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Getting the Work Done with Project Management

A Client Story

Project ManagementFor the last three years, one of Abudi Consulting Group’s clients, a global pharmaceutical organization, has been working with us to provide training for their employees at all levels in how to use project management best practices to accomplish work. This workshop, entitled, Taking a Project Management Approach to Getting the Work Done, has provided employees with a number of best practices, tools, templates and techniques that enables them to better manage their workload overall.

How It All Got Started

Abudi Consulting Group (ACG) had been working with the global pharmaceutical organization for a few years in a number of ways prior to the initiative to launch project management basics training throughout the organization. Previous work included facilitating business problem solving sessions with leadership, guiding them through complex change initiatives, conducting a 360 assessment of all management levels, and helping in the development of applications to manage studies with doctors. ACG’s contacts, the SVP of Human Resources and the CEO, began to notice that I applied project management techniques to each of these initiatives. The CEO said, “Wow! You are organized. How do you do it!” I talked about using project management best practices to stay organized and focused on the goal and timeline. The SVP of Human Resources, in particular, asked if I would be able to train their employees from the receptionists through to mid-management staff, in how to use project management in their own work. We scheduled one day workshops in all their locations – running one workshop a month from January through December in the various locations. These were private, open-enrollment – meaning, the client put the workshop on their schedule and individuals from each location were able to sign up for a workshop convenient to them.

Taking a Project Management Approach to Getting the Work Done Workshop

The workshop focuses on a four phased approach to managing initiatives – from smaller, one person initiatives to more complex, cross-functional initiatives. The goal is to provide a variety of project management best practices, tools, tips, tricks and templates in order to help employees manage an increasingly hectic workload. A case study is threaded throughout the day that enables participants to practice what they are learning in the classroom. This case study is customized to the client in a way that works for all participants – no matter their role in the organization.

Topics covered include, but are not limited to:

  • Determining project requirements and scope/objectives
  • Developing a strategy for communicating about your initiative
  • Managing changes on the initiative
  • Reporting on progress
  • Solving problems and resolving conflicts
  • Finding and engaging others to help on the project
  • Developing a realistic schedule and sticking to it
  • Identifying risks and planning for them should they occur
  • Capturing lessons learned and applying them to the next initiative

Participants develop an action plan for how they will apply what they have learned in the classroom back on the job. To ensure they have the support they need, three times a year ACG runs a management-focused half-day session that enables management to understand the value of applying project management to daily work and other initiatives/projects; thereby engaging them in supporting their employees.

The Value Realized

After the first year run of the project management workshop, we surveyed leadership (Directors to executive staff) to understand what value they saw from the program, as well as surveyed those who attended the program to understand what value they got from the program. At a high level, we learned the following:

What value the Directors through to executives found:
  • Timeline goals achieved
  • More smaller projects accomplished than in the past
  • Employees more engaged and willing to take on other projects
  • Improved organization and prioritization of work
  • Less issues arising that required management attention
  • Employees seemed less stress overall

What value participants in the program found:

  • Better able to juggle workloads which enabled for increased participation in cross-functional initiatives
  • Increased collaboration and sharing among employees
  • Increased comfort level and confidence in taking on initiatives outside of their “day job”
  • Better able to juggle numerous responsibilities

In Summary

Project management is a skill for anyone regardless of their role and responsibilities in the organization. Consider that project management, more than a technical skill, is simply a better way of managing work. Project management provides individuals with best practices and processes to better get the work done – no matter what that work is. By taking a project management approach to getting work done, employees are able to accomplish more in less time, with less frustration and stress.

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