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

repeatability and sustainability of processes

In the first part of the article we outlined what process repeatability is and also discussed the advantages of process repeatability and sustainability.

We now keep on examining further aspects of process management projects

Concerns about process repeatability and sustainability

Even though process repeatability and sustainability bear several benefits, the idea of submitting processes and procedures to a standardized way of doing things can be a cause for alarm for people who are not used to them.

Does standardizing mean losing individual creativity? This is the most common concern that revolves around the adoption of repeatability in processes.

Actually these concerns are out of place, let’s see why:

1. Does process repeatability and sustainability mean monotony and boredom?

By definition, the right way of doing things means uniformity. For some people, however, this concept will inevitably seem dull and boring.

The bottom line here is that by removing ambiguity and setting a standard against which to evaluate performance, standardized processes can help employees feel that they are actually achieving “something” at work.

Team members are much more likely to feel a higher sense of accomplishment – and not boredom – if they get standard processes that help them achieve positive results.

When a task is performed to the prescribed standard, it is (almost) guaranteed to be performed 100%.

And, let’s face it, checking the boxes in the to do list definitely gives a fair amount of satisfaction.

2. Does process repeatability and sustainability destroy creativity?

A concern related to the previous one is the concept that if you standardize crucial processes in an organization, the result will be a work environment that does not promote innovation and creativity.

The main concern here is that standardization means an organizational culture that eliminates all individual thinking and new ideas, replacing a positive diversity and exchange of thoughts with a monocultural mentality.

Here it is important not to mistake the process repeatability for lack of innovation.

Once again, standardization is the elimination of inefficient alternatives that could lead to conflict.

By clearing inefficiency and unnecessary conflict in an organization, everyone can get rid of unnecessary waste of time and energy to focus on innovation in areas where it is really important.

The irony here is that, if considered wisely, process repeatability is good and even promotes innovation.

By standardizing processes, it will simplify operations so that everyone can do more and be more effective team members.

It goes without saying that if someone in the organization finds a way to improve a standardized process, the organization will consider the idea and, if positive, adopt it.

There is no reason why a standardized process cannot be changed over time if circumstances, experience and innovation indicate that it really is time for change.

the repeatability and sustainability of processes

How can you build a repeatable, sustainable and successful project management process?

Until now we have covered what a repeatable and sustainable project management process means, as well as the advantages it brings, but how is it possible to create such a process?

Here are some suggestions on how to do it:

Finding shortcomings

The thing about doing things differently every time is that, sooner or later, you will forget or overlook one or more steps.

So to create a repeatable and sustainable project management process, you will need to review previous projects, best practices and find gaps.

For example: has the product found many bugs? The solution will then add more testing and quality control time.

Or do you always receive an incomplete list of requirements? The solution will be to create a set of fixed questions for each initial project meeting.

Engage all process elements

Bad habits would not exist if someone did not prefer them. Perhaps the project manager is lazy? Are stakeholders always too busy? Or does someone on the team want the whole process to revolve around them?

Also, you need to consider that people will fight to keep the old, and ineffective, process going just because they are accustomed to it. You can find more reasons for this in this article about company changes.

For those who decide to implement the change, it will certainly be a difficult and frustrating task, but it will have to be done and everyone will have to be involved if the organization wants to improve.

Taking into account variables

Surely each project will present unique situations compared to all other projects (even the most similar ones), but this should not be an excuse not to commit to finding repeatable and sustainable processes.

A repeatable project management process should be a framework in which you can link different variables and still get consistently positive results.

Focus on objectives

The biggest drawback to having a repeatable process is that it is easy to pay too much attention to the process itself, rather than the actual goal of the project.

In this case, the process actually becomes an obstacle to success.

Whenever you add a step to the process, you will need to consider how it will affect the il project workflow.

Will this process streamline things or can it cause a blockage? Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages? Which process would result in higher quality output?

These questions will be crucial in determining whether a new, repeatable, sustainable process makes sense to the project or not.

If you can implement a repeatable, sustainable project management process, you will be able to dramatically improve team efficiency and improve project quality accordingly.

In addition, another key point is to simplify the monitoring and evaluation of project metrics, so that you can better see where and how the team needs to improve in order to be successful.

 

Bottom line, what matters is the commitment to quality work; work that is satisfactory to the organization and its customers.

The best repeatable and sustainable processes will be those that improve organically, adapting and increasing the value of the output so that the sum is much greater than its parts.

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