Don’t Screw this Up: Alignment

17 Nov 2009 - 05:53 AM under Definitions | Posted by PMStudent

What happens when the way you manage projects doesn’t align with the goals of your individual projects, department, organization, and industry?

Aligned - by HugoDeschamps

Aligned - by HugoDeschamps

Failure, that’s what.

Here’s a great post I ran across discussing the alignment of individuals to organizations.? The same is true of the way you manage projects.

Projects Should Further Organizational Objectives

If your portfolio of projects is heading all over the playing field in different directions, it’s going to be difficult to move the organization forward and count projects as successful.? Many projects will fail just because they are going against the organizational objectives, which means support may be lacking and conflicts will occur.? Many key stakeholders may not be on board and even wish the project to fail if it doesn’t support the objectives they have.

Methodology Should Fit Project Environments

Using techniques meant for teams of less than 10 people just isn’t going to work on a team of 100 people unless you modify the processes to accommodate the larger group.? At the same time, a complex methodology for large aerospace projects might not be the best approach for a 4-week project with 3 people on it.? You’re going to need some extra process to handle the complexity of the larger project that you can get by without on the teeny one.? The actual functionality being formed from a project management perspective may not change, but the level of detail and rigor should.

A good example here is using EVM to manage performance.? I’ve used it as a required practice on large federal contracts with a great deal of rigor and process.? I’ve also used it on small software development projects where reporting was limited to only the most important aspects and artifacts like CPRs were not produced….variances were simply reported in a short-form status report.? EV on the small project came from sprint backlogs in a very simple way and not from the more complex scheduling/status reporting tools needed on the large project.

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