Planning and Supporting the Implementation of Initiatives
Planning and supporting the implementation of initiatives across regions is difficult. In complex project environments, the implementation of initiatives across multiple regions requires an understanding of:
- Regional differences
- Environments where the initiatives will be implemented, and the
- Regional competencies available (or needing development).
Three domains need to be evaluated and understood to support cross region initiatives. When working together these competencies support an agile and adaptive approach that is informed, engaging, and methodical. Inadequate support or development in any of these competency areas can have an impact on the initiatives performance.
For some members, many of the deliverables will represent ‘low hanging fruit’ that has either already been achieved or is near to current performance. For other members the deliverables may represent ‘stretch goals’ that almost defy imagination, producing anxiety and fear of being left behind or being found lacking in key areas.
It remains crucial that the project manager take these different performance levels, and levels of readiness, into account when identifying the approach to:
- Stakeholder engagement
- Risk management
- Role development
- Benchmarking & metrics
The challenge before the project manager is to find the best process and structure for engaging the different stakeholder groups in the pursuit of a shared goal. The more tangible and practical the goal is perceived the more likely engagement and interest will follow.
Cross regional initiatives are often mandated and championed by individuals or groups in positions of authority. Although more funding is often not tied to the success of a cross regional initiative it can be particularly useful during the first development stages to insure engagement. What is more often the case is the mandate to ‘do more’ with ‘the same resources,’ straining the partnerships ability to deliver. The project manager needs to take these different scenarios into consideration when identifying the pace, or velocity, in which work is scheduled.
Planning and supporting the implementation of initiatives across regions needs to be able to engage the different members simultaneously while supporting each at their levels or readiness. This is no easy task and requires a skilled facilitator to achieve. The above model provides a generic outline of how a cross regional planning initiative could be structured.
In addition to this generic structure there remains a wealth of business and strategic tools available to support cross regional coordination. A robust ‘domain 3′ (see graphic above) is crucial to being able to leverage and support the business and strategic tools needed to deliver value across the regions. Leadership’s responsibility to insure the necessary training and support is available to consistently use these tools remains central to the cross region initiative’s success. This is why, in some projects, deliverables are identified for the cross systems level and Go to the full article.