Harvesting Project Value – Parts 1 and 2 (of 2)

 

This is a two-part post from my blog on ProjectManagement.com (People, Planet, Profits, and Projects) that builds on some recent PM thought leadership by Dr. Harold Kerzner.

Part 1:

https://www.projectmanagement.com/blog-post/33714/Harvesting-Project-Value–Part-1-of-2

Part 1 gives the background of the topic of Benefits Realization Management and the solid connection between that and the element of triple-bottom-line, long-term thinking.  It;s the setup for Part 2 – Project Value Assessment.

Part 2:

https://www.projectmanagement.com/blog-post/33855/Harvesting-Project-Value—Part-2-of-2

In Part 2, I extend this concept as Dr. Kerzner did in his presentation (regarding Project Management 3.0) to the idea of ‘project value’, presenting some specific thinking in the area of decision making and scoring of projects based not only on their immediate deliverables but how they deliver value on a sustained basis, and will consider “harvesting” of project value.

Workin’ on a Chain Gang

“In all projects, a number of decisions are made.  Many think of decision making as the core activities of a project manager; thus, competence in decision making and tools to aid the decision-making process are of crucial importance for project success”.

This is the opening paragraph of the first article (“Project Decision Chain“) in the August/September issue of the PM Journal.  The article, by authors Rolstadas, Pinto, Falster, and Venkataraman, from practical academics at Penn State University and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, is an excellent – and unexpectedly ‘readable’ – one, covering the science and art of decision-making in PM, making the case for more formality and rigor in our discipline.

In effect, we work on project teams (gangs) and oversee chains of decisions.  So yes, indeed, we are out there, working on a chain gang!

But back to the article.  The part that caught OUR attention was the section in which they spend extra attention distinguishing between project success and project management success, just as we do in our upcoming book, Driving Sustainable Success in Projects, Programs and Portfolios”.

Pinto, et al, use the same example of the Sydney Opera House and its long-term considered success as a landmark building even though the project itself was way over budget and exceedingly late.  We like their use of the terms process and outcome models to differentiate the way many look at the world as compared to how we assert project managers should be looking at the world.  The process model focuses on project KPIs like real-time project spending and schedule measurements, versus outcome models, which look at the long-term provision of benefits (or not) by the product of the project.

We highly recommend that you include this in your reading this month.  It would be a good decision on your part!