Project Management Capabilities07 September 2007
Project Management Capabilities
Adherence to standards may, or may not, benefit a particular company. However, steady adherence to an appropriate standard, properly applied, does benefit a company. The key link between standards and benefits is organizational capability. Read these sections to learn more about organizational capability, and how standards and capability lead to best practices which demonstrably benefit a company.
1. What is organizational capability?
2. From Standards to Capabilities
3. Organizing Capabilities
4. Which Capabilities Matter Most?
5. From Capabilities to Best Practices
What is organizational capability?
A capability is a steady, repeated ability. For example, if a Project Manager succeeds at one project, one can say he is able to manage that type of project. But he has not yet demonstrated capability. If he manages several projects, and they all succeed, he is more than able, he is capable. If one fails, and he can say why, and say what he will do so he won't make that mistake again, then he is still capable: He is capable of performing well when managing that type of project, and of improving.
That defines individual capability. But an organization that relies on individual capability is at risk. What if the capable Project Managers leave for other companies? Organizational capability is capability independent of specific individuals. Organizational capability means that a company can, time and again, achieve a specific result in a specific situation.
An individual gains capability through learning, practicing, observing the results, and improving.
An organization gains capability in the same way: through learning, implementing practices, observing and measuring the results, and improving. However, organizational capability must not rely on any single individual.
Therefore, the organization must show that it can, repeatedly, train Project Managers and others to successfully manage and deliver projects. Only then does it have the capability of reliably managing projects to success.
Above, the discussion focused on the capability of managing a whole project successfully. Actually, that one capability is made up of hundreds of smaller capabilities. All of the capabilities involved with project management can be explained by seeing the link between standards and capabilities.
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