale boost, because team members can be proud to have learned the process and refined their skills.
  • Customer Service Perfection, because every request is addressed in the best possible way.

Now we will try to analyze all these advantages in more detail:

Process repeatability and sustainability reduces ambiguity and guesswork

The first and most obvious advantage of process repeatability is the reduction of the potential for ambiguity and guesswork.

It is likely that any complex activity is likely to have some grey areas or borderline cases and the problem is that time spent in speculation is wasted.

With a straightforward set of instructions to work on to complete a task, team members will spend less time trying to understand it and more time actually doing it.

Effective procedure repeatability means that there is a correct way to complete a particular task, defined in terms of a clear, measurable end result.

Process repeatability and sustainability ensures quality

If lack of standardization translates into more ambiguity, an inevitable consequence of this will be poorer reliability and less consistent quality.

This is because not all approaches to a certain task or procedure are the same; there are better and worse ways to pick up the phone, manage important client information, and send status updates to the project manager.

One of the most important ways in which standardization can help ensure quality is to minimize the chances of key details being overlooked.
the repeatable and sustainable process

Repeatability and sustainability drives productivity

Generally, standardization is accompanied by streamlined and more functional performance, which means that an organization can reduce waste and do more with available resources.

Repeatability and sustainability promote productivity by eliminating inefficiency.

This is the result of eliminating ambiguity and quality control: tasks are completed more efficiently and there are fewer quality control problems from tasks that were not completed correctly the first time.

Another benefit of eliminating alternative procedures is the reduction of unhealthy competition and conflicts.

For example, it may happen that an organization might have three different “semi-formal” systems for keeping track of workflows, each of which has its own constituency within the organization.

Three different groups of people, three different systems: conflicts are therefore unavoidable.

Although all three systems are more or less the same in terms of productivity, trying to coordinate them within the organization is likely to lead to competition and conflict between the three different factions.

If, on the other hand, everyone learns the same way to do business and manage processes and stick to it, it will be easier for teams to work together.

This means more productivity through the resulting synergy and less time wasted trying to communicate through gaps in understanding and communication.

Repeatability and sustainability is beneficial to employees’ morale

The key factor to bear in mind regarding repeatability and team member morale is that standardization will help employees feel a sense of accomplishment and pride.

Repeatability should not mean dullness and lack of creativity, instead it can – and should – mean standards that anyone can master and be proud to refine.

If handled correctly, standardized and repeatable processes establish a relationship between people and their work processes.

This relationship can increase pride in the quality of work performance and the result is high morale and productivity.

No wonder everyone wants to know if they are doing a good job or not, and not knowing if they are doing their job properly can be very stressful.

Having to apologize for inadequate or wrong work can also be humiliating as well as stressful.

So if processes are ruled by standards that teach team members to do efficient, high-quality work, employees are more likely to take a sense of belonging and pride in the work they do.

Instead of uncertainty and inefficiency, team members will thus have a defined way of performing their assigned tasks that actually works.

And the result is a higher employee morale.

This means that the link between standards and team members’ morale is fundamentally about employees’ ability to be proud of their achievements.

If the standardized process is efficient, it avoids unnecessary frustration and guides those working to achieve something meaningful and useful.

Repeatability and sustainability means better customer service

A great customer service is the natural consequence of teamwork having less ambiguity, higher output quality, better productivity and higher morale.

Repeatability and sustainability can drive the customer service department through standardized processes to talk to customers and methods to centralize information.

Standardization can also indirectly improve customer service, because if an organization is more productive and efficient, the result will be better results for customers.

The more you can produce with the resources available, the shorter the delivery time and the happier the customers will be.

You’ll find further aspects of process management projects in the second part of this article.

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