Project Management from any Perspective


What does project management mean to you?

Depending on your role in an organisation it will mean different things.

Members of the board may only view large strategic transformational change work as worthy of being called a ‘project’. Further down the management structure, roles such as the Head of Production Management or Human Resources will see the resulting work from these strategic initiatives as projects. The development of new products or services, or the restructuring of teams or departments are the sort of work which could stem from board level business development initiatives.

But what of those people who are delivering parts of these projects? Can the work they are requested to take on also be termed a ‘project’?

What about designing the packaging for the new product? Or even researching the suppliers for recyclable packaging options? What about designing the layout of the office for the restructured team?

If we look at the elements which make up the definition of a ‘project’, they are:

  • it needs a goal
  • it should have a start and an end
  • it will have a set of constraints on time, costs or resources

Whilst the scale of course is very different, these pieces of work still match the criteria for something to be deemed a ‘project’.

So how can we have a consistent approach to project management when the scale is so different?

Just remember that however formal or informal the management needs to be, some things need to remain the same.

We always need to stop and think about:

  • Why the work is being done – what is the reason for it? What is the end goal?
  • What is the impact of the work going to be on you, the business, the people around you, and the customer?
  • Who are you going to need to involve in or inform about the work?
  • What is the best way of delivering the work and what does best mean – is it the cheapest, the least disruptive, the highest quality, or the quickest?
  • And how are you going to keep control of the work once it is underway?

But how long do you need to stop and think for?

Well that could be measured in minutes or months and is one part of project management which really is affected by the scale and the criticality of the work and that of course will depend on your perspective.