ACT to Improve Results for ROI

Enterprise Capability to Address and Improve Constraint

In a continual improvement environment, responsible project management must plan for project resources in the same manner as organizational resources are planned for recognizing that these resource pools are not one in the same.

While future projects for ‘improvement’ of issues or constraint will require assessment of resource availability, the projects associated with planned improvement initiatives must be provided with adequate resources, necessary to achieve results.

Managing Constraint

 “There really is no choice in the matter.  Either you manage constraint, or it will manage you. The constraints will determine the output of the system whether they are acknowledged and managed or not.” [1]

Project Management Office (PMO) 

It is important to keep a close eye on activities to ensure that the programs identified during the planning process are fully executed according to schedule.

At the same time, you need to stay flexible during the execution of the plan, remembering that circumstances can change, operating environments may shift, stakeholders may change their perceptions, raise concerns or resist, or new stakeholders may emerge. Staying in control requires a clear set of actions to address each of these issues with the ability to change or adjust. A strong Op Ex operational governance process must be developed and utilized to monitor progress and respond to risk.

Each project will be similar, however, somewhat different in terms of requirements and/or complexity. Each project must be independently and methodically managed within a PMO portfolio.

No project shall be initiated without a plan and the resources to execute that plan.

Tactical projects will be utilized to address issues.

Strategic projects will be utilized to address constraint.

Both project types will follow the same phased approach:

1) Initiation - What is the issue or constraint?

2) Investigation Plan - How is this to be investigated?

3) Root Cause Investigation - What caused this?

4) Action Plan - What needs to be done to fix or improve this?

5) Action Implementation - Execute the Action Plan

6) Verification of Effectiveness - Did the plan work?

7) Project Closure - Administrative

Strategic and tactical projects alike will utilize the same ‘phased’ approach for project execution, however, the requirements for tactical projects are somewhat less rigorous than strategic projects.

Program Management

All projects are managed individually and within a program of projects that is routinely monitored and reviewed by Enterprise Leadership.

Key Performance Indicator (KPI) project tracking improves program management and supports the timing, format, and content of progress reports. A central project management office (PMO), with the capability for project tracking, is essential.

Communication for Change Management

Communication within and across the Enterprise for teamwork is essential for success. Employees must be fully informed. The capability for change management associated with stakeholder communication is accomplished through the structure of ADKAR:

  • Awareness for the need to change.
  • Desire to support, engage and participate in the change.
  • Knowledge of how to change, with new skills and behaviors.
  • Ability to perform in the updated environment.
  • Reinforcement of ‘quality’ culture and continual improvement.


[1] Noreen, Smith, and Mackey, The Theory of Constraint, and its Implications for Management Accounting (North River Press, 1995)