Management A Competitive Edge

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Recently, numerous the world's major project management organizations have taken major initiatives to show government management concerning the strategic value and advantages of project management. The emphasis would be to move from individual project management to organisational project management, which these companies keep is a strategic advantage in a competitive economy.

In this article, Ed Naughton, Director-general of the Institute of Project Management and current IPMA Vice President, asks Professor Sebastian Green, Dean of the Faculty of Commerce and Professor of Management and Marketing at University College Cork (previously of the London Business School), about his views of strategic project management as a vehicle for competitive advantage.

Ed: What does one thing strategic Project Management is?

Prof. Green: Strategic project management is the management of these tasks that are of critical importance to help the operation as a whole to get competitive advantage.

Ed: And what becomes a competitive advantage, then?

Prof. Green: There are three characteristics of getting a core competence. If you have an opinion about the Internet, you will perhaps want to read about asea llc. The three characteristics are: it adds value to customers; it's perhaps not easily imitated; it opens up new opportunities later on.

Ed: But just how can challenge management deliver a competitive advantage?

Prof. Green: You will find two factors to project management. One part is the actual collection of the sort of projects that the business partcipates in, and secondly there is execution, how the projects themselves are managed.

Ed: Competitive advantage - the significance of choosing the correct projects - it's not easy to determine which projects must be selected!

Prof. Green: I do believe that the selection and prioritisation of projects is something that's not been done well within-the project management literature because it's basically been thought away through reducing it to financial analysis. The strategic imperative gives you a different way of prioritising projects as it is saying that some projects may not be as successful as others, but if they add to our proficiency relative to others, then that is going to be important.

Therefore, to take an example, if a company's competitive advantage is introducing new products more quickly than others, pharmaceuticals, let's say, getting product to market more quickly, then a projects that allow it to obtain the product more quickly to market will function as the most important ones, even if within their own terms, they don't have higher profitability than some other projects.

Ed: But when we're going to select our projects, we've to determine what are the guidelines or metrics we're going to select them against giving us the competitive advantage. This disturbing information essay has various stylish lessons for the inner workings of it.

Prof. Green: Definitely. The organisation needs to know which activities it is involved in, which are the important ones for it then and competitive advantage, that drives the selection of projects. Firms aren't great at doing that and they may not even understand what those activities are. They will believe that it is every thing they do due to the power system.

Ed: If its strategy is formulated by a company, then what the project management community says is that project management is the method for delivering that strategy. Therefore, if the enterprise is good at doing project management, are there any strategic advantage?

Prof. Green: Well, I suppose that returns to this matter of the difference between the form of projects that are selected and the way you manage the projects. Clearly selecting the sort of projects depends upon being able to link and prioritise projects ac-cording to a knowledge of what the potential of a company is in accordance with others.

Ed: Let's suppose the strategy is defined. So that you can deliver the strategy, it's to be broken down, decomposed into a series of jobs. Consequently, you should be great at doing project management to supply the strategy. Now, the literature says that for an organisation to be good at doing projects it's to: place in project management procedures, train people on how best to apply/do project management and co-ordinate the efforts of the people qualified to work to procedures in and built-in way utilizing the concept of a project company. Does getting those three measures deliver a competitive advantage for this company?

Prof. Green: Where project management, or how you control tasks, becomes a source of competitive advantage is when you may do things better than the others. The 'better than' is through the experience and thinking and the knowledge which can be developed over time of managing projects. There's an experience curve effect here. As to the information they have built-up where the rule book is limited to handle those items of tasks two organisations will soon be at various points in the experience curve. You need management sense and experience because however good the rule book is, it'll never deal fully with all the complexity of life. You have to manage down the experience curve, you've to manage the understanding and learning that you have of these three aspects of project management for it to become proper. If you are concerned by marketing, you will likely choose to explore about guide to manatech.

Ed: Well, then, I think there is a niche there that's to be addressed as well, in that we have now created a competency at doing project management to do projects, but we have not arranged that competency to the choice of projects which may help us to offer this competitive edge. Is project management with the capacity of being copied?

Prof. Green: Not the softer elements and not the develop-ment of tacit knowledge of having run many, many jobs over time. Therefore, like, you, Ed, do have more knowledge of how-to run jobs than others. That is why people found you, because while you both may have a typical book such as the PMBoK or the ICB, you have created more experiential knowledge around it.

Essentially, it could be copied a quantity of the-way, however not whenever you arrange the softer tacit knowledge of experience into it.

Ed: Organisational project management maturity models are a hot topic at the moment and are directly from the 'knowledge curve' effect you mentioned earlier - how should we see them?

Prof. Green: I really believe in moving beyond painting by numbers, moving beyond the idea that an operation is completely plastic and you can enforce this group of skills and procedures and text book protocols and that's all you have to do. In ways, exactly the same difficulty was experienced by the builders of the experience curve. It is nearly like, for every single doubling of size, cost savings occur without you having to do anything, if you show companies the ability curve o-n cost. What we realize is though, that the experience curve is a potential of the chance. Their' realisation depends on the skill of administrators.

Ed: Are senior executives/chief executives in the mind-set to appreciate the potential benefits of project management?

Prof. Green: Until recently, project management has offered itself in technical terms. If it was promoted in terms-of the integration at standard management, at the capability to manage over the characteristics financing technique techniques with thinking, then it would be more appealing to senior managers. So, it is about the blending of the gentle and the difficult, the strategies together with the sense and the ability which makes project management so powerful. If senior managers don't embrace it at this time, it is maybe not because they're wrong. It's because project management hasn't sold itself as effectively as it should've done.

Ed: Do we need to sell to chief executives and senior executives that it'll provide competitive advantage to them?

Prof. Green: No, I do believe we must show them how it does it. We must go in there and actually show them how they can use it, not only with regards to delivering assignments on time and within cost. We have to show them how they can use it to overcome resistance to change, how they can use it to enhance capabilities and activities that cause competitive edge, how they can use it to enhance the tacit knowledge in the organisation. There's an entire array of ways they are able to put it to use. They need to see that the proof of the outcome is preferable to the way in which they're currently doing it..