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Welcome to the August 2017 PMWJ

The Missing Link, Benefits Realization Management… and Welcome to the August edition of the PM World Journal

David Pells

Managing Editor
PM World Journal

Addison, Texas, USA

 



Welcome to the August 2017 edition of the PM World Journal (PMWJ), the 61st uninterrupted monthly edition. This edition continues to reflect the international nature of this publication; 27 original articles, papers and other works by 33 different authors in 14 different countries. 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 international advisors, I have used this opportunity to mention important trends or issues that I see as journal editor. This month, I want to discuss benefits realization management, a topic that most of you may not be knowledgeable enough about. That was true for me before I launched some serious research on the topic about two months ago. As a 35 year practitioner of professional project management, with many years of experience as a professional leader, I thought I knew all I needed to know about program and project management. I’ve had to rethink that assessment.

The missing link between the strategy and results

In recent years, a number of significant papers have been written about the importance of both the front end and the back end of the project life cycle. In particular, current project management bodies of knowledge and standards have been criticized for lack of enough attention to the pre-investment stage of projects and the post-delivery and operational stages after projects are ‘completed’. Some excellent papers on these topics that I am familiar with include recent works by Alan Stretton and Russ Archibald:

  • The Six-Phase Comprehensive Project Life Cycle Model Including the Project Incubation/Feasibility Phase and the Post-Project Evaluation Phase, by Russell D. Archibald, Ivano Di Filippo and Daniele Di Filippo; December 2012 [1]
  • Involving program/project managers in organizational strategic planning?, Stretton, July 2011 [2]
  • A further note on involving program/ project managers in organisational strategic planning, Stretton, October 2013 [3]
  • Project Outputs and Customers Outcomes, Stretton, February 2016 [4]
  • Organizational strategic plans, projects, and strategic outcomes, Stretton, April 2016 [5]
  • Adding value to project clients, Stretton, December 2016 [6]

In my opinion, benefits realization management (BRM) can successfully link program and project outcomes (and stakeholder benefits) to organizational strategies; BRM might be the missing link in managing the program and project lifecycle. Perhaps this is misunderstood because of the generic nature of the word “benefit”; more likely it is due to its incorporation only into program management standards and guides, not in those addressing project management. Perhaps it is also due to the widely accepted notion that strategies and strategic planning are the responsibility of senior executives, not project managers.

This understanding misses the critical link: strategies should flow from desired outcomes and benefits, programs and projects then flow from strategies to achieve those benefits. Programs and projects must deliver the desired benefits in order to be successful. Traditional project performance measures no longer suffice. We’ve heard many times that successful outcomes depend on doing the ‘right projects right’, but doing the right projects depends on having the right strategies, and that in turn requires strategies aimed at achieving “benefits”. Successful programs and projects are those that deliver full benefits (creating the desired ‘value”); delivering projects on budget and schedule matters little if benefits are not delivered.

Program and project managers need to not only fully understand organizational strategies, they need to understand and embrace the desired outcomes and benefits to be achieved. Identifying, defining, tracking, implementing and measuring benefits provide the long missing link between organizational strategies, programs, projects, outcomes and value. Unfortunately, this is not all so easy as it seems.

The light bulb: Benefits in program(me) management

In April, I delivered a briefing on PMI’s Standard for Program Management to executives of a major U.S. government program office in Washington, DC. That standard is organized around five core “domains”: strategy alignment, benefits management, stakeholder management, governance and life cycle management. The leaders in the room were all well versed in traditional project management concepts and easily grasped the points about strategy, stakeholders, governance and life cycle. They were however interested in learning more about program benefits management and requested another in-depth briefing on this topic. Over the last the last few months, I have researched program benefits management, not only in the USA but in several other countries. The results have changed my perspective on not only program management but also on project and portfolio management…

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 occasionally acts as project management advisor for U.S. national laboratories and international programs, and currently serves as an independent advisor for a major U.S. national nuclear security program.

David Pells 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.

Former managing editor of PM World Today, he is the creator, editor and publisher of the PM World Journal (since 2012). David has a BA in Business Administration from the University of Washington and an MBA from Idaho State University in the USA. He has published widely and spoken at conferences and events worldwide. David lives near Dallas, Texas and can be contacted at [email protected]

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

 

 

Zen and the Art of Business Communication

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title:   Zen and the Art of Business Communication: A Step-by-Step Guide to Improving Your Business Writing Skills
Author: Susan L. Luck, PhD
Publisher: Business Expert Press
List Price: $34.95
Format: Paperback, 202 pages
Publication Date: 2016      
ISBN: 978-1-60649-956-6
Reviewer: Susan E. Slawson, PhD, PMP, CSM
Review Date: July 2017

 



Introduction

In this digital age quite often your first communication with others, if not all your communication, is written: email, texts, blogs, social media posts, etc. Knowing how to write effectively is crucial, especially if you want to get ahead in the business world. One of the most important ideas to understand is that communication isn’t about you, the sender – it is about the receiver of the message. This becomes clear in Dr. Susan L. Luck’s book Zen and the Art of Business Communication: A Step-by-Step Guide to Improving Your Business Writing Skills.

If absorbed and practiced the book offers guidance that will lead you to become a better communicator. Simple, straightforward instructions are shared that lead to concise and easy to understand communications that will showcase your professionalism. As the author explains: “…this book intends to … provide you with the concept. Your job is to explore the details, apply them, and practice them.”

Overview of Book’s Structure

The book is broken up into an introductory chapter and 14 subsequent chapters. Each of the 14 chapters is dedicated to a specific topic. A closing chapter is not included.

The fourteen chapters cover a variety of topics including: focusing your message, knowing and targeting your audience, providing clarity and concrete messages, and identifying the goals of your communication. Additional chapters discuss the fear of writing, the importance of flow and getting the details right.

Important concepts are highlighted in text boxes and let you know to slow down and concentrate on the information. This makes it easier to revisit the main concepts of each chapter without re-reading the entire chapter.

More…

To read entire Book Review, click here

 



About the Reviewer



Susan E. Slawson, PhD

Carrollton, TX, USA

 


Susan E. Slawson
, PhD, PMP, CSM, is an IT project manager who delivers efficient and straightforward project solutions while developing and mentoring others. She is experienced at leading full life cycle software implementations and demonstrates pride and ownership in all of her deliverables. While being self-sufficient and operating under aggressive deadlines, she can manage multiple projects, priorities and budgets. Susan considers herself to be bilingual in the business world – she can speak equally well to business owners and technology resources.

Susan received her PhD from Carnegie Mellon University and promptly entered the workforce in management consulting. She has a varied background, including starting her own company and working for multiple industries such as professional services, healthcare, telecom, energy, financial services and retail. She is currently looking for her next opportunity while volunteering with the DFW Alliance of Technology and Women (ATW) and the Southlake Focus Group. She is a member of both the Dallas and Fort Worth PMI chapters as well as the club secretary for the Executive Toastmasters.

Susan Slawson can be contacted at [email protected]

 

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 [email protected]

 

 

KNOWledge SUCCESSion

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title: KNOWledge SUCCESSion: Sustained Performance and Capability Growth Through Strategic Knowledge Projects
Author: Arthur Shelley
Publisher: Business Expert Press
List Price: $34.95
Format: Soft cover; 216 pages
Publication Date: 2016
ISBN: 9781631571589
Reviewer: Darryl John
Review Date: July 2017

 



Introduction

KNOWledge SUCCESSion explores why on how leaders need to utilize projects to become catalyst for organizations to sustain success by having team members apply knowledge. Dr. Shelley provides several examples of how interactions and communications among team members are more critical to organizations than processes.

The key is for leaders to stimulate the learning environment by staying engaged with the teams. This helps team members connect the dots with the day to day tactics of the project and the long term priorities of the organization.

Consider KNOWledge SUCCESSion a guide for executives, mid-level leaders, project managers and first line leaders on how internal walls must be torn down in order for the organization to succeed in an ever changing business environment.

Leaders from various industries in the fast paced global world can benefit from applying KWOWledge SUCCESSion.

Overview of Book’s Structure

In order to gain synergies across projects on how to sustain long term success, Dr. Shelley makes a key point that the actual projects deliverables are not the key to organization success. But, it is the learnings amongst the organizational team members that will move organizations forward in this fast paced competitive world.

Each of the twelve chapters starts with an executive summary and concludes with an “Apply this learning in practice” summary. Case studies from various industries are highlighted throughout the book. This provides leaders with a real life application that ties KNOWledge SUCCESSion foundation to the world of the practitioner.

Highlights

KNOWledge SUCCESSion is a new business term. Early on, Dr. Shelley does a great job of defining it, explaining it, defining its benefits, outcomes, and challenges.

Having a project based organization sets the stage for KNOWledge SUCCESSion framework. This contributes to long term sustainability.

