I continue a series of publications on the management of a project organization in conditions when there is a lot of need to fulfill all obligations on time and in full and there is a resource limit. The last time
I talked about the concept of Pulse Management (Pulse Method, hereinafter referred to as the “Method”), and now we will touch on the topic of tools.
Talking about Agile approaches like Scrum or eXtreme Programming during trainings, you inevitably touch upon the topic of values and principles. But when you start introducing the same methods into the Organization, it turns out that values are good, but they do not meet the goals of the company. Because these are the values of the existence of the process itself
, these values are important for improving the principles of the process of work, in order to improve the methods of the process on the basis of principles. A company may have its own values, which is really important for it as a "living organism". Often this is taken to the company's mission.
Organization Management Method Tools
Based on the concept of the Method, the organization develops in three directions: Objectives, Processes, Technologies and there are three Thought Flows between which we switch. The Method determines the main tools for maximizing the efforts of the entire Organization to fulfill obligations:
- Agreement on principles, values and goals
- Quality agreement
Each Method Tool used separately will not give such an effect as all together.
Agreement on Principles, Values and Goals
The Pulse Method does not provide ready-made principles and values for organizing the process, it can only be your Values and Principles in accordance with which you make decisions. The Method is based on assumptions and if you agree with them, then you can use the Method tools in full or find an analogue in accordance with your reality.
Organization Rules and Method Prerequisites
The Pulse method is based on the following premises (rules):
- A company exists to make money today and in the future.
- High-quality fulfillment of obligations to the Client on time and in full
- Predictability of fulfillment of obligations by an organization is important for each Client.
Based on these premises, you must determine for your organization
- The Mission and the Goals of the Organization.
- Values - what is important and what is not important for your Organization. What do you value most in employee behavior.
- Principles of work - the rules by which you will seek and improve methods for achieving the goals of the Organization
Agree on the rules
The organization must have rules. If there are rules, then you can control their implementation. The rules set clarity of intent and purpose. But it should be borne in mind that people do not work only according to the rules, the more detailed the instruction, the less likely they will be executed. Therefore, create rules so that they can be implemented.
Rules Program Organization
When the rules are created and work, then the culture of the organization “here it is accepted” appears. By shaping and agreeing on new rules you change the behavior of the Organization. Accepted and enforced rules program the Organization.
Conflict - Growth Opportunity
The presence of conflict is neither good nor bad. Conflict is the growth point of the Organization. If there is a conflict, do not choose a compromise solution and do not delay the resolution of the conflict. Delaying a solution to the conflict leads to the destruction of the Organization, and a compromise solution to stagnation. Often, the cause of the conflict lies in disagreement with the rules or the way the task is implemented. Decide the situation, not the person. Look for a point where your goals and interests converge.
Quality of work
The quality of the result should be “excellent” or “as excellent as possible”. Poor quality of work "merges" the efforts of the Organization. No matter how well you plan, poor quality will kill your plans due to alterations. A large number of alterations violates the rhythm of the work of specialists and reduces motivation.
Quality qualifications of employees
The quality of employees should be as high as possible. Whatever your ambitious goals, and did not seek to ensure the high quality of the Products, you will not be able to achieve this if your specialists lack the qualifications. The skill level is also an indicator of quality.
Quality of decisions
The quality of managerial decisions made leads to success or failure, regardless of the quality of the remaining components. Only ensuring quality at every level and avoiding compromise solutions can make an organization effective and breakthrough.
The rhythm synchronizes the entire organization and all actions. The rhythm provides a guaranteed time for passing the solution from the strategic management level to the operational one. All the best quality decisions can be buried if the company is out of sync and there is no understanding when the decision will reach the ordinary contractor and its implementation will be monitored.
The rhythm may be:
- Week (or two, three)
The rhythm sets the feedback loop and reaction rate to changes in conditions and the environment. Of course, if cataclysms occur or someone dies, you do not need to wait for the next rhythm event to report it. In all other cases, it is necessary to adhere to the rhythm.
The rhythm of a living organism is Pulse. If an organization changes and improves, it is alive. Pulse is the rhythm of a living organization.
Rhythm of synchronization
The rhythm of synchronization provides points of intermediate control and focuses on emerging difficulties in the process. People, as a rule, do not like to say that they have a problem. If you ask “do you have a problem with the task?”, We will get the answer “No, I have no problems”. And when “no problem” then there is nothing to improve.
If the synchronization rhythm is not defined, then the ability to pull the employee out of the state of “thinking about a problem” increases, as a result, the employee's rhythm of work becomes torn and unproductive. As a result, a situation is created where “it is impossible to work in such an environment” and the engineer simply stops even trying to plunge into the problem being solved and is distracted by non-working issues.
The rhythm of operational planning
The rhythm of operational planning provides continuous reconciliation of plans with results and adjustment of plans. It is impossible to plan something new if you have not checked what has already been done according to your previous plans. The rhythm of operational planning can be: a week, 2-3 weeks or a month. The main thing is that he be permanent. The length of time between planning events is called Sprint.
The rhythm of planning ensures the transfer of top-level decisions from the organization’s leadership to the lower level of execution. Planning events focus on immediate goals, but do not forget about transferring strategic goals to the level of execution that combine all the activities in Sprint.
The rhythm of strategic and tactical planning
The rhythm of strategic and tactical planning provides work planning for several months in advance. The further the plan is developed, the higher the confidence in the future of employees and the lower the level of anxiety and stress. However, remember that it is not the plan itself that is important as a result of planning, any plans are constantly changing, the steps to create a plan are important.
The external environment is constantly changing, so any long-term and medium-term plan must be reviewed. Periodicity of review - quarter, year.
The rhythm of implementing improvements
Improvement rhythm events set the discipline for continuous improvement in an organization. Activities in this rhythm should be synchronized with the rhythms of strategy and planning, as they cover different periods for analysis.
The event to analyze past experience and develop an improvement plan is called Retrospective.
We looked at 4 basic Pulse Management tools. Most likely you will find similarities with other managerial approaches, as I said, the Method is based on existing solutions, determining the rules of the game in a multi-project Organization. And in short, the whole Method in four formulations:
- Define the Mission, values and principles of your Organization
- Agree on the Rules, rules program the Organization
- Work in constant rhythm. If there is a rhythm, then the Organization is alive.
- Determine the level of quality. Poor quality "merges" all efforts.
All other parts of the Method are a set of Rules based on the premises.To be continued .PS: But, if you want everything at once, then there is a manual “Pulse Management: Management of a project organization”.