Challenges to Managing a Multiple Team Project

For many years, the focus in project management has been on the effective management of the project team. Its members were selected based on their expertise relative to the requirements of the project; requirements were gathered and documented; a project plan was built and executed; and client change requests were proposed and acted upon in the best interest of the enterprise.

Then along came companies like Walmart with its unique information systems client-centric structure. Its IT Department was organized into independent teams. Each team focused exclusively on a specific line of business or client group, and was able to satisfy their requirements for new and enhanced applications systems. These teams were very effective in meeting their client's specific needs. The IT teams became experts in the client's line of business. In meeting the specific business systems needs of their client group, each team created its own project management methodology with the tools, templates, and processes needed to support their client's line of business. Many of the team members were in fact the Business Analyst/Project Manager (BA/PM) professionals, which are discussed in Chapter 18. At the time they were my client, Walmart's Information Systems Department had more than 250 such teams. Whenever projects involved more than two teams, you can imagine the potential conflicts between methodologies that could occur. The approach used to manage such situations ...

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