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Aug082013

Are Processes and Procedures Empowering or Burdensome?

Human beings are creatures of habit! We all do things the way we are accustomed to doing and we don’t really want to change anything. Even in simple day-to-day activities we tend to be rather set in our ways. For example, if we are used to placing our pen stand on the right side of the laptop on the desk, if someone has moved it, then we need to quickly put it back where it was. For God’s sake! Does it really matter where the pen stand is?  Is it really of any importance?   But that’s the way we are!

We are human, after all!

As individuals, our individuality is our differentiator and we like to be different.  None of us really want to be part of a crowd.

In the business world, unfortunately, this individuality can actually deter efficient business management as a business requires not one or two but several individuals to work together to achieve a common business goal.  Business models hinge on projects where a group of people with distinct activities work together to attain a specific goal!

Organizations today are, thus, characterized as dispersed, technology driven and but more importantly they are human focused and skill based.

Individuals make up projects

These human beings do not undertake pigeon holed tasks. On the other hand, they are a group of experts, working together on holistic projects.  Since projects are people driven, where skills, knowledge and potentiality are shared and drawn together, projects require management to organize and trouble shoot and bring about optimum efficiency.

In this empowered scenario, employees are reaching beyond their skills to achieve higher levels of efficiency. They are more creative and work to create an impact.  To provide for a flexible and at the same time structured work environment, there is the need for project management or processes and procedures to be introduced at the beginning of the project.  Project management ensures adaptability by providing employees flexibility but also remaining structured and organized because of its underlying standard processes and procedures.

Process and procedures are a necessity and not a luxury

More often than not, because of lack of procedures and processes, projects suffer delayed delivery dates, escalating costs, issues with time management and overall management of the project itself.  Projects which do not have set processes and procedures not only create internal difficulties but can even impact customer relationships, like not adhering to milestones, reporting, communication and even regulatory issues. In such cases,  project managers struggle not just with cost management and delivery deadlines, but more often they, as well as their teams, get caught up with umpteen requirements which are contractual or administrative in nature.  Thus, it is only when a problem occurs is a solution sought and a cyclical effect is set off where , process follows problem and so on and so forth!

Also, it is important to remember that the basis of good project management is balancing cost, time and quality.  A project needs to be under budget, delivered on time and maintain high levels of quality.   But in spite of the best laid plans, most projects face mistakes, back tracking, confusion and delays.  Viewed from this angle, processes and procedures are not burdensome but actually empowering as it gives employees the flexibility to perform their jobs creatively, secure in the knowledge that their time and effort won’t be wasted in correcting mistakes, retracing steps or time consuming extraneous activities.

Where do we begin?

It is essential, therefore, to start with understanding customer requirements and what the project should achieve. Thus, it is important to start off with a clear understanding of the business goals, then add processes and procedures at the beginning itself, to ensure that the project does not derail, go overboard cost wise or encounter unnecessary delays.

LoadSpring – your project management partner

For LoadSpring, project management solutions are its very life.  It does not just provide applications, but a total end-to-end package of expert implementation, hosting, security and support. LoadSpring’s easy-to-use access portal gives project managers complete control and assures faster adoption of technology.  Not related to assessing the goals so your process and procedures are adopted and doing what you want them to do.

LoadSpring’s expertise translates into the word ‘efficiency’ for projects worldwide.  Thus, when efficiency increases, empowerment happens.  Efficient organizations are not fire-fighting and their top management with more time on their hands are empowered to focus on what they should be doing, i.e. reviewing their business vision and growth strategies.

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