Organization culture and project success

The rate of project success in your organization may be directly linked to the training that your project management resources have to build their skills in handling project challenges.However training is just one of the factors in the organization culture, a number of other factors too contribute in success or failure of big ticket project in your firm.Organizations that adopt project success model should consciously develop a project management culture based on shared cultural values of the organization’s members that support adoption of suitable project management environment.

This is important because culture has a huge impact on across the projects executed in the organization not just one projects. Now let’s see what is meant by “organization culture”. Organization culture, broadly speaking is, “how things get done” in an organization! It may comprise of things such as organization structure, vision, values, openness & risk tolerance, control systems and ethics. It is the total sum of the values, customs, traditions and meanings that make a company unique. Some the key factors can be considered are processes, adherence to process & procedures, role of the stakeholders and organization structure to support it.

Process framework is something that evolves over a period of time and helps significantly in consistently successful delivery of project assignments. It is important that people have a solid understanding of them and follow them. The entire project team is well aware how to create & follow a work plan, and can use standard processes to effectively handle the tripple constraitns of risk, scope change, and issues. At this point is important to know that mere existence of the processes is not enough, it is equally important that people adhere to these procedures. This is something that management has a role to play and ensure that there are mechanisms & controls to have it implemented in letter & spirit.

Organization structures too an extent support or get in the way to projects being successful or deliver poorly. It is less of an problem though as one can change it on case by case basis and wouldn’t take longer to have a suitable org structure in place compared to the company culture that evolves a longer period of time and is more long term factor. Training is another aspect that indicates commitment to development of project management discipline in the organization and help employ the latest PM skill & tools.

Company culture perhaps plays the biggest role in whether an organization is repeatedly successful in executing projects. If organization has difficulty completing projects successfully, you can’t blame the project managers or processes only. They’re only toiling within a culture that’s not adequately supporting the efforts of the project team & management. Stakeholders including the head of the organization, need to step up and evaluate the project culture & accountability for success or failure.

Shyam Verma, PMP, ITIL
Program & portfolio mgnt professional
LinkedIn:spverma. Twitter:Shammy11

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