Deploying Project Management in Waves

Sunday, January 27, 2019, 6:00 AM | Leave Comment

There are a number of ways to deploy common project management practices within an organization.

One approach is to think of everything that needs to be improved and try to deploy everything at once.

Instead, our approach is to deploy items more gradually to provide time to absorb initial changes before others are rolled out.

Like waves rolling toward the beach, you select certain aspects of the new project management practices, and then pause before rolling out the next wave. In many cases, one wave builds on a prior wave.

After a period of time, you will have introduced many new skills and new processes, but the staff will not have viewed it as traumatically as if everything came crashing down on them at once.

A sample scenario of waves is as follows:

Wave 1:

  • Build a PMO to handle the project management practices long-term.

  • Conduct general awareness sessions to explain what is coming and why.

  • Introduce basic standard project management processes and templates.

  • Perform a “role sort” to create common roles and responsibilities for projects.

  • Provide basic project management training.

Wave 2:

  • Provide coaching services to help project managers utilize the training and templates effectively.

  • Implement a document repository to hold the common processes, templates, best practices, standards, etc.

  • Reinforce management governance processes to ensure that the management team is implementing the new initiative within their organizations.

  • Introduce project and organization assessments.

Wave 3:

  • Deploy new, more sophisticated project management practices such as quality management, advanced metrics management, etc.

  • Support the new training concepts with more sophisticated processes and templates.

  • Teach project management classes to support these more sophisticated processes.

  • Implement a metrics program to measure the impact and value of the project management initiative.

The three waves above are for illustration purposes only. Each organization needs to determine the items to deploy, the waves and the timing.


Deploying project management processes and building project management capability in the organization requires much more than simply training the staff and then walking away.

There is a process that must be followed to understand the work required to move the organization to your future vision. Once the work is understood, it should be divided into manageable waves to have a better chance of success.

Courtesy of…

This column is © copyright to and originally appeared in their weekly project management tip newsletter.

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