Thursday, March 8, 2012

PM Insights: Managing the tension between projects and operations

Over the next few weeks here on the Project World blog we're going to be featuring some of the insights shared at the 2011 Your Space session at the ProjectWorld® & World Congress for Business Analysts® event.

A repeat favorite, Your Space offers PW&WCBA attendees a chance to debrief on topics covered, come up actionable plans for their return to the office and share in the collective knowledge and expertise of other PW&WCBA attendees and speakers

 This week's topic comes from Table 2: Managing the tension between projects and operations

  • The attendees at table two identified a number of issues that can cause tension between project teams and operations. Those included:
  • Resource constraints
  • Team members assigned to support both operations and projects
  • Poor communication between stakeholders and operations
  • Disruptive stakeholders
  • Operations staff not engaged in project team – no buy-in or ownership
  • No funding for operations to support the project outcome (during and after the project)
  • Operations resistance to prescribed solutions.
Ultimately these sources of tension boiled down to four root causes: Lack of Communication, Not involving right people at right time, Resource allocation, and Prioritization.

Our team at table two suggested that ultimately many issues came down to resources or funding, which can be a difficult (if not impossible) problem to solve. However, re-prioritization of resources or improved communication could lead to improvements in some areas.

How would you address these issues? Have you ever faced conflict between projects and operations?

Michelle LeBlanc is a Social Media Strategist at IIR USA and the voice behind the @Project_World twitter. She may be reached at

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