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BTOES Insights Official
By
August 03, 2020

BTOES Financial Services Live - SPEAKER SPOTLIGHT : Project Management Best Practices to Engage Every Stakeholder

 

Courtesy of TPG's Elizabeth Turner, below is a transcript of his speaking session on 'Project Management Best Practices to Engage Every Stakeholder' to Build a Thriving Enterprise that took place at BTOES Financial Services Live Virtual Conference.

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Session Information:

Project Management Best Practices to Engage Every Stakeholder

Are you challenged with getting all the right people in a room for decision-making and visible engagement? Are your technology initiatives leaving business stakeholders scratching their heads with confusion? This session will show you how to embed information management practices throughout every phase of the project or program, continuously keeping the right audience informed of the right message at the right time. Discover how to apply knowledge sharing and collaborative tools to tailor your messaging for the entire project ecosystem.

Session Transcript:

Guest, we have Elizabeth Thorner with us to talk about project management and best practices related to project management. Elizabeth, great to have you with us. Elizabeth is a Senior Manager of Technology at TPG Global. It has work at the intersection of IT and finance for over 15 years. She is also a corporate librarian with expertise in knowledge management and serves as is. Miss is Miss Sonya Libraries appointee to the International Federation of Library Associations Knowledge Management Section outside of work. She is a retired professional Ballet, dancer, who is still trains in her points issues at home during .... So all around all well rounded, we really look forward to your presentation. And thanks for being with us.

Thank you so much. Say it's a pleasure to be back here at vetoes.

All right. So, this morning, we're going to talk about, you know, as we go about in our financial organizations, orchestrating change, you know, build this morning spoke about deploying technology and other solutions to really help with transformation. And what I want to talk about this morning is not so much of a macro level, but really about affecting change with people. So we're going to talk about some ways on any initiative, whether it's technology related, whether it's finance or accounting related. How to bring everyone to the table, and really, you know, make sure that everyone is understanding where we're headed. That they're receiving all the right messages, and that they feel informed and engaged.

So first off, I would be remiss if I didn't show everyone the office where I normally work outside of the tower. All the way on the left and in this photo here is where my office in Sundance Square in Fort Worth, Texas. So, that's where I'm used to working. And, this morning, I'm coming to you from my office, so, it's a little bit different.

So, here's a framework that we can use to carry us through kind of the different topics that I'm going to show you. And what you may understand, what you may notice right away, is that this is a little bit familiar.

It's familiar to you, it's because I used a very simple, very popular, this is the ... Stephen Covey methodology, They call it visualized, plan, Implement, control. So, it's a pretty simplistic project. Life cycle. And what I've done is just overlaid, you know some of my own thoughts and a common sense themes over each of those phases of the project life cycle. So, we're going to be digging into each one of these sections and uncovering some ways that you can reach out to your stakeholders, to your team, to some of your, you know, satellite participants that may or may not be directly engaged in the project effort. But they certainly need to be aware and informed about how they're, how they're job make change, right there. Ways of working may look different when this has all said and done.

Screenshot - 2020-08-03T184143.945So we're going to step through this project life cycle and just take it a step at a time. And we're going to talk about the different people that are involved and some different ways to keep them engaged.

So, first off, we have visualization. And this is often referred to as project initiation. So I may use those words interchangeably, right, but the point here is that we're setting out to do something new. And so what is it that we're trying to achieve? What problem are we trying to solve? How are we going to give ourselves, you know, a good framework? A good foundation to tell our story to people around the organization.

So, first off, what is really, really helpful is to you start connecting the dots. What is it about your organizations? You know, it could be your state admission, tension, it could be, you know, this year's the list of top initiatives, but whatever it is, you're already receiving messages from the top of your organization about what direction you're heading. What problems you're trying to solve, where the, where the firm is trying to go. Right? So it's very, very important that each of your initiatives, your, your projects, whether they're internal facing only, whether their client facing, you know, whether it's about building efficiency between yourselves and your, your vendors. Let's go ahead and align the project to either a Kenyan incident that has you know, we have already known about it.

