In my many years of work in the construction industry, and more recently as a professional project manager, I have found that few projects are actually successful.
I have to ask myself, why is this?
We have global institutes dedicated to project management theory and methodologies such as Waterfall, Scrum, Kanban, Scrumban, Lean, Six Sigma, with new methods gaining traction almost daily.
So, given all those highly popularized methodologies, why do so many projects still fail? Shouldn’t project management be structured enough to safeguard against failure? Some project managers would argue that a project is successful if you just focus the Iron Triangle.
What’s the deal with the Iron Triangle you ask?
The Project Management Institute (PMI) is a large proponent of the Iron Triangle- comprises of scope, time, & budget… oh, and sometimes they like to throw quality in the mix. It holds much significance because all three are dependent on each other and any disruption to the holy trinity of the Iron Triangle could affect the quality of the project.
So what’s wrong with the Powerful Iron Triangle of Truth and Justice?
Many project managers can manage projects under the Iron Triangle standard very well; HOWEVER, that’s not the point of project management. The point of project management is to provide VALUE! This doesn’t necessarily mean you can throw out the Iron Triangle, if anything it’s now an Iron Square and the key to a successful project.
Value should be the main focus of all your projects.
Is it good to stay on budget, scope, and schedule? Of course, but all that comes second to creating value; point being, no matter how preciously you manage a project, if the end result does not create value, it will all have been in vein.
Now there are many things that can hinder a project from creating full value for the customer; anything from a breakdown in communication to a supplier not having the correct materials. However, there is one overarching skill, which if not done properly, could mangle a project to no return. It’s called leadership. Ahem… I meant LEADERSHIP!
Researchers discovered that a project manager’s leadership capability had a direct correlation to project outcomes (Hauschildt et al., 2000). Project managers managing projects that are out of their leadership capabilities increase the risk on the project. The higher the risk, the higher the probability the project will fail. That is why large companies spend millions of dollars every year on leadership training! The success of businesses, projects, and project teams relies on the present leadership skills.
Now before you say “I’ve been managing successful construction projects for the last 25 years without …”
Stop. For 2 reasons:
Just because you have been managing construction teams for 2.5 years or 25 years doesn’t mean you have been doing it correctly.
As construction industry professionals, it is critical to have the mindset of continuous self-improvement, no matter the duration of experience. The minute we refuse to stop improving ourselves and those coming behind us, we become obsolete within our industry and others who are improving will surpass us.
Now, if you are the stubborn type and need a little more influencing, watch the documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi. It’s an inspiring story about a 10-seat restaurant in Tokyo, Japan that charges $300 per plate! Why would anyone pay that much for sushi or any meal for that matter you may ask? How does this relate to your construction business? It is currently available on Netflix, Amazon Video, and Hulu. I have also attached a link for the 2 minute trailer Jiro Dreams of Sushi – Trailer. As you watch the documentary, think about what your own career and/or business and how it relates.
The journey to leadership excellence.
We are going to embark on a journey to identify what true leadership is and how to build and improve upon your leadership skills in an effort to increase the success of your projects and your business.
Week by week, you will learn how to transform yourself, your projects, and your business through servant leadership and proper project management techniques. Subscribe to the Buildaga Newsletter or just come back each week to learn how to build the future you have always dreamed of attaining.
It’s time to revolutionize the construction and home remodel industry!
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Thanks for reading,
- Posted by John Cope
- On July 30, 2017
- 0 Comments