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Project Entrepreneurship: Beyond Management and Leadership

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Project management has begun to play an increasingly important role in organizations. Projects are identified to continuously improve the existing business performance and to prepare for the future per organizational strategy. Unfortunately, many of those projects fail.

It's my belief that if you approach a project with management, leadership and entrepreneurial mindsets, the success rate of projects will improve.

A management mindset helps project managers to initiate, plan, execute, monitor, control and close projects to deliver on time, within budget and expected quality deliverables. The management mindset focuses mostly on tasks, and not much on people. Under this mindset, project managers might fail to create a vibrant or positive work environment and satisfied teams -- even though they will satisfy the customers.  

A leadership mindset helps project managers to drive the project team toward a common project goal. It also focuses both on tasks and people, allowing the project manager to create a positive and enjoyable work environment.

A project manager with both the management and leadership mindset will satisfy his team and customers, but might fail to deliver complete business value to customer. That means that although a project is delivered on time, within budget and expected quality, the customer may not feel that the value he expected out of the project was not completely realized.

An entrepreneurial mindset is like an executive mindset for the project manager. He or she would focus on delivering high value to the customer, employees and his or her organization.

Ownership of projects is at its peak, innovation flows like water and alternative project techniques are used for continuous betterment of projects. A project manager's risk appetite is high in this mindset, and he or she also builds many reusable assets to repeat the success of future projects.

Is your organization focusing on building project management, project leadership and project entrepreneurship as an integrated competency?

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5 Comments

Highly insightful - will be very useful as I startup a Project Management Center of Excellence service.

Thanks for your article. I completely agree with your thoughts on these three components.

If one is able to keep all of these in mind when delivering projects, I do believe you will be successful.

Like one of the other posters mentioned, the problem comes with the organizational culture that is in place in most of the corporations we work for. If the organizational culture doesn't support an entrepreneurial mind-set, then this becomes very challenging.

Great article!

The post fails to mention that Project Entrepreneurship must be supported by the organizational culture - if not then the best the project manager can do is to just manage the project the "normal" way.

I'm not sure all companies will welcome the concept of Project Entrepreneurship.

Thanks for your post and sharing your thoughts on the entrepreneurial mindset as it relates to project management. I wholeheartedly agree that Project Management is far more than just "management" or “leadership” in its basic form.

Components of management, executed gracefully, certainly do enhance the likelihood of project success, but they are indeed no guarantee. Projects must be planned, and planned well. They must be executed effectively and efficiently to fulfill basic requirements and meet the ‘triple constraints’, however achieving project ‘success’ involves far more than that.

I also agree that strong, effective leadership is a critical skill for a project manager. A project manager often may not have direct authority over the team, such as in a matrixed environment, and in these situations needs to rely on the power of influence and strong leadership to help accomplish project goals and objectives.

Ultimately then, as you suggested, avoiding project failure involves leveraging good solid management and strong leadership combined with an entrepreneurial mindset to see the complete vision and goals for the projects and all key stakeholders.

The one thing I believe is missing is a thorough Organizational Change Management (OCM) strategy, which is vital to ensuring project success.

In the past, I have seen the negative effects on projects when an OCM strategy is missing. At Digineer we approach every engagement with this mindset and bring expert resources to the team to focus on the true definition of success for our clients. In addition to core industry skills, when project resources have a vision of the big-picture and an understanding of each stakeholder’s motivation and definition of success, the value of work efforts is maximized and benefits abound!

Are you looking to increase your project success rate and deliver the maximum value? If so, be sure to leverage these key concepts and bring on the right supporting cast, and you will be on your way to project excellence!

Thanks for your post and sharing your thoughts on the entrepreneurial mindset as it relates to project management. I wholeheartedly agree that Project Management is far more than just “management” or “leadership” in its basic form.

Components of management, executed gracefully, certainly do enhance the likelihood of project success, but they are indeed no guarantee. Projects must be planned, and planned well. They must be executed effectively and efficiently to fulfill basic requirements and meet the ‘triple constraints’, however achieving project ‘success’ involves far more than that.

I also agree that strong, effective leadership is a critical skill for a project manager. A project manager often may not have direct authority over the team, such as in a matrixed environment, and in these situations needs to rely on the power of influence and strong leadership to help accomplish project goals and objectives.

Ultimately then, as you suggested, avoiding project failure involves leveraging good solid management and strong leadership combined with an entrepreneurial mindset to see the complete vision and goals for the projects and all key stakeholders.

The one thing I believe is missing is a thorough Organizational Change Management (OCM) strategy, which is vital to ensuring project success.

In the past, I have seen the negative effects on projects when an OCM strategy is missing. I like to approach every engagement with this mindset and ensure that the right resources are on the team and there is a focus on the true definition of success. In addition to core industry skills, when project resources have a vision of the big-picture and an understanding of each stakeholder’s motivation and definition of success, the value of work efforts is maximized and benefits abound!

Are you looking to increase your project success rate and deliver the maximum value? If so, be sure to leverage these key concepts and bring on the right supporting cast, and you will be on your way to project excellence!

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