Event Date: 01/21/2015 (2:00 pm EST - 3:00 pm EST)
DARE to be a Successful Project Manager, hosted by HRDQ-U and presented by Lou Russell. Today’s webinar will last around one hour. Before we begin, note you can submit any questions you have using the window chat area on your control panel. We will answer questions as they come in live at the end of the presentation or as a follow-up by email. My name is Sarah Schaeffer and I will moderate today’s webinar.
The CEO and Queen of RMA, Lou Russell is an executive consultant, popular speaker, and respected author, whose passion is to create growth in companies by guiding the growth of their people. In her speaking, training, and writing, she draws on 30 years of experience helping organizations to achieve their full potential. Lou is the author of seven popular books and has spoken at more than 300 conferences including ATV international and the Society of Information Management. Thank you for joining us today, Lou.
Thank you, Sarah. I so appreciate it. Thank you everyone for, I know you’re busy, everyone’s very busy, I know that’s true and thank you very much for prioritizing, spending time with me and hopefully learning a little bit more about juggling all your projects today. So, that’s what we’re going to do today. Today the whole idea is to dare to kind of stop being a victim and take control, not control, I don’t believe in control, so I didn’t mean to say that, but manage your projects more successfully. And I’m going to give you some tools and some tips to do that. And at the same time what I’m going to do is I’m going to show you how we leverage the Rocket game, we call it, the project-management game, that’s for sale from HRDQ, which I helped author, and I want to show you how we work that in because it really helps people understand why they do documentation actually, it’s amazing they learn on that, oh I can’t skip that, now I get it. So, let me go ahead and begin, and, as Sarah said, if you have any questions, as we go along, just kind of throw them in the question box, and I’ll read them out when I can work it in. That would be perfect. OK, so I’m going to kind of go over the four phases with you: Define, plan, manage, and review, and that’s why we talk about daring to be a successful project manager. Here they are. We talk about daring because it’s basically dare to properly manage resources is the first letter those words and also the first letter of our phases. So these phases I’d like to just kind of set the stage with what all that stuff means. So when we’re talking about projects, I think projects nowadays are more like flashmobs. People kind of just run into a room together for an hour and have a meeting. The first 30 minutes of the meeting they’re just trying to figure out what they’re talking about because they don’t know which project is this, what meeting are we at, right? And then they get caught up, and for 15 minutes they whine about everything that prevented them from getting their stuff done that week, and then, maybe a little bit of velocity for the last 10 or 15 minutes before they run out and flashmob another project meeting. So I think it’s important that I say out loud that our practice of project management, when we teach project management we’re teaching not academic, theoretical project management, although we’re certainly aligned with the best practices at the Project Management Institute, we are teaching the kind of lean and mean project management that you need to get along in that very world. The world where you are juggling multiple projects, everyone else is juggling multiple projects, too. You need everyone else to help you get your project done because you need them all to do stuff. Used to be they would have been on a dedicated team with you. That does not happen anymore, really. They need everyone to help them. Everyone is in constant competition. Highly matrixed to get resources from each other for help. And so what do we do? How do we do project management in basically the sort of chaos? Brad and I were at the, Brad is CEO of HRDQ, and we were at ASTV Technology or ATV Technology last weekend. The keynote speaker was talking about how hierarchy and control is overwhelmed by all the movement in our work lives right now. So, it was very interesting, I think, very relevant to what we’re going to talk about today. So let’s look at this, first of all, a project has a beginning and an end. That’s a really important thing about projects. And something that sometimes we don’t say out loud. So, I’m going to guess that a lot of you have something to do with training and development, and in training and development, if you think of creating a training course, let’s say you were going to create a training course on managing stress for example. Well, it’s kind of easy to figure out, I guess, what the beginning of that project is, what start is. I’ve decided, here’s what I’m going to do, but the end is interesting. So, when would that project end? Does it end after the course is built? Does it end after the pilot is held? Does it end after we’ve taught it to 20 people, that’s the only people we had? Does it end 10 years later when we have to chuck it and make it into intergalactic learning or something? When does it end? So, that’s a very difficult project and obviously if you can’t end a project, you’re just going to keep getting more stuff and you’re never going to set anything aside. So, it’s a very important project. So, a lot about what I’m going to talk to you today is also driving to let’s be clear about what done looks like. So in this case you see start and end on the screen, and then you can also see the define phase. So define in the budget, this phase answers the question why am I working on this project? Why am I spending money on this project instead of something else? So, one of the things we have to always keep in mind, even if we’re in a not for profit, is that when I am focused on a project, when I have invested my labor and my time, and my resources into a project, I am not doing something else. So, every time we focus on one thing, we are choosing not to focus on something else. And in our practice, we want to do that intentionally not by default. So first question is, why are we doing this project? Why does it make more sense to invest in this project than a different one? OK, so at the end of the define phase, we have a deliverable called the project charter. And the project charter answers that question as a draft. All through the project that will probably change because time is going by, things change, businesses change, politics change, everything changes, right? The economy changes so our charter is always a draft. So forget about getting people to sign off on things that never change their mind because that’s ridiculous. Five minutes into a project how can anybody predict what is really going to happen? The project charter is always going to be our best shot right now and if you are interested, I would be very happy to send you our template for project charter, but I am going to walk you through some of the techniques here in a minute. A plan then, once we understand at a high level why this is a good investment for our organization, plan answers the question, OK given this value proposition, what is our strategy and how will we get the project done to meet these goals of the business? So plan is about how. What are the tasks I need? Who are the people I need? How much money do I need and what are critical tapes that I need to hit to be able to hit that value proposition window, that window of opportunity?