We've heard, we've seen it, or some type of steel business need, and, remember, know, your quadrants here. This could be a purely operational. You know, we're trying to gain efficiencies in the way that we do our jobs. We could be trying to avoid risk or avoid audit findings or respond to a previous findings. So, to make sure that, you know, we're, we're in line for the next exercise. This could just be about innovation and helping your organization do more with less, But think about the story that you're trying to tell, and then think about who in your organization will feel that this is important, right? Because at the end of the day, we want to make sure that, you know, people are saying good things about our project and that that helps us overcome. Some of these barriers are obstacles to success rate. If you have people kind of already invested in the success of the project, from the beginning.

So, my theme, my overlay to project initiation or visualization, I like to use this opportunity to ask a lot of questions. So what I want to show you are just a few of the questions that you could ask yourself. You could ask your team, you could ask your sponsors. This is the time. So, think about, you know, what problem are we trying to solve, how are we going to demonstrate that our project is connected to a key initiative, right? Because it may not be, you know, the, the huge project, this may be an ancillary efforts to support work that your organization is already trying to do. So you can build that bridge and connect those dots or your audience. Or your team for your executives, your already heading in the right direction and you're already kind of winning people over and helping them be engaged. So think about who the players are involved too.

Because just because you have different stakeholders from the business. You know I sit in the in-between, the technology function and the business. So sometimes, you know, we have, you know, we have taken a lot of people in a room to make a decision and effectuate change. So think about who those players are and what kind of role they're going to play on your project.

Are some of another. Another question you can ask is, Who is actually going to be in the driver's seat and hands-on? Engage, rolling your sleeves up, getting the work done, right? That's important to understand from the outset to, so you don't have any kind of missed expectations or run into conflicts with those project resources. So, these are some great questions to ask. I just kind of keep us all on the same page. I want to put a few definitions together for some, some common project concepts, Right. And, you know, you, you, and I may have different training, you know, whether you are a seasoned project manager, whether you are a consultant, you know, coming in to an organization, Whether, you know, you're kind of stepping up your career, I've had lots of analysts that are converted to the PM function, and so we want to make sure everybody's on the same page.

So, first of all, when we talk about project's scope, this is really about what it is that we've committed to do. And having a clear boundary between the things that we were set out to accomplish, and the things that we're not going to touch as part of this project. It's very important to actually specify what we're gonna do, and what we're not going to do. Then, the difference between scope and objectives, so, our scope is what it is that we've set out to do. But our sectors are really about what is the end result that we're looking for, Right? Is it a time savings, a, cost saving? Deploying? New tools and technology changing procedure. Right? There's gonna be some kind of outcome at the end of this, this project, and that's what you're going to use to drive your corporate storytelling and get the message across.

Btog CTASo we already talked about identifying who are the players are, and how they're involved, and your roles and responsibilities. Some people use a formal matrix, and they'll actually depict, you know, this person ABC. This person is engaged and informed. This person is a decision maker. You know, this person is actually critical to implementation, so they need to be hands-on, you know, during this period of time.

So, think about, think about who is doing what, and, quite simply, those are the roles and responsibilities in your project, no risk of impacts. You know, we, big or small, right? All projects have a sense of risk, and the potential that something could go, you know, not according to plan. Something could potentially go wrong. So, think about that, and sometimes it's even helpful to brainstorm. You know, I'm gonna make a list of the things that I think could potentially go wrong. Then, I'm just going to formally assess how likely are these things to happen, so that I know, you know, what do I need to do in terms of mitigation, Right? Is that, it's not a matter of me going out and, you know, contingency resources or a backup plan.

Or is it really as simple as me, just kind of articulating the breadth, so that everyone, and then of course, your critical success factors? These are going to be the list of things that absolutely must happen. You do, or die, right?

If, if this project, you know, doesn't complete on time, or under budget, or maybe we've ended up using more resources than the intended, at least we got this thing, right? That's going to be your critical success factor. And that's going to be the overall arching mission of the entire process.

OK, So we've talked about kind of getting the framework of making sure that everybody's on the same page with some key definitions. Now we want to talk about what is the role of the project manager? And what is it that things are really doing to kind of keep everyone's driving forward? First of all, I wanted to say that the old adage, You know, that project management responsibility. when the wording is technically correct, right. We don't know, We are not line managers for everyone. On the team. They don't report to us. We don't set their schedules.

