The Importance of Having Both Sequential/Linear Thinking Skills

AND Non-Linear Creativity/Innovative/Out-of-the-Box Thinking Skills

Which One Are You?



By Michael Marshall, PhD

Georgia, USA


Definition of Linear Sequential Thinking:

‘The process in which thoughts are put into order of priority concerning the issue at hand and viewed individually as to their merits and demerits.  This enables the individual to make the right decision’.

‘A process of thought following known step-by-step progression where a response to a step must be elicited before another step is taken.  Things are put in order in a straight line.’

This applies to successfully completing tasks, objectives and goals in a timely manner, both personally and in business.

Management, leadership and those in project management who are well trained and skilled will utilize ‘Fish Bone Charts’ to guide them with projects, objectives and goals.

This is simply a diagram of a fish skeleton with a tail that is the start of a project or objective with a start date and a head for the successful completion with a date.  The skeleton ribs are the detailed tasks in priority sequence needing to be completed with a date and names of individuals responsible for them.

This is an important tool to successfully manage and complete projects, objectives and goals in a timely manner.

Individuals with these skills and expertise can apply them to business to their own personal life.

BUT in actuality it is best to have well balanced skills and thinking in both ‘Linear Sequential Thinking’ and ‘Non Linear Thinking with Creativity, Innovativeness, Out of the Box Thinking’:


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About the Author

Michael Marshall, PhD

Atlanta, Georgia, USA



Michael Marshall has over 30 years of business experience to senior leadership levels in many markets and industries, national and global, with responsibilities in sales management, marketing and business development along with a PhD in business before teaching internationally at university level (China, Korea, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia).

Prior to this he had a psychology and behavioral health background with educational degrees in such and working in behavioral health as a professional counselor and therapist learning what affects and influences people positively and negatively and what motivates.

Michael continually seeks out knowledge with additional education, trainings, research and experience to keep on the leading edge of business effectiveness and business development.

He has over 35 international publishing’s on many business and business development subjects.

As Michael Marshall often comments; ‘Business Development is like a large beautiful polished diamond with many facets.  When holding the diamond up to the sunlight and turning it slowly, the diamond looks different with different colors reflecting on the many angles and facets.’

Michael is a ‘life time learner’.  He is available to assist globally/internationally.

His website of over the last 10 years has had over ¾ million readership.  He can be contacted at [email protected]



The Analytical Advantage

Strategies for the Analytics Lifecycle



By Evan Piekara

Washington, DC, USA



An organizations’ analytics culture is becoming a differentiator in how organizations attract donors, stakeholders, customers, and employees. Organizations that have successfully integrated their analytic capabilities with strategy are seeing the benefits of evidence-based decisions that drive results. Most organizations’ analytical culture fall into one of five phases of maturity ranging from Analytic Infancy where an organization has little leadership support, limited analytical skills, and lacks processes to an Analytical Competitor where an organization has a C-Suite-supported, integrated, enterprise-wide system that aligns data with strategic actions. Each developmental phase has a distinct culture, challenges, and strategies for driving results. This paper will examine each developmental phase and provide employees, project managers, and other stakeholders with the understanding of how to deliver results and growth in each analytical phase.

The Analytical Advantage

From the social sector competing for funding to Fortune 500 companies competing for customers, data has become the lifeblood of many organizations’ competitive advantage. Nonprofits use data to more effectively meet their mission, target donors, and showcase results to stakeholders, prospective donors, and foundations. Government agencies use data to isolate and mitigate risks, and determine resources to more effectively meet their mission. The private sector is using data to better serve customers, target key markets, and grow their profits. Each sector has its own incentives. Fundamentally, each organization is seeking to differentiate themselves from their competition for donors, funding and resources, or customers’ dollars.

Organizations that have effectively fused their data analytics capabilities with strategy are rocketing ahead of the competition. These organizations are using analytics to continue to do more – impact more people, meet greater mission needs, better reach customers – with less by using data to focus resources on the areas that will best drive strategic results.

When stepping into an organization as an employee, project manager, consultant, or stakeholder, it is critical that one gains an understanding of where the organization is with its analytical culture. Evaluating the organization upfront can lead to savings in time, cost, and resources by enabling one to understand who to communicate to and what message to deliver, what processes and tools to leverage or develop, and how to balance meeting the organization where it is while pushing the organization towards the next developmental stage of analytics.

The Analytics Lifecycle

Most institutions’ analytical prowess can be traced on a spectrum from limited reliance on metrics to an integrated, enterprise-wide system for making evidence-based decisions. At each phase, there are cultural changes and tools and techniques that must be developed to hasten adoption. With any organizational change effort, an emphasis on value-add, results, and “quick wins” must be communicated to reinforce change and build momentum towards greater developments. Evaluating where you are in the analytics lifecycle can enable you to more adeptly manage the risks, challenges, and shortfalls of the organizations’ analytical capabilities.

Most organizations’ analytics development can be qualified into one of five phases. These phases often align with how strategically aligned and developed an organization is.


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About the Author

Evan Piekara

Washington, DC, USA


Evan Piekara
currently works in management consulting as a Senior Manager for BDO Public Sector. Evan supported the launch of BDO’s Public Sector Management Consulting practice helping government and nonprofit organizations develop strategic plans, performance metrics, and manage change efforts. In this capacity, Evan has collaborated with a range of executive leaders and managed diverse teams to deliver results to complex challenges often under tight timelines. Evan currently holds over 8 professional certifications including Project Management Professional (PMP), Change Management Specialist (CMS), Certified Conflict Manager (CCM), Six Sigma Lean Professional (SSLP), Total Quality Management Professional (TQMP), and a Strategic Organizational Leadership Certification (SOLC).

Evan can be contacted at [email protected]

To view other works by Evan Piekara, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at



Managing Millennials

Project Management for an Evolving Workforce



By Evan Piekara

Washington, DC, USA



Managing today’s workforce requires a paradigm shift in order to attract, retain, and develop a workforce that is increasingly comprised of Millennials. At 35% of the workforce, Millennials are tech-savvy multi-taskers who value flexibility, connectivity, and the ability to make a direct impact. They seek rapid career advancement, personal and professional growth, and recognition for contributions. Literature on Millennials considers this generation to be “entitled,” “privileged,” and “disloyal.” While there may be some truth to these allegations, many companies are recognizing the value that this generation offers the modern workforce and are adapting their approaches in order to attract, retain, and grow this valuable piece of the workforce. This article will provide several scenarios and strategies for project managers to better manage today’s workforce and establish a more productive, Millennial work environment.

Paradigm Shift for an Evolving Workforce

By 2020 Millennials are projected to make up over 35% of the global workforce, translation: no matter your profession you will need to learn how to manage, work for, and work with Millennials. In the United States, this generation already is the largest contributor to the workforce. Millennials are considered to be the most educated generation to date, and are characterized by their desire for growth and learning, digital and personal connectivity, and rapid professional advancement. Their desire to be heard, make an immediate impact, and grow personally and professionally are shifting the paradigms and cultures of industries, organizations, and teams. Customizing your approach to managing Millennials can pay huge dividends by attracting this growing population of potential employees, retaining quality personnel, and increasing engagement and productivity.

As one’s workforce evolves, a shrewd project manager must consider inter-generational differences on projects and balance a number of approaches and considerations to maximize productivity.

Below is a quick summary of the generations that comprise almost the entirety of the U.S. workforce:


To read entire article, click here


About the Author

Evan Piekara

Washington, DC, USA


Evan Piekara
currently works in management consulting as a Senior Manager for BDO Public Sector. Evan supported the launch of BDO’s Public Sector Management Consulting practice helping government and nonprofit organizations develop strategic plans, performance metrics, and manage change efforts. In this capacity, Evan has collaborated with a range of executive leaders and managed diverse teams to deliver results to complex challenges often under tight timelines. Evan currently holds over 8 professional certifications including Project Management Professional (PMP), Change Management Specialist (CMS), Certified Conflict Manager (CCM), Six Sigma Lean Professional (SSLP), Total Quality Management Professional (TQMP), and a Strategic Organizational Leadership Certification (SOLC).

