The Strategic Role of Project Management

From the Voices on Project Management Blog
by , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Voices on Project Management offers insights, tips, advice and personal stories from project managers in different regions and industries. The goal is to get you thinking, and spark a discussion. So, if you read something that you agree with - or even disagree with - leave a comment.

About this Blog

RSS

View Posts By:

Cameron McGaughy
Marian Haus
Lynda Bourne
Lung-Hung Chou
Bernadine Douglas
Kevin Korterud
Conrado Morlan
Peter Tarhanidis
Mario Trentim
Jen Skrabak
David Wakeman
Roberto Toledo
Cecilia Wong
Vivek Prakash
Cyndee Miller

Recent Posts

Leadership Tips from Entrepreneur and Sports Legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson

Passion and Rigor Drive PMI’s Project of the Year Award Winner

End a Business Relationship and Keep Your Cred

Fair's Fair

Give Your Project a Home

Email Notifications off: Turn on


I have a bit of resentment for organizations that view the role of a project manager as that of a 'traffic cop.' That is, as someone who simply ensures that requirements are documented, meetings facilitated, conference call numbers set up and everyone has their assignments in on time.

To be sure, these are all important facets of a project. But I believe that any qualified project manager should be performing these actions as a reflex. In other words, this is not the primary role of a project manager but simply the basic administrative tasks of a much bigger role.

That's why I was pleased to see the results of PMI's 2012 Pulse of the Profession report. Among many interesting findings, this observation hit home:

Research conducted with senior project management leaders on PMI's Global Executive Council found that the most important skill for managing today's complex projects and programs is the ability to align the team to the vision of the project and design the project's organizational structure to align people and project objectives.

This is the key to the future growth and a value-add of project management in today's organizations. If your company is not positioning project managers to help define, communicate and drive the strategic vision and goals of the projects project managers are responsible for, it is under-utilizing their resources.

Project managers should not view themselves as simply the administrative support team for a group of subject matter experts and executives. They should take ownership of the overall success of the projects they run. This goes well beyond meeting the key performance indicators that have been set out for them. It also includes recognizing and providing the strategic value of the project to the organization.

Beyond understanding the fundamentals of project management as laid out by A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide), you should also take the initiative to know your business and the industry in which you work. This way, you not only recognize the obvious success indicators but also the more subtle success factors -- and risks -- of the decisions you and your team make.

Take heart, Project Managers. It appears our true value-add is finally starting to be recognized. But also take heed: You must up your game to ensure you remain valuable in today's project management field.

How can project managers help align projects to organizational goals?

To discuss Pulse of the Profession on Twitter, please use #pmipulse.

See more on the Pulse of the Profession.

Posted by Geoff Mattie on: August 14, 2012 12:40 PM | Permalink

Comments

Padmakar
I agree fully with the comments of Geoff. The organizations should treat Project Management as a core activity and the Project Managemnet Office as one of the key entities of the bank. The organization also need to provide adequate authorities to the PMs and the PMO for the smooth execution of the projects.

PM Hut
I have just checked the "Pulse of the Profession" and I couldn't read anywhere that the most important skill to managing projects is to align the team with the project's vision. The team was subtly mentioned in the talent management part here: "Organizations will renew their focus on talent development as they look to grow and gain competitive advantage in new markets." Am I missing something?

Voices on Project Management Admin
Hi @PM Hut! You can locate this finding on page 3 of the report, under the bullet point that reads: "Despite tight economic conditions, organizations have been and will continue to increase their focus on benefits realization (in addition to cost and time) as a project and program success metric." We hope this helps! The Voices Team

matt42
I to am with Geoff. Project managment is a core activity. Without a fully commited approach to project management, additional costs will be incurred to the business. In an environment where cutting costs are everything, project managers should and will be appreciated for their efforts. Great stuff Geoff

Please Login/Register to leave a comment.

ADVERTISEMENTS

"Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society."

- Mark Twain

ADVERTISEMENT

Sponsors

>