Project Management for Government Contractors

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

Posted by Adam Steel on Aug 22, 2018 12:40:50 AM

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.

Our team on day 60 of the ISO 9001:2015 transition...

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

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

Posted by Adam Steel on Aug 22, 2018 12:39:27 AM

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

The 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

Get Projects Done Using Best Practice #1: Communicate

Posted by Kabir Mehta on Aug 22, 2018 12:33:20 AM

A Systematic Process for Fast, Enjoyable, & Results-Driven Meetings

(The First of Four Best Project Management Practices)

Meetings can be the bane of your project.

Without meetings, your project will suffer a dire lack of communication. As a program manager you will never know which tasks are languishing because your teammates are stuck (both the teammates in your company and at your Government customer).

With meetings, you can waste a lot of time, kill momentum, and discourage your teammates who will wish they could be getting something "real" done.

You need a systematic way to transform your meetings into fast, enjoyable, and results-driven processes.

We guarantee your team will be as happy about meetings as these guys.

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Topics: project management best practices

Get Happier Customers Using Best Practice #2: Remind

Posted by Kabir Mehta on Aug 22, 2018 12:31:10 AM

A Systematic Process for creating Heroic Weekly Status Updates

(The Second of Four Best Project Management Practices)

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

Get a Valuable Reputation Using Best Practice #3: Report

Posted by Kabir Mehta on Aug 22, 2018 12:29:39 AM

A Process to Turn Your Interim Progress Report into a Golden Opportunity

(The Third out of Four Best Practices)

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


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

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Topics: project management best practices

Protect Your Program Using Best Practice #4: Serve

Posted by Kabir Mehta on Aug 22, 2018 12:28:21 AM

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

(The Fourth of Four Project Management Best Practices)

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.

Great 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 Risk Factor #3: Competing Priorities

Posted by Kabir Mehta on Aug 22, 2018 12:26:39 AM

3 Ways a Lack of Support From Senior Management Can Hurt Your Government Contracting Success

The third article in our series: 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. 

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 risk factors, project management risks, project management best practices

Project Management Best Practices: An Overview

Posted by Kabir Mehta on Aug 22, 2018 12:24:58 AM

How to Become the Incumbent Contractor, Gain Task Orders & Bid Opportunities

A System of Four Project Management Best Practices

The most important principle to become the incumbent contractor, protect your Government Program, and gain new tasks orders & bid opportunities is to delight your customer.

This is exactly what it looks like when your customer is delighted.

But how can you do this, besides the obvious answer of delivering your Government Program as contracted, on time, and within budget?

What if you had a systematic & proven process to delight a Government Customer?

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Topics: project management best practices

Project Management Risk Factor #2: Lack of Alignment

Posted by Kabir Mehta on Aug 22, 2018 12:23:21 AM

3 Kinds of Challenges You Can't Overcome Alone

The second article in our series: 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.

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

Project Management Risk Factor #1: Big Challenges

Posted by Kabir Mehta on Aug 22, 2018 12:21:20 AM

3 Kinds of Challenges You Can't Overcome Alone

The first article in our series: 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.

 Make contracting success easier - get the Ultimate Toolkit for Program Managers:

Get the Toolkit

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 risk factors, project management risks, project management best practices