Published here November, 2006. 

Introduction | Book Structure | What We Liked | The Books Premise
Other Things We Liked | Research-Based Data | Case Studies | Downside | Summary

The Book's Premise

The authors observe that:

"Most organizations have ongoing operations that produce products and services and at the same time are highly dependent on projects to increase production capacity, make technological upgrades, and launch new products and services in the marketplace."[7]


"Three insights about projects must be recognized by organizations if they are serious about achieving strategic objectives, realizing their vision, and accomplishing their mission:
  1. Projects - discrete, unique, temporary undertakings designed to achieve beneficial change - are the essential means by which strategy and change are delivered
  2. The management of projects is a 'whole organization' activity - something that needs to be looked at from an enterprise-wide viewpoint
  3. The management of projects requires different capabilities, skills, processes, and practices from the management of ongoing operations, or business as usual."[8]

Mark that last item. "Business-as-usual" is an interesting description of "ongoing operations" and, either way, item 3 makes it clear that business-as-usual is the antithesis of project work. It follows that while the discussion may be extended upstream and downstream of mainstream project management, it does not make sense to extend the role and responsibilities of the project manager and his or her team upstream and downstream as well.

Nevertheless, as the authors explain:

"If the enterprise is to achieve organizational project success, each project will interact with the business unit and functional line management at six critical points during its life cycle:
  1. Portfolio management is the means of dynamically allocating and adjusting budgets between business as usual and new projects and programs and then again between projects ...
  2. Governance is the means by which both the portfolio - and the individual - projects and programs are aligned with the organization's strategy ...
  3. Stage gate reviews are carried out on individual projects at critical decision points during their life cycles ...
  4. Skilled resources for allocation on projects are commonly provided by an organization's line management ...
  5. Benefits are generated by a project only after it is completed ...
  6. Commissioning (or handover) of the project [product] to operations strongly influences the benefits the organization will realize."[9]

Again, mark that last item. Item 6 tells us that the handover must be managed every bit as well as the main part of the project, so that the product is enthusiastically embraced by the on-going operations management and personnel. Otherwise, that main-project effort could all be for naught.

What We Liked  What We Liked

7. The Right Projects Done Right!, p21
8. Ibid, p23
9. Ibid, pp31-32
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