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Monday, June 11, 2012

Simplify Your Project Management Processes

There was a popular survey some time ago that asked leaders in several mid-sized companies about their success. One of the main reasons that many were successful is they focused on simplicity in everything they did. The study concluded that simple, focused companies were more profitable.

The Pareto or 80/20 Principle can help us realize the power of keeping things simple.

Some popular statistics that relate to the Pareto Principle are below:

80% of beer is consumed by 20% of the beer drinkers

80% of classroom participation comes from 20% of the students

80% of traffic jams occur on 20% of roads

20% of your clothes will be worn 80% of the time

80% of sales are generated by 20% of the sales staff

80% of problems are generated by 20% of the employees

80% of problems come from 20% of the customer base

Now that we know this, how do we make things simpler? Try looking at your business processes to eliminate waste and complexity.  Questions to ask yourself and your organization when seeking to simplify your business processes are:

What are our processes?

Who are our customers?

What systems do we use?

Do we have the right systems in place to support our business?

What services do we offer internally and externally? Are they still valuable today?

Look for the 20% that adds value and eliminate or redesign the rest.

We are looking to automate, minimize, isolate, reduce, redesign, throw away, reinvent, rejuvenate, refresh, retire, or reallocate those things that are not helping us to achieve simplicity. Achieving simplicity can be hard, but the rewards are worth the effort.


Bill Duncan said...

Where's the meat? It's all well-and-good to suggest that we should be simpler, but why no examples?

Michelle Symonds said...

It's refreshing to be reminded that simplifying project processes can actually lead to more effective projects - less really can be more. Too often projects are introducing more and more processes to try and achieve success and it's important not to lose sight of the basics. Who was it who said project management is just about getting things done!