We don't know either their priority work but are our master, our pocket, ace's influence, and so building trust, building influence, not just with the team, but with all of the stakeholders on the table is really the difference between, you know, a PM that is, and keeping things moving and helping you set the tone and helping everyone really understand where we are.

That's the difference between your appeal that's really driving things forward and, you know, a PM that's simply awarded paving, right? And that brings me, that's, you know, I think something that project managers really have to work to overcome is this notion that you are taskmaster, or we are, you know, just working with things off the list, it's really about a lot more than that.

So, a couple of these concepts here, and know, dig away, Add that layer of project management, and understand what we're really, So, first of all, it's very important that the PM remain visible at all time. Great, You're showing up, probably some meetings that? We've organized ourselves, that. We have a clear line of contact and communication with the management team that, behind this project, an initiative that they, they can see, that were clearly indicated that they come to us because we're not source of information. And, frankly, that source of reliance, right?

That, that we will, we will, not shade, or color, you know what, what is progressing with the project, but will deliver the truth, And we'll deliver that in a way that people can understand what our options are at any given time.

So, the next thing is about establishing the pace, and this is the momentum, right?

So, when things get quiet, when you're working in the past, some of the issues, or, you know, people have gone off, and maybe they're developing and testing is important that we keep things moving, so making sure that, you know, the columns are happening at an appropriate cadence. That just because not everyone is attempting the calls were getting out, you know, kind of a summary of the options and the expectations. You know, what, what do people sign up? Or what decisions were made? Making sure that that gets out to the project team? That's very, very helpful, and then when we talk about counting the partnership, that relationship with our business stakeholders, that is really about positioning yourself in the place of trust, right?

So, again, those about chunking and not necessarily in the, in the very publicly visible forum, right, of your established, you don't know about finding those moments outside of the re-established project, either that really shows that you're stepping out, and you are interested, you are engaged, and you're stepping out in front of a kind of risk, or just to make sure everyone has that, OK. So that's right. That's a lot of soft skill. Does a lot of kind of unspoken expectation about the project manager, and I think it's important that we understand that this is part of the role. And this is what it really calls for it. Because at the end of the day, we're leading people to change the way that they work. The tools that they use to do their work, perhaps the teams that they work well, probably engaged with clients. You know, a lot of these are big, big thing. You know, change the way that we do our work every day. So, we're helping facilitate these changes in a very practical humanely.

Don't forget, that people learn and absorb teams a lot of different ways. I had the pleasure last week of picking up this book information about the power of process mapping, and so I wanted to just be, you were here, just to kind of summarize why process mapping is important.

So, the idea of process mapping is that you are putting together a picture, either showing the current state and how it will be changed. So, this is the the As is and the two D version of this business process or what, you know, whenever, whatever the project is, that it could show the thumbs and technology, It could so people, and their wrote procedures. So, come talk with your customer and client.

28It could show, you know, well, just the way that new product, or the way that you engage vendors. So, all of these different things are absolutely perfect for capturing a visual. And that really helps you connect all the different peaks during a new concept, which were a leader. But, we all know that I've used for paints a thousand words, so it makes it easier to put it on paper and let people see it and initialize that change and see, I don't think this actually invites opportunity for people to give you, must adjust and kind of invites that dialog and engagement.

Lot of time, just on project initiation. But, I think what's key here is that, this is kind of the words, right? This is the moment where part of warming. This is where you have the opportunity to get in on the ground floor, and this is where you're making some K first impression with some of your senior stakeholders and leadership. Don't discount those early. Make sure that you're capturing all of their questions, and make sure that you're aligning to kinda the key mission and initiatives that your firm has chosen to prioritize. These will be very helpful to your future.

All right. So, let's move on to some of the other. And our next phase here, we actually change with some of our course, and now we need to come in, for paper, what it is that we're going to achieve, and suppose some advice that I want to share here, is really about getting things in writing, right? This is the moment to kind of determine, you know, the paper trail and really help people with their vote of confidence.

