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Does the organization play together? (Part 1 of 5 – The Concept)

BY:  Collin Quiring

I sometimes feel like George Costanza on Seinfeld when he talks about Worlds Colliding!  For most organizations, no single area can work in isolation.  Everything affects everything.  But, some organizations become so large or so silo-ed that they either don’t know or don’t care what other parts of the organization are doing and how that affects them or how what they are doing affects others.  Whenever a change in process or technology affects parts of the whole organization we tend to hear about why that change will not work in a specific department or division of the organization.

A couple of us at PMP Specialists have just gone through the arduous (but beneficial) process to obtain our OPM3 certifications.  This is the certification for Organizational Project Management Maturity Model from PMI (Project Management Institute) to assist organizations with OPM (Organizational Project Management).  OPM3 is designed to help organizations evaluate their correlation between organizational capabilities in Projects, Programs and Portfolio (PPP) management and its effectiveness in implementing strategy.  Or, a bit more succinctly, it is the systematic management of PPP in alignment with achievement of strategic goals.

OPM and OPM3 deal with Projects, Programs and Portfolio and if you are getting involved with these then you have the strong potential of touching “everything” in an organization.  A Portfolio is the work being done that helps an organization meet their objectives – and, that means that many departments/divisions/units of an organization are affected by a Portfolio decision.

Let’s make a silly example.  Let’s say your organization has three separate buildings spread out over the metro area of a city.  Then, your organization decides to build a new building to consolidate the three locations into one.  The Building and Maintenance department gets together plans for construction and starts building the new building.  BUT, we would all laugh at them if they didn’t take the time to determine what the departments need in the new building.  The Building and Maintenance department can NOT act alone in the construction of the new building – they HAVE TO talk to various departments about what they have now, what they would like to have in the future and what they can affordably get in the new building.  They also need to talk to some departments that provide services to the other departments – like the Information Technology Department and what they need for space requirements for themselves AND what they need to be able to set up the other department’s computers.  And on and on this goes – but we EXPECT the Building and Maintenance department to think about the other entities in the organization and not to act alone in their construction project!

To think about for part two:

Why is it so often that one department of an organization thinks that what they are doing doesn’t affect other departments?  Why don’t we EXPECT each department to NOT act alone?



2 Responses to “ Does the organization play together? (Part 1 of 5 – The Concept) ”

  1. ssgadams says:

    A great question, why does a department not involve others in planning their projects. So often it seems that department directors feel that their plans will not be realized if others are engaged! When the project could be improved and a possible cost savings to the project could be appreciated for the organization.

    Often times teams in other department don’t play or engage and cannot see the over all larger picture. Collin has hit the nail with his example, a loss of monies and functionally can be missed when we don’t collaborate.

  2. […] part one, (click here) we explained how OPM (Organizational Project Management) and OPM3 (Organizational Project […]


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