So at the end of plan phase, you’re going to have either a project scheduled, some people call it project scheduled, some people call it project plan. So either word for today, I’m going to use interchangeably. So basically at that time, I have a list of every task that needs to be done, a name on each task for accountability and a date it’s due, and I’m going to take you through the process of how to get to that point. Well, what’s interesting about the plan is a lot of people, when they are new to project management, they automatically start here and they skip define all together. A giant mistake, because what happens is if you say this out loud you’d go, Why would you ever do that? Before I even know why I’m doing a project, who are the players? What is the risk? Who’s going to make decisions? Who’s going to handle communicating status? Things like that. That’s all in the project charter. Before I know that, I’ve created a plan. Here’s the schedule for doing something I know nothing about.That’s just ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous, so that’s why one of the reasons that people do that though is because project management software: Microsoft Project, or Base Camp or you may have all kinds of different ones that you like. There are new cloud-based ones now. But project-management software actually starts with plan. And I am not aware of project management software that would allow you to also include the project charter. So that’s how people don’t even know they’re supposed to even do a charter, really. OK, so now the project starts. You see it looks like geographically half the project’s over. No. This is just the planning for the project, right? So, now, manage as we start the project and what I’d like you to do, those of you that have paper and pencil, or paper and writing, if you have the slides printed out, I want you to actually physically do this, those of you that don’t I want you to hold up an imaginary pen to your screen right now and what I’m going to ask both of you to do , both groups, is I’m going to ask you to put a giant X on the word control.
One of the things I know for certain is that you cannot control a project. You can manage a project, but you cannot control a project. And once you think that you can control a project, and you try to control a project, you turn into a giant jerk, and nobody wants to help you, no one wants to collaborate with you, no one tells you the truth, and everybody is actually trying to avoid you, and, which is not a good thing for projects. And projects we say bad news early is good news, tell me when I can do something about it. Don’t wait ˜til the last minute to tell me your bad news. We want to avoid that. So, the word that I want you to put on top of the phase, manage, the word to remember is adapt. We’re always adapting, always adapting. Another weird thing that project managers don’t necessarily like to hear, that is true in my world, is that project managers aren’t allowed to say no, you can’t have that to a customer because it’s not their project. In general, it belongs to the company or organization and the strategic vision of the organization. The project manager is just the steward or the babysitter of that project ” important job; committed job. But the project manager should say something like, yes, and here’s what the impact would be. So they’re in the weeds and they can tell here are some choices we can do going forward. But they certainly aren’t in the place to tell the CEO that you’re an idiot and I don’t feel like doing that. So, that’s not going to happen either. But, it does happen. After manage is over we do review. And review is like post-project review. Kind of like a lesson learned in training or debrief and that’s what I put over the review bubble, I would just put learn. So we have why are we doing it? What is our strategy and how will be implementing our plan to do it? Adapting while we implement our plan, but our plan is changing and we’re changing with it. And then review is learn. And it’s all about influence. Even though that arrow seems to just be pointing to manage, it’s true. That’s a big place for influencing skills. It’s really true all the way through and, for my money, I would rather have a gifted influencer as a project manager than a gifted chart maker. I will get much more benefit out of an influencer than a chart maker. So that’s just something to keep in mind as we move forward. OK that kind of keys up what we’re looking at here. So, here’s what we’re going to do: We’re going to talk about project management and your time management because one of the things about time management is that if we can’t manage our time, it’s going to be trouble to get our projects going, right? That’s in the same space. So all of us have a real job and projects to do so we have to figure that out and so we’re going to spend a little time on that. I have a little exercise for you on that. Then I’m going to go over some of the project charter tools, then the project plan tool, manage and review. So, I’m going to try take you through the whole life cycle of a project so you can see how everything pays forward to the next thing. And Sarah’s going to be very helpful. She will get you copies of these slides if for some reason you haven’t been able to get them. As I said we can also get you a project charter template if you’re interested. And let me say a little about the Rocket Game just at the start to kind of keep the filing cabinets open in your head. What we do on the second day of our two-day class, on the first day we spend almost the whole day on the project charter and influencing skills. On the second day what we do is we start in morning and we have them for practice we basically give them the Rocket Game, we ask them to give us estimates of how long it’s going to take for them to build the rocket. And they get all excited. They’re going to race, all this kind of stuff. And then we say, OK wait a minute, now here’s your project charter. Remember, do a project charter on this, and they do. Then we say OK, now you can change your estimate. And they usually do because their first estimate was nonsense, but now that they did the project charter they know a little bit more about it. Then we do the plan. They have to lay out what everyone’s going to work on as they’re building the rocket. And I say to them you can update your estimate again and we did and sometimes they shorten or make it a little bit longer and then they manage. And what’s been interesting, is that now that we’ve been using it that way in our two-day class, people are just doing a really great job and seeing the benefit of doing the due diligence of these deliverables before I’m jumping into the project. Like we’re kind of a just-do-it group. We all just want, let’s just check it off; let’s get it done. So I would tell you that that Rocket Game has two really good uses. One is if you have a whole group of people who think they’re all that of project management, oh, we’re too smart, we don’t need any project-management help, or you’re teaching people who are kind of difficult and don’t like to learn new documentation or standards, start with the Rocket Game just as