A common point of tension for many organisations is the way strategy converts into projects. (I am assuming there is a meaningful strategy. This is obviously not true everywhere, but that is a whole different sort of problem which is not covered in this article).
Dealing with change in organisations is well recognised as a significant and ongoing issue. Change comes in many forms – from re-organisations, through all sorts of adaptations resulting from contextual and environmental pressures, as well as changes arising from opportunities that organisations identify.
As project managers we do not deliver on our own. We deliver as part of a larger organisation. Typically, only a small part of the organisation is involved in the project we are running.
Read any guide to project management, or have a discussion on project management processes, and there is normally one important assumption that is taken for granted. Your work as project manager starts at the beginning of the project. Unfortunately, this is not always the situation.
We are going through as tough an economic period as many people can remember. The fun of the Olympics aside, I keep hoping for light at the end of the tunnel – but I can’t see it yet! For lots of organisations the difficult times are far from over, and in some sectors the situation is actually worsening. In this article I want to stray away from pure project management – to a related topic: managing change. I do this because I think there are lessons for project managers.
Revolutions and counter revolutions are a central and often repeated part of history. They stretch into the current times, and will no doubt continue to happen in future. Revolutions pitch one group with existing powers, against another group who want to seize power. The stakes are usually high for both sides.
There are two isolated communities involved in delivering innovation and enhancements in business. Each community knows of, but remains relatively uninformed about, the other. The first community is that of change management practitioners, the second is that of project managers. In a business context at least, there is significant gains to be achieved by bringing these communities together. This article is a request to try and close the divide.
In this article I look at the assumption underlying many project plans that the future is actually predictable. The article is based on a chapter of my book “The Management Book” winner of the Management Book of the Year 2013.