prodictivity, pm. project management, workplace

PUSH: Productivity at Work: Part 3 – Projects

Scroll down to read more!

PUSH: Productivity at Work: Part 3 – Projects

Scroll down to read more!
prodictivity, pm. project management, workplace

Table of Contents

This is part three of a series on PUSHing through obstacles at work. Be sure to check out part 1 and part 2.

In the first two of our series on PUSHing through obstacles at work, we’ve covered how to use the PUSH technique to clear obstacles related to your co-workers and how to PUSH through obstacles that come from within. But sometimes, your co-workers are responsive, you’re doing great, and the project is still bogged down.

PUSHing through Obstacles to Project Success

Projects usually go wrong because they weren’t planned well, or because conditions changed more than anticipated (this is often due to poor planning as well.) But even the best planned projects with the smartest people get bogged down. Here are a few hints for PUSHing through project-related obstacles.

1.)    Understand the triple constraint
Every project, no matter how small or large, is limited by three interrelated factors: cost, schedule, and scope.  For example, if you schedule a very large project to be complete in a month, the project tis going to be very expensive. You’re going to pay contractors, lots of overtime, or you’re going to burn out your salaried workers. If the project gets bigger (in other words, if the “scope” gets bigger), it’s going to take longer or cost more.

I write this so you’ll understand that PUSHing on any one of the factors will squeeze the other two factors, making for higher budgets, longer schedules, or reduced scope.  With all that in mind, as much as you can control:

2.)    Understand ,explain, and PUSH back on “scope creep.”
“Scope Creep” happens when workers add to the project goals at some point in the project.  Of course this happens a lot when bosses or interested parties add additional desired outcomes. “We want to process 100,000 records instead of 50,000,” or “We want to add four new screens to this application.” But sometimes even small changes can cause the project scope to expand dramatically.

When someone asks you to do more than initially planned on a project, PUSH back by explaining the implications of the change. Provide firm estimates of the additional cost or additional time it will take to complete the project with new requirements. Many folks still don’t understand the triple constraint, so you can help them by explaining that their actions will materially affect the project.

3.)    Understand the project and others’ roles in it, then take responsibility.
In Linchpin, Seth Godin equates our work to art, “Your art is what you do when no one can tell you exactly how to do it. Your art is the act of taking personal responsibility, challenging the status quo, and changing people.”
PUSHing in a project is about taking ownership and thinking critically. Don’t be an interchangeable part. Don’t sit back in a project and do only what you’re assigned. Take responsibility and pride in the project. Make sure that you understand the goals of the project, how it fits into your organization’s strategy, and who is doing the tasks. You may provide an insight that saves a lot of time and money. You might have unique expertise, or you might find a way to work tasks in parallel, which can speed up the schedule.

4.)    Ask “What’s stuck?” and  “What’s Next?”
If your organization doesn’t have dedicated project managers who are paid to keep projects moving, projects can get stuck. If your project isn’t moving, and you find yourself in meetings pinned under a project where nothing is moving but the wheels are spinning, ask two important questions: First: “What’s stuck?”  You don’ t have to be unkind, but you should say, “This project was scheduled to be finished 2 months ago. What’s stuck? How can I help?”   Once you’ve got that answer, ask “OK, What’s next?”  Make a list of tasks and due dates. Write down a list of these tasks and send them out to the group after the meeting.  Then ask about these things in the next meeting.

Pushing Workplace Project Management

There’s a lot more to managing projects than the four hints above, but for most projects, it’s not terribly complicated. If you find yourself unofficially managing projects, or if projects at your company get stuck a lot, you might benefit from some project management training even at your workplace. As a start, check out Curtis Cook’s excellent Just Enough Project Management.

What tips do you have for PUSHing through problematic projects?

Keep the Push Productivity conversation going.  Check out Part 4 of Dan’s series.  

Did you like this post? Share it!

Comments are closed.

A Word From Our Sponsors

Ads help make Workology resources free for everyone. We respect your privacy. To see our Privacy Policy click here.

Recommended Posts

Places to visit while in Chicago for the #SHRM13

Top 10 Must Sees in Chicago During #SHRM24

Must Sees in Chicago at the 2024 SHRM Annual Conference We’ve taken the stress out of planning and done all the work for you....

5 Foods You Have to Eat During #SHRM24 in Chicago

5 Foods You Have to Eat During #SHRM24 in Chicago Check out our free Yoga for HR class and take a break from #shrm24...

Going Paperless: Transitioning to a PDF-Based Workflow for Enhanced Efficiency

Going Paperless: Transitioning to a PDF-Based Workflow for Enhanced Efficiency Every day, we juggle deadlines, manage information overload, and constantly seek ways to streamline...

HR Certification Podcast Episode 13: HR Metrics & Formula Review for HRCI & SHRM

In this episode of the HR Certification Podcast, we are reviewing the HR-to-staff ratio as well as the cost of vacancy (COV)....

HR Certification Podcast Episode 14: Leadership Review for HRCI & SHRM Exams

In this episode of the HR Certification Podcast, we are reviewing the balanced scorecard as well as types of scorecards within HR....

How HR Can Maintain Discipline and Ethics in the Workplace

Everyone deserves to feel safe at work, and companies are obliged to protect their workers and maintain discipline in the office. This includes putting...

Successful SHRM recertification

Your Path to Successful SHRM Recertification

Navigate your SHRM recertification journey with our guide. Uncover the process, benefits, and tips for successful career advancement in HR....
HR wellness retreat recruiting burnout stress reduction

How My Own Wellness Journey Led to Hosting an HR Wellness Retreat

Join us for Hretreat 2024, a wellness retreat for HR and TA professionals from October 10-13 in the beautiful hills of Austin, TX....

Checkout Our Products

Ads help make Workology resources free for everyone. We respect your privacy. To see our Privacy Policy click here.

More From Workology

Going Paperless: Transitioning to a PDF-Based Workflow for Enhanced Efficiency

Click on read more to open this post on our blog.

How to Migrate a Brick-and-Mortar Business Into the Digital Domain

Click on read more to open this post on our blog.
HR wellness retreat recruiting burnout stress reduction

How My Own Wellness Journey Led to Hosting an HR Wellness Retreat

Join us for Hretreat 2024, a wellness retreat for HR and TA professionals from October 10-13 in the beautiful hills of Austin, TX.
Successful SHRM recertification

Your Path to Successful SHRM Recertification

Navigate your SHRM recertification journey with our guide. Uncover the process, benefits, and tips for successful career advancement in HR.