Evan can be contacted at [email protected]


How to Get Executives to Act for Project Success


By Michael O’Brochta

President, Zozer Inc.

Maryland, USA


Even world-class project managers will not succeed unless they get their executives to act for project success. The trap of applying best-practice project management only to have the project fail because of executive inaction or counteraction can be avoided. According to the latest PMI Pulse of the Profession report (PMI, 2017), “actively engaged executives continue to be the top driver of whether projects met their original goals and business intent.” Increasing numbers of project managers are trying to deal with this reality.

This is a how-to paper. It describes how project managers can get their executives to act, and it identifies executive actions most likely to contribute to project success. This paper explores why the evolving and expanding definition of project success and why the expanding complexity of projects have led to an environment in which the project manager is ever more dependent on the executive. It draws upon recent research about top-performing project managers, about why executives fail, and about why new products fail, to identify the basis for a strong mutual partnership between project managers and executives. A central theme is that project managers are empowered to extend their influence beyond the immediate project boundaries, not only to get their executives to act, but also to help implement the actions as well.


Project managers who continue doing what used to work by focusing within the bounds of the project are now finding success more difficult to achieve. The problem is that project success is dependent, to an increasing degree, not only on the efforts of the project manager, but also on the efforts of the executive, as depicted in Figure 1.

George, a project manager who is trying to apply some recently acquired knowledge, related how frustrated he was after learning about the best practice technique of writing a project charter. He spoke enthusiastically about how such a document could help him establish and maintain his authority, an aspect of his job with which he was consistently having trouble. Then, he lamented that he could never use such a document because the part of the organization he worked in had not, and surely would not, adopt such a technique.

Figure 1 – Problem

This explains why three-quarters of the employees surveyed by the Towers Perrin organization(Towers Perrin, 2008) in a large global study said, “their organizations or senior management don’t do enough to help them fully engage and contribute to their company’s success.” And, it explains why when U.S. federal government project managers were asked about executive support for a study conducted by the Council of Excellence in Government (COE, 2008) 80% responded that they were not getting what they needed. In addition, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC, 2012) conducted their 2012 global survey on the state of project management, they found that “lack of executive sponsorship was the second largest factor that contributed to poor project performance.” Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric, is reported to have gone so far as to have said, “If you can’t get top management to support your program, don’t even try.”

For the purpose of conveying the concepts in this paper, I have adopted a broad definition for the executive as a person responsible for the administration of a business or department. This executive may be an individual or a function performed by more than one individual such as a board or committee. It could even be a Project Management Office. On an organization chart, the executive appears above other individuals and functions, including the project manager. The executive could be the project manager’s boss, a sponsor, a senior stakeholder, a business or department head, or a vice president. Ultimately, the executive is someone with more authority and power then the project manager.

This compelling need for executive actions for project success is being driven by changes in the project environment. Gone, for the most part, is the one-dimensional definition of project success; it worked. Gone too is the triple constraint definition where project managers focused on time, cost, and quality. These days, the definition of project success has expanded to the point where customer acceptance, organizational and cultural impact, and strategic business objectives must be included. For NASA, former President Bush used this type of success gauge in 2004 when he declared that America chooses to explore space because doing so “improves our lives, and lifts our national spirit.” The way I see it, lifting national spirit is a huge expansion in the definition of project success, one that I am certain cannot be achieved without getting executives to act for that project success.

Increases in project complexity are also changing the project environment. Projects are more interconnected, more interdependent, and more interrelated than ever before. So too are the businesses in which projects are being conducted; they now have complex alliances with strategic suppliers, networks of customers, and partnerships with allies and even with competitors. The result is that business systems are significantly more complex than in the past. Gone are the days where the typical project deliverable is a stand-alone product used by a single customer; instead, systems are being delivered for groups of stakeholders with diverging needs.


To read entire article, click here


About the Author

Michael O’Brochta, PMI-ACP, PMP

Virginia, USA


Michael O’Brochta
has worked in project management for over thirty years at the CIA where he led the development of highly complex top secret projects, programs and systems, and where he led the development of their project management and systems engineering training and certification program to mature practices agency-wide. As founder of Zozer inc., he helped develop and implement the new government-wide Federal Acquisition Certification for Program and Project Managers; through his consulting engagements, he is helping organizations raise their level of project management maturity. Mike recently served at the PMI corporate level as Chair of the Ethics Member Advisory Group. He is a sought after speaker, and he has been featured in issues of PMI Today, PM Network,, CIO Magazine, Information Week, and Government Executive Magazine. Mike writes and speaks extensively about project management, and since his climb of another of the world’s seven summits, he has been exploring the relationship between project management and mountain climbing.

Michael O’Brochta can be contacted at [email protected].

To view other works by Mr. O’Brochta, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at



In search of a better Product Owner


By Chandan Patary

Bangalore, India


As described in the Scrum Guide, a Scrum Product Owner is responsible for maximizing the value of the product resulting from the work of the Development Team. I have worked with many great product owners where I have learned a lot from them. They have created many successful products. I was thinking to write down some the key points which will affect the product owners and the products. Organization can build by great products and destroy by the bad products. Product owner are the key player for the product building. It is important to identify this key person for this key role. This paper will explain about the product owner’s journey map. How to find a Product owner, how a Project manager can switch into a Product owner role, How Product Owner will be different from Scrum Master, How Product will manage tough customer, How Product will build Design thinking culture?

  1. Recruiting a Product Owner? How?

I was a part of a panel where I was helping the team to identify a suitable Product Owner for their product. My Team has asked me to help them to find the best Product Owner (PO) for their product.

I was thinking if I ask below questions, I will get the best PO for the project need.

Thought of asking to the candidates to share with me few stories related to the below areas.

  1. Business Model Canvas: Please share with me, how you as a Product Owner have used Business Model Canvas at your work. What are the key challenges you have faced?
  2. What are the key steps for customer value creation? Customer discovery steps?
  3. Share your journey of creating customer profile. And share with me about the end results. Explain Personas, Usability and Empathy, how you have used them?
  4. Tell me some of the benefits customers got from your products and services.
  5. What are the various driving forces for you to decide customer products and services?
  6. How have you applied Minimum Viable solution? Sketch it on a napkin. Take a couple of napkins and explain the thoughts.
  7. What does your team’s shared vision looks like? Please write it down on a napkin.
  8. Explain the User Story format. Explain INVEST; DEEP. Explain three Cs of user stories. Explain Storyboard technique. Share few Acceptance Testing strategies you have used.
  9. Explain the characteristics of Product Backlog Iceberg. Why is it called Iceberg?
  10. Explain Kano and MOSCOW techniques.
  11. Explain rational to use of Fibonacci number during estimation.
  12. Explain various Slicing techniques. Give us a couple of examples. What was your Definition of Ready?
  13. Explain how you have used Story Mapping at your project. Explain Minimum Marketable Feature and how you have used it at your project?
  14. What are the various Non Functional requirements you have considered? What is a system quality card? How you have used it? What are the various “-ilities“?
  15. How do you calculate Business Value? How you used BVM(Business Value Modeling) Techniques? What benefit did you get?
  16. Explain to me how you have used gherkin language at your project?
  17. Challenges in Collaborative exercise? Share with me few key challenges. Explain a few key challenges to drive specification workshop.
  18. Explain about the comprehensive Testing strategy you have used for your product.
  19. Explain to me a few scenarios where “before and after learning” about feature development was applied. Where have you corrected some key assumptions (Things you have learned about your proposed solution after validating the problem through interacting with customers)?
  20. What key challenges have you faced during sprint review meeting? Share with me some stories. How did you manage your technical debts and spikes?
  21. Share with me some stories and actions where you have applied Inspect and Adapt approach. How have you applied the Build-Measure-Learn approach?
  22. How have you applied Design thinking approach in your current product solution development context?
  23. What are the key metrics you have measured? One Metric that Matters most?

