Project Fatigue: Taking Its Toll on Your Employees?

If your business runs slowly no matter how many changes and projects you throw at it, perhaps your employees are suffering from project fatigue. David Blumhorst, the Vice President of Solutions and Services at Daptiv, recently sat down with Cornelius Fichtner on the PM Podcast to chat about how to spot project fatigue and ways to prevent it.

Understanding what project fatigue is and where it stems from is the first step to prevention. At a basic level, project fatigue occurs when a company implements too many projects at once. However, it typically refers to projects that directly impact an employee’s usual workflow. A background interface project to speed up internet connection isn’t likely to meet resistance, but changing the way someone goes about their daily job will almost always illicit some level of opposition unless handled correctly. Companies suffering from project fatigue generally experience one or more of the following:

  • Employees are unmotivated and choose to complete tasks with dated techniques.
  • Business processes are slow and do not show improvement after project implementation.
  • Even with new projects the business is not meeting its target goals.

The best way to combat project fatigue is to avoid it all together. Blumhorst recommends the following tips for implementing projects to evade the negative effects of project fatigue:

  • Determine the amount of change your business can handle at once – Some companies and departments are able to handle multiple changes at once while others need to have projects broken down and implemented one at a time.
  • Understand how your organization will approach change– Startups and smaller companies are better at picking up new processes without resistance, while larger more established companies with dated workflow techniques will need to coach and prepare employees more extensively before project implementation.
  • Align projects with specific business targets that are backed by employees – Employees are more likely to accept and learn new processes if they understand how the changes further a business goal. Knowing why their workflow is being altered and how their adoption of the new system will ultimately meet a previously discussed business objective will create a project friendly environment.
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate – Employees are emotional beings, therefore it’s important to give them the opportunity to voice concerns before and after project implementation to increase acceptance. Knowing how a project will change day-to-day activities before they are actually changed and then providing a forum to ask questions afterward creates a more comfortable and seamless transition.
  • Use a PPM Tool for better planning – Having the ability to see how projects line up with each other is crucial to determining where issues will occur. If there are too many workflow altering projects back to back, spread them out and give employees time to adjust before throwing them another curveball. Just because the technology is ready doesn’t mean the people dealing with the changes will be.
  • Understand that project implementation is only the beginning –The day a project goes live is only the beginning of ensuring smooth project implementation. Although project teams could have worked behind the scenes for months before a project goes live, this is the first time many of the end-users may have interacted with it.

Blumhorst reiterates Project Portfolio Management (PPM) leaders must also realize strategically planning for projects before, during, and after implementation increases the chance that their employees will accept and flourish in new work environments.

For more information on avoiding project fatigue, listen to the entire PM Podcast online. We would also like to hear about your projects. Have you or your business experienced project fatigue, and if so how did you reverse the negative effects? Feel free to post your thoughts in the comments section below, or reach out to us on Twitter at @Daptiv with the hashtag #TooManyProjects

Daptiv Is Now Changepoint!

ChangepointToday I am very excited to announce that Daptiv will be joining Changepoint to bring unmatched project portfolio management (PPM) and professional services automation (PSA) solutions to the market. Changepoint has acquired Daptiv as a very strategic step in building a strong future for the new combined
company that will truly benefit the customers, employees, and partners of both organizations.

For those unfamiliar with Changepoint, it is a Toronto-based based company that provides on-premise and hosted PSA and PPM solutions to businesses around the world. Like Daptiv, Changepoint is a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader, but the solutions serve different markets within the space and together create a highly robust, complementary and non-competitive portfolio of world-class PSA and PPM solutions.

Now that the acquisition has been announced, I want to assure you that none of the Daptiv products and services you’ve come to know will skip a beat. It will be business as usual and all services will be supported throughout and beyond this acquisition. This acquisition creates a broader portfolio of world-class solutions, making Changepoint the only company to have recognized market leading solutions in both PSA and PPM with complete customer delivery flexibility, including on-premise, hosted, and pure SaaS. 

