Throughput Focus

Interim Project Management Expert

How do I work?

Assumptions

The assumptions I work to are:

People relationships matter

Building and managing the relationships between all projects participants is key to the success of the project.

Change is inevitable

Acknowledge the uncertainty in what you know and plan to manage the inevitable changes that are required as you learn more.

Project Management should be open and participative

The planning and management of your projects must involve all key participants in an open and participative manner.

It is not about the project, it is about the benefits

Always consider the context for the project. Why is this project being done and are the benefits that the project intends to realise actually going to be delivered?

Approaches

I draw from a number of areas for my work:

Theory of Constraints

The Theory of constraints (TOC) is a body of knowledge which helps in understanding the way a system functions and identifies those elements which constrain the system from achieving its goals.

There are no systems in this world with unconstrained ability to achieve continuous growth. In the context of business systems where finite goals are sought to be achieved by an organisation, TOC helps us understand what constrains the business from achieving its goals. This helps optimise resource deployment to the right areas so that the goals are achieved with minimum inputs.

Thinking Processes

One of the major strengths of the body of knowledge that makes up the Theory of Constraints is a set of tools and techniques for a logic-based analysis known collectively as the TOC Thinking Processes. While they can be used in a stand-alone manner for a variety of situations, they come together to provide an integrated problem-solving methodology -- one that answers the questions regarding what to change (Consensus and Focus), to what to change to (Construction of a Complete Solution), and how to cause the change to happen (Communication and Collaboration).

Critical Chain Project Management

Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM) is a TOC method of planning and managing projects that puts more emphasis on the resources required to execute project tasks. This is in contrast to the more traditional Critical Path and PERT methods, which emphasize task order and rigid scheduling. A Critical Chain project network will tend to keep the resources evenly loaded, but will require them to be flexible in their start times and to quickly switch between tasks and task chains to keep the whole project on schedule.

Agile project management

This is a set of simple practices, which can easily be understood by most teams and enable them to concentrate on the most important aspect of the project. It is uncomplicated, and has the ingredients for success in today's business environment - speed, smartness, and simplicity - all of which are essential for contributing towards success.

  • It makes it easy for the team to deliver results at regular intervals
  • It provides support to the team for easy-learning and adaptation
  • It allows flexibility

Agile places a lot of emphasis on teamwork. Customers & developers are on the same team. So, customers are always available to the developers for feature prioritization or product feedback. Developers collaborate with each other. Due to the team structure & environment, the problems are resolved faster. TEAM stands for Together Everyone Achieves More!

There are many flavours of agile. I draw on XP, DSDM, Kanban, OUP and SCRUM.

Prince 2 Project management

PRINCE (PRojects IN Controlled Environments) was developed as a UK Government standard for IT project management.

Prince2 is structured approach to project management. It provides a method for managing projects within a clearly defined framework. Prince2 describes procedures to coordinate people and activities in a project, how to design and supervise the project, and what to do if the project has to be adjusted if it doesn’t develop as planned. In the method each process is specified with its key inputs and outputs and with specific goals and activities to be carried out, which gives an automatic control of any deviations from the plan. Divided into manageable stages, the method enables an efficient control of resources. On the basis of close monitoring the project can be carried out in a controlled and organized way. Being a structured methodology widely recognized and understood, Prince2 provides a common language for all participants in the project. The various roles and responsibilities involved in a project are fully described and are adaptable to suit the complexity of the project and skills of the organization.

PRINCE2 has become increasingly popular and is now the de facto standard for project management in the UK. Its use has spread beyond the UK to more than 50 other countries.