Do You Really Know Your Organization’s Culture?

By Lawrence V. Suda

CEO and Managing Partner,

Palatine Group, Inc/Management Worlds, Inc.

New York, USA


The growing use of project management means that projects are no longer confined to the traditional industries where projects are a way of life.  Organizations such as construction, aerospace, software development and others have long used project management and have developed strong project cultures. Today, we find project-based management approaches used in almost every business sector to manage a variety of projects.

It is not surprising that project management has become a popular management approach particularly as there are several potential benefits to be realized by these management methods in today’s fast changing, complex and dynamic business environment. However, few organizations seem to know how to fully adopt the project management approach to achieve value and improve overall performance on all projects.

It is this author’s opinion that properly introducing project management into traditional organizations is not only about developing and implementing standards, methodologies and software, but also about acknowledging and managing the cultural (soft) issues as well. It is about understanding how culture, strategy, and leadership must be aligned with our project management practices.

Failure to gain salient benefits from projects is mostly due to lack of attention to the prevailing culture and the ineffective fit with the organization’s strategy and leadership. This does not imply that not all organizations can, nor should they, adopt practices that worked well in some other organization and expect for it to work well within their core culture. The effects of misalignment can have profound impact upon the way the project manager leads the project and the likelihood of project success.


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Editor’s note:  Second Editions are previously published papers that have continued relevance in today’s project management world, or which were originally published in conference proceedings or in a language other than English.  Original publication acknowledged; authors retain copyright.  This paper was originally presented at the 2008 PMI World Congress North America in Denver, Colorado, USA and included in the congress proceedings.  It is republished here with the author’s permission. 

About the Author

Lawrence V. Suda


Lawrence Suda is the CEO and an Officer at Palatine group/Management Worlds, Inc. with over 30 years project and program management consulting and training experience to numerous government and private sector companies. The Palatine Group/Management Worlds specializes in creating computer-based simulations for project management and leadership training. Larry’s career emphasis is on organization behavior, project management, operations management, strategic management and enterprise-wide project management for leading companies and government agencies throughout the world, including: NASA, US Navy, Departments of Commerce, Treasury, Energy, Health & Human Services , Agriculture, DAU and others and in the private sector to such companies as General Electric, Proctor & Gamble,  ALCOA, URS, Verizon, Boeing, Lockheed/Martin, Hewlett-Packard, Perot Systems, PPG Industries, United States Steel and others. Before founding Palatine Group/Management Worlds, Larry worked in the private and public sectors at the US Environmental Protection Agency and was an Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland. Mr. Suda is a frequent speaker at PMI and IPMA Conferences in the United States and Europe and has led workshops for PMI’s Seminars World in various locations around the World. He is an adjunct professor at Drexel University teaching Global Project Leadership.  He can be contacted at [email protected].