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VOICES ON PROJECT MANAGEMENT
Here’s how to turn vision into reality.
BY JOYCE LI, Ph.D., PMP
up page content, redesigning and rebranding the general look
and feel, changing to a new content-management platform,
restructuring the backend database, etc.
The three- to six-month project soon turned into a
multiphase 12-month initiative with budget estimates that
prohibited further consideration.
The project sponsor gracefully stepped in to paint a
picture, in one sentence, of what success might look like:
“This project is to review and revise the content of our
company website such that information is accurate,
straightforward, easy to find and relevant to the reader,
using existing hardware and software infrastructure.”
With that, the project was launched and completed
successfully in six months.
Think about all the projects you’ve managed. How
many of them were considered “smooth sailing”—
no scope creep, plenty of resources, flexible
You may be wondering whether these amazing projects
On the other hand, we all know about the other kind of
One differentiating factor may be the vision statement in
your project charter. Vision is powerful. A shared project
vision enables team members to focus their energy toward
the future reality. Vision also provides context and meaning to their hard work. In the case of a troubled project,
the vision statement can serve as a marker to steer the
effort back on track when targets are missed and/or scope
changes cloud the original mandate.
The Art of Vision
Crafting the project vision can be a fun team-building
experience, but there are some pitfalls. Don’t try to be all
things to all people. Focus on the customer experience, for
So Many Ideas, So Little Time
Having a vision statement can also help rein in all those
good ideas. I learned that lesson at a former job when I was
working on a project to update the company website. The
directive from senior management was to generate some
quick wins in three to six months’ time. The core project team
had spent many hours defining the project scope without
coming to an agreement. At one point or another, we had
contemplated a range of possibilities: rewriting and cleaning
AN AGILE DISCUSSION
The debate rages on about the value of Agile.
Here’s what Olivier Gourment, PMP, had to say:
This debate is very clearly an important one, if not
the most important debate in the IT project management world right now. An open dialogue is indeed
key to have a constructive debate. Many conceptions
need to be revisited. I would suggest looking at the
distinction between projects and operations. ...
Maybe organization management doesn't really
care if the teams are stable or not, they just want
their projects to be temporary in the sense that they
want their products completed at some point in time,
and not linger forever. Maybe temporary teams are
just a side effect, and not a desirable one.
From the perspective of the organization, if it has
invested time and resources to train and form teams
during a project, it makes sense to try and reuse those
teams for other, similar, projects.
>>For more Voices on Project Management,
check out the blog at PMI.org/voices