During the last months, we talked a lot about ourselves in the project management team. About our goals, purpose, and values, about who we are and want to be. It was a very extensive exercise and it distilled into a dense collection of statements.
Two things are very important to me personally around this exercise: first, it was one of the best learning opportunities that I ever had concerning leadership, because we made a lot of aspects of being a project manager transparent and took time to debate and agree on them. Second, it proved me once again, very clearly, how different we look at things, how different we use and understand language, and generally, how much trust compensates all invisible language-related shortcomings in the everyday.
For our exercise we used the Team Canvas and found out that it is both valuable in helping a team get closer together and in asking the right questions for a department.
I took the liberty of taking some of the goals, purpose and values, and comment them here, in the spirit of sharing what project management looks and wants to look like in a digital agency, and because it will hopefully inspire some thoughts and contribute to the discourse.
We’re here to lead the way we work in projects. Digital projects are often shrouded in uncertainties, and when more than 10 work streams occur in parallel in the concept phase, their orchestration becomes paramount. These are high times for us.
We help others adopt processes. Everyone new to our ways of working gets our support to have a smooth transition into the project team.
We contribute to evolving different department’s ways of working. Different departments work differently, and our projects need them to work together. It is our job to make sure that we make it possible for everyone to find the perfect ways of working together, mold them into processes, and then enforce them.
We make sure that the rest of the company sees us as the solution to their problems and the key role to make their project succeed, and not only as the ones that annoy them with ticket updates and tracking. Superficially, just like every other job, being a PM at Cocomore might seem like being focused only on the project plan, the tasks and the trackings. It isn’t. It is almost exclusively about communication and facilitating collaboration and we will elaborate on the tasks of a PM in a later post. We keep in mind that we need to make them obvious to the team, for greater mutual understanding and better performance.
We make everyone in our project team think and act value oriented. We do this by helping the others see the value behind their work and the path that leads there. We facilitate that everyone adopts a flexible, solution-oriented mindset, instead of focusing on issues.
We create the stability needed for a team to perform well. We do our best to keep the team members together and help them see the team as a gravitational point in their work, in an environment where outside projects or factors try to get their attention.
We want to have fun while working. Because it’s very important for collaboration and productivity, we do our best to help our colleagues get the most fun out of the work.
We deliver our projects in quality, scope, and time. Each project is unique, and most projects are not being delivered within the initial constraints, so we know exactly that we need to enable all stakeholders. Together, we will deliver.
We improve processes and our WOW (ways of working), continuously. We started with a theoretical framework, and we have been shaping it for two and a half years. While doing that, we made continuous learning and improvement part of our core, and we know that these aspects keep us relevant.
We create a common understanding of our processes and WOW across all divisions. Because if we help everyone be on the same page, we will have a lot more focus in our projects.
We continuously manage the expectations of all stakeholders. We know that keeping everyone up to date, informed and aware about the possibilities enables the whole project team to deliver.
We guide team members to collaborate, because we acknowledge that together we are doing better: innovation, creativity, quality, output and speed.
We value people, communication, and processes in this order.
We create and upkeep a culture of proactivity and collaboration. We distinguish between getting a job done and shaping a product or service as good as it gets. And we know that we can only achieve the latter with proactivity and by working together.
We always assume and promote ownership to achieve the best possible outcome. This makes us see things through, it makes us curious and creative when facing obstacles, it‘s what turns plans into reality.
We always strive to upkeep transparency with all stakeholders. We do it because we believe in the power of “we”, and everyone left out cannot contribute to our joint goals.
We value and nurture positivity, because we don’t stop by finding problems, but we want to solve them.
If you want to find out more about team canvas, about project management in general at Cocomore, reach out and let’s talk!