This vision statement was written in 1999 as part of the founding of GPD. While our insights, methods, tools, and cases have evolved, the underlying challenges and dynamics of teamwork remain the same.
The Challenge. Existing tools for project management are not effective for modern project teams. The Gantt chart, PERT diagrams and Critical Path scheduling are rooted in factories a century ago. These methods eliminate diversity from a task, ignore communication, and schedule for central control. These traditional tools are effective " if only everything can be planned ahead of time".
The Gantt Chart is 1914 Technology.
Experienced project managers now understand that coordination of uncertainty, communication, distribution and diversity are keys to effective project management.
The new work environment requires methods and tools that promote distributed coordination rather than central control, allow diverse work behavior, and include communication as a work activity. GPD has developed the new project team platform for modern, complex work.
The Significance. The social, economic, and technical globalization of our planet is transforming the way we live and work. This period of human history is the first in which people broadly have the opportunity for substantive, global collaboration.
New work partnerships not possible a generation ago are demanded in the global environment. Organizations change rapidly and workers in the service economy often change roles. Innovative cross-functional teams, linked by information technology, attempt to solve increasingly complex problems across boundaries.
The Future of Teamwork. The project manager and team leaders for a new project are brought together, in multiple languages and at distributed sites. Before the project begins, they train for effective collaboration. The training integrates goal definition, sharing of critical background knowledge, and effective cross-cultural teaming.
These teams use interactive simulation to consider courses of action, agreeing on project architecture and coordination strategies which optimize progress and mitigate risk. A reference project model, synchronized to product, process, and organization data, is produced.
During the project they view overall progress from their own perspective and their dependence with others. Project cost, lead time, and quality are managed as new information is gained on progress, feasibility, risk, and performance.
With the help of intelligence integrated in their TeamPort system, the team quickly identifies work issues, smoothly resolving them Following the project the team learns from a retrospective view of total performance, including work, communication, and coordination. Significant trends are extracted for use in improving future projects