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15 May 2007

What we don’t know about project success

Dr. Peter W.G. Morris argues that the problem with the project management industry is that it's too focused on the tools and techniques of the trade rather than on how projects can improve business success.

He argues that research in the PM industry should be directed towards measures of success, or the processes of defining success for each project. That way the business schools will take more notice of project management in the education and training of business people.

In particular Morris highlights the following:

  • Ensuring that the project’s requirements and objectives are clearly elaborated
  • Defining the relation of the project to the sponsor’s business objectives
  • Developing the project’s strategy
  • Managing the evolution of the proposed technical solutions to the project requirements.

These are all strategic issues for a project. Are project managers guilty of too much micro management? Is there an opportunity or a need for project managers to lift their view from the details?

Potentially this is where the BA becomes a critical part of the project team. the BA is focusing on the detailed design issues, and managing work to milestone deadlines while the PM focuses on the big picture and stakeholder management.

Read the whole of Morris' article here.