I will be more interested to hear real time use cases from the candidates. If He or She has built any solutions or product he/she will be able to tell me some interesting insight about all the above points. In a Process I am also planning to check the Attitude, Passion and Curiosity to learn etc. soft skill and domain expertise.


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About the Author

Chandan Lal Patary

Bangalore, India


Mr. Chandan Lal Patary
currently works as Enterprise Agile coach at Societe Generale. He has deep experience in developing Software applications across various domains and has successfully executed many Projects. Chandan has worked on domain like Banking, Healthcare, Aerospace, Building automation, Power automation, Industrial Automaton under real time mission critical product development to large scale application development. Chandan has 18+ years of industry experience. He is a SAFe Agilist (SA) from 2017.He is certified PMP from 2008, Green Belt certified holder from 2005. Chandan is an agile practitioner and Certified Scrum Master from 2011. Chandan holds a Bachelor’s from National Institute of Technology (NIT-Agartala) in Electrical Engineering. He has completed one year Executive General Management program from IIM Bangalore in 2007. He has published 6 e-books, 20 technical papers, posted 326 Linked-in blogs, 30 Slide share Presentations. He was speaker at 10 various conferences (India Agile week- 2013 and 2015, Software Test Conference-STC2014, Regional Scrum Gathering 2015, and PMPC2013). He can be reachable through email/LinkedIn: [email protected]

To view other works by Mr. Patary, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at 


Decision Analysis

Projects Management and Risk


By Almahdy Eltonsy

Africa Service Manager
Affordable Care, Life Care Solutions and Ultrasound

Cairo, Egypt


Definition of a project in accordance with DIN 69901:

A project is an undertaking which is basically characterized by the uniqueness of its overall preconditions, for example:

  • Objectives.
  • Parameters in terms of time, finances, human resources or other factors.
  • Delineation in relation to other projects.
  • Project-specific organization.

Putting Real Options to Work to Improve Project Planning – Project Analysis?

Climb the Decision Tree

Most strategic plans change in accordance with the magnitude of the uncertainty. By assigning a quantifiable value to uncertainty, real options valuation enables projects manager to gauge and react to risk over time.

Why use a decision tree?

For more than a decade, consultants and academics have been touting real options valuation (ROV) as a means of improving the decision making that goes into a project. To date, however, ROV has not been widely adopted as a planning tool. Many project managers worry that the esoteric Black-Scholes equations frequently used to evaluate real options would require the addition of expensive software and a specially trained finance expert to the project team.

The familiar decision-tree framework is well suited to many of the contingencies that arise over the course of a project.

Decision analysis can help PMs to address issues such as:

How to allocate resources to ensure that the project meets specific deadlines?

When to scale up or delay investments, and when to exit a project

To make it more clear, Deciding on in-house

A simple decision such as whether to develop a new technology in-house or acquire it from an outside party illustrates the utility of the decision-tree framework. In-house development requires three years and leads to three possible outcomes. In two of these outcomes, the firm expects to create significant value. But there’s also a 25 percent chance that the in-house development would fail; obviously, this outcome would have no payoff. Figure 1 shows this decision using a decision-tree framework. The probabilities of the three outcomes are based on a combination of managers’ experience and judgment.


To read entire article, click here


About the Author                                      

Almahdy Eltonsy

Cairo, Egypt


Almahdy Eltonsy
, IPMA – B is a Senior Project Manager in the HealthCare industry, and the first healthcare PM granted the IPMA-B certification in Egypt. Starting with Siemens in 1993, Almahdy has extensive technical and managerial experiences, gaining the ability to work cross-functionally in a time-intensive environment.  One of the most important milestones in Almahdy’s project management career is Children’s Cancer Hospital in Egypt (57357) ( ), a 30 Million Euro Project. As a GPM for this strategic pivotal project, the scope was not only project management but also the service management, in addition to work with accreditation bodies.

In 2012 Almahdy moved to GE HealthCare to work as a product service manager for Surgery – X-Ray – Intervention – Ultrasound – Life Care solutions, using his experience in leading the service team with project management methodology. Almahdy’s motive to change is to take a new challenge and exposure to new cultures and discipline, taking advantage of his technical and managerial skills and using the project management tool box in general management aspects.

In addition to his work in healthcare, Almahdy worked as an IT project developer with one of the largest media and advertising groups in Egypt.  Almahdy was able to realize a new methodology and software for Media planning and advertising campaign planning. Almahdy holds a B.Sc. in Systems and Biomedical Engineering from Cairo University – Faculty of Engineering, and passed many specialized courses in Siemens, GE and Microsoft.  Linkedin: Almahdy Eltonsy.  Email: [email protected]

To view other works by Almahdy Eltonsy, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at



Revisit of Reference Class Forecasting (RCF)

Estimating Costs of Infrastructure Projects



By Dr. Clifford Gray

Oregon, USA


Executive Summary

The majority of infrastructure projects funded by taxpayer dollars generally result in cost and schedule overruns.  Managers should revisit reference class forecasting (RCF) to focus on how its use improves forecast accuracy.  Key managerial actions supporting use of RCF are suggested.   Will your organization accept the challenge of reducing overruns?


The Boston Consulting Group estimates that $35 trillion to $40 trillion will be required by 2030 to satisfy the growing global need for infrastructure development. BCG also estimates that, at best, worldwide governments will be able to fund almost half the requirement, leaving a shortfall as large as $20 trillion to $25 trillion alone.1 The US alone will need 5.4 trillion to improve infrastructure of roads, rail, water, and electricity by 2030.2   Governments will fund most of these projects.   Given the magnitude of the numbers and their impact on governments and society, the historical problem of horrendous over spending needs to be addressed and changed. Taxpayers deserve better.

Unfortunately past cost overruns in megaprojects have resulted in scandalous errors with projects finishing significantly higher than original estimated budgets.  The literature abounds with examples. In general these studies agree that nine out of ten projects exceeded budget.  “Overruns of 50% are common; cost overruns over 50% are not uncommon.” 3   A few famous cost overruns are listed here: (1 ibid)

Lake Placid Winter Olympics                                 550 %
Boston Big-Dig Tunnel                                          220 %
Denver Airport                                                      200 %
Minneapolis Light Rail                                           190 %
Channel Tunnel                                                      80 %
Bangkok Metro line                                                 70 %                          

The cost overrun problem is very much alive today.  Why are original cost estimates so far from actual costs?  What are the causes of such large estimating errors? What can be done to make cost estimates more realistic?  Could rigorous use of reference class forecasting (RCF) and management changes reduce those errors and save billions of taxpayers’ money?


To read entire article, click here


About the Author

Dr. Clifford Gray

Oregon, USA



Cliff Gray
, emeritus professor from Oregon State University, has long been a project management advocate.  Cliff taught student and executive classes on all aspects of project management.  He has been active in the PMI organization for decades; he was one of two founders of the Portland, Oregon chapter.   He has published numerous research and applied management papers. Cliff has published three project management texts.  The latest book is, Project Management:  The Managerial Process, 7th Edition, coauthored with Erik Larson of Oregon State University and is printed in five languages.  The text presents a careful balance of the technical processes and the socio-cultural environment in which project managers operate.

Cliff can be contacted at [email protected].



Modern PM & Digitization ”CHANGE“!

