Today, organisations strive to deal with increasing demands for project work whilst being faced with ever-tighter budgets, fewer resources and increasingly demanding projects.
These challenges overwhelm many organisations, whether public and private sector, forcing them to make tough choices.
Many organisations have responded by rigorously vetting projects, seeking to qualify out those that do not satisfy the organisations increasingly stringent criteria. Whilst eliminating many projects altogether, other projects are simply being put on hold or having their scope drastically reduced to the point where the project barely resembles that what was initially agreed.
Other organisations have adopted a “doing more with less” approach.
These organisations have endeavoured to increase their capacity for project delivery. They are dealing with increasing demands for project work, but not by taking on board additional resources. These organisations are “encouraging” existing project managers and resources to take on more, often more that they can adequately handle.
But where does this lead to. Certainly a “doing more with less” approach is admirable. Excellent for satisfying the customers’ appetite for delivering more projects. But exploiting the availability of project resources or specialist expertise, then pushing them to the boundaries of their available bandwidth only pays off in the short-term.
It is not clear how this approach benefits the organisation in the long-term. It certainly is not good for the staff impacted.
The number of cases where staff have been placed under such pressure has certainly risen. Those dedicated staff that endeavour to satisfy the “doing more with less” approach may maintain it for a period of time, but not indefinite. Often ending up “burning out”, going off work with some form of illness, not to be seen again for weeks or months.
In the end, does this really satisfy the customers’ appetite for effective project delivery?