it is. Kind of prove to them the blind spots they have and then the other way is after you’ve started to help them with standard project management process. Have them implement it using the Rocket Game. And see how it goes differently. So those are two places where I think it has tremendous value. It’s really helped the quality we bring to our learners a lot in the two-day class. So what I want you to do right now, let’s start with the time management thing. I would like you on a piece of paper somewhere, I would like to just real quick 20 seconds, write down as many things that you can think of that you should be doing right now instead of being on a webinar. I’m just going to time you, just 20 seconds. You probably won’t get to 10. Write down things that are in your mental RAM right now, I gotta get to that, I gotta get to that. So be thinking of your to-do list. What are you not doing while you are on this webinar. OK, 10 more seconds. OK, excellent. So, now I want you stay on your list and I’m going to kind of walk you through some sort of prioritization of your list. One of the problems we have is that we put everything on our to-do list and some of it’s tasks but a whole lot of it is not tasks. So what that does to us is that means that we’re always adding things to our to-do list but we’re not taking off as many things as we’re putting on and you start to feel very treadmill hopeless about things like that. So, I’m going to ask you some questions about your list. As, you look at your list. Are there any activities on the list that you could not complete in four hours if someone left you completely alone and you were uninterrupted and had everything you need? So is there anything on your list you couldn’t complete in four hours uninterrupted? Wouldn’t it be nice to have four hours uninterrupted? If you found anything on your list that you couldn’t complete in four hours uninterrupted please put the letter P for project next to it. Now going forward, I only want you to look at the ones that are still blank. So, question No. 2 for the ones that are still blank, do you need anyone else to help you with this task that’s still blank? Do you need anyone to approve it or give you feedback or schedule a room for you or order supplies for you? Is there any task on there that you need someone else’s help to get it done? And be very broad here. I mean anyone else’s help. So put a letter P next to it if it’s blank and you need someone else’s help to get it done. Again continuing just to look at the blank things, if the activity has been on your to-do list for more than a month, put the letter P next to is because you’re avoiding it. So if it’s been sitting on your to-do list for more than a month, put the letter P next to it. Then finally, this is a weird one, and no one never really picked this one, but, what’s interesting about it is, it’s becoming more prevalent. So, if there’s anything still blank on your list that you’ve been trying to figure out what you’re supposed to be doing on this thing, someone asks you to do something and every time you try to figure out what they want they go no, that’s not it, that’s not it. So in other words, you don’t even know how to finish it, because you don’t know what done looks like. So if you have any that are blank that are like that, put the letter P next to it. OK, so based on that, I’m going to make some guesses about some of the things you have on your list. OK, and here’s how we’re trying to differentiate between. Now something that you have the letter P next to, it could be a project, or it could be a process. The difference is a project has a beginning and end. It’s a collection of tasks, right? It has a beginning and an end. A process does not have a beginning and an end. It just keeps going and going and going. 1So if we have those on our to-do list we can never check them off because the next one just as soon as we finish the last one. So if you think about it, payroll is a process. Payroll is not a project. Each iteration, each time we print payroll checks, that’s a repeatable set of tasks, it’s kind of like a little mini project, but eventually you’ve done it enough so you repeat the same steps over and over and over again, right? So that’s a process. Now some people would tell you that project is gigantic. They don’t have to be gigantic they just have to have a big beginning and end, but they are made up of tasks. Tasks are the smallest unit of work you can assign them to one person, the ones that you have as blank should be tasks, right? Less than four hours, you could assign it to a person, pretty easy to measure doneness. Starting and an end. You may have accidentally put email in tasks. Email is not a task. Why? Because it never ends. It’s not a project either because it never ends. So sometimes we make up little rules for ourselves like I’m only going to work on email for an hour, I just sort of forced it into being a little project. See how that works? But you never get to cross email off your to-do list. Email is actually a process. It’s actually a process that you repeat multiple times a day or every day or however you manage the chaos in your life. So how do we clean up our to-do list? Tasks go on your to-do list. And what I do is every day I start with a blank piece of paper and what are the things I have to get done that day. Tasks.
Projects go into a project folder with some standard naming standards so other people can tell what they are with your team and all the different projects people are working on in your team, for example, and you want to have things in there like the project charter, the project plans, any notes, that kind of stuff. And then process should go if not in a process document, it should at least go on your calendar and hold time for that. So even if I am, let’s choose a different example than payroll. I do a newsletter every month. It’s always the closest business day after the first, I know that it takes me four hours to create the content for the newsletter, and I also know there are at least two other people down the road from me in my office that have to clean up my mess when I do create the content of the newsletter and get it put on our mailing list and that kind of stuff, right? So, I used to never hold time on my calendar for that, I always thought to myself, oh I’ll just squeeze it in. And when you do that, you end up throwing things in at midnight, or on Sunday when you should be spending time with your family, or for whatever reason, you’re jamming it in somewhere else, so you’re resentful and your quality is not that great. So instead, I hold four hours on my calendar on every 15th of the month to work on the newsletter. Do I always work on it that day? No, because sometimes I’m traveling or whatever, something always comes up, but I’ve made a little rule for myself that if I move the four hours, I have to have a space to move it to before I can move it. Because I don’t know about you, but I’m awesome at giving up my time for other people. Oh sure, no problem, I’ll do that newsletter in the middle of the night when I would rather sleep. So be very aware of how sacred your time to be prepared and ready and your work done is, too.
