I must have around 12 metres of shelving in my office and I decided it was time for a good clear out. So, I took valuable time out and started to move a lot of ‘old stuff’.
I pulled down old files. I found some long lost material and I piled up a lot of files to go for recycling along with their contents. Being an inquisitive soul I started to look through all the old files on the floor. Some of them were at least 10 years old and included papers from many of the conferences I attended. I sat on the floor with my cup of tea and imagine my surprise that the very issues we are talking about today were being talked about nearly 10 years ago. I came across material on:
- the role of the sponsor
- change and project management – how to make both work more effectively
- how to manage stakeholders more effectively
- programme management – what it can do for us all and how to structure it in a company
- benefits management, why it is so important and the need to clearly identify what the real benefits will be
I sometimes get these streaks of pessimism and while sat on the floor I had one of my bouts!
I should not be surprised that the issues of today were around some 10 years ago. It confirms my view that project management has not moved as far forward as I and many of my colleagues would like. Too many projects, too many of the same mistakes, companies throwing money away or misusing their resources (if only their share holders knew what was going on….).
The era of the learning organisation was heralded many years ago however I have to question whether this is the case. Are organisations really learning from their mistakes? If yes, why are so many projects still delivered late or over budget? Why do so many projects fail to meet client needs?
I recently finished a two day project management for a client. Reviewing the two days with the group one person said what they had gone through was applied common sense; why he queried do senior managers not apply it?
Now, there is a question?