Project Management Methodology Evolution in Traditional Organisations
Project management in all organisations including traditionally legacy ones is changing. There is more regulation and an increased focus on Agile project management methodologies with an additional lens on data-driven KPI’s and OKR’s for non-IT-focused projects.
The hybrid mixture of waterfall with agile sprints works well with a legacy organisation that struggles to mobilise project quickly due to the quantity of stakeholders and the mixture of older and newer interdependent systems and processes that are in place.
Project Initiation and Stakeholder Mapping
A traditional Kick off documentation is still required; however, it is still determined that stakeholder SMEs are always best source of information, the location of these SME’s is a challenge due to the nature of the complex organisational structure and lack of older project documentation can be a challenge. Some of the SME’s or system owners would traditionally hold onto systems they have implemented and wouldn’t be your now standard system owners. Good stakeholder mapping can save a lot of backtracking later and keeping a list of these stakeholders will enable a smoother process for projects going forward.
Gaining stakeholder buy in early is always vital to success in such an organisation. Positioning the project correctly to impacted stakeholders even if they are negatively affected will benefit the project timelines. This can be done through a solid business case. Informing key stakeholders via project updates regularly and routinely will also assist when key decisions were made that may impact the key stakeholders.
Depending on the project but I find the traditional waterfall style approach detailed in Prince2 by developing a Workplan, stakeholder matrix, RACI and Decision log to be the best starting point. Building in Sprints to sections to the project plan that can facilitate the work being completed. The sprints are best used for system development projects but can speed up sections that don’t require strict regularity governance. Using the available Microsoft office tools of azure dev ops and creating user stories with the IT team has seen good results with smaller projects I have been involved in.
The traditional delivery approach is much the same in legacy organisations. Informing all affected stakeholders of incoming changes via various comms channels and in a commercial context planning a marketing event. The delivery will need to be managed carefully as some usual late roadblocks will occur.
The usual post project activities normally take place measuring benefits against predicted benefits, lessons learnt, and handover documentation will all take place in a formal setting.
With increasing focus on delivering projects on budget and on time to data driven KPI’s, agile methodologies are becoming a common tool to run projects but adapted with a set governance structure that would traditionally sit in a waterfall style project. This has led to a lot more focused work being completed in a more succinct manner before project delivery and although slower than a full agile project the compromise still exists to satisfy the existing governance structure.
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