What do I mean by framework? Personally, I don’t believe that a rigid and strict process works for anyone. Each project, client, solution and Project Manager is different and so I feel you need a framework for them to follow. A framework is a guide rather than a set of rules.
Having a framework promotes a consistent delivery experience for your organisation, your team members and most importantly your ‘happy’ clients. Team members come and go, bringing and taking with them their own ways of working. Having the framework will help with on-boarding new team members and allowing them to quickly get up to speed with new and existing projects.
Step 1 – Set the Ambition (Kick off)
Know why you’re creating a delivery framework, who’s going to use it, who’s going to help you get there and what would you consider a success. Document these for you to refer to later.
Step 2 – Research
So you’ve identified what you need/want from a delivery framework, now you need to know the following:
- What processes you already have?
Document what you have now and don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.
- What’s working in the current processes?
If many tell you that something is working well, spend some time to find out why and keep it.
- What’s broken?
Fixing what is broken will help those on the ground and of course make the new framework useful.
- What are other organisations doing?
Ask friends, family, colleagues and business contacts about their delivery process. You’ll be surprised what you’ll find. And if you don’t have access to anybody to ask then do some good old Google searching, maybe that’s why you’re here?!
- Know who’s on your side?
People on your side will also think they need a framework to work from, or at least some new processes. These are your champions, keep them close as they are critical to the success.
- Who’s against you?
These are your blockers. Knowing who could block you will allow you concentrate your efforts on the people who want this to work. If a blocker is a big influence on people, then you’ll need Senior Management to help you show them the way forward or to tell them not to derail the process.
- Who will adopt your new framework quickly?
These people will follow closely behind your champions and use the framework. Keep them informed on your progress.
- Who’s a fence sitter?
Other than getting splinters in their ****, these people will not come on board until you get a significant number of people using the framework. Use your champions and early adopters to push your fence sitters over to your side of the fence. Beware your blockers don’t bad mouth to these people, as they can easily fall the wrong side.
The research stage may feel unnecessary but if you fail to do this then you’ll be in for a long journey and your new framework may never turn into a reality.
Step 3 – Designing the framework
Taking all of the research that you have gathered, it’s time to plan out what your new framework will look like. You’ll need to know at least the following:
- Which steps will be in your framework?
As a guide you could use these steps: Kick off, Research, Design, Create, Test.
- What will be delivered in each step?
Think what the client will get and what are internal deliverables.
- Which documents you have already that need updating.
Remember to use what you already have, just make it more robust.
- What new documents you’ll need to create.
Fill the gaps in your current delivery process with new documents and deliverables.
Make sure your champions are involved in this stage, and remember those influential blockers, try to get them to input too. Turning a blocker into a champion at this stage is not only great but very possible.
Step 4 – Create
This step is pretty self-explanatory. Create those documents, create templates and example documents. Also, draw the framework out. If people are going to follow this, they’ll need to know what’s in it. Make sure the documents follow the same design and the framework processes are documented in your internal branding, it may seem like a fussy point but if it looks official and from your organisation, then it’ll be easier for people to want to follow it.
Step 5 – Test
Yes, test. Find projects that your champions are running or a very willing early adopter. I’d suggest testing on 3-4 projects of differing sizes, amend the process where required as you go. Then evaluate the test results. Were they successful? What did the users and clients think of the new processes? If the feedback is good then you can go to the next step, if not then I suggest amending the framework and testing again.
Step 6 – Rollout and Promote
Again, a self-explanatory step. Do take time to design assets that will help you promote the new framework. I once consulted with one company that put the steps of the new framework on the actual stairs with positive reasons to using the new framework at the end of each set of physical steps. It couldn’t be missed or ignored. Also, spend time rolling it out in person, sitting with teams or individual members to explain it and make sure they know you’re there to help and advise.
If you need help with your project delivery why not see if I’m free to hire. Also please look out for my document examples over the coming weeks and why I think each is important.