Monday, April 16, 2007

Culture and Project Management

Recently reading up on corporate culture and was wondering what impact it has on project management. Culture is divided into three groups:
  • Cooperative - everyone works together in a productive manner
  • Aggressive - power play and positioning
  • Passive/Defensive - CYA - don't do more then you're title calls for, etc.
Based on these divisions, it would make sense to adjust the project management approach accommodate each of the culture's needs. Obviously, few companies fit completely into any one of the divisions and could have conflicting sub-cultures. Taking all of that into account, it would make sense to understand the culture you are working with and fine tune your approach accordingly (do we do this subconsciously now??) - for instance:
Passive/Defensive - make sure you have clearly defined deliverables and who has the responsibility for it. Ensure they are consistently reminded of their assigned tasks and reinforce by naming names. Is there one culture more productive then another? Perhaps, but perhaps it's a matter of understanding the culture and working it in the way required to get the results you need. A Passive/Defensive culture, if understood and plans adjusted accordingly, could outperform a Cooperative one - for instance a Cooperative culture might stray from the project's desired results in order to provide a more creative (and more costly) approach as opposed to one that is truly needed or required (gee - you built a great bio-feedback brain connected data capture device - however all we needed was a keyboard connected to the computer).

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