Project Leadership

Creating Value with an Adaptive Project Organization

Barry L. Cross, M. Kathryn Brohman

Publisher: CRC, 2015, 207 pages

ISBN: 978-1-4822-1630-1

Keywords: Project Management, Program Management

Last modified: Jan. 8, 2024, 9:44 a.m.

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.

  1. The Project Environment
    • Cooking with Campbell's: DuPont Goes Downstream in the Le Menu Dinner
  2. Why Projects Fail
    • The England –France Channel Tunnel (Chunnel) Project
    • Why Projects Fail
  3. The Case for Project Leadership
    • The Adaptive Project Leadership Model
      • Responsive Leadership
      • Responsible Leadership
      • Systematic Leadership
      • Adaptive Project Leadership
    • Why Project Leadership Is Important: Redux
    • Assessing the Need for Project Leadership
      • Symptom 1: Unclear Ownership for Project Delivery
      • Symptom 2: A Lack of Project Leadership Competence
      • Symptom 3: Incomplete Goal Definition
    • The 92nd Grey Cup (2004): A Case in Project Leadership
  4. Project Oversight and Visibility
    • Leadership through the Intersection Points
    • Leadership through Effective Oversight and Visibility
      • Steering Implementation with Oversight
      • Enabling Strategy with Visibility
    • Oversight and Visibility at Access Copyright
  5. 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
  6. Risk and Crisis Management
    • The Steps in Risk Management
      • Risk 1: Risk Identification
      • Risk 2: Risk Assessment
      • Risk 3: Risk Response
    • Crisis Management
  7. Project Timing and Acceleration
    • Barriers to Effective Project Estimates
    • Increasing Estimate Accuracy
    • Project Acceleration
  8. Strategy, Execution, and the Operating Plan
    • Project Visibility and Reinforcing Strategy: The Operating Plan
  9. Building an Adaptive Project Organization
    • What Is an Adaptive Organization?
    • Moving from Order to Adaptive
    • The Anatomy of an Adaptive Project Organization
      • The Heart: Fostering Commitment
      • The Lungs: Building Momentum
      • The Brain: Establishing Resilience
    • 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