Do you have consistent project management?

Much publicity has been given to the government’s announcement today that a consistent method of food labelling on the front of front of packaging ‘would start next year.

A combination of guideline daily amounts, colour coding and “high, medium or low” wording will be used to show how much fat, salt and sugar and how many calories are in each product. The scheme will be voluntary.

I find this interesting. We regularly find that companies have inconsistent project management. What do I mean by this? Put simply; there is little consistency across the company in its approach to delivery of projects.

Does consistency in project management matter?

Put simply; yes it does.

Like the food labelling mentioned above, consistency of approach in project management is essential. If companies want to deliver their strategic agenda, they need to invest more in developing internal project management processes. More investment is needed in training, including the training of senior managers (sponsors) in their role. In addition there needs to be much more time and effort put into communicating the need and use of project management across the company.

More investment in training & developing internal project management process is needed

Yes, there is an argument that like the food regulations, we should make certain aspects of project management ‘mandatory’. What is needed is ownership by top management to ensure that project management is adopted consistently across the company.

Until that happens, we will be left with a project team trying to deliver a project using several different approaches; or stakeholders not engaged with a key strategic project delaying its delivery or even a project manager not being able to see the relevance of the project!

Do you have consistent project management? If no, what are you going to do about it and if you do not know, how are you going to find out? If yes, how are you going to ensure it stays that way?

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5 Responses to Do you have consistent project management?

  1. Pingback: Do you have consistent project management? | #PMChat

  2. Deanne Earle says:

    Hi Ron
    Thanks for retweeting this blog post, as I missed it first time round.
    While I agree in the main with what you’ve written there’s one bit I’d think is worth a bit more debate; ownership by top management to ensure that project management is adopted consistently across the company.

    Top management are not, on the whole, connected to projects so projects are not understood in most organisations even though a huge proportion of what they’re doing is project based. Training is certainly one way of addressing this but when it’s systemic to the ‘way we do things around here’ training in the ‘how’ is not enough. The ‘what’ and ‘why’ need to be addressed first. This requires a fundamental shift in culture. It doesn’t matter what project management approach the company or PM chooses to apply once governance, expectations, decision making and needs are understood.

    It’s one thing to adopt and apply project management principles and practices consistently but the real benefits are achieved when there’s connectedness and consistency of projects and their delivery across an entire organisation.

    Ciao, Deanne

    • Ron Rosenhead says:

      Deanne, my favorite topic – ownership of project management! Undoubtedly, this belongs to senior managers or rather a senior manager. My problem, and it looks like you see this as an issue as well, is that senior managers do mot own project management.

      I have tried to get around this by suggesting one senior manager owns project management. I have even given what you could call a ‘job description’ of what that means but there is plainly a lack of ownership.

      I think there is a change needed. The investment in projects by some companies is huge The problem is what is the ROI? I think some really stiff questions are needed of senior management around projects.

      I have in my many gigabytes of research a document which suggested that we should have an annual report – like a company report – but specifically on projects. The document can be found at http://projectagency.co.uk/documents/annual-report-of-projects.pdf – this document suggests we ask those stiff questions.

      Anyone have any views?

      Thanks Deanne, appreciate your comments

      • Deanne Earle says:

        I see where you’re going with your report Ron, but have one word for you – Governance.
        A slightly longer description is a “Project Governance Framework” – as it relates to projects and programmes within the entire portfolio. I specifically exclude corporate governance from this. A good project governance framework starts at the point where investment is being requested and continues right through to longer-term business benefits realisation. If it doesn’t there can be no informed decision making on where to invest and whether there will be an ROI.

        Execs, Management and leaders at all levels must connect the dots or silo’s will forever remain the bain of their lives. No good complaining about it if they’re not going to act on it.

        Deanne

        • Ron Rosenhead says:

          Wow…this discussion could go so many way so I will try (honestly) to keep it on track!

          I gave a presentation this week and mentioned the need for execs to be more involved in projects and that ownership rests with them. My reason for mentioning this to them is that I want to see consistent project management applied. Where there is success then duplicate this on other projects. Where there are problems and they reoccur then let’s look at how to overcome them and share this learning around.

          Going back to the original article; consistency of PM is I believe important. NOT rigid adherence to the overall process but simple approaches that work and ensure there is a better probability of project success.

          To pick up a specific point; project governance (framework) – this belongs at senior management level. They ought to be agreeing to the overall project governance processes linking them to the company’s governance processes.

          Thanks Deanne, really appreciate your time in responding (again)

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