The Benefits of Standardization

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Categories: Benefits Realization, Best Practices, PMOs

By Christian Bisson, PMP


Standardizing project management across an organization is often met with resistance, as teams are typically eager to customize their efforts based on how they feel is the best way of working. But while there are often adjustments that must be made on a client-by-client basis, there are many benefits to creating a consistent project management experience no matter the endeavour.

Easier Handoffs

A project manager’s life can go from slow and steady to chaotic in a matter of minutes. If you have a common way of working it is easier for colleagues to grab your project for a day and coordinate while you focus on other—often more urgent—concerns.

For example, if your schedule is built using the same tool or template as your coworkers’ projects, opening it up to figure out what’s next is easy. It also keeps your colleague from messing up your well-organized plan, thus making it harder for you to jump back into the project when you’re able.

Shorter Learning Curves

When you hire a new project manager, he or she must learn how the company works—from clients and colleagues to tools and processes—before they can be efficient or add value.

If project management is standardized, it drastically reduces the learning curve for the new hire.

Cooperative Continuous Improvement

For anyone that reads my blogs, it’s quite obvious I’m an advocate of continuous improvement. The best way to do this is by working with other project managers, sharing ideas on how to improve our way of working, our tools, our templates, etc. Having multiple sources of feedback allows for better ideas to emerge and faster fine-tuning.

This is generally overlooked, however, if everyone works in a silo, doing his or her own thing.

Better Client Experience

If a client works with more than one project manager at the same agency, it creates a better experience when documents look the same across projects or communications are handled the same way by different project managers.

What do you think are the key benefits of standardizing project management across organizations? What have your challenges been? I look forward to discussing.

Posted by Christian Bisson on: August 11, 2016 08:43 PM | Permalink

Comments (7)

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Great observations! It definitely makes it much easier to provide a quality project documentation output when you have standard templates available. There are often no job training manuals for new hire or contract project managers (in my experience). The knowledge gap can be closed much more quickly when there are templates available!


thanks for your comment.

You've actually mentioned something quite recurrent on the field — Having access to proper documentation or training is often overlooked since people are too busy and most of the learning is done "on the fly" for anyone new, which can be challenging depending of projects, their situation, and everything else.

Thanks for the great reminders and reinforcement for this type of system. We encountered some resistance when we implemented, but I might just tuck this in my file for "next time" someone balks.

I meant to continue - standards, with tailoring where appropriate, contribute to reliability and repeatability, and also reduce the project cost to clients by not "chiseling a new wheel" each time. Thanks again.

Glad you liked it Julia, thank you for your comment.

Reducing client costs is another great reason to do this. That or it can make it easier to fit within the same budget.

Hi Christian. This is a great article. It's very concise and informative.

I think it would far easier for the sponsor to attend to the various projects if there are standard project management processes. What a challenge it would be for sponsor if there are not in place.

thanks for sharing it. I work in different projects and different project teams. for me is essential to have standardized tolls and process. a good standardization system reduces no essential "learning time" (in other word the time spent to understand anything new), control time and the possibility of mistakes,

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