Challenge: Finding the Balance between Technique & Person


By Britta Eremit

Bad Homburg, Germany


CHANGE Management of the 21st Century – provides far more than „Make Money“!

The future Core-Competence, which will ensure sustainable success and stability for Organization & People lies within the ability, to balance the “Technical Requirements” and the respective ”Challenges for People” (Management, Leaders and Teams) that need to be linked. All the more it requires to build up a basis, where the factors of success for sustainable and successful CHANGE Management can be clearly identified and transferred into practice.

The Key Indicators

When people are able to perceive, identify and to apply one’s (leaders and employees) own strengths, needs and talents purposefully, the basis will be created for trustful and committed cooperation.

So, what is it that will enable organizations, leaders and employees to guarantee trustful cooperation and at the same time ensure sustainability and stability for “Organization & People”?

The ability to face and deal with permanent CHANGE in a constructive, open and efficient way will become THE Core-Competence for “Leaders & Organizations of the 21st Century” – to generate stability, efficiency and sustainability. Since Barbara Liebermeister’s book „Digitization doesn’t matter!” (German title: “Digital ist EGAL!”) we know that „Leadership means working on relationships – even more in the era of digitization!”


To read entire article, click here


About the Author

Britta Eremit

BE Change & Company
Bad Homburg, Germany



Britta Eremit is principle of beChange & Company and an Executive Trainer & Author & Speaker specialized on „Change & Strengths“. She accompanies organizations, management and leaders in workshops, team trainings and individual training sessions & coaching through times of CHANGE. She is certified as „SSCC, USA / EBC, Germany / SSC, Germany“ – based on the worldwide leading approach of the strengths concept of the Gallup Institute, New York and People Acuity, USA.

beChange & Company was formed out of the desire to provide CHANGE SOLUTIONS for Organizations, Leaders and Teams, to create sustainability in “Success & Efficiency” and “Engagement & Personal Fulfilment”. The concept focusses on the THREE C’s: CHANGE Competence – CHANGE Excellence – CHANGE Intelligently.

Britta has 20+ Years in International Finance and Real Estate Sector Core area Controlling & Tax Department, Project Management, Client Management, Key Account Management, Head of RFP & Sales Support, Senior Manager Investor Relations & Marketing, Roll out and development of functional relationships between global and local RFP-Teams, strategic and operational issues.

Britta is author of the specialist book “Individual Development – Growing by Transformation” which has been published by Springer Verlag in 2016 in German language  The English version will be published soon.

Britta Eremit / beChange & Company / Louisenstrasse 89 / 61348 Bad Homburg v.d.H. / Germany / Website: / email: [email protected] / LinkedIn / Tel.: +49 (0) 163 2016340



Agile Transformation for Organizations and Projects


By Thomas Walenta, PMI Fellow

Global Advisor, PM World Journal

Hackenheim, Germany


In 1988, Barry W. Boehm, PhD, introduced a spiral model for software development. In the paper presenting this model, Dr. Boehm quoted some provocative voices in the then-raging debate on software life-cycle process models: “Stop the life cycle—I want to get off!” “Life-cycle concept considered harmful.” “The waterfall model is dead.” “No, it isn’t, but it should be.”

Interestingly, he was not talking about project management but about product-oriented life-cycles. As we knew then and know today, pure waterfall is not a life-cycle approach for all projects. The profession is looking for ways to introduce iterative and incremental planning, execution, and monitoring, as suggested by Dr. Boehm’s spiral model. Agile life cycles have become major contributors to complement or even replace waterfall for certain projects. (

Today, as surveys show, the use of hybrid project management approaches is escalating. To use them, project managers need a wide range of knowledge and skills. The project management Process Groups as described in A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) are iterative themselves and establish progressive elaboration of project artifacts — they support waterfall and agile life cycles alike (see also

The Need for Organizations to Become Agile

Recently, I was working for an organization that has, for more than 140 years, produced and sold devices. The company embraces innovation and extended their markets globally in the past 15 years. As with most organizations, digitization is a phenomenon company leaders must deal with, as new competitors enter the market with digitized offerings, and as customers expect intensified and individualized service. Executives of this company understand that agility is the primary driver of an organization’s success in today’s complex and disruptive global marketplace. Organizational agility can be described as the capability to quickly sense and adapt to external and internal changes to deliver relevant results in a productive and cost-effective manner.

PMI’s 2017 research shows that 75 percent of organizations with high agility report 5 percent or more revenue growth as well as improved project success compared to those with low agility. The drivers behind becoming a more agile organization are mainly people- and process-based, as PMI’s research shows (

On the process side, agile organizations can accommodate fast portfolio changes and continuous reprioritizations. They consistently use customer and market data to sense external stakeholders’ wants and needs, and have a broad range of methods, tools and techniques to apply to projects and ongoing business.

On the people side, agile organizations understand that they should build an open culture and enable their employees to make decisions, select the appropriate methods and lead by example. Organizations with high agility employ project professionals having skills in a variety of approaches in 88 percent of the cases, in contrast to 13 percent for companies with low agility.

Different Approaches to Become a More Agile Organization

In my above example, I helped that organization establish a portfolio review cycle of six months, leading to a shorter and much more stable list of projects to work on (five percent changes to approved portfolio versus 30 percent before). This enabled it to adapt to new project requests in a timelier manner. As a consequence, the employees saw fewer changes in project priorities, task switches/multitasking and emergency calls. They reported higher work satisfaction and increased productivity. Project requesters saw a higher reliability of project delivery and budget conformance. They were also satisfied with the new selection process, which was deemed transparent, fair and adaptable. Establishing a portfolio management process was a step to become more agile as an organization, which sought to be more adaptable to changes, more transparent about what was going on and more secure with what lies ahead.


To read entire article, click here


About the Author

Thomas Walenta, PMP, PgMP

PMI Fellow
Hackenheim, Germany



Thomas Walenta, PMI Fellow, was working as Project and Program Manager for IBM from 1983-2014. Most recently he was responsible for a program encompassing all business of IBM with a global client in the EMEA region, with teams in India, Japan and across Europe. He led the PMI Frankfurt Chapter from 1998 to 2005, increasing membership from 111 to 750 and the annual budget to 100K Euro.

Thomas had a variety of volunteer positions for PMI, among them being final juror of the PMI Project of the Year award, member of the PMI Board nomination committee, auditor for PMI‘s Registered Education Provider Program, writer/reviewer of PMP Exam questions and significant contributor to PMI‘s first standards about Program Management and Portfolio Management. He also is a member of GPM, the German IPMA organisation, since 1995.

Thomas served in leadership positions as President of the PMI Frankfurt Chapter 1998-2005, on the PMI Board 2006-2008, on the PMI Ethics Review Committee 2011-2016 and again on the PMI Board for the term 2017-2019.

Being a speaker on global project management events in Tokyo, Moscow, São Paulo and across Europe, Thomas extended his professional network significantly and is regarded as an experienced and skilful advisor and mentor. Since 2002, he gives lectures at the University of Applied Sciences in Darmstadt, Germany. Thomas is also a global advisor for the PM World Journal.

Thomas is based in Hackenheim, 80 kms from Frankfurt, Germany and can be contacted at [email protected].



When Bold Is Not Beautiful!!!


By Anil Seth

Gurgaon, India



To Boldly Go Where No Man Has Gone Before……………………………   
~ Star Trek: The Original Series


In any of your Projects, have you ever experienced the feeling that being Bold is not always taken as a welcome step? [Which is not seen as beautiful by management?]

– many times even ugly scenarios and strategies win the race.

Recently in one of the projects we were asked to look into a peculiar scenario wherein the problem was made complex as both the teams (design and fabrication executor) were seeing a new process and hence each one was doubtful on the resolution and approach.