Yeah, this is what we're setting out to do, and this is working on, and we're, we're all OK, so, think about everything that's available to you before and after the project began, your system landscape to be changing, your information landscape would be changing. So, as a librarian, what I'd like to do is, a knowledge assessment.

So, to me, this name, what information sources were available to me before this project began? Thought could be wrong, but that could be, user guide. That could be acknowledged that 10 people, right? I may have seasoned expert, so subject matter experts that are linked with the organization now, but this is a great time to capture that specialized knowledge is in this particular scheme members. And we need to make a point on this project to turn the right alongside what we can, So we have that available for others to do things.

So we talked about knowledge and people's health. And think about the resources that are engaged, especially critical resources, who can perform a specific function on on your product, to think about who those people are thinking about. Their delegates are, you know, who is empowered to make decisions on, how, even when they're not a robot, or who controls the calendar, right? Sometimes you have sponsors, or it may be difficult to lock down in a room, especially when decisions are needed. So having a good awareness of who to reach out to you when, you know, they may not be readily available is very important for some of our resources that are committing time and expertise on the project.

It's helpful to know who their backups are, especially during political change, windows, implementation we go like me and kind of warranty support period So make sure that you have all of those those that I'd like to capture a matrix actually pupils mobile numbers. And that way, you know, again as an exercise neutrons, they have my mobile number two. They know how to get in touch with me. I know how to get in touch with them and not just increase. No transparency visibility.

And most importantly, confidence and trust in each other.

So we're getting things in writing. We've got all of our people identified. You know what they're gonna do. We know how to engage. We know who to talk to when they're not available. Now, let's think about stakeholder communication needs to know what, you don't always have, a status message to everybody on the team, right? Because they may need to highlight certain questions, but they need to pick off purpose passion. Certain points that are cross independence is that we need to start engaging people that. They are aligned as well.

So, there's a lot to unpack here when it comes to project plan. And what I really want to point out here in particular, there's a lot of text on this client, and I'm not going to read through every single question. Keeps some of these questions in your mind, right? As you connect to, what was the landscape before? and where are we trying to get to rely on the before and after to help you get your message across. Because that's a story that everyone understands.

Whether you are part of the key resources that are on a core project team, whether you are a senior leader or project, or whether you are actually, this is a folder at the table. So, think about how you can share, this is how it was before, this was how it will be defined. That message, it's really, really good for framing, No matter what decision you're trying to reach. Or what kind of escalation. And you're trying to, you know, run after, run up that chain of command. Having that comparative story will really, really help just kind of bring people to awareness and understanding.

So another note here on planning, don't forget that there are many, many different kinds of plans, And they may not all be necessary for your project. So not every project needs every plan. At most, you probably need a timeline, A communication plan. But depending on what's going on, if this is a system change, absolutely, we need a testing plan. But if this is a change, the protocol, we probably just need a training plan. So, think about the kinds of plans that are necessary and functional, and only spend time where it's needed the most. Because, at the end of the day, most of the project managers are the only ones that are looking at these plans, you know, on a daily, frequent basis. So, it may not be necessary to drive, not awareness for the rest of the team.

What you can use to drive awareness to the rest of the team are using and connecting to some of the collaborative systems that are in your environment. I have listed a few on this page that are particular to my organization. And notice how different teams, getting them all have different tools. Very seldom do we want to ask somebody, you know, who is not a developer to work in the DevOps tool, right? That's not their sandbox, that's not where they're used to operating.

We definitely want to use or are established, support tools to reach out to people who are performing support, but we may not necessarily want our developers, you know, working tickets in our ticketing system, right? So think about everything has a place, I'm trying to meet people where they are. So so you as a PM may have licenses and seats across many different tools.

Screenshot (4)But that's because you have that versatility and flexibility to meet people where they are working and create work items that are relevant to their environment quo. So that's a lot about planning. But next, we want to talk about, you know, implementing these changes, and so one thing that I want to call out here is that, this, where, you know, the rubber hits the road. We are in traditionally and technology, this would be a cut cycle to develop design, code, and unit tests. This is where some about change is starting to take place. For the very first time, this is where testing and training these activities are coming into play. So, one thing that I want to call out here is that while we are getting these messages out to the different working teams, it's important that we understand the difference between information management and organizational change. So this is the point in the project where people are learning to do their jobs differently than they did before. So we definitely want to cater to different learning styles here.

