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The Gig Economy

BOOK REVIEW

Title:   The Gig Economy
Author: Diane Mulcahy
Publisher: AMACOM (American Management Association)
List Price:   $22.00
Format: Hard cover, 240 ages
Publication Date:   Nov 2016       
ISBN: 9780814437346
Reviewer:     Sam Varghese
Review Date: January 2017

 


Introduction

‘Stop looking for a job and start creating your Gig Economy Life’ is the closing sentence of the Introduction chapter. I could not agree more coming from an IT field and currently doing contracting gig work.

The book has 10 rules to succeed in the Gig Economy, expanded in the chapters. The author explains that this work style existed for quite some time but the difference is now it affecting middle class and white collar workers. The introduction also highlights that this economy is mainly for skilled people. For others with ‘bad jobs’ they getter some better options to do better work in this new economy. The author indicates that the traditional full time work still dominates in terms of percentage of the working population but the gig economy worker percentage is growing rapidly.

Ultimately the author talks about envisioning the professional and personal success each person dreams about and making that happen through this Gig Economy. Some of the examples of companies that facilitate this economy are Uber, TaskRabbit, Upwork.

Overview of Book’s Structure

This book is nicely laid out into 3 parts:

Part 1 – Getting Better Work

This section covers more about what success means to you personally; based on your values & priorities, good job, good career, good life. It also includes a chapter on diversifying the gigs by categorizing them as gigs to experiment vs. gigs to learn by doing vs. gigs to do what you really want to do. Also talks about the risks of over diversification. The third chapter talks about creating your security by building ones skills, building a pipeline of opportunities, creating multiple sources of income and by keeping fixed costs low. The last and fourth chapter talks about connecting without networking through inbound connect through writing and speaking and outbound connecting through joining special interest groups and by leveraging technology.

Part 2 – Taking More Time Off

Chapter five talks about facing ones fear by reducing risk, by mitigating it, by insuring it, by shifting it, by eliminating it and by accepting it. Chapter six helps navigate through taking time off between gigs. This time could be travel or pursuing a passion, volunteering, completing personal projects. The chapter also covers planning the time off including financing this time, others opinion, minding the gap on ones resume and the reason behind why you are doing what you are doing. The last chapter in this section is chapter seven being mindful of time that helps navigate through a manager vs. makers schedule type of time management. The chapter also talks about expanding time by engaging in new experiences, by giving time away, by becoming powerful and by combining physical and mental tasks.

More…

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About the Review                                                    


Sam Varghese, PMP

Texas, USA

 


Sam Varghese
is a PMP Certified IT Management professional with a focus on increasing customer business value through better customer engagement and digital commerce leveraging technology and his 18 years of business and Big 5 IT industry experience.

Email address: sam@aetos-solutions.com

 

Editor’s note: This book review was the result of a partnership between the publisher, PM World and the PMI Dallas Chapter. Authors and publishers provide the books to PM World; books are delivered to the PMI Dallas Chapter, where they are offered free to PMI members to review; book reviews are published in the PM World Journal and PM World Library. PMI Dallas Chapter members can keep the books as well as claim PDUs for PMP recertification when their reviews are published. Chapter members are generally mid-career professionals, the audience for most project management books.

If you are an author or publisher of a project management-related book, and would like the book reviewed through this program, please contact editor@pmworldjournal.net

 

 

Improving Business Performance

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title: Improving Business Performance: A project portfolio management approach
Author: Ramani S
Publisher: CRC Press – Taylor & Francis Group
List Price: $67.96
Format: Hard Cover, 216 pages
Publication Date: 12/17/2015
ISBN: 978-1-4987-4194-1
Reviewer: Patrick James
Review Date: January/2017

 


Introduction

This book is a result of discussion with several successful business leaders and project portfolio managers. Author Ramani has made this single reference that covers portfolio, program, and project management perspectives, highlighting how these concepts contribute to the better performance. This book also include topics on transition management, change management, benefits management as well as enterprise project management. Study cases, graphs and templates have been added for better understanding.

Author has attempted to put together comprehensive solutions that can enable commercial and non-profit organizations in achieving their strategic objectives, delivering superior business performance and enhancing their professionalism. Definitions, graphs, tables and illustrations are easy to follow and remember.

Overview of Book’s Structure

This book consists of 9 Chapters with topics including defining Change, It all Commences with Strategy! Project portfolio management, the core of program management, change initiative integration into operations i.e. transition management as well as change management and stakeholder engagement.

All chapters provide in depth knowledge, understanding and concept of change management which are easy to follow and understood. Every chapter unveil different concepts and provide vide range of real time business cases and conclusions based on different change management scenario. This book is an extract of in-depth study of project portfolio management for managing organizational change.

In Chapter 2: It All Commences with Strategy! Project Portfolio Management; Author Ramani has put together steps to define and mange change. A rational first step to take while refining strategy is to assess “as is” stage, by studying current data, where do organization stand today with reference to the industry and the competitive landscape.

Different tools and concepts have been put together; for example SWAT analysis, Matrix-Application by Boston Consulting Group, application of Balanced Scorecard (BSC) to portfolio management, Providing key steps to Portfolio Definition and Implementation i.e. Collect, Clarify, Evaluate and Prioritize and Reconcile.

Highlights

This book consists of advanced study and research on project portfolio management for managing changes within organizations. Theories, research and case studies will help top level decision maker to think outside the traditional project portfolio management cycle and adopt changes that will help organizations identify and manage core risks and road blocks and will lead change management project into success. Here are few quotes in this book that I would like to share:

More…

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About the Reviewer


Patrick James MBA, PMP

North Texas, USA

 


Patrick James
graduated from Punjab University with a major in Mathematics & Statistics; he earned his MBA in Marketing from Preston University. He earned his PMP Certification from the Project Management Institute (PMI®) in 2014. 8 years ago while working as an analyst he slowly started advancing his true passion to work as a project manager, to manage complex and challenging projects. Over the last 6 years he has successfully managed several Business Process Improvement and re-engineering projects. Patrick likes working with cross-functional teams in a collaborative environment. An active member of PMI and the local Dallas PMI Chapter, he likes to read articles & books on Project Management, IT and Business Optimization. Patrick is currently working as Project Manager – BPO for an IT Network Solutions Company in the DFW area of north Texas.

 

Editor’s note: This book review was the result of a partnership between the publisher, PM World and the PMI Dallas Chapter. Authors and publishers provide the books to PM World; books are delivered to the PMI Dallas Chapter, where they are offered free to PMI members to review; book reviews are published in the PM World Journal and PM World Library. PMI Dallas Chapter members can keep the books as well as claim PDUs for PMP recertification when their reviews are published. Chapter members are generally mid-career professionals, the audience for most project management books.

If you are an author or publisher of a project management-related book, and would like the book reviewed through this program, please contact editor@pmworldjournal.net

 

 

 

IT Project Management

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title:   IT Project Management: On Track from Start to Finish
Author: Joseph Phillips
Publisher: McGraw-Hill
List Price:   $57.00
Format: Hard Cover, 613 pages
Publication Date:   2010    
ISBN: 9780071700429
Reviewer:     Manjit Aerry
Review Date: 01/2017

 


 Introduction

This book should be extremely useful for the Project Managers who plan to manage IT Projects – as the book has been written based upon author’s own experience as a Project Manager. The author has tried to explain all the project management processes involved in IT Project Management in a very simple language. The quizzes and exercises at the end of each chapter help the reader test his/her understanding of the contents of that chapter. Additionally, each of the chapter has “From the Field’ section that includes related questions asked from the experienced/reputed Project Managers along with their responses. In other words, IT Project Management techniques recommended in this book are based upon real world IT Project Management experiences.

Additionally, it appears that this book is written to help the readers prepare for CompTIA Project + exam as well. In other words, this book serves dual purpose.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The chapters in this book have been placed in the order it is supposed to be from IT Project Management perspective. Starting with the first chapter that describes Initiating the Project, it explains planning, managing the scope, creating the budget, Building the Project Plan, Organizing and Managing a Project Team, Implementing, Revising Project Plan, enforcing quality in the other chapters before coming to the conclusion of completing the project.

Also, the material relevant for CompTIA Project + exam has been separately identified in each of the chapter with greyed background.

Highlights

Some of the chapters in this book are very well written, especially Chapter 1 (Initiating the Projects), Chapter 2 (Planning the Project), Chapter 4 (Managing the Project Scope), Chapter 7 (Organizing a Project Team) & Chapter 8 (Managing Teams)

Highlights: What I liked!

I liked the way the importance of Project Scope Statement has been described in Chapter 2 of this book. And it is a true statement that Project Scope Statement is one of the most important documents from the IT Project Management perspective. The project scope is basically the required work that the project must complete in order for the project to be done

More…

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About the Reviewer


Manjit Aerry                      

North Texas, USA

 


Manjit Aerry
has worked for Oracle Corporation as an IT Consultant for 14 years. He has worked on various Oracle Financials Implementation projects during his career as an IT Consultant.

Email address: Manjit.aerry@gmail.com

 

Editor’s note: This book review was the result of a partnership between the publisher, PM World and the PMI Dallas Chapter. Authors and publishers provide the books to PM World; books are delivered to the PMI Dallas Chapter, where they are offered free to PMI members to review; book reviews are published in the PM World Journal and PM World Library. PMI Dallas Chapter members can keep the books as well as claim PDUs for PMP recertification when their reviews are published. Chapter members are generally mid-career professionals, the audience for most project management books.

