Project Management

4 Steps to Create Universal Process Standards in Project Management

When you keep project processes controlled inside your bubble, it might feel like everything is more convenient that way. But if it is convenient only for your team and not for the greater organization, then you may be hurting the bottom line. In an article for Project Times, Ivan Seselj discusses the big challenges organizations face in establishing project process standards.

Uniting the World

Globalization has struck even small businesses, making standardization a hot-button issue for organizations. Do you standardize for the sake of common language, or do you let people do what feels right for the occasion and the region? Often, standards are set into place but not really enforced, or enforced so loosely that they might as well not exist. Seselj finds three common ways that businesses try to approach process standardization:

  • Create standardized processes only at a high level
  • Create mega-processes that include every possible variation
  • Allow owners to create their own individual processes

In the first scenario, the processes created prove not very useful because they are not supported by lower-level processes that would have provided important context to the higher-level ones. In the second scenario, processes created are typically so dense and complex that teams do not bother abiding by them. And in the third scenario, chaos basically reigns as people are allowed to do their own thing. None of these sound like especially effective solutions.

However, Seselj still sees a path by which worthwhile standards can be established:

  1. An organization must agree on standard processes owned by global process owners.
  2. Teams must be able to select the variation they seek through a listing or automated sorting.
  3. Organizations must build a global reporting capability so it can be seen what variations exist for each process.
  4. Implement process variant costing and timeframe tracking so cost differences between process variations can be understood.

Here is some additional information on that first step:

These will form a platform against which to consider local variations. Local process variations cannot be created haphazardly. Rather, they must be established only off of the base of standard processes, with all variations highlighted and visible against the core processes. Businesses must also have the ability to compare these variations to the standard process and contrast the impact of each process variation.

You can view the original article here:

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