More…

To read entire Book Review, click here

 



About the Reviewer

 


Darryl John

Texas, USA

 


Darryl John
, CAPM, PMI-ACP has been in the insurance industry for 27 years. He currently works as a Business Analyst on agile methodology projects.   Darryl is a member of the PMI Dallas Chapter and can be reached at [email protected]

 

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 [email protected]

 

 

Adapting to Change

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title: Adapting to Change: The Business of Climate Resilience  
Author: Ann Goodman, PhD
Publisher: Business Expert Press
List Price: $34.95
Format: Soft cover, 120 pages
Publication Date: 2016
ISBN: 13:978-1-63157-144-2
Reviewer: Jesus S. Flores
Review Date: June 2017

 



Introduction

As is pointed out by Ms. Goodman we live in a rapidly changing world where negative climate events have created local impacts but these effects are felt worldwide.

One reason that has been proposed for these climate events is the large increase in greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs). This book looks at how and what businesses are doing to reduce their GHGs and what strategies can be implemented to reduce the impact of negative climate events.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The book is laid out in a five-theme format. The individual themes show how real-world companies are responding to these climate changes. The focus is on how innovative company leaders are exploring mitigating responses to climate change.

The five-themes correspond to the book chapters. Each chapter addresses how a specific company or community responded to a climate event. The chapter details the strategies used to address the issue.

Highlights

Businesses such as Citigroup responded to Superstorm Sandy by setting goals to mitigate climate change by setting internal environmental goals for reducing greenhouse emissions and reducing its waste. At the same time Citi was also encouraging and financing other companies’ greenhouse reduction efforts (projects).

ConAgra’s dependence on agricultural products mandated that it address responses to climate events. ConAgra implemented strategies to reduce GHGs, assisted its supply chain partners to instigate agricultural and transportation strategies to ensure the production of sustainable products…

More…

To read entire Book Review, click here

 



About the Reviewer

 


Jesus S. Flores, PMP

Texas, USA

 

 


Jesus Flores
is currently working as the Grant Manager for a municipal transit agency. His education includes a BS in Biology, MSPH in Public Health, and an MBA in Management. He has been a PMP since 2005 and has worked as a Project Manager on process re-engineering projects and ERP implementations.

 

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 [email protected]

 

 

The Inspiration Code

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title:   The Inspiration Code: How the Best Leaders Energize People Every Day
Author: Kristi Hedges
Publisher: American Management Association
List Price:   $24.95
Format: Hard cover, 288 pages
Publication Date:   2017    
ISBN: 978-0-8144-3789-6
Reviewer:  Yolanda Morgan-Davis
Review Date: July 2017

 



Introduction

At our monthly PMI meeting, I was drawn to this book but had some trepidation because I was not sure if a six week commitment was enough time for me to read and review a book. I am so glad that through my busyness I was determined to keep the commitment I made to my chapter representative. It was well worth it. The book was jam packed with information, inspiration, wisdom and practical applications that I could not skip around because each chapter built upon the other. For the methodical, A-personality with a streak of creativity that I am, this book was an absolute joy to read. From chapter one to chapter twelve I felt that Kristi was my personal coach and I loved every minute of it.

After 15-months in a DeVos training initiative my purpose evolved—to transform youth (11-18) to become balanced individuals in competence (what they know) and conscience (who they are) for college and career readiness through socialization skills training. There is not enough emphasis being placed on the social intelligence skills that future leaders need to be successful. I always tell my students that practice makes permanent.   If students are introduced to the Inspire Path conversation (be Present, be Personal, be Passionate and be Purposeful) at 11 years old, they have seven years to develop into an inspirational communicator. If they learn this concept as part of their after-school training, they will be better prepared to face the challenges that lay ahead of them in life.

The Inspiration Code is allowing my organization to developed leaders into eagles not ducks that Mac Anderson talks about in his book, You Can’t Send a Duck to Eagle School. I truly believe the notion that leaders are not born but made.

Overview of Book’s Structure

As I concluded this book and the memorable experience I had reading and taking notes, I thank God that He guided me on a journey while reading this book. The passion and purpose I have grew even stronger through my reading; however, what excited me the most about this book was the ‘concept-in-action’ sections that guided me on how to maintain and practice the learning. It gave you a clearer concept of the information Kristi just discussed in the chapter.

This made all the difference in truly making the learning my own. Now if you think you missed key points in the chapter, Kristi gives you “Takeaways after each chapter. Don’t just scan the takeaway pages in the book to think that you will get the big picture, you will not, Kristi has sprinkled nuggets all through the chapters, with book summaries, scholars’ sayings and practitioners’ research findings that you don’t want to miss.

I have a reading list for all the grade levels in my curriculum; I am adding this book to my senior high reading list. There are three books that had a significant impact on my life; I am making this a fourth one. It was life changing and thought provoking. I have a “who am I” section in my curriculum for my students; after reading this book I feel that I need to enhance that session to include a personal branding statement. I see so many possibilities that my mind is racing and I am off the chart excited.

Highlights

As leaders, we must create a condition for inspiration in others. The way we do this is to trigger inspiration through conversation. Seek to inspire others because you can. It is here in the introduction where the Inspire Path model was introduced.

More…

To read entire Book Review, click here

 




About the Reviewer

 


Yolanda Morgan-Davis

North Texas, USA

 

 

 

Ms. Davis helps to create opportunities that will transform how students look and approach school and life, resulting in life-long learners and change agents in the community. As a trainer, Ms. Davis feels that there is a bridge between information and transformation. In an academic setting through teaching, information is conveyed to students. In a training session, students build upon their academic knowledge and are opened to transforming possibilities of what they can do and become. This is where Ms. Davis greatest contribution comes in, when she can presents students with opportunities that connects with the fulfillment of their dream.

The level of education of its citizens defines the economic strength of a country. Ms. Davis is committed to empowering young people to achieve superior performance with motivational messaging tools, inventive personal development resources and academic city tours to compete in a global society. In 2000, The International NET XChange Group, a consulting, mentoring and college preparatory organization for youth between the ages of 11-18 was incorporated by Ms. Davis. The organization addresses areas of social development to maximize personal growth and academic potential.

NET XChange Accomplishments

  • Coordinated the “Chicago Career Shadowing” tour with nine corporations, colleges and universities for youth between the ages of 15-18
  • “Pathway to Freedom Traveling Exhibit” focusing on the Trail of Tears, Underground Railroad and the Civil Rights Movement ―       an exhibit for youth created by youth, parents and chaperones
  • Designed “Train2Serve” – Career readiness training for youth
  • Designed “Scholastic Marathon Training-Get Ready, Get Set Let’s Go – College-prep training for youth
  • Coordinated social skills training seminars for youth development
  • Established NETXC book club with youth facilitators — promoting reading, writing and vocabulary

While working to build a youth organization, I have held several successful positions in an effort to fulfill my career goals. My skills encompass the ability to manage projects from planning to completion, software and hardware installation, network conversion, multiple systems support (mainframes, client servers, PCs, laptops and mobile devices).

Career Accomplishments

  • Texas A & M Commerce, MBA; Texas Woman’s University, BS; PMP Certified
  • Shekinah Radiance Academy – Community Liaison
  • Allstate Insurance – IT Project Manager
  • Halliburton Company – Network Professional
  • Texas Instruments – IT System Administrator and Trainer

Educational, Certification and Professional Training

Texas A& M Commerce, Commerce, TX – MBA: Instructional Design Training

Business Management

Texas Woman’s University, Denton, TX – BS: True Colors Certification

Business Administration

Project Management Professional

DiSC Certification

Foundation in Professional Ethics Training

DeVos Urban Youth Leadership Training

Beyond the Open Door— To Servant Leadership: A servant leader requires a deep humility as well as a willingness to pour yourself into the good of others. You get greatness out of people by expecting it from them. In the words of Karen Pittman, “We must be able to undergird a sustained effort to bring all young people into the civil, social and economic arenas of their communities as lifelong learners, workers and change agents.” Ms. Davis encourages young people to become purpose-driven and balanced individuals in competence and conscience.

She can be contacted at [email protected]

 

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 [email protected]

You’ve Got 8 Seconds

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title:   You’ve Got 8 Seconds: Communication Secrets for a Distracted World
Author: Paul Hellman
Publisher: AMACOM
List Price:   $17.95              
Format: Soft cover, 208 pages
Publication Date:   04/13/2017    
ISBN: 978-0-8144-3830-5
Reviewer:     Larry Barnett, PMP
Review Date: 07/2016

 



Introduction

Paul Hellman has penned a book to help people capture and keep the attention of others. One might think our world is more “distracted” than it was in generations past. And that may be true, given that most people today carry at least one portable electronic device almost 24/7 and try to multitask. And it may be inevitable for today.

