Saturday, March 21, 2015

Why Organizations Fail at Project Management

Why are many organizations still having difficulties when it comes to project management? Generally, there is no organization that is stagnant when it comes to better managing its projects. In other words, no organization is purposely trying to get worse at it. Though not articulated, all organizations quietly agree that there is value in being able to manage projects effectively. What then, is making many organizations still fall short of implementing projects and managing them well?

One reason for failure is that many senior managers think that project management is a software tool. Even though some aspects of a project may utilize a tool in management, the real value of project management does not lie there. It is about skills and discipline. Using common and understood templates is one way that skills and discipline can be put to good use.

Another drawback for organizations is lack of upfront investment of time. If you know what you are doing before starting any project, you have a better short of managing the work more effectively than if you just went head first into it without taking time to think about it. While being doers is important and cannot be overemphasized, effective project management requires the investment of time before execution as opposed to execution and then redoing the work later again. Yes, take time first before implementation.

Another misconception common in project management is that it takes too much focus away from the work at hand and cumbersome. While there may be legitimate concerns to such claims, it also has to be remembered that the problem, in most cases, is a misguided attempt at implementation of the management process. Implementing the project management methodology right will produce outstanding results.

Lack of commitment by the organization is also another reason why many organizations are so poor at project management. While many of these organizations want good management of their projects, what do their actions reveal? This disconnection is very common and can make it difficult to enforce management or even define the work. Another obstacle is the inability of many organizations to implement project management. Training people and turning them loose will rarely get the job done. It takes hard work and resources to effect culture change for the long term. Thus, rather than buying Microsoft Project and turning people loose, take time to approach it with long term benefits in view.

Take time to consider the above points and you can be sure that your project management skills will improve.