If you think that project management has no scope for innovative thinking, think again. On one project, we had an over-dimension cargo (ODC) to be taken from Mumbai Port to the site. An ODC does not travel with the normal road traffic. How do you take the cargo? Can you take it without being innovative?
At other site, we had pressure for the use of locally made material. That is not bad except that the material was produced without any quality parameters, inspection and tests. When we tested it, the material failed. Now what do we do?
So do you see how project management calls for innovations? Yes, you have a reason that project management has no scope for innovative thinking. You will say look at what a project is all about. Everything is decided for you. A project has the following criteria:
l Specified start date
l Specified end date
l Specified end result
l Specified cost, and
l Specified resources
Now if everything is decided, where is the scope for innovative thinking, do you say? That is where the difference is. You need to be innovative precisely if things are decided. Take an example. If you have to, you will decide the end date in some way. Now, are you sure that you will meet the end date? Are you sure that you will not run into uncertainties? Will you not have to innovate to meet the deadline? If you have to work innovatively, then what difference does it make who specifies the end date?
Take the cost limitation. The cost is fixed for a project. The skill is how you finish the task correctly, within that cost. Your innovation in procurement can change the cost of a project. What are the contracts, what is the scope, who supplies what, what about the inter-phase, what is the delivery period, what is the LD clause etc., questions will decide the cost. You require innovation and alertness.
Take one more example. Successful project management needs that you have an effective MIS (Management Information System). Generation, understanding and distribution of project information have to be done with alertness. Take project reporting. The frequency, content and distribution of the progress report will affect your resources. If you are not alert, you can spend time reporting, without actually achieving the progress.
For more details please refer to Projectmonitor Prinit Version.