Project success & sustained excellence: Leading practices for organisations worldwide

Jun 17
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The demands of today’s rapidly changing global business environment present organisations with increasingly complex strategic and operational challenges. Staying competitive calls for the effective management of projects and programs, which drive all organisational change. Successful organisations recognise the benefits of disciplined project delivery: lower costs, greater efficiencies, improved customer and stakeholder satisfaction, and greater competitive advantage. Project Management Institute (PMI) has always called for organisations to shift their thinking with regard to projects and programs — and have always urged them to embrace project management as a strategic competency for success. It appears that organisations are listening.

Research has demonstrated that organisations worldwide are making considerable progress when it comes to the amount of money they waste on projects and programs. For the first time in five years, our Pulse of the Profession®: Success Rates Rise: Transforming the High Cost of Low Performance study determined that more projects worldwide, from every industry surveyed, were found to meet original goals and business intent while being completed within budget — and fewer projects were deemed failures. Globally, organisations wasted an average of $97 million for every $1 billion invested in projects and programs in 2016, compared to an average of $122 million per $1 billion in the year prior. Organisations also reduced the average amount of money they wasted on projects and programs by 20 percent.

What are organisations doing differently? 
The report determined that organisations generated their impressive improvement by becoming more mature with project management and distinguishing themselves by:

Developing project management talent
Having the talent to implement initiatives successfully is the critical capability that gives organisations a competitive advantage to navigate through necessary change.

Managing project benefits
Benefits realisation management is a powerful way to align projects, programs, and portfolios to an organisation’s overarching strategy.

Establishing Project Management Offices (PMOs) and strategic Enterprise Project Management Offices (EPMOs)
Organisations are bridging the gap between high-level strategic vision and implementation with a PMO and EPMO.

Driving executive sponsorship
PMI’s research consistently shows that an actively engaged executive sponsor is the top driver of projects meeting their original goals and business intent.

Improving agility

Agile is a topic of growing importance in project management, with 71 percent of organizations now reporting they use agile approaches to their projects sometimes or more frequently than in the past.

Globally, the public sector has also embraced the importance of project management. In the United States, former President Barack Obama signed into law last year the Program Management Improvement and Accountability Act of 2015 (PMIAA), which will enhance accountability and best practices in project and program management throughout the federal government. In addition, there continues to be increased focus by leading governments on standardising successful delivery capability via project management ranging across: India (Digital India); the remainder of the Commonwealth of Nations for competency frameworks, benefits management, or investor confidence; to the European Union for cohesion transportation and structural funding built on project management across the 28 member states. 

It’s encouraging that organisations in all industries are making significant progress in implementing projects — the strategic initiatives that drive change. However, there’s still work to be done. As the global business climate continues to change at a rapid pace, organisations would be smart to use the approaches outlined above when overseeing projects and programs. 

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Submitted by Jordon Sims

Jordon Sims

Jordon Sims is the Strategic Advisor – Organization Relations, for the Project Management Institute. In his current role, Jordon is responsible for PMI’s relationships around the globe for both industry and government, in order to demonstrate to organizations the attainable value and positive business results via effective project, program, and portfolio management.

Jordon is responsible for PMI’s strategic engagement across the Americas (US, Canada, & Latin America) and Austral-Asia with corporations, federal agencies/ministries, and parliamentary/legislative bodies. Jordon leads the PMI Global Executive Council, an elite network of professionals from leading multinational corporations and government entities focused on projectized approaches to executing business strategy.

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