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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 12The Decision to Implement Third-Generation Programmatics

During the course of my interviews and discussions with executives, programmaticists, and other organizational stakeholders, there were many occasions for us to discuss changes that they might have proposed for their own organizations’ programmatic oversight systems. The nature of these discussions changed over time, as we discussed the managerial strengths and weaknesses of two- versus three-party programmatic oversight systems. Stakeholders from large organizations or from organizations with large portfolios or highly complex projects and programs usually expressed interest in exploring the potential benefits of three-party systems. As they pondered the possibilities, however, they also expressed concern about their organizations’ willingness to adopt a new programmatic model. In the words of one, “We have problems getting people to behave appropriately with our two-party model; how would we be able to get them to rally around a three-party model?” These discussions usually resulted in a verbal dissection of the issues that their organizations were experiencing with their current model for managing projects and programs, and a point-by-point discussion of how or whether moving to a three-party system might help. For those stakeholders who eventually concluded that it would be beneficial to switch to a three-party system, we ended with long conversations about how that could best be achieved. The challenges ...

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