Audits and Project Business Healing Days


Project Business Management


By Oliver F. Lehmann

Munich, Germany


Cross-corporate project business opens new options by breaking through the protective walls of the organization and turning the assets of other organizations into project resources. This freedom comes with potential threats, particularly on cross-border communications. The article discussed some of these threats and proposes two solutions: Project management audits and Project business healing days.

Limitations of Communications

Cross-corporate project business has become a success story in the last years. By putting their assets together and turning them into project resources, organizations can achieve goals faster and less costly than when they try to limit their projects to the internal environment enclosed inside the protective walls of an organization.

Communication in project business, however, is often difficult. Limitations of communications that can impact the communications among the parties/partners are similar to those in internal projects but get amplified by the cross-nature of project business[1]. I will discuss some aspects of these limitations and recommend two tools that have proven able to overcome them:

Project Management Audits and Project Business Healing Days.

Communication Channels

Cross-corporate project business has several aspects that make it significantly more complicated and demanding than internal projects. One of these aspects is the increase in communication channels between individuals and organizations. To understand the issues, we need to understand the (simple) mathematics of communication channels.

Communication channels describe how people interact and communicate with each other. A simple example is a party where the party guests toast each other. We simply count for this the number of pings heard as each guest clinks glasses with every other guest and the host.

The host alone cannot clink the glass alone. Our host could invite another person and have a party of two. When it comes to clinking, one ping is enough to know that host and guest were there.

If the host gets another guest, so the party now consists of 3 people, we must there three pings so that we can safely say everyone has clinked glasses with everyone else, if no two people have clinked their glasses twice. With 4 people we already need six pings, with 5 people 10 pings and so on. The number of pings increases faster than the number of people involved. Figure 1 shows the formula for communication channels and how their number indeed grows faster than the number of people involved:


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Editor’s note: This series of articles is by Oliver Lehmann, author of the book “Project Business Management” (ISBN 9781138197503), published by Auerbach / Taylor & Francis in 2018. See author profile below.

How to cite this article: How to cite this article: Audits and Project Business Healing Days, series on Project Business Management, PM World Journal, Vol. X, Issue VI, June.  Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/pmwj106-Jun2021-Lehmann-Audits-and-Project-Business-Healing-Days-PBM-series-article.pdf

About the Author

Oliver F. Lehmann

Munich, Germany


Oliver F. Lehmann, MSc, ACE, PMP, is a project management educator, author, consultant, and speaker. In addition, he is the President of the Project Business Foundation, the home association for professionals and organizations involved in cross-corporate projects.

He studied Linguistics, Literature and History at the University of Stuttgart and Project Management at the University of Liverpool, UK, where he holds a Master of Science Degree. Oliver has trained thousands of project managers in Europe, USA and Asia in methodological project management with a focus on certification preparation. In addition, he is a visiting lecturer at the Technical University of Munich.

He has been a member and volunteer at PMI, the Project Management Institute, since 1998, and served as the President of the PMI Southern Germany Chapter from 2013 to 2018. Between 2004 and 2006, he contributed to PMI’s PM Network magazine, for which he provided a monthly editorial on page 1 called “Launch”, analyzing troubled projects around the world.

Oliver believes in three driving forces for personal improvement in project management: formal learning, experience and observations. He resides in Munich, Bavaria, Germany and can be contacted at oliver@oliverlehmann.com.

Oliver Lehmann is the author of the books:

His previous articles and papers for PM World Journal can be found here:

[1] I describe more differences between internal projects and customer projects in my books (Lehmann, 2016; Lehmann, 2018)