Any problem has three steps for recovery and resolution:

  1. Identification
  2. Rectification
  3. Modification of Rectification to avoid recurrence in future

Believe me we cannot add any other step in this.

Coming to the problem which was given to us; this was to eradicate an error in piping isometrics which is not visible to engineering designer and can only be seen once machine drawing of spools is being prepared. The challenge was to catch the [weld] error before fabrication planning team executes.

Going to the three steps listed, we went for identification.

One substantial list of [Weld] errors was generated by fabrication group. This gave designers Automation Team an opportunity to read the encrypted language in S3D environment.

The schedule between issuance of Isometrics file and identification of Errors by planning team was about 3-4 weeks. Hence it was important to know the Errors at time of issuance of Isometrics.

To explain the problem technically, the piping Isometrics when extracted from S3D system has generally three files:

  • .pdf
  • .sha
  • .pcf

Design team uses .pdf file for checking and back checking and that file is considered as face of Isometrics. The .pcf file is a machine language file and is generally use for spool preparation by fabrication group (this is considered as an input to spoolgen tool).The problem was found to be in .pcf file; there were lot of discrepancies found in reporting weld errors (in numbering, hierarchy, etc.).

The problem is solved if this is made visible to the team either manually or through Automation with target mitigation date highlighted.

The Step1 was started with the problem statement provided by the Fabrication team and mitigation was planned. Daily targets were given to designers to resolve the concern arose.

This approach could only solve the problem in hand but as I have explained earlier, we were not in a position to explore whether any issued Isometrics which had not reached fabrication team still had this error……?

Next ….to attack and rectify the wholesome problem, we approached our automation team.

Subsequently a tool called “PCF Validator” was developed within a weeks’ time.

!!…problem solved, NO! This tool was not at all tested, in fact we implemented βeta version directly. This was an UGLY calculated risk.

The first analysis had horrifying and conflicting numbers. And yes a concern was reported.


To read entire article, click here


About the Author

Anil Seth

Gurgaon, India



Mr. Anil Seth is working as Project Manager in Fluor’s Indian office at Gurgaon. Fluor Daniel India Private Limited (Fluor India) provides a full range of engineering, design, procurement, and construction management services to Indian and overseas clients. Fluor India is an established quality provider of engineering, procurement, construction management (EPC) and project management services for Fluor’s energy and chemicals, power, mining, and industrial projects, and is a key support office for Fluor facilities located in North America, Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and Asia Pacific

Earlier to Fluor, was in Larsen & Toubro Ltd. at Faridabad, India and managing the Project Engineering Manager Portfolio for hydrocarbon projects. Before joining Larsen & Toubro Engineering and construction division he has worked for Indian Petrochemicals Corporation Limited. He holds B.E. degree with Honors in CHEMICAL Engineering from Panjab University Chandigarh India and has also done Diploma in Environmental Management. He is certified for Harvard Manage Mentor and specializes in Building High Performance cross functional Task Force as well as Converting Breakeven Projects to Profitable scenario. He can be reached at mailto:[email protected]or [email protected]

To see other works by Anil Seth, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at


About the Company

Fluor Corporation (NYSE: FLR) is a global engineering and construction firm that designs and builds some of the world’s most complex projects. The company creates and delivers innovative solutions for its clients in engineering, procurement, fabrication, construction, maintenance and project management on a global basis. For more than a century, Fluor has served clients in the energy, chemicals, government, industrial, infrastructure, mining and power market sectors. Headquartered in Irving, Texas, Fluor ranks 110 on the FORTUNE 500 list. With more than 40,000 employees worldwide, the company’s revenue for 2013 was $27.4 billion. For more information, visit




Avoid These 4 Deadly Mistakes while Managing Multiple Projects


By David Miller

Michigan, USA



Project Management is an integral part of every business, given the fact it helps in streamlining operations and promoting collaboration. While managing one project may be a breeze for a project manager, dealing with multiple projects is a tough nut to crack. Many a time, your project management team can commit rookie mistakes that may hamper the overall progress of the project; leading to loss in revenues and reputation. Though you may already be using efficient project management software, you must always steer clear of possible mistakes. To cover the gaps, we present you five common mistakes that you should avoid while managing multiple projects.

Micromanaging Is Usually Disastrous

The job of a project manager is to develop project plans, assign roles, and keep track of the overall progress. When you have one project on your hands, dedicating your time to the development of small tasks is possible and shows initiative from your side.

On the other hand, when you have multiple projects on your hands, it is imperative that you steer clear of micromanaging. Being involved from start to finish of every task may cause you to lose focus and therefore, not recommended.

The ideal solution to pacify this problem would be delegating more responsibilities to people who responsible, capable and trustworthy. Relieving some of your duty to seniors in your company will have a very positive impact on the project itself, and you can use this situation as a very practical test and find out who is the next in line for a promotion.


To read entire article, click here


About the Author

David Miller

Michigan, USA



David Miller is a technical writer currently associated with ProProfs Project. He enjoys writing about emerging project management products and its latest trends. He lives in Detroit, Michigan with his wife. In his spare time, David loves exploring the city, listening to Metal music and riding.



Projectizing an Organization: 8 Dos and 7 Don’ts



By Paul C. Dinsmore

DinsmoreCompass Consulting

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


Is your organization projectized? In other words, is project management a vital component of your company’s culture? Is it an integral part of the organization’s DNA, occupying a prominent role along with other organizational pillars like operations, quality and sales management?

If not projectized, or to the degree desired, then how can you articulate the transformation? What are the key elements? The following questions set the scene for identifying the dos and don’ts for projectizing an organization.

Q1: What is a projectized organization?

A: A projetized organization has a project management culture and uses project concepts throughout to make sure the right combination of the right projects are done right. The organization may be project-driven, where projects are the final product as in the construction or systems industries. Or, it may simply use project management as a way to produce products effectively (oil companies, consumer product manufacturers and such). This project management mind set co-exists with the operational processes necessary to support repetitive activities and administrative functions. Projectizing means fully incorporating project management into the organization’s DNA.

Q2: Why make the effort to projectize an organization?

A: Project management is vital for transforming company strategies into bottom-line results. It helps secure organizational survival and bolsters future prosperity. Companies that aspire to obtain greater organizational agility, for instance, are more likely to achieve that desired competency as projectizing creates a culture for getting things done expediently and effectively.

So, how to go about projectizing an organization?  Here are the dos and don’ts:


  • …take a helicopter view of the scenario. Size up the situation.  Does it make sense to create a projectized culture now? If not, what preparations are lacking? What are the organization’s SWOTs (strengths weaknesses, opportunities and threats)? What is the level of project management maturity? How can those factors lay the groundwork for planning?
  • … utilize a high-level champion. A high-level champion as sponsor for the program greatly boosts the odds for success. If this sponsor already exists (perhaps the originator of the program), then great! If not, identify and cultivate the likely candidate, spotlighting the benefits for the organization and the chosen champion. Then involve that champion in the program’s strategies.
  • …make change behave. Change happens naturally, but often not the way we want it to. So, structured change management is required for projectizing an organization. Change has to be harnessed and directed through a program that focuses on the four components of projectization: governance, processes, competency and culture.
  • …plan, plan, plan. Pinpoint the issues, raise the “what ifs”, ferret out hidden agendas and lay out the game plan. Discover the stakeholders’ expected outcomes for the projectizing program. Dedicate time, say, up to three months, to put together a Master Plan, and remember to involve key stakeholders in the planning.
  • …tackle governance concerns head-on.       A successful projectizing program puts project management governance and corporate governance in synch with one another. Policies are fixed for managing the 3 Ps – portfolio, programs and projects, as well as the interfaces with operational matters.
  • …map out a competency program. Project management competency calls for a multi-faceted plan of attack, starting with competency assessments. The development stage follows with knowledge-based training programs, practical workshops and on-the-job field experiences. Job design completes the cycle which then leads to improved performance.
  • …provide a suitable toolbox. This sizeable tool kit includes processes such as project management methodologies, operational and support systems, and basic procedures. Legacy hardware and software may require upgrades or replacement to meet the needs of a projectized organization.
  • …keep the stakeholders tuned in. Ways to do this include: informative workshops, house organs, virtual networking, and wide-sweeping endo-marketing programs. Internal forums, frequent mention in meetings by high-profile managers, and visual campaigns also keep stakeholders in the loop.

