A Strategy & Growth Hub for Program Managers

Project Management Risk Factors: Managing Change

Posted by Kabir Mehta on Apr 10, 2018 7:12:00 AM

Risk Factor #4 of 4: Change Brings Challenge - How Even Good Change Can Hurt Your Long-term Success

The fourth article in our series: Four Project Management Risk Factors That Contribute to Failure 

In the first three articles of this series, we described internal problems that often lead to project failure, problems that can undo a program manager's best efforts to deliver quality projects 

Do you feel like you get punished for doing a good job? If so, this article is for you.  

We're not going to look at technical, environmental, or internal problems that lead to project failure, but issues that often arise from a program manager's success. In other words, when a project succeeds, the program manager can sometimes become a victim of that success. 

 government-contracting-risk-change-management.jpgPeter: I don’t like my job. Don’t think I’ll go anymore.

Joanna: You’re just not gonna go?

Peter: Yeah.

Joanna: Won’t you get fired?

Peter: I don’t know. But I really don’t like it and, uh, I’m not gonna go.

Joanna: So you’re gonna quit?

Peter: No, not really. I’m just gonna stop going.

Joanna: When did you decide all that?

Peter: About an hour ago.

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Topics: project management best practices, project management risks, project management risk factors

Project Management Risk Factors: Competing Priorities

Posted by Kabir Mehta on Apr 10, 2018 7:12:00 AM

Risk Factor #3 of 4: 3 Ways a Lack of Support From Senior Management Can Hurt Your Government Contracting Success

The third article in our series: Four Project Management Risk Factors that Contribute to Failure

No matter how good of a program manager you are, some factors will impact your success over which you have little to no control. Perhaps the biggest factor of all comes from within - your contracting culture and company leadership. We're sharing here three ways company culture and even leadership can hurt your program and personal success: 

  1. Communication & Authority: what does senior management do when customer priorities conflict with corporate priorities? 
  2. Bureaucracy: when an opportunity with a deadline appears, how fast does senior management react? 
  3. Responsibility: does senior management take ultimate responsibility?  

Let's look at these one at a time.

government-contracting-risk-factor-lack-of-support.jpg

Hello Peter, what's happening? Listen, are you gonna have those TPS reports for us this afternoon?

 

But first, how well-supported is your program by senior management?

Find out, fast - just take our quick assessment:

Take the Program Health & Risk Assessment

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Topics: project management best practices, project management risks, project management risk factors

Project Management Risk Factors: Big Challenges

Posted by Kabir Mehta on Apr 10, 2018 7:12:00 AM

Risk Factor #1 of 4: 3 Kinds of Challenges You Can't Overcome Alone

The first article in our series: Four Project Management Risk Factors that Contribute to Failure

In this article we're going to look at challenges that are difficult for Program Managers to overcome on their own, without the help of a strong and supportive senior management and strategic planning.

project-management-planning-project-management-risks-amundsen-scott.jpg

 Make contracting success easier:

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3 Kinds of Big Challenges

Program Managers face many challenges in their task to deliver successful programs to Government customers. There are however, three categories of challenges that are big enough that PM usually needs more support to overcome them. We have termed these three categories:

  • Technical Challenges
  • Silo Challenges
  • Policy Limitation Challenges
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Topics: project management best practices, project management risks, project management risk factors

Project Management Risk Factors: Lack of Alignment

Posted by Kabir Mehta on Apr 10, 2018 7:12:00 AM

Risk Factor #2 of 4: 3 Kinds of Challenges You Can't Overcome Alone

The second article in our series: Four Project Management Risk Factors that Contribute to Failure

We have spent a lot of time talking about how important it is to follow Best Project Management Practices when managing your Government contracts. Having a defined, proven process in place is the best way to consistently manage quality projects and delight your customers. However, this is not enough to ensure contracting success, and therefore this series exists to help you reflect on, then avoid or fix scenarios that can kill success. 

The term Lack of Alignment in the title is one way of describing a company that does not have a unified vision and guiding principles to fulfill that vision.

Does your company suffer from a Lack of Alignment? Get an answer just minutes after taking our assessment:

Take the Program Health & Risk Assessment

Though there are many ways a lack of alignment across your teams can prevent you from successfully delivering projects, delighting your customer, and reaching personal goals, this article will explore three of them.

lack-of-alignment-program-management-team.jpg

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Topics: project management best practices, project management risks, project management risk factors

Project Management Risk Factors: An Overview

Posted by Kabir Mehta on Apr 10, 2018 7:10:00 AM

A Guide to Non-technical Project Management Risks to Avoid or Fix

We've written a four-part series of articles on the Best Project Management Practices for delighting your Government customer. 

In that series, we promised you extremely satisfying results by following these four practices: 

  1. High CPARs scores 
  2. A Government contract safe from competition 
  3. Business growth through new task orders 
  4. Referrals and opportunities for new programs within your agency 
We've provided tools to make it easy for you to implement these practices, and shared case studies so you can learn and apply our hard-won experiences to increase your own contracting success. 

