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My core customers are SMEs who are facing organisational challenges arising from growth. One of the challenges that I face is that many SMEs regard project managers in the same way they do dentists – a necessary expense to be incurred when the pain is too great.

This makes for difficulties because project management is a strategic discipline not a tactical one. Yes, project managers can fix immediate pain but more importantly they can create processes that reduce the incidence of problems.

It would be very good if I could leverage existing management ideas to “sell” ElephantPM and with end in mind I have being trying to find an intellectual home for ElephantPM.

I have a strong software background and I am a great fan of SCRUM for software development (used within an ElephantPM framework) so the first port of call was “agile”. The agile manifesto reads:

We are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others do it. Through this work we have come to value:

  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
  • Working software over comprehensive documentation
  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  • Responding to change over following a plan

(my underlining). By this definition ElephantPM is not “agile”. The fundamental premise of ElephantPM is that an organisation strongly values “processes and tools”  that support the project team and enable the organisation to scale.

A better home is “lean”, and in-particular, the orientation towards smooth flows that are the goal of the Toyota Production System (TPS).

Wikipedia’s discussion of Lean Thinking  states

Toyota’s view is that the main method of Lean is not the tools, but the reduction of three types of waste: muda (“non-value-adding work”), muri (“overburden”), and mura (“unevenness”), to expose problems systematically …

This is a great description of ElephantPM’s objectives.

  • muda is reduced by getting addressing commercial and technical risks in the early stages of the project.
  • muri is reduced by the proper resourcing of stages and the creation of stage plans
  • mura is reduced by addressing risks early so they don’t materialise at later stages and disrupt the project.

If your successful company would like help to improve its processes please contact me for a chat.

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