Myth #7: The ‘One-Size-Fits-All’ Project Framework Is Adequate For All Circumstances – Part #1 (Lesson 22)
Is your project framework fit for purpose?
How well established is your project management approach and framework?
Do you have defined standards, documentation, guidance, and metrics for project management? If so, do they support and enable a repeatable approach to project delivery? How flexible is your project delivery approach? Can it be adapted as needed?
Many organisations are still managing projects in the ways they used five, ten, fifteen, or even twenty-plus years ago. This includes end-user organisations as well as their suppliers.
As an aside, when you commission a supplier to deliver a (relatively new) cloud-based version of what used to be an on-site-only software package, how experienced are those consultants with this type of web-based project? More importantly, do they still use the same old project approach?
Make sure you do your due diligence.
Over time, an organisation, its project management team, and key stakeholders become familiar with, and accept, particular ways of working.
This may be a good thing in terms of consistent delivery approach. However, any project team that blindly uses the wrong tools for the job without questioning whether they are fit for purpose is bound to fail when the problem domain changes.
The particular approach used on a project needs to be adapted to handle the specific needs introduced by the wide variety of modern:
- Cloud/Web/mobile technologies.
- Programming languages/environments.
- Target hardware platforms.
- Standards and best practices.
- Packaged business software solutions.
Organisations that do not adapt to the disruptive challenges presented by digital transformation risk failing to thrive. In some cases, they may even fail to survive.
One size does not fit all, and project managers should know this
Projects are almost infinitely unique and with differing needs. To project managers, teams and businesses, some projects may seem relatively straightforward and predictable. Other projects may seem highly complex and risky.
However, each project needs to be treated on its own merits, and may require a different approach to how the project should be managed.
One size does NOT fit all.
Project managers and organisations resist change, and are often likely to work the same way that they always have, because that is what they know best. They are likely to force all projects through the same framework, ignoring the specific needs of the problem domain that they are trying to address.
Traditional project managers may also get bogged down in the detail of excessive planning and bureaucracy, when speed is of the essence.
Conversely, there are those who believe that project management is a waste of time. As a result, they often fail to get the project off the ground successfully.
The project management team should always take some time before starting a project to decide how to tailor the project management approach.