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  • #2192250

    Project Based Organizations


    by j.lupo ·

    Hi Everyone. I have been reading a lot of stuff about project management lately. This includes organizations that are moving towards a project based approach. My concern is whether this really can work in organizations that are not IT companies or even in IT companies.

    I work on projects, but it is not the core of the business. Collins (2003) wrote that technology was the accelorator of a business, but Great Businesses knew what their core business was and stuck to it– perfected it and used technology wisely. When I think of that, I don’t see how being a project based organization can improve your core business unless your business is services to other companies.

    What do you think? I am trying to get a feel one way or the other about the benefits/negatives.

    If you have article suggestions, please point me to them for reading. Thanks again.

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  • Author
    • #3269736

      How to improve without projects

      by gchavez ·

      In reply to Project Based Organizations

      I cant think of a company making improvements without a projected organization, even if it is not a formal one. Organizing and adopting a proper methodology will help in reducing risks and increasing probability of success in project deliverables. Any strategy derived from planning can only be achieved by a set of well organized projects.

      Best regards,

      • #3143835

        Project thinking!

        by m.nahavandi ·

        In reply to How to improve without projects

        Yes,I belive one of the most important issue in organizing project is:
        Project thinking!

        • #3143791

          I am not certain you understood my request

          by j.lupo ·

          In reply to Project thinking!

          This is not about project thinking or organizing a project. This is about companies moving from one philosophy in how they do business towards another model.

      • #3143793

        That is part of my point

        by j.lupo ·

        In reply to How to improve without projects

        I do see companies making improvements, lots of them without taking a project focus as the core to how they do that business. That isn’t to say that they don’t have projects in the company. I worked for a company that moved to a project centered instead of business centered philosophy. While we were business centered we did great. We met deadlines, clients were happy, we made money, we had enough resources to do the work. When we switched some project did well and others fell apart. We didn’t always have the right resources for all the projects.

        I am a firm believer in Collins (2003) work that indicated that companies that want to be great need to maintain their core business. Technology is an accelerator, project provide difinitive timelines, but they should not control the core business, they should support it. However, that is just my opinion.

    • #3269539

      Management FADS and other topics

      by pmpsicle ·

      In reply to Project Based Organizations

      Like many management fads, project oriented organizations has some basis in truth with a whole bunch of looking for the golden bullet dumped in.

      Most organizations consist of three seperate structures. The first is strategic, the second is operational and the third is core.

      Strategic structures consist of those structures which are project oriented in nature. That is everything they do is one off. Why call them strategic? Because most strategic activities are project oriented. Even if an organization does nothing else project oriented, change (i.e. strategic implementations) are projects. However, IS is probably the most well known project focused group, closely followed by marketing and HR for those elements not strictly part of a strategic team. You’ll notice, however, that those groups tend to be the most affected by and involved in strategic activities.

      The second group is operational. These are not project oriented. Instead they are on going and routine. Or have become so. Examples include Accounting, janitorial, and telephones operators.

      Core are those groups which are directly associated with the delivery of the product. Why seperate them like this? Because they can go either way. Some products (such as automobiles) are project oriented (each is unique and built to order). Other products are delivered using a process method – retail for example. The trick is to know which parts are project oriented and which aren’t.

      The point of this is that all organizations have projects. All organizations can benefit from project/portfolio management knowledge. And all organizations can benefit from a project/portfolio based approach. Regardless of how the core is most effectively structured. A basic understanding of the correct approach is mandatory (but often missing) in all levels of management because all levels will participate in projects.

      The second point is that no organization needs or should be totally project focused. All organizations have groups which are focused on doing the same things the same way every day.

      Finally, the smart organization is the one that knows what focus to apply where, especially in its core since that can flip to either side.

      Does that help any?

      Glen Ford, PMP
      Can Da Software
      Project Management & Process Improvement

      • #3143789

        PMP’sicle – Yes thank you

        by j.lupo ·

        In reply to Management FADS and other topics

        This is the cleanest explanation that I have seen. I am also doing research pertaining to IT project outcomes and project partnering. Your views are very insightful and go against some of the literature. I am trying to not only have a wealth of literature, but to get the real world view and understanding of what is.

