Champy's 5 Principles of Project Mangement

These are Five Principles of Project Management proposed by James Champy – the guy who brought BPR into vogue!

Have a solid business case for the work. Always know why you are doing a project, and how the performance of your business is expected to be improved. If what’s expected isn’t clear, your project — or program — is already in trouble. There will be no guide for making important decisions, like what to spend.

Make sure that you have active executive direction. The more parts of a business a system touches, the more decisions that will have to be made. Different departments, business functions or divisions will have different views of what a system must do, and someone has to settle the inevitable arguments and drive for standardization. Otherwise, the project will expand dramatically in scope, time and costs. A senior line business executive has to be on duty to make the calls.

Know there are process changes as well as technology changes. Every system enables some business process. You must be sure that your business partners are preparing for the process changes that are driving the need for a new or modified system. If the business isn’t ready for the changes, your project will have been a waste of the company’s resources.

Create a deep team with the very best people. A program requires people with both technology and business skills. The program staff must intimately understand the parts of the business that are being affected. Most major systems projects will significantly affect the future of the company. Don’t settle for staff members who just happen to be available. Go for the best.

Keep in mind that a program is a process of continuous improvement. Almost every industry is going through major change, driven by forces of globalization and technology. That means companies must also be changing, continuously improving their performance. A program may never be complete, although the systems within a program must be operable with quality and reliability. A program manager’s job may never be done. Could it be a job for life?

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