The business that has no projects - 2030 Week Day 5 - PPM
16 Dec 2016
It's the final day of 2030 Week on AXELOS Community and I'd like to offer my sincere gratitute for taking part, but it's not over yet! You can still walk away with a £25 Amazon voucher, just read the scenario below and give us your thoughts! Here's today's scenario:
To finish off we want to throw something quite contentious out there. Let’s imagine a company than no longer uses project management at all and discuss our views on this idea in the comments below. We’re very keen to hear your views on this!
"Introducing you to GreyBox group, a company who builds SaaS solutions for the construction industry. GreyBox have taken continual deliver so far that they now longer class any of their work as a project and the idea of having ‘project managers’ is a long distant memory for them.
Instead, all new ideas for product and business improvements are broken up into micro sized tasks and channelled through a system that resembles a sales pipeline or Kanban style task management style. The decision to pursuit new ideas is simply guided by the company’s single objective, to make empowering software for construction professionals."
Could this work? Can a company base all its improvement decision on a single goal and is it realistic to assume that traditional projects can be abandoned all together? Let us know below.
Projects have always been about runners, repeaters and strangers. You don't want to orginize your runners and strangers the same way, that would just mean way to much overhead, be to slow to get going and in general very uneffective. Any organization would do well to organize steady flowing ongoing work like the example suggests. But if they decide to enter the Chineese market, develop something radically new, want to move facilities or whatever something that they are not used to do, they will have a different beast. And therefore the need for different kind of project management. The word project is used for many things, that should be managed in different ways.
Is it realistic to assume that traditional projects can be abandoned all together? Perhaps not, particularly when projects are about implementing change and about managing the investment. Having said that, it is possible to deliver new ideas and business improvements using scaled Kanban as it delivers often, focus on quality, balances demand against throughput, prioritises and improves delivery by reducing work in progress.
This scenario may work for continuous improvement of existing solution. The development of a new service platform will require a program management approach, including the assessment of the needs/expectations of the clients of GreyBox clients in order to ensure benefits realization. The sales pipeline will never capture these expectations/needs neither the changes requirements.
Organisations like Google and Facebook operate in continual beta. Their products are never fully complete so they adopt more of a DevOps approach. This allows these companies to test minor enhancements, learn from their success or failure then move onto the next enhancement.
However, not all products lend themselves to this approach. Initial product development or complex products may require a project in order to get it into production. It may require significant research and development, have specific requirements, fixed timeframes and costs and require specialized skill sets.
Furthermore, organisations that require a bespoke product or outcome may not be able to do this on their own and may require a project. I believe there will certainly be a place for projects or project managers in 2030.
Experience shows, that big success comes from strategic thinking. This is a long route to take and there is now indication that this should change just by modern technologies arising. Mankind remains the same.