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Managing Complex Projects and Programs: How to Improve Leadership of Complex Initiatives Using a Third-Generation Approach by Richard J. Heaslip

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Chapter 8Moving Forward

Other Approaches

My discussions with executives and programmaticists about their organizations’ project oversight models (described in Chapter 7) provided me with opportunities to explore their thinking about alternative responses to growth and complexity—responses that did not focus so specifically on adaptation of their organizations’ two-party project oversight systems. Such responses were prompted by simple questions: “What other steps have your organization considered (or taken) to address issues with project oversight or project management?” Or, “If you could introduce a more dramatic (or disruptive) change to address these problems, what would it be?” Their responses provided additional insights about modern organizations’ search for better programmatic systems.

Downsizing the Organization

When prompted to identify alternate solutions to programmatic issues associated with organizational growth and increased numbers of projects, a fraction of interviewees made seemingly flippant observations that growth- and portfolio-related problems could be addressed by “downsizing the organization.” It was a casual comment that might be summarily dismissed by others. (Organizational growth and increased project numbers are signs of strength, aren’t they?) But several interviewees insisted that it was a serious proposal that warranted sober consideration. They observed that thought leaders in their organizations were adamant that smaller, more focused organizations ...

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