Unless your company is still using typewriters and rotary phones (and in that case, you need more help than we can offer here!), digital transformation is probably already an integral part of your project management methodologies.
Here are our top tips for leveraging the power of digital transformation in project management teams.
1. Stay calm
Project management is constantly evolving and even though new methods and approaches can seem initially disruptive to an established framework, the payoffs in agility and results are well worth making adjustments. Remember to use all the digital tools at your disposal to help take some of the weight off of your shoulders. Build your digital fluency using your own learning style – whether it’s being shown, attending a training course or following notes it doesn’t matter as long as you are gaining incremental knowledge and confidence.
2. Organise for flexibility
The speed at which the project management life cycle moves means that keeping things simple by using the best software as a result of digital transformation is key. The easiest teams to manage are small, collaborative and flexible – with adaptable technology supporting their agility.
3. Don’t forget to keep it simple
Simplicity is the golden egg of productivity and effectiveness. You can keep things moving even faster by taking a simplified approach. Test rapid prototyping or break down complex projects into smaller, more manageable phases. Just be sure these sprints aren’t too rushed, as this can mean significant defects or problems may go unnoticed until it’s too late. Work management software such as Verto helps by keeping track of multiple project variables and risks so you can confidently stay on top of a complex workload. Whether this means you can get more personal quality time or get ahead in your field, it gives you capacity for what is important to you.
4. Work together
Keep lines of communication open, seek multiple viewpoints and encourage collaboration. This is especially important for large-scale project management concepts that span teams, departments or physical locations. It’s essential for team members to stay open-minded and build up a tolerance for failure. Cross-boundary knowledge and communication are key differentials in harnessing a critical thinking approach. Critical thinking allows for different and innovative ways of doing things which is central to genuine transformation.
5. Emphasise results over process
Planning, budgeting, forecasting, risk assessment and all the rest are still essential to project management, but be sure to stay focused on results. Becoming a slave to ‘the plan’ can be a significant obstacle to reaching goals and project objectives. Don’t be afraid to take advantage of the knowledge through data that work management software provides. Pivot and adjust when necessary.
Digital transformation also requires an adjustment in the way you communicate with project stakeholders. One of the biggest ways to improve here is by building tools that facilitate faster, more accurate communication in real time, such as an online community where project stakeholders can access the latest updates and information.
7. Make time for face time
Digital communication can help keep things moving and allow on-the-go face-to-face meetings with key stakeholders and your team to take place. This ease of communication and the speed at which it can happen is vital in the current digital age.
8. Be insightful
Programme management data is vital to leveraging successful project outcomes. Quality data gives your the confidence to keep the vision on track while allowing for change in routing. Data mining supports the early identification of problems or trends and in effect is a heads up display of what is going right, or wrong across your work programme. Such insight bolsters effective stewardship whether at project sponsor or project manager level and enables the right decisions to be made to keep the project on track, not just the usual, obvious or expedient one.
9. Get stakeholders on board
The nature of collaborative, high-frequency delivery in digital project management means that all stakeholders have to be kept in the loop. From top executives down to the last team member, everyone should be invested and motivated to see a project succeed. This is made easier by automated project updates, notifications and reporting which keeps the people who need to know up to speed.
10. Understand the benefits
Digital transformation has a number of benefits for project management methodologies. If things get tough, remember the advantages:
- More flexibility
- Greater productivity
- Better transparency
- Improved quality
- Less risk of overlooked objectives
- Increased engagement and satisfaction for stakeholders
Managing projects and getting the most out of the recent digital transformation can be a complex process. By embracing agility and taking the time to focus on what’s important, you can dramatically improve your chances of success.