A Matter of Size

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After spending the better part of a decade managing projects for large Fortune500 organizations. I recently had the opportunity to consult and project manage for some small companies. As you would expect that there are positives and negatives in both, and the disparity can generally be seen with team size/support and decision processes.

In large organizations there’s usually an entire team of stakeholders that are assigned or available to support the PM through the project; from BA’s to Architects, to UI/UX experts and business SME’s. I have often said that a PM is only as good as their team (more is not necessarily better but manpower is a definite plus). Having the budget and organizational size to properly support and staff the project is key for success, especially since large organizations generally take on large complex projects. But the larger the organization, the more the politics and red-tape increase, which can make decision making and approval difficult and at times adversely affect the project.

Oppositely, in small organizations, reaching the project sponsor and decision makers are generally an easy exercise. A quick stop by their office or a call to their mobile and you have an answer. But you may not have the project support and your project team may be wearing multiple hats; and when problems arise, budgeting is often tight with little or no room to compensate for issues or changes. Creativity and MacGyver resourcefulness may win out in order to get a project delivered.

Interestingly enough I cannot say that I enjoy managing projects for large organizations over small or vice versa, as each possess unique opportunities that make Project Management challenging and fun!