Jan 11, 2010

How Are We Doing?

Posted by Jeannette Cabanis-Brewin in Culture & Change Management, Project & Program Management, Governance, Performance Measurement, Project Management Office (PMO), Strategy Execution | 0 Comments

Around here, we believe in baselining ... otherwise, you can't tell if you are making any progress. The start of a new year seems an appropriate time to look around at the business environment, as well as our internal organizational environment, and make a few resolutions based on a clear-eyed view of present circumstances.

Looking up economic data for a project I'm working on, I came across Moody's Business Confidence Index. Wow! Love that steep and continuing climb: it bodes well for ventures of all sorts and sizes. Yet even the most confident of the business leaders surveyed were not rushing out to make large investments in inventory or facilities; instead, their immediate plans primarily focused on process improvement.

This is an approach that makes sense to anyone that has ever managed anything, including a home or a garden. During the last recession, when homeowners quit spending money on vacations and new cars, a new word - cocooning - entered the lexicon. Instead of running off to Aruba, they put in a patio, added a little fountain, put up bird feeders ... and discovered the beauty of their existing assets and resources. A recent column in the New York Times (Doing More, Spending Less) indicates that the same trend is resurfacing now.

On an organizational level, if we "do more, spend less" that translates to process improvement. And what process is most likely to yield organizational performance improvement? A decade of research carried out under the auspices of PM Solutions tells us that, across the board, improvements in project management processes also correlate to improvements in an array of organizational performance metrics, from the financial bottom line to the qualitative bottom line of customer and employee satisfaction.

No matter where you turn your gaze in the organizational household - aligning the portfolio with strategic vision, improving the portfolio management process, training staff in project management, implementing processes to turn around (or turn off) troubled projects, or improving resource management - you will see an area that, tweaked and polished, results in money saved, morale boosted, or customer confidence improved.

In Italy, it's traditional to clean out closets and cupboards on the first of a new year, and get rid of all the unused stuff that's weighing you down - Arrividerci to all that junk! Let's not forget that the very word "economy" comes from the Greek for "household." January 2010 seems the ideal moment to take a good look around you (that is, assess and baseline) at how your household is running. Then start cleaning those organizational closets! Tucked behind the inefficiencies and outdated assumptions, you may just find a forgotten treasure.


(24 votes. Average: 2.5 out of 5)


No comments yet. Be the first one!

Leave a Comment

search blog:

RSS Feed

Subscribe to our RSS Feed

Most Recent Posts
Blog Authors

view all authors

Blog Archives

Other project management blog sources: