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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Wow Projects Revisited

As many of you may know from my previous blog entries I really like Tom Peters. Tom has so much energy and passion, and additionally, he has some great ideas regarding reinventing work. In my opinion, his ideas around Project Management are revolutionary, bleeding-edge, and way out in front of what is considered the "norm". Recently while reviewing his website I found myself reading about what Tom calls "WOW! Projects". If you have a moment, take the time to read what Tom has to say about WOW! Projects.

To reflect a bit, as I look back over my career I do not think I have ever worked on a WOW! Project, and in hindsight that is a disappointment.  As a Project Manager, I struggle every day trying to manage my projects to a "successful" conclusion.  Over the course of my career how a project's success is measured has many times been a moving target.  Stakeholders and the project sponsor change their minds in the middle of the project regarding what they want and the ensuing scope changes cause the project success measurement bar to move.

While the project manager is responsible for project success, the project sponsor can influence project success when they allow stakeholders to have more influence over the scope of the project than the project manager does.  While this does not happen on every one of my projects, a lesson to be learned is that I must be vigilant regarding stakeholder management.

In my opinion WOW! Projects require a strong executive sponsor and a well-oiled projectized organization (in addition to many other things) that is not opposed to taking risks. In addition WOW! Project stakeholders must be committed to supporting the following goals of a WOW! Project.

WOW! Project's Goals are:

An enhanced "customer experience" (internal and external)

Dramatically increased sales

Sharply reduced costs

Improved operating margins

Accelerated leadership and talent development

Innovative solutions to wide-ranging issues

Improved employee morale and job satisfaction

Accelerated post-merger integration

Enhanced stakeholder and community involvement

Cultural transformation

Your thoughts?

Check out Tom Peter's latest book.  You won't be disappointed!

1 comment:

* said...

It is difficult to do anything in an organization of any size. Without a strong permeating culture driven by strong senior management, WOW! projects seldom happen. Strong senior management is virtually extinct. How many managers are strong enough to embrace risk or accept failure? Can you really have WOW! projects without failures - of course not! We have an abundance of management, but a dearth of strong senior managers who are able to withstand the pressure-cooker of chaos, failure, and uncertainty needed to incubate WOW! projects. Harry Truman should have produced more children.