In April, I had the chance to be invited as one of the presenters of the virtual event called Project Manager Success Summit. I had selected a topic that I feel strongly about; Continuous improvement of tools, processes, our team, ourselves.
For those who missed the event, I’ll be sharing articles around the subject in the next weeks.
So what is it?
Continuous improvement is an ongoing effort to improve products, services, or processes, without an end.
For me, it’s more than that, it’s a state of mind, a “will” to always challenge how things are currently done, how a team currently works, how we currently are, in order to always bring in more the next day.
It’s embracing changes, and also thriving to be out of our comfort zone.
Where can we apply “Continuous improvement” inside an agency or a team?
Continuous improvement can be applied everywhere around us, here are a few examples:
- Assessing/fine-tuning our processes to make them more efficient;
- It can also be about creating templates, improving those templates;
- Install or change tools that are in place for ones that will make everyone’s life easier.
- It’s about the people too: it’s about assessing the efficiency of a department, a team, or individuals; finding what could be improved to make each of them better for tomorrow.
Depending of the agency and its size, it can be challenging to bring changes, it’s more than having a “Lessons learned” meeting after a project, it’s about looking at everything that’s around us, everything that’s being used, everything that’s being done, and asking ourselves “how can it be better?”.
How can it affect project management?
Project managers are involved in all aspects of a project in order to bring it from its planning state to its closing state. This means that wherever there is improvement, their projects will be more efficient going forward.
In other words, continuous improvement affects project management everywhere.
It can be directly, for example:
- Improved tools and templates that project managers use on a daily basis means higher efficiency from them, increasing the probabilities of bringing projects on schedule and on budget.
- Tools, used correctly, can improve overall communication, and as we know, project managers communicate about 90% of the time; this means that any improvement to what tools are used and how we use them as a team can have a major impact on project managers’ daily lives.
In can be indirectly, for example:
- If a department has improved the technology they used to create their part of the project, it will bring more success to the project, and potentially raise chances to be on budget.
- If overall communication between different departments improves by adjusting a few processes, it simplifies a project manager’s daily life where facilitating communication is something that be a challenge sometimes.
Stay tuned for part 2!