Monday, February 15, 2010

Notes on PDPM Project Management Consulting (Part 2)

Suggestions and observations on PDPM Project Management Consulting
by M. Mari Novak...

7. When a routine or work process is established, a “break” in that work process can be disruptive. But breaks will occur. If you think someone is making a “mistake” – first check. They may be helping out! Another person may have seen a weakness or problem and stepped in to fix it. Don’t turn on each other. Expect the best – especially if you have created a good work team.

8. When you are tired or work is hectic, it is likely that you may ‘slip back into old habits’. The DEFAULT position may be the old way of negative feedback and punishment, inappropriately. This is the time to remember what it is like to “be in the zone” – to remember what it feels like to be working in perfect harmony – and the job is getting done.

This is a VERY GOOD REASON to practice with the team so that they have a chance to get ‘good’ with the work and understand what it is like to FEEL it going well. One of the 2 main appropriate uses of training is practice – low risk application of a work process, approach, using a new tool, etc.

9. Luck enters everyone’s life. Sometimes good; sometimes bad. The management approach is to be ready to take in and use the GOOD luck – remember you have about 20% of capacity/productivity if your workteam is working well. And if you have bad luck – you have about 20% capacity to deal with it. Always have a Plan B.

10. When your expression (out put) matches your listener’s preferred method of listening (input), you make it easier for them to receive and understand your message. You can’t always know the way another person likes to take in information – so present information to them in 2-3 different ways: words, big pictures, detailed flowcharts, etc.

11. Remember, people do think about themselves. You have to – to survive. So—WIIFM = what is in it for me?? Always a good question: prepare the answers when introducing change! Think in the other person’s shoes.

This relates to clear expectations – it is so much easier when you know what you have to accomplish! Not overproducing saves waste and “wear and tear” on people!
Practicing reduces panic and worry! The team can also get organized and discover strengths and areas where need help/improvement.

Adapt a process AFTER you have tried it. Don’t salt your meal before you have tasted it: know what you have first!! This is much easier after you have set up feedback for self monitoring and TRIED IT! (This applies to PDPM too. Maybe you will adapt it over time, but try it the way it was taught first. It is the product of many lessons learned.

Is this really just about YOU? Think clearly. Who else has to deliver something for this project to work? Think outside the box – of organization charts and funding boundaries. Who are all the people really contributing to the output AND outcome of this effort?
Focus on the solution…NOT on the problem. It makes life so much more fun!!

12. You have to check in with your project “sponsor” – report to the big boss. AND get feedback. Their concern should be the outcome and output of the project. ONLY a checklist of activities completed is NOT WORTH ANYTHING – how did it affect, change, contribute to the (new) desired situation? To the goal?
Work with milestones, balancing the 3 elements of any project (cost/resources, time/deadlines, quality/quantity of output). Check design and workflow
The only really important thing is OUTCOME !!!! And that is an evaluation made by users and funders.

13. Before you get started, are you all clear on the outcome the sponsor/boss wants and needs (for her or his boss) ?? Spend some time in the team planning phase on understanding the model or process or approach. Spend some time thinking about how you will manage the project (PDPM?)! Spend some time with “mind mapping” – what is everything that is going on with this project? Spend some time with relationship mapping (maybe this is the place to start) – who all is involved?

14. Remember PERFORMANCE COACHING …is the job of supervisors and managers AS WELL AS co-performers (both inside and outside) your organizational function or box. Everyone on the team can help! The whole “supply chain” or performance system.

Management is so much fun when done right! Try it!

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