Projects are at the heart of achieving competitive advantage. Companies implement their corporate strategy through projects. Those projects may be directed at developing new products or systems. They may have a goal of improving the efficiency or quality of a business process. They may entail building new facilities. Whatever the organizational objective, a project is used as the method of organizing and directing the work associated with achieving the objective. Therefore, an organization's competitive advantage can be enhanced through effective project management.
Yet a consistent theme I hear from business executives is that their organization does not manage projects well. In fact, in a recent survey by the Standish Group, they found that 66% of IT projects were either late, overrun or failed to deliver on the key objectives. The difficulties achieving project success are not due to a lack of recognition of the need. Many business schools now offer MBA programs with emphasis on project management. Universities and Leadership Institutes around the world have Project Management Certificate programs. In addition, the Project Management Institute has developed standards and codified best practices for project management. There are even professional certifications including the internationally recognized Project Management Professional (PMP) and regional or national certifications such as PRINCE2 in the United Kingdom.
So with all this emphasis on managing projects well, why is the result so disappointing? I believe that the fundamental problem lies in an understanding of the business environment in which the projects are conducted. There is typically a set of unstated assumptions that the business environment is predictable and controllable. While this may be the case for many elements and disciplines of business management, it seldom is the case for projects. In fact, project objectives often entail changing some aspect of the business environment, which by its very nature creates an instability.
To understand your business and project environment and to develop a realistic approach for project planning, execution, and control, you may need the help of a Guru who has lived and breathed project management for the past 25 years. This site offers help and guidance to the project management practitioner. Every project is unique and will require a unique blend of the project management tools and techniques. In addition, every project team has unique personalities, both on the team and among the stakeholders. These personalities will have differing needs and styles for communication and differing risk sensitivities. If you are puzzled as to how best to proceed on your project, you face a daunting a challenge. or you have a chronic problem let me give you some advice.
Go to the Articles page for general information about project management.
Go to the Project Management Tools and Techniques page for tutorials on selected tools and techniques.
Go to the Reviews page for my comments on books and tools relating to project management.
Go to the Blog for discussion on recent issues and commentary.
If you still need help, Contact me directly. We can set up a time for teleconference consulting, on-site consulting, or training. I would love to come and help you.
Your Project Management Guru