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Weekly Project e-Tip: Keep the Project Mission Alive

by Hal on May 21, 2003

in project control, tips

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In this Project e-Tip I am introducing actions the project manager/leader can take for organizing and keeping a project on track. Try it out. Try speaking about the project mission for six weeks. I'm not kidding! It takes that much repetition to convey the seriousness and to make it stick. Don't stop short.

The Project Reformer's e-Tip of the Week
004: Keep the Project Mission Alive

Projects tend to drift away from the original purpose. The principal truing mechanism is the project mission. Don't misunderstand. I'm not suggesting a long drawn-out process for creating and word-smithing a mission statement. No. I am saying the team needs a concrete way of speaking about what it is they are there to accomplish on behalf of the customer.

State the mission in the customer's language…in a language that conveys the value the customer derives from using what it is you are providing. For example, if you are doing a project where your product is a software program for sales management, state the mission as (something like) "tools for increasing company sales."

You can't over-communicate the project mission. State and re-state the mission at the opening and closing of each project meeting. Reconfirm the mission with the customer throughout the life of the project. Customers change their view of what they need AND you and your project team will see better ways of taking care of customer concerns. By keeping the mission in front of the customer and the team you will avoid project drift but not miss the opportunity of course correction.

©2003 Hal Macomber | weblog.halmacomber.com | e-Tip Archive | PDF | Submit Tip

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