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Turn Reactions into Decisions

We are surrounded by data more and more each day and we’ve been told that this data should help us make smarter decisions; but do you feel like you have been given the space to stop reacting?  Are you making smarter decisions? Or are you still trapped in urgent rapid-fire reactions?

This is especially true when it comes to executing on your task management after phase-in, after the first few months of performance and as the years progress.  At each trigger point, your PMO should be reducing reactions and should be smoothly executing on your tasks in a predictable and ever improving manner.  And one way to accomplish this is to implement systems that allow for increased collaboration and transparency.  Systems that automate data collection and administrative tasks so you can think critically about the important items.

PMO systems should allow you to pinpoint higher priorities, flag urgent items, and get ahead of issues before they paralyze your organization.

Data collection and analytics need to be core features of your next PMO system so you can turn your reactions into decisions.

Learn how iSitePMO can help you, email us at marketing@isitellc.com.

Increase Your Productivity

It’s another Friday, what did you accomplish this week?  Were you all over the map? Did you feel like you could never get caught up?

We are all busier than we have ever been, and our schedules are often interrupted or off track with our coworkers.  But there are some easy steps you can take to ensure that you are at your productive best, no matter what your schedule looks like.

Implementing the right systems, following the right steps to plan, execute, control and close tasks, and being aware of where your hours go will help increase your productivity.

Find a support system that works for you, on your time!

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Boosting Your Reports with Data Visualization

You’ve taken the first step and are now using a centralized tool for round out the functionality of your PMO systems, and the biggest benefit so far? Reports, near instant, informative reports at your fingertips.

Now, what do you do with your free time?  Make your reports shine.  Now that you are not swamped with report creation, you can now take a step back and make sure that your reports quickly and easily communicate your data, highlight important details, and engage the recipient.

The folks over at HubSpot have a free web guide to help you become a data-visualization wizard.  Your PMO will shine, your client will be wow-ed.  What could be better?

Lesson Learned: Keep on Learning!

As the folks over at Harvard Business Review remind us lifelong learning has a wide-ranging positive impact on our day-to-day, relationship and lifetime success.

And I would add to this list that continuous learning also helps your career success. Of course, this means we all need to free our over-booked work-selves up enough to learn from past performance and evaluate data to the point that we can take off any blinders and evaluate lessons learned.

Implementing smart systems is a great first step to achieving this goal.  Remember a system is more than tools you purchase, more than the process you put in place, more than employees you hire; a system is all of these and more.

Take a Program Management Office, for example. If you are a small Government contractor you might only have one PMO dedicated to one contract, but if you are on the medium to large side you are likely trying to balance several PMOs all with different contract goals, deadlines, and requirements.

How to you make sure that seemingly disjointed PMOs are not making it impossible for you to keep on learning and improving?

Create an organization-wide PMO system.  Take ownership of your successes and identify and rectify deficiencies before they become uncontrollable.

Set yourself up to be a lifelong learner.

Let History Be Our Guide to Contract Management Success

How do Contract Officers set themselves up for success for their next contract? When do they start evaluating ways to improve performance? When do they start planning for the next time?

Day one of your current contract.

From day one Contract Officers and their team should be measuring data that can be tracked historically, that can show patterns, that can help them sit back and determine what went right, what went wrong, and what could go much much better (and using smart tools to help you collect, report on and review this data).

Set smart metrics, collect as much data as you can, and most importantly review the data at regular intervals.  Ask questions, don’t assign blame. Consider false positives and false negatives.

Setting historical tracking and reviewing standards at the start of a contract will help establish a firm culture of improving performance as a team rather than assigning blame to a specific group or individual.

And all of this hard work and attention to continuous evaluation will lead up to a contract post-mortem which is the second critical step towards contract management improvement.

Our friends at HubSpot give a great overview of what a stellar post-mortem should look like.

And don’t worry even if you are well into your second or third contract year it is never too late to start setting the baseline for how to improve for your next contract.

Top 3 Ways to keep your PMO on Track

The best time to start thinking about winning your re-compete? The day you win the first award.  Keeping your PMO on track from the first day will keep your competition at arm’s length and will help ensure that your Government client has only good things to say about your performance.

Here are just three ways that iSite can help you keep your PMO on track as you manage your contract tasks.

  1. Workflows

Smart workflows keep your systems and steps moving forward.  There are assigned responsibility, defined actions, and specific steps. In a solid workflow, there is no worry about a missed action and there is redundancy built in so there is no unforeseen delay.

 

Using workflows will help you show progress and will help you engage in a smart way with your Government clients.

 

  1. Eliminate Data Delay

iSite is a neutral system that allows appropriate users to access data they need in order to do their jobs in an efficient and smart way. By pushing data into iSite, your systems of record are not impacted, your team in charge of maintaining your systems of record don’t have to be sidetracked in order to respond to data requests and appropriate users have instant access to the data they need in order to answer client questions and manage their tasks.

