Monday, 17 January 2011

The future of project management...

Rather portentous title but I was at a lunch on Friday where part of my role was to explain where next for our industry. The imminent launch of the best practice guide for Management of Portfolios (MoP™) from OGC is leading us to question what happens next.

I think we are coming to the end of the development of best practice which dominated the last decade and a half, starting in 1996/1997 with the launch of PRINCE2, leading to the creation of guidance on risk management (MoR®) and Programme management (MSP®) and now finally MoP™.

I think that how best practice is applied and evidence of the improvements it creates has been a focus for several years and effective application of best management practice will continue to dominate the thoughts of those responsible for the operational management of our organisations. I am being specific about operational managers because I think there is still a distinction between these leaders and chief executives who operate strategic leadership, often in an unstructured way, but implicitly relying on the underlying management infrastructure, which is where best practice comes in.

I think organisational governance is growing in recognition and importance - probably becoming a senior management discipline for this decade.

Organisational governance has many definitions but I think it has two components - a structural/procedural piece and an interpersonal component which is the leadership ability of senior management to sell the benefits of applying the governance structure to everyone in the organisation, whatever their grade or length of service.

We need to explain how organisational governance is a key contributor to organisational excellence and how the best practice established at project (including technical and interpersonal skills), Programme (encompassing change and benefits management disciplines) and portfolio management (evidence based judgement and decision making) are interlinked.

I think this gives those of us involved in delivering projects and change initiatives plenty of scope for getting involved in shaping how our employers operate, and will ensure project management becomes embedded as a mainstream management discipline.

As always, let me know what you think, but if you want to want to know more, please go to or come and here me speak at one of my free briefings

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