Your Projects Are Your Future
"Before coming to HBR, I spent a dozen years as an editor at Time, the iconic newsmagazine. We published weekly, and the fast pace seemed to encourage short-term thinking. Almost everyone at the organization worked primarily on that week’s issue, even as new competitors (which were primarily digital) began chipping away at our economic model. Time has survived, but it’s far smaller than it once was, and its competition remains fierce.
At HBR we put thousands of hours of work into each issue of the magazine (and our website and books). But a lot of our energy is devoted not to these current products but to long-term projects that will help us develop innovations that will drive our business into the future. The same is true at your company, I hope.
Pulling off ambitious initiatives with extended timelines can be challenging—a reality that this issue’s Spotlight on better project management addresses. “When executives ignore project management, products launch late, strategic initiatives don’t deliver, and company transformations fail, putting the organization’s future seriously at risk,” writes Antonio Nieto-Rodriguez, the former chairman of Project Management Institute, in the Spotlight’s lead article.
There are times when juggling projects can be a drag—with more meetings, more ambiguity, and more risk of failure. But organizations that underinvest in projects face a limited future, so finding ways to help your people execute them better is an imperative."
by Adi Ignatius