How to Ensure Long-Term Project Success

by Cornelius Fichtner

Interview Between Cornelius Fichtner and Eleonore Pieper | PMWorld 360 MagazineIn this podcastCornelius Fichtner interviews Eleonore Pieper about five strategies to ensure long-term project success of your project. Successful projects result in change. However, this transformation usually happens when the original project team is already disbanding, leaving the process largely unmanaged and stakeholders ill-equipped to use the deliverables as they were intended, diminishing the expected project impact and benefits.

In the interview, they explore five strategies that project managers can easily incorporate into their project plans to put in place preventative and mitigation strategies that will lead to improved adoption of project results.

Long-term project success isn't based on luck. It requires thought and strategy. Cornelius and Eleonore look at a scalable model of five strategies for change and discuss how to modify plans with specific tasks in the areas of communication, training, organizational design, sponsorship, and HR management to ensure successful post-project transformation.

Source: Project Management Podcast

Podcast Transcript: Five Strategies to Ensure Long-Term Project Success


Podcast Introduction

Eleonore Pieper: In this episode of The Project Management Podcast™, we explore strategies that you can easily incorporate into your project plans in order to achieve improved adoption of project results.

Cornelius Fichtner: Hello and welcome to The Project Management Podcast™ at I am Cornelius Fichtner.

Podcast Interview

Cornelius Fichtner: We are coming to you live from the diverse 2018 PMI Global Conference in Los Angeles. And with me right now is Eleonore Pieper. Good afternoon!

Eleonore Pieper: Good afternoon, Cornelius. Thanks for having me.

Cornelius Fichtner: Absolutely! You already did your presentation earlier this morning right after the opening keynote presentation. How was it?

Eleonore Pieper: I did, I did. I was pretty nervous. I really thought John, who did the keynote, was a hard act to follow that the set up was really great. I had a large audience, about 130 people in the room and everybody stayed pretty much until the bitter end. Lots of questions. Lots of interactions. So I kind of came out pretty stoked.

Cornelius Fichtner: And you also had a technical issue?

Eleonore Pieper: I did. For some reason, right in the middle of it, my slide deck started advancing for no apparent reason. So whatever gremlins were in the computer did their thing.

Cornelius Fichtner: It is auto-advanced.

Eleonore Pieper: Auto-advanced, it’s right. I think it must have been a setting like I don’t know kiosk setting or something in the presentation so I had to kind of flip back to keep on the slide I was still talking about and that was interesting.

Cornelius Fichtner: Yeah, and just by sheer coincidence, I sat at a lunch table with somebody who was at your presentation and about this technical issue they said, but she covered it flawlessly. So it’s all good. It’s all good.

Eleonore Pieper: Big sigh of relief. I’m very happy to hear that, thank you.

Cornelius Fichtner: Yeah. So I’d like to go back to one word that we heard in my opening. I said: ‘We are coming to you live from the diverse 2018 PMI Global conference.’ You chose that adjective, diverse. Why did you choose that?

Eleonore Pieper: Well I am from Dallas. I’ve been there for the last 20 years working as a project manager. In Dallas, I would say project management is very much a middle-aged white profession. And being out here seeing people from Africa, from India, from China, everywhere, women, men, young people, old people coming together talking about project management, that kind of global feeling, I’m normally missing in my business. And so to me, that’s really energizing and makes me very happy.

Cornelius Fichtner: Your presentation is called “Life After Implementation”. Why did you choose that particular topic?

Eleonore Pieper: It’s something that I’ve run into a lot of times as a project manager myself. So you think you’ve done a good job with your team. You wrapped everything up. You did what your client wanted or thought that they wanted or told you that they wanted. You even managed to do it on time. You didn’t blow the budget and somehow the project at the end of it kind of turns for want of a better expression, meh, it’s never really utilized the way you thought. It may even be superseded very quickly. It’s getting rolled back. And so that kind of failure to have traction is really frustrating.

I’ve been looking for a while now at ways of being able to make a project stick to really have the organization embrace it and adapt it and go forward with it even though the project team isn’t there to take care of it anymore.

Cornelius Fichtner: So is the approach that you presented your own?

Eleonore Pieper: It’s something that we developed actually at my first company in the States, Pero-System. So we went from being people’s database administrators to being IT outsourcing in the healthcare sector. And our first few projects were challenging to say the least because we were looking at no longer just dealing with technology but actually dealing with people, dealing with IT stuff, dealing with hospital stuff, moving people from one company to another. And we had to look at ways of not just in getting the technology and rolling over the technology but engaging and rolling over the people. We have to deal with the liveware.

And for the first few years of doing that, it was really difficult. So I had the privilege to get together with a business psychologist who was an older colleague of mine and we took the old Prosci model, the ADKAD model and actually Prosci has to stroll downstairs. So if you want to check it out, just go and talk to them. They are really cool bunch of people.

But they had this model for individuals to overcome change and we went and we industrialized it. So when the ADKAR model talks about awareness, we are talking about wholesale communication. When the ADKAR model talks about getting desire to get on board with the change, we are talking about sponsors, influencers, change agents, people who will let people know that the future stage is interesting. It’s desirable. They are even living the change already so they draw the organization after them.

So we’ve really taken the five stages of ADKAR and made them into something that you can do on a whole-scale industrial, organizational level and bring an entire business into the new stage.

Cornelius Fichtner: Why do you think we, project managers, are so bad about thinking about the end of our project when we have to implement it and then it has to be used by somebody?


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