Executive support for project management processes required to successfully manage projects, especially IT Projects, seems to be almost non-existent. Why is it that so many C-level executives do not appreciate the art and science that is project management?
What’s the problem?
With the failure of IT projects still in the 60+% range, I would hazard a guess that any corporate executive would pull out all the stops to make sure that their IT projects were delivered successfully. Many studies suggest that implementing and following project management processes increases the likelihood of decreasing the number of projects that end up being considered a failure. I think there are two issues at the heart of the problem.
One is a negative opinion of project management and the second is lack of education on project management.
Just deliver the project
Many times I hear executives criticizing project management processes. It seems during their careers, they had a bad experience or witnessed poor execution of the processes. The issue is project managers that do not modify how they apply the processes based on the complexity of the project.
A project that would be considered low complexity or low risk would not need the same level of rigor (or process) as a highly complex, cross functional, cross departmental, high risk initiative. But that is what happens, time and again. And that is where the frustration sets in and negative opinions are formed.
We don’t need no education
Many executives have not been exposed to project management education. Many business programs do not include a project management course as an elective. Even in Information Systems or Computer Science curriculum, project management is a 3 credit core course. The exposure is minimal at best unless education is focused on project management.
And the winner is…..
If the only exposure to project management has been deemed ‘process purgatory’, I can understand why many executives are not supportive. And not understanding the art and science of project management puts those executives at a disadvantage.
However, those who have educated themselves, from an executive perspective, know what to expect from the process and can intervene when they think ‘That’s TOO Much’.
There are many ways executives can gain this information, and perhaps, begin to understand how project management can help them increase the percentage of successfully delivered projects and receive the business value expected from that investment.
Do your executives support project management?
© 2011 Gwen Miller All Rights Reserved.