So tasks on your to-do list; projects in your project folder; process on the calendar. That’s the best way to go. All right, so now that we did that, look at your list again and just a little reality check, in the next 24 hours really what can you get done on your to-do list? Have you gone crazy with this? Another thing that we’ve implemented in the office is a spreadsheet with 30-60-90 and every Monday morning or so whenever we are all together, we try to go over what are we doing in the next 30 days, 60 days, 90 days. So we don’t lose it, but we’re also being realistic about the time we have. Ok then we also have to think about the really scary part how many hours do we really get at work to focus on the hard thinking like project work? So if you told me the average in all my classes is two hours, if you told me I only have two hours in the day to really focus on something then if I give you a 6-hour course development project it’s going to take you three days. So it’s very interesting I think the way we handle our time right now as a lot of sort of lying capacity in there which I think is kind of cool, kind of interesting. OK, so now let’s move on a little bit, let’s look at roles now. So, what I would like you to do with this is I would like you to think about the roles of a project sponsor and the project manager. The project sponsor’s role is to drive business forward, drive the organization, pull the organization kicking and screaming into the future. The project manager’s role on the other hand, is to implement those strategies that the project sponsor is thinking up. So the project sponsor owns the perception of what is the return on investment. Project manager owns translating that high-level wish into what are the tasks, what are the names, what are the dates to get stuff done. So those are very different roles. Project manager’s in the weeds, project sponsor on the other hand is up there looking into the future. Project manager’s totally into now. So if we look at this, and think about who does what, we want to look at the project sponsor and the project manager so only two of these have the answer, project sponsor. Take a minute and think about which two you think it is.
OK well close your ears if you don’t want to hear the answer. But basically the two that we really would expect the project sponsor to do, which they might not, is we expect the project sponsor to determine the business objectives, right, that’s the business case. A lot of times they don’t even know they’re supposed to do that though, right? Just say, hey, go build this course, make it so. And then the project manager has to prototype, which we’re going to talk about, the business objective and say, Sponsor, is this right? because we got to have that before you can start. And then the other one you might have guessed is it’s the last one, it’s the decides what to do when the money, time or quality is threatened. But notice that the project manage right before that, who’s in the weeds, has called out the problem, and recommended what to do when money, time, and quality are threatened, because they’re going to see it first so sponsor’s not going to be seeing it. That’s actually the role of the project manager, so, for a project manager to go to a project sponsor and go, Well, the project is going terrible, people won’t come to my meetings, no one is telling me what to do, I don’t have enough money, that’s career suicide. Nobody wants that. Nobody wants to have that kind of person talking to them. So the project manager’s job is to watch the ground, watch the strategy, make adjustments and when the return on investment is INAUDIBLE escalates that to the project INAUDIBLE for the recommendation. So the project manager does all these other things: assigns tasks to people, determines the project objectives. Project objectives, by the way, is a metric for determining what end looks like. So in a sense, project objectives show you how to measure done. Ok, so you’d probably have that approved by the project sponsor, but be built by the project manager. A little role clarity is really useful. You may have some terminology in your company called project leader, project director, some stuff like that. In that case those words are not used. Sometimes project leader is meant to be over project manager, sometimes it’s meant to be under, and those aren’t used consistently so you would just want to check with people what they mean by those. And also you may have heard the term program manager. And program manager is someone that’s managing a program of a bunch of projects that all go together. Like if you were the program manager of the super bowl for example, there’s thousands of projects going on, but it’s the Super Bowl, right and you’re trying to keep them kind of connected. So, now let’s move on, and talk about the PMI Organization. So I just want to give you a heads up Project Management Institute is an organization that has the best practices of project management and they have a giant document, encyclopedia almost, called The Project Management Body of Knowledge. You can see it on the screen here. The nickname for it is PIMBOK, if you ever hear someone say that, that’s what that means. The reason you care, this is the best practices of project management, it’s updated pretty much every year, it’s U.S. based, but it’s an international organization, although there are others. There’s one in Europe called Prince, similar type of thing. You need to go into that. Well, you don’t need to, but the idea is you would never do all the techniques in there, right? You would pick out the ones that work for you, you would be as simplified, lean, and adaptable as possible. You may have people that you know that are PMPs, that’s Certified Project Management Professionals, really pretty hard to get that certification. If any of you are PMP or you’re working toward that certification in the next five years, send Sarah a note so we can send you PMI INAUDIBLE to be used toward that because this qualifies for some credit, so that’s kind of cool, huh? Hit two birds with one stone today. Alright, so let’s go into the define phase. This is the one we talked about and it answers the question, why. Why are we spending money on this? And the end is the project charter. And the project charter starts with business objectives. And the business objectives make the acronym IRACIS. That’s how we remember. IRACIS I always call the Greek goddess of business, but I made that up, so don’t teach that to your children. It stands for increased revenue; avoid cost; improve service. So interestingly enough, and it makes sense once you start thinking about it, nobody should be doing anything with projects for a business or even a not for profit that doesn’t bring in more money, increase revenue, avoid cost, drive cost from the business. Any time you hear the word efficiency, that’s going to be an avoid cost project or improve service. Now there’s two different representatives that we