Process Improvement for IT SME to Avoid Mistake and Improve Project Management Efficiencies
In June 2017, Innovitro Consulting was asked to help an IT company to examine the working process and recommend improvements on their way of doing project management. When the team went in to observe the way of working and looked for trace of elements for the cause of mistakes, so many things was learned.
During the past many years, the company encountered profit loss from many of their projects with the cause from the mis-understanding and mis-calculating the costing of the projects. The team had a chance to observe a newly formed project that the company developed from the ground up for a Thai government agency. The project that seemed to be the easiest one as the intention of the customers was to accept whatever solution the company was offering, turned sore as mistake was spotted and may end up losing again. The mistake was from the unclear understanding and the offering unfamiliar telecom solution that they had never have experiences or knowledge before.
The team also looked at other projects in the past where critical lost occurred. We learned that there are mis-judging the estimation of required resources, the mis-handling of simple project documentations, and the unsystematic way of doing project without understanding the nature of project management.
The team decided to develop a “Project Funneling for Selection” tool that help the team to make decision weather to adopt or discard the incoming project. This is because sometimes the team receives requests for unsound projects and have to allocate time to process the project. Many of time are wasted on this unrealistic attraction. With these distraction, engineers seems to make mistakes repeatedly.
The tools is based on consensus agreement of team member on the supply of information. The criterial to selection is based on the risks in association with the project and the mis-targeting or mis-carriage of the project. It is also evaluating the customer preferences, the socio-relationship, and the knowledge fit of the team to the project. The tool will prioritize and list out the project that has high probability of success, the moderate, the less, and the risky projects.
The team also introduced the concept of project life-cycle and the mechanism to develop the taxonomy of project documentation and filing. The project team can adopt the taxonomy and the project documents will not be misplaced and gain the fast and accuracy of access.
Another concept that was introduced the activity-based planning and budgeting. Template were developed to aid the team to do the visual thinking to gain insights about the new project. The visual thinking will walk through all the team members to see how project moves and how the design is done. The team will have the shared vision and can thorough examining the components making up of that project. The template will allow the conversion from resource allocation, the materials involved, and the transaction and activities that support the project. The costing can be accurately estimated.
The project team of the company was happy to embrace the systemic of doing project management and cost estimation. The result will be tracked for accuracy of project planning and estimation.