Project Management and Organization Development: Working Together To Achieve Success

Uncovering the key advantages found when bringing two normally separate departments, Organization Development (OD) and Project Management, together has many advantages. For example, reduce risk and increased efficiencies. Both of these departments exhibit processes and practices that when combined increase the success found in both fields. 

To be clear, bringing together does not mean creating a new department, but rather utilizing the key disciplines and practices of one department to help the other become more efficient and effective. For example, communication is a key part of project management, therefore utilizing the communication skill sets found within OD to increase the effectiveness of a project manager and the success rates of the projects managed is one way for these two fields to integrate.

Project Managers also need to work on project plans and become more effective at planning. They must manage not just the project itself in terms of scope, but also the resources necessary to execute the project. Therefore, they must also be effective resource managers as well as project managers.

Organization Development practitioners are often times consultants working either internally or externally to an organization so their business models are based on services and results for the organization, from a systemic point of view.  This view is not limited to a unit within an organization. It is not necessarily a department within an organization. 

Having these common components in the definition is key for bringing these two fields together. It is important to try and find similarities in areas where the two can connect.

It is important to remain cognizant of how effective Project Managers and Organizational Development Consultants are at their work. Effectiveness leads to the ability to gain bigger and better projects. If projects are delivered successfully, one can hope to receive another and another and move forward.

Effectiveness in this case is two-sided, however one can't lose site of the other. Project Managers tend to focus largely on the effectiveness of how a project is executed, while in the field of OD the focus is primarily on how the project will impact the entire organization. Thus, if a project is executed efficiently it is more likely to have a positive impact on the organization as a whole.