If you are an author or publisher of a project management-related book, and would like the book reviewed through this program, please contact editor@pmworldjournal.net

 

 

Leading the Unleadable

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title:   Leading the Unleadable – How to Manage Mavericks, Cynics, Divas, and Other Difficult People
Author:        Alan Willett
Publisher:    AMACOM
List Price:     $17.95
Format: Paperback, 225 pages
Publication Date:   Nov 29, 2016
ISBN: 978-0814437605
Reviewer:     John Poulos
Review Date: January 2017

 


Introduction

The author – Alan Willett, an expert in leadership development and organizational culture change – provides through this book a roadmap to exceptional leadership. He reminds us that achieving this goal requires us to accept that:

  • The call to leadership is a choice
  • Leadership is about leading people
  • Leadership comes with a taxonomy of trouble
  • The trouble is your fault, even when it is not

Becoming an exceptional leader is all about leading people to achieve more than they believed was possible (“creating a culture where people do extraordinary things”), along with a willingness to directly deal with the trouble inherent in this role. What the author calls the “unleadable” – the mavericks, cynics, divas, slackers and other difficult types – are often at the heart of leadership challenges. The book presents a framework, approach and recommendations for “transforming the troublesome to the tremendous.”

Overview of Book’s Structure

The book is organized into four sections, as follows:

Part 1 – The Call to Exceptional Leadership – presents the challenges that leaders must face, makes the case for raising the bar and accepting the call to exceptional leadership. It also describes the seven elements of the mindset required to achieve this level.

Part 2 – The Leader in Action: Spotting Trouble, Dealing with Trouble – provides guidance on how to detect trouble, including methods to overcome the blind spots on your radar. It then prescribes practical steps to dealing with troublesome people, outlines follow-up techniques to achieve enduring improvement, and closes with a chapter on approaching the decision to “remove or improve” a troublesome individual for the benefit of the larger team, project or organization.

Part 3 – The Leader in Action: Preventing Trouble – takes this a step further, establishing the importance of setting compelling goals as key to preventing trouble, with guidance on how to set expectations for excellence on an ongoing basis. It closes with a chapter on how to start a project so that it yields exceptional results.

Part 4 – Leading Leaders – addresses the unique challenges and potential of leading people who lead people themselves, and growing these leaders in the process. It also provides advice on strengthening self-leadership, including finding your leadership sweet spot and taking ownership of your leadership.

Highlights

While many of us assume a leadership role through diverse circumstances as a matter of course, the author makes a compelling case for raising the bar and aiming for leadership excellence, which can yield powerful benefits to all involved.

The author presents a systematic and prescriptive framework and practical guide to achieving exceptional leadership. This includes such elements as:

  • Methods, techniques and tips based on experience and research
  • Decision criteria and considerations
  • Reflection Points at the end of each chapter, to encourage readers to further explore the concepts and project them onto their individual context and experience

Leading difficult team members, managers, and other stakeholders is an unavoidable step in the journey to leadership excellence. We have all encountered these familiar types and can relate to many of the cases the author includes. Throughout the book, he illustrates key concepts and techniques through case studies that focus on some of the most common “unleadable” types.

More…

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About the Reviewer


John Poulos, PMP

Chile & USA




John Poulos
has over thirty years of experience providing guidance on the effective use of information technology while delivering business-driven, technology-based solutions to a wide range of private and public sector organizations. In his current position as Senior Director of Cloud Services at NTT DATA, he manages strategic projects for NTT DATA/CS leadership. In addition, he delivers infrastructure and IT strategy consulting services to corporate and government clients. He is currently leading a global project to migrate 30,000 employees of a company recently acquired by NTT DATA from their original end-user computing environment to the standard NTT DATA PC image and SW configuration. In prior positions, John provided IT consulting services across various industries and geographical regions. He managed complex projects for clients in private enterprise, higher education and government. John holds E.E. and Engineering Management degrees from Southern Methodist University, MIT, and The George Washington University.

Email address: jpoulos539@gmail.com

 

Editor’s note: This book review was the result of a partnership between the publisher, PM World and the PMI Dallas Chapter. Authors and publishers provide the books to PM World; books are delivered to the PMI Dallas Chapter, where they are offered free to PMI members to review; book reviews are published in the PM World Journal and PM World Library. PMI Dallas Chapter members can keep the books as well as claim PDUs for PMP recertification when their reviews are published. Chapter members are generally mid-career professionals, the audience for most project management books.

If you are an author or publisher of a project management-related book, and would like the book reviewed through this program, please contact editor@pmworldjournal.net

 

 

The Social Project Manager

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title: The Social Project Manager
Author: Peter Taylor
Publisher: Routledge (A Gower Book)
List Price:   US$47.96
Format: hard cover; 175
Publication Date:   2015 (Gower); 2016 (Routledge)
ISBN: 978-1472452221
Reviewer:     Susan Riewe
Review Date: January 2017

 


Introduction to the Book

The Social Project Manager” explores the next generation of project management – the marriage of traditional practice with collaboration via social platform tools that mirror the way people are communicating outside of the office. The book’s subtitle, Balancing Collaboration with Centralised Control in a Project Driven World, sums up the need to find a balance between formal project management standards and informal real-time collaboration.

The author invited leading providers of social technology products to contribute their thoughts on project management in today’s world, communication and how to integrate tradition with technology. The author inserts comments within these essays, as well as, sharing his own knowledge and social stories as examples.

Overview of Book’s Structure

This book is organized into six chapters, starting with the evolution of project management, moving on to practicing social project management and becoming a socially mature organization and ending with a list of eleven tips for success.

Each chapter is infused with a mix of essays by providers of social project tools, author knowledge and comments, as well as real world examples. Here is a summary of each chapter:

Chapter one – The Past, the Present and the Possible Social Future – compares traditional project management with Project Management 2.0 (the addition of distributed collaboration). The author then explains in detail how the social aspect is the next evolution of PM and the need to achieve the right balance of social collaboration.

Chapter two – The Challenge of Being a Social Project Manager – defines Social Project Managers as using ‘modern software tools to decentralize specific project processes, but retain the collaborative essentials’. Communications and decisions are visible and real-time, reducing the need for meetings and increasing collaboration, commitment and performance.

Chapter three – The Practical Social Project Manager – delves into the benefits of becoming a social project manager, the increased success of projects, how social fits into the project lifecycle, how it affects the team and how to balance collaboration with centralized control.

Chapter four – The Social Project Manager as a Commercial Force – is a view of the project-based organization selling knowledge and expertise rather than products. The project managers are the firm’s assets, so the communication skills of these managers is key to keeping their clients satisfied and insuring the continuance of the relationship.

 

More…

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About the Reviewer


Susan Riewe, PMP

North Texas, USA

 

 

Susan Riewe has been in the project management field for the past 18 years, and earned certification in February of 2008. Most of her experience has been with IT related projects for a major retailer. She is currently working as an analyst for a pharmacy management company in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Susan may be contacted at: sriewe@gmail.com

 

Editor’s note: This book review was the result of a partnership between the publisher, PM World and the PMI Dallas Chapter. Authors and publishers provide the books to PM World; books are delivered to the PMI Dallas Chapter, where they are offered free to PMI members to review; book reviews are published in the PM World Journal and PM World Library. PMI Dallas Chapter members can keep the books as well as claim PDUs for PMP recertification when their reviews are published. Chapter members are generally mid-career professionals, the audience for most project management books.

If you are an author or publisher of a project management-related book, and would like the book reviewed through this program, please contact editor@pmworldjournal.net

 

 

Fundamentals of Project Management, 5th Ed

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title:   Fundamentals of Project Management 5th Ed
Author: Joseph Heagney
Publisher: American Management Association
List Price:   $17.95 USA
Format: Soft Cover, 240 pages
Publication Date:   2016    
ISBN: 978-0-8144-3736-0-51795
Reviewer:     Charlie Green, PMP        
Review Date: Dec 2016


Introduction

This fifth edition of a great book “Fundamentals of Project Management” that has been around for many years helping beginning and seasoned project managers learn the essentials of project management has been updated. It provides insights into the latest standards and best practices of the profession.

It is an easy-to-read book that provides information on project management tools and techniques through diagrams, examples, lists of points to remember for each concept along with exercises that demonstrates the fundamental knowledge the author is trying to trying to convey.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The book is divided into 16 chapters. The book starts with an overview of what project management is and the project management profession and the role of the project manager. Then the book gets into the different phases of the project as well as provides detail on the tools and techniques used in each phase that will help the project manager be successful.

The author has updated this version from his previous edition by adding a couple of new sections. The first is Chapter 4 that goes into detail on incorporating stakeholder management into the planning process. There are many stakeholders associated with each project. Knowing and understanding the needs of each and making provisions into addressing the needs of each go a long way in achieving success.

The second added chapter is chapter 15, “Closing the Project”. This is an area that most project managers know we need to do, but studies show that it is done poorly. In addition to turning over the deliverable, transitioning team members and closing out financials, there are other tasks that should be done. The author goes into details on each as well as suggests ways to capture them before the project ends.

Highlights

At the end of each chapter the author the author provides a list of key points to remember from the information provided in that chapter. At the end of many chapters the author will also provide an exercise that the reader can work through that will help solidify the project management techniques that were discussed in that chapter.

Highlights: What I liked!

The book is well laid out and easy to read. The book could easily be used as a companion to the PMBOK while studying for the PMP exam as the author goes into details on each concept and explains them clearly.

More…

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About the Reviewer


Charlie Green, PMP

North Texas, USA

 


Charlie Green
has worked as a project manager since 1985. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Texas at Dallas. He holds a Project Management Professional certification and he currently manages software implementation projects in the Financial Services industry. Previously he has managed new product, business process improvement, business intelligence and system development projects in the financial, telecommunications, information technology industries and in the military. Charlie is retired from the U.S. Air Force Reserve following a 26 year Air Force career. Charlie is a member of the Dallas, Texas PMI Chapter.

