The 9 Best Project Management Techniques You’re Not Usingpost by Chris Curran on June 17, 2010
Co-authored with Paul Tenuta
We are spending a lot of time lately helping companies think about the “reasons behind the reasons” that projects succeed or fail. Just measuring scope, schedule and budget just doesn’t cut it. Here are 9 of the best project management techniques that you should consider adding to your management toolkit that dig deeper into the people, behaviors and decision-making that makes or breaks projects.
- Survey your business and IT stakeholders and broader organization if they think the project will be successful or not. Do it regularly.
- When planning, find 3 completed projects similar to what you’re trying to do and get those project managers together to compare notes.
- Spend some time thinking through a “start-up” approach to completing the project - how would your design your project if you were in college with limited capital but plenty of smart resources? How does it differ from the proposed approach?
- Use storyboards to show users how their (and customers) lives will improve once the project is done.
- Develop a simple statement of the business value of your project and have every team member, manager and sponsor memorize it. Think of this as the Super Bowl commercial of your project.
- Schedule junior team members to present project status. Build tomorrow’s project leaders today by challenging them to delivery messages to executives early in their career.
- Have a business leader not affiliated with the project conduct a devil’s advocate workshop to poke holes in the business case and capabilities. Break into two teams to argue both sides, do it in an off-site, make the exercise meaningful by incorporating results into plan.
- When faced with a major project decision, spend the time to develop multiple, viable alternatives, rather than hard wire the “obvious” path.
- If you have a vendor who’s a major part of the project, get an executive on their advisory board and attend the meetings. You can learn a lot by talking frankly with other customers. Alternately, send a few attendees to their user conferences.
What unique but effective techniques have you used that have helped you better manage projects?