We talked previously a bit about the power of having a process map, having those pictures, bring those pictures with you at this point in the project, and use those pictures as a visual tool to help people kind of see that diagram laid out, and understand what it is you are asking them to do differently. So, in the, in the concept of information management, this aligns to the the tools, the systems that people use on a daily basis. You know, whether they are creating journal entries, and we're working in the accounting system, Whether you are preparing statements, and we're working in the financial systems, Whether we are generating reports, and we're using, you know, data, visualization, or other types of tools. Think about all of the tools that are involved. Not necessarily by the project team, But the, the your audience right by those folks who are going to be asked to perform some nature of their role in a different way than they did before.

Think about your writing books. Think about training guides. Think about information that may have been given to new hires in the past. Right? That need to be brushed off and reviewed and perhaps updated given this, this project. So that is a little bit different. The tools and rules are very practical. You know? These are tactical changes, right? Where we kinda meet people where they work, then think about the bigger picture, which is organizational change management, and this is where you're able to connect the dots on a more macro level and think about, you know, all the different messages that we need to get out.

Not just to the working team, but to a more senior teams. To incoming team members, this is kinda how that story of the project is going to persist after things are setup. So, the theme here, for this, that this project is, is letting the people now. So I have plenty of questions that you can ask yourself.

What do we need to let people know? so you can step through a few of these bright? Or do we have testers engaged? What is it that we need? You can convey to them so that they can make an actual lives, each of their test steps perfectly. Do we have a process or procedure document that we can update? Are we asking people to change their ways of working? Because we need to capture that on paper. one of those things just going to take place because you may have a very definitive before and after, What I want to say here is that, remember, you may not be the person in authority, who, how's that voice? To demand that change happens, But you are leading people to change. So this is where that trust and influence that you've built previously is all coming into play because you want to make sure that your senior leadership, that understands fully why they need to draw that line in the sand and ask people to make change by a certain date.

Right?

So if you, you know, have that before and after, and OK, after training, we need people to understand that this is our go live, and after the go live, we, we need you to begin using a new system, right? Or we need you to pick up with this new process, and here's the procedures to do so.

So make sure that you are relying on your sponsors and your senior leaders to help you emphasize the message and the change that you're trying to accomplish.

So there's a lot of soft skill here. There's a lot of stated unspoken kind of themes, right? That the project manager needs to be very, very concerned with. So thinking about communications, this is so important, This is kind of a deeper dive on what that means. So thinking about, you know, you as the PM, you need to be flexible so that you can help people focus where it needs focus the most Maybes your sponsors are engaged and onboard and that's great but kind of the underlying teams are a little bit resistor. Whenever you run into conflict or confusion, or doubt, or you know trying to get people to rally around the project, this is your time to ask questions. You know, take those, take those sponsors offline.

You take this to their attention, let them be the muscle, right? You, you were the messenger, you were the influencer, they are your muscle, right, So to use them wisely and pretty judiciously, right? So thinking about all of the dates and the commitments that we've made on this project, you're the one that's separating the completion. Remember, we talked about being the center. This is where that comes into play. Don't lose your momentum as the most important point right before you go live. Think about all of the resources that you've got engaged. Are you pulling in people at the right time? You know, one of the things that has made me become a stronger project manager is just trying to understand when I am getting all of the waste anybody's time.

The number one thing that I can do to kind of help people, you know, keep that faith in me, is to show them that I believe their time is so valuable. So, I'm keeping my meetings very targeted, and then keeping mind participant lists pretty select, because I only want to engage the players that I need at any given moment. I already have my collaborative tools, I already have my status, or, I already have different vehicles to keep everyone aware, but when I need to get people involved, that's where I want to exercise choice and get a little bit more select about it.