worry about improving service to our employees and our customers. And I want to tease that out because when we’re improving service to our customers, we’re really just trying to increase revenue, right? That’s all we’re really trying to do. So we don’t really need to worry about that. We don’t need to have improved service on there for that reason. And when we’re trying to improve service to our employees, that’s actually an avoid cost project, because, what’s happening is we’re trying to retain them. It’s too expensive to rehire. So even what you’re doing today, right, a lot of training classes are actually investment to avoid the cost of rehiring people. You’re probably doing it to yourself to avoid the cost of you losing your skills. So, that really leaves us with only two. Increased revenue and avoid cost. Each project we prioritize INAUDIBLE right from the start. And who do you think gets to decide what the prioritization is? The project sponsor, right? They’re the ones who made the return on investment, right? There’s ones who have to pick this. Or you would INAUDIBLE them as the project manager if they were a little hard to get hold of. So on your little piece of paper right now, you might want do on your screen is mentally remember take improve service off . I would think that’s kind of too easy to say. You say improved service and everyone goes, OK, but that’s hard to figure out a return on. It’s very hard to measure usually. We just proved that customers and revenue and employee development is in cost so we just used increased revenue and avoid cost. And on our template you would see choose between those two. The next thing we’re going to do is we would make a tagline based on whether our project was avoid cost or increase revenue. And we’d just make a little elevator speech that we could tell to others just by saying my project used the Rocket Game in my project-management certificate program increases our revenue by adding the value of experiential learning, so that’s what you do. You just put a tagline together for that on your project. Remember, you’re going to have to influence all these other people to help you so you need to have that quick, hey this is why this project matters and this is what the value proposition is, want to play? Want to be with us on this? Because it’s going to be great. All right so that’s the plan here. So think about what your tagline is and I know you don’t really know you don’t have very much time to do it right now. By the way my email is firstname.lastname@example.org and I would be happy to look at anything you try out from this webinar practicing with your real project. I would love to see it. So, here’s another thing we do in class. We create a visual SCOPE diagram. A picture tells a thousand words. So as you look at this you can see these white boxes are the stakeholders. These are the people that you need to get your project done. Now we don’t know their names yet, they’re just roles, right, there could be one person or five people. The sponsor you really want to have one person. That makes that a lot easier. And I have to have conversations, see the ins and out arrows, I have to have conversations with these people to get my project done. Things are, there are going to be hand offs, things are going to have to go back and forth. That’s what those arrows show. Now some of these arrows are wrong. And I want you to kind of look and see if you see any that are wrong and I’m going to point out to see if you’re right. There’s some mistakes on here on purpose. By the way, as the project manager, you are that blue box in the middle. You are the project to everybody else. Sponsor looks OK. Sponsor’s giving us decisions, on the top right-hand corner, they’re giving us a budget and we’re sending them status reports, then we send somebody to need, to corporate communications, and they send us a communication plan. Here’s something worrisome: What is that line hooking CEO and corporate communication together? Well, that’s a mistake. On this SCOPE diagram, all the arrows have to have one direction and they have touch the middle. Because if they don’t touch the project, you don’t know anything about it, how can you be held accountable for things that you didn’t know about? So, that would be questioned. I would challenge that in class and say that shouldn’t be there. Likewise if we go down to employees, it all looks good. Training, schedule, and they had to tell us whether they were available or not in the beginning. But notice on the schedule the two-headed arrow. That’s as bad as a no-headed arrow. Never does the same hand-off go the same directions, never. So, that we need some decisions on that and that would go actually of course to the employees, this is their schedule. Now, another interesting thing about this is you think about just a little will help you understand how I’m critiquing these things is if you really think about every one of these arrows, every one of these handoffs is literally a set of tasks to be done. So the better job I run this picture the easier it is going to be to do my plan. Go to catering. Catering gets a budget and they send us food. That looks good. We’re sending volunteers to charity, but wait, that’s weird, we never asked the charities for anything. I guess we’re going to flashmob charities and fix whatever we feel like doing to whatever charities we want. See, that’s very appropriate. So, we missed an arrow there. There should be an arrow coming back where we did the charities or met with charities or something and got some information from charities, picked one. There might be more than one arrow actually. However, what’s interesting about this is that the other problem is by missing that arrow, I missed a whole bunch of work that’s going to surprise me in the middle of my project, I moved all those tasks.
There’s more on this in my books. As I said, if you want to try one of these I’d be happy to look at it for you. This is page one of the project charter. They don’t have this on Ming any more, you can see the apps done, we’ve moved them to someplace else. So let me or Sarah know if you want a copy of the project charter. These are the other things that we’d do business objects, project objectives, risk ” that’s quick, dirty risk ” risk mitigation is along the bottom, and the INAUDIBLE of the project which are things we can’t move. Usually you could put a picture of the SCOPE diagram in that big box, but if it kind of doesn’t fit we just attach it as another document. Then let’s look at plan now as we move through. So we have our project charter; and it’s a draft. It took us about 45 minutes to build, once we got good at it, no more. Because that doesn’t count the meetings of course, just building out the charter, figuring it out, so, now what do I have to do? I have to figure out the tasks, the order of the tasks, the people who can work on, who’s assigned to what and then figure out how to get it done by the date I need. So we’re in plan.
