Project Management Grows Up - Part 2

In Part 1 we discussed the pitfalls of project management, and a typical scenario that many companies fall into when their project management process is not aligned to the company's business strategy.

So how can we maintain the benefits of project management, and avoid the problems? Generally speaking, project management in many firms needs to be brought back into the fold. Although every company has a different set of circumstances, there are high level actions that can be implemented:

  • Expand the current definition of project management to take a more holistic view of projects from the very infancy of an idea, through business casing and approvals, through the traditional domain of project management, to a deliberate post implementation review.
  • Tier your projects based on criteria that are important to your firm, and right-size the project management process so that not all projects are created equally. The discipline and rigor applied to each initiative needs to be commensurate with the relative importance of the initiative.
  • Provide basic training for all the players in project management including sponsors, internal clients, and end users.

Companies make the mistake of skipping the planning stages of a project and dive into the process without taking the time to ensure details are looked after. Rather than plugging the process into a template that may have worked in the past, take a few steps back to identify specific and unique requirements that could make your process leaner and more efficient. Each project, no matter the scope or budget deserves a full preview.

Project management has come a long way, but we need to take deliberate steps to ensure that it continues to add value. Successful PM's should create just enough process to meet objectives and present itself in the form of useful tools rather than bureaucracy.