All significant innovations are achieved through Projects.

All enterprises consist of these two classes of activity:

  • Operations that are ongoing and repetitive, and
  • Projects and programs that are temporary endeavors under-taken to create unique products, services or results, or otherwise significantly change the enterprise.

The three key differentiating characteristics of project management when compared to on-going functional operations management are:

1. Assignment of integrative responsibilities for projects and programs at several levels,

2. Application of integrated project planning and control information systems (Project Controls), and

3. Execution of the work required for each project by integrated teams of people using available, assigned resources.

Project success often depends as much on inside and outside stakeholders as it does on those directly responsible for the effort.

A primary responsibility of the Project/Program Manager is to build and lead a cohesive multi-disciplinary team:

  • The nature of the project deter-mines the resources and skills required
  • Selection of the team members is usually a negotiation process
  • The Project/Program Manager leads the team either directly or through the functional managers or both.

A project does not come to life until the Project Team is assigned to do the work.

Strategic Transformative versus Traditional or Routine Projects:

  • Transformative Projects and Programs are those intended to change or transform the enterprise significantly.
  • Routine Projects and Programs and those intended to provide a product or service that may generate income or provide compliance with laws or stakeholder requirements and expectations; they do not significantly change the organization.

Two Kinds of Organizations Exist:

Project-Driven Organizations:

  • Rely on projects for normal revenue.
  • Are usually mature in the management of these “delivery” projects.
  • May be less mature in management of transformative programs and projects.

Project-Dependent Organizations:

  • Derive most of their revenues from selling products or services.
  • Rely on projects and project management for expansion or development of new products or processes.
  • Often employ Project-Driven organizations for specific needs.

A coherent, documented Project Portfolio Management Process and a Portfolio Steering Group are vital requirements in today’s globally competitive environment.