Andy Murray, Outperform Director explained that austerity refers to a government policy that reduces spending and deficits and reduces the number of public services and benefits.
Murray spoke at The Austerity Debate in the City to discuss how the current economic climate affects project management. All departments of government, including infrastructure, development, welfare projects and suppliers to government, are affected. He said that the shakedown of austerity terms had meant that there was less project management work for most people.
Facing a crisis
Trevor Band, from Team Animation, was one of the speakers. He stated, “I think that we’re facing quite the crisis.” Poor performance is causing $3trillion in annual losses. Stakeholders are becoming increasingly unacceptable of project failures.
Band also pointed out that when trying to reduce waste, organisations often start with the method. For project management, you may need to add documents and certification programs. Companies should start with their strategy. He said, “Start from the top.” “For so long, the focus was on programme managers, project mangers, methodologies, and tools. We train goldfish and then put them back in the same bowl. This means that you cannot give project managers training and then expect them to do something different in an environment that isn’t their own.
Connect projects to strategy
Band suggested that you move up a level and link the methodology to the strategy or organisational culture. Organisational leadership should be your main focus. This means that you need to ensure consistency in decision-making, from the top. He stated that managers at all levels should strive to create an environment that allows programs and projects to succeed.
All projects should be tied to values, strategy, or decisions. In a decision-driven environment, project management can help you save money. He stated that every project failure is a failure of governance, and that every failure of governance is a failure of top management.