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Results at Last!

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13 July 2008--I am in Warsaw, Poland at PMI's Research Conference. It is very late in the evening on 13 July, and the conference actually begins tomorrow but tonight we were at a private reception to thank the researchers that have worked on a 5-year-long global research project on the Value of Project Management. It is an amazing "who's who" of PM researchers ... 48 renowned leaders from 15 countries. For the last 3 years they have studied nearly 70 organizations literally on every continent on the globe. It is a wonderful example of a multi-national project team working toward a common goal ... on time, on budget ... with a qualitative output that we hope will exceed our wildest expectations.

However, I need to get by this sense of awe over the management of the project and, selfishly, go straight to the end game: the RESULTS! Earlier, I said "we hope" the results will exceed our expectations because the full results are not out yet. Actually, Dr. Janice Thomas and Mark Mullaly, principal investigators for the project, will be presenting the initial findings tomorrow morning.

I have to say, I am "hungry" to get the results, yet I am anxious about the results. When we commissioned the study, we had to accept that one possible answer to the question, "What value has PM provided to your organization?" could be ... NONE! Risky, yes ... but the probability of that answer is very low if non-existent.

Since the 2006 Research Conference in Montreal, I have traveled over 400 days, meeting and talking to organizational leaders around the globe. I have seen first hand the dramatic value that a mature project management process has given government and business organizations. However, when I advocate for adoption of project management to those not currently embracing it, I am met with the same "stare and glare" ... "I appreciate your opinion, but give me the proof."

That is very frustrating ...  but understandable. Why invest in anything that will not give back value ... some clear, tangible or intangible, return on the investment. Well, this research project should push well beyond "anecdote" and into the realm of verified results ... the "best of the best" in researchers, grappling with the most difficult of all study subjects: VALUE.

More later.

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