In the five years preceding this intervention I had delivered a number of ‘off the shelf’ project management programmes for this organisation. On this occasion their customer services department wanted to develop their own approach to managing projects. They felt the generic training was too detailed for the types of projects they undertake.
Their methodology was designed by taking a generic 'good practice' methodology and facilitating a focus group to ‘cut it down’, and tailor it to ensure it met their specific needs. This process involved selecting appropriate tools and techniques, changing language to reflect their culture and shifting the emphasis to the phases of project management they needed to focus on.
Email was used to share the proposed methodology and seek feedback. Following a series of reiterations we reached agreement and I designed the training programme. All managers received training giving them an overview of the process and relevant tools, techniques and skills to enable them to manage projects effectively. A month after the original training I ran follow up facilitated workshops to review learning, address any barriers to the transfer of learning and to determine next steps. The managers recognised that the key to success was ongoing support from senior management and they took it upon themselves to run a workshop for their managers to give them an overview of the process and to discuss appropriate support, monitoring and control mechanisms.
I have taken a similar approach with a number of organisations, essentially taking a generic good practice project management process with a set of tried and tested tools and either stripping it back to its bare essentials or substituting different tools and techniques to design something which meets the needs of the client, uses their language and is based on best practice.