  1. Capture and Review Historical Data

Improving performance is a great goal, but unless you have a tool that allows you to capture and evaluate historical past performance you are not using data to make improvement decisions. By taking advantage of one system to manage your tasks you are setting your team up for success when it comes to critical post-mortem conversations.

Lingo Leg-Work Will Change Everything

Do you remember busy work? The task you might have been assigned that seemed pointless? That seemed like it was given to you so someone else could get you out of their way? That is given to the lowest man on the totem pole?

We are here to tell you that sometimes this so-called busy work is the critical foundation for the success of your contract.  Unless alignment on basics such as agreed upon terms exists be prepared to spend most of your contract execution or task management explaining what you meant when you said you followed standard practices and no one knows what you mean.

For example, do you know what ‘close of the financial month’ means when compared to ‘hard close of the financial month’? Is there a difference?

Or how about when it comes to ‘actuals’? Who hasn’t been blown away when there is a debate about what this term means.

Or maybe the difference between a sale and revenue?

Maybe your PMO team is a shining star and you are already successfully speaking the same language for your contract.  But what happens if a new member joins your team from another contract, did you find yourself scrambling to realign? How about when you start communicating with your client? Do you find yourself jotting down terms to research at a later date? Or what happens when you have a cross-functional meeting? Do you ever find the meeting ends up with folks talking at each other or in circles rather than communicating?

We all know that every Government agency, every Government Contract, every contractor, every PMO, and every individual has their own language assumptions before you even start to manage your new contract.  Our advice? Take the time to sit down, write down, and agree upon your lingo.

This so-called busy work will pay off. Trust us.

Data Driven Decisions for Task Management

GovTech is out with a reflective article today looking at how cities are embracing technology.  As cool as this is they are quick to the point that

“Technology makes it cool, but data is what makes it smart.”

This is a statement that iSite can get behind. When we talk to our larger community about implementing more technology into their world we face two types of reactions: Awesome! The more technology the better, or Really, another tool I have to log into every day?

These are sentiments that everyone should be able to understand, adding more technology does not always help ease our burdens and sometimes it increases the amount of time it takes to get anything done; but not all tools are created equal.

When you evaluate tools and systems to bring into your organization dig into evaluating how they allow you to report on or capture data. Are they helping you make smarter decisions? Can they capture information that you have never considered using in an evaluation because to collect it manually would have cost you, at least, an extra body? How can you make this new tool work harder for you so you can work smarter?

Solving Problems, Not Selling Products

On Election Day, our team at iSite wanted to make a pledge to you, our platform (if you will) is to solve PMO and CMS inefficiencies and lack of transparency. We will help you find automation where automation is needed. We will streamline reporting. We will save you time and money.

You, our constituents, are critical to our success, but we know not all of you will buy our system. And that is okay. We know we are not the perfect fit for each PMO or CMS need. And that is okay.

We ask is that you take the time to tell us your story. Where could you use the most improvement? What points of failure could we help solve?

We ask that you take the time to understand what iSite could do for you. Does it help make you more competitive? Does it help reduce the number of systems you are currently using?

We ask that you take the time to fully explain to us your current process.

We ask that you take the time to work through any assumptions.

And finally, we ask for open dialogue.   Let our team of experts help you uncover iSite’s potential for your organization or identify where iSite might not be a perfect fit. But above all be willing to have the conversation and trust us, we want to solve problems, not sell products.

Let Technology Transform Your PMO into a System

CEB is out with a great article boasting the benefits of technology finally coming out of the proverbial IT closet and into the mainstream of different offices and functions. And, I think we can all agree, it is about time. Embracing technology and the data that it can produce is the first step in allowing folks to get back to their job functions: making decisions, working smarter, moving the target closer to the mark.

“For any manager – in public administration or private business – getting the most from technology is now as fundamental a management skill as managing a team.”

CEB

Of course, it is equally important to embrace the change as it is to make sure that you are picking the proper technological tool that will help you advance your organization. And this takes careful consideration. In an era where data (and data sharing) is expected it is easy to rush into a quick solution or solutions.  How many different tools do you need to access each day in order to capture all of that great data? Has this really transformed your organization in a good way? Or has it simply shifted where you focus most of your efforts? Are you managing your technology or is it managing you?

We would suggest taking a systems approach when considering introducing new technology to your team.  When considering new tools ask these questions:

  1. Is this technology reducing my amount of effort and increasing my productivity?
  2. Can this technology offer greater transparency?
  3. Does the output that this technology produces make it easier for our organization to make decisions?
  4. Will this technology help give us a competitive advantage?
  5. How can I use this technology to bring meaningful change to my entire organization?

To learn more about how iSite can help your PMOs function as an efficient and smart system email us at marketing@isitellc.com