Selling Executives on Project Management
The fundamental reasons why the executives refused to listen to their employees regarding the feasibility of project management was due to control power (Hermalin, 1992). They feared that since a large portion of Levon’s business came from the project driven portion, whoever ended up with control of the project management function would become more powerful than the others. Moreover, they feared that supporting the endeavor would occasion a power shift in the enterprise. As such, hiring a consultant to evaluate the need for project management could lead to a conclusion that project management was not required, thereby assuring the balance of power.
The consultant’s recommendation was that project management was a necessity, but it did not eliminate the fear that instituting the measure would occasion power shifts. Levon’s profits were eroding, and thus whoever was tasked with the project management docket would have relative power over the others. Moreover, the consultant failed to handle a critical element that the executives wanted addressed, the responsibilities of senior management once project management was implemented. The consultant thus failed to alleviate their fears of power imbalances.
One of the techniques to ascertain that the executives comprehend and support the project is by mapping out the dire consequences of not implementing project management. When management cognizes that business failure is likely and could occasion losing their jobs, they will more likely support the recommendations. Another strategy is aligning to the executives by alleviating their fears about power imbalances occurring after instituting the regime (Floyd & Lane, 2000). The officials fear losing power, and so the project management should be designed in a manner in which they will retain their positions. Lastly, by showing how the endeavor would lead to them regaining their industry position instead of focusing only on the negative aspects, management are bound to cognize the necessity and viability of project management (Longman & Mullins, 2004).
Floyd, S. W., & Lane, P. J. (2000). Strategizing throughout the organization: Managing role conflict in strategic renewal. Academy of management review, 25(1), 154-177.
Hermalin, B. E. (1992). The effects of competition on executive behavior. The RAND Journal of Economics, 350-365.
Longman, A., & Mullins, J. (2004). Project management: key tool for implementing strategy. Journal of Business Strategy, 25(5), 54-60.