Checklists and Change Programs

Jerry Manas’s post at PM Think (here) is a useful reminder to avoid a common error made when PMOs first implement processes and controls – over-engineering.   I can only say “Amen” to what Jerry notes:

We create forms, templates, and stage gates, in an attempt to gain control. But in doing so, we also create such barriers to implementation that it becomes like the Twelve Trials of Hercules just getting something implemented. P lus we lose flexibility (and I might add, credibility) as well. 

We’ve succumbed to that syndrome ourselves and Jerry’s prescription is a fine cure.  Our PMO finds checklists especially effective in two situations:

  • Initial design, communication, and usage of a new or changed process.  Checklists reinforce the basics and ease process adoption.  Only once the change program is past the awareness and understanding phases — in other words, early adopters are actually using the process — does developing sophisticated templates or tools make sense. 
  • Handling process handoffs.  Process and value chains are generally weakest where there are handoffs (e.g., between sales and delivery).  These handoffs are particularly severe when the personnel who accepted the leading process or phase deliverables aren’t directly responsible for the successor phase.  In this example, delivery management may have to accept/approve a statement of work, but the project manager hasn’t been selected.  Rather than force the PM to recapitulate the phase or process closing process, we use a checklist so the project manager can validate the quality of the handoff him/herself.

Inbound Comments and Links — July 2008

Stealing a march from the folks over at RelentlessPR, thanks to all linkers and commenters.  Links and comments are the about the only way for me to know if I’m writing something interesting, useful, or at least provocative.  I appreciate each and every one.

NOTE: I’ve registered at http://technorati.com as a way of viewing all my comments and links in one place.  It also helps direct folks to your blog.  I’ve you haven’t registered there, I recommend it.

INBOUND LINKS

INBOUND COMMENTS

Q2 Inbound Links and Comments — Thanks and Kudos

Links and comments are the about the only way for me to know if I’m writing something interesting, useful, or at least provocative.  I appreciate each and every one.

Thanks to the following folks for linking to Crossderry this past quarter…

  • The folks over at relentless PR, especially Leo Bottary (here and here)
  • Bas at Project Shrink (here)
  • Scott Middleton (here)
  • Mary Adams at Hybrid Vigor (here)
  • Rafael at Better Projects (here)
  • Miguel at eme ka eme (here)

Also, thank you to those who commented… (many of the folks above commented as well, but I won’t duplicate)

  • Vinnie Mirchandani at Deal Architect (here)
  • Charles Green at Trusted Advisor (here)
  • Jonathan Becher at Manage by Walking Around (here)
  • Michael Krigsman at IT Project Failures (here)
  • Patti Choby (here)
  • Rich Maltzman at Scope Crepe (here)
  • Markus at Leadership Briefing (here)
  • One of the gang at PM Think (here)
  • Craig Brown at Better Projects (here)
  • Bill at Projects Possible (here)
  • lazymale at lap31 (here)

Apologies if I missed anyone…  Thanks again, Paul

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