A second evolutionary branch contemplates the scope of the work
itself. In the beginning, the entity to be managed was simply a
project. Then it grew to multiple projects, then to a program of
related projects, and then to a project portfolio chosen for attributes
of presumed interest to executives.
But the evolutionary branch of most interest demonstrates a great
affinity with what must be the true goal of PM. After all, stripped
of the elaborations of the past few decades, PM is fundamentally
a method of getting work done. Although there are other methods
to achieve this goal, many of us think PM is usually (though not
always) the best way. Why is that?
This question demands a truly explanatory definition of Project
Management. I believe this is found in the following:
Project Management is a structured approach to plan, organize,
control and lead the work of the project to meet project objectives.
Tellingly, this definition says nothing about the context in which
the project occurs. But in a corporate context (the most common)
it is self-evident that the people who have a role on the project
and a functional position in the organization must collectively
have some responsibility for success. I believe this points to the
third and most valuable insight into how PM can evolve.
The term used to describe this advance is alignment. Corporate
participants are more likely to contribute to the project objectives
if they are aligned. They are more likely to understand and accept
coordination and the implied activities if they are aligned.