Gaining the Buy-In You Need to be Successful
By Chad Greenslade
I have often been asked how I have been able to drive adoption of project management methodologies, tools, and templates. Below is a high-level strategy that you may find useful.
How were you able to drive adoption of a project / program methodology templates & standards?
This is the whole stick and carrot analogy of getting folks to change behaviors. In general, I have found that most folks buy into the concept of a uniform delivery methodology for projects and programs. The key items that drive folks away from following a uniform delivery methodology is if they perceive or witness the methodology either (1) not being followed by their peers, or (2) not adding value, or not being valued by management, when followed.
When presenting the case for following the methodology, for the carrot portion of the analogy, I have started with the top-down view and began the discussion with, “this is what will give ‘Executive Smith’ the most insight into the project investments being made across the organization.” I start with a high level dashboard, and explain to the project leaders how the various reporting elements are changed as the project progresses through the methodology lifecycle. The next item that I stress is the tailoring options for the project. No two projects are 100% identical and the ability of the project leaders to tailor the methodology based on project complexity places the rigor decision squarely with the team executing the project. Tailoring allows the skipping of templates that provide no value (given appropriate justification) while allowing the overall project to remain compliant to the methodology.
Finally, related to the “stick” aspect of the analogy, I emphasize the audit aspects of the methodology. Ideally, you will have either an internal or external auditor conduct an audit of completed projects. I have wrapped incentive items (recognition awards, small prizes, etc.) around successful completion of each of the items above, especially when initially getting the process started and institutionalized. I have also incorporated completion of these items into project manager performance evaluations.
Chad Greenslade studied Information Systems at the University of Texas at Arlington and graduated Magna Cum Laude.