Sustaining Performance: A Project Priority
Have you ever heard (or said), “We can’t go on like this!” in a work environment? chances are you have, or something very similar to it. It is usually the result of a team being asked to do too much, for too long—to accept more change than it can handle, to deliver more than can reasonably be expected, or to put up with broken work practices too often without any sign of improvement.
These situations happen all of the time, and they simply aren’t sustainable. The organization’s ability to deliver is compromised by each and every one of them, and if they persist, the damage can be significant and long lasting.
As project managers, we encounter situations where this can occur in multiple areas. Most obviously, our project teams can frequently be asked to work longer hours under intense pressure to recover from delays or problems. Teams can be blamed for the problems that do occur—accused of not identifying issues or not managing risks effectively, etc.
Stakeholders can also be unreasonable in their demands for continuous change, a lack of support and engagement, or through persistent interference. All of these factors damage the project manager’s ability to sustain momentum and keep the team motivated and engaged.
Projects can also cause sustainability issues in the operational environment their projects deliver into. If
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