GDPM Quality Check

We have collected some quality aspects when dealing with project management in general and GDPM in particular. Go through and check how appropriate your project is set-up and/or managed.

How well is my project set-up?

Ask the following ten questions at the beginning of a project:

❏ Are the interests of the project sponsor communicated or, is it clear what happens if the project fails?
❏ Are the identified stakeholders committed? Does a signed project mandate exist?
❏ Are the criteria for success defined and communicated?
❏ Is there a plan showing the expected deliverables in an understandable form?
❏ Is there a capable project manager in charge or is a coach appointed who can support the chosen project manager?
❏ Is the mood constructive and do people believe in the project and the project team?
❏ Is the organization used to carry out projects of the planned size and complexity - are there successfully completed examples in the company's history?
❏ Is adequate external support for the project considered?
❏ Is the organization willing to invest in a proper project-setup which cares about clarification of objectives, responsibilities and team motivation?
❏ Is the project team seen as capable enough to carry out the project?

Depending on the number of YES - do the following:

❏ 7 - 10 YES: Go (of course try to fix the NO's before you start)
❏ 4 - 6 YES: Review the NOs carefully and reconsider the situation
❏ 1 - 3 YES: No-Go, except you either need the money or the pain

How good are my milestones?

A good milestone has the following attributes:

❏ It represents an important decision
❏ The achievement is easily controllable
❏ The achievement is time bound
❏ The representation is easily understandable for everybody in the project

How good is my milestone plan?

A good milestone plan has the following attributes:

❏ Between 12 to maximum 20 milestones independent of the size of the project
❏ The milestones are equally spread over the time axes, so the time between the deadlines of each milestone is in the same dimension
❏ The plan is "obvious", easy to read and has result paths which reflect the nature of the project

Do I have a meaningful Project Reporting?

Project reporting is not just measuring the degree of completion of activities. It should also deal with the project environment and the benefits coming out of the project.
A comprehensive and pragmatic approach we normally use is the reporting concept of "The Seven Keys to Success". Seven Keys to Success was developed after analyzing thousands of projects that differed widely in size, type and geography. The 7 keys (dimensions) which have found as crucial for project success are:

❏ Work and schedule are predictable
❏ Team is high performing
❏ Scope is realistic and managed
❏ Risks are mitigated
❏ Stakeholders are committed
❏ Business benefits are realized
❏ Delivery organization benefits are realized

Source: ibm.com (March 2004)

Do I have the right Project Manager?

The individual with his behavior, his history and his attitude towards projects and project management is important to measure. How is a project manager dealing with project management as such and with critical situations in particular. We encourage that the following topics are being discussed with the nominated project manager:

❏ The project manager, how much self-confidence does he bring in?
❏ How is his self esteem?
❏ How does he behave under pressure?
❏ How does he deal with information overload?
❏ How can he keep people motivated, even during hard times?
❏ How does he resolve problems?
❏ Has he ever looked at his "personal crisis history" and what patterns have been found?

To come to a "health status", the above questions should be discussed between the project manager and a management representative or a coach who is interested in having knowledge of the capabilities and limitations of the project manager. It does not mean that just a superman is able to successfully lead a project, but it should be helpful to know who is leading the project, in what areas support should eventually be considered, and how the project manager develops over time.

Is our organization "project friendly"?

We see four areas which are essential for successful project delivery:

❏ Strategy - is the strategy broken down to an extend that concrete initiatives and projects can easily be identified?
❏ Culture - does the company's culture support project managers and the successful delivery of projects?
❏ Structure - are functions and disciplines installed to effectively support project delivery in the enterprise?
❏ Line Management - Is the line management aware of the importance and the difficulty to deliver projects in the organization?