Project Management – Best Practices: Achieving Global Excellence
For almost 40 years, project management was viewed as a process that might be nice to have but not one that was necessary for the survival of the firm. Companies reluctantly invested in some training courses simply to provide their personnel with basic knowledge on planning and scheduling. Project management was viewed as a threat to established lines of authority, and in many companies only partial project management was used. This half-hearted implementation occurred simply to placate lower- and middle-level personnel as well as selected customers.
During this 40-year period, we did everything possible to prevent excellence in project management from occurring. We provided only lip service to empowerment, teamwork, and trust. We hoarded information because the control of information was viewed as power. We placed personal and functional interests ahead of the best interest of the company in the hierarchy of priorities. And we maintained the faulty belief that time was a luxury rather than a constraint.
By the mid-1990s, this mentality began to subside, largely due to two recessions. Companies were under severe competitive pressure to create quality products in a shorter period of time. The importance of developing a long-term trusting relationship with the customers had come to the forefront. Businesses were being forced by the stakeholders to change for the better. The survival of the firm was now at stake.
Today, businesses have changed for the better. Trust between the customer and contractor is at an all-time high. New products are being developed at a faster rate than ever before. Project management has become a competitive weapon during competitive bidding. Some companies are receiving sole-source contracts because of the faith that the customer has in the contractor’s ability to deliver a continuous stream of successful projects using a project management methodology. All of these factors have allowed a multitude of companies to achieve some degree of excellence in project management. Business decisions are now being emphasized ahead of personal decisions
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