        Thank you so much for your explanation.
        J. Lupo

    • #3269525

      Anything can be overdone

      by sr10 ·

      In reply to Project Based Organizations

      I managed a development group that was overfocused on projects, and I had to help them relearn how to do process work, i.e., work that has to be done on a repetitive basis every day, week, whatever. The killer was configuration and build, which is not project-oriented but is essential to project success.

      Project work and process work have different approaches and emotional demands. You can be an excellent project-oriented service organization, but getting the invoices out every month cannot be a project. It’s just exhausting to live that way.

      There is a sweet spot between the two extremes. Finding it is an organizational engineering task.

      • #3143786

        Finding the sweet spot

        by j.lupo ·

        In reply to Anything can be overdone

        may also be why change is the only constant for organizations and especially IT/development/etc. We need to continually adjust so that we balance the core, project, process/operations work and make sure that staffs are flexible to the needs for those changes.

        I think I envision is like surfing on a calm ocean versus in a hurricane. Thanks for your explanation.

    • #3143757

      Our Corp IT Dept Uses PM

      by jerome.koch ·

      In reply to Project Based Organizations

      Since 2002, our corp IT has used PM methodolgy. The CIO (new at the time) said it would boost efficiencies, get products out on time, and help justify the hireing of new employees.

      In 4 years, the highest growth position in IT has been the Project Manager’s position. There are now 9 in a department of 28. The amount of paper work and documentation has grown to such a degree that most net admins and developers have quit. I have to admit, the CEO has been happy with the improved level of service in many areas, as well as improvement in budgets, but the price has been high. The IT dept has seen a turnover rate of 70% in 4 years, and there is definitly a problem between the Project Managers and the “worker bees”. The hiring of the new project managers (avr salary of 65,000) has been at the expense of the developers and net admins. Promotions go to the managers and not the techies. Currently, IT has hired 5 contractors to administer the enterprise network, while the CIO hires new people. Contractors usually do not do projects (some cost as much as 100/hour), and the project managers do not have the tech skills to get things done. So, they have 9 Proj managers with nothing to manage.

      • #3142394

        This seems to be happening a lot

        by j.lupo ·

        In reply to Our Corp IT Dept Uses PM

        and follows what Charles Handy (1994) wrote about. He indicated that workers would become disposable to an organization and that it would take less people to do more. There is another point too, it costs the company less by using contractors. Forget pay, the company doesn’t have to pay for benefits or other things. They only pay contractors for hours worked. They don’t have to pay for training, and other things too for contractors.

        So, to the CIO and the company profits are going up. However, has anyone looked at the number of projects and the project outcomes? In your example situation, I would recommend some PM research that was done by Dr. Klein. He and his associates have done a lot of work on project outcomes for IT departments using project managers. Your CIO or PMs should really read some of his published studies.

        I appreciate your input very much. I am still trying to (as you have probably seen my other posts) understand this issue. The chaos report indicated just how complex the issue is and I am learning a lot about that complexity.

        If you are interested about my research feel free to find my discussion on Research on IT projects or you can go to my research website:

    • #3142310

      High-rises or Software – It should not matter

      by rapace ·

      In reply to Project Based Organizations

      Regardless of the type of business, there is a great deal to be gained in using Project Management standards.

      Think of PM in the construction industry – we have been building structures for thousands of years. There are specific inspection points, strong subject matter experts and explicitly detailed plans. At the end of the project we have a building with the right number of toilets and the right number of floors on the right piece of land and according to the Standish Group 96% are successful.

      In comparison, of IT or software projects only 9% are considered successful. Why? We have only been building software for 30 or so years. In construction we would never allow the plumber to run the electrical lines or skip an inspection because testing was cut short to meet the deadline but it happens day-in-day-out in software.

