Best Practices – Managing Risks in Lean or Agile Projects
Risk Management can be defined as a need of the project & show the pathway to create & give experience to the project managers.
What is the main reason to utilize the power of risk management tools only for the projects that demand lessons to learn about understanding, assessing, & reporting the things that work perfectly & the ones that went wrong in a project? It is more common when the lessons include checking dangers & issues that can result in the catastrophic impact on the life of the human, businesses, & the surroundings. Furthermore, there are the most amazing practices & three main lessons on the method to manage risks are described by this paper. It shows the requirement for project managers to learn the latest management approaches like Lean, Agile, & Kanban for managing the cross-border, complex, & multi-disciplinary projects.
There is a requirement to learn new techniques of the project management for addressing the previous project lessons ethically & diligently for the project managers. The reason behind that is the increasing competition nowadays. A complete understanding of these techniques will make sure there should be no repetition of the past mistakes in the new projects.
The previous & present experiences are illustrated by the lessons learned from different international projects. It helps in integrating the ideal practice project management approach. There are three areas of behavioral approaches & management techniques described by the author. Additionally, the guide includes the method for bringing these techniques to create project managers.
The foundation of a perfect technological & business management is set by the ethics & accountability. In addition to the culture of accountability, the most amazing approaches to lean project management & practices are implemented across the complete management process.
First Lesson- Ethics & Accountability
The first lesson is created on the basis of the complications in the project that get hugely impacted due to increasing demands of stakeholders, fewer resources, & increasing technological complexities on a regular basis. If we consider a traditional approach, then the bigger project teams are employed in the projects having the higher complexity to target the efforts on the testing & designing of deliverables against the specifications. There is a reduced cost demanded by the present market condition for staying upward in this competitive scenarios. It results in minimizing the number of project teams & transferring project work for reducing the cost international partners.
The control & execution of projects has become tougher that demand the integration of equipment, stringent process, & approaches on the method for working across the borders in a direct way. The capabilities & competencies are fragmented & dysfunctional by the project teams quite easily. The dangers of errors get reduced by doing this more, but it isn’t exactly clear that who will be the responsible & accountable for the errors. The learned lessons target to allow the project teams for making their work & its peer error-free.
It is pretty vital for the development of new projects where the faults or errors that move into the play impacts the safety, business & surroundings in a catastrophically way. In engineering, project, & business management, the ethics get integration for all the projects. The application of risk management approach is recommended by the author for continuously targeting the error-proof work from starting to the finish of a project. It allows the team members to become more accountable.
The following best practices are included in the approach that asks for extra responsibility & accountability:
- Engagement between the members of the team, the client, & management to practice the risk management as a major project need. The project teams are allowed to receive regular feedback from the product owners & clients due to this. It assists in knowing which things are right & which one is A major risk management approach for this is collecting, reviewing, & applying the lessons that you have learned.
- Applying the FMEA (Failure Mode & Effect Analysis) for design, manufacturing, & supply chain works help in checking the probability & chances of dangers & lessons that is repeated in the previous projects. It is common to see FMEA assessment to get utilized in the aerospace, automotive, & process industries where it is vital to have zero tolerance.
- Reviewing the designs of product on a continuous basis as per their ability to withstand the malfunctions after launch in the market. It demands assessment & logs in of the product failures in the field to eliminate the failures in the new products.
- The designs need to be assessed for manufacturability. It will make sure that the final item can be created on a regular basis without any danger for the functionality, quality or creation of the product.
The following observations are perfect for illustrating the net results for the projects involving the practice of risk management approaches that should be included in the project management on a daily basis.
- The members of the project team whose main duty is to solve the dangers & issues should be positive towards their responsibilities & be ready for giving 100% to the work.
- The team members should be readily available for assisting each other while controlling the work’s quality with the help of continuous assessment.
- The businesses having employees that clearly understand the effects of risks on human life, the surroundings, & property where the diligence & ethics get flourished.
