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Anyone who knows me well will tell you that I love stats! There are many stats that you can find information on when it comes project management. While I usually take them with a pinch of salt, I recently came across one that really made me think.
It was from the PMI (2020). Ahead of the Curve – Forging a Future Focused Culture. Pulse of the Profession” report stated that 46% of organizations place high importance on a culture that values project-management.
Blimey! A mere half of the organizations surveyed said they don’t value a culture that promotes project management. This statistic is alarming. Or should I just ‘get more’?
It is because project management has never been more important!
The same report states that “Change is as pervasive as it is relentless” – from the impact technology like artificial intelligence to the clamour to social accountability to customers’ ever changing expectations… Projects are an essential business asset.
With change being constant (no one is disagreeing), and change being delivered through projects, it makes perfect sense that project management is an essential part of any organisation. Why is project management a low priority for so few businesses?
The key is in the “culture of project management”. This stat does not say that half of organisations do not do projects or do poorly with projects. It is saying, in my opinion anyway, that project management is not a top priority.
This makes the corollary true: 54% of organizations treat project management as ad hoc, on top of their day-jobs, or of little value. It is, I fear.
How can we expect to deliver effective and efficient change if project management is not part ‘DNA’? How can we expect to develop expertise and experience in project managing if it is not part the ‘DNA” of the business?
What are the reasons for this statistic, you ask? Based on my own experience, I have my own opinions and I share them below. Let me know if your views differ or if you have any other reasons.
It is too small to be considered a project. Is a sales restructuring really a project? [Yes]. Is it really possible to change a process? [Yes]. Is it possible to eliminate single-use coffee cups? [Yes]. These examples all introduce change, so it is a project. It’s not about size, it is important!
Many businesses don’t realize they are undertaking projects. Many businesses don’t realize they are doing projects. “A rose by any other name will smell as sweet” (William Shakespeare). Digital transformation is my soap-box. Digital transformation (DT), is not systems integration – instead, it is a project. It should be treated as a project and managed like a job. The deliverable is digitally oriented. Focus on the project, not the tech.
Stuff gets done regardless. Project management is unnecessary when people can get stuff done no matter how they do it. My argument is that a project is a journey, not a destination. Projects need to make sure they get their journey smoothly. Portfolio management is an example: Organisations don’t have unlimited resources so it is necessary to make trade-offs about where resources should be allocated.
Poor (or no) project management can lead to the destruction of a project. If this happens, resources may be taken from other projects to keep it going (if it is a higher priority). This can have a negative impact on the overall organisation.
Organisations don’t really understand project management. It’s not difficult to understand project management. If it were just common sense, Forbes would have the following stat: 70% of all DT in