Project Management

On Program Management: Knowing What to Do...and How and When to Do It (Part 2)

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.

There are a number of leadership and organizational competencies that must be in place to enable an organization to adopt and institutionalize adaptability, or what some would call “organizational agility.” In my own work, I attempt to embody these competencies and encourage the organizational leaders I work with and support to do the same. But I’m finding that simply internalizing these concepts is not getting the job done. The bottom line is that understanding the approach isn’t sufficient. Beyond knowing what to do, we also need to know how and when to do it. This article is continued from Part 1: Selecting the Technical Approach.

II. Organizational Context

Up to this point, I’ve discussed how one might go about selecting a technical approach that aligns with the demands and characteristics of the work. And while this might be helpful and a tempting place to jump right in, selecting the technical approach is not the stopping point in our analysis and preparation. Solving the technical approach is actually only one of several other considerations we must take into account as we ready ourselves and our team for the challenges ahead. The next hurdle is to gain an understanding of the existing organizational culture and begin preparing the environment for the work.  

If we agree that the majority of our work occurs in what we would …

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