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In the field of IT project management and organisational change – including change, process, project, programme and portfolio management – there are many specialists, much guidance and bodies of knowledge, and numerous methodologies and standards.
What is consistent throughout all of these sources of expertise is that they are based on opinion; informed opinion perhaps, but opinion nonetheless. There may be agreement on some aspects of what constitutes good or mature practice, but there is little hard evidence to support that opinion.
The organisational change industry is wide-ranging and comprises professional associations, trade publications, consultancy firms, individual consultants, management practitioners, and commercial and non-commercial organisations that run programmes and projects.
So it is a strange state of affairs that in an industry whose influence affects countless organisations, a comprehensive and authoritative evidence base of what makes a difference to achieving successful outcomes from change projects, programmes and portfolios simply does not exist.
The state of project, programme and portfolio management
This is not to say there has been no valuable research into organisational change. Computer Weekly made a significant contribution by sponsoring seminal research into the State of IT Project Management in the UK in 2003 and 2011. These studies revealed some startling findings and are consequently still referenced today.
Most research, however, is based on non-disclosed research methods, limited to a propriety company’s client list, and North American in its research sample.
Read more research into the state of IT project management in the UK
- At a time of financial cutbacks, the cost of abandoning a project is difficult to ignore. It means a complete write-off of the project budget, and often there is reputational damage.
- IT projects are taking longer than planned and are running further over-budget, but are delivering better value to the business, study reveals.
- IT project teams’ ability to share knowledge and experience with each other and the rest of the business is critical if IT projects are to add value to the bottom line, according to a research project.
So let’s change this. In collaboration with Computer Weekly and Project Manager Today, Onemind Management is embarking on a research study into the state of project, programme and portfolio management. We want to create an evidence base of data to identify those practices that make a substantial contribution to successful organisational change.
We intend that the evidence collected creates a sufficiently large sample size, crosses industries, countries and cultures, and uses a rich dataset. We will make the findings public.
How you can help to identify best management practice
Readers of Computer Weekly are invited to complete our Project 360 survey of their project, programme or portfolio, and in return will receive a free, confidential report containing valuable analysis of each initiative surveyed. This is an excellent opportunity to only gain a free assessment of one or more initiatives, and also to contribute to the hard evidence of what is best management practice.
The online survey system has been used as a diagnostic tool for large public and private sector organisations, and is capable of delivering real and valuable insight into your initiative, including predicting its likely success or failure.
To take part, simply go to the survey site and follow the instructions.
Steve Clarke specialises in portfolio, programme, project and change management; management maturity; process redesign; and leadership and personal effectiveness coaching. He has more than 30 years’ experience in defining, running and evaluating programmes and projects.