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Friday, 23 May 2014 00:00

Top 10 Rules of Engagements

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Welcome to the first of many blogs on subjects that interest me. Through this ongoing format, it is my aim to provide a clear understanding of my project management ethos, a communication path to appreciate the beliefs that guide me and an awareness of my approach to IT management, specifically as it applies to project management in the healthcare arena.

In 1996, John Kotter wrote his seminal book on change management entitled, "Leading Change." As an information technology executive, I was significantly impacted by the book, and discovered the close kinship between project management and change management.

It's easy to discern that change management is critical to leadership of transformative projects that involve people, process and technology; however, change management must simultaneously occur for any "green-lighted" project whose key goal is to generate a return on investment.

A singular focus on project management attributes (timeline, scope, quality and budget) is a worthy collection of multi-related objectives; however, combining project and change management optimizes the realization of the higher goal of attaining overall benefits, and generates a firm foundation for those benefits to endure.

Kotter's Eight Steps to Leading Change:
Step 1: Establish a sense of urgency.
Step 2: Create a guiding coalition.
Step 3: Develop a change vision.
Step 4: Communicate the vision for buy-in.
Step 5: Empower broad-based action.
Step 6: Generate short-term wins.
Step 7: Never let up.
Step 8: Incorporate change into the culture.

Kotter's "spot-on" philosophy influenced me and sparked a decision to reassess my approach to project management. I applied and interwove Kotter's "Eight Steps" with my experience, knowledge and areas of expertise, and developed guiding principles that work extremely well in my profession. I term these guiding principles:

Spencer's Rule of 10:
10: Succession Planning Ensures Returns on Investment is achieved
9: Measure for ROI, User Readiness and Reassess Continuously
8. Negotiate Before, During and After the Project
7. Mitigate and Focus only on the big stuff
6. Team build and Celebrate Continuously
5. Manage the Critical Path
4. Know when to push and Push very Hard When it is Time
3. Get the Right People on the Bus, Put the Rest in Storage
2. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate (Kotter, 1996)
1. Establish a Sense of Urgency (Kotter, 1996)

I will share my thoughts on these principles in an effort to engage your interest in, and understanding of, the significance of the union of project and change management.
Next installment: Succession Planning Ensures Results!