Can we make a difference? The stats and experts say, “….yes, and we need to”.

make a difference phrase on blackboard

The latest issue (web and paper) of PM Network magazine has some interesting data and interviews which were not aimed at the intersection between sustainability and PM, but which, nevertheless, made strong points – very, very strong points – for our argument that this intersection of sustainability and PM is key.

We’ll use three snippets of the magazine to show what we mean.

The first is from a web-exclusive report called “The Race Ahead“.  An odd mixture of good and bad news, let’s start off with the bad, with a piece called “Projects are missing the mark”.  In this piece, the stats show that the percentage of projects delivering on their original business goals slipped from 72% last year, to 62% this year.  Key words: original business goals.  We think all PMs need to step back, look at their enterprise-level web page – the external one, that is – and see what your organization is saying about sustainability, about Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), and about the long-term, sustained financial performance.  Although projects are -necessarily by definition – short term, their outcome is NOT.  Perhaps browse through your company’s Annual Report.  We would be very surprised if these terms aren’t featured.  Is your project connected to that?  Maybe this is one of the reasons projects are beginning to ‘separate’ from overall business goals.  We know that it’s not the singular reason – but it’s got to…make a difference.

projectsmissingmark

Here’s the good news – in contrast, and perhaps even in contradiction to the above.

Compared with last year, this graphic asserts, the percentage of projects aligned with organizational strategy is up 76%.

projectsdowntobiz

So we leave it to you to understand that dichotomy.  The takeaway is that connection to strategic (read that as ‘sustainable, long-term, thoughtful, holistic) goals, is increasing.

Below is a piece of an article from the issue in which PM and Change Management are discussed.  We do a lot of research on Change Management because – after all, the consideration of sustainability in PM is definitely a change.  Look at Mr. Sparrow’s comment below”

pmsustaincomment

Nailed it, Mr. Sparrow – spot on.

If the project manager doesn’t get the buy in from all stakeholders, using good change management principles, the project’s product probably won’t pop out, and even if it does, it will have an unsustainable outcome.  We have scores of blog posts illustrating this, check our archives.

Have a look at this month’s PM Network magazine.  Beyond these gens you will also find an article on Lean Projects that we think you’ll find interesting.