What is one of the main reasons projects fail in many Fortune 500 companies?
It’s due to something that’s not so obvious, and not just to those that certified PM types consider not to be “professional” project managers!
The problem is that projects and processes are often innocently confused with big impacts.
So, let’s clear things up once and for all.
What a Project is Not …
A project is not the same as a process.
- Predefined steps.
- Used to perform specific functions.
An example that comes to mind is L&D expense reimbursement approvals.
This isn’t a “one-off” activity.
Every time a particular function is performed, a process determines the way it’s going to be performed.
When it comes to processes, they’re (often) system-driven while the next steps for projects are defined by people (often Subject Matter Experts/SMEs).
Often, this arises from the need for flexibility and the ad-hoc nature of many projects.
And finally …
- Projects normally have a clear start and end date (even in the case of projects using an agile iterative approach).
- The project creates and delivers something or some things new.
- Some constraints apply to the project.
- It’s not by any definition business as usual (“BAU”)..
Understanding this distinction will solve many of the problems with your projects of any size or complexity in any department or function.
I guarantee it!