3 Journey to Excellence


Every company has its own motivations, or driving forces, as we discussed in Chapter 1, that impel the company to embark on a journey for excellence in project management. Some companies complete the journey in two or three years, while others may require a decade or more. In this chapter, we discuss the approaches taken by a variety of companies. Each company took a different path, but they all achieved some degree of excellence in project management.

Some companies embark on the journey at the request of their own workers, whereas other companies are forced into it by the actions of competitors and customers. In any event, there are driving forces that propagate the quest to excel in project management.

The driving forces for excellence, as discussed previously, include:

  • Capital projects
  • Customer expectations
  • Competitiveness
  • Executive understanding
  • New product development
  • Efficiency and effectiveness

Even the smallest manufacturing organization can conceivably spend millions of dollars each year on capital projects. Without good estimating, good cost control, and good schedule control, capital projects can strap the organization’s cash flow, force the organization to lay off workers because the capital equipment either was not available or was not installed properly, and irritate customers with late shipment of goods. In non–project-driven organizations and manufacturing firms, capital projects are driving forces for maturity.

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