This is great news for Daptiv customers…

  • Changepoint’s acquisition of Daptiv is focused on investing in and growing the business to continue to provide customer value.  This new organization will be stronger and better positioned to innovate and lead in the industry.
  • Our customers are critically important to us. We greatly value your business and will work hard to make sure the transition is seamless and the acquisition creates added customer value.
  • We will continue to fully support, maintain and invest in both the Changepoint and Daptiv solutions.  We know many of you are currently deploying and/or expanding Daptiv and we will work hard to ensure your businesses see positive near and long-term benefits from this acquisition.
  • Finally, we will keep the lines of communication open and make every effort to answer all of your questions. We will make sure your account managers and our executives are available for you to answer any questions you might have.

We look forward to working with our now vastly expanded customer community to find new ways to encourage communication and sharing of ideas, best practices and product direction. The quality and breadth of services you’ll have access to will only expand with this acquisition.

You can follow us through this acquisition on Twitter to learn more about additional benefits in the coming days (@Daptiv, and @_Changepoint). For more information please view the official press release here and a letter from Jim Byrnes, president and CEO of Changepoint here.

Daptiv’s Growth Skyrockets in First Half of 2014

It’s been a great first half of the year and we are excited to publicly share the results we’re seeing with you. In the past two quarters, we have seen our new business pipeline flourish both in North America and abroad. We have achieved record new business growth during the first two quarters of 2014, up more than 30 percent from the same period last year. In addition to strong growth in North America, these gains stem in large part from tremendous momentum in international markets, with over 200 percent year-over-year combined bookings growth in the EMEA and APAC regions.

Major customer wins and market demand for enterprise-class SaaS-based PPM solutions provided further fuel for our record breaking first half of the year. We saw brand leaders across diverse markets select our PPM tools to serve their project and portfolio management needs in 2014, including Panasonic North America, Precor, Chicago Public Schools, and the Department of Education (UK).

We attribute all this customer momentum to the targeted shifts we’ve made aimed at meeting heightened demand we’re seeing from the enterprise for a flexible and scalable SaaS-based PPM solution. Organizations in the healthcare, education, technology, and financial services industries, among others, continue to turn to us for PPM solutions that help run their businesses more efficiently and effectively. Our goal is to make it possible for these companies to streamline their employees’ day-to-day interactions, dramatically reducing the complexity of managing multiple teams, projects, and tasks.

Other key milestones that have contributed to this year’s strong performance include:

The first half of 2014 has been fantastic and we anticipate the growth to continue in the second half, fueled by our aggressive product and services advancements and continued strategic investments in both domestic and international markets. Remember you can follow our progress in-real time and interact with us on Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn.

Daptiv to Host Webinar for PPM Professionals on How to Transform from Accidental Change Managers to Intentional Change Leaders

Daptiv, today announced the upcoming live webinar “Transforming Accidental Change Management to Intentional Change Leadership in Project Portfolio Management,” scheduled for August 13, 2014 at 11 a.m. PT.

If you are a Project Portfolio Management (PPM) professional then you are both a steward and champion of change, you have to be out of necessity; the types of projects you manage are instruments of change by their very nature in that their completion delivers something new. However, studies show as many as a third of projects derail because businesses are unprepared to make the fundamental changes necessary for their success, such as a new technology deployment [1]. Therefore, whether PPM professionals realize it or not they fall into either the intentional or accidental change manager category. Accidental change managers do not actively see themselves in the light of a change steward, whereas intentional change managers consider change management to be a responsibility and requirement of their role. Regardless of category, all PPM professionals can benefit from additional training in successful change management tactics.

When Prosci recently asked PPM professionals what they would do differently on their next project, the second most popular answer was securing sufficient organizational change management (OCM) resources, combined with an emphasis on preparation and planning. The same report also found projects that actively incorporate formal change management programs were an astonishing six times more likely to meet or exceed their stated goals [2].

