On today’s show, we discuss how doing less is more in realizing project benefits.
Antonio Nieto-Rodriguez – Author of the Harvard Business Review Project Management Handbook, the featured HBR article The Project Economy Has Arrived, and four other books, Antonio is the creator of concepts such as the Project Economy and the Project Manifesto. His research and global impact on modern management have been recognized by Thinkers50. Fellow and Former Chairman of the Project Management Institute, he is the founder of Projects&Co and the Strategy Implementation Institute. Born in Madrid, Spain, and educated in Germany, Mexico, Italy, and the United States, Antonio is fluent in five languages. He has an MBA from London Business School. He is a member of Marshall Goldsmith 100 coaches. You can follow Antonio through his LinkedIn Newsletter – Lead Projects Successfully, his popular online course Project Management Reinvented for Non-Project Managers and his website.
What causes overburdening of projects in organizations?
- The work is going very fast. Companies are reacting to keep pace.
- Products or services are replicated very quickly with more competition.
- Automation and artificial intelligence robots causes companies to be more project-based.
- Companies launch more projects than they finish.
How do you decide which projects to focus on?
- The best projects have a full-time dedicated project manager and dedicated resources.
- Senior leadership needs to be aligned with and aware of the strategic initiatives.
- When you say no to a project now, you don’t say no to the idea. You can have a few people explore ideas while you focus on the main projects you’ve adopted.
What is the biggest downfall of a company taking on too many projects?
Unclear ROI. We do projects for benefits, and we want to measure this.
How do you define your project benefits?
- Benefits have traditionally meant financial return. Now we are beginning to focus also on culture, satisfaction, environment, social aspects, and sustainability.
- Traditionally, a small team of project managers will determine the benefits for the sales team, customers, logistics team, etc. We want to begin to consult with the different teams to determine benefits desired and means of measurement during the project planning.
How do you manage stakeholders so they get the outcome they expect even when things aren’t going well?
It’s important to focus change requests not only on the pain we want to avoid, but on the benefits we will gain by implementing the change.
How do you balance the benefits of having a sense of urgency with employee health?
Employees don’t mind working under pressure if it’s on just one project with an ambitious goal. It becomes unhealthy when it’s multiple projects and continuous pressure.
What is a good blueprint for moving forward?
- Senior leadership needs to be involved and aware, not only the project managers.
- Focus on a minimal number of projects with a rest period in between.
- Employees should be empowered to speak up about issues for the benefit of the company.
3 Top Takeaways:
- Invest in yourself.
- Talk about the benefits of the projects more often.
- Enjoy what you do. Find your place.
Connect with Antonio Nieto-Rodriguez: