Business planning is a challenging task. Many companies plan their one year strategy as a budgeting exercise. In the world of project management where the budget has been established, we review the project plan on a monthly basis to evaluate team performance. In the business world we need to review our strategy and measure success in order to evaluate the plan performance.
Many companies strategize over a five year period and as such, a review every six months can establish a trend in our five year strategy. Is six months enough time to establish a trend in a business plan? Hard to tell. There are many variables that we need to evaluate in order to reach that decision.
Many internal projects have longer project durations such as an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system or a new PMO (Portfolio Management Office). In both cases these projects take a little longer to analyze. That said, we can review large projects like these on a performance level. Let’s look at a new PMO. In the first six months we should be able to evaluate the team for their project management skills by reviewing things such as unified documentation, a document repository and a standard governance model that can establish the list and performance of the projects. The organizational change piece of this is to get “real” statistics of project performance on paper.
If the PMO can establish an environment of trust within the business, we can begin to understand where we are with respect to performance measurement from a project perspective. This means a “real” evaluation of report. Are we really green? Or are we closer to yellow or even red? This is the most difficult phase of the PMO build.
After evaluating the current projects, this is a good time to decide whether each initiative, 1) is still viable, 2) needs attention, or 3) is on time and within budget. This is the time to cancel the projects that don’t align with the corporate strategy anymore or will not be financially feasible. This is not an easy decision to make from a PMO standpoint because nobody wants to believe that their project isn’t going to succeed. A re-plan will establish new milestones or even new success factors that can drive new direction for the organization. Senior management might have reasons for continuing with a project that is in trouble and that can be communicated in order to relieve the stress the team might be experiencing. This re-plan might reveal that some project can’t be delivered under the constraints that have been identified.
This is the time to evaluate the potential success and make the necessary changes. Difficult? Absolutely. But this can open new opportunities for the team and the company.
The re-plan is necessary to continuously monitor the health of the company and key initiatives. The other key element to re-planning is to be consistent with the review periods so the team knows what to expect. Open communications will make the team stronger and increase the performance levels.
For information about how Logixsource can help with your re-planning efforts or project initiatives to connect strategy to results please contact: Heather firstname.lastname@example.org or Scott at email@example.com.