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Organizing Large-Scale Projects

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Level 4
We're looking for users that have set up really large-scale projects with various (and lots of) deliverables, timelines, users/departments, etc. Something like a company rebrand (I saw the Ameritas case study for their rebrand). Any tips or tricks on how to get things organized, or other lessons learned? We're considering a large-scale project and thinking through access, organization and how granular it should be. Bonus points if you'll be at LEAP this year! We'd love to chat and get your thoughts/advice!
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Level 10
Hi: Boy. If I were to put into an email my recommendation, much less a discussion of the various alternatives, it would be a tome no one would read. I’ll be at LEAP. Look me up, let’s draw some pictures. Fundamental assumptions that drive : 1) No one wants to look bad; 2) No one learned something the first time you present it - humans learn through repetition; 3) People will say they agree with things they don’t understand or don’t really agree with, all so they don’t appear different from the rest of the group; 4) Some people will do whatever they want, regardless of what they agreed upon; 5) Most people want to do the right thing; 6) A small number of people love working in fire drill mode, so they create fire drills so that they feel comfortable; 7) Some people hide issues from others so that they can quietly work on them and solve them. Then, at the moment of the great reveal, when they display the work product of their outstanding individual labor, they want to be Mighty Mouse “Here I Am to Save The Day!”. People operating in Hero Mode should be discouraged from doing so; 8) 80% of the people do 20% of the work, 20% of the people do 80% of the work; 9) Some people cannot thing linearly. Some people cannot stop thinking linearly. Adjust the style of the presentations to speak to all kinds of thinkers, so that you get the best ideas from a diverse group of people. Individual ideas are okay, but like a diamond in the rough, need to be refined by a group of people. Go with the ideas the group worked on together and have refined together. Create an environment where lone wolf action is discouraged; 10) Process divergence is a constant threat to the success of every large project; (thus sayeth the jaded old Project Manager) Here is the concise approach (old school WBS iterative decomposition): 1) Start with the end state - have a clear vision of what you want the world to look like, how it works, how it looks and feels. Get that in a Charter. Meet with people a lot to discuss that vision and be sure there is a clear agreement and consensus. Keep selling that vision throughout the life of the project. Keep it front of executive sponsors, so that it is in the forefront of their minds on all occasions. No one in power can lose the vision. Having an executive sponsor who has forgotten the vision or no longer agrees with it is like having a flat tire on a tour bus. It disappoints lots of people and really slows progress; 2) Get a change control/communication/approval process in place; 3) Document the key components of that end state; 4) Iteratively decompose those key components into subcomponents; 5) Stop decomposing those subcomponents when you’ve got the descriptors down to deliverables a small team of people can produce in a few weeks; 6) As things change, work them through the change control process; 7) …. There is the whole question of command and control, staffing, communication. You have to lay out how the project processes are going to work and talk about them many times. The biggest challenge will be: 1) People who learn that something needs to change and don’t communicate it; 2) People who should be involved but aren’t really engaged. They sit in the meetings but don’t engage, don’t contribute. Once they do engage, mentally, they will claim they weren’t involved and will question the direction or deliverables. You think you have a consensus, but they weren’t engaged enough to have that emotional commitment to the vision; 3) Someone will require you produce a Tardis or a Cloak of Invisibility as part of the effort. It is important to find this deliverable, because they will continue to work on it without letting people know they are working on a Warp engine. They need help making their objectives and deliverables more realistic; 4) Once people start working on the deliverables, golly, people are going to learn lots. When people learn, they generally want to change. Be sure discussing change is a cultural norm, and that management doesn’t crush people who share what they’ve learned with the team. Its way cheaper to improve things now than to wait and improve them later in the lifecycle. Worse of all, the change is pushed into a “later phase” and compromises are made. Those compromises are rarely corrected in later phases, and people come to simply accept it as a norm. Fix it now. Don’t wait; I could go on for hours… Let’s talk at LEAP if you’re interested… Eric

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Level 4
Eric - Thank you so much for the thoughts and being open to discussing! We will definitely look you up at LEAP!

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Level 10
I concur: Eric, you are a gentleman and a scholar: I salute you! Regards, Doug

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Level 10
Hi: I didn’t see you at LEAP. Would you like to schedule a call? Eric

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Level 3
Hi Leslie, We have several large-scale projects: Branding Honed the project template to 33 tasks Timeline: 8-weeks Websites Project template is currently 67 tasks Projects usually span across a few departments: web, design, content, video, brand Timeline: 8-10 months Video Production Project template is currently 45 tasks Projects usually span across a few departments: design, content, video, motion graphics Timeline: 4-8 weeks I can go into more detail, but is this sort of where/how you're looking to gain insight?

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Level 2
Hi Leslie I would love to connect. We have been struggling with something similar. GISELA DELGADO EQUINOX | DIRECTOR , CREATIV

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Level 8
Hi Mary, Is there any change I could get an exported list of your tasks for your Website projects? We have an ongoing project to revamp our external website and it's currently really messy. Thank you!

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Level 3
It's pretty intense, but here you go. We have the milestones set up with a dynamic report so the client can check it at any time and see project progress. I attached both. Hope it helps!

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Level 1
@Mary, I'd love to learn more about how you manage video production in Workfront. We have an in-house video production team, and I'm looking to help streamline processes, and ideally cut down on the other tools the team uses (for scheduling, asset management, and proofing). Lisa White Sr. Director, Creative Operations Herbalife Nutrition