To spend time and money developing a project management methodology or approach because you believe it is the right thing to do is a wasted effort. The better approach is to develop a methodology or approach with the intent of converting it into a sustainable competitive advantage. A sustainable competitive advantage not only placates your customers, it also puts pressure on your competitors to spend money to compete with you.
Sustainable competitive advantages can be determined for individual functional areas rather than for the entire company. As an example, consider Figure 10.1, which illustrates the efforts needed to achieve a sustained competitive advantage in research and development (R&D). As a company advances through the various stages of innovation, the technical risks will increase. The organization must have developed a good approach to the problem of assessing technical risks and must be willing to admit when a project should be cancelled because the resources could be allocated more effectively on other projects. Maintaining a competitive advantage requires a continuous stream of new and/or enhanced products or services. Risk management is an essential ingredient in the evaluation process.