August 24, 2018
3 Keys to Effective Project Management
In a world of Waterfall, Agile, Lean Startup, Kanban, etc., etc., how might one "declutter" the jargon and really be effective with initiatives?
I did a Google search on the number of project management methodologies that exist currently, and I kept getting results like “9 methodologies made simple” and “15 methodologies you must know.” In the world of “methodologies galore” such as Waterfall, Agile, Six Sigma, Lean, Lean Startup, Kanban, etc., etc., with each body of knowledge or pundit preaching that they are the best and most effective, how might one “declutter” the jargon and really apply effective project management for their initiatives?
As insurtechs, we also need to take into consideration client methodologies and what is being used in their organizations. Here are three key principles that I’ve applied to my nearly one-plus decade of project management, whether I’ve implemented Scrum, Lean, etc.:
Keep It Simple: Don’t overcomplicate your project management process. Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. I have seen slides from companies talking about their project management approach that make me go take a Tylenol. Project management is not about methodology, process or tooling (they are essential — don’t get me wrong). The focus is about people and communication.
Keep It Nimble: At Benekiva, how we manage internal projects and our road map is different than implementing a client engagement. We are nimble to adapt based on clients’ feedback. If they want status reports, they are getting them. If they want an Excel output, they get it.
Keep It Short: This relates to how we schedule iterations/sprints and work effort. Keeping them short allows us to respond to any change or “aha” moments effectively with minimal impacts. Keeping it short also eliminates procrastination, where things get pushed to the last minute.
See also: How to Improve ‘Model Risk Management’
Applying these three principles to your project management practice will allow your company to do enough project management while giving you more time to communicate to your stakeholders and adding value where it needs to be added.