The 'Executive Board' website has a list of 10 guiding principles for project management.
Over the next couple of months I plan to comment on them. The first is below.
Business value: The goal of all project work is to deliver business value.
How does a company move from project lip-service to project commitment? In my base expertise area of construction, its pretty easy: a new retail centre is tangible. More difficult in a business project where the result might be changed processes, a different perspective on the business environment, the approach to planning, product development, market engagement, etc.
But even where a company touches the construction industry, if it is a rare experience, the business must be self-aware about the project it embarks on.
How would it do this?
It needs to provide a project governance structure that connects the project to executive information and decision making systems (you do have those, don’t you?).
The investment-value equation has to be managed carefully, to get the business results from the project, and that will enable the decision to abort a project that has become a ‘good money after bad’ experience.
Interfaces with other parts of the business have to be managed to support the project on the one hand, and sustain and develop the ‘business as usual’ commitments on the other.