In today’s fast moving world, most organisations have a large change agenda. Do you have more projects to run than people to run them? Are you forced to use inexperienced staff to run key projects?

One response to this challenge is to look at best-practice frameworks like Prince2 for Project Management, or MSP for Programme Management. But it’s important to set the right goal.

When you start to deploy a best practice framework like Prince2 or MSP for your team or company, you should set the goal high. You want a high performance team, not just a few star performers. If you create team-wide strength in project management, you can really start to deliver your organisation’s change agenda.

Some organisations hesitate to standardise on a framework like Prince2; perhaps they train a few people, but they don’t roll it out to everyone.

They are missing the benefits of a generalised solution. The way to get full benefit from a framework like Prince2 is to generalise its use.

There are three reasons why you should widen the rollout of a framework like Prince2 or MSP:

1) each framework is relatively simple to learn so training is short and relatively cost effective

2) a framework provides a single point of truth to unite the team

3) a framework helps your organisation to improve and innovate.

Let’s look at those points

1) Speed: Learn in a week

All the best practice frameworks from OGC (Prince2, MSP, MoP, P3O, etc) are reasonably simple to understand. With a week’s training, you can understand the key concepts, pass an exam and get a basic understanding of how to use the framework.

At the team or enterprise level, this means that all your team can learn your method. You can train them all. This is a key to success.

2) Single point of truth

If your organisation uses a framework such as Prince2, you have an external reference.

There are thousands and thousands of books on Project Management. Every author has his or her own ideas. If you don’t have some reference point for your organisation, every Project Manager will have his or her own ideas.

Prince2 has condensed a huge diversity of opinion into one book, which covers a major part of Project Management . That means that an organisation which adopts Prince2 has started to simplify its Project Management problem. With Prince2, you start to introduce a single vocabulary, a single point of view, a single intellectual framework. That’s significant added value, and a second key to success.

3) Improve and innovate

Don’t be worried by Prince2’s apparent complexity. Treat it like a supermarket which stocks 10,000 items, but you only need a week’s groceries. It up to you to choose. You can adapt Prince2 to your needs. This is what Prince2 calls “tailoring”.

If you tailor Prince2 with intelligence, it becomes a springboard to innovation. It becomes easier to implement, easier to use, and easier to adapt to your business needs.

You should start with the standard framework of Prince2, then simplify in order to implement it. If you hit barriers to implementation, then simplify it further. (That’s quite normal – the first simplification is never quite enough!). This simple core is your starting point. It’s your foundation for building team-wide high performance.

As you continue, you can build on this foundation. You have focussed on the essentials of your project management problem. You have a basis for continuous improvement, for further innovation. And that’s your third key to success.

That’s three keys to success to building in-depth strength, and a high performance team. You need to aim high to increase your project capacity, and to meet the challenge of delivering an ambitious change agenda. Aim high, deliver high performance.

Written by Jeff on August 26, 2011 in blog
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