Global Projects’ Organizational Strategy & Culture

Introduction

International projects require effective organizational strategy. Furthermore, a good organizational strategy requires an effective organizational culture. Organizational culture has the advantage of increasing employee commitment to projects. In addition, organizational culture enables the organization to define its strategies effectively. Effective organizational strategy ensures successful execution of activities necessary for achievement of project management goals. Organizational culture is also important in maximizing production through employee motivation. This is particularly significant to human capital whose value is maximized by the right organizational culture. In essence, organizational culture forms an integral part of project management. This paper will explore organizational culture, strategy and project management in the context of international projects (Schein 55).

Rationale and Analysis

The topic was chosen because it not only examines the relevance of organizational strategy and culture at local level, but also on the international scene. Moreover, the topic explores importance of project management office (PMO) on international projects thereby easing project management implementation.

Organizational culture

Organizational culture encompasses concepts such as assumptions, values, beliefs, artifacts and behaviors, among others. Organizational culture works to reduce variability in the workforce. This allows for easier control and shaping of staff behavior. In essence, it defines the distinct character of an organization since it varies from one organization to another. Organizational culture connects employees together and ensures efficiency in execution of activities. Moreover, communication is essential for implementing the right culture. In addition, when the right culture is implemented, employees are usually motivated to maximize production. In this regard, it is necessary that the right communication framework be put in place to achieve desired objectives. Furthermore, motivation is a central factor in determining an organization’s competitiveness (Judge and Robbins 12)

Motivation

Motivation can be defined as the urge to do something. For instance, organizations with motivated staff enjoy their work. This improves both efficiency and quality of production. Moreover, it saves time and creates opportunity for innovations. Motivation is essential to every organization. In fact, when employees are motivated, they are able to create as well as implement inventive ideas. Strong identification is important in enabling employees to be part of the organization. This gives them a sense of belonging, which is significant in entrenching spirit of unity in the team. Besides, their sense of innovation can only be achieved if the organization embraces innovative norms. Interestingly, these norms can only be achieved through implementation of strong organizational culture. Motivation is usually derived from effective organizational culture. Organizational culture is essential in creating commitment among employees.

This strengthens their motivation to achieve organizational goals. Motivation is a very significant factor in organizations. This is mainly because it affects returns. When employees are not motivated then organizational objectives cannot be achieved. Moreover, it is important that employees enjoy their working conditions. This helps in effecting team spirit as well as motivation. Corporate culture reinforces shared and individual beliefs. This is then allowed to develop as employees share same values. Organizational culture is therefore significant in driving employee motivation. However, it is necessary to note that some organization cultures are uninspiring. Such organizations face issues such as lowered standards of performance. Motivation is thus a vital factor in corporate culture.

Companies with successful international projects have defined goals and ways to reach them. In fact, they thrive in motivating their employees for the same course. In order to maintain such high standards, the company must envisage a long lasting motivation. Some companies have done this through incentives that may be in form of cash or not. However, it has been found that non-cash incentives work best for companies. Employees who feel valued tend to work with a common purpose. In this regard, it is important that companies involve their employees in creating organizational culture. This is essential in providing motivation for work. Moreover, value-creating companies such as Proctor and Gamble, among others have managed this through implementation of effective organizational culture. This has proved to influence attainment of goals within desired periods. Motivation influences employee behavior through self-control. This enables them to explore their needs within the firm and achieve them by helping the company. In fact, motivated employees take full responsibility for their actions and this is important for accountability. Motivation catalyzes employees’ desire to perform.

Organizational strategy

Apart from organizational culture, International projects also require effective organizational strategy. In essence, strategic management is essential in project management. A good management strategy is required for an organization to achieve its business objectives. Strategic management helps businesses to gain competitive advantage. Management strategies should be dynamic and innovative to achieve competitiveness. Additionally, international businesses must conduct regular appraisal of their strategies to keep up with the current competitive global landscape.

Entrepreneurial and innovative strategies

Entrepreneurial strategy should be an essential part of an international project. International projects require effective entrepreneurial strategy to aid the continuity of the business. In addition, such projects require innovative strategy. For instance, one of the reasons for Huawei’s rise in the global world of business is because of their innovativeness. It is also important to note the emergence of companies in Silicon Valley, which is attributed to innovation and technology. Additionally, it is quite essential to note the rise of Steve Job’s Apple Company due to effective innovative strategy. Innovative strategy is essential since it promotes originality. By acquiring and implementing innovative strategy, Furthermore, International projects need to be flexible enough to cut costs when necessary or to learn from past mistakes. For instance, the Borders Company collapsed due to poor management strategies since they were rigid in management strategies. Therefore, innovative strategy improves organizational strategy in the context of international projects (Miller 57-74).

Project management

Project Management is quite challenging especially on the global scale. In fact, most organizations recognize the need to observe restraint in running a project. To achieve success, organizations work to boost project management skills. In addition, organizations work to improve structures and processes of governance. For instance, AtekPC is an organization that specializes in personal computers. International projects require effective implementation of organizational strategy and culture. Therefore, implementing AtekPC’s organization strategy with regard to international context requires a first hand of the mission and purpose of the project (Cadle and Yeates 39).

Purpose and Mission of Project management

Firstly, international projects require that a department be opened for project management. In most cases, a project management office (PMO) is necessary. A PMO has the responsibility of recommending business changes as well as improving efficiency and effectiveness. One of the missions of PMO is to align strategic business directions with the available resources. In fact, the main mission on international project is to achieve alignment. Moreover, there should be no margin for error in achieving the mission of alignment. Furthermore, the other purpose for implementing PMO is to enhance efficiency as well as minimize distribution costs. Essentially, such cost reduction strategies are aimed at attaining maximum profits from the projects. Based on AtekPC’s case, PC industry is experiencing a lot of pressure on production cost (Kapul 56).

