12 Feb Organizational Capabilities
12523Everyone thought they were pretty good at what they did; the only problem was that everyone did something quite different in the way they planned and managed their projects.
To an outsider, it looked as though each business unit and their franchised project management knowledge base were secretly and securely archived in the nearest basement. And whatever the project footprint actually was, it seemed to be well and truly hidden in an apparent cloak of invisibility.
As the contracted project management consultant, Justin was justifiably frustrated at how the organisation was even able to operate in the project management space, let alone promote itself as a centre of project management excellence.
So where to start?
Justin began by reviewing as much project management collateral as he could locate (given the basement mindset he had already encountered). Finding a meagre paper trail, he then selected key managers and staff to interview, circulated his questions in advance and proceeded to elicit as much information as he could from each of the one-hour sessions. Finally, he invited himself in to the boardroom and attended a number of operational and strategic meetings (as a silent observer) while making extensive notes on what transpired.
Back at his desk, Justin laid out all the corporate promotional literature, project documents, interview records, meeting minutes and anecdotal information he had collected wandering the corridors and lunch room during his first week onsite. As he reviewed what he found, he made the following notes:
∎ Projects sprang up randomly and were quickly endorsed with little if any apparent justification process or criteria.
∎ There was no attempt to classify (or scale) each project or to position it within the strategic plan.
∎ Projects resided in their operational location with little consideration given to possible organisational-wide commitments and challenges.
∎ Existing standard operating procedures were the sole repository of any attempt to apply best-practice project management principles and practice.
∎ Various generic governance protocols (applicable to the not-for-profit sector) were apparent; however, issues of oversight, independence, accountability, performance management and reactive risk management were evident.
∎ The documented audit trail for each project was minimal, with much produced spontaneously on the fly as the project was delivered.
∎ As Justin reread his comments, he felt comfortable describing the project management maturity of the organisation as being at Level 1 on the five-point maturity scale. While he was confident in this analysis, he still marvelled at how some of the projects he had reviewed had actually been deemed successful by the organisation, despite their ad hoc practices, little opportunity for professional development, reactive performance and siloed self-interest.
Address the following questions:
1. What are the key issues surrounding this case?
2. What factors would have triggered the organization to engage a project management consultant in the first place?
3. What recommendations do you think Justin should put forward and how would each one benefit the project and the organization?
4. Justin identified a number of governance issues impacting the organization’s project management practices. How could each of those cited be improved and what would be the direct benefit to the project and the organization?
5. What might the organization look like when it achieves Level 2 project management maturity? What metrics could be used to track progress?
Include a 50 – 150-word response for each question.
Submit the responses to questions in a single document.
Use at minimum two sources in correct grammar and APA 7th edition writing format.
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