Director, Paul Baram reflects on how implementing a TMS with his team, is much like working with the Avengers.
I’ve recently had a short sabbatical from work, and with additional time at home I have been re-watching superhero movies. It’s a little (lot) of a stretch, but it struck me that the most successful project teams I’ve been a part of look a lot like the Avengers. Here’s why.
Iron Man’s Design Capabilities: Across the many Treasury Management Systems (TMS) we work with, there are many different data models and some TMS work much better say at bank reconciliation than valuation or payment processing. For optimum utilization, it pays to work with the design at hand and use the strengths that it has rather than customise heavily around it. Having people on the team that understand the system capabilities in detail, and the best way to configure and implement them is key.
Bruce Banner’s Math Skills: It’s a much longer conversation to debate the pros and cons of time and materials versus fixed price projects, but either way, proper project accounting is an underappreciated success criterion. Particularly during a project with an extended time frame, being able to review the time and effort expended really does help inform the road ahead. It’s not enough to be able to just report on the budget spent to date, but rather the expected total budget of actuals plus remaining forecast.
The Hulk’s Anger Management Capabilities: No wait; in this case, I literally mean the opposite of this. Over the long haul of a project there will inevitably be a time when things go against you. The key here is to stay calm and keep your inner hulk at bay. Count to 10 (100?), pivot to positive, and get back to your day job. Talk to your Captain to share your concerns.
Thor’s Strength of Purpose: Some of the projects we work with are done in 2 months, while others can take over a year. In any event, keeping focus on the aims of the project is key. Several projects I’ve worked on have established design principles at the outset, and keeping those in mind as issues arise is a beneficial, objective way of evaluating both the impact of the issue and the importance and urgency to resolve it.
Captain America’s Leadership: Most projects I’ve been a part of have had at least one often case when tough decisions were needed. Do we go live on a set date with testing 90% done, or is completing all the tests and accepting the next release window the right thing to do? An engaged, effective sponsor that understands and backs the project vision and sets the tone for how decisions should be made is as much a success criterion as anything I’ve seen. Of course, it is never just about one person; it’s always a team effort. And with that, I’m back to the Avengers metaphor.
I’m grateful for the support I received from Actualize Consulting to be able to take time off, and in these times of uncertainty, I’m very happy to be back at work. I’m reminded that at Actualize I’m surrounded by talented, dedicated professionals throughout our organisation and between the 50 or so of us, we form many permutations of ourselves to form our project teams and deliver our missions. I can’t say that I’m ready to cross the Bifrost, but my batteries are fully recharged, my energy levels are high, and I’m ready to be a project hero in whatever role I’m needed.
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