Tired of projects failing?

Tired of projects failing?

Since the 1980s, the workplace has been continually redefining itself. The pace is quick and just getting quicker. Products are relevant for shorter periods of time and we have to constantly fight to keep our clients interested, lest a competitor steal them away. Every client is a rare find. They are fickle and yet increasingly educated. Businesses need to keep clients at the heart of their operations. Organizations undergo change at breakneck speeds.

Projects are therefore essential to a company’s survival. To successfully get through change, projects are the key. Organizations that manage to find an effective way of delivering projects have a major advantage over their competitors. That said, too many projects fail.

At the same time as all these organizational changes, there’s another strong current affecting the future of the workplace: specialization. As demonstrated by Morten T. Hansen in the book Collaboration, specialization is occurring everywhere. For example, in U.S. medical schools, the number of areas of specialization has increased from 34 to 103 in the last 25 years. Project management has not escaped this trend. Today’s project manager has to orchestrate a wide range of specialists, including business analysts, functional analysts, process analysts, content specialists, project controllers, project planners, etc.

With companies facing constant change and the number of project contributors dramatically increasing, project managers need a whole new set of skills. So, what does a successful project manager look like?

In The Five Minds of a Manager, Jonathan Gosling and Henry Mintzberg say that managers must be present to establish the right conditions for success. Implementing these conditions is directly related to collaborative thinking.

One of the skills that project managers need to have to be successful is the ability to collaborate. In no specific order, they must:

1) Encourage organizations to make decisions;

2) Promote collaboration between people who are not used to working together;

3) Prepare the organization for change.

This is a far cry from the schedule-content-cost triangle. The technical aspect of project management is not enough; the base isn’t wide enough. Sticking strictly to the basics will lead to failure.

We have three new aspects that project managers have to keep in mind in order for the project to succeed and for people to collaborate.

Promoting collaboration is difficult. We are dealing directly with the Self and individual output. Bad collaboration is worse than none at all. (Hansen, 2009).

How to develop good collaborative skills among project managers? Since collaboration is the result of several project management criteria being met (respect, availability, feedback, motivation, curiosity, listening) and the trust that the project manager inspires between stakeholders and the team.

Rapid change and specialization have created a whole new ballpark for project managers. It’s now about people more than just technical considerations. Project managers who don’t go past the basics will fail.


Tired of projects failing?


Site réalisé par Guillaume Pharand