In this article, Robin Hornby argues that the effectiveness of project management is improved by extending project responsibility into the organization. Robin explains this as a desirable evolution and points to the specific drivers that lead naturally to the "responsible collaboration" of the entire organization. His new book, A Concise Guide to Project Collaboration, describes how to achieve this alignment of both corporate and project goals.
Robin Hornby, PMP is President of Tempest Management in Calgary. Robin
is the author of three books. He has presented frequently
at PMI symposia, ProjectWorld, and at client conferences.
Robin now writes, consults, and conducts seminars that focus
on aspects of project management that he believes are neglected
commercial practice, project business management, and
PM leadership. His web site is at tmipm.com.
Changes and refinements to the discipline of project management (PM) occur quite frequently and can leave the practitioner wondering whether such changes are simply resolving a narrow problem or are taking steps towards maturity. PM maturity is a useful concept and has been used by project experts seeking to assess an organization's degree of proficiency in the discipline. But what about the evolution of the discipline itself?
Developments that follow a path proven to be successful deserve more attention than specialized solutions to problems outside of the mainstream. Analyzing proposed changes using such an evolutionary analogy may provide a perspective on expected value and possibly identify a mature destination. This would point the organization towards future worthwhile development characterized in this article as responsible collaboration.
The management of work to achieve an objective has obviously existed for centuries, achieving the status of a formal discipline in the mid-1950s with the development of methods and techniques, specifically PERT analysis and Gantt chart graphics. Scores of such aids now exist in the literature and represent their own branch of PM evolution. This first example originally involved knowledge formalized around the triple constraint (cost, schedule, and scope). However, this rapidly expanded to include more specialized material such as risk, aspects of quality and purchasing, and more general management topics such as human resources and interpersonal skills.