From strategy to implementing it, we bring programmes and projects into play. PPM (programme and project management) is the expertise about building new or changed stuff, delivering good change, right?
However, there are a still number of obstacles to achieving the prize, some of which lie with managers of operations.
One objection from operational managers is "We don't have time to lead change. The impact on the business must be minimal."
What's wrong with this response? What's behind it?
Apart from the obvious error of abdicating responsibility for leading the new operational change into a successful outcome to the PPM community, there are a couple of other systemic problems with this:
- Lack of the big picture: such managers appear to be striving to minimise impact on the business, but the longer term impact is likely to be worse, but such managers do not see it. They are thinking and acting in a short-term perspective. There needs to be clear ways of showing them the big picture, such as OBASHI.
- Lack of time: often these managers allow themselves to be fully assigned to other urgent matters of a more familiar, operational nature. It demands a conscious effort to push such matters back and spend priority time on matters that have a strategic priority.
Now, what is interesting about these two problems is that they lie at the opposite ends of the scale; the first is strategic, the second tactical. And yet they are related. "Think strategic and act tactically" is similar to "think globally and act locally". This will stretch people's abilities to the limit. They need help, but unless the first problem is addressed - seeing a compelling strategy and their own personal contribution in the strategic mix - they never not be ready to take on unfamiliar, risky work that could make them look incompetent.