Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sacred PM Practices – Topics for Consideration

Traditional project management resources seem to address topics that do not necessarily support the successful execution of large IT projects.
  • Project Management Institute claims to be the world’s leading publisher of project management information. Its books, newsletters, training courses, and seminars focus on traditional concerns such as resource estimation, risk management, and scope management.
  • American Management Association’s books, seminars, and self-study materials focus on traditional project management activities – setting measurable project objectives, estimating project costs, and the use of a Work Breakdown Structure.
  • Software Engineering Institute strongly promotes the establishment of repeatable (i.e., standard, documented) processes for such areas as project planning, project tracking, and change management.

Project management resources do not adequately address the qualitative findings of this study.

  • There are many resources written about leadership. The resources however, tend to address military leadership and the leading of whole corporations.
  • There are few resources that address ownership. Some of the leadership books do include a sentence or a paragraph about why ownership is important to an organization.
  • There are extremely few project management resources that address trust among project stakeholders.

Do you also find this to be the situation? If so, why? Is it simply easier to describe how to create a work breakdown structure than it is to describe how to create an environment of engaged team members?

1 comment:

  1. Jeff,

    I attended a conference last week called "Excellence in Government". It was quite interesting since they had senior leaders of government, industry and non-profits. Nancy Killefer, Obama's ill-fated nominee for Chief Performance Officer, was a panelist for one of the sessions. One particularly interesting session was called "Megacommunities: Are Some Problems Too Big to Solve Alone?", based on the book Megacommuniites, written be a senior VP of Booz Allen & Hamilton. It essentially provides an approach to work collaboratively across different organizations to solve a "big" social issue (e.g., HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer's). What really interested me is that building a megacommunity required cooperation among disparate organizations, each with different motives (e.g., profit motive for industry; regulation-motive for government). So how does one "convene" a megacommunity and make it successful? You'll have to read the book but the underlying theme is governance (how the MC will run itself to solve the problem) instead of government (being told by the government how to solve the problem). In a smaller sense, a similar approach is required for cross-organizational initiatives. While coercion is available in organizational initiatives, we all know the better way is cooperation. Something to think about.