Tag Archives: small project

Is Project Management Strategic?

PM Commentary by Stacy Goff, ProjectExperts CEO.
On the surface, this is one of those questions with an obvious answer: Of Course It Is! However, the question goes much deeper than that, and deserves more exploration. The topic came up in a discussion with a friend and associate, Alex Jalalian (hailing from Iran and Canada) at last Fall’s IPMA Council of Delegates meeting. Alex is studying for a Doctorate in Strategic Project Management. While I encouraged him in his pursuit, the question came up: What books, research, and indeed, published practices support such a discipline?

One source that came to mind was the Cleland/Ireland book, Project Management, Strategic Design and Implementation (Fifth Edition). One reason we like this book is its span of the topic, from high-level strategic positioning down to the details of steps and relationships of successful projects. But perhaps we are getting ahead of ourselves.

Are Project Managers Strategic?
That is a different question than the one above. While strategic vision and thinking must occur in the project environment for project performance to be maximized, that thinking may not necessarily come from the Project Manager (PM). Sometimes it is best if it does not, such as in cases of massive organizational transformation. In that case, the Strategic Vision, and drive for change should be managed by a Sponsoring group, who will reinforce the vision and sustain the change, once the PM goes off to another series of projects.

Some Project Managers are strategic, and some are not. This depends to some extent on their preferred style, the size of projects, the nature of the projects, whether others in the organization take on the role, the training of the individual, the rewards received for demonstrating needed traits, and whether the PM is even capable of doing so. We believe the answer to this question is that some are, some are not. Perhaps a more important question is, can your Project Manager be strategic, when needed? Continue reading

Managing Small Projects

PM Commentary by Stacy Goff, ProjectExperts CEO.
Happy 09/09/09!
This blog posting was prompted by an article provided to IPMA-USA by Curt Finch, What Mismanaging Small Projects Will Cost You. My “to do” list has had this topic on it for quite some time, so I am glad Curt brought it up. Curt is CEO of Journyx, and his article is great; see it here.

What Is a Small Project?
I have asked this question for over 24 years in kicking off one of my workshops, Small Project Management (also named Managing Small Projects). The first time I asked the question in a class was at an Aerospace/Defense company, and a grizzled old Engineer said, Sonny, a Small Project is anything less than a Billion Dollars”. Continue reading