The introduction of Organizational Project Management (OPM) as a leadership philosophy is much more complex than it may appear at the first glance. Project based business differs a lot from the traditional Business Administration set-up. In fact, with a project based business set-up and application of supporting tools, the efforts of Business Administration may even be reduced. This shift in power may appear threatening to members of middle management. While the existence of executive sponsorship is vital for the successful introduction of any OPM, but it is not enough.
The areas of traditional Business Administration and Project Management are closely allied when Project Portfolio Management is introduced. The way in which earned value technique and hence applied scorecards are applied, portfolio management suddenly offers enhanced value. However this is not always appreciated by business administration.
Experienced Business Managers and Administrators generally have no or little knowledge of what Project Management is all about. On the other hand, Project Managers often have too little understanding of what is required for business administration. For the successful introduction of Portfolio Management, the Project Managers must learn about Business administrators and Business Managers and Administrators must learn what Project Management is all about.
To change the business, Project Management must be accepted as Business Managers not only as a skill set. Project Management competence must be present on all levels in the organization. Changing to a Project Based Organization is a much grater paradigm shift than many anticipate. The existence of an Executive Sponsor is vital, but not enough.
Can Project Management be a threat?
Not much has been written about the mechanism behind failing PMO initiatives. Many questions have been raised about: Why do so many strong, driving, very successful Project Managers fail to introduce a PMO? What started as a golden cornered initiative is suddenly knocked to pieces. The initiative is closed for cost reasons. It is of great importance, for future successful implementations, to also learn from the history of less successful attempts, to avoid the pitfalls.
The hypothesis is that Project Management has become a threat to the cornerstones of how business traditionally is operated.
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The Success of OPM depends on executive sponsorship
The vital component to the successful introduction of organisational project management is totally dependent on the existence of an executive sponsor. In all available literature and from all speakers on the topic, very little has been discussed about the reason to this great importance. What is obvious is that numerous initiatives have failed due to this. It is also obvious that if you do not have executive sponsor ship established, do not even think about starting an OPM initiative, no matter the size of the business.
Why is executive sponsorship so important?
The introduction of a PMO in a larger organization is a major business transformation. It is a major business process re-engineering and influencing the cornerstones of how the organization should be operated. It even influences the traditional financial and business administration departments, which have never been exposed to competition.
Managers of Financial or Business Administration departments often have their training from the traditional business schools. They often have very little knowledge about the way projects are managed. Project
Management is not part of the management career path. One should not even think about influencing these structures without established executive sponsorship.