Pave the way for automation in project management – Part 2

The role of process excellence and how it can drive the success of your organization’s project management initiatives was a major discussion point in part one of this blogging series.

Here are the two remaining ways process excellence can support project management throughout the stages of a project, along with the automation outcomes your organization can enjoy, empowering teams to work more quickly, efficiently, and meaningfully.

3. Handle change easily

The monitoring and control phase of a project is an ongoing activity that runs simultaneously with the execution phase. It focuses on the performance of the project against the established goals, and the course corrections that might be needed as a result.

Budgets, KPIs and SLAs all contribute to this picture, and managers need a clear picture of them, as well as monitoring task timeframes and the quality of deliverables. The sum of these creates a picture of project health and performance.

As a result of this monitoring, project managers may need to make changes to the project plan, adapting to new developments or changing conditions within and outside of the project.

The benefit of a cloud-based process management suite is that those changes can be made and shared almost instantly. By updating online process content, users can see the revisions in real-time, proceeding with confidence that they have the latest information available.

That includes supporting documentation, which can be updated while attached to the relevant processes, providing full support for ongoing process improvements. Execs can trust that while the project may need adjustments, those are being clearly communicated and implemented, creating a smooth transition to the new plan.

Not all course corrections need to come from the project manager. By providing teams with an engaging and effective feedback platform, staff can offer improvement suggestions, reviewing their own processes and providing potential evolutions of the procedure.

With real-time monitoring of process suggestions and changes, managers can keep a finger on the pulse of the best approach to their processes, and be sure that everyone in the organization is able to actively participate in making them better.

Automation outcomes: Reporting provides much of the momentum for the monitoring and controlling phase. Automated reports can reduce the lag in information being available, allowing project managers to respond quickly and with agility as conditions change. Benchmarking is also improved by tracking the performance of project goals and resources automatically, so project managers can concentrate on oversight instead of data entry. Continuous process improvement also ensures the project is optimized for efficiency and effectiveness, and new technologies or opportunities to apply existing tools can be quickly identified and actioned.

4. Maintaining momentum after closure

Every project ends with a retrospective assessment. Did the project achieve its goals? Were the deliverables up to the standard expected? What lessons were learned, and can the project be considered complete?

While this is an important part of the project lifecycle, project management is also about enduring value. The wins achieved in a project are not just for that limited exercise – they should lead the organization to better outcomes across the board, delivering greater value long after the project has been signed off and filed away.

The analytics that come through project closure are important indicators of success for the stakeholders and management alike. In closing a project, the project manager needs to communicate the final status, considering success in the light of the scope and goals, weighing the effectiveness of the team performance and resource use, and allocating what resources remain. There’s a significant amount of data that needs to be shared with a variety of parties to tie up a project.

It shouldn’t end there. The learning that has come about through the project should have a profound impact on the organization’s culture and processes. Instead of slowly reverting to old habits, teams should embrace the continuous improvement that the project inspired and continue to evolve their processes for greater value.

Well-managed processes don’t just serve projects – they empower organizations, and operating in an environment where processes are easy to find, use, and improve, benefits everyone.

Automation outcomes: Data drives improvement, and the closure of a project provides a plethora of valuable insights into the effectiveness of processes. Operational metrics give a great overview of things like productivity, budget, and efficiency. Use that data to identify bottlenecks, breakdowns, and process delays that automation could eliminate or smooth out. Consider where workflows and automation have made a difference, and if there are other opportunities across the organization to multiply their effect.

Manage projects with well-managed processes

Project managers have a lot to deal with, but that maelstrom of information and decision-making can be tamed through excellent process management. While there will always be an administrative burden, it can be significantly reduced by capturing and managing processes well.

A great process management platform, well maintained, will provide teams with a central source of truth, giving everyone confidence in the way forward, while supporting the project with up-to-date data and reporting. From that foundation, automation can optimize the procedures and practices, ensuring faster, smoother, and more accurate process execution across the board.

That means less repetitive work, less menial data handling, and less of the errors that come with both of these. Time is saved, resources are better used, and projects prosper.

Of course, projects exist to improve the organization as a whole, and so good process management and automation serves to increase the success of the enterprise across the board. By engaging teams in improving the way they work, and then applying those successes beyond the project’s limited scope, everyone benefits, and the project managers’ talents can be appreciated by all.

 

 

If you’d like to learn more about how Nintex Promapp® can help your organization create processes that optimize your project management initiatives for automation, schedule a personalized demo of the Nintex Process Platform today.

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