1Project Management: Views, Benefits, and Barriers Loren Karl Schwappach Colorado Technical University
PROJECT MANAGEMENT: VIEWS, BENEFITS, AND BARRIERS 2 AbstractThis paper is a record of an unclassified conversation between several members of a local ProjectManagement Institute (PMI) meeting and discusses the views benefits and barriers facing projectmanagement.
PROJECT MANAGEMENT: VIEWS, BENEFITS, AND BARRIERS 3 Project Management: Views, Benefits, and BarriersIntroduction: Loren from Colorado Springs Fellow project managers, once again I am privileged to join you here today for thismarvelous occasion. It is great to see the growing number of project managers that have joinedour small PMI chapter. Before we begin today’s meeting I was hoping to begin a small discussion that has beeninfluenced by the growing lack of buy-in and support and general negativity toward projectmanagement that I have been receiving from employees and company executives. In this room of intelligent project managers with diverse backgrounds and seasonedveterans, I would like to propose a few questions. Please Question one. How do organizations view the necessity for project management? Question two. How do executives perceive the project manager position? Question three. How have these views affected your ability to effectively manageprojects? Question four. What barriers do believe exist in the world of project management? Question five. What benefits to you believe project management brings to organizations?Response to Question 1: Julie from California
PROJECT MANAGEMENT: VIEWS, BENEFITS, AND BARRIERS 4 No problem handsome. I think I have a good response to your first question. Howorganizations view the necessity for project management. The way project management is viewed various from organization to organization. Corporations that have successfully incorporated standard and consistent projectmanagement techniques have done very well and thus perceive its importance. Corporations that have not tend to view project management as unnecessary and timeconsuming practice. The key to reaching the later companies is though open communication and education.Response to Question 2: Marge from Tennessee Honey! I can tell you some things about how executives tend to perceive the position ofproject manager. When an organization is in the initial development phase of a project and when the roleof a project manager is initially developed there is a lot of negativity towards projectmanagement and the role of the project manager. However if the project manager knows what he / she is doing and uses solid projectmanagement principles and practices good communication skills the negative energy tends toevaporate. Sometimes it takes the results to really sell project management to an organization.
PROJECT MANAGEMENT: VIEWS, BENEFITS, AND BARRIERS 5Response to Question 3: Data from Las Vegas Loren. I believe I can offer a logical solution to your third question. How these viewshave affected my ability to effectively manage projects. I learned in my early creation as project manager the necessity of not letting things get tome. In the introduction phase of project management it is critical the project manager alwaysmaintains one eye on the goal (the projects end), while allowing the other eye to observe projectstakeholders and team members. A good project manager knows how to influence and focus a project team and will workhard toward maintain a positive relationship with organizational leaders. A project manager should be a motivator, good communicator, able to talk the talk,understand and follow standard project management methodology, be able to coach the projectteam, and have an active, wide and diverse grasp of technological understanding. (Wourms,2002)Response to Question 4: Cindy from New Mexico Loren is it? I’ll tackle the next question regarding those barriers that exist in our world ofproject management. As planner, communicator, implementer, integrator, evaluator, manager, and leader weare confronted with many hats. And above all these roles our communication skills can be ourgreatest strength for overcoming barriers or our worst handicap.
PROJECT MANAGEMENT: VIEWS, BENEFITS, AND BARRIERS 6 The role of a good communicator is essential for any project manager and demands thatthe project manager maintain an interpersonal role, informational role, and decisional role. Most of the barriers confronted by project managers (mis-understandings, resource wars,personality conflicts, and conflicts of interest) are due to poor interpersonal skills. Interpersonal skills require that the project manager be an honest, capable, dependable,personable and effective leader. The project manager is responsible for dealing successfully withpeople from diverse backgrounds and experiences, developing an environment of team unity,resolving team disagreements, focusing team members towards milestones, motivating teammembers toward reaching goals, and constructing positive relationships with stakeholders andthe project team members. The project manager’s informational role requires that the project manager be able tocoordinate and lead team meetings, provide critical feedback on project results, phases, problemsencountered, and quality of deliverables. It further requires that project managers make sound judgments without alienating othersby the decisions made. This is a difficult barrier for many project managers to overcome. I believe the greatest way to defeat many of our barriers is through education, training,and excellent communication.Response to Question 5: Omar from Hawaii
PROJECT MANAGEMENT: VIEWS, BENEFITS, AND BARRIERS 7 Aloha Loren. I can answer the last question about what benefits project managementbrings to organizations. In fact it is still pretty fresh in my mind since I recently developed aPowerPoint presentation that included this topic. It has been repeatedly proven that there are many clear-cut benefits when applyingproject management techniques to a company’s overall business strategy. Project management creates the capability for an organization to supply products andservices with reduced delivery costs through the use of well thought-out project managementmethodology by preventing excessive costs without thorough consideration. (Egeland, 2010,para. 4) Project management typically allows businesses to deliver products or services moreefficiently to the market than competitors due to the continuous process monitoring and resourceefficiency it creates. (Egeland, 2010, para. 5) Project management provides a focus advantage streamlining products or services to theclient’s needs provided through the constant information updates. (Egeland, 2010, para. 6) Project management allows for increased production of quality deliverables by includingstructured testing phases and quality control measures. (Egeland, 2010, para. 7) Project management gains the advantage of incorporating customer participation andcommunication and allows for businesses to better accommodate and understand customerrequirements. (Egeland, 2010, para. 8)
PROJECT MANAGEMENT: VIEWS, BENEFITS, AND BARRIERS 8 Project management allows for improved methodologies and increased capability inpredicting future project needs and concerns. (Kerzner, 2009, pg. 4) It also allows for improvedrisk management and enables managers to make more informed decisions and cost predictions.(Mulcahy, 2002, pg. 3, para. 4) Project management allows for early problem identification (Kerzner, 2009, pg. 4) Finally, project management is a promoter of teamwork and increased communicationacross departments in an organization. With all of these benefits it is hard to imagine why anyone would ever choose not topractice strategic project management.Concluding Remarks: Loren from Colorado Springs These are all great and honest answers. However, I have been given the signal that weare out of time. I would like to say thank you to Julie, Marge, Data, Cindy, and Omar forproviding some light to these questions. So far this meeting has proven to be very effective and Iam sure we are just warming up. Hopefully I can relay some of the feedback I received today.
PROJECT MANAGEMENT: VIEWS, BENEFITS, AND BARRIERS 9ReferencesKerzner, H. (2003) Project management: A systems approach to planning, scheduling, and controlling (8th ed.). Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.Wourms, B. (2002). Competencies of IT Project Managers Art, science, leadership, and managership combined . PM Solutions, Retrieved July 13, 2011, from http://www.pmsolutions.com/uploads/file/Expert%20Series%20- %20Competencies%20of%20IT%20Project%20Managers.pdfMulcahy, R. (2002). The Organizational Benefits of Project Management. RMC Project Management, Inc., Retrieved July 13, 2011, from http://swqualitymentors.com/Documents/Org%20Benefits%20of%20Proj%20Mgt.pdfEgeland, B. (2010). “Strategic Organizational Benefits of Project Management”. Project Management Tips, Retrieved July 13, 2011, from http://pmtips.net/strategic- organizational-benefits-project-management/