Are all your projects on budget, on time, and meeting your strategic goals?
At The Alpha Group we make certain that you successfully implement your next key project.
So, how does this happen?
Easy, its a six step-process using the power of the peer-to-peer advisory board.
Firstly the peer-to-peer advisory board help you learn to identify the strategic problem and Scope your project. Most of us need to make important changes in our business. We usually achieve these step changes as projects. However, these projects often take much longer than we thought, cost more than we thought or alter into something different part way through.
Our problem is that very often we do not recognise that implementing an important change is best tackled as a project. you find it helpful to complete this project planning template.
THE TITLE OF YOUR KEY, PRIORITY INTEGRATION PROJECT (3 words):
Your project manager:
Proposed start date:
Forecast finish date:
1 Define your SMART goal for your project:
(Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-bound):
2 Identify your project constraints:
3 Decide your budget:
Time investment required (Days/Weeks):
Financial investment required:
4 Nominate your project team (who?):
5 Analyse the likely risks:
6 Assess the likely financial benefits for your company:
On your sales:
On your operating profit:
7 Make a GO/NO GO decision about proceeding:
Secondly the peer-to-peer advisory board help you learn to Plan your project.
A project needs a plan that summarises what needs to be done, when it needs to be done and how the different tasks that make up the project inter-relate. A good way of showing this is through a GANTT chart.
Prepare your Gantt Chart
Break your project down into a series of tasks - ideally between 10 and 12 tasks. List each task on a separate “Post-It”. Think about how long each task will take with the resources you have allocated and add that time to the “Post It”. Shuffle the “Post-Its” around on an A4 sheet of paper to show the relationships between the tasks and sequence that they need to be carried out in. Use lines/arrows to show the relationship between the tasks. Transfer the information to your Gantt chart.
Does the completion date of the last task match your planned end date – if not, something has to change – either the planned end date or the resources you are allocating! Something unexpected usually occurs in projects so build in some contingencies – your risk analysis carried out earlier will help identify what needs to be considered.
Thirdly the peer-to-peer advisory board help you learn to Keep your project on track.
1 Start with a “Kick-Off” Meeting
Get the project team together. Review your draft project plan. Amend if necessary and produce the first Action List using a suitable template.
2 Hold regular review/problem solving meetings
How do projects become a year late – one day at a time! Thus, your Project Manager must keep track of days lost and ensure everyone strives to make up days that are lost on the Gantt Chart.
The key to keeping projects on track is regular review/problem solving meetings. In the meetings, progress should be assessed against your GANTT chart and Action List and additional items added to the list as they occur.
Generally, weekly meetings work best but at critical points in a project a 10 minute “stand-up” meeting at the start of the day can give the project the urgency it requires.
3 Make Go/No Go decisions
In many projects, you do not know exactly what you will encounter, and it is possible that there will come a time when you should cut your losses and abandon the project. This possibility should be built into the plan in the form of reviews. In these reviews, your Project Team should present the project status to you and a “Go/No Go” decision made.
4 Avoid “Scope Creep”
Scope Creep can be the death of projects. What started out as a clear, simple project then has a number of small requirements added in. Individually these may not be significant but collectively they extend the time and resources needed to the point where the project can grind to a halt. Strong project management is required to prevent this. Fight off these requests for “add-ons” unless these are really critical. Defer consideration until the end of the project when a “Phase 2” can be considered. An example can be developing a website where the customer keeps saying “Can we just have ........ “after the spec, price and delivery date are already agreed.
5 Produce your Action List
Every member of your project team needs to be clear about the tasks they are responsible for and the time by which these must be completed. The best way of showing this is through an Action List. Again use a suitable template.
Fourthly the peer-to-peer advisory board help you learn to Complete your project.
The push to complete a project is often hard. The last 10% of tasks always seems to need more than 10% of the effort. Recognise this and don’t relax your efforts in the final few weeks.
Once complete, celebration, recognition and reward are important. How will you do this?
Finally the peer-to-peer advisory board help you learn to Assess your project.
This stage of a project is often omitted but it is vital, not just for the project itself but also for learning about your future projects. So, after about 3 months, reassemble the project team and assess:
Were our goals met?
What went well?
What did we learn?
What will we do differently on our next project?
Lastly the peer-to-peer advisory board help you take massive action.
The profound impact on you and your company of successfully implementing your key projects is that a you will implement all your future projects on time and to budget and this significantly increase your profitability and multiply your value.
If you would like to find out more about how The Alpha Group members successfully implement key projects then please get in touch and I will be happy to send you further information about visiting a suitable group, online, face-to-face or blended with a mixture of real world and virtual board meetings.