After a bit of a holiday break, I’m back from the Gartner PPM Summit. Is was my first attendance at one of these events and I quite enjoyed talking with so many people who were so committed to the successful execution of the organization’s critical initiatives. It also gave me a chance to tell some stories about my own project management experiences.
A few issues came up over and over again. There is the ongoing need to prove that projects are creating value. There is the struggle to articulate exactly what that value is. And there is the ever-present frustration of trying to do more with less. Resource allocation and load balancing remain Gordian Knots we cannot unravel.
Most of my energy during the Summit was directed toward organizational change. Even though some change management principles have been around for years, it’s a topic that most project managers I spoke with admit still causes lots of angst. Here are a few of the change management platitudes we’ve all learned, but that don’t always give us the guidance we need.
- Executive sponsorship is essential.
- But it doesn’t tell us who the key influencers are.
- Change management plans must be carefully scripted and planned well in advance.
- But then we ignore the need to adjust and adapt.
- Change can be forced if we push hard enough.
- But we are all teenagers at heart.
- JIT training is best because people forget if they are trained too far in advance.
- But then we fail to reinforce why change is necessary.
- Communicate, communicate, communicate.
- True, but there is a big difference between informed and involved.
Bottom Line: our projects are only successful when the people participating in them are.
In my upcoming research, I’ll be exploring these and other topics. If you’ve find some nifty ways to overcome these issues, I hope you will share your experiences. All comments and tweets @CRozwell gratefully accepted.