But even after this—even while following best practices toward project success—there are still variables that can hurt your project or personal success. These are situations you should not only pay attention to, but you should know how to mitigate these risks when possible. 

four-horsemen-project-management-risks.jpgYou can also call these risk factors the Four Horsemen of Project Management Doom 

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Topics: project management best practices, project management risks, project management risk factors

Transitioning to ISO 9001:2015- A Practitioner’s 10 Tips for Success (Part 2)

Posted by Adam Steel on Mar 29, 2018 2:44:33 PM

A Leader's Light-hearted Reflection on the ISO Transition Journey

Part Two: 10 Tips to a Successful Audit & Transition - How We Got There With Zero Infractions - Part of our Series on Project Management Best Practices

iso-9001-2015-audit-transition.jpgThe ISO 9001: 2015 transition process is causing angst among ISO Management Representatives (a term redlined in the 2015 requirements) and Process Managers/ Owners in the more than 1 million ISO 9001 certified organizations around the world. Some of those organizations may well be in “panic mode” to meet the re-certification deadline.

In response to this, and because I don’t like seeing people suffer, I’ve put together 10 tips based on my experience for those currently or planning on making the transition. (Read Part 1 of this article here).

 

Download 10 Tips For A Successful ISO 9001:2015 Transition

 

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Topics: project management best practices, iso 9001:2008, iso 9001:2015

Transitioning to ISO 9001:2015 - A Practitioner’s 10 Tips for Success (Part 1)

Posted by Adam Steel on Mar 29, 2018 2:42:16 PM

A Leader's Light-hearted Reflection on the ISO Transition Journey

Part One: The Story of Our Mad Scramble To Transition to ISO 9001:2015 in 67 Days - part of our series on Project Management Best Practices

Download 10 Tips For A Successful ISO 9001:2015 Transition

Corporate certifications are important notches in any corporate belt, right?

To answer my own question, of course they are.

They provide the proof that product and service suppliers need to convince customers/ clients they are mature in their processes and can consistently meet expectations. Showing that certification to potential or existing customers provides assurance to gain their confidence in product and service delivery, regardless of type, scope, or durational context.

As a new Executive in a Technology company, leading the transition from ISO 9001:2008 to the new 2015 requirement was one of my first challenges to face. Although I was well versed in ISO, CMMI, ITIL, PMO, and other acronyms (certifications...impressive, right?), I was less than a week into my new position when this seemingly monumental task was assigned.

iso-9001-2015-transition-help.jpgOur team on day 60 of the ISO 9001:2015 transition...

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Topics: project management best practices, iso 9001:2008, iso 9001:2015

Project Management Best Practices for Program Managers: Serve

Posted by Kabir Mehta on Dec 22, 2017 7:00:00 AM

Get to Know & Serve Your Program's End-User

Successful Government Contracting is About Building Bridges

It may seem contradictory, but there is one scenario where greater awareness of your program can put the whole thing at risk.

As every contractor knows, most Government agencies exist in silos. In fact, each department within an agency can be a silo, resulting in a lack of communication and trust even between departments that are within the same agency.

If your Government program gets discovered at the wrong time, you might find that someone with the power of the pen from a different silo has the ability to bring your entire program and contract into question.

In the last few years, this happened to us.

project-manager-best-practices-serve.jpgGreat analogy this, but just don't over-rely on jenga blocks to help you build relationships

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Topics: project management best practices

Project Management Best Practices for Program Managers: Report

Posted by Kabir Mehta on Dec 19, 2017 7:00:00 AM

Turn Your Interim Progress Report into a Golden Opportunity

The Third out of Four Best Practices: Because IPRs are a Wonderful Ally

In recent years we've heard the following phrase from Government Officers: "You know, there's no value in attending IPRs anymore."

More interesting is when they said it: after leaving in the middle of a company's IPR presentation (and not long after they had stayed for the entirety of our own).

Why would they say this to us, without fear of being offensive?

Because they didn't see our presentation a your business-as-usual IPR.

In fact, they didn’t see our presentation as an IPR at all, even though that’s exactly what it was. How did we accomplish this, and how can you do the same?

Turn Your IPRs into Reputation-Builders

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When was the last time the audience attending your IPR was this happy?

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Topics: project management best practices

Project Management Best Practices for Program Managers: Remind

Posted by Kabir Mehta on Sep 7, 2017 12:35:25 PM

A Systematic Process for creating Heroic Weekly Status Updates

The Second of Four Best Project Management Practices

project-manager-best-practices-remind.jpg

This article is all about heroes: remind your customer you are their personal hero by making them look like one.

Every government contract comes with a requirement to keep your customer informed about the project's status. Having this requirement is the prudent thing to do. But no quality contractor should have to be told to keep their customer in the loop.*

The trouble is, status updates are something easy to avoid. If there are problems in the project, if your program is going over budget or missing deadlines, when you give your customer a status update, you'll have to the own up to the truth. You won't be able to hide behind your credentials or past successes any more.

Allow us to therefore to revolutionize your understanding of Status Updates (as in, turn your feelings on them 180º).

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Topics: project management best practices

Want to Win More Bids & Task Orders?

Learn the step-by-step system we use to make Government Contracting successful:
  • Successfully transition to ISO 9001:2015
  • Make your Program immune to competition
  • Improve CPARS scores
  • Get new Task Orders
  • Get new Bid Opportunities
Through a series of emails and blog posts, we'll guide you through project management best practices as they apply to Government Contracting, and help you succeed.

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