PPM - Projects Must Be Consistent With the Firm's Culture and Values
In a previous post, I discussed several things companies can do to help align projects with a firm's goals and strategies. In this article I will address the second item that needs to be completed for PPM to be effective. Projects must:
- Be aligned with the firm's strategy and goals
- Be consistent with the firm's values and culture
- Contribute (directly or indirectly) to a positive cash flow for the enterprise.
- Effectively use the firm's resources-both people and resources
- Not only provide for current contributions to the firm's health but must help to position the firm for future success.
Geographic location, language, religion, race, values, gender, politics, and economic status are just a few of the many things that comprise an organization's culture. Ignoring these cultural differences in project management can be a major detriment to any project, especially in the international work environment that we live in today. Selected projects need to align with the values and culture of the company.
In a paper titled "Diversity, Culture and Technical Project Management", Mostafa Hashem Sherif explains that cultural factors affect project management in many ways, including (1) the scope of the project, (2) the choice of the collaborative technology, (3) the social organization for production and consumption, and (4) the potential evolution of the methodology for project management.
Sherif goes on to talk about some of the cultural values that are often misunderstand, including style of authority, the concept of time, and work practices. While the goal of this post is not to discuss how culture differences can cause misunderstandings, I do want to point out that these differences can have a significant influence on the way a project team works together and should be taken into consideration when selecting projects.
Management needs to select projects that align with the company's values and culture and more importantly the cultural background of the project teams.
Here are some questions to think about when selecting a project:
- Does the company have the resources, people and technology to support the projects it undertakes?
- Will the members of the project team be able to work together or will their differences hinder the project?
- Does the technology being used take into consideration the communication barriers that may exist in the team?
- Does the project team share the same values as the management team?
- Does the project help support the company's mission statement?
- How would the Press respond if they found out about the project? Would their reaction help the company?
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