7 Management Support

7.0 INTRODUCTION

As we saw in Chapter 6, senior managers are the architects of corporate culture. They are charged with making sure that their companies’ cultures, once accepted, do not come apart. Visible management support is essential to maintaining a project management culture. And above all, the support must be continuous rather than sporadic.

This chapter examines the importance of management support in the creation and maintenance of project management cultures. Case studies illustrate the vital importance of employee empowerment and the project sponsor’s role in the project management system.

7.1 VISIBLE SUPPORT FROM SENIOR MANAGERS

As project sponsors, senior managers provide support and encouragement to the project managers and the rest of the project team. Companies excellent in project management have the following characteristics:

  • Senior managers maintain a hands-off approach, but they are available when problems come up.
  • Senior managers expect to be supplied with concise project status information, either in a written report format or using dashboards.
  • Senior managers practice empowerment.
  • Senior managers decentralize project authority and decision making.
  • Senior managers expect project managers and their teams to suggest both alternatives and recommendations for solving problems, not just identify the problems.

However, there is a fine line between effective sponsorship and overbearing sponsorship. Robert Hershock, former vice president ...

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