You’ve Got 8 Seconds: Communication Secrets for a Distracted World” can give an edge here.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The challenge for communicating in business and professional circles is this: To be heard. To be remembered. And to achieve results. The theme of “8 Seconds” could be, “capture attention.” This core thought is woven throughout three sections, FOCUS, VARIETY, and PRESENCE.

Fifteen chapters, all easy to read and good for a reread, fill the three parts in logical organization. The title of each chapter is brief and to the point. And 100 distinct, often humorous, tactics are spread across the chapters to round out the captivating message – how to make your 8 seconds count.

Highlights

Make it interesting. Tell them what you are not going to tell them. To say less, measure…or for some, say more.

Be the audience, and ask yourself…

More…

To read entire Book Review, click here

 



About the Reviewer


Larry Barnett, PMP

North Texas, USA

 




Barnett, PMP
has broad experience in information technology, IT Project Management, Business Analysis, and Solution Development and Delivery. His work experience covers a variety of industries, most recently, Healthcare, Energy, and Paper & Forest Products. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration, Accounting, from Texas Tech University. Larry is a member of the Project Management Institute, Dallas Chapter, having acquired PMP certification in 2015. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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 [email protected]

 

 

Finland Project Management Roundup for August 2017

REPORT

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

By Dr Jouko Vaskimo

International Correspondent and 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

Project 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 with over 4000 individual and 600 organizational members.

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. This year the Project Days event takes place on 31.10. – 1.11.2017 in the Helsinki Fair Center. Please navigate to www.pry.fi/en , http://www.3pmo.fi/ , and http://www.projektipaivat.fi/ for further information on PMAF and its main events.

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 a tradition of organizing an annual conference in spring. This year the conference took place on May 10th, in Helsinki, with the overarching theme “Change!”. Please navigate to http://www.pmifinland.org/ and http://www.conference.pmifinland.org/ for further information on the PMI Finland Chapter and its main events.

OLKILUOTO 3

The 1 600 MW Olkiluoto 3 nuclear power plant, originally contracted to be built by consortium comprising of Areva and Siemens for Teollisuuden Voima (TVO) at Olkiluoto, is currently nearing completion. In July the international arbitration tribunal issued a new intermediate decision regarding the delay penalties of the Olkiluoto 3 unit. This was the second intermediate decision, which TVO considers as aligning with the TVO point of view. TVO Managing Director Mr. Risto Siilos commented “Yes, also this intermediate decision, as well as the one in last November, strengthens our beliefs that our demands are stronger than the demands of the other party”.

The third nuclear power unit to be constructed at Olkiluoto is expected to provide full power in commercial power production in late 2018 – assuming that the remaining works proceed as expected. Nuclear fuel is expected to be delivered to the plant in September 2017; the first fuel charge is expected to be loaded in the reactor in January 2018; the start-up is expected to be initiated in June 2018. At this moment TVO believes the plant will be ready for continuous commercial power generation at the end of 2018. If this is the case, the plant is delivered eight years behind schedule and 5 500 M€ over budget.

The contract for building the Olkiluoto 3 power plant was signed in 2003 for 3 000 M€, and construction began in 2005, targeting completion in June 2009. Due to numerous challenges during the planning and construction phases, the target date has been pushed forward several times, finally to 2018 – nine years in total. According to Areva, the delays have pushed the total cost up to 8 500 M€. Areva and TVO have conducted negotiations regarding the delay and related penalties, with TVO demanding 2 300 M€ from Areva, and Areva 3 500 M€ from TVO: Areva claims TVO has not carried out its contractual duties, and is therefore accountable for the costs of the string of delays. TVO claims Areva has failed to construct the plant according to contractual schedule.

More…

To read entire report, click here

 



About the Author

 


Dr 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 [email protected]. 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/

 

 

August 2017 PM Update from Spain

REPORT

The PMI Madrid Spain Chapter selected as one of the three finalists for the PMI Chapter of the Year Award

By Alfonso Bucero

International Correspondent & Editorial Advisor

Madrid, Spain

 



This good news means the PMI recognition to our volunteer job for the PMI Madrid Spain Chapter over the years. It was not an overnight process. It took many years of work and effort from so many volunteers. Congratulations.

How did the PMI Madrid Spain Chapter arrive here?

Everything started on 2003, when José Antonio Puentes as Sponsor and the former President, Javier Sanz, Alfonso Bucero and others as founding members and a reduced group of volunteers created the PMI-MSC with 25 professionals. Many things have happened from then, the Chapter had several presidents (Alfonso Bucero, Julio Carazo, Francisco Javier Rodriguez-Blanco and Claudia Alcelay (current president)), several Board of Directors, several volunteers and sponsors. Microsoft Spain was our first Sponsor, but we have known how to maintain a key ingredient during all those years: we are there to serve our membership. Without any doubt, that approach has provoked that, almost 15 years later, to have the honor to be selected as a potential winner for that Award.

How was the selection process?

After an internal process, where PMI is choosing potential Chapters, on march 2017, PMI invited us to present us as a candidate for the “Chapter of the Year 2016 Award”. It started an intense process of information gathering and elaboration which ended with the submission of our proud proposal.

More…

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 [email protected].

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

 

 

August 2017 PM Update from Argentina

REPORT

Annual Survey of Software and Computer Industry in Argentina; 111mil National Program; Update from PMI Argentina Chapters (Project Management Update from Argentina)

By Cecilia Boggi, PMP

International Correspondent

Buenos Aires, Argentina

 



In line with technological advances worldwide, the demand for Knowledge Professionals grows strongly in Argentina. At a time when the country is experiencing difficulties, the software and information technology industry is showing growth, both in terms of employment generation and exports.

The study entitled “Permanent Observatory of the Software and Computer Services Industry” (OPSSI), carried out annually by the Chamber of Software and Computer Services Companies (CESSI), has determined that in the last 10 years the employment rate in this industry has doubled and during the year 2016 registered an average increase in employment of 3.1%.

The survey revealed that expectations for this year 2017 are increasing, as companies expect employment growth of 13.8%, which implies the creation of more than 12,800 new jobs, an increase of 25.5 % in total sales in Argentinian pesos and a 16.4% increase in exports in dollars.

According to the aforementioned study, during the 2016, 7,800 new positions were generated in this industry, 65% of which remained vacant due to lack of professionals. Companies need to fill positions of software engineers, systems analysts and programmers, among other roles, but they are not available in the local market.

As mentioned by Gustavo Guaragna, a member of the CESSI Steering Committee in charge of the OPSSI study, “The software industry generated jobs again, incorporating 2,800 new professionals and leaving an unsatisfied demand of more than 5,000 positions, which would have 7,800 jobs that the sector projected for 2016 “.

In Argentina, about 4000 professionals graduate each year from the universities in information technology careers, which covers only 30% of the almost 13,000 positions required in the industry for this year 2017.

More…

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

 



About the Author


CECILIA BOGGI

International Correspondent

Buenos Aires, Argentina

 

 


Cecilia Boggi, PMP is founder and Executive Director of activePMO, giving consulting services and training in Project Management and Leadership skills in Argentina and Latin America. After graduating with a degree in Computer Science Engineering from Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina, she has managed software development projects and PMO implementation projects for more than 20 years both in the government and private sector. Cecilia has an Executive Master in Business Administration from Universidad Francisco de Vitoria, Spain and also has graduated from an Executive Program in Business Management at Universidad del CEMA. She holds the Project Management Professional (PMP®) credential since 2003, is certified as SDI Facilitator from Personal Strengths©, is a Professional Executive Coach accredited by Association for Coaching, UK, and alumni of the PMI Leadership Institute Master Class 2012.

Ms. Boggi is Past President of the PMI Buenos Aires Argentina Chapter, and is a founding member of the PMI Nuevo Cuyo Chapter and PMI Santa Cruz Bolivia Chapter. She has been designated by PMI in the role of Mentor of Region 13, Latin America South, for the years 2014-2016. Cecilia has participated in the development of PMBOK® Guide 5th Edition, leading the Chapter 9, Human Resource Management, content team and she is professor of Project Management and Leadership in some Universities and Institutes in Latin America.

She can be contacted at mailto:[email protected]and http://www.activepmo.com/

To view other works by Cecilia Boggi, visit her author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/cecilia-boggi/.

 

 

August 2017 UK Project Management Round Up

REPORT

Good project news: buildings in London, robots, UK Infrastructure and Projects Authority report on major projects; Bad project news: F35 Lightning, Hinckley Point 3, tram projects, Stonehenge Tunnel, Tintagel Bridge and rail electrification goes

By Miles Shepherd

Executive Advisor & International Correspondent

Salisbury, England, UK

 



INTRODUCTION

Traditionally, the summer months have been seen in UK as ‘Silly Season’ with the press and mainstream media finding little ‘serious’ news to report. With so little hard news around, anything remotely serious is picked over endlessly and for that reason, we are getting more and more over-analysis of political utterances and this year those concern BREXIT, a topic which has induced utter boredom in UK; so this is the last I will write about it in this issue.