Email address: charlie.green01@gmail.com

 

Editor’s note: This book review was the result of a partnership between the publisher, PM World and the PMI Dallas Chapter. Authors and publishers provide the books to PM World; books are delivered to the PMI Dallas Chapter, where they are offered free to PMI members to review; book reviews are published in the PM World Journal and PM World Library. PMI Dallas Chapter members can keep the books as well as claim PDUs for PMP recertification when their reviews are published. Chapter members are generally mid-career professionals, the audience for most project management books.

If you are an author or publisher of a project management-related book, and would like the book reviewed through this program, please contact editor@pmworldjournal.

 

 

February 2017 UK Project Management Round Up

REPORT

Big Ben, Brexit, Ethical Issues, Construction Projects, Nuclear News and more

By Miles Shepherd

Executive Advisor & International Correspondent

Salisbury, England, UK


INTRODUCTION

The rush of events around the year end have at last subsided – at least sufficiently for me to be able to pen this report. I don’t feel too bad about missing last month’s report as the year end was delayed. The sharp-eyed of you will have noticed that New Year celebrations were delayed by one second – at least in UK! Apparently, the atomic clocks that keep track of world time coped easily with the extra second but Big Ben had a more complex problem to deal with as it is controlled by the pendulum. Traditionally old coins are used to moderate the duration of the swing but for such a small change (sorry!) getting the coinage right was a challenge. One old penny adds 2/5 of a second over 24 hours. According to The Times (again, sorry!) some 4 old pennies might be needed. We cannot blame Brexit for this – the leap second is needed because of variations in the earth’s rotation. However, think of the Clock Keeper who has a climb of 334 steps to get to the belfry to place the coins on the pendulum. (photo: Big Ben, courtesy of Wikipedia)

What a year 2016 was! Brexit and Trump have distracted almost everyone and the world is certainly a very different place than many of us would have forecast. This just shows how difficult it is to estimate accurately, a major issue for those involved in the management of projects.

This month I am playing catch up so some of the ‘news’ are actually from last month but is, I think, still relevant. That means I will have to cover some of the BREXIT reports but there is also news of corruption in the project world. On a more positive note, major government project, construction news and a mention of nuclear projects.

BREXIT

This topic is hardly ever out of the headlines so I make no apology for mentioning some of the key points here. As I pen these words, the politicians at Westminster have just voted to allow the Government to trigger the process of leaving the European Union. Many will have a heavy heart at the prospect as we see ourselves as European as well as British but ‘the people have spoken’ so the process will start shortly. As ever in UK, the final decision is not entirely final as there is consistent opposition from Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales and with it, the threat to the Union of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. We shall see but the signs are not good. Some of the lesser known Members of Parliament are pressing for a further referendum on any negotiated terms. Quite what the outcome of such a vote might be is far from clear – if ‘the people’ reject treaty terms, what would be the next step: simply walking out?

On the financial front, the £ remains weak which increases the cost of imports but makes exports cheaper. The weak £ also fuels overseas takeovers and one of interest to the project world is an attempt by CH2M Hill to take over WS Atkins. The pair are working together on the HS2 franchise and reports in The Times that the two had explored possibilities before Christmas sent WS Atkins share price sharply up. However, later reports in the Daily Telegraph seem to indicate that the US approach has been cold shouldered by the British company although no formal announcements have been made, which fuels speculation about any future link up.

On the positive side of BREXIT, Liam Fox MP, one of the ministerial Three Stooges for BREXIT, claims that £16 Billion has been invested in the UK economy since the Referendum. Less positively, there is the threat of many specially cheap EU loans for projects such as clean energy, off-shore wind farms, universities and some big infrastructure projects are threatened. UK is a 16% shareholder in the European Investment Bank (EIB) which in the last decade has made more than £42 Billion available at particularly cheap interest rates to hospitals, railways, social housing and many other projects. EIB made some £5.2 Billion available last year, including £200 million to Oxford University and £150 million to the City of Liverpool to improve its container port. There are also many projects in the pipeline that many consider will not be funded if UK leaves. This includes a 450 megawatt wind farm off the Scottish coast, a £300 million social housing project in London and a £400 million load for a very large sewage and drinking water improvement project in the Midlands.

To cap the bad news, several of the towns that voted solidly for BREXIT have seen overseas owned factories closed. These include Foterra, the biggest brick maker in UK which has said it will mothball two plants and Lush Cosmetics who reacted to Poole’s 58% BREXIT vote by saying its 1.400 strong work force from 38 countries were ‘not welcome and not wanted in Poole’. The biggest worry remains the reaction of the City of London, one of the major financial capitals of the world. Several banks have already made plans to move staff to Paris (and not Frankfurt which is a major surprise). Despite all this gloom, the year closed with reports that businesses are more optimistic about their future than at any time in the past year according to the Institute of Directors (IoD).

More…

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About the Author


MILES SHEPHERD

Salisbury, UK

 


Miles Shepherd
is an executive editorial advisor and international correspondent for PM World in the United Kingdom. He is also managing director for MS Projects Ltd, a consulting company supporting various UK and overseas Government agencies, nuclear industry organisations and other businesses. Miles has over 30 years’ experience on a variety of projects in UK, Eastern Europe and Russia. His PM experience includes defence, major IT projects, decommissioning of nuclear reactors, nuclear security, rail and business projects for the UK Government and EU.   Past Chair and Fellow of the Association for Project Management (APM), Miles is also past president and chair of the International Project Management Association (IPMA). He is currently Director of PMI’s Global Accreditation Centre and the Chair of the ISO committee developing new international standards for Project Management and for Program/Portfolio Management. He was involved in setting up APM’s team developing guidelines for project management oversight and governance. Miles is based in Salisbury, England and can be contacted at miles.shepherd@msp-ltd.co.uk

To view other works by Miles Shepherd, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/miles-shepherd/

 

 

Finland Project Management Roundup for February 2017

Updates on Project Management Association Finland; PMI Finland Chapter; Olkiluoto 3 nuclear power plant; Hanhikivi 1 nuclear power plant; Helsinki’s Länsimetro extension; Raide-Jokeri light rail transit project

REPORT

By Dr Jouko Vaskimo

International Correspondent & Senior Contributing Editor

Espoo, Finland


INTRODUCTION

This roundup continues the coverage of Project Management Association Finland, PMI Finland Chapter, and the key projects currently going on in Finland.

PROJECT MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION FINLAND

Management Association Finland (PMAF), Projektiyhdistys ry in Finnish, is a not-for-profit organization, and the International Project Management Association (IPMA) Member Association (MA) in Finland. Founded in 1978, PMAF promotes the interaction, project-oriented thinking, and exchange and development of practical and theoretical knowledge among project management professionals.

PMAF promotes the development and dissemination of project and project management knowledge. PMAF members are able to enjoy information sharing, workgroups, development projects, project management forums, conferences and certification services PMAF provides. PMAF organizes two annual conferences: Project days (Projektipäivät in Finnish) in early November, and 3PMO in early June. 3PMO 2017 focuses on Project, Program and Portfolio management offices, and takes place at Tampere on June 6th 2017. Please navigate to http://www.3pmo.fi/ for further information on 3PMO, and to www.pry.fi/projectassosiation for further information on PMAF.

PMI FINLAND CHAPTER

PMI Finland Chapter is a not-for-profit organization providing project practitioners in Finland continuous learning, networking and community support. The Chapter was founded in 2005. Today, with more than 400 members, the chapter is increasingly recognized as place where its members can enhance their project management and leadership skills, as well as network with other project management professionals.

PMI Finland Chapter hosts a number of events such as Breakfast Round Tables, regular meetings taking place once a month in Helsinki and occasionally also in other locations. The chapter members have the opportunity to attend events for free or with a discount and the chapter sends its members a regular newsletter with localized content on project management. Additionally, the Chapter supports its members in their professional development and training.

PMI Chapter Finland has an annual tradition of organizing a conference in spring. In 2017 the conference will take place on May 10th, in Helsinki, with the overarching theme “Change”. Wärtsilä CEO Mr Jaakko Eskola, Kaidi CEO Mr Carl Haglund and IIL Senior Consultant & Coach Mrs Jane Morgan will be presenting at the event. Please navigate to http://www.conference.pmifinland.org/ for further information on the PMI Finland Chapter annual conference, and to http://www.pmifinland.org/ for further information on PMI Finland Chapter.

More…

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About the Author


Jouko Vaskimo

Espoo, Finland

 


Jouko Vaskimo
is an International Correspondent and Senior Contributing Editor for PM World in Finland. Jouko graduated M.Sc. (Tech.) from Helsinki University of Technology in 1992, and D.Sc. (Tech.) from Aalto University in 2016. He has held several project management related positions with increasing levels for responsibility. Jouko holds a number of professional certificates in the field of project management, such as the IPMA Level C (Project Manager), IPMA Level B (Senior Project Manager), PMP, PRINCE2 Foundation, and PRINCE2 Practitioner. Jouko is also a Certified Scrum Master and SAFe Agilist.

Jouko is a member of the Project Management Association Finland, a founding member of PMI Finland Chapter, and the immediate past chairman of the Finnish IPMA Certification Body operating IPMA certification in Finland. Since October 2007, he has been heading the Finnish delegation to ISO/TC 258.

Jouko resides in Espoo, Finland and can be best contacted at jouko.vaskimo@aalto.fi. For more information please navigate to www.linkedin.com/in/jouko-vaskimo-6285b51.

To view other works by Jouko Vaskimo, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/jouko-vaskimo/

 

 

Project Management Report from Spain

AEDP has a new President; PMI Madrid Chapter Mentoring Program

REPORT

By Alfonso Bucero

International Correspondent & Editorial Advisor

Madrid, Spain


The Project Management Spanish Construction Association  (AEDIP) has nominated a new president

The Spanish Project Management Construction Association (AEDIP) has chosen a new president, Mrs. Leticia Sauco Sevilla from 2017 to 2018. She is the next President after Mr. Jordi Seguro Capa who was AEDP President from 2000 to 2009 and who has been recognized by his efforts and hard work driving and managing the Association during the most difficult and hard crisis for the construction industry.

