Are you playing the game of projects? Do you know about the types of projects?
Stick with me an I’ll show you a new way of thinking about organisational change projects.
I’ll also explain why it’s important to learn about the 4 types of projects. And, why this knowledge can make you a better change leader or project manager.
The Game of Projects
The game of projects has many principles but few rules.
Ultimately project management and leading change is about directing people, managing resources, and making open informed decisions.
But what leadership skills are needed?
Should we deal with all types of project the same way?
Read on and I’ll explain …
The game of projects is about understanding the kind of organisational change businesses encounter. It is about the 4 types of project described in Eddie Obeng’s book All Change, the Project Leader’s Secret Handbook*.
When starting a project circumstances dictate the course we follow.
Indeed, every project has different characteristics and requires different leadership skills.
So, learn to play the game of projects.
4 Types of Projects — Fog, Quest, Movie or Paint by Numbers
What do you focus on when managing a project? Do you focus on managing people? Do you place importance on processes? Or do you try to understand the type of project — the type of transformational change — you are leading?
Fortunately for us, Eddie Obeng identified 4 types of project to help us diagnose projects and recognise the issues we are likely to face when embarking on organisational change.
So, let’s play the Game of Projects …
You know what needs to be done but you don’t know how.
The business may lack technical expertise or project management maturity.
So, the aim of the quest is to get your knights to seek out as many ways as possible to achieve your goal. The project leader must give the project team purpose and authority to explore possibilities.
2. Making a Movie
You know how but not what you need.
When making a movie your choices are to some extent open … you write the script. If agreement is reached there is much opportunity to do something successful.
However, without commitment you may deliver nothing!
3. Painting By Numbers
You know what to do.
Ideally all projects should be like this.
There are times when the business has very clear goals and complete understanding of what needs to be done. The project manager need only choose the brush and begin painting.
You don’t know what you want nor how to do it.
These are high risk projects and need careful management. It is difficult to see where you are heading!
So, all your options are open and it is like making your way in the fog.
Playing the Game of Projects
Projects change from quest, movie or fog to painting by numbers as they progress.
The game of projects is important. No project is the same.
Therefore, understand the hand you’re dealt and manage the project appropriately. This is project leadership.
How do you play the game of projects?
Creative Commons image courtesy Mystical Daze.