Magazine article PM Network

Shifting Culture

Magazine article PM Network

Shifting Culture

Article excerpt

Chiron approaches project management as a true cultural initiative. Project leaders have a high level of authority within the organization. The company invests in project management to further efficiencies and to deliver high-quality products on time and on budget. Project management directly supports Chiron's strategic objectives by enabling it to make accurate commitments.

The biggest mistake companies make is trying to directly convince people to shift their attitudes, because it does not work. Instead, I focused on changing the environment, structures, processes, roles and responsibilities, and systems. By altering the elements of execution, I changed the culture.

Two years ago, our vision was to have project leaders and managers reporting to a project management office focused on strategic and tactical initiatives. We implemented a stage gate process incorporating best practices in project management, drug development and medical devices. All our project roles and deliverables now have been aligned with this process. We also implemented an enterprise project management (EPM) system to strengthen the process.

Our ability to maximize resources came from an improved alignment with projects and better allocation overall. We have defined the activities we consider project value-added and broken down the other activities into categories such as team meetings, functional responsibilities and pure administration. The next step is to analyze the data over several months looking for allocation across these categories and patterns within departments, then to look for the root cause of any gap that might be identified (gap between the data observed and best industry practices) before we can develop and implement the solutions. …

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