      When some people hear Project Management or PMO they think beauracracy, they think slow down… but clearly in comparison faster is not more successful.

      When you think about how much an organization can waste on projects that do not deliver expected returns it should be an easy win but executives want IT to be fast. It is a classic case of not managing expectations.

      • #3142278

        IMHO…Returns are Mixed

        by jerome.koch ·

        In reply to High-rises or Software – It should not matter

        Since 2000, IT staffs and budgets have benn slashed. Most Corporate IT Depts run a centralized
        Corp Office with a mix of developers,net admins,help desk, and managers. From what I’ve seen, the techies and developers who actually execute the projects (write code,implement software,install or upgrade infrastructure)must also deal wiht the day-to-day crisis that develope.

        IT staff’s have not grown, but the number of projects have. Our corporate IT Dept has seen a 70% turnover in 4 years. The number of Proj Mngrs grew from 2 to 9 (in a Dept of 29). During this time projects have been completed on time and under budget, but it took thousands of hours of uncompenesated overtime, stress, and burn out.

        The IT field isn’t the building construction field. The day-to-day problems and crisis (hung servers, downed circuits, equip faliures,etc…) always take precedence over projects. CEO’s rarely allow the CIO to add staff (except for project managers), the gap is made up in the long weekends, evenings, missed holidays, and vacations.

        • #3142261

          Exactly My Point

          by rapace ·

          In reply to IMHO…Returns are Mixed

          Unlike the construction industry, within a technology department, the executive team expects some sort of magic to happen. They don’t or won’t dedicate resources to a specific project – resources are expected to work on projects within the context of the everyday, keeping the lights on work.

          The most successful IT projects that I have worked on or run were projects where the resources were dedicated, where our subject matter experts were only focused on their subject areas. This is not to say that we tied up resources for months at a time but that when a specific resource was needed they were assigned, in some cases co-located for the period of time they were needed. This allows for complete focus and enables the resource to produce more effectively.

          Within the “normal” IT environment you end up with the “go-to” guys, your SME’s that everyone reaches out to when the unanswerable questions arise. This creates a resource contraint that will effectively burn-out your SME and produce such a distracting environment that it is difficult to get the full attention of your SME.

          Companies that are serious about becoming more project oriented need to seriously consider how they manage resource allocation.

          How hard is it to get in a grove when you are coding, get interupted to put out a fire, and then go back, reconnect to what your were coding and still maintain the same train of thought, let alone the same quality.

          It seems like this should be a pretty easy case to make to an executive team but I find that most IT departments & IT PMs don’t even ask for dedicated resources. More PM’s is not the answer, more structured resource allocation is…

        • #3142110


          by hillman.d9 ·

          In reply to IMHO…Returns are Mixed

          According to Steve McConnell’s book, Code Complete, there are plenty of similarities
          between the construction and hardware/software industries. I’ve worked in both industries and liked the structure of the construction industry more. During school I worked in an air conditioning company helping to install air conditioners and ducting. In the software industry, I run network wiring, build software, install servers, etc as part of a consulting company.

          There is an alarming lack of solid standards
          and division of labor in the IT industry. If I go to fix or install an air conditioner, I expect to be able to find the electrical diagram either posted on the machine or to get it from the manufacturer. In IT, if I’m building software, I don’t know whether to use UML or some other crazy standard because it might change tomorrow.

          Even with that being the case, a guy that fixes window air conditioners isn’t expected to be able to fix a big industrial machine just because they follow the same general principles of operation.

          In IT, managers expect you to know Windows installation, coding, networks, databases, etc.
          In school, you’re taught that each of those things can be a career in itself.
          It amazes me that some IT managers never touched code or had to crawl underneath a desk to find a model number.

          The IT industry is probably going to continue to
          get more specialized like the construction industry. If IT is not your core businees, you keep a small jack-of-all-trades team on hand that can put out small fires. If you need something big done, like setting up a network with bulletproof servers, you call in a company that has trained and licensed professionals just for that.