One of the key aspects of the Silly Season is that it is not a good time to announce news as the national press goes to town on almost anything. So it is a surprise that there is news of major projects, some of which falls into the seriously bad bucket. As last month, there is also some good news even if the Fourth Estate gives it minimal coverage. Those of us in the Fifth Estate do not shirk what we see as our duty to bring you outlier views of contemporary society.

THE GOOD NEWS

New buildings in the City of London are frequently given names like the Walkie-Talkie, Gherkin, The Shard and so on. Most have become notorious for one reason or another either from problems in the technology behind them or from finance problems. I reported on the Helter Skelter back in 2012 when the money behind the project dried up after some £500 million had been spent. The project, which was planned as the second tallest building in Europe (after the Shard) supported by the deepest foundations ever laid in the UK, was funded by oil money from the Middle East.

Anyway, the site was abandoned and was nicknamed the Stump (see picture left) nothing happened till the site was purchased by Sir Stuart Lipton. He saw an opportunity, the site already had planning permission, the foundation and basement had already been laid and best of all, it was cheap at £300 million.

Photo courtesy of Londonist.com

The project has been redesigned since the 2015 purchase and is now officially known as 22 Bishopsgate although it will no doubt get another, less formal, name soon. Much of the original Stump has been demolished and a new design by Karen Cook whose previous employer had designed the Pinnacle. Work is now progressing with some 400 construction staff on site, including 30 who work overnight. Progress to date is 27 stories at a rate of about one story a week. The final build will top out at 278 metres and 62 stories. Cost is estimated at £1.5 billion.

More good news comes from the futurologists who predict that robots will not be quite the threat the doom-sayers claim. Productivity in UK is pretty poor according to the reports in the press and there have been many reports in the media that the robots are coming to take all our jobs. For the more tech savvy reader it will come as no surprise that the robots are already here and doing a pretty wide range of tasks. So we see much automation in a range of engineering industries. Some of the professions also feel threatened by humanoid robots having seen robot assisted surgery.

More…

To read entire report, click here

 



About the Author


MILES SHEPHERD

Salisbury, UK


 

Miles Shepherd is an executive editorial advisor and international correspondent for PM World Journal 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 a Director for PMI’s Global Accreditation Centre and is immediate past 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 [email protected].

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

 

 

Cooperation and Competition in Project Teams

SECOND EDITION

Joanna Cewinska and Anna Krasnova

University of Lodz

Lodz, Poland

 



Abstract

The topic of cooperation and competition in the workplace is the subject of discussions between representatives of social sciences, including sociology, psychology and management. Among researchers there is no clear position on the superiority of one over the other. Either concept can in certain circumstances be effective, or on the contrary, it might have an opposite effect. Although there have been many studies on cooperation and competition within various groups and between them, there is no research available on cooperative and competitive behaviour in project teams. For this reason, authors decided to take a look at the relationships between members of such groups in order to find answers to our questions: how do respondents define the concepts of cooperation and competition (what words do they use to describe them?), have they experienced cooperation and rivalry, and if so, which do they think occurs more frequently: what promotes cooperation and teamwork? Why does competition occur, and how does it manifest itself?

The aim of this article is to present the results of our study on cooperation and rivalry in project teams. The subjects of authors study are individuals working in project teams who are also students of the Faculty of Management at the University of Lodz. Authors used the biographical method to collect the data. Authors asked respondents to describe a situation from work within the scope of relevant information according to our instructions. The presentation of the results of study is preceded by a brief literature review, and a description of the methodology used (introduction). At the end of author’s presentation a summary of author observations included. Although the results of this study are not subject to generalization for the entire population, it shows that employees working in project teams more often cooperate than compete with each other. Their attitude is largely due to keeping the focus on the goal of the team, and the belief that each member has specific skills, which may affect the results of the team’s work. The results of the preliminary study will be used to prepare the tools for use in complex research: a survey and interview questionnaire.

Key words: project team, cooperation, competition.

JEL code: M54      Labor Management

Introduction

The topic of cooperation and competition in the workplace is the subject of discussions between representatives of social sciences, including sociology, psychology and management. The question of which of these concepts is more effective in the workplace seems to remain without a clear answer. In some situations, cooperative attitude might dominate, while in others, the competitive approach has an edge. The issue of cooperation and competition is of particular importance when it comes to the new, more flexible organisational structures where project teams are utilised.

A project team is a unit composed of employees who, on a daily basis, work in different organisational units, but for the duration of the project are given specific tasks associated with it, and are responsible for completing them. (Дедова В.Е. 2014, Дроздова В.А, 2016). Project teams are characterised by their temporary nature – they are appointed for the duration of the project and dissolve after its completion. They function on the basis of subject specialisation, selecting participants based on their expertise, which is often specialised and unique. It is also important to direct the focus of all team members to the goal of the project, and ensure the complementary knowledge and skills of all participants.

Project teams constitute certain communities, in which interactions occur between their members and reveal a variety of behaviours, such as “they may seek to maximize their dominance over their partner (rivalry, competition), or to gain mutual benefits for both themselves and their partner (cooperation)” (Pajestka G., 2012). In the first case authors are dealing with actions aimed at individual success, that is the attitude of “it’s most important that I win”, we are enemies”, while in the second case we see a different attitude: “we are here for each other, we need each other to achieve the goal”. Although subject literature presents views on cooperation and competition in teamwork within the organization, there is no discussion regarding these issues in project teams. Due to the subject and purpose of this article we have concentrated on inter-team cooperation and competition.

More…

To read entire paper, click here

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 at the 6th Scientific Conference on Project Management in the Baltic States, University of Latvia, April 2017. It is republished here with the permission of the authors and conference organizers.



About the Authors


Joanna Cewi
ńska

Lodz, Poland

 


Joanna Cewińska,
Ph. D., Associate Professor, Head of the Department of Human Resource Management, Faculty of Management, University of Lodz, Poland.

She has over 20 years’ experience in research, teaching and international cooperation, including: Sweden: Örebro 2001 – scientific cooperation, Portugal: Porto 2009 – Erasmus, lecturer, Germany: Karlsruhe 2014 – Erasmus, lecture.

Participant in different projects in positions:

  • expert and recruiter – „Science as a way to business – scholarship program for doctorial students from region of Lodz”, EU funded;
  • coach and expert – „System support management processes in public administration”, EU funded
  • expert – „The dialogue of generations”, „Graduates in business”, „The art of management – postgraduate course for the staff of the labour market”, EU funded; „Ear – Coalition for breaking social resistance: project carried out with the participation of the European Social Fund under the EQUAL Community Initiative”;
  • lecturer and expert – „Human Capital Operational Program” 2010-2013;
  • researcher – „Dysfunctions in human resource management”, funded by the Committee for Scientific Research (Poland); „Personnel management in the Polish business”, funded by the Committee for Scientific Research (Poland)
  • consultant – „The activity of women in the labor market”, project implemented by the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy in Warsaw, co-financed by the European Social Fund

Research interests: human resource management, strategies and programs for HRM, virtualization of HRM, human resource development, development of interpersonal skills, human resource management in sport, dysfunction in human resource management tendencies of development of labor markets, appearance of new professions, knowledge management system in student’s education process. Prof Cewinska cane contacted at [email protected].

 


Anna Krasnova

Lodz, Poland

 


Anna Krasnova
, MSc, has few-years’ experience in organizing and conducting integration and motivation training, business events, career development lessons and soft skills development workshops.

Anna Krasnova is Russian, who was born and grew up in multicultural Kazakhstan. After high school, she obtained a scientific grant for studies in Poland. She graduated “Management” study with the specialization “Human Resources Management” at the University of Lodz, where she is currently working on her PhD dissertation. Since 2014, she has been employed as an assistant professor in the Department of Human Resources Management at the University of Lodz.

She is co-author of a book devoted to adapting students to the academic environment and author of a few publications in the field of human resources management, including employee recruitment and selection, employer branding and decruitment. Her scientific interests are centered on:

  • Modern forms of recruitment and selection of employees
  • Business tourism and incentive trips as tools of human resources management
  • Employer and employee branding
  • Decruitment as a human resource management function

Anna can be contacted at [email protected]

 

 

Interrelated UAS-BIM System

SECOND EDITION

Application of an interrelated UAS – BIM system for construction progress monitoring, inspection and project management

By Shahab Moeini, Azzeddine Oudjehane, Tareq Baker, Wade Hawkins

Southern Alberta Institute of Technology

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 



ABSTRACT

Construction progress monitoring and constant comparison between “AS Planned” and the actual state of the project “as-built” is a critical task for construction project managers to keep projects on track. Currently, progress and inspection reports are based on manual input and observation of each and every phase of the construction projects. Such processes are costly and time consuming.