Some of you are familiar with ADDIE and this is what’s across the top here. This is how you create learning materials. It’s a standard methodology for creating learning materials. There are a couple of new ones. You may also have heard of something called Sam. Which is an inner prototype approach to developing learning materials from Allen Interaction, and Megan Torrance has a little methodology called LLAMA, which is more of an agile approach. All of those things I highly recommend you Google search, look at some of the podcasts on that, both of those groups are doing really interesting work. But what this means is we’re going to analyze what is the learning gap, what is the performance gap here, right? In analyze, that’s like what’s going on? We’re going to then sketch out a blueprint, with the bones I say, what can we really afford is another thing. It’s kind of a reality check. Then we’re going to build it up. It’s actually a real course, then we’re going to put it in; there we’re going to see it’s working. So, Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement, Evaluate, spells out ADDIE. Once we figure out what it is, then we’re going to maintain that. That’s a process; that’s not a project. So I could lay out all my milestones. And a milestone is just a date. So, if I work on a course for three months, I want to have some dates between now and three months to stay on schedule and one is where I am. So what you do is, these dates, for example, you know the start date is 6/1/13; I know the end date is 7/15; so now I calculate when will I need to have analyze by, when will I need to have design done by, when will I need to have build done by, etc. all the way out. You work back from the end date, or another mathematical trick is there some research that says if you’re using this kind of methodology, requirements should take a third of your time; design should take a third of your time; and everything else should take a third of your time. That takes a lot of guts. The problem with that nowadays with us, with training development, especially e-learning, and larger courses, instructor leg courses or webinars or whatever, if it takes you more than a couple of weeks to build a module or learning strategy of some sort, by the time you get analyze done, you’re starting design, analyze has changed. So we’re always jumping back, so that makes us a little bit less predictable than it used to be on the old days.
So what I did is I time boxed, analyze is going to start on the first, you see up at the start, we’ll be done by the 20th. Well, what tasks that need to be jammed in before analyze is over and after start. You can get clues from arrows from my SCOPE diagram, which I show in that little picture there, I can just INAUDIBLE Post-Its and just guess what they would be, by looking at my arrows, then, I can hook my arrows, I use Post-Its for everything, I’m a Post-Its freak, I put them in the right order, see how, I would obviously not want to not invite employees for example until I reviewed with sponsor, I’ve worked back from the end date, 6/20, so for example, if analyze has to be done by the 20th, I better get the caterer finalized by the 18th, that gives me some play time in case it doesn’t go well. Then I could invite the employees by the 15th, I have to know who’s coming before I finalize the caterer, that could take me three days, that’s probably good, see what I’m doing? I’m just working backwards. Now once I’ve got this kind of stable, hopefully I can put names on it next. Names, you may find out, oh great, that person’s on vacation that day or something like that, right, that’s what really happens in the real world, but we’ll just deal with that. Then I can take each one of those tasks and drop it into a spread sheet. In this particular spread sheet you can see I have task, I have task owner, I have due date and then comments if I want. So I can now sort by due date, I can sort by task owner, I can sort by task name, and I put all of them in a spread sheet with the same name, all different projects, like I could put all my projects in one spread sheet if I wanted to. This one was actually in something like that, that’s why it has project column all the way to the left.
What’s interesting about this is that I can also, the task owner is one person. That’s really important. So it’s not that it’s the only person working on that task, it’s just that it’s my go-to person. So one of the things that frustrates me on projects is I spend a lot of time chasing after three or four people who are working on the same task. And when that happens, you’re running all around, so, kind of make somebody a, I’ll call it a mini project manager, for you. That’s basically what I try to do. OK, maybe that’ll be helpful for you if you pull that off. I’m also going to use this list for my status reports. So notice how everything is paying forward. I did my project charter, my project charter SCOPE diagram with the arrows paid forward to help me figure out what my tasks were. I aligned my tasks into a spread sheet which now can be used for my status report and my dashboard. And there’s a template, but you could also just type these headings into Excel. You don’t really need our template for this, I always laugh about that, it’s not useful. So now what do we do? The project’s going. We’re working our plan. This is where we’re not controlling, remember, we’re adapting. Our influence skills come in handy. This is the status report I was just mentioning to you. And I’m going to check off anything that is complete in that far right column, and I haven’t sorted this one yet, but probably what I would do is I would sort by complete, so all the stuff already done is at the top. They have to page through it, but it really gives everybody kind of a little I don’t know, maybe guilt is the wrong word, but they look at it and go, Wow, everyone else is getting their stuff done, I guess I better, too. And I also want you to notice that I also cross out things that we’re going to take off so I don’t think that we missed it and put it in again. So volunteer day with a strike through down there, but leave it there as a place keeper to remember we made that decision. Also to some updating comments as well. And the red means late. And what happens with that is people see they’re late and other people aren’t, they usually do something about it; however, I never ever put red on this if I haven’t already had a conversation with the person. And very often, I put one of my first tasks as a red just to prove that I’m going to do it to other people. So that’s one of my strategies as well, just that red stuff has me a lot in some of these projects. OK, so what’s the payoff? So one of the things that I guess is what is really the special sauce of projects, that’s one way of talking about, very often people call me and talk to me about the fact that people won’t come to my meetings in the beginning, and when they do come, it’s at the end, we’re all done and they want to change everything at the end. So I’m sure all of us experience this and it’s very frustrating. Now all of sudden you have all these opinions, but we’re done. We’ve made the videos, we’ve already made the e-learning. These are three things that are really critical to being able to end a project. And unfortunately, if they’re not done as part of the project charter, it’s very difficult to build the trust and collaboration at