Leverage your team for defining project best practices

Do you need to build best practices for your projects? Maybe you can spit it out in one sitting. Maybe not. I recently wrote about using crowdsourcing to help build best practices for projects. The concept is working with your peers from different organizations, across industries. The power of leveraging others' experiences is a win. Today, I want to focus on outsourcing to your own internal team. They deal with your process every day, so why not leverage their expertise? One approach is to get the group together for a story-boarding session. Post-Its on a wall works. Or you could use PIEmatrix to help story-board. Focus on high level process steps first and keep it simple. Ask them to kick start by listing the deliverables. This is the easy part and you may already have this documented. Next is to list all possible failure points (future fires). Most everyone is a critic. So, leverage this. It may not take long to list experience with risk in each project stage. Now, turn the table and ask them to come up with high-level process steps to reduce the risks. This is harder, but at least they have a good starting point. At the end of the session, ask for volunteers to take certain process points to decompose into more detail. You will find the details goes to those who have the depth.

The other option is for you or your firm's process expert to define the high-level process steps and then outsource the detailed definitions to the front-line team members based on their expertise.

Once you have your new best practice process defined (documented or placed in PIEmatrix) the challenge is to get it to stick. However, you have an advantage. The team who needs to do the sticking has personal stake. They are more likely to better adopt to process change if they helped build it. Over the longer term, keep the best practices fresh with process evoluton workshops.