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5 Things CEOs Must Know About Project Management

There are lots to know about project management ““ but not everyone needs to know everything. V. Srinivasa Rao looks at the most important elements of project management for CEOs ““ that is, what they need to prepare their organization for the future, utilize portfolio management and program management effectively, and understand what's going on with initiatives without needing someone to explain every little detail.

For instance, CEOs need to know that projects are for business growth and transformation. Seems simple, right? Well, consider the difference between a project and operations ““ a CEO could easily think that operations such as server maintenance is actually a project (which it's not). Projects should be taken as a way of expanding the capability of providing business value. So CEOs should identify and prioritize the projects that fit business strategy and help move the entire company forward. They should also recognize what projects are codependent and which are just one-off efforts.

The next thing that Rao cites as a “need to know” item is that the Chief Projects Officer (CPO) should oversee any project within the company:

The primary role of the CPO is to consistently innovate and standardize processes to ensure even distribution of project management excellence.  He or she can also be responsible for building up 'best in class' project and program managers with required specializations. Finally, the CPO can check on the health of all projects and programs, in order to take corrective and preventive actions. “¨  

The CEO should also know that agile and lean are worth looking into, understanding, and investing in. Continual investment in optimizing these practices will also help employees be more flexible in adjusting to new challenges and opportunities in the business world.

The final two items that a CEO must know are that project management is more than just a “supporting player” and project management should be a career track within the company. By strengthening the dedication of the company to proper project management, CEOs can empower their employees to complete more projects successfully and strengthen the overall project management practices of the workplace.

About Anne Grybowski

Anne is a former staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success, with a degree in Media Studies from Penn State University.

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