During my years as Local Process Leader and Business Process Manager, I have participated in a lot of process development project,
system projects and also driven some process development projects/initiatives. The purpose of this page is to share my knowledge
in process management.
Project Models / Initiative structure
I have dedicated a page for project models, so only short about this here as introduction for the different areas.
When it comes to Process Improvement work it is quite common to think that process work can be done quite fast and that you don't
need any "Project Model" for the initiative or project.
From my experience, I have to say that every time I have been involved i a project where the Project Leader/Manager has not been
willing to use any existing project model or just create any good structure for planning and documentation structure, the
project/initiative has not been run well. This because even if it seems to be a job that can be done quick and with good results,
it often ends up in "quick and dirty" with poor quality.
Reasons for this are that poor planning and documentation of actions/tasks causes confusion of whom doing what and thereby more time
is spent on discussing things that should have been clear if it was documented.
Using existing project models with phases, gates and having steering committee meetings are very important to have to put pressure
on the project to deliver something in time. But even more important, the other direction, being able to describe for SC or
management why you need the specific time and resources for the project. To have a good structure, you need different levels.
- High level - Project level, to be able to describe the project for management or any other that need the overview. This shall
include high level of figures and which project model you use and which phases you have and what, on a high level, should be finished
within which time limit.
- Medium level - This is where you write the "high level" tasks that need to be done within each phase, for planning, and
what the expected results should be for the gate passage. Even better if you have a check list of what steering committee members
need to review before the gate passage meeting (how long before) and what shall be reviewed at the meeting.
- Low level - As you have the medium level planning, you can break it down into more actionable tasks in the low/detailed
- Good overview of the project - for Project Manager/Leader, Project Team and of course when presenting high level to SC
(Steering Committee) or Management.
- If you take down actions according to the SMART method (see list below), the project will run smoother.
Also having a not too high level of task list.
Everyone should be able to understand what the task is about, what should be done ()
- Specific - What is the task, how are somebody (one responsible, even if require more than one) going to do it and why at this
point (timing). Must be clear and understandable for everyone. Even if you are away on vacation and come back after a few weeks, you should
be able to understand the action.
- Measurable - This is about setting goals. It depends on what level you are writing these actions, if it is a high level
that need to be broken down, then you probably should be able to measure the difference in any KPI or PI (Key Performance Indicator
or Performance Indicator). If it is on a medium or low level you should either investigate if you will affect KPI/PI or if you only
need to have some sort of fulfillment based measurement. NOTE! - Measurement doesn't always have to be generated in excel with figures.
It can be good enough with red, yellow and green or even happy and sad faces. Important for project members to be able to follow progress
and what has been done without asking around (in case somebody is sick or something). This also supports time efficiency.
- Appropriate/Attainable - The action must be something that can be done within the time limit and cost allowed. If you
set a goal which is too far away, you will not have commitment and then fail anyway.
- Realistic - depending on what shall be done and how many/much resources you have for it, is it realistic?
- Time based - When should the action be completed. Dependencies are very important to understand, if something has to be
executed before this action, or if other actions rely on this action result.
Structure and Planning
I have learned that, no matter how big or small an initiative or project is, it is very important to plan very good and get it down
in writing. Even if you think it is quite fast initiative and only a few included in the job, planning is crucial.
Why? Because there are always a lot of things that need to be taken care of and then followed up in reporting meetings.
By writing actions, who is doing what and by when, it is easy to go through the list and you also can