John Reiling writes about the importance of nurturing unseen relationships. He’s got a valid point. As a project manager your #1 challenge is maintaining relationship and your #1 tool for achieving it is effective communication. I’ve argued previously that as 90% of the project manager’s work requires communication of some sort, improved communication will have substantial impact on the overall project’s chances of success.

Scientific American has recently published an article where it brought together a number of scientists to explore the intellectual and cultural walls that have fallen (since the fall of the Berlin Wall) and those that remain to come down. One of the scientists quoted in the article, Muhammad Yunus, talked about the “falling walls of poverty.” The premise of his work is to engage large corporation with the aim of convincing them to create a business model that is not necessarily profit based but rather based on a social and environmental contribution – a fascinating concept.

I wonder whether or not this concept can also be applied to project management. Can a project manager be judged not only by his/her ability to deliver the ‘profit’ based results (i.e. those objectives determined by a business case which have a $ value behind them) but also on the contribution that the project makes to the well being and long term aspirations of the people involved with the project.

Imaginary idea? I think not!

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