Project Management and Innovation

In the modern agile, lean, minimum viable product world with its pivots, driven by design thinking and collaborative development; it can be easy (and in some corners popular) to say that project management has no place in this creative, dynamic, design lead world.  But you would be wrong.

Sure, creativity, agility and innovation all need a certain degree of freedom from structure, management and control; the creative and ideation processes require a level of chaos, a degree of ambiguity and a pinch of luck.  These are not terms you would typically associate with the field of project management (well maybe luck is common to both).

Yes, project management is about structure, change, risk, control, consistency, budgets, plans and schedules.  However, these terms are not necessarily the enemy of innovation.  It could be argued that they are its champion, especially in the commercial context.

Once the creative process gives birth to the innovative idea/concept, project management has an important part to play in facilitating the development of the idea/concept into something real and tangible and for a commercial enterprise; something that can be delivered to customers in the most effective and efficient way possible.

Moving from the creative to the commercial, those same project management terms (structure, change, risk, control, consistency, budgets, plans and schedules) all take on new relevance, more importance and greater value.

A lot of different talents and skills are required on the journey from sketch to success.  Project management is a critical one.  Regardless of whether you are running a large national or multinational organisation, a smaller division or business unit or even a start-up – the success of your venture will be dependent on the level of project management capability and capacity at your disposal and the level of project management maturity of your organisation.

So while we can all appreciate the creative process and recognise the specific talents in the design teams; let’s not forget about the project managers and the critical role they play in realising business benefits.  Delivery is just as important as design.

Be project ready.  Talk to Clarion today about how our experience and our people can make a difference to your business.