Bruce Lee and 2 competitve priotities

2 priorities for competitive advantage

Bruce Lee, Toby Elwin, competitive advantage, priorities, portfolio, motivation

In skilled hands only these two can beat down competition

In addition to sales and finance, there are two complimentary organization priorities that leaders should focus on to achieve and sustain excellence:

  1. Understand motivation
  2. Deliver projects in a routine manner

Organizations can stake out a competitive advantage by doing things cheaper or doing things better.  Motivation and project management are two ways an organization can reduce costs and do things better.

Organizations need to leverage motivation as a competitive advantage.

I think people are aware of how important motivation is to gauge the effort or quality they give to a task, to a team, to a manager, to a leader, or to an organization.  However, organizationally and individually, few have taken steps to understand their accountability to motivate others.

I’ve written often about motivation. ¬†Here’s the deal with motivation: ¬†every morning when someone starts their day, if they are not motivated you and your organization will get none of their potential. ¬†Motivation is as much their responsibility to maintain, as it is yours to leverage and to lose. ¬†And I use the term leverage with all its implications.

Organizations need to leverage project management as a competitive advantage.

I am a certified project manager professional(PMP), the Project Management Institute (PMI) is the largest professional organization in the world.  PMI operates and acts as if the world spins on its axis by the grace of project management.

The reality:  project management applied too often as a scientific or engineering frame and too little as an elemental, professional discipline, as important as financial management or accounting.

Project management has its adherents and those industries or technicians that have come to rely on project management are mainly construction, information systems, or engineering-based ventures.

The reliance on a scientific process has presented project management as a set of tools or very linear process.  This has left project management in the basement of organization options and short of its potential force in business excellence.

Any item not currently¬†operational¬†is a project. ¬†Any new option or strategy, until operational, is a project. ¬†I want to quote a section of the Project Management Book of Knowledge, I know this book does not on show up on any list of business professional’s reading list [emphasis added]:

A project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result. ¬†The temporary nature of projects indicates a definite beginning and end. ¬†The end is reached when the project’s objectives have been achieved¬†or when the project is terminated¬†because its objectives will not or cannot be met, or when the need for the project no longer exists.

Temporary does not necessarily mean short in duration.  Temporary does not generally apply to the product, service, or result created by the project; most projects are undertaken to create a lasting outcome. For example, a project to build a national monument will create a result expected for centuries.  Projects can also have social, economic, and environmental impacts that far outlast the projects themselves.

Every project creates a unique product, service, or result.  Although repetitive elements may be present in some project deliverables, this repetition does not change the fundamental uniqueness of the project work.  For example, office buildings are constructed with the same or similar materials or by the same team, but each location is unique Рwith a different design, different circumstances, different contractors, and so on.

An ongoing work effort is generally a repetitive process because it follows an organization’s existing procedures. ¬†In contrast, because of the unique nature of projects, there may be uncertainties about the products, services, or results that the project creates.

Project tasks can be new to a project team, which necessitates more dedicated planning than other routine work. In addition, projects are undertaken at all organizational levels.  A project can involve a singer person a single organizational unit, or multiple organizational units.

A project can create:

  • A product¬†that can be¬†either a component of another item or an end item in itself,
  • A capability¬†to perform a service (e.g., a business function that supports production or distribution, or
  • A result¬†such as an outcome or document (e.g.,¬†a research project that develops knowledge that can be¬†used to determine whether a trend is present or a new process will benefit society).

Examples of projects include, but are not limited to:

  • Developing a new product or service,
  • Effecting a change in the structure, staffing or style of an organization
  • Developing or acquiring a new or modified information system,
  • Constructing a building or infrastructure, or
  • Implementing a new business process or procedure.*

What intrigues me is the great opportunity project management can provide any organization.  Project management organizational governance and commitment is a comparative differentiation, an operational competitive advantage, a corporate finance requirement, and an organizational talent motivator.

Organizational talent motivator?

Well, to that motivation’s point:¬† when projects fail, people associated with projects fail and who wants association to failure? ¬†Who hopes to set out to fail or continue to fail again and again?

Conversely, project management builds wins, builds win reliability, and builds base a realistic starting points for scope.

The ability to scope, manage, and deliver projects:

  1. Increases margins,
  2. Frees capital, and
  3. Improves return on involvement also known as motivation

All crucial to become and maintain competitive advantage.

Oh, I can write a book about scope’s impact on motivation.

No doubt I got some things wrong, or left out some important ideas.  Please let me know what you think and suggestions you have for me to add value.


*Project Management Book of Knowledge, Project Management Institute; 4th edition (December 31, 2008)

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