Project Management

The Death of Charts

Dennis Smith

Successful project teams are built on communication. Unfortunately, many companies value the org chart over real-time access to information and resources. But if there is a better way--a networked model--to accomplish the mission, who cares where the leader sits?

This is the second article in Dennis Smith's series on organizational project management and self-organizing teams.

Last month in this series we talked about the relationship between power, project operation and schedule predictability (see "The Power Trap"). This month we’ll start to examine the organizational power of the executives who are ultimately accountable for project results, and the power of project leaders as they work with their teams.

How leadership power is leveraged in an organization has a tremendous impact on projects and project teams. Designing an organization to better use leaderships’ power to improve team and project performance is about who you put in which organization chart box — but foremost the organization design must address how the people interact. So trash your box-oriented organization charting software and get into the reality of today’s organizational styles.

We all like simple things. We look for simplified views of our projects to allow us to work efficiently and to allow us to focus our attention. To that end, project …


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Conformity's an obsession with me.

- George Costanza