“Lord Coe warns over faltering World Cup Bid.” This was the headline in the Times newspaper on November 11. One day later the Board heading up the bid to host the 2018 Football World Cup was slimmed down.
What has this to do with project management? Rather a lot!
- According to The Times Lord Triesman, the bid Chairman was told that “…the bid would be lost unless he is capable of demonstrating stronger leadership”. Comments by people on our project management training courses suggest there is often a lack of leadership from senior managers. It is sometimes unclear who owns the project. This has led to problems of decision making with project managers unclear what decision they can and cannot make. What sort of leadership is there in your projects?
- Size of Project Board. This board has been slimmed down. I commented in a previous article that we have seen project boards of up to 25 people. Yes, this is extreme however we still see Boards well above the recommended 5 or 6 people. How many people sit on your project boards?
- Roles of Board Members. Lord Triesman said on the radio that each person now has a specific role to help win the bid. What specific role does each of your project board members play?
- Structure – the removed board members will form an advisory group to the board. I do not know how this will work in practice however I can tell you this issue is a problem. I have frequently had people on project management training courses who when invited to draw the project structure produce a diagram that is counter to the key objective of having a board -making decisions. Sometimes the diagrams are so complex that they produce a stream of questions and one overarching observation; this project will not deliver. The governance structure is too complex. How streamlined is decision making in your projects?
I am clearly aware of the political nature of the 2018 bid to host the football world cup. I am also aware it is a significant project for this country to win. It highlights the critical role Boards play in the overall delivery of projects.
But, are project board members in your company aware of their critical role?