The PPM Cascade

Joe Wynne is a versatile Project Manager experienced in delivering medium-scope projects in large organizations that improve workforce performance and business processes. He has a proven track record of delivering effective, technology-savvy solutions in a variety of industries and a unique combination of strengths in both process management and workforce management.

In a previous article, I specified how to organize training for middle managers to break down resistance to PPM implementation. There is another activity that should be conducted simultaneously with this training, however: cascading the vision for PPM down from the executive level through the organization starting early.

How early is early? When planning these communications, there are two crucial early phases to consider:

  • Initiation--as soon as PPM is identified as the “Next Big Thing” by executive management
  • Pre-Implementation--when the specific actions for starting implementation have been determined and scheduled

This is the timing of an effective cascade of communication from the proper level.

Messages for PPM Initiation
Before the PPM transition begins in earnest, messages from the executive level should set a firm yet constructive tone. The early message does not have to have a lot of detail--that just holds up the ability to get the message out early.

Purpose of Initiation Communications
The message that must be cascaded down first is that executives want to achieve certain organizational benefits and PPM is how they desire to go about achieving those benefits. Further, everyone in the organization will be involved in the transition to ensure its success.

These points should also be made at this stage to create a …

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"If you have an important point to make, don't try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time--a tremendous whack."

- Winston Churchill