Making the Most of your Team

“I’m calling to warn you: the CEO is cutting 10% of your budget. You’ll be asked for a plan to do this at the project review on Monday.”  Many project managers will have heard something similar.

You can talk to your suppliers about alternative solutions at lower cost. You can ban overtime and risk the project running over budget because you miss deadlines. Or you can think differently.

Project teams often have individuals that have latent skills: things they are skilled in that are ignored because they have been pigeonholed for specific skills they are associated with within the organisation. This is the opportunity to take advantage of these latent skills as well.

Ask the team the question: if we were starting today with a budget of 20% less, how would we do what we have to do in this project?  What skills have you got that we could use?

You may be surprised at the results. After initial horror at the suggestion of such a budget  cut, you will usually find creative or simply pragmatic solutions emerge from the team. Of course, you can’t take the idea at face value: work it through as a change request and prove it.

This might be worth a try for all projects in different situations: how can we do this cheaper? faster? simpler? better?

Advertisements

Blueprint for Success

A team at Warwick Business School has surveyed 500 above average trading performance businesses employing between 20 and 250 staff.

These business had these approaches in common:

  1. Striving for growth – seeking to increase sales
  2. Managing flexibly
  3. People planning – skill needs and focus on staff development
  4. Marketing – reach new customers with broadcast
  5. Research and development – technology, new ways of doing business
  6. Process changes – reducing costs, improving service quality

How does this apply to programme management, change management or project management?   We can use these to consider things we might need to plan to under pin the success of our projects. Read more of this post