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Strategic Project Management A Competitive Advantage

Recently, several the world's leading project management organisations took major initiatives to enlighten government management about the strategic importance and benefits of project management. The emphasis would be to move from specific project management to organisational project management, which these enterprises keep is a strategic advantage in a competitive economy.

In this essay, Ed Naughton, Director-general of the Institute of Project Management and current IPMA Vice-president, asks Professor Sebastian Green, Dean of the Faculty of Commerce and Professor of Management and Marketing at University College Cork (previously of the London Business School), about his views of strategic project management as a vehicle for competitive advantage.

Ed: What does one point proper Project Management is?

Prof. Green: Strategic project management may be the management of those tasks which are of critical importance to help the organisation as a whole to have competitive advantage. Asea Advancing Life Reviews Discussions contains more about the reason for it.

Ed: And what becomes a competitive advantage, then?

Prof. Green: You will find three attributes of getting a core competence. The three attributes are: it gives value to customers; it is perhaps not easily imitated; it opens up new possibilities later on.

Ed: But how can project administration deliver a competitive advantage?

Prof. Green: There are two elements to project management. One factor is the actual selection of the kind of projects that the company engages in, and secondly there's implementation, how a projects themselves are handled.

Ed: Competitive advantage - the importance of choosing the correct projects - it's difficult to define which projects should be chosen!

Prof. Green: I do believe that the choice and prioritisation of projects is something that's not been done well within-the project management literature because it is basically been assumed away through reducing it to economic analysis. Dig up further on our favorite related portfolio by visiting mannatech. The strategic imperative gives you an alternative way of prioritising projects because it is saying that some projects may not be as profitable as others, but if they add to our experience relative to others, then that is going to be important.

So, to take an example, if a company's competitive advantage is introducing new products more quickly than others, pharmaceuticals, let's say, getting product to market more quickly, then the projects that enable it to obtain the product more quickly to market are going to be the most significant types, even if in their own terms, they don't have higher productivity than other sorts of projects.

Ed: But if we're going to select our projects, we've to establish what're the guidelines or metrics we are going to select them against giving the competitive edge to us.

Prof. Green: Absolutely. The company has to know which actions it's involved in, which are the critical ones for it competitive advantage and then, that drives the selection of projects. Organisations aren't great at doing that and they might not even understand what these actions are. They will believe it is anything they do because of the energy system.

Ed: If an organization formulates its strategy, then what the project management community says is that project management could be the method for providing that strategy. To learn additional information, please check out: mannatech australasia info. So therefore, if the operation is good at doing project management, are there any strategic advantage?

Prof. Green: Well, perhaps that comes back to this matter of the difference between the type of projects that are selected and the way you manage the projects. Demonstrably selecting the type of projects depends upon having the ability to link and prioritise projects ac-cording to a knowledge of what the capability of an organisation is relative to others.

Ed: Let us suppose that the strategy is defined. In order to provide the strategy, it's to be divided, decomposed into a series of jobs. Thus, you should be proficient at doing project management to provide the strategy. Today, the literature says that for a business to be proficient at doing tasks it's to: put in project management procedures, train people on how best to apply/do project management and co-ordinate the efforts of the people trained to work to procedures in and built-in way using the idea of a project company. Does using those three ways offer a competitive advantage because of this organisation?

Prof. Green: Where project management, or how you control tasks, becomes a source of competitive advantage is when you can do things a lot better than the others. The 'better than' is through the experience and sense and the knowledge which is developed over time of managing projects. There is an event curve effect here. Two companies will be at various points in the experience curve regarding information they have built up to manage those components of jobs where the rule book is inadequate. You-need knowledge and management sense because however good the rule book is, it'll never deal fully with the complexity of life. You have to manage down the ability curve, you have to manage the learning and understanding that you've of those three facets of project management because of it to become ideal.

Ed: Well, then, I think there is a gap there that's to be resolved as well, in that we've now developed a competency at doing project management to do projects, but we have not aimed that competency to the selection of projects which may help us to give this competitive edge. Is project management capable of being imitated?

Prof. Green: Not the softer aspects and not the devel-opment of tacit knowledge of having run many, many projects with time. So, for instance, you, Ed, have more understanding of how to run tasks than other people. That is why people came to you, because while you both may have a typical book like the PMBoK or even the ICB, you've developed more experiential knowledge around it.

Basically, it may be copied a certain amount of the way in which, but not when you arrange the smoother tacit knowledge of knowledge into it.

Ed: Organisational project management maturity types are a hot topic right now and are closely linked to the 'knowledge curve' effect you mentioned early in the day - how should we view them?

Prof. Green: I really believe in moving beyond painting by quantities, moving beyond the basic idea that that's all you have to do and you may enforce this set of capabilities and processes and text book methods and an organisation is completely plastic. You might say, exactly the same difficulty was experienced by the developers of the knowledge curve. If you show the ability curve to organizations on cost, it is nearly like, for every doubling of volume, cost reductions occur without you needing to do such a thing. What we know is however, the experience curve is a potential of a risk. Their' realisation depends on the ability of managers.

Ed: Are senior executives/chief executives within the mind-set to appreciate the potential advantages of project management?

Prof. Green: Until lately, project management has offered itself in technical terms. If it was offered in terms of the integration at basic management, at the ability to manage across the functions lending strategy techniques with thinking, then it'd be much more attractive to senior managers. So, it's about the knowledge that makes project management so powerful, the methods together with the reasoning and the blending of the soft and the difficult. If senior managers don't accept it at the moment, it's not since they are wrong. It's because project management hasn't promoted it self as efficiently as it should've done.

Ed: Do we must sell to senior executives and chief executives that it'll produce competitive advantage for them?

Prof. Green: No, I do believe we need to show them how it does it. We need to go inside and actually show them how they are able to use it, not only in terms of delivering assignments on time and within cost. We have to show them how they can use it to overcome organisational resistance to change, how they can use it to enhance capabilities and activities that cause competitive edge, how they can use it to enhance the tacit knowledge in the organisation. There is a complete array of ways that they are able to utilize it. They need to observe that the proof of the outcome is preferable to the way in which they are currently doing it..