Second Lesson- Collaboration
The second lesson about which one should be aware of is to realize the loss of focus & confusion due to the project members & management who doesn’t remain ready to collaborate. The stakeholders have to work for the different objectives & approach due to the impact of this fragmentation. For instance, if the resources needed by the project teams get reduced by the management, then they have to work with a lesser amount. There is a great chance that both the project teams & management don’t get the right amount of resources & time for reviewing, assessing, & applying lessons due to this result. Some of the recent incidents in the rail transportation, naval, and oil & gas industries show the lack of collaboration between the product creators & owners. Furthermore, it shows that the society gets affected in a catastrophic way due to lack of integrating lessons.
In order to change the behaviors, the business & project teams find lots of approaches for dealing with the collaboration & resource constraints issues on daily basis. New skills can be developed in communication & collaboration by the project managers, senior managers, & project team members. Additionally, a new mindset can also be created that target only the most vital objectives.
Check out some examples of perfect practice management approaches mentioned below that allow teamwork & collaboration:
- If you want to characterize the project collaboration, then the project team members, customers, and management have to work together for resolving the issues & dangers. It will make sure the project completed as per the expectations of each stakeholder. Each individual becomes a stakeholder if the team members collaborate with each other.
- A transparent, direct & honest communication is practiced by the collaborating team members. They remain ready to solve the issues & work in-depth to complete their task, no matter how complex they are. Here, the project managers have to work as a change agent or coach who offers complete guidance to the members of the team & management.
- If you co-locate the team members into a work surrounding, it will allow better communication & dialogue without any need to isolate them. You can do that by developing the Obeya or project rooms. These rooms are created in such a way that silos can be broken down easily by getting rid of cubical walls due to which face to face dialogue is hindered between the management & peers. Everyone prefer face to face communication as it is the best practice to talk about a concept.
- There is a very important part played by the reduction in complexity & length of meetings. It can only be achieved by engaging the members of the team in a short meeting on a frequent basis. It will make sure each of them can show their participation without getting nervous while speaking. This type of meetings is known as scrums that have become pillars of Agile & Lean project management methodologies. Anderson has described clearly about the technique to practice scrums in an effective manner.
- The pooling of knowledge with all the project members is allowed by the daily scrums. It allows them to understand the status of problems & dangers, small or big objectives or agreeing on works. There is an immense advantage offered by this process while managing the virtual or international project teams that need collaboration & engagement on a constant Additionally, the project managers are allowed to monitor the heartbeat of the project on a continuous basis.
- The multitasking is avoided by a collaborating team & instead of that, they target only on the important activities. Each of the stakeholders is completely capable to say no to any work that isn’t helping them in fulfilling the instant mission. They work on a simple approach to plan & manage their works securely that let them get rid of micro-managing by functional or project managers. It demands trust in each of team member & coaching on adequate communication continuously. In Bossidy philosophy, the safe communication is considered as the robust dialogue that is characterized by open dialogue & active listening without worrying about reprisals. There is a direct & transparent dialogue encouraged by the positive team relationship with well-known & common purpose.
Third Lesson- Lean Project Management Approach
The state of the art lean project management is described by the third lesson to make a collaboration with the project teams that include Kanban, Agile, & Visual project management approach that has been written in detail in the works of Anderson, Beitinger, & Womack. This type of approach offers an abundance of advantages to managing the difficult tasks while developing a stimulating work surrounding. For instance, the cross-border international project members who are experienced in dealing with the various types of time zones having cultural & language issues. As a team, they remain ready to work as a team, but remain fragment while looking to utilize the normal project management processes. There are hundreds or thousands of activities in the traditional Gantt charts that develop frustration & confusion among the members of a project team.
However, the complex Gantt charts can be replaced by the lean project management visual boards that allow the team members to know the technique for synergizing their daily workload in an effective way. Additionally, the managers & customers are also allowed to check the individual activities against a plan so that they can offer constructive guidance & feedback to the team. As explained by the PMBOK, the Gantt Charting is still one of the most well-known applied project planning approaches.
Nowadays, the VPM board features in the Obeya room while working on a difficult project. The visual project management board are viewed & updated on a daily basis by the project managers & other members of the team. There is a need to divide the team into sub-teams during big or difficult projects so that the sub VPM boards can be managed effectively on a daily basis. After that, the updates given by the sub-projects teams are updated in the main VPM board that help in updating project plan. Everyone can check their progress against the main objective by the assessing the daily work of the sub-project teams against the major project plan. However, this work can be almost impossible to do if you have to assess the progress in a fully complex Gantt chart.
