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Strategic Project Management A Competitive Edge

Recently, a number of the world's major project management companies have taken major initiatives to illuminate executive management about the strategic value and benefits of project management. The focus is to move from individual project management to organisational project management, which these enterprises preserve is a strategic advantage in a competitive economy.

In this article, Ed Naughton, Director General of the Institute of Project Management and present IPMA Vice-president, asks Professor Sebastian Green, Dean of the Faculty of Commerce and Professor of Management and Marketing at University College Cork (previously of the London Business School), about his views of strategic project management as a car for competitive advantage.

Ed: What do you issue ideal Project Management is?

Prof. Green: Strategic project management is the management of these projects which are of critical importance to help the company as a whole to have competitive advantage.

Ed: And what becomes a competitive advantage, then?

Prof. Green: There are three features of getting a core competence. The three qualities are: it gives value to customers; it's perhaps not simply imitated; it opens up new possibilities in the future.

Ed: But just how can project management generate a competitive advantage?

Prof. Green: You will find two aspects to project management. One aspect is the actual collection of the kind of projects that the business engages in, and secondly there's execution, the way the projects themselves are maintained.

Ed: Competitive advantage - the significance of selecting the correct projects - it is challenging to determine which projects must be chosen!

Prof. Green: I think that the choice and prioritisation of projects is something that's not been done well within-the project management literature because it is generally been thought away through reducing it to economic analysis. The strategic imperative gives an alternative way to you of prioritising projects as it is saying that some projects may not be as profitable as others, but when they add to our competency relative to others, then that is going to be important. Learn About Christopher Brummer contains more about the purpose of it.

Therefore, to simply take an illustration, if a company's competitive advantage is introducing new products more quickly than the others, drugs, let's say, getting product to market more quickly, then a projects that allow it to obtain the product more quickly to market are likely to function as the most important ones, even if within their own terms, they don't have higher productivity than various projects.

Ed: But if we are going to select our jobs, we've to establish what are the guidelines or metrics we are going to select them against giving us the competitive edge.

Prof. Green: Absolutely. The enterprise needs to know which activities it is involved in, which are the critical ones for it then and competitive advantage, that drives the selection of projects. Learn more on this related site - Click here: discount Organizations aren't excellent at doing that and they may not even understand what these actions are. They'll think it is everything they do due to the power system.

Ed: If an organization formulates its strategy, then what the project management group says is that project management could be the method for giving that strategy. Therefore, if the business is good at doing project management, does it have any strategic advantage?

Prof. Green: Well, perhaps that comes back to this matter of the difference between the kind of projects that are plumped for and the way you manage the projects. Certainly selecting the type of projects depends upon having the ability to link and prioritise projects according to an understanding of what the ability of an organisation is in accordance with others.

Ed: Let's assume the approach is defined. In order to deliver the strategy, it's to be broken-down, decomposed into a number of projects. Consequently, you have to be good at doing project management to deliver the strategy. Today, the literature says that for a business to become great at doing tasks it has to: put in project management procedures, train people on how best to apply/do project management and co-ordinate the efforts of the people trained to work to procedures in and built-in way using the concept of a project office. Does getting those three steps offer a competitive advantage with this business?

Prof. Green: Where project management, or how you manage jobs, becomes a source of competitive advantage is when you may do things better than others. The 'better-than' is through the ability and thinking and the data which will be developed as time passes of managing projects. There's an experience curve effect here. Two organizations will be at different points in the experience curve regarding information they have accumulated to control these components of tasks where the rule book is insufficient. You-need experience and management sense since however good the rule book is, it will never deal completely using the complexity of life. You've to manage down the ability curve, you've to manage the learning and understanding that you have of those three facets of project management because of it to become ideal.

Ed: Well, then, I believe there is a niche there that's to be resolved as well, in that we have now created a competency at doing project management to do projects, but we have not aimed that competency to the selection of projects which may help us to provide this competitive edge. Is project management capable of being copied?

Prof. Green: Not the softer features and not the develop-ment of tacit understanding of having run many, many jobs over-time. Therefore, as an example, you, Ed, have significantly more knowledge of just how to work jobs than other people. I discovered commercial by searching newspapers. That's why people found you, because while you both might have a typical book including the PMBoK or even the ICB, you have created more experiential knowledge around it.

Basically, it could be imitated a quantity of the way in which, but not when you arrange the smoother tacit knowledge of knowledge into it.

Ed: Organisational project management maturity versions are a hot topic at the moment and are directly from the 'knowledge curve' effect you mentioned earlier in the day - how should we view them?

Prof. Green: in my opinion in moving beyond painting by quantities, moving beyond the basic idea that an operation is completely plastic and you may demand this group of text book methods and capabilities and processes and that's all you should do. In ways, just the same difficulty was experienced by the designers of the experience curve. It is almost as though, for each and every doubling of size, cost reductions occur without you needing to do such a thing, if you show the knowledge curve to companies o-n cost. What we realize is nevertheless, that the experience curve is a potential of a risk. Its' realisation depends on the skill of administrators.

Ed: Are senior executives/chief executives in the mind-set to understand the possible benefits of project management?

Prof. Green: Until lately, project management has offered itself in technical terms. Should you want to identify more about go, there are lots of on-line databases you should pursue. Then it would become more appealing to senior managers, if it was promoted in terms-of the integration at standard management, at the capability to manage over the functions lending method processes with reasoning. So, it is about the knowledge which makes project management so powerful, the practices together with the sense and the blending of the difficult and the soft. If senior executives do not grasp it right now, it's perhaps not because they're wrong. It's because project management has not sold it self as efficiently as it should've done.

Ed: Do we need to sell to chief executives and senior executives that it will deliver competitive advantage for them?

Prof. Green: No, I do believe we must demonstrate to them how it does it. We have to get in there and really show them how they could put it to use, not only in terms of providing jobs on time and within cost. We must show them how they can use it to overcome organisational resistance to change, how they can use it to enhance capabilities and actions that cause competitive advantage, how they can use it to enhance the tacit knowledge in the enterprise. There's an entire range of ways in which they are able to utilize it. They must note that the proof-of the results is better than just how they're currently doing it..