• Bill Holmes

What is "Organizational Project Management"



What is “Organizational Project Management”?

You can do an internet search and come up with a several definitions, all of which tie into the question I raised last week about the “Three PMO’s”. You can also find several organizations offering classes and certifications.

But what is Organizational Project Management?

First, what is a Project?

Projects are tactical in nature. While they can last for years, they have a start, a finish and a unique outcome. If your “project” never ends, then it is something different than a project!

They are tactical in nature, meaning that the “unique outcome” should meet a specific need of the organization.

Let’s step back.

Organizations conduct Strategic Assessments. While there are common aspects, every organization has its own processes and cadence for the Strategic Assessment. All organizations should conclude the process with a series of “Strategic Priorities”, which help to define the direction of the organization.

So how does the organization execute against the Strategic Priorities – by assigning resources to them! Program, Operations and Portfolios should align against these priorities, and if there are activities occurring which can’t be traced to a strategy, they should be discontinued.

Since the strategies define the direction of the organization, and the direction is executed against by the application of resources, projects play a key role in this!

While this has implications for all aspects of the Project Lifecycle, the project selection process is most profoundly impacted. All initiated projects should be able to show a clear connection to a strategic priority.

It is also crucial that the Project Manager understand the current Strategic Plan and how the project tactically executives against a Strategic Priority. If the Project Manager can’t see how the project supports the organizations new Strategic Priorities, they should elevate the issue and consider discontinuing the project regardless of performance as defined by internal project metrics.

Yes, a project that is delivering the Triple Constraints can be “killed” if the organizations priorities have changed!

It’s the Project Managers responsibility to recognize this.

Simply stated, Organizational Project Management is the process of ensuring that every project in the organizations portfolio has a clearly defined tactical outcome that supports a strategic priority.


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