Unlike the traditional method for project control, integrating advanced technologies such Building Information Modeling (BIM), Unmanned Autonomous Systems (UAS) and real-time cloud based data modeling and analysis, enable real time project control, monitoring and inspection,

Advanced BIM encompasses project As-Planned information such as design, specification, cost, and schedule which enables CPMs to have an accurate comparison between as As-Planned and the UAS based As-Built states of the project. This paper describes

  • The current state for building information modelling and unmanned aerial system in construction projects
  • A strategy for the application and integration of BIM and UAS throughout progress monitoring of the construction of a recreational facility.
  • The challenges and opportunities for full automation and data analytics towards real time project control and monitoring of Construction projects.

INTRODUCTION

In the knowledge era and time of Artificial Intelligence (AI) the world is changing much faster than ever before. In a time of disruptive technologies, and rapid social, political and environmental changes, it is the moral obligation of each and every industry to transform (WEF, 2016). While this transformation will have positive impacts on construction cost, schedule, productivity, efficiency and environmental, the construction industry has remains one of the least efficient industries with an unimpressive track record in the world.

Even though other industry sectors have embraced fundamental changes over the last few decades, and have gained the benefits of advanced technological achievements, process and product innovations, the construction sector has been hesitant to fully embrace the latest technological opportunities, which has thus far resulted in stagnation of productivity in major global construction projects.

Technological advancement and market maturity of digitalization such as 3D scanning and virtual reality, in addition to Building Information Modelling (BIM), Unmanned Aerial and Ground systems (UAS and UGS), autonomous machineries and equipment and advanced building materials has provided a potential for fundamental changes to boost construction sector productivity and efficiency. While new technologies and innovation have emerged to some extent on the enterprise or company level, the rate of innovation and overall productivity in construction sector has remained nearly flat for the last 50 years (Beck, 2016).

According the World Economic Forum report in 2016, the unimpressive record of the construction industry is mainly caused by:

  • Lack of innovation and delayed adaptation
  • Informal process or insufficient rigour and consistency in process execution
  • Insufficient knowledge transfer from project to project
  • Weak project monitoring
  • Little collaboration with supplier
  • Conservative company culture
  • Little cross functional cooperation
  • Shortage of young talent and people development

Despite all the above mentioned issues and dominant conservative culture in construction sectors, few construction companies have adopted a progressive and innovative approach to pioneer the integration of advanced technologies such as BIM and UAS. This research and its outcomes herein have been the result of a collaborative approach between progressive construction industry partner/owners and academic Scholars/practitioners to: a) study the integration of the advanced BIM UAV based data into the progress reporting, technical inspection and safety analysis of the construction sites, b) demonstrate the advantages of implementing of the integrated strategy and c) identify the technical barrier to advanced technologies such as UAS in the construction sector.

More…

To read entire paper, click here

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 at the 4th Annual University of Maryland PM Symposium in May 2017. It is republished here with the permission of the authors and conference organizers.



About the Authors


Shahab Moeini

Alberta, Canada

 


Shahab Moeini
is currently completing a doctorate degree in Business Administration with a focus on organizational management with the University of Liverpool in the UK. He holds a Master of Science in Geospatial Science from the University of Salzburg and a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resource Engineering (Water Resources) from the Azad University in Iran.

Shahab started his professional career as an emergency construction manager and worked six years as a manager in charge of rehabilitation and reconstruction of municipal infrastructure after natural disasters or conflicts. He then worked 10 years as a water resources and soil engineer in water infrastructure project management before joining international organizations as a water and habitat engineer, leading projects in conflict and post-conflict zones throughout Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. In addition to his work as an instructor, Shahab is also the director of a Canadian-based consulting firm, providing project management and strategic advice to international organizations.

 


Dr. Azzeddine Oudjehane

Southern Alberta Institute of Technology
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 


Dr. Azzeddine Oudjehane
joined SAIT to teach in and the BSc Construction Project Management in 2012 and develop applied and scholarly research opportunities meeting the needs of the construction industry in Alberta. With over 20 years of experience leading multi-disciplinary projects in R&D, business innovation and market development and performance evaluation, Dr. Oudjehane working with various stakeholders from government and industry. He is also Principal of AZZO Consulting. He holds graduate degrees in both Applied Science and Business Administration.

With over 50 publications and presentations at international conferences, Dr. Oudjehane serves in various journal review committees and has chaired sessions at conferences. In 2014, Azzeddine was elected to the Board of Directors of the Alberta Chapter for Canada Green Building Council, where he leads the Green School Initiative. Over the past year, he has given talks and presentations on sustainability and innovation in construction project management.

 


Dr. Tariq Baker

Alberta, Canada

 



Tareq Baker
holds a PhD in Environmental Design from the University of Calgary and a Master of Building Science from the University of Southern California. During his PhD, his research evaluated the performance of the mechanical system in a LEED Platinum building, while his master’s degree research focused on developing software for visualizing building performance data.

Dr. Baker’s has worked as an architectural engineer, project manager, mechanical engineer design assistant, building information modelling (BIM) specialist and building energy simulation researcher. Through his work and research experience, Tareq developed a strong passion for green building technologies, construction project management and BIM. His current research focuses mainly on the use of BIM in construction project management and the integration of BIM in evaluating building performance.

 


Wade Hawkins

Alberta, Canada

 


Wade Hawkins
holds a Geographic Information System Professional (GISP) designation from the GIS Certification Institute (GISCI) and received his Bachelor of Science (Geography) and Certificate in Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing from the University of Winnipeg.

Wade is a faculty member in the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) Bachelor of Applied Technology Geographic Information Systems (BGIS) program. He has been responsible for teaching and curricula development. He has taught introductory and advanced courses in Geomatics technology such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), Remote Sensing, Programming and Project Management. In addition, he manages over 50 student capstone projects per year, is responsible for ongoing curriculum development and program renewal, manages software licensing and server infrastructure, and participates in Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) research activities.

 

 

Lean or Agile: Lessons Learned from a Tech Startup

SECOND EDITION

By John Johnson, PMP

Co-Founder, Second Nature Software LLC
Chief Technology Officer, Softek Enterprises LLC

Graduate Masters of Systems Engineering
Clarke School of Engineering
University of Maryland

College Park, Maryland, USA

 



Abstract

“Lean or Agile” provides a model of how any businesses can discover, develop, and deploy innovative solutions under extreme uncertainty. This paper evaluates project management techniques by using a technology startup case study to explore the extreme conditions which clarify when Lean and Agile management are most successful at achieving the organization’s goals. The paper presents insights on the indicators of when and where it is most appropriate to use Lean or Agile project management techniques, and how to transition between the two. The case study uses real-world examples of success and failure in applying these techniques to enrich its proposed theory on Lean and Agile. The paper’s subject is a startup, Second Nature Software LLC, that began with neither a product nor a target market and that, within one year, developed a cutting edge application piloted by five large research institutes, including two institutes at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Influences and project management theories referenced include: Lean Startup, Customer Development, Product Development, Design Thinking, Theory of Constraints, Scrum, Disciplined Agile Delivery, Kanban, and Total Quality Management.

Introduction

Which method is the best for managing uncertainty in startup-like environments – Lean or Agile?

This is the question that Second Nature Software LLC faced when beginning with one goal in mind: start, develop and build a successful product company. The three co-founders had over twenty years of software development experience, and about ten years’ experience using Agile. However, they had no market, no product, and no identified customers – and only a small amount of savings. By the end of their first year, Second Nature Software had built a data science product that was in trial at the largest medical research organizations in the world; including three institutes at NIH (NCI, NIAID, and NCATS), Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

There are many competing perspectives on what works best for success in organizations discovering and building new technology to sell in the marketplace. Startups, especially technology startups, work in such extreme conditions that they have only a 10% chance of succeeding [1]. With so much uncertainty, traditional business plans, schedules, resource matrixes, and requirements specs do not last long enough to write them down. Teams must be willing to change fast and leverage management processes that can ensure order in a chaotic environment.

In the case study of Second Nature Software LLC, both Lean, Agile, and Hybrid methods were used at different stages in the company’s development. The case study offers details of the how the methods were employed, the tools used, the success of employing the techniques, and lessons learned for how to do it better. The Conclusion then judges which method is better for most startup and extremely uncertain project environments, based on these real-world experiences.

More…

To read entire paper, click here

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 at the 4th Annual University of Maryland PM Symposium in May 2017. It is republished here with the permission of the authors and conference organizers.