the end when everybody is kind of mad already to get these done. By the time you figure out you need them, it’s almost too late. I don’t know another way of putting it, but it’s almost too late. So, let me talk to you a little bit about what I mean by each one of these. So the communications plan has two components to it. One is status reports. Who’s going to get status reports? Guess who’s not going to get status reports. But, if you’re using your plan which is your dashboard, also as a status report, it’s really not that hard to do. And I think another thing that’s interesting is that if you send status reports every week people think you are the most amazing project manager they have seen on their whole life. You know it’s Monday and it’s time to send a status report. Sometimes I just send a status report to everybody. Everybody who has a task and other people, too. I send it to everybody. It’s just easier not to differentiate. However, if that’s over the top for you, or your project is so long that you’re going to have to basically to chunk it into different phases, then you might not want to do that. So here’s two things. So, one is going to be status reports. The other one is about filling the gap and what I mean by that is, you’re with your project every day, and it seems like you know everything about it. You know what’s going on, but you kind of forget that the other people haven’t been in the stream and they don’t really know what’s going on. So I want to share a little story with you something that happened to me when I was a programmer at AT&T years ago. So I was in IT, which I’m not anymore, that has all expired in my life, but, I was in IT and they sent us a memo that said there will be a mandatory happy hour for all IT employees across the street at the Hilton Hotel from 3-5 on Friday. So everybody was kind of shocked because no one wanted to be with us IT people and no one ever took us for drinks or anything that was like sales stuff or whatever or that’s what we thought. So what in your mind, what do you think the IT people were talking about at that point? It really surprised me actually. Were they happy about finally being asked out or were they suspicious and paranoid? Well, actually no surprise, they were suspicious. And so basically what happened, is they basically kind of everyone was against it. They were really dragging their feet. We all went to this happy hour, it turns out it was a real good reason. It was for our building a technical ladder so you could get promoted within IT and it never ever made it through because everybody was so cynical sure that someone was trying to trick them for being nice to them. All that would have changed that would been when they sent the invite they explained why they were asking us. That’s all that it would have taken to fix it. So be careful to fill that void. So put out there success stories about your project. That will help you influence. It will help keep people engaged on your project that don’t really need to help you. You create the buzz. Don’t wait for the buzz to be created. I think we do a terrible job with this actually. The second one is governance, and governance is I know we talked about this in the beginning a little bit. Who gets to approve doneness? Who has the final say of done? It might be the sponsor. But a lot of times the sponsor asks you to develop training for a whole bunch of other people, at least in my world that’s what happens. Train more people to be leaders, they might say to me. And so doneness gets really unclear, because in their mind, they’re out of it at that point. So who gets to decide? That person? Or someone else? Or I probably don’t get to decide. I’m the vendor. So make that very explicit at the beginning. Who is to approve doneness, and what is the criteria? What will we have again that we don’t have now? The other thing that is really important is for the sponsor to determine who has the authority to change things. Who can change the SCOPE, who can change the cost, the budget? Who can change the deadlines? And it’s great if they say only me. That would be awesome because if you have all these people and you never had that conversation they all feel like they can change things unless someone has told them they cannot. That’s super, super important. And then finally, the other thing is transition. When we build a course, when you build a course, or when I build a course or even if you’re in IT you’re building a system, when I’m done building it, other stuff has to happen. Someone is going to own it to maintain it. So if it’s an IT system, I’ve put in a new system, but there’s going to be changes, there’s going to be maintenance updates, there’s going to be training that has to be held when new people come. There’s a whole bunch of stuff that’s going to happen over the reoccurring life of that software process. Same when we put in e-learning or live training that we’re using for a long period of time, we tweak it, we update it every year. Somebody owns the operations process. We did the project that project that built it, but somebody owns the operations process. It’s very good in the beginning of a project if you can to figure out who that is. Who’s going to be the transition owner? It’s almost like another little project in between the gray zone between done and implemented. Who’s going to be the transition resource? Where does it go? Who does it go to that INAUDIBLE people, does it go to the ops people? Where does it go? And how can you keep them up to speed as the project progresses? So you don’t to have to retrain them on all the stuff you’ve learned going through the project so why not train them a little as you go by making them part of that project team? So I think that’s really useful, as well. In the charter, there’s a couple of places for that, as well. Organizational change is huge if you are interested. I know HRDQ has a couple of great games and exercises around change, so check those out. Chip Knight, he’s a friend of mine, he’s brilliant at helping organizations go through change, creating change, messaging, things like that. And this is his sort of little flow chart for how you build change into some kind of change that’s going to disrupt an organization, and if you’re building a course or any kind of project, this a little check list to go through to see if I thought of that. It’s actually kind of got that transition INAUDIBLE manager kind of cooked into it as well. OK and there’s a transition plan charter as well. OK, so we’re close to the end here. We’re going to talk about the review ” the debrief. And this is something that I know you already know a great deal about. Because we’re learners, a lot of us I think are learning INAUDIBLE people. And we know that the learning occurs during the debrief, how important the debrief is. Here’s a little exercise, it’s going to be difficult for us to do with this many people in the chat box, but here’s a little exercise that I’d just like you to try on your own. So I would like you right now to write down a negative emotion you’ve experienced on a project recently. Negative emotion that you’ve experienced on a project recently. Now I want you to rank that emotion one through 10 with 10 being the most intense and one being the least intense. Give it a number 1-10. I see people you are putting it in the question box. That’s fine. If you would like to do that, this is going to be harder