Business environment is highly dynamic. Therefore, PMO is required to help reduce the costs. PMO is also launched to provide standardization in project management to cope with international standards. In addition, PMO is established for the purpose of enhancing performance and planning. Additionally, PMO is implemented to promote better and more consistent practices for the projects as well as the organization. Another purpose for implementing PMO is to open up new ventures in a challenging business environment. Surveys in 2007 showed slowed growth in the PC industry as other devices such as PDAs and mobile phones provided services that were once known to be PC based. These services included email access, among others. Therefore, companies in the PC industry need PMO to help them venture in new projects that would increase their revenue (McFarlan, Kell, and Hupp 1).

Challenges and obstacles in implementing a PMO

One of the challenges of implementing PMO includes organizational culture. Organizational culture is crucial to success of projects especially in the international dimension. For instance, AtekPC’s culture was hostile to the implementation of PMO. This forced the CIO to make small changes over time, which was also quite challenging. Experience in handling PMO is also important. For example, lack of experience in PC business made implementation of PMO quite difficult for AtekPC. Additionally, implementation of PMO requires adequate resources. For instance, at AtekPC, inadequate resources delayed implementation of PMO. Moreover, the team that worked on PMO was frustrated because of the slow progress in materializing implementation of PMO. Other obstacles to the implementation of PMO include focus on the project. In the project manager and the team should be focus one project. From the example above, the project management team was involved in more than one project, including PMO; this reduced its effectiveness because of the company’s divided attention.

Furthermore, the rapid changes in PC industry is also challenging to the implementation of PMO. It should be noted that PC growth had been tremendous but this changed suddenly with increased rivalry from Asian PC makers who ventured in marketing their PCs instead of continuing with contract manufacturing. Eventually, AtekPC had to move fast to avoid becoming a victim of a hostile takeover. Another critical aspect of the competition AtekPC faced was the rising price competition, this also piled pressure on the company as it tried to implement PMO. Moreover, insufficient PMO expert resource is also an obstacle to implementation of PMO as witnessed in AtekPC (McFarlan, Kell, and Hupp 1).

Structures and governance mechanisms critical to effective PMO implementation

Governance and structures are essential in enabling implementation of PMO because it addresses agency problem. Additionally, governance achieves conformance, performance, and risk management that is important for projects on a global scale. Furthermore, governance addresses quality control methods as well as credibility and perception. In essence, Information technology (IT) provides the backbone of governance. IT contributes to regulatory compliance, business risk potential and value. Therefore, structures and governance mechanisms for PMO implementation include defining of target expectations, as well as the benefits. It also includes effective leadership from the board. Moreover, it requires an all-inclusive involvement of the executive in the implementation process. Additionally, governance mechanisms for PMO implementation require broad participation of stakeholders as well as clear ownership.

PMO implementation also requires that flexibility and execution. Moreover, PMO implementation requires evolution in its implementation as opposed to revolution. PMO implementation also requires cross-functional integration across the board through standardized practices. Other mechanism of implementing PMO would be to consider IT as a core figure in business process. AtekPC considered IT as a peripheral figure in its activities and this slowed implementation of PMO. Business structures also require accommodation of internet technologies to achieve PMO implementation. Moreover, governance and structures require adequate skills and expert resources to implement PMO successfully. In addition, PMO requires support from the governing executives to achieve successful implementation (Applegate, Austin, and Soule 25).

Project management (PM) is essential to the implementation of PMO. Project management helps in providing responsive delivery that, in turn, creates trust in PMO. Project management is considered adequate when the Project Manager is empowered to discharge his/her functions effectively. PM environment is essential for successful implementation of PMO. In fact, it is difficult to implement PMO successfully in a non-PM environment. Therefore, PM is significant to PMO. However, the number of project managers required depends on the model chosen for implementation of PMO. For instance, a light PMO requires fewer project managers than a heavy PMO that requires numerous PMO experts (McFarlan, Kell, and Hupp 2).

Conclusion

Organizational culture and strategy is instrumental to every company. Organizational strategy and culture works to save time motivate employees and add to the company’s competitiveness. Projects on an international scale require effective organizational strategy and culture. Moreover, a PMO should be established to help in implementation of project needs. Additionally, project management should be utilized to ensure resources are minimized for maximized profits (Hitt, Ireland, and Hoskisson 57).

Recommendations

International projects require effective organizational strategy to achieve success. Therefore, project manager should work toward achieving a practicable organizational strategy and culture. Project managers should also create a project management office to deal with project management, as this would aid in aligning strategic project directions with available resources.

Works Cited

Applegate, Lynda, Robert Austin, and Deborah Soule. Corporate Information Strategy and Management. 8th ed. 2009. Burr Ridge: McGraw-Hill. Print.

Cadle, James, and Daniel Yeates. Project Management for Information Systems. 4th ed. 2004. New Jersey: Prentice Hall. Print.

Hitt, Michael, Duane Ireland, and Robert Hoskisson. Strategic Management: Competitiveness & Globalization: Concepts and Cases. 10th ed. 2013. Ohio: Cengage Learning. Print.

Judge, Timothy, and Stephen Robbins. Essentials of Organizational Behavior. 11th ed. 2011. New Jersey: Prentice Hall. Print.

Kapul, Gopal. Project Management for Implementation, Technology, Business and Certification, Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education, 2005. Print.

McFarlan, Warren, Mark Kell, and John Hupp. The AtekPC Project Management Office. 2007. Web.

Miller, Kent. “Risk and Rationality in Entrepreneurial Processes.” Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, 1 (2007): 57–74. Print.

Schein, Edgar. Organizational Culture and Leadership, Hoboken: Wiley, John & Sons, 2010. Print.