Tailoring Principle - Tailor Based on Context

Tailoring is a project management principle that is used to ensure that the project is successful. It involves taking into account the context of the project, and adapting it to suit the needs of each individual client. The most important thing about tailoring is that you are able to create what you want for yourself and not have someone else dictate what they think would work best for you.

A project management framework or methodology should be tailored to the project at hand and not blindly applied to any and all projects within an organization. The right project management framework or methodology will depend on several factors, including the type of project, size of the project, your company’s existing processes and policies, and so on. Once you have determined the type of project management process that would work best for your organization, you will then need to determine what specific steps you should take in order to ensure that this process is put into place effectively.

Tailoring in Project Management

Just as no two companies are alike, no two projects will be exactly the same. Therefore, in order to manage projects effectively, there must be an ability to adapt and tailor your project management tools and techniques to suit the unique needs of each project at hand. 

It's important to know what tailoring is and isn't. Tailoring in project management doesn't mean using a template of any kind; templates are a method of standardization. They're efficient, but they can also be very limiting—which defeats tailoring's true value. Tailoring is all about creating an approach specific to your team, project and industry that optimizes your project management framework by addressing its most fundamental components: processes, inputs, tools, techniques and outputs. In other words, tailoring is about getting to know your team, project and industry well enough to determine which elements will help you deliver results faster than if you used standardized methods alone.

When Do We Use Tailoring?

Tailoring is used at every stage of a project, from early planning to delivery. It can also be used as a part of every performance domain. Tailoring can help us to achieve greater benefit from our projects by maximizing project values, increasing the performance of the organization, and executing successful projects. Here are some cases where we might tailor our processes: at the beginning of a project, anytime during a project, at any stage of a project, including after completion, and for any type of project.

Tailoring your approach depends on the beginning and end points of your project. When beginning a project, one must consider their organization's objectives and resources and determine the best mix of processes. During the project, tailoring can take the form of changing a process or adopting a new tool, but it's only worth considering if it would benefit the end point of the project.

Benefits of Using Tailoring

Tailoring is all about ensuring that the specific context and perspective of the project are matched to the relevant components. A well-tailored project will fulfill people's needs by making sure they are matched with the correct processes and environment.  Doing so is the best way to guarantee the success of the project and create a more satisfactory experience for all involved. 

Ultimately, proponents of tailoring will argue that it's more cost-effective because it reduces wasted time and effort. This often happens by improving efficiency levels and by decreasing the time and effort spent on correcting errors that typically happen as a result of miscommunication. Tailoring is favored by many because it lets them reach their goals without having to work as hard as they would normally have to work with projects especially in projects that don't include necessary input from stakeholders.

See also:

Context Diagrams

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