1st Edition

Project Leadership Creating Value with an Adaptive Project Organization

By Barry L. Cross, M. Kathryn Brohman Copyright 2015
    224 Pages 43 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    Look around your organization: can you identify who owns project management? Would that person appreciate that they own responsibility for your projects? Project Leadership: Creating Value with an Adaptive Project Organization highlights the importance of these questions—underlining the importance not only of the project team but on the culture of executive leadership to the success of projects. It offers straight-forward takeaways and solutions to provide executives with the tools to implement an effective project environment.

    The book begins with a discussion of the project environment and what it means for a project to succeed or fail in today’s world. It introduces the Adaptive Project Management Model followed by a review of the systems and tools that give firms increasing ability to maintain priority on strategic projects and manage their associated uncertainty. Working through the book, you can progressively apply tactics from each chapter to increase your project leadership capability and improve your process so that your projects adapt as required depending on the nature of the portfolio itself.

    Ask yourself this—what is my customer buying? What do they really want? The one element that all organizations have in common is that customers are buying execution, and not much else. Therefore, ultimately, this book is about execution—getting things done and making things happen. It details methods and tactics that help you execute projects more effectively and give your organization the edge in the current, fast-paced marketplace.

    The Project Environment
    Cooking with Campbell’s: DuPont Goes Downstream in the Le Menu Dinner

    Why Projects Fail
    The England–France
    Channel Tunnel (Chunnel) Project
    Why Projects Fail
    The Case for Project Leadership
    The Adaptive Project Leadership Model
    Why Project Leadership Is Important: Redux
    Assessing the Need for Project Leadership
    The 92nd Grey Cup (2004): A Case in Project Leadership

    Project Oversight and Visibility
    Leadership through the Intersection Points
    Leadership through Effective Oversight and Visibility
    Oversight and Visibility at Access Copyright

    The Paradox of Project Control
    The Need for Control
    The Project Leadership Gap and the Paradox of Control
    Establishing Effective Project Control
    Institutionalization: Moving from Leadership to Organizational Control
    Four Systems of Organizational Control
    Effective Decision Control
    Managing the Paradox: IT Project Delivery in the Canadian Government

    Risk and Crisis Management
    The Steps in Risk Management
    Crisis Management

    Project Timing and Acceleration
    Barriers to Effective Project Estimates
    Increasing Estimate Accuracy
    Project Acceleration

    Strategy, Execution, and the Operating Plan
    Project Visibility and Reinforcing Strategy: The Operating Plan

    Building an Adaptive Project Organization
    What Is an Adaptive Organization?
    Moving from Order to Adaptive
    The Anatomy of an Adaptive Project Organization
    Building an Adaptive Project Organization at Bright Star

    Appendix A: Project Leadership Organizational Self-Assessment
    Project Leadership Assessment
    Analyzing Your Results
    Appendix B: Failure Mode and Effects Analysis


    Barry Cross’ career spans over 25 years of industry, teaching and consulting experience. He joined Queen’s University in 2006 after spending 18 years in various Executive and Management positions with Magna International, Autosystems Manufacturing and DuPont. While in Industry, Mr. Cross led many key strategic initiatives, including the development of significant projects in Asia, Brazil, Mexico, and Europe.

    Mr. Cross now teaches at Queen’s School of Business at the Undergraduate and Graduate levels in Operations Management, Service Management, and Project Management. At the Executive level, he speaks regularly on Lean, Innovation, Execution, Operations and Project Management. His speaking and consulting clients include Deloitte, Samsung, Encana and others.

    He has an MBA from Queen’s University and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Waterloo. He has published numerous articles and is quoted widely in radio, television and the written media. He is the bestselling author of Lean Innovation: Understanding What’s Next in Today’s Economy (Taylor and Francis, 2012).

    Kathryn Brohman’s career started as a marketing manager with Sun Microsystems of Canada. She went on to pursue her Ph.D. in information systems at the Richard Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario where she spent four years working with systems development teams both at the university as well as with organizations including Sun Microsystems, Oracle Corporation, and the Bank of Montreal.

    Dr. Brohman is now an Associate professor at Queen’s School of Business. Her leading edge research focuses on enabling business strategy with technology with a specific focus on project governance and control and IT-enabled resilient organizational design. She has published her work in premier journals including the Decision Sciences, Harvard Business Review, MIS Quarterly Executive, and Communications of the ACM.

    Kathryn’s primary teaching interests are strategy execution, project leadership, project management and IT-enabled service innovation. She regularly collaborates with organizations by providing assessment and coaching to improve organizational project management and leadership capabilities.

    She has worked with a number of organizations on PMO design and enabling other formal mechanisms adaptive project control including Cargill, Empire Financial, Butterball Farms Inc., Access Copyright, and Queen’s University.

    "Barry and Kathryn, through their knowledge and experience offer a very effective and practical way to understand and manage a culture of project management. As one of their former students and a senior executive with a wide experience in project management in the federal government, I can confirm with certainty that numerous best practices presented in this book will help organizations optimize organizational capabilities that will help projects meet strategic objectives."
    —Stephane Cousineau, Deputy Director and Chief Information Officer, FINTRAC, Government of Canada

    "This book offers a balance of logical and persuasive content with experience and observations of real life examples of effective project leadership. The authors describe a number of projects they participated in. The result is a book that is not only very insightful but also an interesting read."
    —Jim McSheffrey, Vice President, Greater China Area and President, 3M China.

    "I highly recommend this book for all leaders involved in project strategy and delivery. Throughout this book, Professor Brohman and Professor Cross have offered exceptional insight into real-world project delivery complexities that organizations often face. Effective project leadership is the key ingredient behind successful project launches and the authors have provided an invaluable framework that will enable leaders to be more effective."
    —Farshad Kajouii, Director, Project Delivery, Bell Canada.