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An Organization's Intangible Process Assets

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On the shores of the Sun Moon Lake in Taiwan stands The Wen-Wan Resort, a luxury hotel. It looks like like an ocean liner and is built extensively of glass.

WenWen.jpgThe resort is licensed as a 'build-operate-transfer' (BOT) project. That means that after a lease of 30 years, the site reverts back to state ownership, regardless if the operators break even or make a profit.

The construction of the Wen-Wan Resort took four years to complete, and was finalized in September 2003. Total construction cost of the 92-room resort amounted to US$67 million. Rooms cost between US$1,000 and US$10,000 per night. Internal ROI will likely be met after about 18 to 20 years, which means that in 2023, the resort's operators could start to make a profit.

Program and project managers tend to focus on these quantifiable and measurable objectives. But it can be hard for them to grasp intangible or abstract ideas.

Yet it is the intangible that usually informs the core values of any successful company. The intangible part is what we tend to ignore: the organizational cultures and styles.

In A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) -- Fourth Edition, an organization's shared vision, values, norms, beliefs and expectation is called "organizational cultures and styles." The PMBOK® Guide also says an organization's direction or objectives are usually defined by its enterprise environmental factors.

Take The Wen-Wan Resort, for example. The resort's sponsor and president, Wen-Wan Tang, has a unique background that led him to found and operate the resort in a way that gives pleasure to guests and gives back to society.

Mr. Tang owns more than 20 organizations. He used the profits from these businesses to fund the construction and development of The Wen-Wan Resort. He believes that if you're successful, you should help improve the society that allows you to enjoy to such success.

Mr. Tang sees the resort as a way to help develop the local economy. It not only creates jobs in constructing the resort but also in staffing the resort. Plus, the resort's visitors support local companies and businesses.

In this way, Mr. Tang has shown "organizational cultures and styles" by helping to develop the local economy.

What are your organizational cultures and styles?

Editor's note: Photo courtesy of The Wen-Wen Resort.


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1 Comment

Amazing story! Thanks for sharing it.

I must confess the title caught me right away. It was really hard for me to figure how a "process asset" could be intangible.

After reading the article I tend to think that you are actually referring to "environmental factors", which certainly have to be understood and included in the management strategy to increase chances of success.

I would really appreciate if you can enlighten me as to how this term (process asset) can be better used in this context rather than the late one (environmental factor).

Once more thanks!

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