What do you want from your Project Management Function

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Keeping the Project Management Rules

Too many believe that the core project management objective is the successful development of project processes. Seeing Project Managers complete all the necessary steps and administration of a project is not really project success. Assembling your stories and agreeing sprints, or the completing initiation, planning, stage gates and what ever else is the core objective. But this is like assuming an Olympic athlete is successful because they have brought the right trainers or studied the tactics required for the next race. The project management method is there to support the delivery of successful projects. Projects do not exist to support the method, or at least they should not.

 

The Silver BulletSilver Bullet

The main reason for the increasing importance on how projects are done is the assumption by some of the top management that there is a silver bullet that will guarantee delivery. Agile, Scrum, Kanban and a wealth of most recent developments in providing a framework for project management have all added to this. But there is no silver bullet, no catch all that will work in all situations. Project Managers can be assisted by the framework and processes and should not be constrained by them to the point of failing to deliver.

 

The Real Objectives

Project Management Objective

The real objective in any project is to maximise potential benefit by successfully delivering change. This is benefit potential, because the project itself is not likely to deliver the benefit. The customers use of the output of the project is how the benefit is realised. This is often well after the project has been completed. The method and tools used should help improve how project managers, project teams and stakeholders achieve project goals.

Of course, it is desirable to have repeatable project processes. Allowing common practice between projects should mean easier exchange between projects and reduced training. Achieving the customer aims is the goal but this will always need to be controlled within a budget and timescale.   The field of Project Management continues to change and improvements in approach will always be useful, if used wisely. But the car park attendant approach to driving projects is more likely to waste time then improve project delivery.

So, which is best for your project management function; the check box filling carpark attendants that blindly follow process, or adaptive professionals that pragmatically use the tools and framework to maximise delivery.