Stop With All This 'Project Management Culture' Stuff!

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.

Before you read this article, take a moment to Google the term “project management culture.” There were 802 million results when I did it. I searched again putting the term in quotes, and that made it more manageable—just 216,000 results. It’s unbelievable, and it is of absolutely no benefit to anyone. Organizations don’t need a project management culture; what they need is a culture that helps ensure projects succeed, and that’s a lot more than management.

I much prefer the term “project delivery culture” (5,790 results with the quotes, by the way) or “project execution culture” (2,100). Those much better reflect what it is the organization is trying to achieve, and to my mind that’s what culture should focus on.

In another article this month, I’ve suggested that organizational culture is the byproduct of work in other areas rather than something that you consciously change directly—but the culture element is the focus of attention of those shifts in approach, attitude, structure, etc. It’s therefore important to ensure that the “headline” cultural element is reflective of what the organization is trying to achieve, as it will drive the efforts undertaken by employees and will be the aspect external stakeholders look to.

I completely understand the importance of project …

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