PPM Needs the Project-Centric Approach

We received interesting comments from Philip McGuin of Atlantic Global in response to our recent series from David Hofferberth about the Project-Centric Approach.

We enjoy the debate. McGuin says Project Portfolio Management (PPM) empowers the business, but he assumes that project-centric approach is old news. Hofferberth says that taking a project-centric approach is a key stepping stone to successful PPM, and that it has not been adopted as much as we may think.

PPM and a project-centric view of the business go hand–in-hand. Unless a project centric approach is adopted, standardized and perfected, then projects will most likely fail—we have all seen the research and statistics on the percentage of projects that fail or go over budget. Granted, some projects fail because they might not have been the right projects in the first place, but more often than not, execution and management of resources are the problems.

If standardizing project management techniques and methodology is unsuccessful, then moving up to the next level of managing portfolios of projects could mean that organizations are getting ahead of themselves, and not getting to the root of the problem.

There are several associations and communities in the project management arena that continue to educate and introduce new methodologies, standards, and best practices. These groups continue to grow. Clearly, a lot of people are still working hard to perfect project management—and therefore the project-centric approach. And they must reach a certain level of maturity in the adoption of a project-centric approach before they can even entertain PPM.

PPM is a great goal for the more mature project-centric organizations, where empowerment is at the level of the business (top-down), but the first step in empowering the “top” is making sure the right approach is adopted at the bottom— in the trenches, at the foundation. Empowering the project-driven workforce with the tools, methods and best practices is paramount for executing projects successfully and for providing the “top” with the information needed to make better decisions faster.

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