ANR Newsletter #15
The Guiding Principles of the Project Economy
I hope you are doing well.
After months of hectic activity, it is time to get back talking about the latest trends in the Project Economy.
Sara, a good friend told me recently: “After +20 years working in the credit risk department at an international Bank, which is now being heavily automated, I have been appointed project director of a large compliance project! At first, I was worried. Suddenly what seemed a clear career path disappeared. It was being replaced by a role in a project for the next 12 months… and nothing concrete after. It took me a couple of weeks to get over my concern; now I am truly enjoying it, I learn new things every day, about myself, about others and about the bank.”
Sara’s story is not the only one, more and more people are shifting functional jobs – what has been the norm for the past 60 years – to project-based roles.
Another example that we are witnessing the rise of projects as the main unit of work, as well as the essential model to deliver change and create value for individuals, organizations, and society at large.
Yet, despite this surge in project activities and project spending, the risk of project failure continues to be huge and will continue to increase unless organizations and governments embrace advanced project leadership practices.
Widely used management disciplines are often linked to a few simple frameworks that can be easily understood, and applied, not only by managers but also by the majority of individuals. Porter’s Five Forces is a great example. In contrast, project management methods have tended to be too complex to be easily understood and applied by non-experts.
Under these circumstances, it is not surprising that we saw the rise of agile, triggered by the Agile Manifesto, in February 2001 by 17 independent-minded software practitioners.
I firmly believe that it is time that we co-create the Project Manifesto. My proposal is composed of the 12 guiding principles that you can see below. Appreciate if you can share your thoughts, add or challenge them, and ultimately endorse the Manifesto.
Thanks in advance. Keep well.
The Project Manifesto
We recognize the significant importance of projects for our society and humanity at large, and that there are better ways of implementing projects successfully and helping others to do so. Through this work:
- We acknowledge that governments implement policies through projects and that countries develop and societies evolve through projects; we believe that ideas are made a reality through projects and that, if one-day poverty is eradicated from the earth, it will be through a project.
- We believe projects are the lingua franca of governments, businesses and personal worlds, from the C-suite right through to an individual managing their career and relationships.
- We are uncovering a new vast disruption; due to the new reality of accelerated change, more and more aspects of our lives are driven by projects, and more and more aspects in organizations are becoming projects; projects are thus becoming an essential element in everyone’s professional and personal journeys.
- In a world that is becoming increasingly automated and robotized, we see projects as the most human-centric way of working.
- We believe that organizational agility is achieved through projects, which break through silos, reduce management layers and create high-performing teams.
- We recognize that start-ups and organizations innovate, grow, transform, create long-term value, and achieve their visions and strategic goals through projects; founders, entrepreneurs and CEOs are the ultimate project leaders.
- We consider our lives to be a set of projects; studies have become projects, and careers have become series of projects too.
- Our highest priority is to deliver projects better, to reduce the failure rate, to create more value for individuals and organizations, and to create more sustainable development in our economies and societies at large.
- We see that projects and project implementation have received very little attention and have been ignored by leading business thinkers, management publications and business schools; we believe that in the past years this deficiency is being rectified.
- We recognize project-based education as the best and most enduring learning experience for students and adults.
- We seek recognition of projects and project implementation capabilities as essential for all management and leadership positions; we aspire for it to become part of the curriculums of every school and undergraduate programme; we aim for it to be taught in every business school and MBA programme.
- We declare that projects and project implementation should be recognized as a profession.