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Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Wow! Projects

As many of you may know from my previous blog entries I really like Tom Peters. Tom has so much energy and passion, and additionally, he has some great ideas regarding reinventing work. In my opinion, his ideas around Project Management are revolutionary, bleeding-edge, and way out in front of what is considered the "norm". Recently while reviewing his website I found myself reading about what Tom calls "WOW! Projects". If you have a moment, take the time to read what Tom has to say about WOW! Projects.

To reflect a bit, as I look back over my career I do not think I have ever worked on a WOW! Project, and in hindsight that is a disappointment. As a Project Manager, I struggle every day trying to manage my projects to a "successful" conclusion. Over the course of my career when managing individual projects how that project's success is measured has many times been a moving target. Stakeholders and the project sponsor change their minds in the middle of the project regarding what they want and the ensuing scope changes cause the project success measurement bar to move.

While the project manager is responsible for project success and scope management, the project sponsor can influence project success when stakeholders have more influence over the scope of the project than the project manager does. While this does not happen on every one of my projects, a lesson to be learned is that I must be vigilant regarding stakeholder management.

NOTE: Remember the number one measure of Project Success (according to PMI) is Customer Satisfaction.

In my opinion WOW! Projects require a strong executive sponsor and a well-oiled projectized organization (in addition to many other things) that is not opposed to taking risks. In addition WOW! Project stakeholders must be committed to supporting the following goals of a WOW! Project.

A WOW! Project's Goals are:
An enhanced "customer experience" (internal and external)
Dramatically increased sales
Sharply reduced costs
Improved operating margins
Accelerated leadership and talent development
Innovative solutions to wide-ranging issues
Improved employee morale and job satisfaction
Accelerated post-merger integration
Enhanced stakeholder and community involvement
Cultural transformation

I recognize that I have a lot of work to do to turn my projects into WOW! Projects. Personally I do not think every project that we are assigned can be a WOW! Project, but I do believe if we keep the WOW! Project goals in mind our projects will add more value to the organizations we serve.

What do you think? Until Next Time...

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