About the Author


John Johnson, PMP

Virginia, USA

 


John
Johnson serves as the Chief Technology Officer for Softek Enterprises LLC, a minority-owned small business providing technology solutions to government clients since 2007. Softek specializes in evolving business systems using Agile, DevOps, and Cloud technologies to deliver working solutions faster for the government’s most critical IT challenges. He has 10 years of project management, systems engineering, and advanced analytics experience. Prior to joining Softek, Mr. Johnson co-founded Second Nature Software LLC, a data science products company focused on Life Science Research. He helped design and promote their product “Rocketfish,” a data management tool that simplifies preparing data for analysis while automating data tracking and organization. Rocketfish is currently in an organization-wide trial at NCI and NIAID, as well as major universities in the DC Metro Area. Previously, Mr. Johnson was a Senior Agile Project Manager with IBM, where he led multiple development teams building applications for the National Archives Records Administration (NARA). These applications were built on Amazon’s Gov Cloud (AWS) with cutting-edge cloud technologies to process, store, and search the hundreds of petabytes of government records expected at NARA by 2020. This project won “Project of the Year” across all of IBM globally for its success in project management innovation.  He also worked as a Management Consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton, where he led projects for the Marine Corps, Air Force, and Navy from optimizing site investments and posture for Reserve forces, to developing award-winning project analysis and portfolio management software to optimize billions in shore energy investments. Mr. Johnson holds a Master’s degree in Systems Engineering and a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Maryland.

 

 

Communication Management Tools

SECOND EDITION

Communication Management Tools for Managing Projects in an Intercultural Environment

by Olga Mikhieieva,
Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts
Kyiv National University of Construction and Architecture

Matthias Waidmann,
Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts,

Dortmund, Germany

 



Abstract

Insufficient communication and the lack of stakeholder integration are among the most common drivers for unattended change causes and uncontrolled change impacts in a project (Zhao et al., 2010) (Ochieng and Price, 2010). Especially in case of international projects, where different cultures are present and teams are often only virtually connected, projects teams face even more communication problems that can affect the outcome of a project. Intercultural differences influence the way each team member gets engaged into interaction with other stakeholders of the project.

In the main project management standards, there are tools and methods for managing communication and stakeholders, but their application has to be analyzed from an intercultural perspective. Besides a project communication plan, we address such tools as the mission breakdown structure (MBS) in order to give this perspective (Andersen, 2014). It is suggested that the MBS can be used as one of the tools enhancing the engagement of stakeholders (SH) (Andersen et al., 2009) and increasing communication effectiveness through a shared vision (Lee et al., 2015). In this article, we categorize and describe the main communication issues and tools for managing international projects within an intercultural environment.

Key words: Intercultural differences, international projects, communication management, stakeholders

JEL code: Z00

Introduction

“Communication has been identified as one of the single biggest reasons for project success or failure” (PMBOK 5, 2013, p. 515). Good communication, which is needed for project success, is structured in a way that helps to minimize or even avoid unexpected delays and misunderstandings, prevent duplication of efforts, discover issues, implement preventive measures and deal with all mentioned above in an effective way. In addition, stakeholder management is a crucial point in managing international projects as stakeholders are “individuals, groups or organizations who affect or can be affected by, or interested in the execution or the result of the project” (ICB 4, 2015, p. 145). That is why, in this article, various approaches (in standards of project management, such as ICB 4, PMBOK 5, Prince2, etc.) on communication and stakeholder management are analyzed from the intercultural point of view.

In order to analyze existing issues and tools, the literature review was conducted using key words such as communication, international, intercultural, skills, competencies, and stakeholders. The following databases were used: Science Direct, Google Scholar, and Web of Science. The goal was to explore and analyze issues and tools applied for managing communication in international and intercultural projects. The authors assumed that issues are also discussed in the literature as challenges, threats, barriers, and sometimes as risks. Although it may seem to be quite a big area of research, this approach allowed the discovery of different facets of issues in managing communication. High attention was specifically paid to studies devoted to intercultural skills and stakeholder management in international projects as these aspects help to shed light on the so-called ‘human’ side of communication issues.

As international communication (= people speaking in a language other than their native) occurs in an intercultural environment, it is more challenging to communicate effectively and it causes a higher rate of misunderstandings. Hence, more efforts are required to ensure common goals and values among project stakeholders. One of the main tools in managing the project stakeholders is the stakeholder analysis (PMBOK 5, 2013, p. 292). In the initiation phase in any international project, the stakeholder analysis is of outstanding importance and high complexity as stakeholders often are not well-known and sometimes difficult to be identified and analyzed. When it comes to stakeholders in an intercultural project, Lückmann and Färber advise that due to complexity reasons, it is reasonable to initially focus on those stakeholders that define the requirements of the project (Lückmann and Färber, 2016, p. 86).

However, the literature review has not revealed very much information and studies particularly on stakeholder communication issues in international projects. That is why, additionally, the authors explored how a mission breakdown structure can be applied for stakeholder engagement and communication using an example of the case study done by Andersen (Andersen, 2014).

More…

To read entire paper, click here

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 at the 6th Scientific Conference on Project Management in the Baltic States, University of Latvia, April 2017. It is republished here with the permission of the author and conference organizers



About the Authors



Olga Mikhieieva

Kiev, Ukraine

 

 

Olga Mikhieieva, M.Sc., IPMA Level D, conducts a PhD at university KNUCA Kiev and has come for a doctoral exchange to The University of Applied Sciences and Art, Dortmund, Germany. Since she has come to Dortmund, she works as scientific support staff in the DAAD EuroPIM project, the largest internationalization project of the university and the only DAAD strategic partnership at universities of applied sciences in North Rhine-Westphalia. In addition, she studies in the international program on project management “European Master in Project Management” (EuroMPM) and is a part time lecturer for intercultural competences in EuroMPM.

As a scientific support staff, she works closely with team members from many countries, including Belgium, Spain, Lithuania, Kazakhstan and Ukraine. During the last two years, Olga has been involved in the organization of the annual Dortmund International Research Conference and Summer School, an event with approximately 60 scientists and 130 students from several partner universities and countries. She is a co-organizer of several international block teaching events in Dortmund. Olga coordinates the student and lecturer exchange with Ukrainian universities.

Furthermore, Olga conducts own research on competence development in project management in the international environment. Olga has published and presented several papers and articles within scientific conferences and publications.

Before coming to Germany, Olga got 8 years of experience in international projects as project coordinator and interpreter (English to Russian, Russia to English) of trainings and seminars conducted in Asia and Russian-speaking countries. Olga speaks several languages.

Olga can be contacted at mailto:[email protected]

 


Matthias Waidmann

Dortmund, Germany

 

 


Matthias Waidmann, B.Sc.
, studies in the international program on project management “European Master in Project Management” (EuroMPM) in Dortmund, Germany. He comes from Southern Germany, where he graduated his bachelor studies in Industrial Engineering in 2016.

Matthias shows excellent results in studying and promising leadership and analytical skills. He is active in the scientific area, having published three papers at the international conferences in the universities of Dortmund, Riga, and Kiev since he started his master degree in Dortmund. As one of the best students, he has been nominated with a scholarship to do a semester abroad in the postgraduate program in Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Engineering at the University of Leuven (KU Leuven), Belgium, one of the most renowned European universities.

During his bachelor studies, Matthias studied a semester abroad at California State University Long Beach in the United States. While conducting his studies, he has been employed in various international companies as a part-time working student. These academic and international activities are the milestones in his striving for a career as a project manager in an international company.

Matthias can be contacted at [email protected]

 

 

The Case for Further Advances in Project Management

COMMENTARY

By Prof Darren Dalcher

Director, National Centre for Project Management
University of Hertfordshire

United Kingdom

 



This article looks at the some of the key issues and trends that emerge from the book Further advances in Project Management published by Routledge.

‘Normal’ project management discourse is increasingly challenged to accommodate concerns around successful delivery, value realisation, resilience and making change stick. This book attempts to define and refine the boundaries of project management through a series of articles exploring a range of new perspectives and conversations that extend beyond the traditional remit of project management.

The volume brings together leading authorities on topics that are relevant to the management, leadership, governance and delivery of projects. Topics include people, communication, ethics, change management, value realisation, benefits, complexity, decision making, project requirements, project assurance, communication, knowledge management, big data, project requirements, business architecture, stakeholder engagement, strategy, users, systems thinking and resilience.

The main aims of the collection are to reflect on the state of practice within the discipline; to propose new extensions and additions to good practice; to offer new insights and perspectives; to distil new knowledge; and, to provide a way of sampling a range of the most promising ideas, perspectives and styles of writing from some of the leading thinkers and practitioners in the discipline

Let management methods evolve

In 2007 leading US business thinker and strategist, Professor Gary Hamel published his book, The Future of Management making a powerful case for bold management innovation. He argued that while technology has changed how companies operate, they still adhered to out-dated management models, rules and conventions. The current management model, centred on control, efficiency and coordination, no longer holds. It often constrains imagination, blocks creativity and stifles innovation. Hamel contended that bringing management to the Twenty-first century would require challenging and overcoming legacy beliefs.

