In the lobby of the Institute for Nuclear Power Operations, there is a plaque with the word “EXCELLENC” on it. The incomplete spelling is intentional. Look closely and you will see the "E" at the end is unfinished, which is emblematic of the fact that the pursuit of excellence is never over.
Project management as a science has not yet been perfected, nor will it ever be. Its practitioners continue to strive toward greater excellence, producing greater project certainty and evermore predictable outcomes. When done right, sound project oversight by owners helps achieve more predictable, win-win returns on invested capital. Whether you are the owner’s team or the project team, you are likely to benefit from oversight best practices administered by a proficient oversight staff. In this way, project oversight complements project management, furthering it in the direction of the aspirational pursuit of excellence.
More attention should be given to developing better standards and guidelines for owner oversight. The Project Oversight Guide (POG) was intended to foster greater attention and examination of owner oversight as a uniquely different discipline from project management. Rooted in the traditions of oversight used by Naval Reactors to launch, grow, and sustain one of the most successful technological programs in the history of the world, our guide folds in lessons learned and practices from other high-performance industries.
You may not see everything you expected in the POG. You may also strongly disagree with some of the espoused principles, fundamentals, characterizations, or approaches that we did choose to present. Nevertheless, we sincerely embrace your passionate input. Like project management, project oversight will never be perfected but should continue to strive toward excellence. Your feedback and perspective, drawn from lived experience, is the most important contribution to improving best practices on the path toward that excellence. We ask that you give us your unfiltered feedback and contribute to the future of The Project Oversight Guide.
Without a well-planned defense and mitigation strategy, owners face uncertainty and risks that can lead to unacceptable returns, insufficient earned value, and undue financial exposure. Hopefully, the concepts and practices in the POG will help you to avoid these adverse outcomes and achieve project success with greater certainty and more predictably.
You can find discussions and ideas on project oversight at our LinkedIn group Oversight Professionals.
Join and contribute!