Perhaps the most significant characteristic of companies that are excellent in project management is their culture. Successful implementation of project management creates an organization and cultures that can change rapidly because of the demands of each project and yet adapt quickly to a constantly changing dynamic environment, perhaps at the same time. Successful companies have to cope with change in real time and live with the potential disorder that comes with it. The situation can become more difficult if two companies with possibly diverse cultures must work together on a common project.

Change is inevitable in all organizations but perhaps more so in project-driven organizations. As such, excellent companies have come to the realization that competitive success can be achieved only if the organization has achieved a culture that promotes and sustains the necessary organizational behavior. Corporate cultures cannot be changed overnight. The time frame is normally years but can be reduced if executive support exists. Also, if as few as one executive refuses to support a potentially good project management culture, disaster can result.

In the early days of project management, a small aerospace company had to develop a project management culture in order to survive. The change was rapid. Unfortunately, the vice president for engineering refused to buy into the new culture. Prior to the acceptance of project management, the power base in the organization ...

Get Project Management Best Practices: Achieving Global Excellence, 4th Edition now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.