Project management eats culture for dinner

“Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” These words, often attributed to Peter Drucker, are frequently quoted by people who see culture at the heart of all great companies. Pontus Wadström, author of “Strategi är ett verb” (or “Strategy is a verb” in English) claims that when strategy becomes activities and behavior, there are good possibilities to gain competitive advantage. Wadström says success comes from focus on either being the biggest (IKEA), the best (Orange County Choppers), the quickest (Segway) or the most beautiful (Apple). Another strategy is to be the smartest; Applying strategic behavior management. Use the new thinkers, both employees, customers and suppliers, achieving focus and change. Strategy trends for 2015 is faster innovation, transparency, customer engagement & digital technology.

Strategy is easy, implementing is difficult. Portfolio management has since long been about choosing the right projects. That’s not the hard part. The hard part is to go through with implementation. This is where projects and project management comes in to the picture. That’s also why I find the profession so interesting and fulfilling, to be the link between strategy and results.  Companies know that strategy is important, and that culture is a big part of success. Still, PMOs struggle for attention. Successful PMOs are those that positively influence business results and deliver value at every level of planning and execution. A  report named “Strategic PMOs Play A Vital Role In Driving Business Outcomes” by PMI, reveals how strategic PMOs enable the organization to grow the business through a core set of practices that delivered consistent outcomes. Another report named “The Impact of PMOs on Strategy Implementation” by PMI conclude that PMOs are still maturing. High-performing PMOs—those with the greatest force behind the completion of successful projects —are perceived as an integral part of strategy implementation. They are given a set of specific priorities and are tasked with making projects work in a way that complements business goals.

So, if culture eats strategy for breakfast, I claim that mature PMOs and professional project management eats culture for dinner.