Roma called to me—the wine … the cheese … the shoes ... the project management.
This is, after all, the home of many an ancient megaproject. The Colosseum, for instance, was launched around A.D. 70-72 with a massive scope, including underground tunnels, seating for thousands and, if the suspicions of many archeologists are correct, drinking fountains and latrines to serve the needs of its patrons. At the same time, the schedule for the building—while relatively short for that day and age—stretched out a decade.
But we can’t get all caught up in the magnificence of Rome’s ancient megaprojects. Today’s project and program managers must follow a different grido di battaglia. And that battle cry is focused squarely on the future.
“As project managers you are the engineers of progress in your companies,” said author Gabor George Burt as he opened PMI® EMEA Congress 2017.
To survive in a business environment where disruption is the norm, organizations must reshape their futures. And, according to Mr. Burt, project and program managers should be leading the charge as agents of change.
Building on the Blue Ocean strategy, Mr. Burt outlined three levels organizations can operate in to make themselves indispensible:
- Blue Ocean: Create new value propositions that drive your company’s overall strategy
- Blue Sea: Expand your current value prop for broader relevance
- Blue Lake: Refresh and optimize your current value prop
It’s an intriguing concept, especially for those daunted by the big, blue ocean. But even once a company chooses which waters to swim in, it must continuously stretch the definition of the value it brings to its target audience. “There is no mercy in the marketplace for companies that define what they do too narrowly.”
Companies and their project managers should also embrace the innovation shortcut. Instead of trying to invent something, he suggests mixing existing things in new ways. “The art of recombination is all around us,” said Mr. Burt. “It’s the most high-impact way for us to innovate.”
No matter the level, waters are sure to be choppy. But companies that get stuck in the past, or even the here and now, are destined to struggle—or worse, drown.
That’s it on project management for today. I need to answer the siren call of wine and cheese now. And maybe shoes tomorrow.