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Project Management - What are you waiting for?

This is the third of a 3-part series on Project Management:


I've had fun pontificating about my favorite topic, Project Management. In previous blogs, I outlined how project management can change the world and talked about the squishy stuff a la morality lessons learned from my Octogenarian Mother.

In this third, it’s time to speak to CHANGE MANGEMENT - possibly two of the most hated words in the English language (so I hope you're excited about that.)

In the first blog, I identified why Project Management can be an effective tool for your team (or it could be a dismal failure) The trick? It has to be embedded in your culture and process.

  • What resonated with you as you read that post?
  • Where did you see yourself and your agency?
  • Have you had that "ahha" moment when Project Management seems like "the solution"?
  • What problems could Project Management solve for your studio?


That place between where your group is now and where you want to be is the bridge you need to cross. That is the CHANGE you need to manage.

In the follow-up blog, I identified common sense approaches identifying some key tactics to your long-term plan:

  • Identify the roadblocks (e.g., Time!)
  • Develop our mission statement (e.g., No Missed Deadlines!)
  • Find the right team
  • Commit to the process and Project Management for the long haul
  • Have a vision

  • You now have the key tools to *manage* your change process. But how do you make the leap? How do you take theoretical knowledge and transfer it to your adoring staff? How do you make them do your bidding?

    You don't.

    What?

    And here's where CHANGE MANGEMENT really comes home to roost. Change Management starts with you, the Manager. Think about the type of manager you are and want to be. I hate to tell you this, but hopefully it’s not a surprise: nobody wants to be micro-managed. Your employees want to be inspired. They want their work lives to make sense, be rewarding and have meaning. And that's why you can't impose a project management system upon them… you need to make them think it is their idea.

    Remember in the first post where we talked about your nascent PM team locking themselves in a room and going to flow chart nirvana then opening the doors and putting everyone through process hell? What would have happened if the entire team locked themselves in that room and came up with the plan together?

    • What if everyone had a stake in how the process would make their collective lives better and more productive?
    • What if their compensation or other reward systems were tied to the collective success of the process versus individual success?
    • What if the measurement of a job well done included metrics to indicate if the process (*their* process) served a project or didn't serve a project and there was room allowed for tweaking and fine-tuning?

    That might all seem like a little much to handle. You do have a full-time job running the department, and an effective change management process takes effort. It is well worth it in the long run as your studio will be running smoother, you'll be collecting the revenue your department deserves and your clients will be happier. I know you can do it; starting is the hardest part.

    If you’re considering implementing a formalized project management approach with your team, we can help assess your current state of project management, identify appropriate next steps and help you implement the positive change you desire.


Jackie Schaffer

In her role as Cella VP & General Manager, Jackie Schaffer has consulted for Fortune 500 clients with more than 400 in-house team members and for teams at mid-sized businesses, government entities and educational institutions with teams as small as four designers. Her management competencies lie in operations assessments, financial management and talent management. Prior to joining Cella, she led an international "mega-sized" creative team through an evolution of production studio to strategic partner.

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