Be your project’s CEO
If we look at projects and programmes as temporary organisations and compare them to other forms of organisation certain insights can be gained which are relevant to improving the ways in which projects and programmes are designed and managed:
A project strategy is a derivative of the parent organisation(s) strategic objectives. In order to develop a coherent strategy, the parent organisations need to understand the nature of the project and not merely look at them as a way of bundling and delegating a strategic objective that the parent organisation(s) cannot deliver by themselves.
The structure of a project is often constrained by the structure of the parent organisations, its requirement to maintain a level of control over the project, and the temporary nature of these project organisations; the temporary nature and asset specificity dictate that the structure must be constrained to the market structure in order to assemble adequate skills and resources.
Processes within project organisations tend to focus on management processes. The organisation’s purpose is the assembly and coordination of partner organisations within which the informal and business processes are already developed (and have evolved). The project organisation is required to manage the interfaces between the informal and business processes of the partner organisations.
The rewards system within projects are limited to the employees within the project organisation and not the employees of the parent or partner organisations. Developing a fully inclusive rewards structure would be difficult and given the imprecise nature of reward systems could serve to demotivate as well as motivate. The rewards structure would need to be embedded within industry partner contracts.
The majority of people within a project are likely to be employed by permanent organisations working within the temporary project organisation. Given the temporary nature of the project it is more important to get the right skills rather than the right behaviours if a choice is needed.
The Project Manager needs to consider how to lead the project as a temporary organisation (similar to an entrepreneurial start-up) and assume the mantle of the CEO to build and lead a project with real purpose.