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Project Manager Tools

Project Managers focus on delivering outcomes.

Project Managers drive project progress and provide accurate management reports by sharing project schedules and progress reports that cover costs, milestones, resourcing, issues and risks.

Manager Tasks >> Control

  • Work plans, deliverables, milestones & timelines
  • Resource assignment, motivation & support
  • Problem identification & resolution or escalation
  • Risk management & financial control
  • Status reporting – dashboards, exceptions & details

Methodology
Project managers within most organisations have a varied profile that ranges from ‘accidental project managers’ to long time professionals. Each need a management, governance and reporting framework that facilitates in the delivery of better results.

Often, for large, important and high profile projects, the project manager is experienced and takes a practical approach to getting the project across the goal-line. Ad-hoc best efforts are the norm, with reporting into the PMO done as an additional task instead of as an integral part of project management practice.

Management and Reporting Tools
Our research indicates that project management in many organisations – from government through to commercial - is usually done as a set of non-integrated activities using a variety of standalone software products. For example, a project may have an initial MS Project plan that captures the planned delivery schedule, which is then updated from time to time to take stock of the road ahead or to meet reporting requirements. However, this project plan is usually too detailed for daily project management, so progress reporting is done using Word and spreadsheets to provide highlights and track issues and risks.

Risk Management
Risk management in particular across most industry verticals is still very haphazard and not standardised or well understood by all project managers. Benefits management is typically non-existent once the business case has been signed off.

Resourcing
Because of schedule slippage and scope discovery across multiple projects, effective resource management can be challenging. Where shared service resources are used, priority “production support” requirements can mean progress is slowed because key resources are not available. And any “ahead of schedule” situations often loose their hard-won advantage because the “baton” cannot be handed over.

Benefits
Prior to any project initiation, a business case is prepared, carefully evaluated, and budget approval and project go-ahead is granted if the project benefits are aligned with strategic objectives. Unfortunately, it is difficult for project stakeholders and participants to maintain the connection between the business case and the project throughout its life. This means, because everyone is busy, the original intent can be forgotten, or if the benefit profile changes this is not clearly communicated to the team or project sponsors.

Tools
There are a number of methodologies that address these situations, from critical chain to agile, and the project and organisation profile - including task variability, size, timing and flexibility variables – must be used to match process to practice. For benefits we usually recommend a simple tracking mechanism that makes it easy to measure, update and report on a regular basis.

Reuse
While an experienced project manager often completes projects successfully, this success often cannot easily be replicated or shared across other projects and with less experienced project managers. Especially where skilled contract staffare used to manage the project, their knowledge is not transferred to less experienced managers, which is a lost opportunity. That is, the knowledge, skills and learnings from a project are usually ‘siloed’ with the project manager and their team.

A standardised and tailored approach (think mass customisation within an execution framework) means the project manager is supported and not constrained by the standards that are imposed.

This approach also supports sharing and learning across projects because it is easier to discover and highlight pros and cons. A standardised (yet flexible) approach allows the project manager to spend less time administrating and more time leading and keeping the path to success clear of obstacles.

TeamFrame can help you to build a project execution framework that accelerates your ability to start, manage and complete multiple projects that may range from simple to complex.

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