Are you managing a large program? Are you a project manager? Regardless of your role, here are 7 simple ways to evaluate the effectiveness of PM you work with or even yourself. These are some general areas but keep in mind you may need to tweak the question to be more relevant if you manage software projects over construction.
1. How Effective is your Business Strategy to Project objectives defined by PM?
One of the primary functions of project management is to translate the business strategy goals into technical specs, operational goals or specific outcome. If this translation is not clear, stop and ask why and what is the effective translation that would make sense to someone not working on your project. That is how clear you should be able to articulate and will increase the effectiveness of delivering on the goals. The entire effort will be successful only if the business goals are effectively translated.
2. How does PM respond to change in strategy and/ or goals?
Changes in business goals are inescapable, especially in projects that have long timelines. The efficient way to finish a project may be to keep the timeline, however when strategy changes its likely some objectives in project have as well and efficiency will no longer matter if the wrong outcome is achieved. These are critical points in the project to evaluate what can be removed, what is a must have add, how does that impact other projects that are part of the program, what resource and schedule impact are there. If the resource and schedule impacts are not in line and reasonable, you need to review findings with stakeholders and keep adjusting till there is an achievable scope, timeline and budget.
3. How does PM facilitate design and development work?
The eventual success of a project is highly influenced by how well the PM removes obstacles. When time is lost because development team is waiting on scope decision and there is not one, or inspection resource cannot be scheduled for X number of weeks keeping the team on track and able to complete work is critical to high payoff results.
4. How responsive is PM to Stakeholders?
The project manager needs to be responsive to a number of stakeholders, the project team, business sponsors, peers, internal partners such as sales, marketing, human resources and customers. All of these stakeholders may have different priorities, and the project manager has to juggle all of these priorities effectively. Ignoring input and feedback from sponsors and stakeholder is an early warning sign. Watch that concerns are investigated and understood if a response is justified or already covered in planned work. When a stakeholder does not feel concerns were noted, it will escalate later in the project and become more critical.
5. How well does PM work with external vendors, providers that are part of project?
The more organizations that are part of the project, the more complexity there is. The ability to navigate, build strong working relationships is key to collaboration and speed when you need it most.
6. How well does PM Communicate?
Is there proactive communication on the project? When common themes come up, are meetings scheduled, training etc to get the info out to teams that need it? This area is so important and often forgotten in the heat of crisis and managing the minutia in a project, so be diligent in helping PM manage communication frequently and in a timeline manner.
7. How well does the PM solve problems?
Problem resolution skills will be called upon on a frequent if not daily basis in any project. Good project management depends upon proactive and quick resolution of these problems and keep work moving as rapidly as it can. Is the PM persistent? When there looks to be a roadblock to they continue to work to define alternative solutions? Never underestimate what persistence with a bright team can create to keep a project on track.