Project Management

Is the Right Way Real?

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras-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.

To turn around an organization sliding into bad project execution habits, leadership first had to agree on what “good” looked like. Only then could standards be clearly defined and translated into measurable practices that drove improvements. There’s still a long way to go, but here’s how a solid foundation was built.

In “A Slippery PM Slope” (Dec. 11, 2015), I described an organization that had gone down a “slippery slope to unacceptable normality” — a gradual erosion of sound project management practices under the pretext of protecting the triple constraint. Assessing the situation, I felt the organization was only a few months away from a complete breakdown in project execution. Here is what we did to turn things around.

It was easy for the executive team to agree that the situation was unacceptable. Project managers were ignoring the PMO and the PMO was allowing it to happen; most project methodology requirements were being ignored or only peripherally followed; relationships between project managers and teams were antagonistic.

It was not easy to find agreement on what needed to be done about it.

One of the first questions I asked the leadership team was, “What constitutes a successful project?” There were common themes, but no clear agreement on the answer, which was telling — if they didn’t understand what …


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