PM Skills™: Expanding Focus and Alignment
A project consists of many moving parts—people, resources, materials, and timelines, just to name a few. All of these parts connect and influence each other, and, as the project leader, it’s your job to ensure that all of the parts come together in the right way to achieve a specific goal. But, as many project leaders know, it’s never as simple as moving from point A to point B; projects are messy and nonlinear, so leaders need tools that will help them align project elements and see the bigger picture.
Systems thinking provides a framework for better understanding the complex and ever-changing parts of a project. This methodology helps you think of your project as an interrelated part of the larger puzzle that your organization will use to meet its objectives. It allows you to look beyond the boundaries of your project to see how factors outside those boundaries interact with the things inside (and vice versa). And it helps you expand your focus to see how your project results fit into the overall scheme of your organization.