to put in the question box though, I would like you to think of just one thing, I normally say three things, but one thing that triggered that emotion in you during that project. What’s one of the things that triggered that emotion in you during the project? So that helps you think a little bit about what pushes my buttons, too, right? So if you look back, you can’t see the questions. I can. I can see the questions. A lot of you are posting and guess what? No. 1 emotion of projects is, No. 1 negative emotion is frustration. Almost universally, the first thing that comes up in every class is for the vast majority of people and those of you who didn’t put frustration, put something similar, right? Something similar. And what happens with frustration, is the danger that it shuts us down. So we need to think of that frustration as sort of an enabler, like there’s a gap. The frustration is like identifying there’s a gap, and our challenge to ourselves to bridge that gap and build a solution in our project. The other interesting thing about the frustration is if you are not frustrated on a project, you are not doing a project that anyone cares about. You should stop. That’s a really abrupt thing to say, but it’s true. If the project is not frustrating, it is not innovative enough; it is not needed. It just is not. It is not. OK, so, I want you to think about that. That’s kind of a scary thing. So you could use this and then we could turn around and do a positive emotion as well. What’s a positive emotion you had on your project? One through 10. Same exact thing. Keep thinking. Sometimes it’s a little harder. What are the triggers? But in class, when people list the positive emotions, and I’m seeing them kind of come through right now, the positive emotions are usually very diverse because we all are motivated by different things. So I have to be careful when I try to influence my stakeholders to help with my project. That I’m watching and looking to see what’s in it for them. Because it’s not the same thing that’s in it for me. Totally different. So frustration is completely normal. But I’m seeing success, learning, excitement, I mean there’s a lot more diversity. Some people say they were happy because of team effort. Some people say they were happy because a customer got what they needed. All those are just, people are basically motivated by different things. So you do this with negative and positive, I think maybe positive is on the next page actually. Negative and positive, you can even do this as a survey monkey. It’s a great way to review your project because the triggers will give you feedback about your project management process and help you get better the next time. So we know that learning happens in the debrief and I love this debrief, because it doesn’t lead the witness. People aren’t asking, Did you think I was a good leader? What did you think about this? Now we’re saying what comes to mind as a trigger of what was very disruptive to you. What comes to mind for the trigger thing that really engaged you and so they get to answer purely and I love that. So that really, as I said, use that even in your courses or whatever that a really INAUDIBLE tool to use. We use this to debrief the Rocket game also because they can be kind of charged up of they don’t win. Sometimes, they think they’re all that or whatever. So we use that to kind of diffuse the emotions. And that’s a nice way to debrief that game as well. So just to kind of close up I appreciate so many people on here and I just appreciate your attention that late in the afternoon and you know all the important things you have to do.
The five deadly sins of project management, if I could summarize: seek first to blame, spend all your time blaming; confuse busy with progress; be too quick to tell people yes, we can do that or that will just take a minute, and they use up all your time; and treat projects as if they’re the same.
Now I can automate with a little shift there. Instead we can seek first to collaborate; we can get busy on the things that are tied to those business objectives; we can say yes and the impact is this, like a good project manager; we can ask for a few days or a few hours or a few minutes to do some planning before we tell them how long it will take; and we know every project has its own little surprises with it. So, what I want you to so as you move forward is where is the pain? What is bugging you about your project slowed I’m saying real work is driving you crazy because that’s universal. How can project management help? And most of all how can you focus and communicate? That’s the mantra for good projects. So at this point, I think I’m going to turn it back over to Sarah who’s going to share with you a couple of other things that are going to be great for you.
Alright, great. Thank you so much, Lou, that was really great, and unfortunately we do not have time for live Q and A today, but attendees use your chat window and send us those questions now and you will receive an email next week all those questions and those answers and we will also keep the line open for 5 minutes after and while we wait for those questions to come in let me share a little bit about the program that is the foundation of today’s session, and that is the Rocket, the project-management game comes with one facilitator guide with CD, four rocket tubes, and four blueprints. And then for joining us today you can review game for 50 percent off for 30 days risk free. Don’t forget to use that coupon code that is at hrdqstore.com and you can use that through Jan. 27. So again, thanks, Lou, it’s always a pleasure learning from you. LOU: I appreciate it so much, Sarah, you will love this game; we’ve tortured people with it for years. It’s awesome; it’s one of the funnest parts of our class. Really it’s great.
Alright, perfect. OK, well, that’s all the time we have for today. We appreciate your time and we hope you found today’s webinar informative. Thanks.
Participants Will Learn
- How to apply a project management framework to employee development.
- The basic principles of identifying development needs.
- Ways to establish an effective development relationship.
- How to implement a development assignment that gets results.
Who Should Attend
- Organization development professionals
- Management development consultants
- Human resources managers
The CEO and Queen of RMA, Lou Russell is an executive consultant, popular speaker, and respected author whose passion is to create growth in companies by guiding the growth of their people. In her speaking, training, and writing, she draws on 30 years of experience helping organizations to achieve their full potential. Lou is the author of seven popular books, such as Leadership Training, Training Triage, and Managing Projects. She has spoken at more than 300 conferences, including ATD International and the Society of Information Management (SIM). Lou has an “expired” B.S. from Purdue in Computer Science and an M.S. in Instructional Systems Technology from Indiana. Her business is a certified Women’s Business Enterprise and a Project Management Institute partner.
For more than 35 years, HRDQ has been a trusted developer of experiential learning resources that help to improve the performance of individuals, teams, and organizations. It offers a wide range of reliable, research-based corporate training materials for soft-skills and HR training and development.