Project Manager as a Pivot Point for Implementing Sustainability in an Enterprise

Project Manager as a Pivot Point for Implementing Sustainability in an Enterprise

Richard Maltzman (EarthPM, LLC, USA) and David Shirley (EarthPM, LLC, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4852-4.ch051
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In this chapter, the authors provide a rationale for asserting a special importance of the project manager with respect to implementing sustainability at their enterprise, due to their being at a key “pivot point.” This does not come without challenges, and here the authors convey those specific challenges for project managers. They show that one of these challenges is adopting a sustainability thinking mindset, a mindset that has its roots in the “larger scheme of things, and the long-haul,” even though project managers are often (necessarily) focused on their immediate scope, and short-term deliverables for demanding stakeholders. Finally, the authors advise project managers with some specific techniques to overcome the prior challenges.
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Stanford University and IPS have created the Stanford Execution Framework which shows how projects, programs and portfolios ‘connect’ with the remainder of the enterprise. Recent case studies (Herazo et al., 2012) affirm that project managers can help align strategic and tactical management. Further, major project attributes such as risk management are heavily influenced by the interaction of the project manager and the project owner (Krane et al., 2012). Advice for how project managers can take on this role more effectively can be found in Green Project Management (Maltzman and Shirley, 2011). Despite the level of academic and theoretical support, however, project managers do not always recognize that they have the role, or, recognizing it, sometimes fail to fully embrace this role for a number of reasons which we’ll discuss.

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