        • #3110740

          Nice summary

          by j.lupo ·

          In reply to IMHO

          of some of the issues, but money plays a big part in the decisions. There are a lot of companies that used to keep IT departments to do everything they needed and ordered from Vendors when they weren’t creating customized systesm. The problem is our economy changed and the idea to downsize and reduce costs became the norm. So, these IT departments were no longer needed.

          Budgets controlled the decisions more than skills needed for the business. In construction there is a more direct one for one relationship between the business and the people you need to get the job done. In IT, the lines are not as clear cut and there is a great deal of overlap. If you don’t know what you are doing and define your project well enough, budgets end up overrun or the project ends up cancelled.

        • #3110739

          Nice summary

          by j.lupo ·

          In reply to IMHO

          of some of the issues, but money plays a big part in the decisions. There are a lot of companies that used to keep IT departments to do everything they needed and ordered from Vendors when they weren’t creating customized systesm. The problem is our economy changed and the idea to downsize and reduce costs became the norm. So, these IT departments were no longer needed.

          Budgets controlled the decisions more than skills needed for the business. In construction there is a more direct one for one relationship between the business and the people you need to get the job done. In IT, the lines are not as clear cut and there is a great deal of overlap. If you don’t know what you are doing and define your project well enough, budgets end up overrun or the project ends up cancelled.

        • #3142097

          As I read all the posts

          by j.lupo ·

          In reply to IMHO…Returns are Mixed

          I think we can all agree that the issue is complex. There are no fast and simple answers to it. I believe that we need to work within organizations at all levels to achieve project outcomes. That means that we need to stop seeing IT as a cost center only. It can also generate profit, but it is not directly tied to profit easily so companies thing to shrink their IT budges.

          We need a lot of changes organizationally and culturaly within organizations. Schein (1997) found from over 30 years of working in organizations that IT has become a sub-culture within the organization. He compared it to different world cultures in conflict with each other. I think that is a fair assessment – after all IT does have a different language then the business or users, IT has a different approach to project delivery, Business has knowledge of what they need but articulate as if they are speaking to a business colleague and not in IT. So, language is a barrier too.

          There are so many issues. Then you have the CEO and CIO (even if they work and partner with each other well) that treat there organizational areas as separate entities. Many companies now treat there internal IT as if it were outsourced, they actually charge budgets for the work (virtual money).

          I could go on for a long time, but I’ll stop there. Please feel free to continue this discussion because it is very enlightening and helpful

          J. Lupo

      • #3142098


        by j.lupo ·

        In reply to High-rises or Software – It should not matter

        I am using the standish report and the Chaos report as part of my founding research about the issues in IT project outcomes. In addition, I am doing my own research (you may have read my pleas for participants in another discussion) which uses a tool first developed for the construction industry and adapted for use in IT.

        In construction when you have contractors and sub-contractors and owners, and all sorts of project participants there has to be some mechanism to get them working togehter effectively, setting a project charter, defining how conflicts will be resolved, and much more (See Larson, 1995). The relationship is very close, but the nature of the two business has some complex components that are different. That just adds to the complexity.

        I hope to publish my findings once the research is complete. Thank you for your response. It is very helpful in gaining insights into the issue.

    • #3142130

      Direct Cost Accounting vs Overhead

      by cg it ·

      In reply to Project Based Organizations

      Most DoD contractors use project management and direct costing accounting methods. It’s been SOP since WWII.

      Can an IT department also be project based? In the DoD world, the IT department would be considered an indirect cost [facilities cost/overhead]to a job unless the project specifically included IT as a cost [such as equipment, applications whatnot specifically needed for the project]. The downside for IT is that typically the if the govt pays for it, the govt owns it and therefore IT equipment needed for the project becomes govt property [with all the inventory control, accounting for, tracking of the equipment]. When the project is over, the govt takes possession of or the contractor provides disposition of govt property [such as sale of the items which the govt gets the $$ for].