The old models no longer suffice in a world where increasingly adaptability and creativity drive business success. Hamel therefore maintains that the challenge of developing a management model that is fit for the future would require the development of management innovation and new ways of engaging with mobilising talent, allocating resources, and building strategies.

The added challenge for project managers would be to similarly embrace creativity and innovation and apply them across temporary, unique and transient endeavours…

More…

To read entire article, click here

 



About the Author


Dalcher, PhD

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

 

 

Darren Dalcher, Ph.D. HonFAPM, FRSA, FBCS, CITP, FCMI, SMIEEE, 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”. In October 2011 he was awarded a prestigious lifetime Honorary Fellowship from the Association for Project Management for outstanding contribution to the discipline of project management. 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 delivered lectures and courses in many leading institutions worldwide, and has won multiple awards and prizes. He has written over 200 papers and book chapters on project management and software engineering and published over 30 books. He is Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Software: Evolution and Process published by John Wiley. He is the editor of the book series, Advances in Project Management, published by Routledge and of the 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 Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, a Chartered Fellow of the British Computer Society, a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute, and the Royal Society of Arts, a Senior Member of the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and a Member of the Project Management Institute (PMI), the Academy of Management, and the Association for Computing Machinery. He is a Chartered IT Practitioner. He sits on numerous senior research and professional boards, including the PMI Academic Member Advisory Group, the APM Research Advisory Group, the Chartered Management Institute Academic Council, the British Library’s Management Book of the Year Panel, and the APM Group’s Ethics and Standards Governance Board. Prof Dalcher is an academic advisor for the PM World Journal. He can be contacted at [email protected].

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

 

 

Making the Right Decisions

COMMENTARY

Are You Making the Right Decisions Right? Cognitive Limitations and Biases in Decision-Making

By David Tain, MSc., P.Eng., PMP

Alberta, Canada

 



Nothing is more difficult, and yet more precious, than to be able to decide”. 
Napoleon Bonaparte

Making decisions under uncertainty is a daunting task, yet we must face it in our everyday lives. Whether buying an umbrella in a cloudy day or funding a mega-project, individuals must rely on assumptions to supplement incomplete information and make choices based on their values and experiences, setting a strategy to reach a desired scenario.

Information and time are the most crucial variables in decision-making, with direct incidence in costs and returns. In a corporate setting, choices are constrained by a dominant logic enacted by senior management that package decisions in the organizational culture. These decisions are normally tied to “windows of opportunity” circumscribed by preconceived views of future states of nature. In other words, the capability of an organization to generate alternatives and make decisions is dependent on variables that are intrinsic (behavioral) to individuals and are derived from knowledge, perceptions of future states and motivations. This results in suboptimal product of insufficient alternative generation and decision quality based on the narrow ‘tunnel vision” tilted by the dominant logic in the organization.

Rationality is bounded primarily by the limitations of the human mind and the amount of information available, considering a specific objective and the expected cost of making a particular choice [1]. These constraints influence the perceptions of the external environment as a function of the threats and opportunities surrounding the organization and shape the views on how future scenarios may unfold.

To navigate uncertainty and simplify decision-making processes, individuals tend to take mental shortcuts, commonly known as heuristics, as “rules of thumb” based on the “common sense” when attempting to solve a problem. However, heuristics derive from values and perceptions, hence trying to design a “standard way to decide” is a utopia: decision-making processes and frameworks differ across individuals and organizations. An important point to highlight is that individuals tend to confuse decision with outcomes [2]: decisions are just chain of choices. There’s no “good” or “bad” decision, only “good” or “bad” outcomes. Increasing the quality of the decisions that construct a strategy will therefore increase the likelihood of a desired outcome, and that’s where efforts should be invested.

How can we then increase the quality of our choices and create a good strategy? One of the fundamental elements of a robust strategy is the clear understanding of the elements that tilt assumptions towards a particular direction. A seminal work in behavioral science, made by the psychologists Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman [3], identified three heuristics that drive decision-making as well as the most common biases that naturally emerge to distort these “mental shortcuts”:

More…

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About the Author


David Tain

Alberta, Canada

 


David Tain
, MSc., P.Eng., PMP is the Principal Consultant for Project Management and Strategy Execution at Septentrion LTD. (http://www.septentrioncanada.com)/ . David has worked extensively in the development of industrial facilities in North and South America, holding diverse leadership positions in for international oil operators, engineering and construction organizations. His professional and academic expertise focuses on projects execution, strategic organization, decision analysis, leadership, negotiation and the study of human behavior in project environments

David received a MSc. in Management (Oil and Gas) from the University of Liverpool and completed the Strategic Decision and Risk Management Program at Stanford University. He obtained his Civil Engineering degree in 2001 from Santa Maria University in Venezuela and has progressively advanced his academic knowledge in Project Management, Project Development and Organizational Strategy through multiple programs at several institutions across the globe, remarkably Villanova University in USA and the Institut Français du Pétrole (IFP) in Paris. David is a Professional Engineer (P.Eng.) in Alberta, Canada. He can be contacted at [email protected]

Strategic consultants like Septentrion design and implement customized solutions to guide decisions, with well-defined and structured frameworks to analyze scenarios and ensuring all assumptions are adequately evaluated. This allows extracting the maximum possible value in the organization while progressing towards the strategic goals, embracing adaptation when required and ensuring right decisions are taken right. More at http://www.septentrioncanada.com/

 

 

International Project Management

COMMENTARY

International Project Management: Could it be another project management specialization that needs consideration?  

By Isaac Nyarwaya

Kenya and Rwanda

 



I recently started a new job in a regional inter-governmental organization. It is only then that I started to be exposed to the dynamics of transboundary projects; that is, projects that operate in more than one country. As I was thinking about the profession of project management, I started thinking deeply about the concept of international project management. At least I have heard about IT Project Management, Construction Project Management, and so on but I had never heard of International Project Management. Reflecting on the nature of transboundary projects, I thought international project management is an area that needs to be given due importance and consideration going forward.

Dynamics in managing transboundary projects

Let me share with you some the nature and structure of transboundary projects.

Structure:

The projects may have a Regional Project Coordination Unit with a Regional Project Coordinator (RPC) at the minimum. Some could have a RPC and a staff in charge of Monitoring and Evaluation, An Accountant, a Project Administrator, etc. The number of staff for the Regional Project Coordination Unit will depend on the size of the project and the donor/ partner requirements.

Each country where the project will be implemented will have a national project implementation unit with its own staff. This national unit will have relatively more staff than the regional unit because activities are going to be implemented here and thus, there is more work at the national level. At the minimum, the national project implementation unit will have a National Project Coordinator but depending on the size of the project could have other key staff such as M&E Officer, Project Accountant, Administration Officer, and so on.

In relation to broader governance of the projects, the Regional Project Implementation Unit will be under the institution that requested the funds and is charged with overall oversight in the management of the project. This is a similar arrangement at the National Project Implementation Unit. The Unit will be under another institution that is the regarded as the implementation partner.

Challenges:

The challenges involved in the transboundary projects are immense. Let me point out only a few that I have personally seen.

More…

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About the Author


Isaac Nyarwaya

Kigali, Rwanda

 


Isaac Nyarwaya
is a development and project management practitioner with 16 years of experience. He has worked in leading international NGOs, United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), United Nations Development Program (UNDP), including holding senior management positions in Rwanda’s public service. He currently works as Principal Resource Mobilization Officer at the Lake Victoria Basin Commission; an institution affiliated to East African Community. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Management with Distinction from the National University of Rwanda and a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) in Project Management from the Maastricht School of Management. He holds a foundational PRINCE2 Certification. He has been a member of the Project Management Institute (PMI) since 1997 and a member of PMI- Kenya Chapter. As an International Correspondent for PM World, Isaac will be reporting news and information about projects and project management in Rwanda and will be making commentaries on project management based on his exposure on projects in the East African Region. Isaac Nyarwaya can be contacted at mailto:[email protected]or Tel. +254 740173053

 

 

Seven Good Habits

ADVISORY ARTICLE

Applying Seven Good Habits to develop Strategic Stakeholder Relationships

Eng. Abeer Al Nuaimi

Abu Dhabi, UAE

 



Most project practitioners have come to an understanding that effective management of stakeholder relationships is a key skill that needs to be developed in us. This is very crucial considering that many organizations depend upon their projects to be successful. Project managers know that managing key stakeholders and their influence has a direct impact on project outcomes. Unfortunately many factors make stakeholder relationship management a difficult area for project managers. The project managers need to develop strong leadership skill to manage stakeholders. The power/influence grid is a good start – but it cannot take us far unless we develop some effective habits which are directed at improving our effectiveness in managing stakeholders. It would be difficult to build long term strategic relationships with stakeholders standing on a shaky ground.

