Monday, May 3, I was a privileged speaker at the Project Manager Institute New Jersey's (PMINJ) Annual Symposium. Suffice to say this was the best managed conference I've ever attended and congratulations to the all-volunteer team that made it possible.
Building on work Victoria Axelrod and I have done my talk addressed "Stakeholder Engagement & Co-Creation: Reducing Project Risks". Applying what we know from network science I made the case that bringing a network lens to projects, ensuring all stakeholders with diverse perspectives and expertise are engaged and strategically interconnected, is fundamental to a project's success. Here are my slides:
- Loosely defined requirements
- Too big
- Sponsorship changes
- Scope creep
It was after participants had completed a project network drawing exercise that we were reminded of the "human" dimension in project success:
- The challenge of communication across virtual teams (no face-to-face and body language; operating across time zones)
- Silo mentalities- closed, no information sharing
- Cultural differences
- Competing influences on others.
It's more than a decade since Stowe Boyd identified the emergence of a new breed of software he designated "social tools". "Social business" is the rage but in reality, since the earliest market places, business has run on relationships.On Monday the hard working, talented PMINJ project managers at the forefront of leading strategically important and complex projects in their businesses, reminded us that structuring organizations to:
- facilitate communication
- incent sharing, and
- align resources with strategic priorities
remains fundamental to success.
What's your experience with project challenges? How important are people and organizational issues to project success?
~ Jenny Ambrozek