      In the Corporate world, accounting for [both monetarily and physically] IT on a project by project basis can become a full time job itself [depending upon the size of the company]. On the other hand, having an II person dedicated to a project removes the IT labor costs from overhead to direct cost [thereby decreasing overhead costs as a percent of direct costs]. This can decrease the price to customers [overhead can add an amount to the price that is greater than the actual cost].

      • #3142095

        Hey CG IT

        by j.lupo ·

        In reply to Direct Cost Accounting vs Overhead

        Thanks for chiming in. Yes I did DoD work, private sector, and public sector. You have given me even more to consider in the discussion. I think it can be done, but it has to be done correctly and the organization has to continually adapt and adjust as needed.

        • #3269132

          Welcome J.Lupo

          by cg it ·

          In reply to Hey CG IT

          I think that you can have IT personnel charge direct to a project provided there is a need for a dedicated IT person[direct labor]. If not then they are dumped back into the IT personnel pool [indirect labor]. Equipment on the other hand is an iffy thing. Infrastructure certainly can’t be a direct charge [but can be a proportional indirect as facilities {which is like lighting, floor space, heating, A/C etc}. Most of the really big DoD contractors lease their IT equipment and have the company they leased from provide IT services [CSC comes to mind].

        • #3268973

          :) Yes that is my experience

          by j.lupo ·

          In reply to Welcome J.Lupo

          as well. CSC was where I learned about DoD work contracts and the leasing of equipment. In the infrastructure area though, CSC had their own equipment, in other areas it was all Government and believe me there was a big difference in the equipment.

          CSC on some of its contracts was melded pretty closely with the DoD officers, meaning military folks in charge. At any rate, I certainly have a lot of new information to digest. Thanks for the input.

    • #3269124

      When projects fail

      by tig2 ·

      In reply to Project Based Organizations

      Hi j.lupo- I apologise that I haven’t responded before now- busy enough that a considered reply wasn’t feasible.

      Keep in mind two things- I am not familiar with your citation and I am a project manager- I focus on projects.

      With that said…

      I have worked in and around technology for around 20 years. In that time I have watched business hand everything over to the IT staff and I have watched them take it back.

      In order to do business effectively, you must concentrate on what the core business is. Do you manufacture something? Your concentration must be there. Do you fly planes? There’s your focus.

      The IT functions of the company MUST support the primary business goal, or shortly your customers will leave you in numbers. The guy that wants to fly on your airline doesn’t care about how many servers it takes to keep the reservation system going. He wants to fly from NY to LA and he wants to do it on HIS timeline. He wants his reservation process to be easy, he wants his check-in to be easy. He knows that he has to put up with the security gates, the other travellers, the screaming kids. He wants to take off safely and he wants to land safely. He doesn’t care if you have upgraded to the new Windows software or if you are using a Westinghouse terminal or if you have carrier pigeons taking messages. He wants what he wants.

      From the business perspective, your primary purpose is to get him where he wants to go. As few hassles as possible.

      From an IT perspective, a number of projects might be suggested to facilitate the business objective depending on existing architecture and business process. At the end of the day, the business need MUST define the IT project.

      Project based business fails miserably when projects are not developed with the key business driver at the forefront. Projects for the sake of IT need to be able to justify their existance from a business perspective.

      That said…

      Business must learn that IT is not the “All Powerful OZ”. We can do what technology tells us we can. We MUST build scalable strategic systems to benefit business. And business must learn that we cannot build what we do not know. Business has a responsibility to provide requirements that can be managed to. IT needs to have a position in which we can ask the questions of, not only business, but the end users. IT can be extremely flexible if given the opportunity. But business needs to understand that we can do only so much. I can give you what you tell me you want. I am not a mind reader so cannot see what you envision.

      As a PM, I have often kept a Magic 8 Ball on my desk next to a pair of dice and a crystal ball. I refer to them as my “estimation tool-kit”. It works like this- Business comes to me and tells me that it wants to deploy a particular technology by a defined time. I do the high end analysis and tell them that while it can be done, these sub-projects must be done first. Business tells me to give them an estimate on $$$ or completion time. Since the requirement is still vague and the under-pinnings don’t yet exist, any answer from the Magic 8 Ball is as good as any other. Then I can tell them why this is so.

