Today’s Most-Competitive PM Teams: Shining a Light on Next-Gen PM Practices


By Stacy Goff


Colorado, USA


In every generational change, the seeds of success are sown by the pioneers in prior generations. For example, many foundations of the last fifteen year’s popular project management topics, including agile pm, business analysis, strategic alignment, and applied leadership and interpersonal skills in projects, were the competitive advantages of leading companies and agencies of 1985-2000. Further, the recent interest in “PM 2.0” merely showcases the frequent practices of PM innovators of the last 30 years.

The practice of professional project management has now seen four 15-year generations, with different areas of emphasis in each new generation. Given this history, this session provides a series of vignettes that shine the light on past and current-generation elite and competitive practices that are now mainstreaming to form the Next-Gen commonly-accepted practices in project and program management.

Shining a Light: 7 Sample Vignettespmwj38-Sep2015-Goff-IMAGE

A. The Myth of PM Best Practices

B. Reassert Practice Importance

C. Adapt Methods to Project Size

D. PM Role Excellence and Key Processes

E. Overcome Management Complexity

F. The Role of Leadership and Soft Skills

G. Align Projects and Business Strategy

Who is integrating smart and innovative PM practices today? What are the challenges they face in implementing them? What pm performance advantages are they gaining? And, what are professional associations, trainers and consultants doing to help practitioners reap the benefits?

A. The Myth of PM Best Practices

What are the Best Practices in the world of project and program management (PPM)? Are there a few immutable truths that are transferable across nations, organizations, industries, cultures, and project teams? I often see assertions promoting PM Best Practices—despite my belief that the phrase is an oxymoron—that our discipline is not yet mature enough to have universal best practices. This section is a recap of many discussions on best practices over my years as a PM practitioner, and as a consultant.

My opinions about PM Best Practices go back to the early 1980s, when, as a PPM consultant, I frequently encountered executives, line managers, project managers, and other consultants, who expected to hear my handful of easy-to-implement “PM Best Practices.” In that era, I often made recommendations for improved effectiveness and performance, but I called them “Competitive Practices.”

And, I usually sought, uncovered, and identified these practices from within their own organizations. It was clear years ago that one organization’s best practices could be a scourge for others.

Here’s why…


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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 9th annual University of Texas at Dallas Project Management Symposium in Richardson, Texas, USA in August 2015. It is republished here with the permission of the authors and conference organizers.


About the Author


pmwj23-jun2014-Goff-IMAGEStacy Goff


Colorado, USA




Stacy Goff, the PM Per4mance Coach, is President of ProjectExperts®, a Program and Project Management consulting, tools and training company. A Project Management practitioner since 1970 and consultant since 1982, he helps improve Enterprise, Department or Project Team PM Competence, effectiveness and Performance.

In addition to years of service to PMI®, he is also co-founder and 2009-2015 President of asapm®, the American Society for the Advancement of Project Management, and was Vice President of Marketing & Events for IPMA®, the International Project Management Association, 2011-2014.

An insightful consultant and dynamic speaker, Mr. Goff provides program and project consulting, training and coaching services. He presents at major industry conferences, and offers workshops of interest to Executives, Managers, Program and Project Managers and leaders, technical staff, and individual contributors. By 2000, he had exposed over 45,000 people to Project Management. Today, his tools and methods are used by government agencies, Enterprises, consultancies and individuals on six continents. Email: [email protected]

Note: PM Per4mance: A trademark of Goff Associates, Inc., the ProjectExperts. The 4 in Per4mance reflects Personal, Project, Program and Portfolio Management Performance.

Multiple website links are instream in this paper.

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