It is a small shift that has a big impact. The shift from a project-completion mindset towards a product-focused delivery model is not only significant. It has made a significant shift in the way project management office (PMO), leaders are more focused on outcomes than activities, and it has made a fundamental change in how we execute projects. Although some people may manage projects and products in the same way, there are many benefits to incorporating the principles of product delivery into project management practices.
Let’s first look at project delivery, the traditional method. Projects are fixed. They have a set of tasks and a clear plan for success. There is little room for deviation from the established process as all milestones are meant to bring the project to a tight completion date — on-time, within budget and within scope.
These three items are the trifecta of success for PMO staff and a key indicator that they’re doing their job properly. These results don’t necessarily benefit your customers (internal or external) or provide business value. It is possible to do everything perfectly and still have a negative outcome. It’s like a perfectly executed driving maneuver but still leads to a crash due to unexpected black ice.
Productdelivery is, on the contrary, designed to meet the needs of your customers, stakeholders, and end users. Product delivery is all about developing and improving deliverables, measuring the results and refining the product against those results. Although it is more difficult to manage due to the lack of structure, the end result is better. Products are developed and delivered with a strong focus on value, continuous improvement, and customer satisfaction. Instead of focusing on accomplishment, success is measured by continuous improvement and backing up withmeasurable outcomes. This simple change in approach will transform the mindset of your team and the resulting milestones. And, as a result, it enhances flexibility,encourages innovation and, ultimately, achieves both internal andexternal benefits.
Instead of focusing on activities, focus on outcomes
Product delivery is best when you are focusing on outcomes and not activities. Everyone wants to deliver the best possible outcomes, but a project delivery mindset may not be the best way to do this. It is rigid, deadline-driven, and offers little room for growth or rapid changes. The delivery of products, on the other hand, opens up opportunities for continuous innovation as it is focused on creating solutions that provide business and customer value.
Let’s think about it this way: Agile development was developed by thesoftware industry. Innovation and timing are key to success. A software team could work tirelessly to complete every task, stay within the scope, and deliver on time, only to discover that their product is obsolete. Project accomplished; outcome failed. ITproduct delivery is iterative, open-ended, and requires pauses during execution. This allows project managers to evaluate progress against desired outcomes, customer demands, and market shifts, and then adjust accordingly. This results in continuous improvements with each iteration, which leads to increased customer satisfaction externally and greater internal value.
Enhanced Visibility and Resource Allocation
A product delivery strategy that is iterative in nature ensures the best possible outcomes for customers. It also ensures that company resourcesare distributed where they are most needed. The PMO receives regular data that shows progress in real-time.
PMOs can have tunnel vision when project delivery is not monitored regularly. This is because they have already allocated resources to tprojects, and they compare those investments against the milestones in the plans they have already created. You can’t make changes to what you don’t know.