Years ago, we at Hammer and Company used to glibly say that organizations resist change. That, in fact, they were designed and built to hinder and deflect evolution and to continue on as they are.
Clearly, this is no longer close to accurate, if it ever was.
The truth is that now, most organizations are awash with change. We’re flooded with it. Hundreds upon hundreds of improvement projects are in process in most companies today. The problem now is not resistance, but a lack of prioritization and coordination.
To clarify what I mean, ask yourself these questions:
How many process-change projects are active in our company today?
How comfortable are we that we’re doing the right projects?
How sure are we that all these projects are appropriately coordinated?
Are our best project managers and team members on the highest-value initiatives?
What’s our success rate?
All too often the answers are:
Not at all!
What do you mean by success???
Implementation is difficult enough without all this waste and clutter. Best practice in the most disciplined organizations has project prioritization taking place as few times as possible and includes enterprise optimization at a single Process Management Office (PMO). Other best practices include:
- Routine post-project reviews for learning
- Stage-gate evaluation of all active projects with a healthy dose of ‘red’ project terminations
- A balanced portfolio that addresses all key stakeholders, costs, and revenues, and also includes all processes
- Doing as few projects as possible
- Intentional matching of project managers and team members with the best ‘fit’ projects
Taken together, these techniques can have an enormous positive impact on the outcomes of all these projects. Without them, companies are just treading water in a flood.
Steve Stanton, Hammer and Company Senior Faculty Member
Co-Instructor, Process Redesign: Techniques for Implementation,
Boston, May 14-17