Published here August 2003. 

Introduction | The Success Principle | The Commitment Principle 
The Tetrad-Tradeoff Principle | The Strategy Principle | The Management Principle
The Single-Point Responsibility Principle | The Cultural Environment Principle | Conclusion

The Management Principle

In addition to being asked to play without practicing, many project teams begin the game without adequate controls in place. Many manage projects with little in the way of consistent, repeatable processes based on organizational policies. Each project and project team has to reinvent the project process that it will follow during the course of the project. They develop new status reporting requirements, roles and responsibilities, lines of authority, issues management and change management processes. Conflict arises in choosing one of the many ways of achieving the same result. Valuable development time is lost in rehashing the "best way" to get the work done.

Contrast this with a professional hockey organization. They use the same people and processes over and over. Hockey teams don't reinvent the power play or penalty-killing defense at the beginning of the year except, perhaps, when a coaching change occurs. If that happens then the team practices the new process during training camp. They become skilled at the task before the season starts. And, at times during the season they may find that certain plays don't always work as planned. Rarely do they implement new ones during a game. For the most part the team introduces changes between games or between seasons then practices until the team performs as required for the coming games.

Project teams and organizations can learn from professional sports and improve their management practices by developing and implementing common, repeatable processes, based on company policies, for every project that the business undertakes.

The Strategy Principle  The Strategy Principle

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