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Project Manager : Project Manager Aug Sep 2011
www.aipm.com.au Project Manager 39 CAREER CENTRE • «ENGAGING PROJECT MANAGERS EARLY SHOULD BE A MANTRA FOR BUSINESS EXECUTIVES» Initially, PMOs went a long way to meeting my expectations. However, over time PMOs have become ingrained within the organisation and, as a result, less independent and connected to the project manager. They are also restricted by the processes they are forced to adopt or compelled to develop. A project manager’s ability to effectively manage change, and successfully execute projects, is heavily dependent on her/his relationship with the PMO. For a project manager to deliver effective outcomes I believe that PMOs should: • be led by experienced program or senior project managers; • be empowered to take calculated risks; • manage local conditions sensibly, rather than dictatorially; and • be transparent to foster a respectful relationship with project managers. Lack of sponsor empowerment Accountability for return on investment from a project should rest with a sponsor who can authorise spend. This enables the sponsor to make quick, calculated decisions based on information presented by the project manager. So why is it that this logic is not adopted, particularly during organisational change? There are a number of reasons why sponsors do not feel empowered to make decisions when an organistional change occurs: • Poorly defined and managed project portfolios that are slow to react to changes in business prior ities; • Significant shift in stakeholder focus towards maintenance of business operations; • Objection by the PMO and/ or project manager can discourage sponsors from making swift project change decisions without rigorously following process; • A lack of confidence in their ability to make quick decisions – often a result of poor levels of engagement during project deliver y; and • There can be directives outside of the sponsor’s control, such as investment decision embargo periods, that can suspend sponsor accountability. Irrespective of the circumstances, all a scheme weaver can do in these situations is provide clear, objective and ethics-based information to the sponsor for consideration “as faithful agents or trustees for their employers and clients in professional or business matters.” (Article 3(a) of the AIPM’s Code of Ethics). •••
June July 2011
Project Manager Oct Nov 2011