Matrix conflict in government agencies is very complex: it is difficult to change a concept in state officials’ minds that it is necessary to follow instructions of not only the head but also the officials’ of nearby department

13 january 2015 | "PRO Business'

How authorities should organize their activities with the help of the project management, how to become a leader in the project management implementation in the public sector and how to motivate people to participate in projects and avoid the "matrix conflict" - these questions were discussed in the program "Nauka Upravleniya" (Management Science) by the Head of the Directorate for Project Management in the Public Sector of the Analytical Center Pavel Shestopalov.

Pavel Shestopalov
Pavel Shestopalov
Directorate for project management in the public sector

"The principle of the management by objectives method adopted in our country is that all goals set by the state should be framed at specific indicators and these indicators should be achieved within the framework of specific actions’ implementation. These actions’ combination is called “state programs”, so the country’s development will be built through several public programs and projects", said the expert.

At the legal framework level a term "government program" is defined and it consists of subprograms (subroutine), federal target programs and freestanding activities, noted the expert. Last year the Federal Law №172-FL dated June 28, 2014 "On the strategic planning in the Russian Federation" was passed, and it defines terms "program", "subprogram" (subroutine), explains how they are implemented and monitored, according to the expert. "All regional and federal authorities proceed to the activities planning through the government programs planning. Their budget will be formed on this basis", said Mr. Shestopalov adding that many regions have already switched to this system, and their budgets are by almost 100% generated by the management by objectives principle.

The main difficulty in the implementation of the project management in the public sector is that the term "project management" is not yet registered in any fundamental strategic law or document, considers the expert. Therefore, authorities implementing the project management principles can be called pace setters. Business has been using principles of the project management for a long time, but in the public sector such examples are rare. "Last year the Analytical Center held the first annual contest on the professional project management in the public sector "Project Olympus" which was attended by over a hundred organizations", said the expert. The contest promotes the project management practices among government agencies.

Mr. Shestopalov also mentioned two major problems in this field. "The term "project" is not defined in the law, and unfortunately very often government agencies' heads are unwilling to apply principles of the project management due to this fact”, said the expert. The second issue lies in the fact that all government agencies are built according to a strict top-down structure, strict subordination. A project usually requires an involvement of participants from different organizations. "It is difficult to change a concept in state officials’ minds that it is necessary to follow instructions of not only the head but also the officials’ of nearby department. This is a big problem of interdepartmental cooperation”, said Mr. Shestopalov.

Now for the effective and rapid development of this sector the use of best existing practices and recommendations is necessary, according to the expert. The Analytical Center is ready to provide a platform for experience sharing and become a site for dealing with complex issues”, said Mr. Shestopalov.

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