Company Culture Philosophy: Which PM Style Is Right for Your Team?

A business’s ability to hire and retain talent largely depends on its company culture. But company culture isn’t just about how we get our work done or treat people. And it isn’t all about enjoying our work while we engage and collaborate with colleagues. In fact, many factors influence company culture philosophy, including project management styles.

Deciding which project management style works best for your team, and which results in the highest possible levels of productivity, depends on your company size and business type. After all, what works for one business or department team may not work for another.

Here’s a look at three popular company culture – and project management – styles and how they interact with various business settings.

1. Kaizen

Kaizen means “change for the better” or “improvement.” Companies worldwide recognize and utilize this philosophy within many sectors of business.

Perhaps most notably, Toyota uses Kaizen as a pillar within their production system. With this strategy, employees at all levels work to achieve regular, incremental improvements. People can apply this philosophy to their personal, social, and professional lives to slowly but surely better themselves and their situation.

While it became popular within the manufacturing environment, businesses of all sizes and industries can incorporate this philosophy within their company culture; many see positive results. The focus is on small, realistic changes and growth rather than extensive visionary alterations, which are challenging to incorporate. To incorporate this philosophy within your own company, you’ll want to make gradual changes and encourage leaders to act as role models.

Within this culture philosophy, workers can utilize apps relating to health and wellness, productivity, and learning to work towards continuous improvement every day. Additionally, feedback and incremental change will lead to waste elimination and process improvement.

2. Lean Six Sigma

Lean Six Sigma is a variation of traditional Six Sigma methodologies. While the exact definition varies, the general goal is to reduce process variation and eliminate waste to improve efficiency. Employees can receive statistical thinking training and earn “belts” corresponding to their training and expertise relating to Lean Six Sigma strategies. In the workplace, the higher your belt, the more responsibility you will have.

While all industries can benefit from Lean Six Sigma methodology, it’s most prominent in manufacturing and sectors that can improve their process efficiency by evaluating inputs and outputs. From a philosophical perspective, all work can be defined, measured, analyzed, improved, and controlled using this process.

This translates to a hierarchical environment in the workplace culture that strives for continuous process improvement using qualitative and quantitative techniques.

While a small or medium-size team may use this methodology, the entire company will feel its effects. The Lean component of this framework will prioritize eliminating anything that does not add value to the process in order to provide the greatest benefit to the customer. From an employee standpoint, this could lead to increased responsibility to meet demands.

3. Scrum

Scrum is a framework derived from agile project management. It follows a set of values and has distinct team roles and steps. More specifically, it has five events and three artifacts within its framework.

Managers can scale this philosophy to use at a product, team, or organization level. Ultimately, its purpose is to allow teams to collaborate effectively on complex problems and deliver and sustain valuable products. While it’s popular in the software industry, other fields have begun implementing it as well.

This culture philosophy is best for small teams and organizations that can embrace the values and empiricism fully. Each team utilizing Scrum needs one product owner and one Scrum master as well as developers. Groups that do not follow these roles or frequently disregard empiricism and the five events are likely to fail.

If you intend to implement Scrum within your organization, you must adopt transparency, inspection, and adaptation and welcome experimentation while following the Scrum values.

The five Scrum values include:

  • Respect
  • Openness
  • Focus
  • Commitment
  • Courage

Why Is Project Management Important to Company Culture Philosophy?

Now that you know three of the most popular project management styles that impact company culture, you may be wondering why it’s important to select one at all. And the answer is simple.

Despite many efforts to do so, you can’t make company culture better by adding ping-pong tables and nap pods and supplying hot lunches and snacks every day. But you can develop a healthy and productive environment by implementing positive project management strategies that help people feel their work matters – really matters. And employees who feel valued, useful, and happy at work are more likely to produce high-quality work and improve performance.

Adopt one of these project management best practices as part of your overall company culture philosophy. You’ll see improvement in employee satisfaction as you boost morale. You’ll be able to hire and retain the best talent. And you’ll soon improve your company’s bottom line.