Steven R Covey’s book, The 7 habits of Highly Effective people can be used a good framework for project managers to develop a strong foundation towards better stakeholder management which in turn helps in developing better strategic stakeholder relationships. The book relies on proven time tested principles of integrity, honesty, fairness and human dignity which we can apply to be more effective than just be efficient. But we need to clearly understand that “Principles are good and worth the effort only when they develop into deeds”.

Now let us understand and apply the 7 habits to develop strategic stakeholder relationships.

First Habit: Being Proactive

It is very imperative for the project manager to completely accept responsibility for the project outcomes. Our experiences are function of our decisions, not our conditions. We have the initiative and responsibility to make things happen. In every stakeholder engagement the Project manager has the power to choose his response. Proactive project managers focus their efforts in the circle of influence-they work on things they can do something about. In that way they become more proactive and less reactive over a period of time.

Second Habit: Beginning with the end in mind

The ability to visualize the kind of relationship that we can build with the stakeholders over a period of time is important. Constantly revisiting the image, pictures of where the relationship can lead to is a crucial habit when working with stakeholders. By focusing on the end goal that we perceive to achieve, it helps is doing the things which does not violate the vision we have set. We may have many stakeholders to manage – the question is how effective are we? We cannot be truly effective if we cannot begin with the end in mind.

Third habit: Put first things first

Applying this habit on a consistent basis makes the project manager focus more time and effort on high priority stakeholders- who have high power and high influence in the power/interest grid as explained in PMBOK. This doesn’t mean he should overlook the stakeholders in the other quadrants.

More…

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About the Author


Eng. Abeer Al Nuaimi

United Arab Emirates


 

Abeer Al Nuaimi has a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering and Master’s Degree in Engineering Management. She is a Professional Certified International Consultant in Project Management and International Certified Consultant in Training.   She is a certified Six Sigma Green Belt, and holds International Certificates in Leadership Skills and Strategic Planning. A Professional Certified Trainer (PCT), she is also an EFQM Certified Assessor. She lives and works in Al Ain, Abu Dhabi and can be contacted at [email protected]

 

 

Project Supply Networks (PSNs)

SERIES ARTICLE

Project Business Management

By Oliver F. Lehmann

Munich, Germany

 



In the imperfection of all human things, we see the best arrangements degenerate. Therefore,     from time to time, where necessary, the enhancing hand must be applied, so that these      institutions meet their original purpose again.   

Frederick II, King of Prussia, called “The Great”

Summary

A general tendency can be observed in project management that more work is contracted out to vendors and service providers, leading to project supply networks (PSNs), that are growing in number, size and complexity, and that are often opaque and very dynamic. The larger a PSN grows, the more project management is shoved into the background by commercial topics. Organizations on both buyer and seller side are hardly prepared for this development, and literature, instruction, and consulting are mostly blind against it. The author recommends development of a new management discipline “Project Business Manager”, who is trained to deal with the commercial aspects of project management in these networks as much as with the technical, organizational and interpersonal aspects that are the focus of pure project management.

Case Story: A Project Contractor in Crisis

Happy Mollusk IT Services, Inc. had great plans for the year 2016. The company is a regional implementation partner for business software who follows a business model to implement solutions for customers worldwide in form of customer projects, and these projects provide the income for the organization much more than the software itself, which is mostly freeware and cannot be sold with profit, but can be implemented as part of a paid customizing and consulting service.

A forecast in late 2015 showed how the organization was planning to make profit with its services: They had six projects that would provide income (margins). The sum of the margins from the projects minus the indirect general and administrative costs (G&As) to run the organization would be the raw profit (EBIT) for the organization. The plan was to have an EBIT of about 10% from the projects by the end of 2016, as is shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1: The original business forecast of Happy Mollusk’s portfolio of customer projects; amount numbers given in US-Dollars

The payments from the customer are the most typical business model of a project contractor. Over one or more customer projects, these projects must provide revenues for the organization but will also create costs. The difference between these two numbers will be the margin from each of the projects, and when the sum of the margins exceeds the G&A costs, also called indirect or overhead costs (the cost to be able to do the business), the organization can be profitable from its projects.

Over half a year later, Happy Mollusk’s management looked at the costs of the projects that have occurred so far and that were forecast for the remaining six months of the year, and found out that four of the projects were on the way to meet their forecasts, but two would exceed them. Figure 2 shows how these increased costs reduced the company’s profit from the projects:

More…

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Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of articles by Oliver Lehmann, author of the book “Situational Project Management: The Dynamics of Success and Failure” (ISBN 9781498722612), published by Auerbach / Taylor & Francis in 2016. See full author profile below.



About the Author


Oliver F. Lehmann

Munich, Germany

 

 


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

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

Oliver believes in three driving forces for personal improvement in project management: formal learning, experience and observations. He resides in Munich, Bavaria, Germany and can be contacted at [email protected]

Oliver Lehmann is the author of the book “Situational Project Management: The Dynamics of Success and Failure” (ISBN 9781498722612), published by Auerbach / Taylor & Francis in 2016.

To see other original works by Oliver Lehmann, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at https://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/oliver-f-lehmann/

 

 

Life Goals: a project based approach

SERIES ARTICLE

Life is a Project

By Neil Robinson

London, UK

 



In January 2016 an ambitious pro-bono initiative, Life is a Project (LIAP), was launched in Ealing, West London – an exploratory series of five weekly workshops, teaching basic project management concepts and skills to a diverse group of ESL (English as a Second Language) adults. The aim of this initiative was to explore the feasibility and potential value of the concept in the context of personal capability building and life goal achievement.

Workshop approach – visual, practical, and language-graded

Providing skills training to a diverse ESL audience necessitated a visual, rather than textual, approach and set of learning materials. Text was necessarily language-graded as much as possible. In the world of English Language Teaching, skills are imparted, from a state of “ignorance” through to “active use”, via a cyclical teaching process of process of Input – Learning – Use.

Figure 1: LIAP Teaching Approach (Source: Adapted from Scrivener, 2011, p.126)

The LIAP workshops followed the same approach by incrementally eliciting and explaining new concepts, then checking understanding through structured exercises, controlled practice and finally active application to participants’ real life projects.

So, what is a project?

As professional Project Managers, we generally think of a project as a temporary business undertaking with a fixed purpose, underpinned by a positive business case. Our leading professional associations define a project as “a unique, transient endeavour undertaken to achieve planned objectives” (Association for Project Management [APM], 2012) or as “a temporary endeavour undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result” (Project Management Institute [PMI], 2008, p.5).

However, according to Maylor (2010, p.3) “Life is one big project. The trick is in managing it”. Here we have the concept of Life being viewed as a series of related tasks which can be planned and managed as “one big project”. Is this a valid view? In the sense that Life is temporary, unique and has a purpose, Maylor’s statement is absolutely valid. In theory, the tools, techniques and skills of project management can be applied with equal efficacy to any endeavour that meets the project criteria of temporariness, uniqueness and purpose, including “life projects”.

The first of five LIAP workshops introduced participants to the concept and definition of “projects” with an emphasis on everyday life needs and aspirations. Their comprehension of the concept was checked with an exercise on identifying valid project scenarios. A guided deconstruction of example life projects into logical constituent phases helped to elicit the simple model of a five stage Imagine – Plan – Do – Check – Achieve project lifecycle.

More…

To read entire article, click here

Editor’s note: This is the second in a series of articles by Neil Robinson, author of the award winning paper “Life is a Project: Enabling Life Skills in Cross-Cultural Transitions”, first presented at the 6th Scientific Conference on Project Management in the Baltic States, University of Latvia, April 2017. The paper was selected by the Project Management Institute (PMI®) for the 2017 James R. Snyder International Student Paper of the Year Award for the EMEA Region. The paper and this article are inspired by the outcomes of the Life is a Project (LIAP) education initiative launched by the author to teach project management life skills to a group of ESL (English as a Second Language) adults in London.



About the Author


Neil C. Robinson

London, United Kingdom

 

 


Neil C. Robinson
is an experienced Business and Technology Project Manager, consultant and trainer with global experience delivering complex projects, transformation programmes, and business solutions in diverse geographic locations. His experience as a practitioner includes Senior Programme/Project Management, IT Services, and Operational roles in the private and public sectors. His domain experience includes IT Management and Project Delivery roles in the Aviation, Technology, Oil & Energy, Health, Government, Insurance, and Education sectors. His regional Project Management experience includes on-ground delivery in 20+ countries across the UK, Europe, the Middle East, Australasia, the Americas and Asia.

Neil is PMP and PRINCE2 accredited and is currently undertaking research and academic studies in a Masters (Project Management) programme at Salford Business School. He has a special interest in social project management and initiated the “Life is a Project” concept in London, teaching project management life skills to ‘at-risk’ community groups. His further research interests include the roles of motivation and cultural intelligence in international project success.

Neil can be contacted at [email protected] and welcomes global collaboration from practitioners, academics and students in his field of interest.

To see other works by Neil Robinson, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at https://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/neil-c-robinson/