The Sub VPM Boards can show the details in a greater manner for demonstrating the way lean project management techniques are implemented by a team that collaborates together.
There are basically three main sections where the sub-VPM board is divided. The text boxes situated on the left part shows detailed information about the key contacts, success criteria, deliverables, & purpose of deliverables. The team members & management are allowed to recap the project deliverables & scope through this information. Additionally, it assists in calculating success.
There are text boxes on the right side of the VPM boards that show the chances, dangers, & tasks that needed assistance from the stakeholders who aren’t part of the team. Some cost-saving & project improvement ideas are the ones that are ranked on the basis of easy implementation against the project’s impact. The obstacles can be removed & project performance can be increased if the collaborating project teams decide to improve. After that, there is a discussion on the improvement & final decision is made at the finish of the week. Dangers are identified & tagged by chances of occurrence & results for the customers or project.
The project members & other management officials can check out the high impact dangers & chances at a glance in the net results. It is extremely difficult to avoid or miss these risks as they are in front of everyone until mitigation. It makes the team members accountable for ethics & quality. Also, there are main instructions on the right side of the sub-VPM board regarding collaboration techniques if the team members needed a recap on the right communication or robust dialogue.
The technique to execute the project tasks & activities over a single week cycle is displayed by the sub-VPM Board’s center section. For instance, the swim lanes are populated by particular members of the team have a specific type of functional competencies. The tasks for two project members from the design is represented by the Swim lane 1, whereas the tasks for one project member from testing are represented by the Swim Lane 2. Similarly, the Swim Lanes 3 & 4 represents the works for the other members of the project team from the perspective of building & testing.
All the sub-team members are shown by a variety of colors of assigned tasks. Each of these active tasks is shown on a sticker. On the other hand, the program in work is displayed by all the members of the team that move tasks along the swim lanes. There is a variety of colors that visualize the risks & state of completion. Now, the members & project manager in the team become capable to find out the important paths, intersecting activities, overlapping work & barriers quite freely. It allows the team to direct work to eliminate barriers & put direct efforts to the most vital tasks.
Furthermore, the project managers can target the work of other team members in the project to know what really mentioned by Bossidy while getting rid of multitasking to manage the activities followed by the methodologies of Kanban & agile which is mentioned by Anderson. As mentioned in a research by Beitinger, it is important to receive continuous & sustainable improvements by offering coaching & mentoring the stakeholders in the business & project.
The main results, perfect practices & objectives are summarized by the utilization of scrums in an effective way, whereas the main members in the project will report during scrum that follows the extra discussions between the members in the team who have aligned their work. It is pretty vital to recognize the scum that target all the team members who advises the task completed previous day & the work that assigned on the same day if there are hurdles that demand assistance from the other members in the team. After that, the main focus of scrum meetings will be on scheduling the work between the tasks having relationships with each other with the assistance of other team members. Additionally, the dangers, product problems or issues can be tagged & can be considered as per the convenience.
It is a very difficult task to teach the students & developing project managers at the college & university level. The topic of risk management can be illustrated by the displaying real-life examples that assists in substantiating the requirement for managing the dangers all the times in an ethical way with a target on due diligence which is explained in the study presented by the Northrop & Stumpf. The teaching experiences in the classroom are also illustrated by this paper on the technique to develop project managers that can be introduced according to the latest techniques of project management.
The techniques of collaboration & lean project management are illustrated by the author that allow the teams to boost up their work while focuses the difficult projects. There are many tools & approaches to managing dangers, displaying work in progress & facing other issues with a collaborating team that communicates with a better & sophisticated dialog. It will result in the top-notch project work having the highest level of accountability & ethics. The use of step by step integration regarding fundamental rules can enable the training ideal practices on risk management to create project managers on the principles of Agile, Lean & Kanban management approach. It helps in understanding the requirements of latest techniques & accountability to manage the projects with a target on completing the tasks in the projects while minimizing waste.