Lessons Learned and Results

By Hernan Lauber, Kepner-Tregoe

In Part 1, we explored how client project managers dealt with the emotional challenges of driving a complex, organization-wide, targeted performance initiative. In Part 2, two client project 

managers explain what they learned.

What was it like to learn while leading a targeted performance initiative?

Project Manager 1: It was a great opportunity to lead one of the business improvement projects at my company. It was immensely challenging and exciting at the same time. I believe the hard work that was completed by the project team was well recognized, and it helped me gain the trust and recognition of the company leaders. It is an honor to be associated with a successful project which is now globally recognized.

Project Manager 2: Working on one of the business improvement projects with KT was an amazing experience. Not only did I learn different methodologies but to be able to manage a project and have experts by your side to guide you and give you that nudge in the right direction is a very rare opportunity. It was a lot of hard work with early morning starts and late night finishes but definitely worth all the effort.

What did you learn?

PM1: The overall experience…was a great learning curve for my personality and career. I believe I have grown so much since I got involved with the business Improvement projects at the company. In terms of learning, Kepner-Tregoe helped me enhance my technical, as well as soft skills. Overall, I developed a passion for excellence, growth, and positive change management.

PM2: Learning and developing Project Management skills was the biggest outtake for me. I have never managed a project the size of this project. Having Kepner-Tregoe clarify the different stages of the project, teaching me how and when to use risk and opportunity analysis, and having the Kepner-Tregoe team being so supportive and open to all ideas made things a lot easier.

What were the benefits for your career, for your personal development, for your continued opportunities?

PM1: The experience provided me with invaluable personal development and opened many doors for career advancement. The Project Management Diploma completed with KT strengthened my qualifications and provided a boost to my resume. Since getting involved with the business improvement projects, I felt even more motivated to learn more in the process and business improvement area and I went on to do Six Sigma Green Belt certification. Once I updated all my skills on my LinkedIn profile, I started to receive multiple offers for new roles in the market.

PM2: I have been able to move up and progress, but having the experience and knowledge has given me that extra bit of confidence moving forward.

What was interesting, unusual, or different?

PM1: One of the most noticeable and interesting aspects of working with KT was their passion for bringing in the improvement and capability building. As the project progressed, I felt more and more confident with the methodologies taught by KT. The project management and business process improvement training workshops lead by KT provided the invaluable ammunition for my skill set and assisted me in my career advancement. KT’s approach to problem solving is very interesting and effective. Also, KT’s way of building new leaders by injecting new skills and enhancing the existing skill set was amazing. I believe they helped me light a fire inside myself to achieve more and ensure that the project was a success. Since embarking on the Business Improvement journey last year, I have never looked back. I feel that I am always looking to bring in improvements.

PM2: The collaboration between departments and between KT and the Company made the project more fun and interesting. Of course not all went according to plan but by having different views, suggestions, and people's level of experience really made it enjoyable as I was always learning something. Whether it be something about project management, the company, methodologies and even just learning more about the people you work with made this a very interesting experience. Never a dull moment.

Would you recommend this process to others?

PM1: I would definitely recommend the process to others as I was fortunate enough to experience the benefits first hand. The methodologies and solutions provided by KT are practical and sustainable. One of the most important factors which is given great importance is the people aspect of the change...the change is gradual and does not feel forced. The benefits gained…are seen and felt by not only the senior leadership but also by the end user.

PM2: Definitely. Great bunch of people. You learn a lot more than what you bargained for. Expect to do the hard yards but in the end it is definitely worth it and I would definitely take it up again if ever the opportunity was there!

Kepner-Tregoe  prides itself in not only delivering results but also transferring capability to clients. This ensures that our clients are empowered to sustain results and drive continuous improvement. One of the most enriching experiences as a Kepner-Tregoe consultant occurs when you come to the realization that your client project manager no longer needs you there. While this may be a scary moment for most consultants, for Kepner-Tregoe it is our measure of success.

Learn more about KT Project Management