Leticia Sauco, who was the previous vice-president, is founder member and Managing Partner of the firm Sach Consulting & Services, Project Management consulting company created in 2001. Leticia has a MDI (Master in Building Management) by the Architects School of Madrid (Polytechnic University of Madrid) and a Master in project Management (MeDIP) at the Polytechnic University of Madrid.

She is a professor at several post-graduate courses, one of them is MeDIP – Master of Project Management in Construction, in Madrid (Spain) and Panama. She has been assigned as a professor for the new Master MeBIM -Architecture and Sustainable Engineering. She has been a professor at the first Master on BIM (Building Information modelling) at IDESIE. BIM, is one of the biggest challenges for the construction industry reconversion. Leticia is the first woman nominated as an AEDIP president and the eighth president since AEDIP Foundation on 1994.

About AEDIP

AEDIP is formed only by Consulting companies that provide services on Construction Project Management according to ISO-UNE 21500, for real state and infrastructure, covering all the Project life cycle. This Association was born on 1994 with the purpose of promoting the knowledge, best practices on Project Management, as a management system for any construction project.

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To read entire report, click here for (English) or (Spanish)

 


 

About the Author


Alfonso Bucero

Contributing Editor
International Correspondent – Spain

 

 

Alfonso Bucero, MSc, PMP, PMI-RMP, PfMP, PMI Fellow, is an International Correspondent and Contributing Editor for the PM World Journal in Madrid, Spain. Mr. Bucero is also founder and Managing Partner of BUCERO PM Consulting. Alfonso was the founder, sponsor and president of the PMI Barcelona Chapter until April 2005, and belongs to PMI’s LIAG (Leadership Institute Advisory Group). He was the past President of the PMI Madrid Spain Chapter, and now nominated as a PMI EMEA Region 8 Component Mentor. Alfonso has a Computer Science Engineering degree from Universidad Politécnica in Madrid and is studying for his Ph.D. in Project Management. He has 29 years of practical experience and is actively engaged in advancing the PM profession in Spain and throughout Europe. He received the PMI Distinguished Contribution Award on October 9th, 2010 and the PMI Fellow Award on October 22nd 2011. Mr. Bucero can be contacted at alfonso.bucero@abucero.com

To see other works by Alfonso Bucero, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/alfonso-bucero/

 

 

Management Information Systems for Projects and for Organizations

A Comparative Overview

SECOND EDITION

By Russell D. Archibald

Archibald Associates

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico


SUMMARY

Traditional MIS have evolved to serve structured, functional, permanent organizations. Project information systems more recently have emerged to serve temporary, relatively short-lived, multi-functional projects. Project MIS, compared to the various organizational MIS, must handle more diverse information and be more predictive and integrative in nature over a longer time span. The result is that project MIS are generally more difficult to implement, and their implementation often reveals existing incompatibilities with and between the various organizational MIS which provide information to project systems.

Specific product and project planning and control functions and tools are identified in this paper, and the types and sources of incompatibilities are discussed. Suggested methods of minimizing the problems are briefly presented.

The underlying thesis of this discussion is that a better understanding of the differences and interfaces between project and organizational MIS will help to resolve current problems and avoid future difficulties in the implementation of information systems to serve operating project managers.

MIS IN GENERAL

In this discussion, I refer to management information systems (MIS) as identifiable sets of policies, models, procedures and files of information which operate to record, manipulate, store, retrieve, process and display information useful in managing some aspect of an organized enterprise. Such systems may depend only on rather simple mechanical devices operated directly by human hands, such as pencils, pens, ledgers, charts, and so on; or they may also depend on more complex devices and machines, such as slide rules, calculators and electronic data processing systems. They all seem to depend on paper to a great extent!

Perhaps Moses had the first MIS when he came down the mountain with the Ten Commandments chiseled into stone tablets. At least today’s reports carry more information per pound, but they are certainly no lighter to carry than the stone tablets of Moses’ day.

The basic classes of primary management information systems may be identified as follows:

  • General management
  • Financial
  • Logistics
  • Business acquisition
  • Resources

To which we now presume to add:

  • Projects

General management information systems are concerned with the overall, integrative planning and direction of the total enterprise. They include methods of generating, recording and processing information related to:

  • Strategic objectives and goals
  • Financial objectives
  • Business, market and product plans to achieve the objectives
  • Overall performance measurement and evaluation compared to objectives.

These general management information systems depend heavily on the financial MIS, and to a lesser extent on all other types of MIS.

More…

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Editor’s note: Second Editions are previously published papers that have continued relevance in today’s project management world, or which were originally published in conference proceedings or in a language other than English. Original publication acknowledged; authors retain copyright. This paper was originally presented as a Keynote Address at the INTERNET 72 Third International Congress on Project Planning by Network Techniques (INTERNET became the International Project Management Association/IPMA a few years later) in Stockholm, Sweden, May 15-19, 1972. It is republished here with the author’s permission.


 

About the Author


Russell D. Archibald

Archibald Associates
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

 

 

Now 93, with careers spanning more than 70 years, Russ Archibald has had broad international experiences in piloting and designing aircraft, corporate engineering, operations, and program and project management. His three project management related careers have been Military/Aerospace (19 years), Corporate Engineer & Executive (17 years), and Management Consultant (34 years to date). Russ has consulted to a wide variety of large and small organizations in 16 countries, has trained thousands of people in project management, and has resided in the USA, France, Mexico, Venezuela, Panama Canal Zone, and Peru with Marion, his wife of 70 years. For the past 23 years they have resided in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico.

Russ is founding member number 6 of the Project Management Institute/PMI. After presenting the first PMI paper in 1969 he was President of the PMI Southern California Chapter in 1991-2, founding member of the PMI Mexico City Chapter in 1996, and in 2006 was awarded the PMI Jim O’Brien Lifetime Achievement Award. A PMI Fellow and Certified Project Management Professional, he co-authored with Prof. Dr. Jean-Pierre Debourse the 2011 PMI research report Project Managers as Senior Executives. He was also a founding member in 1970 and is an Honorary Fellow of the Association of Project Management (APM/IPMA-UK).In 1967 he was co-author (with Richard Villoria) of Network Based Management Information Systems (PERT/CPM),Wiley, one of the first books to appear on project management.

Russ is co-author with his grandson Shane Archibald of Leading and Managing Innovation-What Every Executive Team Must Know about Project, Program & Portfolio Management(2nd edition CRC Press 2015, 1st edition 2013 also published in Italian, Portuguese and Spanish); author of Managing High Technology Programs and Projects (3rd edition Wiley 2003, also published in Italian, Russian, and Chinese), has contributed chapters to 15 books edited by others, and presented 88 papers at many PMI, IPMA and other conferences in many countries. He holds BS (U. of Missouri 1948) and MS (U. of Texas 1956) degrees in Mechanical Engineering. Russ was awarded an honorary Ph.D. in Strategy, Program, and Project Management from the Ecole Superieure de Commerce de Lille in Lille, France in 2005. See russarchibald.com. Russ can be contacted at russell_archibald@yahoo.com

To view other works by Russ Archibald, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/russell-d-archibald/

 

 

Improving the main contractor-subcontractor relationship

through partnering on construction projects

STUDENT PAPER

By Tafadzwa Mudzvokorwa

Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering
University of Zambia

Lusaka, Zambia


Abstract

The construction sector plays a significant role in the national economy through consolidating and enabling other sectors. Projects in the construction industry provide basic amenities and infrastructures that support social and economic development. Subcontracting is a major aspect of construction projects as it allows for specialisation, the sharing responsibilities and mitigation of project risks. However, instead of improving project success, subcontracting can act as a catalyst for poor project outcomes. Though there are many reasons that contribute to problems from subcontracting, a strained relationship between main contractors and subcontractors can be seen as a notorious contributor to poor project outcome. The study aimed at investigating the relationship between main contractors and subcontractors in Zambia and to provide a means to improve the relationship. To investigate the relationship, data collection techniques utilised included, literature review, questionnaire survey and interviews. The study established that the relationship between main contractors and subcontractors on most projects in Zambia is poor therefore needing attention. Top factors that can enhance the main contractor-subcontractor relationship were identified. From the factors deduced a non-contractual project partnering model was developed with the aim of improving this relationship

Keywords: Construction Project, Main contractor, Subcontractor, Partnering, Zambia

Introduction

The construction industry contributes significantly towards the economic output of a country (Mirawati et al., 2015). The construction industry in the United Kingdom (UK) contributed £103 billion in economic output which is 6.5 percent of the total output in 2014. It also created 2.1 million jobs which was 6.3 percent of the UK total employment (Rhodes, 2015). In Zambia, the construction industry comprised 9.9 percent of the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP), with a growth rate of 8.9 percent from 2013 (CSO, 2016). A major aspect of projects in the construction industry is subcontracting (Ujene et al, 2011). Research has shown that currently up to 90 percent of the work on a construction project is performed by subcontractors (Rajput and Agarwal, 2015). Assigning work to a subcontractor reduces work load and limits the contractors risk exposure (Abdullahi, 2014). Manu et al., (2013) indicated that subcontracting is a means of bargaining down labour cost, encourage quicker completion of tasks, externalise less rewarding and dangerous activities and rapidly meet changing product market demands.

