Project Management - Saint or Sinner


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Do we know what Project Management is?
How can we succeed if we don't?
What can we do to make projects more efficient?

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Project Management - Saint or Sinner

  1. 1. MERCURI INTERNATIONALwww.mercuri.netProject Management: Saint or Sinner?Powerful Sales PerformanceWhere shall we cut?As the recessionary noose tightens relentlesslyaround the collective neck of commerce there isthe usual spluttering to be heard from executivegroups across the land:“Right, what can we cut and by how much?” and“Where can we save money quickly?”The usual suspects will undoubtedly cop for itagain; travel and subsistence, training,recruitment and renewal budgets are generally alleasy pickings and the first to be targeted.Real savings!What is extremely interesting however is howcasually, real economies and process efficienciesare overlooked! It is a frightening truth that 75%of all commercial projects fail to meet one ormore of their objectives of on time, on budget andto the right quality*.You are probably thinking that 75% is anexaggeration, but I am not.A common conversation between a ProjectManagement specialist and a client goessomething like this:The conversationSpecialist: “So what was your last big project hereat ABC Ltd?”Client: “The commissioning of a new CRM”Specialist: “That’s interesting, how did it go?”Client: “It was a fantastic success and is nowgiving us some really high quality information aftera few teething troubles”Specialist: “That sounds great. How did youmeasure project success? Did it come in onbudget?”Client: “Eh no, it ran over by about 33%”Specialist: “Right, but you did get it in on timethen?”Client: “Well, no. It was about three months latebecause the software was not totally compatiblewith our existing system!”For more information 01932 844 855
  2. 2. MERCURI INTERNATIONALwww.mercuri.netPowerful Sales PerformanceCommon ProblemsDoes any of this sound familiar? More money isneedlessly thrown down the drain through poorproject management than via any other singlechannel.The problems are legion: conflicting functionalpriorities between key departments causingwasted time, effort, duplication of work, frictionand mistrust.Poorly trained and equipped projectmanagement staff who are often the mostdisenfranchised, powerless, stressed and demotivated sub group of any company.Poor communication processes at and betweenall levels of the organisation. Unclear leadershipchannels resulting in resource shortages andmissed deadlines. Completely unrealisticbudgets and work schedules consigning theproject to failure even before it has beenlaunched.Working on a project which is destined to fail isperhaps the most soul destroying way to spendyour working week.So why are such fundamental errors allowed tohappen? The following list is representative butnot exhaustive:Project Management: Saint or Sinner?Getting it right!• No one really understands what proper projectmanagement is.• Silo mentality prevails between departmentscausing competition and not cooperation.• Project management is perceived as beingdealt with by buying two hundred or sosoftware licences for Microsoft Project• No roles are defined in terms of authority andresponsibility• The people assigned to project managementroles are in the last chance saloon• The company talks project management butfails to live itTo avoid such situations a combination ofmeasures must be taken which go beyondsimply buying expensive software tools.You know all about “garbage in garbage out.” Itjust happens to be very attractive lookinggarbage with lots of nice Gant charts andprocess flow diagrams!For more information 01932 844 855
  3. 3. MERCURI INTERNATIONALwww.mercuri.netPowerful Sales PerformanceAiming for SuccessCompanies who are successful at deliveringprojects consistently on time, to budget and ofthe right quality understand a different set oftruths.The root of their success lies in a culturalapproach to projects. Projects and theirexecution are integral to the businessphilosophy and methodology.Success needs excellence in leadership,communication, team work, problem solving,conflict resolution and negotiation.Success is non prescriptive about the actualmechanic of managing a particular project.Whether you choose MS Project, Prince 2, MI-Proms or similar, the recognition that it is just atoolkit is the biggest liberating factor.There are a finite number of ways a project canbe approached and most systems have anextremely high proportion of common elementswhich are totally transferable.Project Management: Saint or Sinner?And finally!The terminology of projects is esoteric;debunking the jargon and understanding whatthings mean in simple terms goes a long way tohelping people realise what is often heard, afterdays of intensive Project Management trainingor coaching:“I get it, Project Management is a structureto help focus common sense decisionmaking. Wow!”For more information 01932 844 855