Keep the Solution Simple When Your Project Teams Are Struggling

By Liz Pearce, Chief Executive Officer,

LiquidPlanner, Inc.


I hear stories like this all the time: “Our project teams are in chaos and our executives are insisting on some kind of ‘fire and forget’ solution that does not slow down the business.” Every project manager needs to join me in a collective groan so that we can move on to talking about a practical solution to this seemingly intractable problem.

Now and Zen

First, put your PMP certification back in the box it came in. We won’t be using it today.
Organizations with broken project management processes need to fix their root social issues first. Rarely is the team lacking the ability to get projects done. Usually, the rate of success is throttled by a lack of organization, prioritization and transparency.  The problem is in people’s heads. Scratch that—the problem is that the solution is NOT in their heads.

If you want to solve productivity woes, you have to guide the organization into seeing things in new ways. Being productive is a state of mind. If you can achieve this with your teams, then better decision making will emerge and your business metrics will follow with measurable, improved productivity.

Motion is Your New Metric

Every hour of every workday, your project team is making micro decisions about what to do next and how to do it.  How much people know about the mission and how connected they feel with it will have a huge impact on how this plays out.  Don’t fool yourself into thinking that just being able to recall the distant goal is sufficient for your project team to make daily decisions. If you can’t answer the question, “How do my team members figure out what they should be working on from day to day?,” in one sentence, you can guarantee that wheels are spinning.


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About the Author

Liz Pearce


Liz Pearce is Chief Executive Officer at LiquidPlanner, Inc. Since 2007, Liz has helped more than 1500 project teams overcome scheduling and collaboration challenges through the use of best practices and better tools. She has more than 15 years of experience in marketing, branding, sales, operations, support, management and business development. Her true passion is putting all the pieces together to foster innovation, productivity, and joy at work, for both the LiquidPlanner team and its more than 1100 customers in 50 countries worldwide. Before joining LiquidPlanner, Liz ran her own successful marketing consultancy where she worked with a diverse set of clients. She also held product and project management positions at Amazon.com, Google, and Sony Computer Entertainment America. Liz holds a B.A. in Political Communications and an M.A. in Telecommunications from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., where she was awarded the Presidential Administrative Fellowship.  Liz can be contacted at:  [email protected]

For information about LiquidPlanner, visit www.liquidplanner.com