Project Management: Your Engine For Change

The first step to making a change in the world is getting an agreement that there is a problem. Agreeing that there is a problem might be the hardest part of all. The second hardest part is having a shared understanding of what the problem is. Once you agree that there is a problem, and identify what the problem is, solving it almost becomes a game.

Many times people feel the pain of a problem. You may even describe the symptoms of being afflicted by the problem, but you won’t say or agree that there is a problem. Sears (who is now bankrupt) knew that revenues were down. They could see that people weren’t buying, but they couldn’t get an agreement that there was a problem. Even those who saw that there was a problem, had trouble defining exactly what it was.

The Problem Project Management Solves

As a leader, do you suffer from any of the following difficulties?

  • You don’t know when a project is going to be finished.
  • You wish that you had more input and insight into what work people are choosing to complete. (But you don’t have the time or desire to micromanage what people are doing because they are great workers.)
  • You know that someone is working on a project to solve a problem, but you hear from others in the organization that they are trying to solve the same problem themselves.
  • Sometimes you hear of a project that is someone is working on, and you wonder why your organization is spending time, energy and money on such a small problem.

If you have any of the above issues, you have a problem with weak project management. Now that we agree that there is a problem, here is a description of the problem:

You don’t have a simple and clear process for making a change.

As a non-profit or business, you have a repeatable process for delivering your goods or services, but you don’t have a measurable way to provide change. Everyone is trying to figure out how to deliver new changes to the organization in whatever way they can. A disciplined project management approach is more than an exercise in a particular management philosophy; it is a process for delivering change over and over again. Figure out this process, and you will be set for a bright future.