However, with all its benefits, subcontracting can be a risk to construction projects (Yoke-Lian et al, 2013). Kaliba, (2010) identified that subcontracting was causing project schedule overruns in Zambia. A major aspect that contributes to the degree of success or failure of projects which are subcontracted is the relationship between main contractors and subcontractors (Jin et al., 2013; Okunlola, 2015; White & Marasini, 2014; McCord and Gunderson, 2014). When utilising subcontracting, interface problems can emanate. These problems include the lack of cooperation, limited trust, and ineffective communication leading to an adversarial relationship between the main contractor and subcontractor (Mirawati et al., 2015). However, a better interface between project parties encourages project success or even improves project performance (Vilasini et al, 2012). Eom et al, (2015) added that maintaining long-term relationships with subcontractors is absolutely necessary to improving the overall efficiency in the supply chain.

Partnering is recognised by many researchers as a means to foster the collaborative relationship between parties and improve project performance (Meng, 2012; Hong Kong CIC, 2012). Partnering is a voluntary process by which two or more organizations act as a team to achieve mutually beneficial goals (Nevada Department of Transportation, 2010). However, the integration and building close relationships in construction projects has not been taken seriously (Meng, 2012). In Zambia virtually no literature is available on relationships and partnering in the construction industry. Therefore, this paper addresses this, and contributes to the body of subcontracting knowledge by detailing a partnering approach for main contractors and subcontractors.

Partnering

There is no definite definition of partnering as partnering projects can differ from each other and because it is difficult to define the exact factors that a partnering strategy consists of (Widen et al, 2014). Partnering is generally understood as a commitment by parties involved in a project to work closely or cooperatively, instead of competitively and adversarial. It is a long term commitment between two or more organisations to implement a structured collaborative approach that facilitates team work across contractual boundaries for the purposes of achieving specific business objectives (California Department of Transportation Division of Construction, 2013). It involves the building of harmonious working relationships between stakeholders by aligning of shared goals and objectives. Through this the development of trust and shared goal there is an increase in the likelihood of project success

Types of Partnering

Partnering has been categorised in different ways by various researchers. The categorising employed is usually based on the duration of the partnering arrangement. Here partnering can be either project partnering or strategic partnering. Where project partnering is based on a single project whilst strategic partnering is based on a long term commitment (Meng, 2012). However, for this research partnering methods are classified using Hong Kong Construction Industry Council (Hong Kong CIC, 2012) method where partnering arrangements are categorised based on contractual status. The categories are:

More…

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About the Author


Tafadzwa Mudzvokorwa

Lusaka, Zambia




Tafadzwa Mudzvokorwa
studied at the University of Sunderland where he obtained a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Electronics and Electrical Engineering. He is currently pursuing a Master of Engineering degree in Project Management in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Zambia in Lusaka, Zambia. Tafadzwa can be contacted at tafmud@gmail.com

 

 

 

Program Management Improvement and Accountability Act

Implications for US State and Local Governments

COMMENTARY ARTICLE

By Kenneth Perry

North Carolina, USA


 

The U.S. President signed S. 1550, the Program Management Improvement and Accountability Act (PMIAA), into law on December 14, 2016. PMIAA requires the US federal government to implement a number of Project and Program Management (for the purposes of the article, referred to as PPM) reforms and implement best practices to ensure the more effective practice of PPM. This law validates the importance of PPM and reinforces its applicability to projects and programs in the public-sector.

While the passage of PMIAA is a significant milestone in the broader recognition of PPM, it is important to remember that it is applicable to the US federal government only. The other two levels of government in the US – state and local – do not have similar legislation focused on PPM adoption in the public-sector. There may of course be outliers to this statement as there are, for example, over 89,000 distinct local governments in the United States.1 Nonetheless, generally speaking, regulations, mandates or policies requiring the adoption and practice of established PPM practices in state and local government bodies are rare, at best.

As a project professional interested in the expansion and recognition of the discipline, I am interested in ways to address this perceived gap. This is because adhering to PPM best practices and increasing organizational project management maturity can have huge benefits for organizations in the public-sector. For example, the National Academy of Public Administration reported that adopting PPM practices “would enable the government to more consistently and efficiently achieve important public purposes, save taxpayer dollars, enhance service delivery, and perhaps most importantly, rebuild public trust.”2 For these reasons and more, it is critical that state and local governments follow the lead of the federal government in mandating the formal adoption of established PPM practices.

However, rarely are Project and Program Managers in a position to actually craft policy or other legislation for the myriad state and local government bodies in the US. Therefore the question becomes, if I am a project professional interested in expanding the project management maturity level of my broader state or locality, what can I do to affect change? I believe there are at least three actions that could immediately be taken in response to this question. They are:

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________________________________________

 

About the Author


Kenneth Perry

Raleigh, NC, USA

 

 

Kenneth Perry is a collaborative and analytical project management professional with experience spanning the public-sector, private-sector and non-profits. He currently works as a Project Manager for the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority, a local government responsible for the development, operation and maintenance of RDU International Airport. Kenneth has an extensive background supporting large and complex projects located in the US and in the developing world. His professional strengths include project performance monitoring, analysis and reporting; process development and process improvement; program development; and project integration management. Kenneth has a Master’s degree in Public Administration and he is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP). He can be contacted on LinkedIn by visiting: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kennethsperry

 

 

Project Failure: A Catalyst for Success

COMMENTARY

By John McGrath
PMO Consultant and Project Management Lecturer
Dublin Institute of Technology
Dublin, Ireland

and

Philip Martin
Founder and CEO
Cora Systems
Carrick on Shannon, Ireland


There have been huge advances in project management in the last 20 years, but the elephant in the room is the issue of Project Failure. Success rates are not improving and the metrics surrounding project failure have been disturbing for decades — at least 50% of projects do not deliver on their promised results. These failures can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars – and into the millions – for very large projects. In addition, lack of program management can cost companies millions of dollars in cost deviation. This is important because, over time, the value of your corporate brand and enterprise success rate are related.

The causes of project failure are well known, predictable and have not changed over several decades. Yet projects and organizations continue to be impacted and do not seem to be able to create the environment in which projects can succeed. It would seem that organizations have a fundamental inability to learn the lessons of project failure.

There are many causes of project failure and every failed project will have its own set of issues. Sometimes it is a single trigger event that leads to failure, but more often than not, it is a complex entwined set of problems that combine and collectively result in failure.

This inability to learn from project failure is across all industries and sectors and includes many of the most successful organizations on the planet. The financials of failure are staggering and a complete industry has emerged to address the reasons for failure, which are as predictable as the next dawn.

We also often realize with the benefit of hindsight that most failed projects were exhibiting early warning signs and there was sufficient opportunity to respond but the signs were not acted upon in a timely fashion.

The definition of success or failure is not as straightforward as was once imagined. We are now very aware that project success cannot be adequately defined within standard parameters: completion within time, cost and performance expectations.

Cost and schedule performance are still important but the perception of project success now also includes:

  1. Meeting the functional or technical specification
  2. Meeting the business case
  3. Engaging with stakeholders

Failure is not comfortable to embrace but it can often be a catalyst for success, especially if project failure comes early in product development and is accepted by all involved as a way forward.

Research shows that about 50% of projects fail because of the lack of visibility over the entire spectrum of the project management process. Take, for example, software development or the creation of a new medical device. Management of the project may involve numerous teams, each dedicated to a certain aspect of the process. However, they are operating in silos, each with its own operational style and strategy for success. If these teams don’t communicate effectively, the result is often failure to deliver a successful product, often due to cost overruns or relevance to the target market.

Why Projects Fail

When projects fail, hindsight often reveals that issues were bubbling up – but ignored. These issues may include a lack of hands-on project sponsorship, team leadership, lack of resources, inability to manage change, and lack of communication.   Lack of communication is the basic culprit because without communication among project teams and leaders, there’s no clear visibility into the development process and thus what we call no “single version of the truth.”

However, when failure occurs early in the project lifecycle, it’s because of clear communication among project teams, leading to that single vision of truth. Early failure triggers positive change management and the revamping of strategies, providing a window to a successful result before massive dollars and precious resources are needlessly spent.

More…

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About the Authors


John McGrath

Dublin Institute of Technology
Dublin, Ireland


 


John McGrath
has over twenty years’ experience teaching, coaching and consulting on project management issues. His track record includes over 150 global companies, government agencies, state enterprises, Engineers Ireland, the United Nations, the London and Rio Paralympics, and the World Bank. With a particular interest in developing PPM competency within organisations, John assists in gaining true visibility of the project/program pipeline, a process that he commonly refers to as “searching for a Single Version of the Truth”. 20+ years of experience has taught John that excellence in project execution rarely happens without first achieving excellence in project planning. He develops master schedules for large programs of work and acts as an expert witness for forensic schedule analysis and delay claims. He has deployed Microsoft Project and Project Vision for projects in excess of €100 million. John is now a full-time project management consultant and lecturer at the Dublin Institute of Technology.

 


Philip Martin

Cora Systems
Carrick on Shannon, Ireland

 


Philip Martin
, CEO, founded Cora Systems in 1999. Prior to Cora, Philip worked for a decade in engineering and management roles, primarily for the telecommunications industry. Philip brings to bear almost 30 years’ experience in the enterprise portfolio, program and project management (EPPM) industry. He has a singular vision for the company’s product, having delivered award-winning solutions and services to government agencies and large-scale global organizations, including life sciences, healthcare, and engineering & construction. At present, there are over $10 billion worth of projects being managed on Cora’s platform. Philip’s goal has been to provide clients’ management teams with a single version of truth across diverse project programs and portfolios, which often straddle dozens of locations and countries, and across thousands of projects. This enables them to make correct, timely decisions. Philip is an electronic systems engineering graduate of Ulster University (Northern Ireland) and holds several management and leadership diplomas. Learn about Cora Systems at https://corasystems.com/

 

 

The Consultant and The Client Relationship

ADVISORY ARTICLE

By Rebecca Winston, JD,

Former Vice-Chair, Chair, Fellow – PMI®

Idaho, USA


Franklin P. Jones, a Philadelphia reporter who wrote for several publications including the “Saturday Evening Post” once wrote, “Honest criticism is hard to take, particularly from a relative, a friend, an acquaintance, or a stranger.” I thought about the quote when I was rummaging around in my brain for what I might write about, as I knew I should draft something for the Journal. But what to write, then I stumble across the quote on the Internet. My mind ran to criticisms from clients, former employers, and team members.

