Project Management Provides the Framework
for Value Team Performance Management
Robert T. Yokl, President, The HCP Group, Ltd.
One of the most challenging aspects of value management for value analysis committee chairpersons or value team leaders is how to keep their projects on track, on time and ending with a positive outcome. Most VA committees or Value Teams that I have visited have projects that are behind schedule, stalled or dysfunctional due to a lack of specificity, measurement and the absences of performance monitoring tools to manage their projects. Is there a better way to advance a value analysis committee’s and value team performance in the 21st century?
NASA developed the project management concept and methodology in the 1960s, which enabled the U.S. to forge ahead of the Russians (who where ahead of us at the time in space technology) to bring the first man to the moon by 1969. Since that time project management has evolved into a recognized discipline that is used by diverse industries such as building, automotive, software ship builders, pharmaceuticals and airplane manufacturers to conceive, define, plan, implement and evaluate change creation initiatives that have a beginning and an end and are mission critical to their organization. Value analysis committee chairpersons or value team leaders can learn from these industries experience with project management how to lead and manage their own value initiatives.
The Four Principles of VM Project Management
Project management practitioners have acquired over the last four decades a body of knowledge of how to form, lead, manage, measure, monitor and evaluate projects that have led to four principles you can apply to your own VA committee or value teams to dramatically improve their performance:
- Develop Project Charters
From my experience, left to their own devices project managers will go in every direction but forward unless they are given a charter or guide by their value team leaders outlining the projects goals and objectives and expected results. The charter clarifies their project, answers their questions and what is to be accomplished in a clear and concise manner.
- Establish measurements
“What is measured happens” — is one of the tenets of performance management and a key ingredient to successful project management by establishing savings and quality goals and a project length (metrics) for each of your projects beforehand, you will be able to measure the success of your project when it ends. Without measurement you will be left with opinions, not facts on whether your project(s) truly made a difference.
- Monitor Performance
Now that you have established reliable project measurements and metrics for each of your projects you will need to monitor these projects performance on a bi-weekly or monthly basis to insure that they are on track, on time and heading in the right direction. This will enable you to determine when and where mid-course corrections are required for each project.
- Measure outcomes
Your projects have come to their end, but are they really completed until the results or outcomes of these projects have been evaluated in three months, six months and even a year down the line. For this purpose, it is the responsibility of the project managers to audit their projects in three and six months and one year to insure that the financial results and quality gains predicted for these projects are tested and validated in the real world environment.
These four principles should be your starting point for reinventing your VA committee or value teams performances thus enabling you to scientifically manage the project life cycles of your value management initiatives without stalling, falling behind schedule or becoming dysfunctional in the process.
VM Performance Management
If your value analysis committee or value team(s) is to meet their full potential, you will need to look to new technologies and methodologies to enable you to leap forward in performance. Project management is a methodology that has been proven to work in any environment to improve performance. From our own empirical experience with our Team-Based Project Management Model™ it will provide a framework for exceptional value management performance for your VA committee or value teams.