A dinner for two, or two separate one’s?

This is my contribution to the second #PMFlashBlog focusing on Project Management in the Netherlands. I see in the Netherlands some focus points.

  • More and more organizations look at or work with agile approaches (e.g. Scrum) besides the use of waterfall methods (e.g. PRINCE2) or use a combination of PRINCE2 and Agile.
  • The same organizations are struggling with the governance for projects using agile. How to direct, how do we know where we are standing, are we still in control, when will we get the requested products?
  • Where are we standing with the benefits? Are we getting the benefits?

In this blog post I will look at the governance part (applicable for agile as well as waterfall approaches) and I will use the picture Menu à deaux, from frank Kunert, published in the book Wunderland. To make this picture, frank created “an arrangement of two people who have nothing to say to one another, who avoid all points of contact, even avoiding eye contact. They nevertheless maintain a token coexistence by opting for a table for their ‘shared’ meals built so cleverly around a corner that neither sees the other, though they can see their own television. The only thing the two share visually is a candle in the middle of the table.”

Menu a deaux (Frank Kunert)

Where have I seen this situation? Have you ever been in the situation that it’s difficult, or almost impossible to meet your project executive or sponsor? If there is no possibility to have informal meetings, have a cup of coffee or dinner together, how would one knows what the other one is thinking, what keeps one awake? How can you react if you don’t know? What will happen if your view on the project is a different view than the other has?

They have to work together; they have to become a team. Of course you could argue that not every project manager can do the job for each project owner. One size fits all is definitely not the case. If possible the project owner has to choose the right project manager. But let’s be honest for many organizations this is not that simple, there are just a few project managers and the one who just finished his/her job will be the first candidate for the next project. And be careful, one of the project success factors is the match between project owner and project manager. Not all leadership styles from the project manager as well as the project owner will lead to a successful project owner – project manager combination.

I see more and more emphasis on having the right combination of project owner and project manager. Do you see this too?

About “#PMFlashBlog – Project Management Around the World”

This post is part of the second round of the #PMFlashBlog where over 50 project management bloggers will release a post about their view of project management in their part of the world. Beginning with North America then followed by Europe & Australia bloggers will post their view each Monday for several weeks until we have gone around the world.


The complete list of all participating blogs is found here so please go and check them out!”

3 responses to “A dinner for two, or two separate one’s?

  1. Pingback: PMFlashBlog Round 2 "Project Management Around the World" Posts ##pmflashblog #projectmanagement | A Listly List

  2. Henny, I agree that with some projects I get the sponsor does not want to see you until the end of the project as they are too busy. I think it is important for the project team and the organisation to actively encourage sponsor involvement. Any project that I have delivered successfully has been due to active sponsor engagement.

  3. Pingback: PM FlashBlog 2014 – Europe | The Practicing IT Project Manager

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