Like any other endeavour, a project outcome is also deeply impacted by the environment in which it is executed. Therefore, one has to keep the project environment in mind while designing, strategizing, planning, and making any decisions about the project. Many such factors, either directly or indirectly, become risks, issues, and constraints of a project. Some of the prominent examples of these factors are organizational culture, the organization’s structure, processes, marketplace conditions, regulatory and quality standards related to the business, national, regional and global political climate, availability of skilled human resources in the organization and in the market, and the organization’s policies related to customers, people, projects, and project management.
Sun Tzu also discussed the environments in which the general operates and stated that it has a direct impact on the victory in war. Lets see some of the examples from Project Management Battlefield about enterprise environmental factors.
Sun Tzu says that ”The Moral Law causes the people to be in complete accord with their ruler so that they will follow him regardless of their lives, undismayed by any danger“.
Project manager hears, “The organizations tend to develop cultures unique to them and manifest in numerous ways, such as shared vision, values, norms, beliefs and expectations, policies, methods and procedures, relationships with authority, and work ethics. It is this that ensure that the project team follows authority and works toward the vision“.
Sun Tzu says that ”In war, the general receives his commands from the sovereign, collects his army, and concentrates his forces“.
Project manager hears, “The project manager is appointed by the project sponsor and receives instructions from the sponsor. Based on the organization structure, (functional, matrix, or projected), he has varying degrees of authority and control over the team“.
Sun Tzu says that ”he control of a large force is the same principle as the control of a few men: it is merely a question of dividing up their numbers“.
Project manager hears, “Organizational structure is an influencing factor in how projects are run. Projects of all sizes and magnitudes can be managed with ease provided smaller teams are created’“.
Sun Tzu says that ”Fighting with a large army under your command is no wise different from fighting with a small one: it is merely a question of instituting signs and signals“.
Project manager hears, “The project manager must understand the organizational structures and choose the appropriate method of managing the team. Different structures require that you approach them differently and institute different processes and procedures to govern the project. Projects of all sizes and magnitudes can be managed with ease provided appropriate processes, tools and communication mechanisms are deployed“.