The philosophy of Project Management is analysed from the perspective of organisational theory. The project as a temporary organisation is viewed as a production of function, as an agency for assigning resources in the management of change within the functional organisation. This leads to a reassessment of the definition of a project. It is suggested that the classical definitions of projects are not wrong, just incomplete.
The role of the Project Manager as Chief Executive Officer of the temporary ‘virtual’ organisation, and thus his/her role in objective setting and motivating team members are emphasised over their role in planning and executing work. Secondly, as manager of the agency, the Project Manger is in fact the agent of the owner (principal), and so a second hierarchy of management and control must be put in place to monitor performance. This highlights the importance of professional recognition for project managers. This is the first layer of texture that can be added to make the transition to the adoption of a ‘virtual’ project management philosophy.
Another layer is sensitising the organisation to the performance-based standards for project management personnel. There must be systems and processes; in other words, organisational learning is a key criterion for a structured and systematic approach to project management.
A third layer, and this can be the basic for excellence in project management, is the establishment of structure, methodologies and project management standards to facilitate the higher-level organisational objectives, and the second tier project objectives.
The paper seeks to set out a framework under which dispersed teams can collaborate in undertaking an assortment of projects governed through a Project Management Office (PMO).
Key words: Project management; virtual teams, project management office.
Cynthia Gloria Hayes, MBA, PMP
Project Management Institute Southern Caribbean Chapter (PMI SCC)
Manager, Project Support & Administration Control
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