Feb 19, 2009

More on PM and the Times We Live In

Posted by Jeannette Cabanis-Brewin in Culture & Change Management, Portfolio Management, Project Management Office (PMO), Strategy Execution | 0 Comments

Just after I made my last post, several things came across my desk that said: Nope, you aren't crazy after all. First, my colleague Matt Crawford sent me this link to coverage of the role of PMOs in the downturn. According to the CIO of the Baylor Health Care System,

"Anytime you add what might appear to be a process, you always get a little bit of pushback," [Muntz] said. "But the benefits are huge - how we justify our employees, managing our resources, asking for more resources and how we spend our time ... "

Clicking through on the link to information about "staff resources" in the article leads to another piece highlighting how the CIO of Roseville, CA used project portfolio management to lop a cool $680,000 off his $10 million budget. The key point that I draw from both these articles, as well as from our own recent research on PMOs and Resource Management, is that the PMO is a powerful nexus of people and processes; companies that use this organizational structure wisely can invest wisely, cut costs wisely, preserve valuable resources wisely ... and avoid the worst dislocations of recession.

Then, a new survey of CEOs around the globe by pricewaterhouse showed that, surprisingly, the top honchos share my unreasonable optimism. I was especially cheered by the way they organized their research findings into four key themes - not the themes you generally associate with global CEOs, either. Short-term profits are absent from the list, as is draconian cost-cutting and planetary slash-and-burn. Instead, PWC says, what these business leaders see developing (and necessary) as we move forward are:

  • Durability - measuring success in decades, not quarters
  • Collaboration - rethinking assumptions about the relationships between the private sector, governments, customers and employees
  • Balance - Meeting present challenges, redefining future success
  • Connectedness - Recognizing the financial meltdown is a downside of globalization; rethinking priorities in a world united by crisis.

And, it's not only the global CEOs that are upbeat. A friend of my husband's works at a popular local restaurant, which did record business on Valentine's Day, in defiance of all expectations. On Monday, he remarked that people should stop reading the news, because all it was doing was instilling a false sense of dread. James Suroweicki said the same thing a few weeks ago in the New Yorker - check out his blog and columns in our blogroll.



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