And we talked about, you know, having those effective communications and thinking about the folks that are inside and outside the project. I have an example here that I want to show you: This is a sample status slide. You can actually use it if you don't have a tool to facilitate your project meetings, Sometimes you can run those meetings straight from the tool, right, whether you're using the Atlassian suite or no right or Monday or other other types of project management tools. If you don't have those available to you, go lo fi. This is a, this is a PowerPoint slide that I literally can just convert to PDF. And, at a glance, people can see on one page, OK, what happened, what's about to happen, why do I care, who needs to be involved? What's waiting on me? You know, what's coming up next?

I do need to pause here and just make a note about accessibility. You'll notice that there are several color coded objects on this slide. What you don't know is that previously, they were strictly color coded. But unfortunately, I had a colorblind teammate who could not tell the difference. So we actually added the labeling after the fact, just to make sure that they see and understand what those little, what those little blocks notes and what we were trying to convey. So, just just a pro tip for you, if you aren't going to rely on color coding, Please make sure that you are catering to colleagues that potentially could have issue. Looking at color coded objects, though, that's a ... on my part, but, hey, the lesson was learned, and now we'd never run into this problem again.

Screenshot - 2020-08-03T184143.945OK, so, we've, We've implemented change, we have crossed the go live threshold. We have secured that milestone and we've delivered everything that we set out to achieve. The story isn't over just because the project is, and, in fact, this is the most important time to gather those metrics for success. Tell your story with quantitative data. We're working in finance. We know that this is what's going to help us, you know, make or break how people perceive the project after everything is done and done. I have quite a list of some of the things that you can, you can use to capture your results and get the message out there. So, think about all of the different ways that you can quantify this change. Not all of these will be applicable to you, but some of them may be very effective in winning over that broader audience.

So, think about, you know, time to completion. Think about improvements or efficiencies that you found, you know, maybe last quarter, it took us, you know, 60 days to close the books. But maybe this quarter, we were able to shave off 15 days because we've automated some steps along the way, right? Those are messages that are very important and powerful, and they drive to the bottom line.

Think about, can you tell the success of this story with a single report? Or do you need to come back into the, you know, quarter over quarter? Do you want to tell that story within the framework of a year? Think about what timing and what interval makes the most sense for you.

Do you have a ticketing footprint, or after the transition to support? How can you rely on your support team to help you gather metrics? For us? It could be number of issues total, that were reported in production. After we went live, it could be how many of those tickets were escalated or needed, you know, a more senior resource, to contribute to research and root cause analysis. It could just be, you know, hey, we weren't able to so that fewer members of the team, how to reach out to IT support, because we have made this process simpler.

Think about how those numbers are going to help you tell the story. Sometimes, when it's all said and done, we were only able to achieve some of our critical success factors and not the entire scope and objectives. So, think about what might be set aside for future phases and begin to generate that goodwill now, so people understand why the follow-up based was necessary, and why the line had to be set where it was, right? Maybe you were only able to engage resources for a particular amount of time, and now you're waiting for their availability again.

So, think about how you can gather data to help you tell the story. This is where lessons learned exercises come into play. Sometimes, instead of having a formal exercise and meeting, I like to send the survey around. Because that's creating a little bit of a buffer, prefer people to sit with their thoughts, and provide feedback. Be able to articulate that with a little bit of care and caution. So, plenty of things here to consider. Alright, this is the hat trick. We have brought it full circle. We've looked at each phase of the project from initiation all the way to closure. And I just want to, kind of, summarize things for you here, so you can see that we started with asking a lot of questions.

We took all those questions and got things down in writing. We took our messages, and we got it out to the entire audience, whether they were part of that projects, inner circle, or whether they were more ancillary, or whether they were just involve way downstream. And then finally, after letting the people know how work is going to change, we capture those results and continue to tell the story, even after the work was said and done. So I'm gonna leave you with a couple of things. I mentioned a ton of artifacts here. This is a checklist. We use it internally, just a guide, It's not a rule, It's not, you know, they don't have to follow it every single time and especially for some of my newer PM's I love for them notice how that framework. So they can really gage what is necessary and what is overkill. Because at the end of the day, you're the one that's going to be looking at these the most often. So you wanna make sure they're actually bringing value and you're not wasting time.