If you do the dos, the projectizing programs will likely achieve extraordinary success — provided of course, that you don’t do the don’ts, as listed below:




To read entire paper, click here


About the Author

Paul C. Dinsmore

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Paul C. Dinsmore
is an international speaker, executive coach and consultant on project management and organizational issues. He has authored or co-authored 20 management books, and has written more than one hundred professional papers and articles. Mr. Dinsmore is Board President of DinsmoreCompass, a training and consulting group focused on consulting, outsourcing, training, coaching and IT support. Prior to establishing his consulting practice in 1985, he worked for twenty years as a project manager and executive in the construction and engineering industry.

Mr. Dinsmore has performed consulting and training services for major companies including IBM, ENI-Italy, Petrobrás, General Electric, Mercedes Benz, Shell, Morrison Knudsen, the World Trade Institute, Westinghouse, Ford, Caterpillar, and Alcoa. His speaking and consulting practice has taken him to Europe, South America, South Africa, Japan, China, and Australia. The range of projects where Mr. Dinsmore has provided consulting services include company reorganization, project start-up, and training programs, as well as advisory and coaching functions for the presidents of major organizations.

He participates actively in the Project Management Institute, which awarded him its Distinguished Contributions Award as well as the prestigious title of Fellow of the Institute. As Executive Coach, he has extensively coached Company Owners and C-level executives in the fields of Oil & Gas, Construction, Engineereing, Organizational Consulting as well as Health Care and Services. Mr. Dinsmore graduated from Texas Tech University and completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School. He can be reached at [email protected], or [email protected].

To view other works by Paul Dinsmore, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at



Balance between Introspection & Retrospection

A key factor for improved project performance


by Eng. Abeer Al Nuaimi

Abu Dhabi, UAE


The importance of delivering effective projects is a lifelong challenge faced by the project manager and his team. The key to deliver successful projects in a sustainable manner is learning the lessons from past and applying them in future. When it comes to implementation, lessons learnt process is easier said than done. The most mature project teams face challenges when applying lessons learnt. Two of the keys in the arsenal that the project manager and his team can use are introspection and retrospection. As we all know retrospection has been in use in agile environments in learning from the past. In this article let us explore the differences between introspection and retrospection and why a fine balance is required in applying both techniques to improve project performance.

Why are introspection and retrospection important to improve the lessons learnt process?

Working on projects with multiple constraints like time, cost, scope, quality and various other constraints keeps the team on the edge most of the time. It is very common for the team to get stuck in a repetitive cycle and keep doing the same things everyday which may not be producing the right results. The definition for insanity would be “do the same things and expect different results”! The key to project success is to develop commitment among the team members in what they do. Introspection and retrospection are great tools which can empower the team members to learn, apply and improve from their past experiences and projects and create a better future. Now let us explore some differences and characteristics between the two methods.

Some Key difference and Characteristics of Introspection and Retrospection

Both Introspection and retrospection refer to two different processes that should be done consciously by the team.

The focus while doing Introspection: The team member has to look at his feelings, thoughts, and emotions.

The focus while doing Retrospection: The team member looks at past events.

Examination and Analysis:

Introspection: In introspection, self-examination and self-analysis is important.

Retrospection: It is usually limited to a mere recollection of events


Introspection: In introspection, the focus is in the present.

Retrospection: In retrospection, the focus is in the past.

Now let us elaborate further on the above -Retrospection is to look at one’s past actions and deeds. It is to reflect on something already done and examine one’s actions carefully and deduce conclusions based on the observation. One can say that retrospection is a subset of introspection as one’s past shapes one’s future. Usually it is done at the end of each phase or iteration in projects.

During the retrospective, the team reflects on what happened in the iteration and identifies actions for improvement going forward. Each member of the team members answers the following questions:


To read entire article, click here


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]



Seven Good Habits


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.


To read entire article, click here


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]



Leadership and Change!


By Britta Eremit

Bad Homburg, Germany










What’s Constantly ChangingWe are constantly invited to adjust the way we cope with change. Managers, leaders and their employees face the daily challenge of dealing with complexity of the job-requirements, expectations, cultural differences, communication styles and values.

What will Never Change People’s will to change and people’s fear of change! Both are essential and have a tremendous impact on our well-being and the preservation of our relationships. Change is an anxious-arousing business, both for the one implementing the change and for those impacted by the change, as Harriet Learner pointed out in her gem of book “The Dance of Fear”.(1)

It’s not only individuals who get anxious – systems (if more than one person is involved we talk about a system e.g. organizations, families, partnership, friendship) become anxious too. Organizational Consultant Jeffrey Miller wrote in his book The Anxious Organization: “… Anxiety is what organizations are made of and what makes them tick … and … Anxiety makes smart organizations do stupid things.”

We are constantly invited to stay open, to grow and to make progress. Change is an essential part in our life, it is indispensable. This can only happen if we are willing to look at things from a different perspective. As George Bernard Shaw pointed out:

“Progress is impossible without change and those who cannot change

their minds, cannot change anything!“ George Bernard Shaw

However, changing our minds and the way we deal with change can provoke unpleasant and harmful consequences. Based on our individual experiences we know that there is no guarantee that change will be automatically linked with pleasant feelings, luck or positive and successful outcomes. Quite the contrary! It is also linked with losing something or someone e.g. financial stability, the job, friends, beloved ones, physical and mental health, cherished beliefs etc. So, how can we find a way to deal constructively with our fear of change?

The Daily Challenges – Most of us are familiar with situations, where organizations decide to cut resources and leaders are ask to restructure the entire organization. Leaders have to find out “What are our best talents supporting us in building the “NEW” – the future?” Leaders have to adjust their own competencies, skills and character as well. Leaders have to align departments, staff and core competencies according to the constantly changing expectations of the organization and what if we, as leaders, are forced to adjust individual cherished beliefs and values as well?


To read entire article, click here



About the Author

Britta Eremit

BE Change & Company
Bad Homburg, Germany



Britta Eremit is principle of BE Change & Company and an Executive Trainer & Coach specialized on Change & Strengths – Change Management & Leadership Training & Workshops. BE Change & Company was formed out of the desire to provide CHANGE SOLUTIONS for Organizations, Leaders and Teams, to create sustainability in “Success & Efficiency” and “Engagement & Personal Fulfilment”. The concept focusses on the THREE C’s: CHANGE Competence – CHANGE Excellence – CHANGE Intelligently.

Britta is among the few in Europe who are authorized to provide Strengths Strategy-based training as Germany’s FIRST Strategic Strengths Certified Coach (Certified by Strengths Strategy Inc., USA). She is also Co-Founder of the Institute for Innovative Leadership, “The Change Team“, and founder of BEC2 Coaching & Consulting. More than 20 years hands on experience in different positions in international Financial- and Real Estate Organizations made her aware of that “CHANGE will always come!” and it was the central theme she was involved with permanently – CONTINUOUS CHANGE.

