In any environment, structure conveys a sense of stability and permanence.
For projects, a formal project management approach leads to greater adoption rates among individuals and business areas. And when the defined approach has been invested in by leadership, there is a broader and more rapid acceptance that project management is a discipline supported by the organization.
A formal approach to project management also allows individuals throughout your organization to recognize their roles and understand their accountabilities with the work that’s happening. This leads to a better comprehension of the value they add and the contributions they make to a given project, further supporting adoption.
However, while a common set of project management fundamentals is important, there is also a need to support significant differences.
Specifically, intake and prioritization are two areas that shouldn’t follow a one-size-fits-all approach and these areas are key to pinpointing your resource risk.
Size is not the only difference organizations must anticipate when developing a formal project approach or assessing resource risk. They must also recognize that different organizational areas will be at different levels of project management maturity and will, therefore, need to have different degrees of structure. If you over-engineer project management for a group, they are less likely to follow the processes you put in place.
In some cases, a simpler set of processes to support greater adoption and accessibility is needed.
In other areas, there may be a need for more rigorous processes to reduce flexibility and help ensure compliance with specific resource risks. This is especially for projects that have a high degree of external monitoring, impact regulatory requirements, etc.
There is also a balancing act between the best approach for the organization, while still encouraging adoption and compliance. The best approach in the world will fail if no one believes in it or supports it.
On the other hand, if the organization can balance the need for a robust project delivery approach with the need to develop sustainable adoption of that approach throughout the business, the long-term benefits will be significant.
Choosing the right approach that minimizes risk and cost is an act of balancing methodology, formality, structure and governance.
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This post was originally published in March 2020 and has been updated with new information.