If I could leave you with one thing, it would just need to remember: always, always, always ask questions and capture notes, You never know when they're going to be helpful to you.

OK, so the Very, very good elisabeth's, so I've been monitoring the questions here as you were presenting, so, thank you, let me bring up the question panel here and, uh, and reveal what has been submitted. I'll start with one well, it's a bit of a commentary and then followed up by a question to us. Most, you know, organizational initiatives fail. The numbers can vary anywhere from 70 to 90% of the organization initiatives and included in that projects that start the sale or come short of delivering on their intended objectives. based on your experience. On the, on the, on, the good, the bad, and the ugly. When it comes to project management, what, what do you see? Let's be a bit more optimistic here, Instead of thinking about the failure factors. What are the success factors?

That you see, that the people who do it well, and the teams that do it well, the to the project teams that do do, well. What do you see maybe are the top factors that determine their success.

OK, Yeah, Absolutely. So I didn't mentioned critical success factors a little bit earlier and, and really.

When it comes down to it, it's very, very important that you and senior leadership are aligned on, what if we fail. Where do we have room to fail? And, where do we not have room to fail? Because if you understand what those critical success factors are, you can deploy resources strategically to make sure that that is the area where you will see success. And that's where some of these hard, you know, gametime decisions come in, This is where escalations come in. This is where we really, you know, it comes down to brass tacks, right? So so make sure that you have that purview and especially that relationship with your sponsor so that when you have to go tell them some bad news.

28You know, it's not a win or lose situation but it's more about this is what we have to do to effectuate the change that needs to happen. You know, especially if you've already done that, that diligence upfront about connecting this project to a key initiative or you know, part of your firm's vision and mission. Then everybody is on board, right? Because we're all in this together, and we all have to see this change happened together, you know, so that we can run the bank or grow the bank or whatever it is that we're trying to do. So I would say this is where the visibility And trust is very important.

Very good. Very good. Another commentary in question was related to the importance of identifying process owners and having clear ownership, early learning projects. The commentary was that a lot of projects that get started, and then, in the end, they are unsure about who owns that process. So, little bit of, though, if you could add a shed some light on the topic of the importance of end to end process ownership and the identification. Of course, of the onset, Remember, we identified a broad swath of individuals and players that we want to engage. Now, here's where you need to start, almost compartmentalizing, how each of those players are involved. Especially when we're talking about end to end process management. Because I have news for you.

Shall save the system, owner, is not necessarily the process owner, and, you know, the, the folks that are contributing to the process, month to month, or quarter to quarter, or whatever cycle, they are hands-on and engage. But, they may not own that process. So, a process may have multiple owners. So, easily becomes, you know, a very simple question to kind of a complex question, because we may mean needing to get multiple department owners involve multiple system owners involved. And then we need to also rely on our SMEs that are actually fulfilling the process on a, on a day-to-day basis. That's their job. And they have the knowledge, but they may not have that authority to drive decision making around the project. So, think about those layers, and then make sure that you've had Sessions, maybe not necessarily within the normal project cadence, but directly with those folks together in a room. You know, hey, we're going to establish some rules for the road here, and we didn't and make sure that we're engaging the right people at the right time.

Very good, very good. Another question has to do a more about your experience on the necessary skills to be an effective project manager, and the commentary ads on that. For example, often, we have a very capable, technological, or subject matter experts who are the project managers, But there are just terrible at it. Really doing collaborative leadership, Getting everybody else on board, of communicating clearly. They just don't have the skill set off, and they can develop the skill set. So, Question is really about, What do you think are the most important skills for effective project managers? I am so glad you asked me this. I literally said this to someone yesterday. I said at the end of the day, my job is to help people do things they wouldn't ordinarily be asked to do.

But they still have to like me when it's all said and done. So it's very important you thought over and over, I was emphasizing soft skills.

And that's really where I think the differentiator is for the difference between, you know, a, a competent PM versus, you know, a, rockstar, right, you really want somebody that And that's the end of the day, right. There's many paths to becoming PM's you could have graduated from like an analyst role into into ... right and this is sometimes where we have to address that learning curve.

