It is not uncommon for corporate executives to initiate predictable steps like downsizing during lean times. However, some of these steps may appear gainful in the short-term but very dreadful and damaging in the long term. During Lean times, corporate leaders need to adopt good practices that can help their organizations withstand the challenges of recession and prepare them better for the future. Accordingly, it is important to ensure that scarce resources including people, space, time and money are channelled to projects where they will have the biggest beneficial effects during economically tough and challenging times. By so doing, leaders would be certain that only the right projects which most closely align with organizations’ strategic objectives are selected.
Sequel to this, leaders need to ensure that effective mechanisms that deliver more value, consume fewer resources and complete activities more cheaply are introduced in their organizations. Corporate leaders must focus on the key value drivers for every opportunity, use integrated, multifunctional teams, achieve effective input, communication and alignment among teams, decision makers and stakeholders, and do the work needed to support the next decision. In lean times, leaders need to be focused on decisions than activities. This approach helps promote common values in organization, foster collaboration, taps employees’ energies, reduces risks, and results in significant organizational cost savings in the range of 20% by reducing activities execution time by 10%. This paper examines the role of project management in dealing with lean times. It presents a set of approaches that can help organizations withstand the uncertainties and challenges of recession better and also emerge stronger for the future.
Keywords: lean management, project management, programme management, stage gate processes, organization design, budget.