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Leadership’s Project Management Challenges

Project ManagementLeadership in many organizations – even today – are challenged with project management and where it fits in. Understanding the value of project management to the organization is a significant challenge for leaders. Too often it is considered as tactical – with no real thought or understanding of the strategic value of it. Shortchanging the strategic value of project management hinders an organization trying to meet strategic long-term objectives.

This is starting to change, however; and I can state that I am seeing an increasing number of clients who want to talk about project management as a strategic component of the organization. The Project Management Institute (PMI®) is increasing their focus on its the value within organizations.

Too often one of the areas that gets cut from the budget is the project management function – whether that means reducing the PMO’s resources or laying off project managers or cancelling (often the wrong) projects. Over the years, in collaborative efforts with executives and boards of Abudi Consulting Group’s clients around it and its value to the organization, I have learned the following about the challenges that leaders have as it relates to it (all of these have come up in a number of client engagements):

  • Unsure how to incorporate project management best practices into the organization
  • A limited understanding of the value of project management as a strategic component within the organization
  • No individuals in senior leadership roles with a strong background in, knowledge of or interest in project management
  • Not involving the project management function (PMO) – when it does exist – in strategic planning sessions about which projects to take on toward meeting long-term goals

Over the years in such conversations with executives and board, Abudi Consulting Group has focused on how it helps to accomplish the following:

  • Improved efficiencies and effectiveness
  • Increased likelihood of meeting stakeholder and other client needs
  • Increased likelihood of choosing the rights projects to work on at the right time toward meeting strategic organizational goals
  • Improved efficiencies in managing tight budgets and ensuring that the right financial investments are being made within the organization

When I meet with clients, I use examples and case studies from other clients that have successfully made project management a much more strategic part of the organization. For one client, this meant having the PMO represented “at the table” with the C-level executives when strategy planning was done. For another client, it meant formalizing their practices and processes around projects so that projects enabled for increased efficiencies within the organization – which enabled for reductions in costs and better being able to stay a step ahead of the competition. For yet another client, an investment in project management enabled them, in a fairly short time period, to reduce the amount of investments made overall in projects and ensure that when investments were made they were focused on the right projects to meet strategic goals.

Certainly there is significant research available about the value of project management.

Consider your own organization. How can you increase the value of project management within the organization to achieve long term strategic goals?