Success Pillar: Leadership
Monday, December 19, 2022
Inspiring stakeholders to achieve success through leadership
Leadership is defined as the depth and breadth of engagement and support from leaders within the organization. If leadership is not involved, your initiative will fail. Executives from e-Builder virtually convened with leaders within the e-Builder client community to discuss their experiences implementing e-Builder into their organizations.
The discussions surrounded the organizational goals for Project Management Information System (PMIS) implementation, how leadership influences PMIS implementation, at what point should leaders consider implementing change management, and general best practices for leadership.
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POLL: 44% of the organizations on the live poll wanted to be more efficient and productive by standardizing processes.
Solving bigger problems, handling more funding, and requirements for better reporting drove Inova Health Systems to research the benefits of a more robust PMIS. Dennis Clauson, retired Director of Inova Health Systems, says that when they first got started with e-Builder for their $850 million capital improvement program, they wanted to “have uniform processes'' and “the ability to summarize reporting across all projects” in a way that digitized their systems and removed redundant processes or spreadsheets.
For Susanna Strubel, Assistant Town Engineer, Town of Gilbert, the e-Builder PMIS “continues to be a piece of that larger puzzle” for improving the efficiency of the department. The town needed consistent tracking of documents, reporting costs, schedules, process improvement, and acquisition tracking in support of larger capital improvement budgets and an increase in staffing. They desired not only an “open-and-go” solution, but also a solution that has the flexibility to customize it to their processes.
The influence of executive leadership
For Inova Health, Dennis states that it was important to have an understanding of where the company was in regards to managing processes to have a baseline on which to improve. They involved not only their staff, but their general contractors and architects in the implementation of e-Builder. He said, “we needed finance and accounting support to agree to how we would operate e-Builder, and how our processes were to be built so that we could integrate with our ERP.” When faced with challenges throughout the e-Builder implementation process, “it's important to listen to what problems that the users have and either modify or change your workflow, and maybe become more efficient than they were otherwise.”
Leaders at the Town of Gilbert brought a vision to their employees: “anticipate, create, and help people.” Leadership recognized the benefits of a PMIS and realized they couldn’t increase their efficiencies without having a system like e-Builder in place. From the beginning, leadership brought together the project managers, contractors, and different contractors so that together, they worked through processes and training; some of the processes were yet to be defined and required team input. Including the affected departments in their process creation was critical and helped various teams accept the implementation of e-Builder.
Ultimately, the leadership team at the Town of Gilbert was capable, willing, and ready to support the tools needed to create the change in support of their vision.
When change management makes sense
According to both of our inspirational colleagues, change management is something that needs to happen each day. If a process needs to be modified, that modification should be documented properly and in detail. Leadership should be acknowledging the challenges associated with current processes, and changing it in real-time, if possible. This helps the employees know they are being heard, and increases the efficiency of the organization as a whole.
Leadership best practices
As a leader in their respective spaces, Dennis and Susanna agree that communication is included in their leadership best practices. Susanna states, “sometimes you’ve got to tell stories with it, you’ve got to illustrate it, and you've got to give examples. Everybody listens differently and you have to learn those listening styles so that you can be able to communicate.”