Many businesses do not change when they need to, nor do they change when they have to. If they did, many fewer would fail. But, like people, they only change when they want to.

If a change in the way an organisation achieves successful project outcomes is to be considered, it should be seen as a culture change, involving adjustments in mindset, values and behaviour; it may involve abandoning norms and sacred cows.

Managing projects cannot be separated from managing the whole business. Effective management of "business as usual" delivers evolutionary improvements. Good project management brings about step changes in performance. If projects are to deliver profitable outcomes, then it is as crucial to look outside traditional project environment as it is to look inside. Yet project management is too often considered a discipline that applies only to those called project managers. It is delegated to people who struggle against sometimes impossible odds to deliver a successful outcome. Experience demonstrates that a project requires the collaboration of many stakeholders, including those who commission and finance it, those who will use the end product and those who build it. It takes a whole organisation to make a project a success.

If an organisation is serious about improving the way it manages projects, it will have an opportunity to improve the way it manages its business.

This book explains not just the principles and techniques of project management, but also why it is interconnected with managing a business. Packaging a piece of work and calling it a project does not protect the business from the consequences of its failing. Just as a business can benefit from a well-managed project, so can it be damaged if it fails. There is much to learn from projects that have failed to meet expectations:

e The Hubble Space Telescope. Launched in 1990, nasa's extraordinary project promised to bring pictures of the universe of a clarity never seen before. Despite overcoming enormous technical challenges, the malfunction of a measuring device used during the polishing of the primary mirror rendered every image blurred. nasa suffered huge and adverse publicity as a result, and had to wait three further years before the necessary corrections could be made and its reputation could be reinstated. e License application mitigation project. The Washington State Department of Licensing initiated a five-year, $42m project to computerise the state's vehicle registration and license renewal processes. The budget ballooned, the requirements were drastically changed during the course of the project, and even if it had finished, the outcome would have been obsolete by the time it was completed. After seven years, and when approximately $4om had been spent, the project was cancelled. e The Scottish Parliament. This cost more than ten times the budget for the building. Arguably, the money could have been invested elsewhere and given the taxpayer a better return. e The Channel Tunnel. This is a magnificent technical achievement that did not generate sufficient customer interest to secure its financial future. The project overcame the most extraordinary hurdles, yet was it commissioned because it could be or because it should have been? e Kansai International Airport. Opened on an artificial island off the city of Osaka in Japan in 1994, this extraordinary project was plagued by speculation that planners badly underestimated how much the island would sink, and whether it would do so evenly as the site settled. Six years after opening, the airport's operator was driven to invest in flood protection measures, partly funded by higher landing charges which resulted in a huge drop in traffic. So, although the project overcame many tremendous challenges (including surviving the Kobe earthquake), the operator is still heavily in debt, and in many people's minds, Kansai will be remembered as the "sinking" airport.

These organisations suffered because they failed to recognise how project management could affect their business.

This book aims to help organisations manage the possibility that their projects and businesses may suffer for lack of effective governance. As the saying goes, "A little risk management saves a lot of fan cleaning ..."

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment