Provocative thinking from the field.
Throughout history, both economies and projects have resisted a variety of strategies for “managing” them. It’s as if projects, like economies, have minds of their own. And perhaps they do. Because no one produces anything remarkable watching a clock, free market project managers create the conditions under which entrepreneurial inspiration thrives.
An emphasis on guidelines over rules … corporate commitment over control … value over processes … competency over accumulated knowledge. And other thoughts on what the future of project management could and should look like.
The falling price of eggs was the early sign that efforts to fix Poland’s economy were working. What nontraditional indicators and rhythms should you be watching on your projects? The author suggests encouraging responsible commitment, for starters, and then monitoring its reliability.
Alignment of standards, competency-based certifications, increased corporate visibility and growing emphasis on value realization are some of the emerging trends in the world of project management for 2006 and beyond.
Most sponsors oversee projects as fixed expenses. Project managers, in turn, closely track costs, seeking a survivable margin and “ticketing” changes to justify increases. Neither side seems satisfied with the historical results. So what is the value of your project? What’s a fair price to pay? Whether you consider that price tag an expense or an investment makes a real difference.
Economies require more than buyers and sellers and goods. They need a medium of exchange. And whether it takes the form of bartered cows, magic beans or T-shirts matters little, as long as those engaging in transactions believe that their currency holds real value. What's your project's currency?
Economics and project work share much in common. Unfortunately, project management theory seems to be lagging behind modern economists', favoring quantitative methods and deterministic planning over agility, entrepreneurship and individual responsibility. The dismal consequences are widespread, but it doesn't have to be this way. There is a choice.
Project managers lament a fundamental dilemma: a high degree of accountability and a low-level of authority. When things go well, others get most of the credit. But when a project fails, the finger gets pointed … at you. To confront this professional reality, and make the best of it, the author offers his own 12-step recovery program.
If the world’s business-innovation playing field is flattening, and the digital revolution is the ‘steamroller’ driving the change, then the discipline of project management is riding shotgun, helping team leaders, knowledge experts and mutual stakeholders speak the same language … the language for getting things done.
The agile movement has a manifesto. Does project management need one? The answer lies in what value it would offer, and whether or not agile, extreme and other approaches are actually all that different from project management as it is practiced today, and in the context of getting things done.