In a perfect world or at least my perfect world, I would not be faced with any of these criticisms and all my clients, employers, and team members would have pleasant personalities, enjoy my personality, agree with my opinions, and approve of my way of conducting projects and programs. They would appreciate the efforts I put forth in managing the aspects I am assigned of the projects and programs. However, the world is not perfect and some clients, employers, and team members disagree, are difficult, or are unpleasant. Further, some projects and programs seem to force clients, employers, and team members into personality styles that are not easy to accept, manage, or tolerate. In fact, I have found myself working on some teams or observing some teams where decisions have been made that compromise ethics or at least give the appearance of compromising ethics in an effort to avoid complaining, criticism, and bad feelings.

Even though a client, employer, or team member may be difficult or challenging, the project or program manager or team member has an obligation to deliver the objectives of the project or program to the best of his or her abilities.   One should not compromise to lessen the complaints. While it fun to sit and laugh at a comic strip where the lead character asks the employer what it will take for him to go away and leave him alone, it is not funny in the real world of projects.

So what can one do? Well, for the consultant here are a few lessons learned.

  1. One should be selective when accepting clients.

Using discretion when selecting or accepting a client and their work, it a must. Learn about the client and the work. The Internet is an invaluable resource these days to learn about the client and in many cases the type of project or program you are going to be asked to undertake. Speak to other consultants, especially if you have concerns, to find out if the client has a history of discharging contractors for unreasonable demands, expectations, or concerns.

2. Explain your operating procedures.

While the contract may contain some of these items, one should make sure that your office hours are understood including what times you are willing to accept phone calls and conference calls and whether these include weekends. One should make it clear whether or not the client will need to have an appointment for a conference call or whether you would be willing to accept a call if you have time.

Inform them as to whether a call to your private residence is acceptable or not. You must enforce this policy strictly or it will not be applicable when you want it to apply.

Establish a definition for what is an emergency and what is not an emergency.

You may want to establish a set time for a call and ask them to keep a log of questions for that set time. It means not accepting calls unless they meet the definition of an emergency at any other time.

More…

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About the Author


Rebecca Winston, JD

Former Vice-Chair, Chair, Fellow – PMI®
Idaho, USA



Rebecca (Becky) Winston
, Esq., JD, PMI Fellow, is a former Chair of the board of the Project Management Institute (PMI®). An experienced expert on the subject of project management (PM) in the fields of research & development (R&D), energy, environmental restoration and national security, she is well known throughout the United States and globally as a leader in the PM professional world. Becky has over 30 years of experience in program and project management, primarily on programs funded by the US government. She is a graduate of the University of Nebraska’s College of Law, Juris Doctorate (1980), in Lincoln, Nebraska and has a Bachelor’s of Science (BS) degree in Education from Nebraska Wesleyan University She is a licensed attorney in the states of Iowa and Nebraska, USA.

Active in PMI since 1993, Rebecca Winston helped pioneer PMI’s Specific Interest Groups (SIGs) in the nineties, including the Project Earth and Government SIGs, and was a founder and first co-chair of the Women in Project Management SIG. She served two terms on the PMI board of directors as director at large, Secretary Treasurer, Vice Chair (for two years), and Chair (2002). She was elected a PMI Fellow in 2005. She has served as a reviewer of the Barrie Student paper for the PMI Educational Foundation for several years. She is also a member of the American Bar Association and the Association of Female Executives in the United States.

Ms. Winston periodically serves as an advisor to organizations such as the National Nuclear Security Administration (USA), U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on topics ranging from Program and Project Management to project reviews, risk management and vulnerability assessments. She has also been serving on the Air Force Studies Board for five years for the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine.

Since 2008 she has also served in the capacity of Chair of the US Technical Advisory Group and Head of Delegation for Technical Committee 258: Project, Programme, and Portfolio Management, as well as serving on the various Working and Study Groups drafting international guidance standards. She has extensive recent PM experience in the areas of alternative energy, national defense and security, and has worked closely with local, regional and national officials, including Congress and the Pentagon. She is also a global advisor to the PM World Journal and Library.

Becky can be contacted at rebeccawinston@yahoo.com

 

 

Positive Project Leadership

ADVISORY ARTICLE

Positive Project Leadership – Enhancing Project Team Competency and Effectiveness

By Frank P. Saladis, PMP

New York, USA


Based on my experience as a project manager and manager of project managers and the documented expectations of many project sponsors and executives, it is my belief that the project manager is placed in a leadership position regardless of type of project. The size and complexity of the project is not the issue and does not define leadership capability. It is the ability to adapt to the challenges of the project, and the value the project manager brings to the team and the organization. People can make a difference and provide leadership regardless of project size or actual position in an organizational hierarchy. The key element here is whether or not an individual is creating value or, as John C. Maxwell states,” practicing authentic leadership.” Authentic leadership is about creating value within an organization through innovation, commitment, and passion for excellence. It means “making things happen”, motivating people to succeed, and making a difference even if you aren’t the designated leader of the team.

According to Michael Hyatt, former CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, authentic leadership includes the following qualities:

  • Insight
  • Initiative
  • Influence
  • Impact
  • Integrity

These qualities, when demonstrated, will clearly separate the effective leader from others who have been associated with the leader title. Additionally the emphasis on integrity is a key factor and is directly related to the domain in project management, referred to in a Role Delineation study by PMI®, as Professional and Social Responsibility. The professional project manager is expected to display characteristics of respect, ethics, and an understanding of diversity in the project environment. It is relatively safe to say that the issues that have created many of the world’s economic problems can be attributed to a lack of authentic leadership.

Executives of most successful organizations will agree that strong and effective leadership is a major factor in the effort to achieve the desired levels of organizational performance. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) or Organizational Success Factors (OSFs) are important but much of what a leader actually accomplishes cannot be measured accurately. Leadership is about vision, motivation, and an ability to allow each employee or team member to achieve their personal goals of self-value while contributing to organizational objectives, working with the team to succeed, and creating an environment of loyalty and respect.

It is difficult to measure leadership behaviors such as:

  • Providing an environment where every person can excel
  • Managing with respect
  • Managing with integrity and honesty
  • Effective Listening
  • Creativity and innovation (establishing an environment where creativity and innovation may flourish)
  • Sharing knowledge (thought leadership)
  • Mentoring (challenging people to reach higher levels of performance and personal growth)
  • Continuous personal improvement – always seeking knowledge and building on one’s education, skills, and competency

These behaviors are somewhat intangible in terms of actual measurement but are extremely important in any business environment. A 360 degree type of evaluation process may help to capture feedback about these behaviors.

More…

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About the Author


Frank P. Saladis

New York, USA

 


Frank P. Saladis
, PMP, PMI Fellow is a Consultant and Instructor / Facilitator within the project management profession and has over 35 years of experience in the IT, Telecom Installation and IT Project Management training environment. He is a senior consultant and trainer for the International Institute For Learning Inc. and has been involved in the development of several project management learning programs. Mr. Saladis has held the position of Project Manager for AT&T Business Communications Systems, National Project Manager for AT&T Solutions Information Technology Services and was a member of Cisco Systems Professional Services Project Management Advocacy Organization. His responsibilities included the development of Project Management Offices (PMO) and the development of internal training programs addressing project management skills and techniques.

He is a Project Management Professional and has been a featured presenter at the Project Management Institute ® Annual Symposiums, Project World, PMI World Congress, CMMA, and many PMI Chapter professional development programs. He is a past president of the PMI New York City Chapter and a Past-President of the PMI ® Assembly of Chapter Presidents. Mr. Saladis is a Co-Publisher of the internationally distributed newsletter for allPM.com, a project management information portal, and a contributor to the allPM.com project management website.

Mr. Saladis is the originator of International Project Management Day and has written numerous leadership and project management related articles. Mr. Saladis is also the author of the Project Management Workbook and PMP ® / CAPM ® Exam Study Guide that supplements Dr. Harold Kerzner’s textbook – Project Management, A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling and Controlling?, 9th Edition published by John Wiley & Sons and the author of Positive Leadership in Project Management, published by IIL Publishing. He is a member of the International Executive Guild and the NRCC Business Advisory Council. He has also held the position of Vice President of Education for the Global Communications Technology Specific Interest Group of PMI ® and holds a Masters Certificate in Commercial Project Management from the George Washington University. Mr. Saladis received the prestigious Lynn Stuckenbrook Person of the Year Award from the Project management Institute in 2006 for his contributions to the organization and to the practice of project management.

 

 

Communicating Risk for Attention and Action

SERIES ARTICLE

Risk Doctor Briefing

Dr David Hillson, PMI Fellow, HonFAPM, FIRM

The Risk Doctor Partnership

United Kingdom


Communication is difficult, especially when we are dealing with uncertainties that matter. People need to know which uncertainties are most important, and what can be done to manage them effectively and proactively. Risk communication has two purposes:

  1. Attention. Tell people things they need to know that they do not know already.
  2. Action. Encourage people to do things they need to do that they are not doing already.

It is really important to communicate clearly about risk, and this should not be left to chance. Following a simple structured approach to risk communication will help to ensure that each person or group receives risk information that enables them to pay attention and take action. Effective risk communication requires three steps:

1. Analysis – Who needs what? Answer the following questions for each person or group:

  • How frequently will they need updates?
  • When do they need risk information to be supplied?
  • What level of detail and precision do they require?
  • What do they need it for, and how will they use it?
  • What risk information do they need?

