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Many processes can be cross-functional. The same applies to projects. This is about separating the?us from them? This is a common scenario within organizations. Most projects I work on have people from departments like operations, central services, and other support functions. They versus us? Project managers and team members can adopt this attitude and work towards their own goals instead of working towards a common goal.
While I respect PMI and am a member, there is a PMBOK statement that states that a project is successful when all written requirements are met. This applies regardless of whether actual customer needs have been fulfilled. This is absurdity and avoidance of reality. If the goal of project management is to meet written requirements, it will not work long-term. It is important to help stakeholders and sponsors understand their needs and then meet them. Any project’s objective is to add value to the company. I have been part of projects where the’requirements’ were met. I have been a team member on projects where the?requirements? were met but the end user was not completely satisfied with the results. Regardless of what PMI claims, this project was not a success.
Recently, I started using SCRUM in my company. Although I was initially scared by the paradigm shift that such a technique would require, I am now enjoying it. The idea is that stakeholders don’t know what they want until the can see it and then work with it. SCRUM (a lighter version of Agile) allows stakeholders to use incremental versions of working prototype software. I have already witnessed its power in defining true requirements. I fully understand and can now see the difficulties that stakeholders face when trying to visualize the future state and articulate the requirements to get there. Although SCRUM seems to be limited to software development, I am beginning to think that some elements can be applied elsewhere to better understand and meet the needs of stakeholders in an iterative way.
Every project manager should not resort to the CYA approach of “well, if they don’t put it in their requirements, it’s their fault.” Instead, be proactive and engage stakeholders. If you have any doubts, don’t hesitate to take on the responsibility. A great project manager holds himself accountable for the satisfaction of all stakeholders.

By Delilah