The fact that a good process management platform can play a key role in a company’s day-to-day operations is nothing new. From providing a central source of truth for operations to an audit record of what is done, by whom and when, it is essential to run an organization effectively.
However, good process management has more to offer than simply replacing dusty procedure manuals.
Well-managed processes are important to ensure projects arrive on time, on budget and on target. This applies to everything from short-term product development and research projects to full enterprise resource planning implementations.
When processes are done well, they provide more than just a “how to” for frontline staff. Here are three ways process management excellence contributes to the entire project lifecycle.
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Set the tone
When processes come to the fore at the start of a project, they provide structure and form for what is to come. More than that, a process management lens provides perspective on how the project may grow and evolve. Ensuring process management from the start of a project sets the tone for change.
By establishing the processes that matter, then opening avenues for feedback, improvement, and revision, the entire project is geared toward continuous improvement.
In project management parlance, this is the change request. It is the recognition that everything you were doing was not working and needs to be improved. It could be the configuration of one of the systems, or the fact that the project team understood some of the procedures differently, but there is room for a better way of working.
By establishing this attitude early on, projects establish a trajectory of excellence and signal that continuous improvement is important.
Clarity and Checkpoints
The desire to do better only counts if it is actionable. This is where excellent process management really shines. As projects progress and develop, the processes that govern the requirements of each stage clarify purpose and results. These are the checkpoints and benchmarks that guide the project through every step.
This creates a series of overlapping checks and balances. Clear and effective processes provide an audit trail of actions and embed compliance requirements into ongoing operations.
Stakeholders are kept up to date on practices and procedures and handover points provide insight into timelines and efficiency of execution. Combined with the continuous improvement mindset, this creates an ever-increasing flow of excellence at every stage of the project.
Training for the future
The value of effective process management does not end with delivery. Processes provide the roadmap of where you are going and, when kept up to date and correct, provide a picture of how you got there in the end. These recordings are invaluable when you want others to follow your path.
Great processes also create great training content, giving a clear picture of the steps, procedures, and documentation that went into achieving a project goal. When a project comes to an end, they can be used as the basis for comprehensive training materials, supporting both internal learning and the preparation of future projects.
Additionally, the processes can help accelerate the onboarding of new teams and shape the professional development of those who wish to grow in their involvement.
Good process management is essential to effective project management and applies to every stage of the project life cycle. Whether setting the tone for continuous improvement or setting future projects up for success, business processes provide a solid framework to support excellence in project management.
How to take advantage of project management processes? Let us know in the comments below.