Part 7 Build a Delivery Organization


The Road to Responsible Collaboration


By Robin Hornby

Alberta, Canada


In this series, Robin Hornby argues that the effectiveness of project management is improved by driving project responsibility into the organization and creating conditions favorable to ‘responsible collaboration’. But this collaborative environment will not naturally fall into place without the support of senior management and the adoption of enabling frameworks, guidelines, and techniques. In this seventh and final article, Robin recaps the evolutionary project management improvements needed to support responsible collaboration and summarizes the steps needed to institutionalize a Delivery Organization.


We have arrived at the end of the road. This series has explored what I believe is needed for owner/provider alignment and responsible collaboration. Good intentions are assured by discipline, so we must conclude our journey with a formal implementation. This begins the transition to organization-centric project management and our goal of a Delivery Organization.

The foundation for this implementation has been viewed from many different angles and is firm. To recap, this comprises: a universal business lifecycle, a high-level functional model of project management (PM), the acceptance by project participants of a common project lifecycle, and agreement on the principle of balanced responsibilities between owner and provider. There are operational options to be decided, but these are practice details and can be selected during implementation planning.

Perform a Candid Assessment

Although mountains do not have to be climbed, a degree of transformation in the project environment is expected, so change is easier for those who have already cleared some of the prerequisite steps. These steps, as a reminder, are as follows:

  1. The PM Establishes a Mandate with the Owner
  2. The Team Adopts Shared Objectives
  3. The Provider Offers Uniform Project Support
  4. The Owner Appoints a Project Sponsor.

An impartial professional can easily confirm the organization has attained these steps. Progress will also be smoother for organizations who have a cadre of project managers (the PMs) with a solid grasp of PM processes. A reasonable degree of project maturity possessed by provider and owner/sponsor likewise promotes successful implementation. For example:

  • The provider demonstrates an ability to assemble project teams and assign trained PMs. Chief among these tasks are hiring, ensuring team training and compatibility, preparing statements of role, assessing performance, managing team behavior, resolving conflict, coaching, and developing staff potential. Basic PM tools, techniques, and processes are understood and used.


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Editor’s note: This series of articles is by Robin Hornby, author of four books including A Concise Guide to Project Collaboration: Building a Delivery Organization (Routledge 2023) and Ccommercial Project Management: A Guide for Selling and Delivering Professional Services (Routledge 2017). Learn more about the author in his profile below.

How to cite this paper: Hornby, R. (2023). Part 7 Build a Delivery Organization, The Road to Responsible Collaboration, series article, PM World Journal, Vol. XII, Issue XI, November. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/pmwj135-Nov2023-Hornby-Part-7-Build-Delivery-Organization-responsible-collaboration.pdf

About the Author

Robin Hornby

Alberta, Canada


Robin Hornby worked in Information Technology for over 40 years, taught project management at Mount Royal University for 12 years and maintained a consulting practice. He worked across Canada and internationally, was a long-time holder of the PMP designation, and presented frequently at PMI symposia. He pioneered many delivery management practices and is the author of four books. His latest book titled A Concise Guide to Project Collaboration: Building a Delivery Organization was published in 2023 by Routledge.  For more information, visit www.tmipm.com. Robin Hornby can be contacted at rchornby@shaw.ca

To view other works by Robin Hornby, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at https://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/robin-hornby/