The Small Project Guide™

Our Universal Small Project Management Method

ProjectExperts Celebrates our Small Project Guide 30th Anniversary With a 50% Discount!

Small Project GuideOn This Page and From This Page

SPG; PM Methodology Business Need and Background
SPG is our universal Small Project project management methodology and business improvement method, originally developed in 1985 for the 70% of projects that most PM methods–including our own, failed to support. These include the incessant, volatile small projects that may consume half your project talent, and for most organizations, are your greatest opportunity for PM performance improvement.

But that’s getting ahead of our story. In the early 1980s, we worked with dozens of commercial and home-grown Project Management methodologies, helping our customers to make their burdensome processes useful, streamlining them and improving their effectiveness. One of the greatest challenges we faced was scaling down their purchased methods that could work well for 36,000 hour projects, but totally smothered projects that were 1/10 or 1/100 the size–resulting in consistent project failures.

Small Project Guide

Coincidentally, this era was the emergence of the scaled down small project, rather than “big bang, multi-year” projects. And, it was evident that the vast majority of projects of most of our customers were less than 1000 hours of effort. They were trying to use huge project methods, even on their small projects. So by 1985, when we had a loyal following of customers for our integrated Project Management and Systems Engineering methodology, we developed our fully-compatible Small Project Guide.

During the period from 1985 to 1990, we tweaked SPG to reflect customer suggestions, developed useful templates and add-ins, and turned Small Project Guide into a universal small project management and business solutions methodology.

What Is the SPG Value Proposition?
The still-unmet business need for most businesses and government agencies is a way to effectively manage all your small projects. Even if you are operating at peak performance in all your larger projects, chances are that you have a visible backlog of small projects that are constantly interrupted, consistently missing meeting expectations, and draining valuable staff time away from efforts with clear return on investment. And, that is happening in most of your departments!

You may never realize the business improvement opportunity, because small projects don’t usually have portfolio visibility; but ask your Department Managers, and you will probably find that a significant portion of your talent is working on “need it yesterday” efforts, rather than the ongoing operations of your organization. In our work with both manufacturing-oriented and service-oriented organizations over the last two+ decades, we consistently find that 40-70% of their total work is project work, and 40-60% of that work is small projects–the least-well managed of their projects! What an opportunity for improvement! This is your value proposition for Small Project Guide, your PM Methodology for small projects.

ss-big-ironSmall Project Guide Success Stories
Lights-Out Data Center of Major Computer Company: A manufacturer of mainframe computers had a data center running a wide variety of operating systems in a Lights-Out data center in California. They had a portfolio of around 800 open projects at all times, most of them small, and a churn rate (new projects in, old projects completed) of around 35% percent per week. Between the ProjectExperts’ Small Project Management workshop and the use of Small Project Guide, they improved system up-time by 10%, reduced project effort and costs by 20%, reduced Mean Time To Resolution by 26%, and increased team morale. With the time savings, they began addressing larger projects that had been languishing for years.

ss-big-pharmaMajor Pharmaceutical Company: A multinational Pharmaceutical company adopted the Small Project Guide for all those project that were too small for a traditional methodology. In addition to our coaching in the USA, we performed coaching sessions throughout Europe. While the USA sites had hundreds of practitioners at each site, most of the European sites were much smaller, and had many more small projects. This was about the time that ISO 9000, the quality processes standard, was rolling out in Europe, and this company adopted the Small Project Guide as their minimum project management method for all their sites, providing a very low-cost way of gaining compliance.spm-plane

Defense Contractor/Airplane Manufacturer: A major Defense Contractor and manufacturer of airplanes licensed The Small Project Guide, and licensed our Small Project Management workshop for internal use, together with our Train-the-Trainer services. For six-years, they performed one or two of our 2-day workshops per week, at multiple sites, until they had established a common set of processes for managing all Small Projects across the company. While we cannot say our methods caused their soaring profits during that period, we’d bet their improved PM Performance helped!

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