What is it?
Projects are a means of getting work done. When there are multiple interacting tasks, costs to control and tight schedules to keep, project management has rightly earned its place as the correct approach for delivering the objectives of the work, on-time and on-budget.
However the art and discipline of highly effective project management is a specialist area. We’ve seen project managers who have considered themselves experts as soon as they were able to create a Gantt chart. Our view is that truly effective project management is much more than this.
In Project Facilitation we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the project manager to direct their team through the whole process of initiating, defining, planning and implementing their project. We will ensure that the project scope is clearly defined and agreed, the work breakdown is well considered, costs are kept to a minimum and schedules are expertly managed. We will instil confidence and skills into the project manager and their team that will remain with them throughout the project, and also long into the next one.
How does Project Facilitation with Pico help?
We frequently see relatively inexperienced project managers being handed major projects in organisations. Often the individual is a highly experienced employee or technical expert, but they haven’t had training or developed any experience in the discipline of managing large projects. The leaders in the organisation will often assign them the job blissfully unaware that they are not only setting up the project for failure, but they are setting up an otherwise high performing employee for failure too.
As Project Facilitators we are very conscious of the need to not undermine the authority of the project manager, in fact, we will constantly reinforce their role throughout the engagement. We will be open and honest with the team about our role in facilitating and coaching the project management process, and the project managers’ role in leading the team.
The process we will facilitate the team through is both lean and powerful. It has been tested across multiple industries and project types for its ability to deliver projects effectively. By using a defined process and templates for managing the project, the project team will have a clear structure and common language for communication throughout. This can deliver remarkable results.
As we facilitate we will also be transferring skills, so that your project manager and team can learn the process for themselves. This means that when the next major project arrives, they will feel capable and confident to deliver it.
How do we do it?
The duration of the engagement will vary depending on the size and complexity of the project, and the degree of facilitation support required.
Typically we will facilitate the initiation, definition, planning and early implementation steps of the project intensively. Once in implementation, we will provide periodic support to the project manager to coach and guide them through the process of driving team accountability, and addressing issues that might threaten the projects success.
Around 5-10 days of facilitation is typical for a mid to large project to get it into the early stages of implementation, though this can be a lot higher for very large projects. Once in implementation we recommend monthly or quarterly coaching sessions (depending on the project duration) to keep it on track and ensure successful delivery.
Want to speak to us about Project Facilitation? Why not contact us to find out more.
Also please take a look at our article: why are projects important?
What should we do next?
Having used us for Project Facilitation you will have seen the true power of good thinking combined with good doing on projects. Following this, you may want to train other project managers in our Project Management Process or talk to us about Developing Organisational Project Management Capability.