This is the part one of the 2 part series of “Companies Failure to Implement A Basic Project Management Methodology”.
Project Management is now become an extremely important topic for discussion and it assumes that this trend will increase even further in the future. The Project Manager is a professional individual who has gained sustained and strong credentials throughout the world. Like individuals, organizations try to adjust and improve their behavior for better image in the market. They are also keen to follow methodologies, procedures, rules, and tactics in order to become existing actors in certain fields of project management application and in the marketplace. There are some major problems of how companies try to implement project management methodologies.
Wrongly design the matrix structure of the organization
At present, with the continuous buzz around concepts like Project Management, Program Management, and Project Management Office, organizations have understood that they must quickly embrace their strategic vision to the latest breakthrough before any other respected competitor does so. In this disorder of organizational changes, companies can be easily misled in a wrong direction if their strategic plans and organizational structures are not examined by professional experts with proven abilities related to re-engineering and restructuring.
Companies have spotted out that the matrix structure is the most convenient deal for combining operations and project implementation. Consultant, or in some many cases managers from inside the companies, have dealt with some of these topics. In many cases, however, people with less skills and abilities were appointed to run the business whether or not they were educated and trained. Organizational structures were altered to make entities smaller and more profitable within certain companies. It is only the case of implementation of profit-cost centers; no matter what and when at any level. Then major conflicts and inconsistency occurred when the new born structures, in fact tried to help the organization, proved in the end to be a major drawback, even when the company had thought its project structure was based on a their matrix concept.
It is not difficult to understand that when each individual entity is running after its own goals in terms of profitability, the synergistic actions may be very unlikely to maintain their projects on the good track.
Having the power of a single and genuine Project Manager lessened and shared with other Project Managers from supporting departments leads to a double conflict. It leads to a situation despite that normally taking place between the PM and the Functional Managers. Usually the Project Manager must need the services from the Engineering Department (for basic and detailed design), from the Procurement Department (for administer the orders and gods payment) and also from the Logistics Department (for transporting goods to the site) and all these adjoin to the expenses under budget execution. It is by far more complicated and difficult for a Project Manager to be responsible and accountable for the results within a certain project when he must cope up with such an organizational mess. Everyone is eager to see the financial improvement on their side rather than general interest deriving from the project implementation. The Project Manager in charge of project implementation must thus face tight budgetary constraints and needs to settle more than necessary with supporting entities, exactly those people who should be assigned within the project team.
These sorts of Companies do not understand that the only person in charge, as per the Project Charter, to run project business should be the Project Manager from the Project Management Department. Other individuals should support and give the utmost to this person for the project sake. The bottom line is then making the road to project failure, or at least an extremely rocky road, is now paved for our Project Manager. The power weakens due to the sharing with other artificial project managers on the same level. Thus the divergent interest among functional departments in their permanent endeavor is to maximize their own profit instead of working for project success.
Less Concern about the knowledge of PMO (Project Management Office)
Inexperienced managers of companies who want to take a step toward project methodology implementation inside the organizational culture should either establish a project management office or hire experienced consultants. This project management office must be in the upper level of project management department. Inexplicably, some organizations either at the beginning of their PM methodology cycle or at a later stage pay no attention to the importance of a PMO. This should be the core of any enterprise in project management methodology. PMO is the storehouse of all kinds of past history and lessons learned out, templates, procedures, and so on. A better insight can be given by a PMO, but organizations are not always mature enough to understand their acute need for such office. At the beginning of project management methodology implementation, for example, it could be less costly in terms of money spent. It needs less time to get a group of skilled individuals within a PMO to start top-down operation of experience and expertise. It can start as a pilot project and then, based on success, use to upcoming projects. Organizations which do not have a PMO in the structure should better think about before proceeding on experimental basis without it and with the complicated structure. It is surely more comfortable to get to help Project Managers and to make the project successes.
Organizations try to perceive establishing a PMO as a money spending exercise rather than thinking beyond the short term costs of setting and maintaining this expertise center within the Company. When judging on a short term basis and not being able to see the pay offs on the course of Project or Program implementation, it might happen that the companies will not see the image of full benefits. So, from early stage, one can be more interested in no sacrifice to obtain the benefits of implementing a PMO.