The Evolution of Business
Social contracts—the rules and norms that govern communities of men and women—evolve with their creators. The last 50 years witnessed the evolution of concepts of business around the world, leading to what some have called the “project” revolution: a surge in the prevalence of “projectized” over orthodox forms of business.
What is project management
Originally an invention of the engineering sector, project management describes a way of re-conceptualizing and organizing work by projects: unique business undertakings with a specified goal and end date. A project can involve three or four people from a small organization or it can involve 300 employees from two multinational companies working together towards the same outcome. In any scenario, a common benefit of projects is that it is their nature to anticipate problems and challenges in the planning phase, increasing the probability of a satisfactory outcome, and decreasing the chances of rework, budget overruns, and schedule delays. Project risks, costs, and timeline are all planned in advance based on previous work and the accumulated knowledge of project managers, who are dedicated to the overall vision and aim of the project.
What are the benefits of projectized work?
A project is divided into five phases: initiation, planning, execution, monitoring and controlling, and closing. To achieve the highest quality result within planned time and cost parameters, a good project manager recognizes the value of planning, and ensures his or her team understand and agree with the plan before execution begins. Above all, all parties involved in a project must have a clear understanding of the project scope. In other words, they need to be aware of what the project involves, and what it does not involve.
Project management begins in part with the identification of the requirements of the primary project owners (know as, Key Project Stakeholders). This is when the project owner relays to the project manager what the expected outcome is, and how it ties in to the overall aims of the company or companies involved. A project manager is responsible for and accountable to these requirements and derives his or hers authority not only from technical knowledge but also leadership and organizational competencies.
Project Management applied
Project management has made possible entire industries such as consulting, which is almost entirely projectized. Or even the technology sector in Europe and North America, the companies in which almost exclusively use Agile, a form of project management. Spotify is a main such example, having created and launched courses to teach its unique interpretation and practice of Agile. Have a look at their video tutorial!
We at Green Flamingo find inspiration in the ‘projects’ movement. We find organizing work this way helps us to channel our imagination, and to work effectively side by side, making our varying competencies complimentary, and our work together educational and rewarding. Our projects are organized, our jurisdictions defined, and our tasks clear. Our team uses Zoho Projects, a work management tool that allows clear identification of work packages and tasks and allows team members to have an overview of the project as a whole while completing their tasks. Additionally, this tool allows the task sharing between the team, allowing simultaneous contribution.
For more information about project management, and what it can do for your business, consider exploring the website of the PMI (Project Management Institution), and learn how you can become a certified project manager!
This global institution aims to connect project managers and provide them with guidance related to managing the following aspects of “projectized” work:
- Cost Communication
In Green Flamingo, we created a work environment founded on project management practices and the ownership company culture.
Like birds in migration, the employees of a good business must share an intuition of the overall goal of their work. Such a sense of purpose is often what people try to capture with the term, “ownership culture:” the goal of endowing employees with the desire of ‘belonging’ to the firm. This could be built by practicing clear and frequent communication, by supporting entrepreneurial thinking, by affording employees discretion and trust, and through well-designed hiring processes ensuring employees share the ideals of the business. A well crafted ownership culture is the ideal way to overcome the “Principle-Agent” problem, first elaborated in the 1970s from the combined disciplines of economics and institutional theory to describe the lack of alignment between what the business wants (to extract as much work for as little pay) and what the employee wants (to maximize the amount of pay for as little work). Companies that build a strong culture of ownership among their workers in a sense realign the utility equation of their employees, motivating work through more than just money! Worker motivation becomes a function of self-esteem and pleasure, which are, in the minds of Green Flamingo, key drivers of quality work.