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Why Do Projects Succeed or Fail? Achieving Reliable Delivery

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Mark Woeppel - May 22, 2015

In this post, I’m continuing my series on the Viewpoint Project Execution Maturity Model. If you’re new to my blog, you can read about the first level, Basic Collaboration, here.

Who says achieving delivery dates are not important? There is a school of thought in the project community, that for some projects, dates are impossible. You can’t put a clock on the creative process. Bull.

Every project has a date, and to ignore it is to deny reality. If you’re building software, you still have a release date. Doing the “best you can” is not what your investors or management team will accept. If you’re building an office building, you have to meet the customer expectations for occupancy. People are depending you to HIT THE DATE. So you must move your team beyond achieving quality and speed to reliability meeting your commitments. Move from basic execution maturity to a place where your process output is repeatable. Reliable.

new maturity model graphic

The second tier of the Viewpoint Project Execution Maturity Model is Improved Coordination. In a nutshell, the core objective for this tier is achieving reliable delivery. A secondary objective is to integrate remote teams into the collaborative execution process.

Improved Coordination moves teams beyond local execution competence, as established through Basic Collaboration, and extends to remote teams and outside stakeholders. The emphasis continues to be on flow and productivity, but for local and remote teams, there are new objectives: delivery reliability and a further increase in productivity. To accomplish these objectives, there is additional management scope: a more sophisticated priority management system, the active management of critical capacity elements, and automation of priority management processes.

Think of Improved Coordination as adding a supercharger to your execution process after accomplishing Basic Collaboration. The time and tasks under management shift from the present (work in progress) to near future (up and coming work). You’ll be working more on prevention, less on reaction. The new processes continue to hack away at the additional causes of multitasking and directly addresses process variation through a simplified schedule risk management process and using a systematic approach to managing critical resources.

Improved Coordination happens by implementing 5 key processes:

  • Remote Collaboration: Establishing productive teams regardless of distance by accommodating both a practical tool set for sharing information, and a productive mindset of shared goals
  • Bottleneck Management: Systematically increasing the rate of task completions to reduce schedule durations
  • Schedule Risk: Preempt problems by identifying and mitigating schedule risk before the project delivery date is affected
  • Delivery Promising: Consistently providing accurate estimates for project durations and deliveries
  • Date Management: Maintaining delivery date integrity across your IT systems

These five elements work together to improve coordination and collaboration among teams, despite distance, and ensure on-time delivery and reduced project duration. Teams who are experts in Improved Coordination experience:

  • Successful collaboration despite distance
  • Better understanding of your project and portfolio’s level of schedule risk
  • Teams that proactively “attack” obstacles before the delivery date is affected
  • Significant increase in productivity
  • Shortened project durations
  • Consistent on-time delivery performance

Over the next month, I’ll be continuing our series on why projects succeed or fail by providing an in depth look at each of the 5 elements necessary to achieve maturity in Improved Coordination.

Subscribe to our blog today to receive the updates straight to your inbox, or download our eBook, Why Do Project Succeed or Fail?, to learn about the entire Viewpoint Project Execution Maturity Model and discover what really makes a difference to the success of your projects.

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