One of the guiding principles of our work is:
“Everything can always be done better than it is being done” – Henry Ford
Best Practice is being touted, as the name implies, as the best applicable set of rules. And this might be the case, but on closer observation you have to ask yourself from which backgrounds such a practice was formulated. The same applies for the area of project management. There are very good approaches and project management standards covering many, if not all possible, details of a project. So an in depth look into such approach should be allowed and how this will affect a business.
Starting with the roles in a project you will find that there might be more roles than persons on a given project. Since these roles are essential for the successful management of a project, it means that multiple roles will have to be taken on by team members. Roles are in the first instance about ownership and identification of responsibilities and rights of role-owners. It should be mentioned though that most roles will not require the man-hours to justify one team member per role. On the other hand we should also always consider team members to be on more than one project being contemporaneously. As a result of this fact it should be made sure that throughout all projects the same roles should be defined and allocated in the same way to the team members.
An approach here is to combine the roles in internal project management guidelines with the job descriptions. If you are a company with a project organisation in order to establish a working matrix and avoid conflicts, it is a must to have the roles and responsibilities of your personnel being compatible in project guidelines as team members and in job descriptions as employees.
With such a clear allocation of responsibilities at the beginning of a project, many obstacles resulting from lack of competence allocation are avoided. It is not the project’s scope to resolve conflicts arising from the underlying organisation of a company. This should be done by the Project Management Office (PMO) outside of –and in best practice environments prior to- running projects, though conflicts need to be resolved as soon as they arise, they are also a prime example of waste within project management. The second most important aspect is the structure of a project. Depending on the nature of a business and the projects done, there are often many similarities shared between them and a standard Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) can be adapted. This still means that every project is unique, but not always lies its uniqueness in the structure, but in the deliverables. Therefore a well-defined standard WBS, which is covering most aspects of your particular business, means only adaptation to new projects is needed and smoother processes are the result.
Having defined the team members and therefore the roles, the project’s broken down work packages (WBS) should be allocated already to the team members. Which has the practical implication that in the WBS responsibilities have been allocated to the roles .This can be cross checked again in the detailed planning (DPS) of the project. Should there be a need for conflict resolution, this should be handled as per above again by the PMO. A project will not work without the necessary WBS structure, but it is crucial to acknowledge that the team is producing the results and closing the work packages and therefore achieving the successful delivery of a project. So without a compatible organisation guaranteeing the complete and exhaustive allocation of responsibilities your team members are not empowered and cannot fulfill their roles effectively. Without the team itself projects cannot be delivered up to their full potential.
Do you any need support in the area of project management? Then we will gladly take the time for you!
We look forward to working together on your company’s success!
Your TSM Team