Enterprise approach to project delivery IRMS

Project management isn’t a new business idea. Reflecting on my African heritage, many pre-colonial village communities were ridden with huge challenges and it was only by careful planning and strong leadership that those challenges were overcome. Whenever they faced enemy invasion, a tribal plan (mini-project) was enacted by the community ruler (the project sponsor), which was subject to time constraints and resource implications (both human and material).

A lead warrior (project manager) would be employed by the community leader to organise, plan, control and implement the battle strategy. The project was given a title (a cause to rally round) and the lead warrior would have a clear idea of why action was necessary, what the community would like to achieve, how to approach it and when they needed to act.

The consequences of not meeting these objectives would have been clear to the community leader and his people, as well as the invaders hoping to take advantage of their weaknesses, which is why the role of the project manager is synonymous with managing uncertainties (risks).

Projects are naturally risky, and doing nothing is not an option. The successful project manager will therefore be the one who manages risk effectively. Threats must be minimised and opportunities maximised, while maintaining a clear focus on the project goals.

Managing projects is not just about managing tasks and time. It’s also about managing people (suppliers, stakeholders and co-workers) with different skills and perceptions, from various departments, brought together to forge a team that will do something unusual or even exceptional.

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