Failure is assuming one-size-fits-all

As you begin managing projects, you experience certain tools and techniques and approaches that work for you and the projects you manage.

You get used to using these tools and you become very proficient.  Then one day—BAM!  A tool you’ve used for years doesn’t work as well with this new client and the project struggles.

What happened?...

-        Did you do something wrong?

-        Did the customer not understand?

Well, the answer is YES!

Every project is different.  One key difference is that the people on the projects are different and the organizations you work with on the projects are different.

Failing to consider these differences and adapting to the individual needs of the project is what tailoring is all about.

Tailoring is a key concept that every up and coming project manager needs to embrace.  Tried and true processes in one project may not work in the next.  So, for your next project, consider…

1)     Is this a unique project for you or your organization?

2)     Is this a unique project for your customer?

3)     Does the client have their own project management processes they are comfortable with?

4)     Are key stakeholders heavily involved in the project?

If the answer is yes to any of these questions, have a more detailed conversation with the entire project team about the tools you want to use and their purpose and benefits.  Be open to adapting to ones your client is comfortable with.

To learn more about tailoring, see our best-selling Achieve PMP Exam Success book.  Each Knowledge Area chapter discusses how tailoring can be successfully applied to your projects.

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