      Business needs to understnad that they are not IT and therefore cannont dictate HOW we do a project. They can define our deliverables and give us the constraints. It is OUR job to provide the detailed design that will path them to their goals and OUR job to deploy those designs once they have been signed off.

      I could keep going but I think that you get my points. IT is an operational function. Business must focus on their core business to be successful. Business needs to trust that IT will do the right thing.

      Projects do not run business. Business does.

      • #3268969

        Hey TT – you understand perfectly

        by j.lupo ·

        In reply to When projects fail

        what my citation was in reference to. You basically summed up 2 chapters of the book, Good to Great… I never remember the whole title. I am bad that way. 😉 At any rate, I do agree with you fully, but achieving that level of interaction appears to be at the root of the issues. Business does run IT, I don’t see too many “techies” getting promoted to lead IT and partner with the Business side. I do see a lot of business people with some to no IT that are there to lead the IT.

        On the flip side of that though, when I do see “techies” promoted, they appear to have a tough time with the business focus. Now I am not saying this is true in every case, but it happens a lot.

        My personal hope is that a real partnership can emerge between the business and the IT to achieve the results needed. That doesn’t mean that they can’t have internal and external projects, but I am still not convinced that a project based model for the organization is the best approach.

        Like you said, they need to focus on the core of what they do first and everything else should be in support of that focus/goal.

        • #3268907

          Gee- and I never read the book!

          by tig2 ·

          In reply to Hey TT – you understand perfectly

          Hey J.lupo- hope your day is going well!

          My rambling rant was basically a summation of how I feel about the IT position in business- we must remember that business drives the successful project.

          To a couple of your points…

          I think that the language of IT is too different from the language of business. Back in the 90s when we saw all kinds of projects around solving the Y2K issue the paradigm of business shifted. Those of us watching used to refer to it as “paradigm shifting without a clutch” referring to the fact that business was signing blank cheques without an understanding of what they were buying. And a lot of IT sold business what they THOUGHT business was asking for.

          An example. Are you aware that by 2050 many of the “fixes” that were implemented to deal with Y2K will break? In my personal opinion, those systems will begin to break in 2010. Why? Instead of taking correct action in 1995, we put bandaids on the problems. Back in the 80s when we were writing code in the first place, the constraint was space. In the 90’s when we were fixing those systems, the constraints were time and the inability to re-work the system to bring it to current. So we coded to the environment that we were stuck with. And the work around was to code to a limitation that was at least far enough away that we stood a chance to replace the system before the new deadline. What we didn’t anticipate was the inability to mature IT to a point where it became a business partner.

          IT as an operational function is something that I have espoused from the beginning. IT should be able to take a place at the table as a partner. The problem is this. Business can tell a Facilities resource that they want a workspace that has so and so appearance, function, location, etc. Facilities can say, “yes, we can do that in this time frame at this cost”. Business says either “do it” or not. Facilities may come back and give business some choices- white tile or beige, panel colour, cube size, etc, but the choices are limited.

          IT is different- Business says “facilitate this” and IT doesn’t have a catalogue of choices to give them. IT will do its best to give business what it wants but there are way too many holes in the average requirements set.

          IT organisations try to give business a catalogue of choices but far too often we see business coming back and saying “I don’t care what your limitations are- do it MY way”. Business is the customer so we try. Not often successfully.

          I could go on. As you can likely see, I am very passionate about what the problem is and what I think the solution is. I still owe you an email and will try to get you something coherent on this point.

          YOU ARE RIGHT. A project based business model is wrong. Business must concentrate on the core function and use project methodology to achieve results.

        • #3268894

          I am as passionate as you it seems on the same topic

          by j.lupo ·

          In reply to Gee- and I never read the book!

          and I am still learning to make my thoughts as coherent as yours. It is funny, I may not use the same words as you, but I have been saying the same things within my research. Now I had to take several steps backward to try and conduct the research objectively.

