Coming Soon: The Self-Selected Project Team?

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting Inc., an Ontario, Canada-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at andy.jordan@roffensian.com. Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

As project managers we know that there is always pressure to do more things, in less time and for less money. That doesn’t change, and I suspect that it has always been this way. I am sure that the PM in charge of the Great Wall of China had to justify why it was going to take so long, or why he needed so many workers.

As we move from one project to the next there is almost guaranteed to be a suggestion: now that we have more experience with the work (thanks to the just-completed initiative), we can be more efficient on this new project. With the recent economic challenges, this pressure has grown even more--there’s less money available, and that means fewer resources and a need to get money-making (and money-saving) work completed more swiftly than ever.

This pressure to constantly improve is well meaning, and modern technology tools have helped us to deliver much of this improvement. But we are reaching the point of significantly diminishing returns; we simply can’t keep streamlining processes, implementing new tools and building on experience to deliver tangible increases in productivity--we reach the point where there is nothing more to be gained without cutting corners.

Instead, we have to find a new way of doing things--for project management to keep improving we need to turn much more attention on our project teams.

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