Recently, a number of the world's top project management companies have taken important initiatives to enlighten executive management in regards to the strategic value and advantages of project management. The focus is always to move from individual project management to organisational project management, which these enterprises preserve is a strategic advantage in a competitive economy.
In this essay, Ed Naughton, Director-general of the Institute of Project Management and present IPMA Vice-president, requires Professor Sebastian Green, Dean of the Faculty of Commerce and Professor of Management and Marketing at University College Cork (previously of the London Business School), about his views of proper project management as a vehicle for competitive advantage.
Ed: What does one issue proper Project Management is?
Prof. Green: Strategic project management may be the management of these projects that are of critical importance to help the organisation in general to have competitive advantage.
Ed: And what becomes a competitive advantage, then?
Prof. Green: You will find three features of getting a core competence. The three features are: it adds value to customers; it is perhaps not easily imitated; it opens up new opportunities in the future.
Ed: But just how can project management provide a competitive advantage?
Prof. Green: There are two elements to project management. One aspect is the actual selection of the kind of projects that the organisation engages in, and secondly there is execution, how a projects themselves are handled.
Ed: Competitive advantage - the importance of choosing the projects - it is not easy to establish which projects must be selected!
Prof. Green: I believe that the choice and prioritisation of projects is something that's not been done well within-the project management literature because it's basically been thought away through reducing it to financial analysis. The strategic imperative gives you another way of prioritising projects because it is saying that some projects might not be as successful as others, but when they add to our expertise relative to others, then that is going to be important.
So, to take an illustration, if a company's competitive advantage is introducing services more quickly than the others, drugs, let us say, finding product to market more quickly, then the projects that allow it to acquire the product more quickly to market are going to function as the most critical types, even if in their own terms, they don't have higher success than various projects.
Ed: But when we're going to select our jobs, we've to establish what're the variables or measurements we're going to select them against giving the competitive edge to us.
Prof. Green: Absolutely. The business needs to know which actions it is employed in, which are the critical ones for it competitive advantage and then, that drives the choice of projects. Firms are not great at doing that and they might not even know what those activities are. They'll believe it is every thing they do because of the power system.
Ed: If an organization formulates its strategy, then what the project management group says is that project management could be the method for giving that strategy. Then, when the business is great at doing project management, does it have any strategic advantage?
Prof. Green: Well, I suppose that comes back to this issue of the difference between the sort of projects that are plumped for and the way you manage the projects. Certainly choosing the type of projects depends on having the ability to link and prioritise projects according to an understanding of what the capability of a company is relative to others.
Ed: Let us suppose that the technique is placed. So that you can deliver the strategy, it's to be separated, decomposed into a series of projects. Thus, you need to be good at doing project management to provide the strategy. Now, the literature says that for an organisation to become proficient at doing projects it has to: devote project management procedures, train people on how to apply/do project management and co-ordinate the efforts of the people trained to work to procedures in and integrated way utilizing the notion of a project company. I discovered url by browsing newspapers. Does getting those three ways provide a competitive advantage with this enterprise?
Prof. Green: Where project management, or how you manage jobs, becomes a source of competitive advantage is when you can do things better than others. The 'a lot better than' is through the experience and sense and the information which will be developed with time of managing projects. Browse here at close remove frame to research the purpose of this enterprise. There is an event curve effect here. Regarding the knowledge they have developed to control those items of projects where the rule book is limited two organisations will soon be at various points in the experience curve. Should people need to get more on jump button, there are many resources people might investigate. You-need experience and management sense because however good the rule book is, it will never deal fully with all the complexity of life. You have to manage down the ability curve, you've to manage the understanding and learning that you have of the three aspects of project management because of it to become strategic.
Ed: Well, then, I believe there's a gap there that has to be resolved as well, in that we've now developed a competency at doing project management to do projects, but we have not aligned that competency to the selection of projects which may help us to give this competitive edge. Is project management with the capacity of being imitated?
Prof. Green: Not the softer elements and not the development of tacit knowledge of having run many, many jobs over-time. Therefore, for instance, you, Ed, do have more understanding of how-to work jobs than others. That is why people came to you, since while you both might have a regular book like the PMBoK or even the ICB, you have created more experiential knowledge around it. To learn more, please consider checking out: rate us.
Basically, it may be copied a certain amount of the-way, although not once you arrange the smoother tacit understanding of experience into it.
Ed: Organisational project management maturity designs are a hot topic at this time and are directly for this 'experience curve' effect you mentioned early in the day - how should we view them?
Prof. Green: I really believe in moving beyond painting by figures, moving beyond the idea that that is all you have to do and you can demand this group of processes and capabilities and text book methods and an organisation is completely plastic. You might say, exactly the same problem was experienced by the developers of the ability curve. If you show the knowledge curve to companies on cost, it is very nearly like, for every single doubling of size, cost savings occur without you needing to do something. What we realize is however, that the experience curve is a potential of a chance. Its' realisation depends upon the ability of professionals.
Ed: Are senior executives/chief executives within the mindset to appreciate the potential benefits of project management?
Prof. Green: Until lately, project management has offered it-self in technical terms. Then it would be much more appealing to senior executives, if it was promoted in terms-of the integration at common management, at the capability to manage throughout the functions financing strategy procedures with judgement. So, it is about the blending of the smooth and the difficult, the methods using the thinking and the ability which makes project management so effective. If senior managers do not grasp it at the moment, it is not since they're wrong. It's because project management hasn't sold it self as effortlessly as it should've done.
Ed: Do we have to sell to senior executives and chief executives that it will deliver competitive advantage for them?
Prof. Green: No, I think we have to demonstrate to them how it does it. We have to get inside and actually show them how they could use it, not merely with regards to delivering assignments on time and within cost. We must show them how they can use it to overcome organisational resistance to change, how they can use it to enhance capabilities and activities that lead to competitive advantage, how they can use it to enhance the tacit knowledge in the organisation. There is a whole range of ways in which they could use it. They should see that the evidence of the outcome surpasses the way in which they're currently doing it..