During this webinar Mark Mullaly, president at Interthink Consulting, Inc., AJ Holley, director of change management and learning at Daptiv and Jesse Jacoby, founder of Emergent a leader in business transformation and strategic change management, will prepare PPM professionals, who are “accidental change managers,” to transform into “intentional change leaders” while providing new and valuable tools to PPM professionals who have already implemented formal change management principles and practices to heighten project success rates.

By attending you will gain a better understanding of the importance, principles, and execution of effective OCM. You will also learn the habits of highly effective change leaders and how to thoughtfully incorporate company-wide OCM approaches for project and program success. 

Webinar Details

What: Transforming Accidental Change Management into Intentional Change Leadership in Project Portfolio Management

When: August 13, 2014, 11 a.m. PT / 2 p.m. ET

Who: Mark Mullaly, president at Interthink Consulting Inc.
            AJ Holley, director of change management and learning at Daptiv
            Jesse Jacoby, managing principal at Emergent

Where: To register for this webinar, please visit:
http://www.projectmanagement.com/survey/survey.cfm?ID=1043&refID=daptiv

 

[1] The Standish Group [2] Prosci 2014 Best Practices in Change Management Report

 

 

Daptiv’s David Blumhorst Turns Definition of Project Success on Its Head

Project success has nothing to do with time, budget or scope according to David Blumhorst the Vice President of Solutions and Services for Daptiv. David recently sat down with Cornelius Fichtner on the PM Podcast to explain how these three constraints, traditionally thought of as solid measures for success, are actually better suited to gauge performance. Projects are investments and their primary purpose is to drive change; therefore, even if time, budget and scope are met but the desired change does not occur how can the project be considered effective? Instead, David recommends PPM professionals define the business objective they’re trying to achieve with the project and then assess its success in accomplishing this goal. 

David suggests PPM professionals determining their business objective ask themselves: What is the primary reason for investing in this project? Does it align with the purpose of the business or is it an unnecessary expense? With this business target in place, instead of measuring tasks which allocate valuable technical skills to monitoring, PPM professionals can optimize those same resources and lead their team to a project bulls-eye.

Once PPM Professionals have redefined project success, David recommends avoiding these top four common pitfalls:

  • A lack of business goals – Without a goal scope creep can become endless, pulling a project away from its target and towards a pricy budget and lengthy timeline.
  • Starting a project not aligned with business objectives – Determining upfront if a project is a good investment or a waste of limited resources is crucial.
  • Failing to plan ahead for ROI – Measuring a project’s return on investment requires forethought. Once a project is finished, it is difficult to determine this measurement if there was never an initial baseline established for comparison.
  • Excessive spending – Breaking the bank can be a product of the scope creep which can occur when the project is not aligned with a specific business objective.

David also encourages project managers to think outside the box to avoid locking themselves into rigid structures that don’t serve the project. To stay on track, here are his top four tips:

  • Have an elevator speech – Every project should be accompanied by a 30-second elevator speech that describes its purpose and reasoning in just a few sentences. This makes it simple to regularly revisit the business objective to quickly determine if the project truly aligns with the overall goals of the organization.
  • Consider other measurements in addition to ROI– Factors such as employee and customer satisfaction should be taken into consideration, as ROI is often not the only indicator of success.
  • View projects like you do investments – Look at multiple projects as investments in a portfolio, create rating systems, and determine the return on the portfolio as a whole.
  • Complete a success survey after each project – Survey stakeholders and shareholders to determine if the desired outcomes from the project were achieved from their diverse perspectives.

For more information on defining project success, you can listen to the entire PM Podcast online. Daptiv would like hear how you determine if your project has been a success. What types of metrics have you used to determine ROI? Feel free to post your thoughts in the comments section below, or reach out to us on Twitter at @Daptiv.