How many times can you think of when a project was delivered on time and under budget but did not meet the needs of your organization? Most of us have been a part of a project – or even led a project – that had a precise schedule and budget but lacked a true grasp of the ideal project success criteria.
Over the past few years project managers (PMs) have gotten a bad reputation because of the lack of value projects they are providing for strategic initiatives. Companies ask PMs to track tasks, monitor schedules, document project risks, and provide status reports. Yet if they don’t truly understand the problem that needs solving, they won’t be able to get the information and tools that they need to deliver true success.
So instead of the traditional ‘check the box’ project management role, companies are creating delivery leadership roles. The leaders sit at the table with clients and work to understand the issues before executing the project. They ask the tough questions and get to the root cause of the problem before jumping to solutions too quickly. Besides executing the project, delivery leaders look for opportunities to improve processes, compare the solution to industry best practices, and plan for change management throughout the project. The delivery leadership team partners with clients to truly understand their business, customers, and pain points and then design a solution to address the needs of all three. Without high adoption and satisfaction rates a project will most likely not meet success criteria or provide a return on investment (ROI). Delivery leaders do not consider a project complete until the solution addresses these needs.
The shift from traditional project management to delivery leadership is a cultural change, even in a consulting buyer scenario. Organizations can be great at developing progressive strategies and have a good project management methodology. Yet unless the PMs understand the strategic goals and get the required support from senior leadership to align their projects to achieve the desired business outcomes, organizations will continue to fall short of achieving their desired strategic objectives.
As your organization continues to evolve, so should your project executers. Do more than just check the box. Be a delivery leader.
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