It is a commonly held belief that in the absence of a higher driving need, people will focus on those activities or behaviors for which they are being measured and subsequently either positively or negatively reinforced. Given this premise, it should be no great revelation to leadership teams that if a balanced approach is taken by governance bodies to project oversight, this should result in a correspondingly greater incentive for project teams to consistently perform practices across all key project management knowledge areas.
This is why it never ceases to amaze me that the same senior stakeholders who complain about the lack of practice consistency across their project teams with regards to certain knowledge areas are equally guilty of forcing these same teams to focus on one or two specific constraints.
Please note that I’m not referring to the practice of communicating the priority of project constraints as it relates to the business objectives or key drivers for a project. That is an essential activity which will ensure that project and governance teams make the right types of trade-off decisions. For example, if a particular project is addressing a time-sensitive regulatory requirement, schedule is the primary driver and it is perfectly reasonable for the project team to propose decision recommendations which will protect project deadlines at the cost of other constraints such as scope or cost.
In my 20+ years of experience as both a former VP of Operations of a mid-market manufacturer and as a business consultant and entrepreneur, I’ve yet to see as significant a skills gap as is emerging in today’s new normal business environment. Companies must have top talent in order to meet the increasing complexities associated with growing the business profitably. Project managers and program managers are no exception. Top talent is scarce.
Those companies that find a way to select the best talent will thrive while their competition will be left in the dust. There are several tips and strategies to achieving this objective. Thus, the top 8 strategies are as follows:
On time. On budget. Error free. These are crucial delivery goals for any organization. Yet they are rendered almost meaningless if the product fails to deliver value.
That’s why successful delivery teams work hand-in-hand with their stakeholders as product partners, defining value and then actively discovering — and delivering — high-value solutions. This goes beyond feature requests and requirements documents—beyond user stories and product backlogs—beyond the push-pull of competing interests. It’s a partnership where the ideas, perspectives and experiences of three different stakeholder groups converge. The result? Product partners who collaborate to discover and deliver value.
Let’s look more closely at these product partners: who they are, how they work together, and how they balance competing priorities.
First Ask Who
A product partnership includes people from three realms: customer, business, and technology. Each offers a unique perspective and has its own ideas of what is valuable.
The customer partners represent users, buyers, and advisers — people or systems that interface with the product, choose to buy it, or influence others to buy it. They tend to value improved productivity, heightened efficiency, greater speed, entertainment, and similar benefits.