2011 AGMS Conference – A Follow-Up
I thought it would be a good idea to present some insight and overview on the conferences I attended last week.
I chose to attend the first – the International Conference of Global Studies -because it focused on global management – overall management not just related to projects. I was invited to speak, but I wanted to give you a bit of a brief on what I heard and learned.
This conference had my total attention because, according to the organizers, the second biggest challenge facing organisations globally is project management. Good news – I think.
I listened attentively and the following are my take-aways:
Virtual is reality and we have to find ways of making things happen without physical face to face (this was a repeating theme and there are some really smart people out there working on it)
Creativity, innovation and problem solving are greatest in unregulated environments – people need the freedom to think (in direct conflict with the current increase in governance, control and reporting across organisations).
There is evidence the ‘cost’ of accurate information is becoming greater than the benefits – we are starting to behave as though information is the output rather than the deliverables. (We’ve all seen that)
There is no evidence better tracking information gets better results. (but it does support forensic defensibility of failure – DD editorial)
The documentation provided by project managers is not an indication of competence. (Ouch – but I guess we knew that)
The most effective, cheapest, quickest method of causing change is compliance enforcement with consequences – (parents already knew that one)!
Trust improves outcomes (well I’ll be).
The leader is the best prospective indicator of success – including a project leader.
The co- creation method is a good idea that will work when everyone plays nicely – really? But to reduce the impact of failure in the interim the only shortcut is extremely clear delineation of roles and responsibilities. (do you hear the music playing to my ears?)
Project managers need to be able to ‘boundary span’. – if that sentence doesn’t make sense ask me and I’ll explain.
Projects that start with a fuzzy front end will end with a fuzzy back end – and the problem will be the project manager will think it was successful.
Entrenched beliefs aren’t always right – and some PM beliefs could stand some scrutiny.
The best way to get a project done is to command the outcome, then disperse decision making and empower delivery (based on the theory of 4th)
Democratization – and yes I had to research that too but basically it’s about determining the outcome and then supporting the org at all levels to make it happen by self direction at all levels.
The characteristics most likely to be found in people who succeed in organisations (projects and line) are:
A sense of adventure,
Ambition, ingenuity and problem solving skills
The ability to connect the dots, and
See both the trees and the forest
Being insightful and impactful
They tend to be boundary spanners
Ok, so some of this is out there – suggesting less governance and paperwork? Focussing on outcomes? Rating the ability of the leader above technical ability and knowledge? But, these are the people who are looking at how to improve outcomes of organisations – not just projects – so perhaps we should listen?
The observation I am left with is that what we are doing to achieve project outcomes is only respected as far as the paperwork but we are not connected to outcomes. That’s a bummer!
So the questions are:
Is PM about delivery?
If yes, can we reclaim the reputation for achieving?
If no – get me outta here!
More tomorrow and this time from a Project Management conference.
Keep smiling, Diane