Projects deliver value to the organization

A project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service or result.

There is a difference between project work and ongoing work.

Do you have a project or a task?

If you answer yes to the characteristics below - you have a project.

  1. Is this a temporary endeavor with definitive beginning and end?
  2. Does the opportunity have complexity and uncertainty, involving single or multiple individuals, organizations or departments - all working to drive a strategic objective?
  3. Is this effort sponsored by someone with authority to assign resources to a temporary piece of work?
What have you been trying to accomplish forever but never gained traction to address?

Leadership's job is to pick the right projects to achieve the strategic objectives

The role of leadership is to create strategic objectives and direction and then ensure the organization can execute in this direction. Projects come into play where execution matches strategy. Leaders are responsible to identify, support and achieve the implementation of strategy by using their resources to get things done … in the form of projects. Projects can be large, small, complex, easy, global, local, and focused on: outcomes, deliverables, or improvement.  The point is that they are the way strategic objectives are achieved.

Through the effective use of portfolio, program and project management, organizations will possess the ability to employ reliable, established processes to meet strategic objectives and obtain greater business value from their project investments.

There is a process for project management.

The Project Management Institute, PMI, has developed a model for project management which is described in A guide to the project management body of knowledge (PMBOK guide) 5th edition by p 15 and 54. Project Management Institute.

There are project initiators, which generate inputs to the project. Examples of Initiators include customers who have an unmet need, leaders who identify an opportunity for improvement, shareholders who desire increased value and regulators who require a certain set of requirements be met. 

Once a project has commenced, initiating, executing, and planning processes begin to bound the project and identify the key outcomes as well as to plan for the project’s successful completion. Closing processes begin during the life of the project to ensure the project is left in good hands and its results be sustained over time.

The project itself produces deliverables and records, which provide value to both the key stakeholders as well as future project leaders who want to use the process assets (records) to apply to their project.

A guide to the project management body of knowledge (PMBOK guide) 5th edition by p 15 and 54. Project Management Institute.

There is a wide variety of project types.

There are different types of projects – some have an outcome of a new product or enhancement. Others are process focused and result in a new or improved capability. Others target a specific outcome in the form of a document or specific deliverable, as identified by the project initiator(s). A diversity of strategic objectives can result in an array of different project types and although experience in the area at hand can help a project manager move faster through the process; project management skills are transferrable and help the effective project manager ramp up to speed quickly when encountering new objectives and environments. 

At any one point in time, organizations have a variety of efforts underway.

Projects occur simultaneously. New ones will continuously arise due to changing strategy and on-the-ground conditions. Flexible and adaptive organizations (known as gymnastic organizations) are able to pivot quickly as required through the use of effective project/program management and skilled leaders. Investing in project management skills helps leaders and organizations to adapt as required to help increase their success rate at:

  1. satisfying customers,
  2. keeping employees,
  3. providing quality products and services,
  4. and meeting regulatory and other industry requirements.

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