Most of the analysts in this department already practice some level of project management but are not well-versed in the traditional Project Management Professional (PMP) methods.
After reaching out to the PM community on ProjectManagement.com for guidance and ideas on how to tailor the presentation, I received many excellent responses from colleagues.
Having reviewed my colleague's guidance and feedback, I thought about starting the presentation with basic PM concepts: What is a project, Project work versus Operational work, What is a program, Introduction to PM process groups, etc. But given the time constraints, I decided to dive in and start with my "tips and lessons learned", and to allow more time for Q&A from the group.
Here is a summary of my presentation to the operational department:
- Spend time up front to identify your stakeholders.
- Understand who the project champion (or sponsor) is. Typically he/she is not the project requester, but someone whose business will benefit from or be impacted by the project.
- Use a Scope Document to ensure everyone has a clear definition of the project. Review the Scope Document with your stakeholders.
- Have your project champion sign off the Scope Document at the start of the project results.
- Create a Communication Plan to manage stakeholder interactions.
- Take time to do project planning - do not rush into execution.
- Stay focused on dependencies and their impacts on milestones. Set milestones for your team to rally around.
- Empathy and listening are key. Listen to your team and your stakeholders while managing the project.
- Teams do not communicate well. It is the job of the project manager to ensure communication is working and everyone is kept informed.
- Scalation is a powerful tool. Escalate issues and risks, in a timely manner and be sure to escalate the right things.
- Remain vigilant of scope creep. Be prepared to conduct what Project Managers call "Scope Change Management": Assess the request and communicate impacts of the change to the project sponsor. If the request or change is quite different or larger than the original project scope, recommend a new project be set up to manage fulfillment of the request.
- Lastly, make sure everything on your project plan has an owner. Do not end meetings without action items and clearly defined owner.
I was fortunate to have the opportunity to share my project management skills with the operational department. In the end, feedback from the group was positive and I am hopeful that I contributed in some way to their professional growth.