According to Britta: In my positions as leader, team-member and colleague I found out that we have to deal with extraordinary challenges – on business and personal level – in times of change. And additionally, that the key for building up – and still going ahead – with trustworthy relationships in organizations and in the interaction with clients during these times is within here – that dealing with constant CHANGE by creating sustainability and success becomes today’s Organizational Core-Competence. Beside that it is essential and inevitable to establish appreciative communication and a culture of trust. So as a result the core area of my training for the management, teams and leaders is focused on CHANGE – to support you to Co-Design CHANGE effectively and NAVIGATE your organization and people consciously through these times of CHANGE. I‘m deeply convinced that here within is the key for both – organizations & people – to be successful and perform at the best effectively. So I‘m here to support you to develop with you your ROAD-MAP of CHANGE (on Leadership Level & Organizational Level) and to accompany you while taking this journey!

Britta has 20+ Years in International Finance and Real Estate Sector Core area Controlling & Tax Department, Project Management, Client Management, Key Account Management, Head of RFP & Sales Support, Senior Manager Investor Relations & Marketing, Roll out and development of functional relationships between global and local RFP-Teams, strategic and operational issues.

She is additionally author of the specialist book “Individual Development – Growing by Transformation” which has been published from the publishing company Springer Verlag in 2016 in German language

The English version will be published soon.

My USP – excellent ability to capture very quickly the essential aspects of different circumstances based on an analytical and strategic expertise; exceptional competence of active listening and building trust, connectivity and appreciative cooperation.

My Passion – to work with people with diverse cultural background, bringing teams together, support integration and living mutual appreciation.

TODAY’s CHALLENGES Companies, top executives and employees face the daily challenge of dealing with global change and demographic trends. We constantly have to adjust our skills and behaviors. This requires courage, the willingness to change and the development of new routines.

Britta Eremit / BE Change & Company / Louisenstrasse 89 / 61348 Bad Homburg v.d.H. / Germany / email: mailto:[email protected]/ LinkedIn / Tel.: +49 (0) 163 2016340



Agile by Incrementalism


By Sharon Herstein



With Agile adoption increasingly popular, many companies feel compelled to forego Waterfall for Agile. But, depending on the organization’s goals, complete abandonment of existing processes may not be necessary and a blend or partial transition can bring positive Agile change without drastic disruption. Incremental product development is only part of the Agile story, but it may be all you need.

Fully effective Agile adoption usually involves a culture shift and maybe even a re-shuffling of the organization. These aspects give many companies pause; they make adoption costly and those that attempt it unguided can end up frustrated and unfulfilled. But by setting wholesale Agile adoption aside and putting the focus on shifting product development to an incremental approach, these types of disruptions may be avoided and significant upside provided even without entirely transitioning. While not all of the benefits of Agile would be realized, some benefit is certainly preferable to none.

Applying incrementalism to common business goals can set an organization along its Agile path. It may be sufficient on its own or may eventually, even organically, lead to a fuller Agile adoption. Common drivers of Agile adoption are a desire to gain flexibility, move faster, mitigate risk, improve transparency or increase value and incrementalism can realize any of these goals.

Planning smaller deliverables lessens the impact of changes in scope or priority thereby providing flexibility.

Reducing the scale of each deliverable helps it move faster through the process including delivering more frequently thereby regularly increasing value to customers.

Incrementalism is a natural risk-mitigator because it reduces scope breadth and timeline duration. Deliverables are being produced on a smaller scale with a higher frequency which permits risk to be evaluated more often. This is similarly how incrementalism improves transparency.

There are many frameworks and methods associated with Agile and each one may have its own impact on the role of Project Management. Forgoing the selection of a specific type of Agile and instead embarking on an effort to transform the deliverable itself from one large to several smaller deliverables brings incrementalism into the existing product development process and preserves Project Management. Once aspects of the product are separated it follows that the planning, execution and delivery activities will each be reduced in duration but increase in frequency, providing more opportunities to adapt and change based on succeeding sooner or even failing faster albeit on a smaller scale than the original process provided. The Project Management Process Groups and Knowledge Areas still exist but will have a narrower focus on the newly derived smaller deliverable. Scope still needs definition and planning still occurs but with a newly deliberate focus.

How is incrementalism practiced? Most basically by separating the single, large existing deliverable into multiple, smaller deliverables…


To read entire article, click here



About the Author

Sharon Herstein



Sharon Herstein
is a Web Developer turned Project Manager and has been practicing technical project management across industries for over 10 years. She specializes in creating efficiencies and scalability for start-ups and mature organizations alike; relying upon deep theoretical understanding of both Waterfall and Agile to create practical solutions.

Sharon may be contacted at [email protected]



Effective Risk Management

via Early Warning Signal System and Procedures


By Priti Vaid




At any point in time in any organization there are multiple programs being executed, each one at a different stage of execution and operating at a different level of maturity and proximity to the finish line. To determine the right candidates for review and interventions by the senior management a risk based prioritization model can be effectively established. Not only will this model help divide the senior mgmt. time effectively among those that warrant attention but also help in risk bubbling at the right time towards the right focus areas proactively.


In general Risk Management can be defined as the practice of identification, assessment, and prioritization of risks followed by coordinated effort and resources to minimize, monitor, and control the probability and/or impact of unfortunate events and/or to maximize the realization of opportunities. If the identification is done proactively it can drastically bring down both the resources required to monitor and control and also the probability or impact of the unfortunate event as an outcome.

To identify risks proactively a framework for intercepting “Early Warning Signals” (EWS) based on different dimensions & metrics applicable at each stage of the project has been explained below. These EWS are triggers which point towards potential discontinuities / disruptions to the project progress and hence need to be arrested on priority by means of adequate review and controls.

Risk identification can be done at each phase of the project using a risk profiling tool. This profiling tool is a multiple option questionnaire across several dimensions which help determine the risk exposure of the project. Several in-flight metrics can also be built into the model along with this subjective profiling to determine the risk exposure. Some of the suggested metrics are % deviation in schedule, % deviation in cost, % deviation in effort, team satisfaction score, client satisfaction score, etc.

The output of this profiling tool along with the metrics values can be used to determine a composite risk exposure score and determine the final positioning of the project on the Risk Heat-map. The set of dimensions and metrics available can differ from one phase to another and can have different thresholds for their scores. It is also important to seek views of all relevant stakeholders at each phase to get a 360 degree view of the project.


To read entire article, click here



About the Author

Priti Vaid



Priti Vaid
, with close to 17 years of experience in IT industry, has played varied roles with a top IT service provider; globally reputed and founded in India. Apart from software development and program management experience she has keen interest and rich experience in Program delivery Risk Management. She has been one of the key players in design and deployment of a Heat-map based risk identification, analysis and prioritization tool. This tool not only helps to identify risks but also helps to bring to focus the right logical entities requiring additional attention by the senior management. She strongly believes in the statement “The only alternative to risk management is crisis management”.

Priti Vaid can be contacted at [email protected]



Assessing Implementation capability of public programs


By Raju Rao, PMP, SCPM, OPM3 Certified Professional

Chennai, India


Why assess public programs?

Public projects and programs are being planned and executed around the world in various areas, e.g. education, healthcare, infrastructure, etc. A large part of these initiatives are funded directly or indirectly by the government and public financial institutions. In democratic societies it becomes imperative that the accountability of performance of these programs are assessed and reported back to the people who elected representatives to govern them.

But, is the information on performance of such projects being transmitted to the people? Often times, the layers of bureaucratic procedures and systems of governance impede direct communication between the elected lawmakers and the people. It is therefore not unusual that think tanks and activist organizations have sprung up to safeguard people’s interests.

The project management fraternity has a unique opportunity to contribute here. Project management associations have been successful in bringing together professionals with skills, experience and have provided the platform for professional development. Project professionals can evaluate public programs and assess if they have the capability to implement their vision and goals.

