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Project Manager : Project Manager Feb Mar 2013
6 Project Manager I JUST WANTED TO PASS ON A BIG THANKS FOR YOUR insight provided in the October/November 2012 issue of Project Manager magazine ('Round up the usual suspects!', page 5). I recently wound up a contract helping an organisation mobilise a five-year strategy e xecution program. It was the typical story: prior to my ar rival, a number of e xcited executives met with a bunch of exter nal consultants over six- to-nine months to develop the five-year strategy, but without any practical 'implementation' considerations (culture/risks/ constraints, etc.) or even a plan to start the transformation. I see this time and time again. Using feasibility studies, I did manage to get them to the point of realising that you must have viable business cases and then funding and resources to actually drive results (benefits), rather than the classic mentality that a miracle will occur once the paint dries on the actual strategy document. Despite the lack of funding or resources, your article on the supporting role of sponsors and executives struck a major chord. I did manage to establish a governance structure and process (they now have a formal process capability baseline) and some degree of stakeholder communications. In the end, however, many of the e xecutives had far too plentiful excuses for not playing active roles ("too busy", "too many other important things to do") despite the CEO attempting actively to keep them engaged. To be fair, the organisation had many things on its plate, nonetheless I have reiterated to the CEO that he will need stronger executive engagement and hands-on participation if they want the results --- other wise there is a risk they come to PCB meetings and act like Easter Island statues, leading to frustration, bad decisions and all the other circumstances that typically come with inadequate sponsorship. I do think some of this is from many executives simply not having exposure to, or experience in, being an effective project sponsor and, while program managers (and even CEOs) can coach, mentor and influence to a degree, I believe that executives need 'Project Management Sponsorship 101' as a key leadership competency as part of their ow n professional development. I have suggested this in my own organisation and have passed on a copy of your words of wisdom --- short courses for executives help many indeed. Keep up the great work --- I'm now heading off to read the Dec/Jan Project Manager! Name provided YOUR LETTERS Round up the usual suspects I BELIEVE THAT EXECUTIVES NEED 'PROJECT MANAGEMENT SPONSORSHIP 101' AS A KEY LEADERSHIP COMPETENCY AS PART OF THEIR OWN PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT. STAY IN TOUCH Send your feedback on the magazine, thoughts on current project management affairs and suggestions for articles to the Editor Hallie Donkin. E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Project Manager Dec Jan 2013
Project Manager Apr May 2013