How to build a project management culture?

January 31, 2024


At a glance

Project management culture can only be built through an intent and consistent leadership practices. It is best to cut the rhetoric and pay attention to real actions related to talent, processes, digitization, and visibility.

This is the last article in the three-part series on ‘Project Management Culture’.

Using project management software doesn’t automatically build a project management culture.

Building a project management culture means transforming an existing culture. Your organization may have a traditional structure and culture.

There are departments and systems and procedures geared to deal with black boxes and whatever is needed to support them. In the previous article, we discussed some signs that you will see when there is a project management culture. If you don’t see those signs, you need a cultural transformation. 

A cultural transformation is always very challenging and it is a long journey. Here are a few early steps that you will need to take on this journey.

Spot, protect and nurture talent

Project business is risky and complex. You need talented people in all areas of projects including the support functions to navigate risks and complexity. Talented people will help you ride the waves of challenges coming at you. 

It takes a special talent to spot talent. Good leaders spot talent well. Talent is the ability to perform specific jobs or tasks with excellence. 

Talented people take pride in their work. They like to better themselves and others all the time. They can also be very competitive. They like to have feedback. Talented people hate it if their time is wasted. 

Having spotted talent, one has to protect it. The best way to protect talent Is to keep feeding it with meaningful and challenging work. Recognize and reward talent.  Showcase their good work. 

To nurture talented people, show them what more they could do.  Support their progress through specific jobs and training.


Successful project execution requires flexibility. Your systems and procedures should be configured to meet the needs of your project business.

People should be authorized to make decisions about their work as far as possible.  Overly rigid and tedious workflows can put off talented people.

Intense problem-solving sessions

Intense problem-solving sessions give an energizing buzz to a workplace. Encourage your people to go into huddles to solve problems and overcome challenges during different stages of projects.  Teach them formal techniques of creative and critical thinking.  Let the discussions be pointed and rigorous.


Arrange special sessions to discuss d work breakdown structures and risk assessments. Let people take sides and challenge each other while making difficult choices.

Track, track, and track

Make everything about projects visible. Let all those who are concerned with projects see and use -the project overview, work breakdown structure, tasks and skills needed, resources needed and allocated, tracking of task completion and project deliverables, billing, etc.  If they see it in real-time, they will be able to collaborate and make better decisions. They will be able to spot problems before it is too late.

Digitize opportunity to cash workflows 

To make everything visible, you have to digitize your workflows.  You need to provide tools to your people to capture information where it gets generated.

You need to let it flow to all areas so that those who need it can use it without having to struggle for it e.g. a resource getting allocated or released should be visible to other project managers.

You need professional service automation software(PSA) to integrate your existing project management software and packages that you may have into opportunity-to-cash workflows. 

Implement PSA software module by module. Partner with an experienced company that has ready out-of-the-box yet configurable software and has been in several successful customer partnerships. Your people will need hand-holding during the transformation. 

Bring that project’s buzz!

All the above steps will make it worthwhile for your talented people to keep giving their best and to keep seeking challenges. There is no better way of retaining and attracting talented people than this. And talented people are the heart of successful project organizations. Empowered and energized talented people make a project management culture. Do all the above and bring that buzz!

Previous articles in this series

Why should you build a project management culture?

How to recognize a project management culture?

More on the subject


Building Project Management Culture -Key to Improving Project Margins


Project managers as CEOs of their projects



ProductDossier - The makers of TouchBase PPM solution, that is configured specifically to the needs of your industry and organizational standards & processes. TouchBase is designed uniquely for external customer projects, new product development, and internal initiatives. TouchBase supports multiple project management approaches such as predictive, agile, and hybrid. TouchBase digitizes your project management landscape, offers holistic solution to your project management needs, and integrates with your existing enterprise applications such as ERPs, CRMs, Accounting, and others - to deliver one version of project management truth!