          People who work in our industry see the problem, we know it exists, we all want solutions, but we never get any. That is why I think it is essential that we need to start developing true partnerships with the business and key business leaders need to be involved (before project initiation) with key IT leaders (not necessarily the CEO and CIO, depends on size of company(s)). If they partner and establish the necessary guidelines for whatever IT needs to deliver, then many of the problems that you, and others in this discussion, and I see, can be solved.

          My schedule is so busy, I forgot what my bed looks like, no idea about the couch either. My current project is a perfect example of what NOT to do, but I have not authority in any direction to change things. So, all I can do is my best with the team I have. When it fails (and it will) at least as I go out the door, I can say “I told you so”.

          Anyway, my interest and passion in this topic is because I want to find the right way to influence decision makers on these issues and hopefully at least start dialog to improve our results.

          I once read a little ditty someone wrote (I don’t have the full thing anymore) but it ends with:
          We gave them what they asked for and they said
          yes this is what we asked for but it isn’t
          what we want.

          I have found through my research that business is more intuitive and IT is more specific. I call it the cooking by feel (experience) or by recipe (algorithm). Business knows what it needs to accomplish but can’t communicate it in logical, repeatable steps and IT can only deliver logical, repeatable steps.

          Do you know how many times I joke with people about the ESP circuits were recalled and the technology is not ready for deployment? I hear all the time from my business users – well it should know what I meant it to do.

        • #3268826

          Division Of Labor

          by jerome.koch ·

          In reply to I am as passionate as you it seems on the same topic

          There are essientially 2 divisions as I see it; one group are the techs (developers,net admins,hardware), and the second the Proj Mgrs. Normally it is the Proj Mgrs that are ultimately held responsible for the success/failure of a proj. Many CIO’s will not allow any work to be done if it is not in a proj. The days of the businesses calling an analyst for a fav are over. Our Corp IT dept records all labor hours spent doing projects. Every request big or small goes to the IT Dept in the form of a proj req. It is assigned to a Proj Mgr (There is a Chief Proj Mgr who makes this assignment). The PRoj Mrg then creates a quote, does a proof of concept study, gathers infor, works with vendors etc…When the business leader accepts the Proj Mgr Plan, that plan is put into a proj funnel and awaits execution. To put the plan together, the proj mgr works with various techies who must provide him/her with thier input. There are pre-established project templetes that everone must follow. The background work can be quite time consumming.

          The problems occur when the individual developers, hardware people, admins, etc… have to stop doing thier normal day-day duties and work on project plans. They realize these plans have of 50% chance of not being accepted by the buisnesses who request them. The Proj Mgr could be handeling at any one time a dozen projects that are in the funnel or being drafted, or being considered. With most IT Depts, the people who actually execute the plan having conflicting duties. These duties can and do cause a project to go over budget, or not meet deadlines. Outside Vendors can also be a problem. Many IT Depts are now out sourcing many of thier technical positions. This may be great from budget perspective, but it can really impede teamwork, as the contractor have loyalties to thier own organization. Outside contractors can be hired just to do a specific project, but this can get very expensive, and the Proj Mgr may not know thier skill set. Contractors cannot guarentee that they will be available for every project.

    • #3142742

      Invitation to you all

      by j.lupo ·

      In reply to Project Based Organizations

      As some of you may already know and have participated I am doing Real research on a small piece of this topic as partial completion of my doctorate. I also will be publishing the results, I hope, here on TR and get them published in professional zines.

      At any rate, for those that have not participated yet or did not know about the research, please consider taking the very quick survey. There is a discussion in Miscellaneous group called Real Research on IT Projects by me j.lupo. You can find out more in that discussion about the research if you want, or you can go to the website I had setup:

      The first page is just some instructions/information and then the 2nd is the actual survey.

      Thanks in advance, I appreciate the responses. With enough I can finish my research this year.

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