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Projects Without Boundaries by Tim J. Rahschulte, James M. Waddell, Russ J. Martinelli

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CHAPTER 9SUSTAINING VIRTUAL PROJECT SUCCESS

Much of the pressure to succeed in managing a virtual project falls on the project manager. However, consistent and sustainable success is enabled by critical organizational elements that are the responsibility of a firm's senior leaders. In a recent study conducted by the American Productivity and Quality Center, senior managers of virtual enterprises who were asked if they are responsible and accountable for creating and implementing strategy for their firms, all responded that they do in fact own that responsibility. When the same senior managers were asked if they are responsible and accountable for execution of the strategy, however, answers were generally mixed. Some fully believe they are responsible for execution success, while others believe the responsibility lies with middle managers and virtual project managers.1

The same study highlights the difference in philosophy among senior managers of firms considered leading virtual enterprises. Senior managers there believe they are responsible and accountable for both setting strategy for their companies and ensuring the necessary organizational changes and behaviors are driven across the enterprise to enable successful strategy execution by virtual project teams.

There is significant evidence that the frustrations and challenges project teams encounter in other virtual companies are due in large part to the failure of senior managers to lead in the removal of the execution barriers ...

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