I have been thinking about this blog for a while now. I saw the dashboard for my blog postings was reading 397, 398, and now it’s 403 making this the 404thnd blog posting.
I have decided to take a reflective look back at the last 7 years (the first blog posting was February 2007) and hopefully that will inform the future for those engaged in project management.
So what have I learned?
1. Many companies are still not accepting the real value that project management can bring. Maybe the issue is that those who are engaged in project management are not trained sufficiently well to deliver the key changes that are needed – see point 2.
2. Project management training is too scatter gun. It needs to be focussed on project managers who are bringing about key strategic changes in the business. Project management training also needs to be directed at project sponsors and project board (steering group) members. The lack of project sponsor training led me to co-author a book Strategies for Project Sponsorship. Let’s hope the statistics for project sponsorship training improve.
3. It is people who deliver projects. Your systems and processes may be brilliant however as one person said to me recently:
It’s those people…..
Now while I am suggesting we need to focus our project management training, I am now suggesting that project managers and project sponsors should have excellent people skills. I recently delivered a session called, “Soft skills, the final frontier for project management?” I believe soft skills are, and I also believe that they can like all frontiers, be conquered!
4. There has been a rise in the use of project management software. Exhibitions and magazines are full of advertisements for project management software. But in order to use the software, the user needs to know about project management. I am not seeing this as often as I would like.
5. I am still seeing too many projects worked on in companies. There are too many nice to have projects rather than must haves! In their latest report, PMI suggests:
“Projects and programs that are aligned to an organization’s strategy are completed successfully more often than projects that are misaligned (48 percent versus 71 percent)”
6. I am, and so are many Consultants seeing the same mistakes made by companies over and over again. Organisations are not learning. The really interesting issue is that if only they did learn, and do so in a structured way, then this would have a positive impact on the bottom line!
Here are 6 different points; they are from my experiences over the years which I wanted to share with the wider project management community, and companies generally. They are my reflections.
What are yours?