One of the challenges that many managers have is organizing the plethora of projects AND processes that are part of their organizational realm. The first step to dealing with this is to clearly distinguish what is a project and what is a process. Getting clear on gray areas can pave the way for a forceful visions and way ahead on any program.
I have been spearheading a program that I have defined and wrapped up into a "process for managing multiple projects". Over the past 9 months or so, the team has defined and redefined the process, and we have devised a way to bring on a series of small projects, execute on them, and then use lessons learned to improve the process. In fact, the process is not only informed by the inputs of lessons learned, but also changing guidance, regulations, rules of governance, and other requirements, processes, and procedures external to the process.
One key to the team’s success has been the ability to clearly understand the overall process separately and distinctly from the projects. The first place to start is with the overall process.
The second place to visit is the process for executing one of these projects, depicted in the above diagram by "Manage Project".
Success in project and program management starts with defining the purpose and objectives, and working from there. This often involves a significant period of study to determine what the need really is, followed by another period of working through solutions that will speak directly to the purpose and objectives.
From a process standpoint, we need to make sure the process continues to be valid by re-examining the purpose and objectives, as well as external factors, on a regular basis to make changes and maintain relevance – or pull back. Integrating processes and projects in the optimal way for the given situation can be an effective approach.
John Reiling, PMP
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