Identifying the Organizational Influences Pmbok Section

Projects happen within organizations, and in most instances, the organization is larger than the project. This means that your project has to answer to someone, some department, or even a customer of the organization. As much as I'd like to call all of the shots on all the projects I manage, and I'm sure you wish the same, we both know we have to answer to someone within our organization. The people who project managers answer to are the influencers within an organization.

How a project is influenced is largely based on the type of organization that the project is occurring within. Project-centric organizations fall under two big umbrellas:

• Organizations that exist primarily to perform projects for others. Think of architects, IT consulting firms, engineering firms, consultants, and just about any other agency that completes work for others under a contractual basis. (This is what I do as a writer and corporate educator.)

• Organizations that use management by projects to manage their business. These organizations manage their work through their project management system. An IT department, for example, may treat an upgrade of all their network servers as a project. A manufacturer may treat a customer's job as a project. In the traditional sense, these activities are part of their operations, but because there's a definite beginning and ending to that specific work, they're taking advantage of a project management system they've adapted or created.

You also have to consider the maturity of the organization where the project is being hosted. A large internal organization that's been established for years and years will likely have a more detailed project management system than a startup entrepreneurial company. The standards, regulations, culture, and procedures influence how the project should be managed, how the project manager will lead and discipline the project team, reporting relationships, and the flow of communications that will take place. Consider the cultural components within an organization:

• Defined values, beliefs, and expectations of the project work

• Policies and procedures, both within the organization and external to the organization (consider the policies that govern the banking industry, for example)

• Defined authority for the project manager and over the project managers

• Defined working hours and work ethics of the project team, project manager, and management

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.

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