Using Project Management to Win an Election

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As Ireland enters into a period of intense Election campaigning to form a new government, it has become one of the most critical periods in Irish history. This is based on a number of variables that exist:

  • With imminent, if requires a new administration to negotiate, cajole and work with various parties across Europe to maintain our current momentum
  • As we enter a new decade, the last decade must be acknowledged as one of the best from the point of stability, growth and governance. A new administration needs to maintain and continue the growth pattern
  • We can no longer regard ourselves as part of one market, we are part of a global market and we need an administration that can embrace but also be the future image of our country.

To achieve this, we need our politicians to be election savvy and run their election campaign as a project. Every election should be treated as a project and understanding how the project is to be managed is key in the success of the delivery of one of the most influential administration of modern time.

Here is our roadmap for managing Project Election

Step 1: – Define the Exact Project Objectives. Being part of an Election is a clear and defined high level project objective, there is a lot more that needs definition and understanding and a good project statement is required. The understanding the of the ‘What’ side of the equation needs focus and attention. So trashing out elements such as:

  • Will it be viable for the reach out to all sections of the community
  • How will future issues be managed and the consequences that these might have for on the population. Be in a position to understand and acknowledge this.
  • Understand the effect on our partners (i.e. Northern Ireland) and how it impacts on our community

The effects of ongoing uncertainty have created pressure for all us, but an election scope should not be to nullify such pressures, but acknowledge and move the community forward

Step 2: – Create the Governance Structure and Steering Groups. Given the implications of new administration, the role of a project steering group is crucial and that this is supported by all party members. Without a flexible project governance structure, election campaigns are likely to fail with achieving a successful outcome. This structure should be the framework for resolving issues and managing problems that arise during the election cycle, and for considering recommendations on the key deliverables. The Steering Group should be made up of the affected representatives and this is a crucial element of the structure. The focus of the steering group should be to:

  • Unify party, candidates and electoral on the strategy, direction and focus of the Election
  • Be the go-to group for all media transactions and present the national audience with the sound-bites
  • To attempt to remove the politics and focus on the governance of the project. This is not about ego’s or personal manifestos, this is about consolidation and focus for the community

Step 3: – Be Welcoming of Change and Good Information. The need for realistic information and supported with a good basis and understanding. So it is time to roll up the sleeves and get going with the following:

  • Develop the systems that allows the monitoring and scrutiny of data and implement the required assurance.
  • Develop a communication structure where information is disseminated and distributed across platforms
  • Develop a structure of feedback and retrospective loops where there is a culture of continual learning and not political manifestos

Right now, we are moving towards an election that can dictate the next decade for Ireland. If we want our politician to be geared for success, then treat it as a project. Let the project produce the best outcome time should be allowed for the project to be defined and planned in a way that leads to an common consensus on the outcome.

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