On Program Management: An Adaptive Approach for the Evolving Business Environment (Part 2)

PMI Atlanta Chapter

Eric Norman is a skilled management consultant and leader with extensive business process design experience supporting a broad array of industries. Over the past 25 years, he has specialized in program management - mentoring, consulting and leading project, program and business process improvement efforts.

Part 1 established the context for Part 2, which is focused on our roles in an ever-changing organizational landscape.

We hear a lot about organizational agility these days, and I believe we now have words and concepts at our fingertips that enable us to peel this onion back a little, to get more specific and focused about what is happening just below the surface in these examples.

What separates the winners from the non-winners (we may not want to call them out specifically as “losers” here) in these historic situations is their ability to sense what is going on in the environment around them and adjust to it. Winning organizations and the individuals within them transform what they know and what they do in a collective sense, seamlessly adjusting to their new environment, taking well-learned skills, tools, knowledge and experience, applying all in new and creative ways, effectively taking advantage of the new environment (or at the very least, aligning with it).

We call this process adaptation, and the enablers to this adaptation include clearly defined objectives and outcomes, meaningful measures and metrics, refined skills and knowledge, continual communication, and trust in the judgment and performance of the individuals.

The successful organizations, teams and individuals in our examples have adopted this approach and thinking, and they appear to …

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"Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza."

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