If you are a student of the Cadence Project Management methodology, you know that a core goal is to help our attendees learn and apply techniques, concepts, and approaches for accomplishing projects with less frustration. There are some important implications carried within that goal.

First, project management is a process. There is no one best implementation structure, and as such, it must be flexible and adaptable to the organization it serves. There is no way to completely eliminate frustration on projects. Instead, we strive to make the project process more efficient, and the results more powerful and satisfying to achieve.

Second, project management must be subject to continuous improvement. It is equally important to measure the results of your successes in terms of projects completed, as it is to measure the project practices implemented along the way. There is no particular end in sight when it comes to project process improvement, rather continued opportunity to tune, and fine tune your project management initiatives.

Being a part of a project-driven organization will offer you greater opportunity — and satisfaction in your work — if you are prepared. Here are three major milestones organizations typically pass through as project management gains support.

  1. Increased access to project resources: A maturing organization understands the impact of savvy project managers in delivering project results. Your teams will be made of experts across functional areas and you will have dotted-line authority over them. The days of fighting political battles to achieve your ends are not gone, but your new structure offers vistas for marshalling support for your project and delivering results more quickly.
  2. Collocation: Success managing resources that are not your own can lead to increased project team responsibility. Collocation means you have moved one step closer to a project office of your own, and your functional project representatives have physically relocated to your project area. Your access to team members has just changed dramatically, as well as their level of participation: team members willing to relocate to a project area tend to have greater buy-in and drive to make their contribution a powerful one.
  3. Project Manager as Functional Manager: When the dotted lines are replaced with solid lines, you’ll know your organization is nearing full support of the project office. You have your project staff, representing functional skill areas, and all of the additional responsibility that comes with it. With this increased resource load comes increased demand; you will have to manage staffing and performance initiatives formerly handled by functional area management.

At each developmental stage, your organization places more responsibility on you as a project manager, and on the project management office. With a fully-staffed project office and many critical projects under management, you will need the right mix of experience and discipline to deliver project results.