Prevail with a Project Mindset

Prevail with a Project Mindset



The diffusion of project management across all sectors of society is a megatrend that is forcing organizations to adapt in order to remain competitive, stay relevant and continue to deliver value.

Organisations, now more than ever, have to embrace a Project Mindset to re-think how they accomplish work and how they form teams to tackle this work.

“Projects”, as Harvard Professor Michael Porter says, are “how we get things done - how we manage change.” They are also the vehicle for the delivery of strategy execution.

A project is a temporary endeavour requiring the formation, deployment and re-assignment of a team of individuals. These individuals are probably simultaneously engaged in other projects as well as performing their normal functional/business as usual work.


Projects Everywhere

The rate and pace of change is growing inexorably, resulting in more and more projects to be undertaken.

More projects lead to more project team formations, typically structured in a weak matrix environment where the project manager has responsibility for delivery of the project but no authority over the team members.

One segment of these projects is the group that underpins the delivery of the strategy that has been defined.

However, organisations are struggling to connect their ideas and strategies with their actual capability to deliver on them and wasting valuable resources as a result.


The Project Mindset

When organizations start to re-structure around the Project Mindset, they have much more flexibility in terms of how they hire, how they train, how they assign, how they schedule, how they understand and retain the workforce.

It’s essential to have people with the skills across the value delivery landscape – the full spectrum of capabilities that enable project leaders to turn the organisation’s ideas into reality. There are technical terms to describe these capabilities: waterfall, agile, hybrid, lean and others.


Projects = Practice + Perspective + People

As projectification continues to evolve, the IPMA’s Eye of Competence becomes even more important. The Eye of Competence, developed by IPMA and launched in 2005 describes the combination of Practice, People, and Perspective (strategic) competences required for project leaders to be successful.

Organisations that train project leaders around the Eye of Competence give their talent base a comprehensive set of skills, which gives organisations a lot more flexibility with their most important asset: people.


A new breed of Leader

From a training perspective, there will always be a need for a project leader, for somebody who can lead a group of people, who can manage a project, plan a schedule, and maintain a budget.

The traditional project management skills are essential and should not be under-rated. They are part of the differentiation between project and general management.

The other skills – those commonly referred to as People/ soft skills are just as critical - leading a team, influencing people, negotiating or resolving conflict.


The skills you need to deliver strategy

It’s also essential that people understand how their work and their team’s work is connected to the strategy of the organisation. Embracing a Project Mindset will enable them to structure around the projects that deliver the strategy and the most value to their customers. When they can connect their strategies to the capabilities they need to deliver those strategies they will, in turn, be more successful and waste less money.


If you enjoyed this piece, please see our Blog section where we have written over 200 articles on project management.

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