2. Design – What shall we produce? Consider the following factors:

  • Content. Design outputs that meet the needs identified in the first step. A range of risk outputs may be required at different levels of detail, and it is more efficient to design outputs in a hierarchical manner if possible, to avoid the overhead of producing multiple versions. For example, high-level reports can be generated as summaries of low-level reports.
  • Delivery method. Alternative types of communication should be identified, allowing us to choose a method that is appropriate for each person. These might include written reports in hard-copy or electronic format (email, intranet, website, accessible databases), verbal reports (briefings, presentations, progress meetings), graphical or numerical outputs (tables, charts, posters) etc.
  • Responsibilities. For each output, identify who will be responsible for its production, and who will approve it. A RACI analysis might also be useful (Responsible, Approval, Contributor, Information).

More…

To read entire article, click here

 


 

About the Author


Dr. David Hillson

The Risk Doctor

 


Dr David Hillson
CMgr FRSA FIRM FCMI HonFAPM PMI-Fellow is The Risk Doctor (http://www.risk-doctor.com/).  As an international risk consultant, David is recognised as a leading thinker and expert practitioner in risk management. He consults, writes and speaks widely on the topic and he has made several innovative contributions to the field. David’s motto is “Understand profoundly so you can explain simply”, ensuring that his work represents both sound thinking and practical application.

David Hillson has over 25 years’ experience in risk consulting and he has worked in more than 40 countries, providing support to clients in every major industry sector, including construction, mining, telecommunications, pharmaceutical, financial services, transport, fast-moving consumer goods, energy, IT, defence and government. David’s input includes strategic direction to organisations facing major risk challenges, as well as tactical advice on achieving value and competitive advantage from effectively managing risk.

David’s contributions to the risk discipline over many years have been recognised by a range of awards, including “Risk Personality of the Year” in 2010-11. He received both the PMI Fellow award and the PMI Distinguished Contribution Award from the Project Management Institute (PMI®) for his work in developing risk management. He is also an Honorary Fellow of the UK Association for Project Management (APM), where he has actively led risk developments for nearly 20 years. David Hillson is an active Fellow of the Institute of Risk Management (IRM), and he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) to contribute to its Risk Commission. He is also a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and a Member of the Institute of Directors (IOD). Dr Hillson can be contacted at david@risk-doctor.com

To see other works previously published in the PM World Journal by Dr David Hillson, visit his author showcase at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/dr-david-hillson

 

 

Managing Programme Benefits

SERIES ARTICLE

Advances in Project Management Series

By Andrew Hudson

Surrey, UK


“To begin with the end in mind means to start with a clear understanding of your destination. It means to know where you’re going so that you better understand where you are now and so that the steps you take are always in the right direction”   Stephen Covey

Introduction

There is no other purpose in doing a programme than to deliver value and realize benefits. This is the true measure of a programme’s success. To illustrate this, consider which of the following programmes is better? A programme that was delivered on time, on budget and created some value, or a programme that was late, over-budget and created significant value? It is hard to argue that the latter programme is better because it delivered more value despite being late and over budget.

This article explains how being more effective at managing programme benefits can accelerate performance improvement and better enable organizations to achieve their strategic objectives. It explains common benefits management practices and explores reasons for programme benefit success and failure. This chapter also provides practical guidance on the most effective strategies to lead and deploy programme benefits management including guidance on how to tackle some of the barriers to successful adoption. It provides general guidance to key practices and references to leading practise books, articles and authors for further reading.

Benefits Management Context

Benefits management, as a practice, is at the heart of an organization’s strategy. It is a central discipline that connects strategy with change and operations enabling strategy to be executed and performance measures & targets to be achieved. The diagram below illustrates how benefits management sits at the heart of the strategic process.

The Need for Programme Benefits Management

The beneficiaries of a programme, who could be internal or external consumers or operators, need to know that the programme’s outputs will enable them to realize their objectives.

Programmes start with high expectations and levels of motivation. This motivation ebbs as the programme deals with delivery issues relating to quality, cost and time. Programmes may be de-scoped to ensure the programme delivers on time with insufficient awareness and consideration given to the value impact. This is an example of why programmes fail to deliver the expected benefits. A study conducted in 2013 by the International Centre for Programme Management (ICPM) found that of the 21 programmes (£10m-£100m+) researched over a two year period, six were successful at achieving the stated objectives, nine partially successful and six failed to achieve any objectives or were abandoned.

Findings from this study and other research show that for programmes to be more successful they need to have a clear purpose, be strategically aligned with a recognized need and a strong financial case. Programme benefits management is the practice that brings this together.   Whilst organizations lack people with the skills and experience to do this effectively, consultants and contractors are often appointed to facilitate programme benefit management on behalf of the organization. There is, therefore, a major opportunity for practice leaders to emerge within organizations to lead benefits management practices and its adoption.

More…

To read entire article, click here

Editor’s note: The Advances in Project Management series includes articles by authors of program and project management books previously published by Gower in UK and now by Routledge worldwide. Information about Routledge project management books can be found here.

 


 

About the Author


Andrew Hudson

ChangeDirector
Surrey, UK

 


Andrew Hudson
has 30 years’ experience working with organizations to improve their management of strategy, operations and change.  He helps senior executives and teams to better plan and execute strategy by introducing and applying leading management and governance practices & tools:

  • Performance objectives – working with leaders to define and cascade performance objectives
  • Measurement – helping teams to apply better measures to drive performance improvement
  • Process – ensuring operations are slick, with effective controls and governance
  • Risk – minimising the likelihood and consequences of operational and project risk
  • Benefits – helping beneficiaries to maximize the value of change investment
  • Initiatives – keeping initiatives aligned with the strategy and maximizing ROI
  • Governance – ensuring that appropriate controls and reporting is in place to support better decision making

Andrew’s software company, ChangeDirector, has been recognised by Gartner as a Cool Vendor. As speaker, he inspires people to adopt better practices in effective strategy execution and value realization.  He is currently developing a community of practice around measurement with people who recognise the importance of measurement to inspire performance improvement. For more, visit http://www.changedirector.com/

 

 

So where do benefits come from?

SERIES ARTICLE

Advances in Project Management

By Prof Darren Dalcher

Director, National Centre for Project Management
University of Hertfordshire

United Kingdom


Benefits are increasingly discussed in the context of project delivery. The sixth edition of the APM Body of Knowledge lists benefits management as one of the core areas addressed under the heading of scope management, thus reflecting the assertion that the planned objectives of projects can ‘be defined in terms of outputs, outcomes or benefits’ (p. 12).

The APM Body of Knowledge asserts that delivering benefits is the primary reason for organisations to undertake change. Benefits management is therefore defined as ‘the identification, definition, planning, tracking and realisation of business benefits’ (p. 124). The benefits may be expressed as tangible quantities, often measured in monetary terms, or as intangible qualities (for example, corporate reputation, or capability for rapid change).

However, if project delivery is focused on the handover of outputs, there is a need to identify the interface with the realisation of benefits required to make the change meaningful and attain the business benefits identified at the outset.

The information paradox and the emergence of benefits

The very concept of benefits has emerged from the information systems domain in an effort to quantify the impact and scale of proposed investment in Information Technology (IT) projects. IT spending is often the largest capital investment for many enterprises. In the 1980s, there was a rush to increase IT spending, however, the ability to justify such investments in terms of real value was seriously lacking.

The inability to prove the value of IT investments galvanised John Thorp and a team of IT consultants and practitioners within Fujitsu to define a set of methods, tools and techniques to improve the effectiveness of IT investment projects. The result was the publication of the Information paradox in 1998 (and subsequent revision and enhancement in 2003).

The key finding was that new IT, by itself, delivers no discernible value. Value can only be created and sustained through the actual use of the new IT systems. Selection and management of IT-enabled investments in organisational change becomes critical to performance. Realising value from the investment requires action beyond the mere delivery of IT systems; it necessitates real change within the organisation to enable the new systems to be utilised. The change would often impact many other aspects including: the nature of the business itself; business processes; skills and competencies; and the organisation. Such change, which is not IT-specific, or even project related, could often account for up to 80% of the total investment.

In order to advance an approach capable of identifying and delivering clear and significant business results, Thorp identified the need for three fundamental shifts (see Table1):

More…

To read entire article, click here

 

Editor’s note: The PMWJ Advances in Project Management series includes articles by authors of program and project management books published by Gower and other publishers in the Routledge family. Each month an introduction to the current article is provided by series editor Prof Darren Dalcher, who is also the editor of the Gower/Routledge Advances in Project Management series of books on new and emerging concepts in PM. Prof Dalcher’s article is an introduction to the invited paper this month in the PMWJ.

 


 

About the Author


Darren Dalcher, PhD

Series Editor
Director, National Centre for Project Management
University of Hertfordshire, UK

 


Darren Dalcher
, Ph.D. HonFAPM, FRSA, FBCS, CITP, FCMI, SFHEA is Professor of Project Management at the University of Hertfordshire, and founder and Director of the National Centre for Project Management (NCPM) in the UK. He has been named by the Association for Project Management (APM) as one of the top 10 “movers and shapers” in project management in 2008 and was voted Project Magazine’s “Academic of the Year” for his contribution in “integrating and weaving academic work with practice”. Following industrial and consultancy experience in managing IT projects, Professor Dalcher gained his PhD in Software Engineering from King’s College, University of London.

