Traditional Approaches to Project Management are Broken
By Demian Entrekin
As the mathematician Polya pointed out, “first we have to understand the problem.” So let’s start there. The problem: traditional approaches to Project Management (PM) are broken and need to be fixed.
Let’s dig in and start with five specific issues:
- Projects are managed one-at-a-time rather than as a portfolio: this leaves project teams to succeed or fail on their own and cripples process improvement.
- Projects are not evaluated, approved and delivered based on a clear process that covers the entire “demand-to-deliver” life cycle.
- Project data is spread all over the organization without reliable reports that are accurate and up-to-date.
- Too often, senior management does not understand how project performance impacts the success of the business.
- Chain-of-command accountability is not a sufficient management approach to achieving project outcomes.
Those who will say, “hey, we do a good job managing our projects” I would just ask, What is the status (budget, schedule, approval) for all projects (including requests for projects) in your organization as of today?
Or perhaps an even more basic question: how many of the active and pending projects are critical to the goals of the organization?
Or even, what constitutes a project in the organization?
Demian is the CTO of Innotas. As founder and CEO, Entrekin oversaw marketing, product development, sales and services for the company. Today, he focuses on strategic product direction. Prior to Innotas, Entrekin co-founded Convoy Corporation and was Chief Architect of its initial products. In that role, Entrekin helped the company lead the middleware market with an annual growth rate of 670 percent and played an instrumental role in Convoy’s subsequent acquisition by New Era Networks in 1999. A recognized thought leader in Project Portfolio Management, Entrekin has published numerous papers on PPM and his blog (PPM Today) explores current issues related to successful PPM implementation. During his 18 year career, Demian has assumed leadership roles as a consultant and as an entrepreneur, delivering commercial and corporate database applications. Demian holds a B.A. in English from UCLA and an M.A. in English from San Francisco State University.