When the execution of projects is a normal part of the organization's business, typically the organization establishes, in parallel with the operations function, a function to manage the projects. This normally includes a central project office or project management office (PMO) and specialized personnel to manage projects. The PMO, under a chief project officer (or similar title), develops standards and practices directed at the effective execution of projects and the attainment of schedule, cost, scope, and quality objectives. In doing so, a project management planning and information system is put in place, and periodic measurements of project progress and performance are conducted.
In traditional organizations, responsibility for determining and achieving the organization's goals is assigned to the operations function. Senior managers with titles such as chief operating officer, chief technology officer, chief information officer, chief financial officer, and strategic planner establish objectives and goals and develop strategies to achieve these. When there are projects associated with these goals, these senior managers are expected to select from a menu of proposed and pending projects. The objective is to create the mix of projects most likely to support the achievement of the organization's goals within the preferred strategies and within the organization's resource (people and funding) constraints.
A problem common to many organizations is that there is no connection between the operations and projects functions and no structured, consistent, and meaningful flow of information between these two groups. The organization's objectives (enterprise-level goals) are hardly ever communicated to the project office, and the periodic measurements made by the projects group cannot be related to these objectives.
What a waste! Both groups are off in their own world, working to do the best that they can but not knowing if their efforts are effective or efficient. Are the projects that are being worked on (assuming that they were properly selected in the first place) still the best ones to support the objectives? How well are they supporting the objectives? Are there performance issues associated with meeting the objectives? How would the operations people know?
And over in the project office, when the project performance data is evaluated, what knowledge is available to influence the corrective action decisions? If the individual project objectives are in danger, what should the project manager know to work on balancing schedule, cost, scope, and quality parameters? Can this be effectively done in the absence of operations inputs?
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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.