Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Model the Behavior

One of the questions I get most often is asking about my first PMO.  We were built to deliver 60% of our projects successfully.  This incredible team delivered 99% of the projects on time and on budget.  The thing I was most proud of was how they impacted the corporate culture of the organization.  It also helped me frame one of the biggest techniques I use today, modeling behavior.

How many times have you seen suggestions or change come out of failure?  How many times have you seen requests for change come out of complaint?  Now, how many times have you seen a request for change been modeled?  In round tables, we teach that small actions lead to great change.  We didn't know this at the time, but that is exactly what can occur. 

A common framework and an activity that I am not a fan of in project management is lessons learned.  The intent is good, the execution is why I am not a fan of the activity.  Rarely does anyone learn a lesson from that meeting.  The meeting is held because it was required by the process.  Several things are listed and then gathered on a shared drive or listed somewhere.  Are people really going out and studying these lessons and enacting them to great change?  We are pulling these from complaints and using suggestions for change.  However, most organizations then just settle back in to the next project without changing anything.

Modeling behavior is about changing something small.  You make a proactive change and then monitor the result.  The process is tweaked until it is perfected.  When the results are seen, others want to be a part of that success or feel the benefit of the change and will request it.  This drives more adoption and belief in the change.  Instead of the complaint and negative top-down driven change, this becomes a positive and bottom-up driven change.  It is empowering and contagious.  So instead of complaining that something needs to change, make the change on a small scale and model the behavior you desire.  See how that works and what those results will offer.  I can tell you with many stories the difference can be a completely different corporate culture!

No Day But Today,


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