Cheetah Know How Network

Trusting the Process: 3 Key Features of High-Quality PM Processes

By Michelle LaBrosse, CCPM, PMP®, PMI-ACP, Chief Cheetah and Founder of Cheetah Learning

According to well-known business executive Don Tapscott, the technological development that will most impact the way we live in the next few decades is not the newest iPhone, or flying drones, or self-driving cars. It's a technology many of us may not have heard of: blockchain technology. Blockchain is the technology behind Bitcoin - a way of transferring assets instantly over the Internet, using a complicated encryption system rather than intermediary organizations. Whereas traditionally the transfer of money across long distances has to go through banks, blockchain technology operates as a peer-to-peer network, eliminating the need for a middleman.

For Tapscott, what's really amazing about this technology is its possibility to change the way wealth is created by giving more people easier access to financial capital. What's really striking to us here at Cheetah Learning, however, is what blockchain technology tells us about how trust works today.

Think back to the example of transferring money - let's say, between two people living in different countries. Until recently, most of us would only trust an intermediary organization (like Western Union) to do this, even though it would cost a lot and take a long time. As blockchain technology has gotten more advanced, however, more and more people are trusting complex encryption systems to mediate our financial exchanges. And that's a good thing; blockchain is nearly impossible to hack, and it allows people to exchange assets faster and more cheaply than through an intermediary. In other words, with blockchain we're trusting a process, not a person. (Listen to Don Tapscott's TED talk if you're curious to learn more about how this works.)

So, what does all this have to do with Project Management? Good Project Managers do, of course, need to be good, trustworthy people. But more importantly, they need to be able to implement and maintain a consistent and trustworthy process for doing projects. A trustworthy process for doing projects has three features:

1. Transparency. When we hear "transparency," we usually think about companies and organizations being "transparent" to outsiders: customers, shareholders, and the general public. Transparency is also an important principle within an organization. Transparency in Project Management means that the PM process has to be easy for everyone involved in the project to learn and use for launching and executing the project.

Good Project Managers are indispensable, but not because they're the only people on the team who know all the pieces that make up the project. Rather, a good PM knows how to put into motion a transparent, consistent process that all team members understand. When different people join and leave the team, stakeholders can still count on consistent, quality results because the backbone of the project is the process, not the people.

2. Repeatable results. Another key metric of a trustworthy process is its ability to produce repeatable results. Regardless of who is leading the project or assigned to the team, the PM process must create the same high-quality results from project to project and person to person. When customers and other stakeholders see different teams producing the same good results across projects, they grow to trust the organization's processes.

3. Growth-driven initiative. Lastly, the PM process must inspire people to keep expanding their innate skills and capabilities rather than installing bureaucratic hurdles that stifle creative efforts. Just because a process is consistent doesn't mean it has to limit team members' creativity. For example, here at Cheetah Learning we have a standard process we use for developing new courses. This process has allowed team members to create online courses in many new directions, depending on their interests and unique skillset - ranging from home improvement projects, to mastering negotiation tactics, to starting your own micro-green vertical garden.

Creating a PM process for your organization that is transparent, produces repeatable results, and allows for team members' growth takes time. Cheetah Learning has years of experience helping Project Managers master the skills of process management through our classroom and online courses. Cheetah Project Management, a 20-hour online course, was developed with these fundamentals at its foundation. This is why once Cheetah students learn the process, it becomes the cornerstone of their personal and career success. Learn more at www.cheetahlearning.com.

About the Author:

Michelle LaBrosse, PMP, is an entrepreneurial powerhouse with a penchant for making success easy, fun, and fast. She is the founder of Cheetah Learning, the author of the Cheetah Success Series, and a prolific blogger whose mission is to bring Project Management to the masse

Cheetah Learning is a virtual company with 100 employees, contractors, and licensees worldwide. To date, more than 50,000 people have become "Cheetahs" using Cheetah Learning's innovative Project Management and accelerated learning techniques.

Michelle also developed the Cheetah Certified Project Manager (CCPM) program based on Myers-Briggs Type Indicator personality profiling to help students master how to use their unique strengths for learning, doing projects, and negotiating. CCPM graduates are able to choose the right projects and complete those projects "cheetah fast" based on their personality. They also learn how to leverage others' strengths which significantly improves overall project team performance. When an employer has a cadre of CCPMs on staff, they achieve whatever they set out to achieve in record time. This is why over 90% of Cheetah's clients experience an increase in both profitability and revenue within the first year of retaining Cheetah Learning for their Project Management training needs 

Honored by the Project Management Institute (PMI®), Cheetah Learning was named Professional Development Provider of the Year at the 2008 PMI® Global Congress. A dynamic keynote speaker and industry thought leader, Michelle is recognized by PMI as one of the 25 Most Influential Women in Project Management in the world.