The Brexit Effect—Deal With It

From the Voices on Project Management Blog
by , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Voices on Project Management offers insights, tips, advice and personal stories from project managers in different regions and industries. The goal is to get you thinking, and spark a discussion. So, if you read something that you agree with--or even disagree with--leave a comment.

About this Blog

RSS

View Posts By:

Cameron McGaughy
Marian Haus
Lynda Bourne
Lung-Hung Chou
Bernadine Douglas
Kevin Korterud
Conrado Morlan
Peter Tarhanidis
Mario Trentim
Jen Skrabak
David Wakeman
Roberto Toledo
Vivek Prakash
Cyndee Miller
Shobhna Raghupathy
Wanda Curlee
Rex Holmlin
Christian Bisson
Taralyn Frasqueri-Molina
Jess Tayel
Ramiro Rodrigues
Linda Agyapong
Joanna Newman

Recent Posts

Project Management Triangles and Integrated Reasoning

Best Practices for Managing Project Escalations

Questions from Project Management Central - Interviews

The Ying and Yang of Resilience

3 Tips For Simplifying Complexity



by Cyndee Miller

PMI brought back its 21st century spin on the salon at this year’s EMEA congress. This time around, the panel talked turbulence and uncertainty—political shifts, workforce demands and the risks of global conflicts.

 

So, yeah, really not all that different from the stuff they covered in the grand salons of the 17th and 18th century France and Italy. Plus ça change and all that …

 

These days, we’ve got Brexit, U.S. President Trump and a whole cast of other political characters shaking up the status quo.

 

It’s hard to escape the feeling of uncertainty.

 

For pharma giant AstraZeneca, the shifting landscape spurred a move to niche medicines and away from the blockbuster drugs they built their name on.

 

Managing that kind of change—especially in such a large company—requires a strong communication plan to ensure buy-in across the enterprise. “There is an important element in big complex organizations that you have a common goal and a common understanding of why you need to change,” said salonnier Maria Hedwall, PMP, of AstraZeneca.

 

“It takes quite some time to cascade change announcements throughout the organization, by the time it gets to the bottom of the organization, management is ready to change again,” she said.

 

In times of great change, all organizations must be prepared to respond—and respond quickly. For Clare Savage of Deutsche Bank, that has meant raising the profile of project managers.

 

“Project managers are right in the thick of it but they are very seldom the decision makers,” said Ms. Savage. So she’s created a framework that allows project professionals to stick their neck out, take charge of an effort and make the necessary assumptions as part of the decision-making process—without having to worry that said neck would get chopped off if things don’t work out as expected. The blame game, in essence, is over.

 

She’s also putting a priority on answering the “why” question. “One of the things we’ve been doing with the more junior project personnel is [ensuring] they understand the true value of the why of the project they are delivering,” says Ms. Savage.

 

In such a chaotic environment, the company cultures that get it right are the ones that encourage innovation, said Gabor George Burt. “Once people are freed up to be creative they can deal with change.

 

Moderated by PMI’s Murat Bicak, the salon pulled back the curtain on how companies are dealing with Brexit and the onslaught of other changes. It was a good discussion, although for what it’s worth, I think we need fancier clothes and maybe a nice aria or two if we’re going to have a proper salon.

 

What’s happening at your organizations? How are you dealing with Brexit and all the other shifts?

Posted by Cyndee Miller on: May 02, 2017 10:43 PM | Permalink

Comments (5)

Please login or join to subscribe to this item
Thank you for sharing. From my point of view, there are always change in socio-politics environments, the important in this case is how we manage the change and our stakeholders' expectations.

Did Companies ever acknowledge that a big part of the resistance to change of the employees is due to bad communication?

For example, how much effort do Company invest in giving to Communication departments also good Project Management competence?

Thanks for the article. In looking at Brexit, one might want to consider the philosophy of Brexit as one of those areas similar to assessing risk in projects.

We routinely look at stakeholders, customer requirements, and the risks associated with making change, usually as finite points which require analysis and decision on how to handle them.

In some cases, however, we look only at the present, and not the potential for problems in the future. People change, requirements change, and the environment and culture change--all of which might not be noticeable, or even considered at the time of project scoping and planning.Even if they are, we might simply shrug our shoulders, and consider them intangibles which might just go away.

Brexit came about, at least in part by giving away autonomy in favor of collegiality, only to find out that the amount of autonomy lost was not, perhaps, at the level the return on investments expected.

Now, as they try to exit, the British are learning a very painful, and expensive lesson on rolling back fundamental change. Unfortunately, you cannot recreate exactly what you had in the past.

Our clients are predominantly government jurisdictions. That means, we need to reflect and adjust when political changes and upheavals happen. If we look closely, we often wind up with more opportunities than threats.

Please Login/Register to leave a comment.

ADVERTISEMENTS

No matter how much cats fight, there always seem to be plenty of kittens.

- Abraham Lincoln

ADVERTISEMENT

Sponsors