Destroy those organizational silos with project management!
If there’s a common enough phenomenon in organizations whether small or large are that they are often times bogged down by and paralyzed by an in ability to break through organizational silos. This is all to common for the frustrated project manager trying to get things done in a siloed functional and/or matrixed organization. It’s freaking hard enough to get things done by people within a functional area let alone across them by a poor project manager whom no one directly reports too.
On the other hand, that may be the ONLY way to break across organizational silos is with project management. Interestingly enough, I have an actual client whom I’m consulting for that want to use projects and specifically the tools, techniques and practices of project management to “cut across departmental silos.” But in his (company and executive leader to remain anonymous) words, “I need kick-ass project managers who can knock down those silos and get all these important projects done!”
Forget trying to setup a traditional PMO which runs into the inevitable risk of only adding more bureaucracy to an already bureaucratic and siloed organization to begin with. Maybe something more radical is needed like assessing and training some people in a company who show the most promise of being kick-ass project managers on the best practices and closely evaluating how they perform on projects especially those that cut across departmental verticals. These PMs will be like Ninjas who get in there and covertly start acting as change agents to foster real change and business excellence that cuts across all business functions and compartmentalized departmental silos.
I’m being facetious here, but not entirely. I’m a very strong advocate that your ability to manage projects is based upon sound knowledge of and deep understanding of best practices and how to apply that to a given project within a given situation and deliver that project regardless of what kind of project it is and what specific functional area it be handed over to. The world class project managers can deliver this consistently and across all organizational silos and barriers.
Its a matter of identifying who these individuals are and creating the organizational conditions for executing excellence… In my future posts I’ll get into the how of creating this organizational conditions.