Stacie VanDenBerghe believes projects don’t need to be perfect. Rather, they need to be perfected.
The CU Innovate founder believes that starts with building a strong team of people who know their roles and are emboldened to execute. VanDenBerghe, a former credit union and league employee before becoming a consultant and motivational speaker, says the hottest topic in the credit union industry is project management and “how to make sure people are getting things done.”
“The pace of the industry has changed so much,” VanDenBerghe says. “The days of executives golfing on Fridays are over. We have to adapt and make sure we're engaging every member of our team. We have to make sure we're experts at project management.”
After completing project management training, leaders must be comfortable enabling employees to accomplish daily tasks and operations. That frees up leaders to think analytically and focus on the big picture.
When employees feel comfortable in their roles, efficiency improves.
“Executives and managers need to get out of the mindset that they have to do everything,” VanDenBerghe says. “It’s a shift from telling everybody what to do to engaging people and then executing.”
Having a project management framework in place allows leaders to tackle high-level projects.
This framework includes engaging all levels in the pre-project discussion. Talking with people throughout the organization allows project managers to see how a potential project impacts the whole team, including stakeholders, employees, and members.
It also enables the project management team to identify issues that could arise during the project’s lifespan.
“You've got to ask people what they think is working and what's not working. And trust them,” VanDenBerghe says. “Get the right people in the room and create an environment where everybody's voice is heard.”
Pre-project troubleshooting sets everyone up for success, as does creating deadlines and rolling out the project with sufficient employee training, member education, and communication with stakeholders.
“The rollout is one of the biggest things that will determine success,” VanDenBerghe says. “Projects don't need to be perfect. They need to be perfected. They change constantly, and we need to be adaptable.”