The words Project Management can be pretty intimidating!
In the Northern Virginia area, the term Project Management usually is related to a government contracting company who has won a contract. The contract is usually at least a year long with one or more options to extend and comes with a price tag of a minimum of several million dollars.
By definition, Project management is the application of processes, methods, knowledge, skills and experience to achieve the project objectives and A project is a unique, transient endeavor undertaken to achieve planned objectives, which could be defined in terms of outputs, outcomes or benefits. (Credit to https://www.apm.org/uk/WhatisPM).
In the Professional Organizing industry your client may believe that the project outcome will look like something you would find in a magazine. This would be great…but I don’t think that it is reality.
From the clients’ perspective – the output is the effort involved to complete the project; the outcome is the creation of a functional and practical space that allows you to save time and energy and the benefit is a place for everything and everything in its place.
The truth is that everything that we do is a project. From filing to laundry to developing a website to managing clients to organizing a closet – everything is a project!
And sometimes as a Professional Organizer, we are hired because our clients get caught up “in” the project. Finding time, knowing where to start, accessing the risk involved, the worry about making the right choices and the cost involved can cause our clients to stand still and do absolutely nothing (which is not mentally or emotionally healthy).
There is an option that I have found extremely helpful to explain how to work through a project. It is called Scrum Project Management and can be described as “Agile” Project Management (or we use the term “flexible). The Scrum method of Project Management is used by many large companies throughout the US. It is used by SAIC, American Express, Booze Allen and Hamilton, Apple and Capital One. The implementation of the agile process is how Apple is able to develop new products so quickly. To be Agile means to be willing to accept change for the good of the customer.
As a Professional Organizer, I implement the Agile system with my clients to:
- Determine where to start
- Breakdown the organizing process
- Implement the steps involved
- Identify the end goal
- Create an area or system that meets their specific needs and desires
Let’s describe it like this – a client wants to organize their office. It is full of paperwork, files, gym clothes, supplies, candles, kids toys…yes, I may be exaggerating here but these are some of the things that I have found in my client’s offices.
The Agile method of project organization helps improve the organizing process by:
- Clearly identifying goals by listening to the client
- Identifying risks that can hinder the process
- Guiding them through the process
- Using a Scrum Board as a visual tool to reach the client’s goal
- Incorporating your expertise into the project through guidance and direction
What I enjoy about the Agile system is that everything is transparent to your client. The Scrum Board allows your client to see the organizing process and watch the steps of the progress (whether it is a small or large project).
If you would like to find out more about how you can implement the Scrum/Agile Method into your organizing methods, just give me Linda a call. Linda is a Certified Scrum Trainer. Her certifications include Scrum Master, Product Owner, Developer and Agile Expert. She has trained Corporate government contractors, Professors, business owners and Entrepreneurs to use this method in their business as well as certify Corporate employees in each area.