Project management into 2018: improving project success

Preparing the way for change

Where there’s significant change happening, any initiative that relates to that change must become an organic part of it – otherwise it may become an obstacle to it achieving the desired outcomes. Project managers need to be collaborating with change managers/leaders about the impact their project’s deliverables (products) will have on the business, and fostering this collaboration is an essential role for a central PMO.

This relationship must be symmetrical. Change managers and leaders need to collaborate pro-actively and purposefully with project managers: creating in them an awareness of the need for preparation and handover, encouraging and supporting project managers to have greater engagement with stakeholders, leading to higher levels of stakeholder engagement skills.

Although a project manager’s primary responsibility is to deliver the outputs successfully (on time, on spec, and in budget), a project can only truly be considered a success if the outputs cause the outcomes required, which they can’t do in isolation. The full set of deliverables from a project includes the artefacts and the impacts; a project in today’s world is best considered as a vehicle for delivering planned change to the business.

It’s more than just delivering your outputs and walking away; it’s about enabling the benefits and value to be realized. My question is: have we the right skills and experience to do this effectively?

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