My biased answer would be, you know, hey, I'm a librarian and librarians make great PM's because we have to get the right information to the right audience in a way that they can actually extract and interrelate And understand it, so what I would say is don't discount, be soft skills. Make sure that they have effective, you know, communicative. You know, they can write messages and e-mails succinctly. They can lead a meeting without people scratching their heads wondering why they're there. You know, keep it takes some practice, but it absolutely can be achieved. And, at the end of the day, you know, but use the buddy system. If you have a technologist who's very capable as me or, as, you know, a technical writer or, as, you know, someone, that can be very hands-on, affecting the change. pair them up with somebody who's a strong communicator, so that you can make sure that all of your stakeholders stay engaged and that their, their overall happy with that picture of progress.

Very good. We have a ... Khan has a number of questions related to the risk management than the how do you what are some of the better risk mitigation risk management strategies that you see as part of a best in class project management?

Screenshot (4)Right? So, again, I actually don't use a very formal methodology or use a very informal methodology for risk management. First thing I like to do is conduct a risk assessment, and the one that I described in my presentation was just as simple as brainstorming on a piece of paper. Oh, my God, You know, if something were to go horribly wrong. You know, I could start ranking, you know, life and death, you know, business continuity scenarios, all the way to know what people just aren't happy and don't don't accept the change where things are done. So, you know, think of those risks. It starts with you as the PM. You have a job to put something down on paper and then walking into a room and ask people to comment on it. Never start with a blank canvas that has such a trap. You know that you can fall into, because then you're putting the burden on other people to start to opine and articulate when really all they need to be doing, is shedding some light.

And so, if you give them a starting point, they can tell you right away. Oh, that's wrong. You know, do something else. You know, use this. Instead. Give them that, that jumping off point, and that will help you facilitate these conversations, especially, especially about risk, right? Because it's easy to let your imagination take over, but if you can take that list of risks to someone who is more knowledgeable than they can help you assess and prioritize them and start thinking about mitigation strategy.

Terrific. Elizabeth, thank you so much for taking the time being with us here today. She's with us, we appreciate that. Thank you. Just a pleasure, as always bounded by. Ladies and gentlemen, this completes the segment. If you add there are other questions, I could not get you. If you wish you want to ask questions to. Elizabeth, go go under my page on LinkedIn. We have a posting for financial services live there. Feel free to ask your questions there as well. We're gonna be asking the speakers to come in and answer your questions over there in real time. So, pose your questions or under the LinkedIn page that we have for, for this conference. And that will try to get you as many answers as possible. So, again, thank you very much for your active engagement throughout the sessions. We're gonna close this session.

We open up at the top of the hour with a reveal on how we eliminate the gap between process and business outcomes. So, how do we tie those process improvements to real business outcomes? We're going to have a presentation from salone is focused on financial services. And, and one of their leaders in that in that area is Mark Smith, Max Smith, I'm sorry. who will be with us sharing those best practices for tying you process outcomes to business outcomes. So she's shown at the top of the hour. And thank you for being here.

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About the Author

more (85)Elizabeth Turner,
Senior Manager Technology,
TPG.

Elizabeth Turner is a senior technology manager utilizing Knowledge Management (KM) capabilities at a global alternative assets firm in Fort Worth, Texas. She employs a three-tier approach of program management and process consulting, product/service management, and the power of human connection to bridge technology and business.

Elizabeth is the Smithsonian Libraries’ appointee to the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) KM Section Standing Committee and chaired its 2017 Open Session in Wroclaw, Poland. In 2019 she co-presented an AI software demonstration for libraries at the IFLA KM Satellite Meeting at the Ionian University of Corfu, Greece. She is a 2020 Co-chair for the KM Satellite meeting at Trinity College, Dublin and serves as Information Coordinator to the Section.

Recognized in 2018 as speaker of the year by the DFW Knowledge Management Community of Practice, she has given KM-focused presentations around the US and internationally to audiences of hundreds.

She is also a classically trained ballet dancer and performed 2011-2018 in contemporary works by the nonprofit Momentum Dance Company based in Irving, Texas.

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