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If you want to be successful in managing projects and programmes, individuals and organizations can start by adopting and adapting international standards for project management. These include the Association for Project Management, and internationally the Project Management Institute (PMI).
Organisations such as the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, (RICS), have relevant sector standards for professionals working in real estate or construction.
This database of Best Practice resources is available to any organisation, regardless of its maturity level. Projects of all sizes share many common characteristics, and there is something for everyone in Best Practice.
There are many resources available to help individuals and organisations map their current situation and plan their path to Best Practice. While the benefits of Best Practice may seem obvious to those who want to implement them, it is important for organisations to be prepared to address any barriers that might prevent them from being adopted. Here are some practical points and tips to consider:
“Not invented here!”
Many organisations will resort to this tactic to stop the introduction of Best Practice. They claim that the solution or the solution found elsewhere won’t reflect their business’ complexity, so it must be of limited value.
This barrier can be overcome by using existing terminology and systems that work. As long as existing conventions can be aligned to best-practice principles, the goal is to create a common language.
“We already do that.”
This is a common response. This is a common response in regulated industries that have a lot of standard operating procedures. They will likely already be following documented standards that may seem to offer comparable controls. These assumptions must be challenged. For example, Best Practice requires progress reporting. However, a regular meeting to discuss problems may not meet the reporting requirements that are required. This is critical for better control and improved project outcomes. If people are allowed to say “we already do this” and leave it unchallenged, the expected improvement may not occur.
How to overcome this barrier If you hear “we already do that”, then you should consider the perspectives of all stakeholders and ask those who are challenging you for documentation.
Different cultures have different approaches when it comes to project management. Some regions rely more heavily on discussions to reach a consensus approach to project management. Managers who want to introduce Best Practice in this culture will need to carefully consider how to include written documentation. There is also a cultural emphasis on written documentation as a key component of decision-making.
How to overcome this obstacle: Empowered and influential leadership is key, not only at top but throughout the organization. To model the behavior the organization wants, you need to win the respect of your peers by targeting and winning over leaders.
Multinational companies or enterprises involved in merger and acquisition activities will need to establish Best Practice frameworks across all territories. Each local area will have their own method of doing things. There could be many ways to account for project spend. Before attempting to create a project management framework, it is important to unify these.
This barrier can be overcome by creating models and high-level Best Practice principles that people will be able to refer to for local governance. Although local champions can be useful, the key is to have one version.