This final version of this guest paper was submitted on March 11, 2023. It is copyright to Robin Hornby.
Published here April 2023.

Introduction | Secondary Evolution | My Earlier Analyses 
On Closer Examination | External Development | Conclusion

On Closer Examination

Let's examine the evolution of project alignment from this perspective and, in so doing, identify the landmark changes.

  1. The Project Manager. In the beginning was the project manager. Moving beyond expertise in the technical tools epitomized by PERT and Gantt charts and using such artifacts to create a project plan, it was gradually realized that getting work done required formal authority. Thus arose the project charter, which in today's parlance delineates the PM's mandate to accomplish defined objectives. This therefore formally underwrites the alignment of the project manager.
  2. The Team. The project team, under the direction of the project manager, was the next obvious target for alignment with project objectives. (The team was narrowly defined as those explicitly assigned to work directly for the project manager, though nowadays should include associated teams with their own leadership.) One early technique was to elaborate project objectives into deliverables and activities so that work assignments can be traced and thus identified as relevant and meaningful.

    A more dynamic approach is to align assignments with a team member's personal objectives to create a "win-win". Or as King Ferdinand II allegedly said, "He serves his king the best who also serves himself". These techniques, and other leadership actions, should ensure the team shares objectives and is solidly behind the project.
My Earlier Analyses  My Earlier Analyses

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