Are you encountering these challenges?
Continuous Business Priority Changes and Technology Disruptions
This includes the impact of digitalization and frequent adjustments to business strategies, priorities, budgets, market conditions, and the competitive landscape. As changes in these areas keep accelerating, the ability for project priorities to stay in sync decays. Changing priorities is cited year after year as the number one cause of project failure according to a study by the Project Management Institute.
Operating in Data Silos
The proliferation of data silos at the desktop and local share drive level has impeded project cycle times by slowing workflows that depend on project data visibility and real-time access. Only through data centralization (e.g. a cloud repository) can project execution speed be maximized since it is a prerequisite for integrating and automating workflows across functional silos, as well as achieving maximum data visibility and access.
Inability to Efficiently Utilize Resources
Resource management is a challenge for most organizations and no organization will claim they have perfected this process. The mix of projects and the mix of resources should be manipulated to best use the firm’s resources on work that is well matched to the available skills and the strategic objectives.
Inability to Plan and View Dependencies
The main challenge for Project Managers is to get the information when and where they need it in order to anticipate and consider any impacts on their projects due to external events. On the other hand, without reporting analytics on dependencies and project health score, executives and PMOs are not able react swiftly and expedite decision-making.
Project cycle time improvement framework
It is important not to underestimate the importance of project selection in determining project cycle time outcomes. In addition to business value, project execution risk (i.e. the risks and consequences of completing projects late and over-budget) should be a major consideration in determining which projects to pursue and a formalized part of the demand management process and project prioritization model.
This is the most important focus area to drive your project cycle time improvement initiative because this is where there is the greatest room for improvement. If you don’t have the right resources with the right skills available for your highest value projects and they are not working at the maximum utilization rate achievable, the other project cycle time levers (such as Workflow Optimization discussed next) will not be impactful.
Project management tools automate the structured core project management processes to ensure they are executed in an efficient and repeatable way. This includes standardizing and streamlining proposals, approvals, and project workflows, as well as the ability to quickly generate and share executive level dashboards and reports, and set and receive automated alerts and notifications.