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

External Development

  1. The Provider. Project managers have naturally looked within their service provider organization for project support. Eventually in the 1980s, the project management office (PMO) was introduced to support all corporate projects. PMOs now vary in degree of authority, from passive to active, but most will provide help with techniques, adherence to standards and procedures, and a framework for project operations within the service provider.

    A more active PMO would also be responsible for managerial activities such as reviews, audits, approval of specified project deliverables, and performance assessments. PMOs operate as proponents for methods designed to achieve project objectives, but still only carry authority within the provider, whether vendor or in-house, the owner is unaffected. Though there are uneven results, a well-implemented PMO should make the PM believe their provider is aligned with project objectives. It certainly should not make progress more difficult. (Most recently the position of delivery manager has aimed at a similar role with increased accountabilities and direct supervision of project managers.)
  2. The Owner. The notion of a project sponsor was formalized around the same time as the PMO and was the first concrete attempt to identify management responsibility for projects outside of the project manager and the provider's organization. The generally accepted function of sponsorship is to assume "ownership" of the project, provide the financing, and to take responsibility for key project decisions. Enlargement of the project orbit to include sponsorship was a major advance because project success requires the participation of the owner. Although the sponsor role is now common, a further step is needed to formalize the sponsor's responsibilities, like the project manager, so that management is harmonized, and project execution is more consistent. By the same token, the project provider must become more responsiveness to business priorities and accept responsibility to provide project reporting tuned to the needs of the business.
  3. The Organization. The last real advance in the project's sphere of influence was to acknowledge the presence of project stakeholders anywhere within the organization (or third parties). Their role is defined as having an interest in the outcome of a project. This expansion of project engagement is significant because it involves the organization as a whole, though this alone is insufficient to achieve full alignment because it fails to acknowledge the responsibilities of stakeholders as well as their rights and interests.

    True stakeholder collaboration will expand their engagement beyond being "interested parties" and will redefine everyone connected with the project as responsible collaborators.
On Closer Examination  On Closer Examination

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