Over the years I've read dozens of articles (and even written a few myself) about what it takes to plan and execute a successful project. However, over the years I've discovered that opinions are like belly-buttons, everybody has one and they're all different. Although there's no doubt in my mind that sound project management methodology includes a number of considerations like risk, reward, resource needs, and stakeholder buy-in, I'm convinced that the linchpin for project success is the end user and how he or she interacts with the project management process.
What's more, without end user buy-in and adoption, PPM software implementations fail. Period.
I believe there are a number of reasons this is true. Not the least of which is that the workforce has changed. In the 30 some years of my career, I have observed almost a generational change in attitude about how the workforce responds to management. Today's workforce doesn't seem to be motivated by a command-and-control management structure. They are looking for a bigger role in the process than "do what you're told."
Recognizing and appropriately responding to this reality empowers project managers because:
It engages project team members in the process making project management tools adoption easier
It allows those closest to the work (individual team members) to capture more accurate status and other project information
Team members with greater ownership in the process are more likely to meet deadlines and milestones than their less engaged contemporaries
It allows project managers to spend more time managing projects and project teams and less time managing spreadsheets and building reports
Of course linchpin doesn't necessarily mean "silver bullet." There will be some team members who just won't get it, and project managers will have to make some hard decisions about who is on the team and who isn't. That being said, project teams and project managers who are able to work together in this type of environment will enjoy an atmosphere of more meaningful collaboration, enhanced creativity, and greater project success.
What are you doing to create a more engaged workforce?