Enterprise Project Governance
How to Manage Projects Successfully Across the Organization


The Evolving Nature of Project Management

Introduction to a new series on Enterprise Project Governance by Paul Dinsmore and Luiz Rocha. (1)

David Pells, Managing Editor

PM World Journal

Texas, USA

Can an organization ever achieve full maturity in its ability to consistently deliver successful programs and projects?  Can an enterprise ever achieve perfection, or near perfection, in the planning and management of all of its projects?  These are not theoretical questions?  What CEO does not want to maximize profits (or mission success), while reducing risks and maintaining the approval and support of key stakeholders, especially customers, investors and shareholders?  What C-level executive does not want her or his programs and projects to be completed successfully, ahead of schedule or under budget, by knowledgeable, experienced and capable project managers?  So are real maturity and near-perfection for project-oriented organizations possible?  Absolutely not!  Not without effective governance.

Over the last two decades, we have seen the project management field grow from a set of applications and methods for managing large individual projects to a wide range of knowledge, skills and technologies for managing multiple projects, programs and portfolios of programs and projects.  In his classic 1998 book Winning in Business with Enterprise Project Management, Paul Dinsmore captured the important global trend of the 1990s, the organizing and managing of multiple projects within organizations with more consistent enterprise-wide processes, systems and techniques, in order to increase efficiency and profitability.

Enterprise Project Management, or EPM as it came to be known, gave rise to the Project Management Office (PMO), now globally recognized as a best practice for EPM and project-oriented organizations.  These led in turn to a much greater focus on the investment and return on investment in professional project management education, training, qualifications, systems development and process improvements.  Many organizations failed in their attempts to implement successful EPM and PMOs, but many others succeeded, especially those with strong executive support, customer orientation and global competition.

During the first decade of the Twenty First Century, the role and importance of programs and projects in many organizations, industries and economies increased dramatically.  This has led in turn to first the awareness, then the sometimes painful understanding, that the success of many programs and projects can dictate the success or failure of the entire organization.  The need to align programs and projects with organizational strategies and missions became obvious; the project portfolio management (PPM) approach was born, and rapidly embraced by industry and project management service and technology suppliers.  In the last few years, the subject of organizational project management maturity has risen in visibility and importance, as enterprise-wide efficiency and performance in project-based organizations and industries have clearly been linked to the maturity of people and processes – in the context of international project management standards and best practices.


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(1) This series includes articles by Paul Dinsmore and Luiz Rocha, authors of the book Enterprise Project Governance, published by AMACOM in the USA in 2012.  The articles are extracts and summaries of key topics from their book, providing information and guidance on one of the most important aspects of portfolio, program and project management today – governance.  For information about the book, go to http://www.amacombooks.org/book.cfm?isbn=9780814417461

About the Author

david-pellsflag-usaDAVID PELLS

Managing Editor, PMWJ

David L. Pellsis Managing Editor of the PM World Journal, a global eJournal for program and project management, and Executive Director of the PM World Library. He is also the president and CEO of PM World, the virtual organization behind the journal and library, and of PM World Services, an executive P/PM advisory firm serving several major governmental agencies and programs.  David is an internationally recognized leader in the field of professional project management with more than 35 years of experience on a wide variety of programs and projects, including engineering, construction, defense, energy, transit, high technology, and nuclear security, and project sizes ranging from several thousand to ten billion dollars. He has been an active professional leader in the United States since the 1980s, serving on the board of directors of the Project Management Institute (PMI®) twice.  David was awarded PMI’s Person of the Year award in 1998 and Fellow Award in 1999.He is an Honorary Fellow of the Association for Project Management (APM) in the UK; Project Management Associates (PMA – India); and the Russian Project Management Association SOVNET.  From June 2006 until March 2012, he was the managing editor of the globally acclaimed PM World Today eJournal.  David has published widely, speaks at events worldwide, and can be contacted at[email protected].