IPMA International Project Management Association
13 September 2017 / 7:37

Project management is of strategic value

written by: Mimoun El Ouarti

It is time for us to consider project management as a strategic competence and of a strategic value for organizations. The determining factor in this is the ever increasing rate of change in the world and in the area of ​​organizations. These changes are becoming more and more felt as pressure on organizations to keep pace in those changes and even take a leading role in it. If they do not, they lose their added value. Whether it’s small or large organizations, government, nonprofit or commercial organizations: they all have to deal with it.

The time for profitability only is behind us. Organizations are increasingly expected to take responsibility for society (People) and the environment (Planet) in addition to Profit. The citizens are becoming more and more demanding for their governments and the services they provide. Internet and computer technology enables us to be always online and everywhere. To do our business safely and quickly and to share love and sorrow. The increasing globalization and digitization of the economy leads to increasingly intertwined, blurring of borders and consolidation of economies. These are important phenomena of complex changes in technology, ecology, politics and economics.

In this time of rapid change and consequent increase in complexity and uncertainty, project management offers the right flexibility. Project management is increasingly being used by organizations and is becoming more and more prominent in executive rooms. That’s not surprising, because more than a third of gross national product in Europe is spent on projects. The ‘Projectification of Society’ is under way. To be able to implement the changes permanently successfull, it is vital (and high time) that organizations see project management as their strategic competence. And be damn good in it. If they do not, it will not take long before they are out of business.

Project management has come into being over the last decade to handle checklists and one size fits all templates. The rise of PMOs made a further boost. From the perspective of governance, (and yet) projects were seen as something that had to be controlled, so that confidence and creativity were struck out. This brought about a lot of bureaucracy, which has lost the essence of project management. The rise of project management methods such as Agile, Scrum and Lean fortunately brings project management back to the base. A call to professionals is to re-set the subject and release the imposed controls and lists. A call to decision makers to set up governance focused on opportunities so that trust and flexibility are encouraged. Only then will flexibility be provided to manage complexity and uncertainty about changes. It also stimulates cooperation within organizations and beyond.

Organizations that excel in project management are the winners of tomorrow. They have strategic advantage and perform better. Being able to successfully execute the right projects and programs contributes directly to sustainable success. In addition, it is important not only to carry out projects and programs continuously through flexible and fast delivery, but also to continuously select the right projects and programs that contribute to the success of the organization through flexible strategic alignment. Thus project management can be of strategic value and increase project success.



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Mimoun El Ouarti

Author of this post

Programme manager at I-Interim Rijk, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Kingdom relations of the Royal Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Board member IPMA Netherlands, Member of IPMA CVMB, trainer and assessor.

Currently involved as Programme Manager leading a programme which is aiming to transform the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment into a data driven organisation using innovative data technologies (such as big data, blockchain, etc) to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of policy making, execution and inspections.