Archive for October, 2015

The ‘hard’ benefits of project management

Friday, October 23rd, 2015

Here are the benefits of project management that you can really quantify, and use to do an ROI for improving project management practices, or putting a PMO in place.

Projects that are challenged – and the Standish Chaos Report said that over half of IT projects are – are challenged in all three areas of Scope, Time, and Cost. Challenged projects cost over twice their original estimate, or take over twice the time planned, or accomplish less than 2/3 of the scope planned.

So one really quick way to measure this in your organisation currently, is to survey your experienced project managers. You can ask  – anonymously – for their estimate of what their stakeholders’ satisfaction has been, how much functionality has been dropped, how much rework has been required, and what the deadline slippage has been like.

You can compare this against industry averages, and decide upon a goal for yourselves.

With a few assumptions about headcount cost and project size, you can then cost out the impact of moving from the current situation to the goal.

Here’s a worksheet to get you going! – a template in Excel

(This one is for a sales support organization.)

The Real Success Factors

Friday, October 2nd, 2015

The Standish Chaos report about why projects succeed and fail contains a real nugget. You might be surprised by this breakdown of opinions about why a project succeeds.

Half of the respondents chose one of these three reasons: User involvement, Executive management support, or Clear statement of requirements.

A quarter of the respondents chose from this set of good project management practices: Realistic expectations, Smaller project milestones, Ownership, or Clear vision & objectives.

Only a small portion – a tenth – of the respondents felt that ‘Proper Planning; was the reason projects succeed. About another tenth felt that ‘hard working, focused staff’ and ‘competent staff’  are the keys to success.

Isn’t that interesting?! What does this say about the ‘hero’ culture wherein we hope that one amazing project manager can rescue a project, or bring it to a successful conclusion. And our project management abilities to plan things out is not the key either. Instead, success derives from the whole network of people involved, and how clear the goals are to everyone.