of scarce resources and ensure the transparent prioritization of projects, Ms.
And those project professionals who
can deliver are moving into the once-elusive upper echelons of management.
CARVING OUT A NICHE
Although companies increasingly recognize the need for CPOs, some have
an exaggerated vision of their mission—
to put it mildly.
“Companies expect the naming of
a chief project officer to ensure that all
projects will now be completed on time
and on budget,” Mr. Vandersluis says.
Obviously, it’s not that easy.
“The real effect of having a project
officer at the top level of the company
is to surface the challenges that project
managers have experienced for time
immemorial, and to help negotiate barriers to getting projects selected and
then completed effectively,” he explains.
Being a part of the executive suite
does give CPOs the power to make
meaningful changes in their organizations.
“A CPO can be instrumental in
introducing project selection thinking and methods for senior executives
to choose projects that have a better
chance of delivering business value to
the organization,” Mr. Vandersluis says.
Part of that can be helping to implement project management guidelines
and methodologies that foster business
success, though their importance will
vary based on an organization’s needs.
Training processes rank high for
Cláudio Kindlé, CPO at Clip Engenharia, a civil construction firm in Belo
“In the industry where I work—civil
construction—there is a lack of workers
qualified with management skills,” he
says. “Training procedures drive more
results than all of the others. The most
important quality for an effective CPO
concerns being a teacher of teachers.”
The process entails spreading knowl-
edge about project management as well
The need to
adapt to changing
and a world
that is always
—Alexandra Deutsch, Out There Media,
as related subjects, such as business,
management and technology. “
Project management is multidisciplinary
work,” Mr. Kindlé says.
CPOs often make powerful ambassadors for raising the visibility of the organization’s project management culture
to the very top levels of management.
“In some organizations, project
management has not had to weave itself
into the corporate structure,” says Mr.
Vandersluis. “But the existence of a