Professor Dalcher has written over 150 papers and book chapters on project management and software engineering. He is Editor-in-Chief of Software Process Improvement and Practice, an international journal focusing on capability, maturity, growth and improvement. He is the editor of the book series, Advances in Project Management, published by Gower Publishing of a new companion series Fundamentals of Project Management. Heavily involved in a variety of research projects and subjects, Professor Dalcher has built a reputation as leader and innovator in the areas of practice-based education and reflection in project management. He works with many major industrial and commercial organisations and government bodies in the UK and beyond.

Darren is an Honorary Fellow of the APM, a Chartered Fellow of the British Computer Society, a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute, and the Royal Society of Arts, and a Member of the Project Management Institute (PMI), the Academy of Management, the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and the Association for Computing Machinery. He is a Chartered IT Practitioner. He is a Member of the PMI Advisory Board responsible for the prestigious David I. Cleland project management award and of the APM Professional Development Board. Prof Dalcher is an academic advisor for the PM World Journal. He can be contacted at d.dalcher2@herts.ac.uk

To see other works by Prof Darren Dalcher, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/darren-dalcher/

 

 

Customer Projects: What is the Future of the Business?

FEATURED PAPER

A micro-survey on current trends in Make-or-buy decisions 

By Oliver F. Lehmann

Munich, Germany


Running Projects as Businesses

Many project managers have the task to directly provide income for their employer. They are running “Customer projects” or “Projects under contract”, projects that are performed with the foremost intention to bring money home. A customer project has a very simple business case: It must make a profit for the performing organization, and survival and success of this organization depend not only on the technical skills of the project manager and the team, but also on their business acumen, customer orientation, and approach to profitability.

Internal projects are cost centers, customer projects are (mostly) profit centers.

Overall, textbooks and other literature remain silent on the particularities of customer projects. Standards mention them only “en passant” (for example in PMI, 2013, p. 10) or ignore them entirely (BSI, 2000, DIN, 2009), and they are rarely a topic in magazines and at congresses. Training companies have no offerings for project managers to get trained in the business dynamics of customer projects, and academic studies and research also ignore the subject in large part. Given the value of contractor work in projects, it is furthermore astonishing that not much market research is done on the topic and that reliable data for both the as-is situation and future projections are hard to find.

The Rationale of the Research

In a survey from October/November of 2015, the author of this article asked project managers what kinds of projects they were currently managing. He received 246 responses, and the results were distributed as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Internal projects vs. customer projects (see also Lehmann, 2016b, p.9)

Both types of projects had roughly the same relevance with a slightly stronger emphasis on customer projects. When literature on project management generally focuses on internal projects, as mentioned above, this means that the particular situation of about 50% of the project managers is not addressed by books, articles, presentations, etc. When one looks at offerings from consultancies, one finds also that no expert help is given for a better understanding of what it takes for these project managers to not only meet the specific requirements on a technological level, on professionalism and on the selection of tools and techniques but to bring money home with projects.

In his book “Situational Project Management: The Dynamics of Success and Failure” (Lehmann, 2016a), the author proposes an open typology of projects with the intention to help project managers better adjust their practices to the particular demands of specific projects. The typology was also presented in the December 2016 issue of this magazine in a condensed epitome (Lehmann, 2016b). The distinction between internal projects and customer projects is one of the most obvious. Internal projects are commonly done to implement organizational strategies, meet business goals or to respond to mandatory demands from law or other binding regulations. If they are expected to create financial benefits like cost savings or income, these benefits will generally follow the project lifecycle.

Customer projects are expected to produce this income while they are performed, and the timeliness and sufficiency of the income are the most crucial metric for project success. Their benefit realization is commonly ended when the project is finished, possibly even earlier, notwithstanding subsequent income from services that are then operational and no more project revenues. Figure 2 shows how the lifecycles of projects and benefit generation commonly relate. An essential element of the benefit realization lifecycle is obviously the payment scheme that the contractor has agreed with the customer. The essential benefit from a customer project is the money that the project must make.

More (figures, footnotes and references)…

To read entire article, click here

 


 

About the Author


Oliver F. Lehmann

Munich, Germany


 

Oliver F. Lehmann, MSc., PMP, is a project management trainer, author and speaker. He 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 and a volunteer and insider at the Project Management Institute (PMI).

Living in Munich, Bavaria, he is the President of the PMI Southern Germany Chapter and author of the book “Situational Project Management: The Dynamics of Success and Failure” (Taylor & Francis, ISBN 9781498722612).

 

 

The Big Reverse


The Big Reverse: Politics, Anti-leadership and the Looming Threat to Professionalism – and Welcome to the February 2017 Edition of the PM World Journal

David Pells

Managing Editor

Addison, Texas, USA


Welcome to the February 2017 edition of the PM World Journal (PMWJ). This 55th edition truly reflects the international nature of this publication; 39 original articles, papers and other works by 47 different authors in 19 different countries are included this month. News articles about projects and project management around the world are also included. Since the primary mission of this journal is to support the global sharing of knowledge, please share this month’s edition with others in your network, wherever in the world they may be.

Since last August, on the recommendation of several respected advisors, I have been using this opportunity to mention new trends or important issues that I see as journal editor. Following the 2016 presidential election in the United States, the topic of my short December editorial was the potential impact on programs, projects, industries and organizations of “disruptive political change”. It was a topic that I have written about before and, I think, was relatively well received; at least I heard from a few people (see the letter to the editor from Oliver Lehmann in Germany this month, for example.)

The December editorial focused on the changes in policies that frequently accompany political changes, policies that affect funding, regulations and other actions that can impact programs and projects. That impact is now being felt in the United States as the president has already signed executive orders benefiting large corporations, big banks, the oil and gas industry and Wall Street; science, environmental protection, national parks, foreign trade (and relations) and other industries may be negatively affected. But those changes and impacts are not unexpected. If new policies, laws and regulations are enacted in fair and reasonable ways, there may actually be some positive results.

However, after only a few weeks, it has become clear to me that there is another much bigger potential problem associated with the new administration. It has to do with the much publicized dawn of the “post-truth” era and the use of “alternative facts” by the president and his team – in other words, the apparent broad acceptance of dishonesty in leadership. I was advised not to “go political”, but this is just too important…

The Big Reverse: Politics, Anti-leadership and the Looming Threat to Professionalism

Politics as Context

Politics is a normal aspect of civilized society; like economics, it is part of the environmental context within which organizations, programs and projects operate. According the Oxford dictionary, Politics includes “The activities associated with the governance of a country or area, especially the debate between parties having power” and “A particular set of political beliefs or principles”. The Oxford online definition also includes “Activities aimed at improving someone’s status or increasing power.” [1]

Merriam-Webster (M-W) defines politics as 1. the art and science of government; the art and science concerned with guiding or influencing government policy; the art and science concerned with winning and holding control over a government; 2. political actions, practices or policies; 3. political affairs or business; 4. the political opinions or sympathies of a person; and 5. the total complex of relations between people living in society. [2] The M-W citation also states “Politics is a multifaceted word. It has a set of fairly specific meaning that are descriptive and nonjudgmental (such as ‘the art and science of government’ and ‘political principles’), but it can and often does carry a negative meaning closely related to these (‘political activities characterized by artful and often dishonest practices’), and it not uncommon for the word to have multiple related meaning that run the connotative gamut from good to bad.”

In other words, politics is a common and normal aspect of government – at the local, regional, state, national and international levels. Because government plays such an important role in most lives, of both individuals and organizations, their activities, administration and control are vitally important to many stakeholders. It is the control aspect that brings us to now, where political opinions and parties are deeply dividing the populations of many countries – especially in the United States and Western Europe. Politics has sharply divided the right from the left, the liberals from the conservatives, the Democrats from the Republicans.

Those divisions sometimes seem crazy. How can citizens of the same country or state argue and fight to such a degree that they express hatred for each other, they call each other “the enemy”, and representatives of each side or party oppose the other in congress en masse? This seems to be the situation in the USA now following the divisive 2016 presidential campaign and election. And now the administration seems to be making matters worse. Real and positive leadership is needed, but that’s not what I see.

So why does this matter to project managers and the PM profession? Because this political environment is where our programs, projects and project teams now exist! Because political control of governments can influence or dictate policies and actions that affect industries, organizations and projects (as we are already experiencing in America and UK)! Because political affiliations, principles and attitudes can affect organizations, teams, relationships, careers and lives (more on this below)! Politics and political conditions represent one of the most important aspects of “context” for us all. If you don’t believe this, please read on.

More…

To read entire paper, click here

 


 

About the Author


David L. Pells

Managing Editor, PMWJ
Managing Director, PMWL

 

 

David L. Pells is Managing Editor of the PM World Journal (http://www.pmworldjournal.net/) and Managing Director of the PM World Library (http://www.pmworldlibrary.net/). David is an internationally recognized leader in the field of professional project management with more than 35 years of experience on a variety of programs and projects, including engineering, construction, energy, defense, transit, technology and nuclear security, and project sizes ranging from thousands to billions of dollars. He has been an active professional leader in the United States since the 1980s, serving on the board of directors of the Project Management Institute (PMI®) twice. He was founder and chair of the Global Project Management Forum (1995-2000), an annual meeting of leaders of PM associations from around the world.

David was awarded PMI’s Person of the Year award in 1998 and Fellow Award, PMI’s highest honor, in 1999. He is also an Honorary Fellow of the Association for Project Management (APM) in the UK; Project Management Associates (PMA – India); and Russian Project Management Association. Since 2010 he is an honorary member of the Project Management Association of Nepal. From June 2006 until March 2012, he was the managing editor of PM World Today. He occasionally provides high level advisory services for major programs, global organizations and the U.S. federal government. David has a BA in Business Administration from the University of Washington and a Master’s degree in business from Idaho State University in the USA. He has published widely, spoken at conferences and events worldwide, and can be contacted at editor@pmworldjournal.net

To see other works by David Pells, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/david-l-pells/