What is the Project Environment?
Today, there is a growing awareness and concern for the impact of infrastructure
and facility construction on the physical environment. Fortunately,
today's technological disciplines responsible for such work are
becoming attuned to the idea of mitigating the adverse impacts of
their projects. Certainly the project manager needs to be similarly
concerned about the project's technology, and manage accordingly.
This applies to both the implementation and shorter term practical
construction impacts of the project as well as its conceptual development
and consequent long term impacts.
However, today's project manager also needs to be attuned to the
cultural, organizational and social environments of the project.
Understanding this environment includes identifying the project
stakeholders and their ability to affect its successful outcome.
This means working with people to achieve the best results, especially
in the highly technical and complex environments such as those involving
modern day construction projects. Therefore, it is essential that
the project manager and his or her project team are comfortable
with, and sympathetic towards, their cultural, organizational and
This leads to the possibility of influencing the project environment in a positive
way, for the better reception of the change which the project is designed to
introduce. For example, peoples' typical resistance to change will no doubt be
evident amongst some of the stakeholders. Others may have vested interests or
personal or group agendas which are only indirectly related to the project. If
these can be identified in good time, they may be dealt with proactively and
in such a way that the corresponding risks, which are otherwise likely to undermine
the success of the project, can be significantly reduced.
Failure to take such an approach will inevitably lead to a less than optimum