By Timm J. Esque, CPT

That is right, you cannot buy this in a store; in fact, you cannot buy it anywhere yet, but you can learn all about it at Timm Esque’s pre-conference workshop in Reno–“Performance-based Project Management.”

So what is “it”? “It” is a revolutionary way to form committed project teams and then execute projects really well.

Most project management methods are task and time based. Someone estimates how long each of the tasks should take and then figures out how to cram all those tasks into the limited time already promised to the customer.  Project status is based on people estimating the extent to which they have accomplished what they should have, based on the amount of time that has gone by. Projects have been run this way for over 50 years, and research shows a huge amount of them run over schedule, or over budget, or do not deliver what was promised.

There has to be a better way. And, there is!

In today’s fast-paced, globally distributed, and uncertain world, the most important thing is that project team members show up committed and understand how they each support the whole project and each other. What holds projects together in today’s environment is the network of commitments between the people doing the work. “It” looks like this…


The team gets aligned about: Why are we here. Who is our customer? What have we promised to deliver? Why is it worthwhile to do so? What are our key milestones for getting there together?


Each team member or subteam identifies what it needs to contribute to the project. Team members simply write the contributions down and pop them into the big picture (deliverables map).


Everyone validates the first pass map. People sign up as owners and users of deliverables. Owners and users define how they will know deliverables are done and done well (is/is not). Requests and commitments are made until it is clear who will deliver what to whom by when. In our Internet app, the details are behind each deliverable on the map.


A few simple tools are used to track what is done and what is not. More important, all of the team members follow a few simple rules that ensure there are no surprises along the way. Things will change and adjustments will be made, but no one, especially not the customer, gets surprised.

These screens are from our new Internet app that we are developing for teams who are not co-located. The app is not necessary to try this approach and get better results. Learning how to do it is. Come to the workshop on April 13 and learn what this approach is all about. Or would you prefer your organization keep doing projects the time-tested way?

TimEsqueTimm J. Esque, CPT, is managing partner of Ensemble Management Consulting, which has been helping high-stakes project teams do what they say they will since 1998. He is a longtime, lifetime, member and former Board Director of ISPI. He is also a longtime advocate and practitioner of measurable performance improvement.

For more information about Timm Esque’s pre-conference workshop and other workshops at THE Performance Improvement Conference 2013, in Reno NV please visit ISPI’s Institutes & Workshops page.

To register for THE Performance Improvement Conference please visit us here.

For continual updates during the conference, please follow ISPI on Twitter @ISPI1962.

To  learn more about this One-Day Workshop and other Institutes & Workshops at THE Performance Improvement Conference 2013 in Reno, NV, April 14-17, please go to Register today at!