Track Program Success Using the Right Metrics
Driving transformation programs at scale takes time to realize. However, short to medium-term objectives and success criteria will be great indicators of whether an organization can reach their ultimate goals on-time and on-budget. Also, without a granular view of progress, it can be difficult to estimate velocity and trajectory towards ultimate program completion. So, how can leadership know if things are really on track and likely to succeed?
Selecting the proper metrics seems obvious but is often not given the priority, time, and analysis it warrants. Across complicated programs with numerous teams and deliverables (especially when multiple geographies and business units are included), each workstream will likely have a different unit regarding measure of success.
For some, it could be as simple as ‘x of y’ and once your team reaches the target metric of ‘y’, then you’re done! For others, you’ll need to work with the teams to define clear milestones that indicate success and feed upward into the larger plan. Often these ‘milestone’ metrics can feed into other workstreams to remove active blockers or trigger a related set of actions. Clear definition, careful tracking, and continuous communication are all critical when outlining these indicator elements.
One Team, One Objective
Ensuring all your key workstream leads and PMs (and ideally every role deep into the program) are fully committed and aligned to the future-state vision is essential to success. There will be tough phases in a program: some that test resolve, fortitude, and even belief that the end vision can be achieved. High on the list of “important things” that any sponsor or leader can do is to onboard the most passionate individuals from across the enterprise. Positivity is contagious (negativity as well) so, don’t just fill roles and delegate executive orders; be mindful to tap people who really care and are invested in the company’s success.
For a large program with many project managers, it is essential that everyone identifies as the “same team”. Ensure they all have time to get to know one another and have opportunities to create shared chemistry beyond the project day-to-day tasks. Where feasible, it may be beneficial to bring teams together for moments of fun outside of the office (or, outside of the virtual setting for distributed teams). Be sure to create visibility for everyone, especially some of the deeper project managers that may not always have the strongest voice. Other PM’s successes should be celebrated as everyone’s successes; use these moments to recognize, reward, and commend the progress being made.
Find clever and new ways to keep the team engaged and deeply interested; it’s critically important that even one PM does not lose focus, as collective velocity can easily be damaged. The end goal is to keep the program moving in a way that encourages collaboration and celebrates wins when they happen.
Right-coursing Your Program is Achievable
Clarity and definition are the most common threads throughout our assessment of where and how things can stall during a large enterprise-wide program. Any type of transformation effort is a living process; it requires care and feeding as adjustments are made based on continued feedback. While most of your team is focused on the day-to-day demands of running the program and driving implementation, don’t forget one of the key components: ensuring that all stakeholders and team members are on the same journey, and that the journey is well-defined.