Organisational competence in project management —new perspectives on assessing and developing organisations

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Rienhard Wagner


Organisations need to cope with a lot of challenges in an increasingly complex environment. As projects act as means to adapt to dynamic change the competence of managing these projects gains more and more attention. So far, the competence of individuals was seen as main the lever to improve the performance in projects. But the competence of an organisation is more than the collective competence of all individuals; it is rather the combination of individual competences, together with strategic, structural and cultural factors and the availability of suitable resources that helps an organisation to compete. The concept of organisational competences in project management is an integrative and holistic approach showing the competences needed to cope with projects in a complex environment.
Assessments could be used to derive the development needs for an organisation. Taking into account the approach of organisational competences in project management, the assessment should cover more than the processes. For instance it should take a closer look at the strategy and how projects are selected and prioritised to increase the effectiveness. Furthermore, it should check how project work is organised and embedded in the corporate culture to improve efficiency.
The gap between actual and target state as a highlighted result of an assessment leads to the need for action. Top management decides what should be done and how the objectives could be reached. One way to start a project is to improve the project management top-down. It will be argued that this as well the bottom-up approach is a way of improving organisational competence, giving space to manoeuvre for the people involved and letting self-organisation help the organisation to develop in a co-evolutionary way.

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Author Biography

Rienhard Wagner, German Project Management Association, , Nuremberg

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