Project Management

The PM Crystal Ball

Michael R. Wood is a Business Process Improvement & IT Strategist Independent Consultant. He is creator of the business process-improvement methodology called HELIX and founder of The Natural Intelligence Group, a strategy, process improvement and technology consulting company. He is also a CPA, has served as an Adjunct Professor in Pepperdine's Management MBA program, an Associate Professor at California Lutheran University, and on the boards of numerous professional organizations. Mr. Wood is a sought after presenter of HELIX workshops and seminars in both the U.S. and Europe.

Hopefully, unlike me, you don’t find yourself pondering the world of project management at 3 a.m. in the morning. However, if you are in the field, you can’t help wonder what the future holds for this relatively young discipline. Over my 30-plus years in the field, I have seen much evolution--most of which has been to the betterment of the profession.

That being said, today I still find a great deal of variation in how well organizations select, prioritize, manage and implement projects. Most organizations are still fairly naïve when it comes to project management, while a select few have successfully woven project management disciplines and practices into the fabric of their companies. What I find interesting is that organizational size is not often congruent with the maturity of the project management practices followed. Often, mid-sized companies that are more entrepreneurial in nature use the best tools, embrace the most enlightened techniques and reap the greatest success.

Typically at the heart of these successes is a leader who understands how to strike that perfect balance and practical deployment of talented people, systems and methods. These leaders are constantly adapting to improvements that further their ability to integrate project management efforts from the Project Management Office level through the specifics of managing individual …

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A conference is a gathering of important people who singly can do nothing, but together can decide that nothing can be done.

- Fred Allen