Project Management

Work Management and the Desired Future State

From the Strategic Project Management Blog
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As an "accidental" project manager, it's very satisfying to contribute to the project management community online with anectdotes and stories I've picked up from my own experience. I hope you enjoy our daily conversation.

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As a kid I loved the Jetsons TV show.  I wanted to live in a world with flying cars, jet-tubes that whisked you from room to room, a robotic housekeeper like Rosie to clean up after me, and a dog like Astro.  Since then I've grown up a little (although my wife would suggest that it might be debatable).  Although we don't have flying cars or robot housekeepers, I live with many of the futuristic conveniences that the writers of the Jetsons only fantasized about.

As organizations look into the future to set goals and establish corporate objectives, many are turning to project management best practices to help them streamline processes and increase the efficiency of their workforce.  (There may even be someone trying to build my flying car—although I'm doubtful they will ever get dogs to talk.)

Whenever my colleagues and I talk about the future of work management methodologies, we often discuss the importance of doing the right projects, not just doing projects right.  Doing the right projects is the key to helping organizations get to where they want to go—their desired future state.  Success depends upon rethinking what we are doing and how we are doing it.

That being said, it doesn't mean we can wish ourselves into our desired future state.  It requires creating a structure around two important concepts:

  1. The work being accomplished by project teams needs to reflect the strategic goals of the organization.  For many companies, this is easier said than done.  It requires a game plan (strategy) for getting organizations from where they are to where they want to go.  Without a strategy, in the heat of battle it's easy for executives and managers to make knee-jerk reactions to current circumstances.  Successful organizations understand that workforce execution must reflect the organization's strategic vision.  Otherwise, it's like being tossed about on the sea in a boat with no rudder.
  2. Optimizing projects and team communication is critical.  This is where project and portfolio management solutions can help.  A good work management solution will help your organization evaluate potential projects to ensure they are a reflection of corporate strategy, enable project managers to optimize current resources to execute projects that provide the most business value, and facilitate top-to-bottom and bottom-to-top communication and visibility.  Virtually ensuring that executives, managers, and project teams are all focused on the right projects, not just doing them right.

Over the course of my career, I've noticed that there really is no secret sauce that makes one organization successful and another fail.  Usually, it's applying common-sense principles with the available technology.  I'm sure you'd agree that the pyramids' master builder was an incredible project manager, he just didn't have a computer or an online project management solution.

Project management expert and author Harvey Levine talks about the means to implement corporate strategy and achieving the desired future state in a recent video interview.  To view the video, click HERE.

Posted on: April 27, 2010 01:03 PM | Permalink

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