In this paper, public programs in India have been assessed and would serve as examples for a methodology where the input or data for the analysis is limited to published information. No attempt is made to interview concerned people or verify physically the facts, While this may not stand up to scrutiny in terms of academic rigour, it still provides an excellent opportunity to get professionals involved in assessing public projects and give their opinion on implementation capability. While the examples considered are only from India, the methodology will apply equally well to public programs in any other country and in this sense it is universal.

Programs and Missions

Various programs, missions and initiatives have been considered which were instituted In India by the government in 2014. Table 1 lists a number of such programs and missions. Eight of these have been considered as examples for analysis in this paper. These programs could be classified under two categories:

Enabling: e.g. make in India, Ease of doing Business, and JAM Trinity.

These are not ‘directly’ involved in meeting a need, deriving benefits or achieving a particular objective in a sector or domain but are supportive and act as ‘enablers’.

Direct: e.g. DMIC, Swachh Bharat Mission and eBiz.

These are ‘direct’ interventions intended to meet a need, derive benefits or achieve a particular objective in a sector or domain and may or may not get support from ‘enablers’.

The processes and skills required for above two types could be different for each, for e.g. an ‘enabler’ would require more focus on stakeholder management. If the program is ‘direct’ it would have larger financial outlays. Further, both the types could be a projectized / mission mode or program approach whereas others could be working in a non-project operational mode as in on a functional organization. While broadly they have been classified in two categories, in some cases there could be an overlap in they are implemented.


To read entire article, click here


About the Reviewer

Raju Rao, PMP

Chennai, India


Raju Rao
, PMP, SCPM, OPM3 Cert Professional is Founder and Principal consultant – Xtraplus Solutions, a PM consulting and training company based in Chennai, India. Mr Rao has a B.Tech degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Madras, India; an Advanced PM certificate from Stanford University; and a certificate from IIM Calcutta. He has about 40 years’ experience in engineering, process and project management and has been an active member of PMI for several years. He held leadership positions in both the 1st and 2nd edition projects of OPM3 and has been involved in development of several PMI standards and awards.

Mr Rao has been a visiting and adjunct faculty for engineering and business schools in India. He has presented numerous papers in global congresses and is the coauthor of two books – Project Management Circa 2025 published by PMI and Organizational Project Management published by Management Concepts, USA. Raju has been a President of South India section of AACE International and is the founder of the Indian Project Management Forum.

Raju Rao lives in Chennai, India and can be contacted at [email protected]

To view other works by Raju Rao, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at



Managing Remote Teams: Management Theories


By Ralph Moore MISM, PMP, PMI-ACP

Wyoming, USA


Managing remote project teams has many challenges due to the physical separation of the team. All members of a project team will be different and have their own specific needs. As the project manager, you should apply management theories regarding the type of employee and their needs. Applying the theories of Douglas McGregor, Frederick Herzberg, Abraham Maslow and David McClelland will improve team dynamics, communications and the overall project performance.

This article will examine McGregors’s X and Y Theory, Herzberg’s Theory: Hygiene Factor, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Need and David McClelland’s Theory of Need in relation to managing remote project teams.

The success of a remote team will largely depend on the individual team members assigned to the team and the management style. The Project Manager will be required to trust the team and the individuals themselves. Having knowledge of McGregors’s X and Y Theory will be beneficial in one of the key aspects of managing a remote team, team selection. Managing a remote team with the X Theory will be very difficult. The X Theory “This assumes that employees are naturally unmotivated and dislike working, and this encourages an authoritarian style of management. According to this view, management must actively intervene to get things done.” (MindTools, n.d.). Obviously, the X Theory will not be a good choice for managing remote project teams because management would not have the ability to intervene with the team due to being spread across a large geographical region and multiple time zones. The X Theory of management will work best with an on premise team.

Whereas, the Y Theory states, “This expounds a participative style of management that is de-centralized. It assumes that employees are happy to work, are self-motivated and creative, and enjoy working with greater responsibility” (MindTools, n.d.). The Y Theory of management will complement remote teams and facilitate the team to thrive and be successful. Once the decision has been made to implement remote teams, then the management must trust the employees and the team, which supports the Y Theory of management.

Once the remote project team is selected, as the Project Manager it will be important to the success of the team to understand the needs of the individuals that make up the team. Understanding and applying the theories of Herzberg, Maslow and McClelland will assist the Project Manager in meeting the needs of the team and the individuals that make up the team.

Herzberg’s Hygiene Factor plays an important part in the success of remote project teams. Remote employees do not report into the office each day and may start to feel disconnected. Understanding what is important in a position to the employees and being able to work with them to provide a good balance of working conditions, salary, personal life, working relationships, security and status will engage the team members.

Remote project teams will generally work from home, which for most team members will contribute to great working conditions. Team members will work from the comfort of their home, which will eliminate a daily commute to the office, which is a huge benefit to the team members. Working from home will also contribute to a good work and personal life balance.

The hiring manager, human resources and resulting negations from the employee, will generally determine salary. The goal is to provide a salary that is within industry standards. If this requirement is over looked and the salary is too low, this will cause a dis-satisfier and may lead to poor performance by the team member. Poor performance by just one team member can lead to poor team performance.

Working relationships are very important in business in general, but are extremely important when working with remote project teams. The team members are isolated and generally spend the day alone in a home office. The Project Manager should take action to have the team members engaged with each other. Examples could include:


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About the Author

Ralph Moore, MISM, PMP, PMI-ACP

Wyoming, USA



Ralph Moore is an experienced professional with more than 20 years in agile and traditional project management as well as roles in Information Technology, Engineering, Telecommunications, Military, Public Safety and Education.

Ralph has earned a Master of Information Systems Management (MISM) degree with a Concentration in Information Systems Tools, a Bachelor of Science Technical Management and an Associate of Science Electronic and Computer Technology.

Ralph has earned several industry certifications to include: PMI-Certified Project Management Professional (PMP), PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP), CompTIA Certified Security+, CompTIA Certified Network+, Electronics Technician Association Certified Network Systems Technician (CNST), Federal Communications Commission (FCC), General Radio Telephone License (GROL).

Ralph is a veteran of the US Navy and served three tours in the Persian Gulf. He maintained a TOP-SECRET clearance while in the US Navy. Ralph resides in the Rocky Mountain region, with his wife Tracy and their dogs. To contact – [email protected]



How to Build Your Self-Esteem for Better Workplace Performance


By Zeta Yarwood

Dubai, UAE


Introduction by Almahdy Eltonsy:

As a Projects Manager, the main contributors are the sub projects manager and other team members. Knowing their abilities and what kept them from going on is a main responsibility of the project manager. With big projects that could last for more than a year, it is really essential to understand the motive and inner feelings of your team, that doesn’t mean you need to be a psychiatric but you need to have more in depth understand of the human nature and motivation. We always work with numbers, budget, milestones, over-run / under-run but at the end of day we sit down and lay our heads back and remember a nice situation in the work that add a smile on our face or just remember a word from the customer or a comment that puts a big sad face.

Same with our team members…

The article in your hand today is a really wonderful article, dealing with a topic that could be confusing to differentiate (self Esteem vs. confidence). I contacted Zeta and get her permission to share the article, thanks for her. You will enjoy the article; you could find some reflection on you … I found some and I could understand some of my reactions about 10 years ago. I wish I had this article 10 years ago; it would have made me understand more.


How to Build Your Self-Esteem for Better Workplace Performance

While many are too ashamed to admit it, the number of people experiencing low self-esteem in the workplace is significant. People with low self-esteem often spend a large part of their day comparing themselves to others in the office. They perceive themselves and worry others perceive them as inadequate. They often feel inferior, and in extreme cases live in constant fear they could lose their job because they don’t, and may never, measure up. This is often accompanied by high stress levels, feelings of overwhelm or for some depression – which can, of course, impact performance. Which then reaffirms their belief they are, in fact, not good enough.

People with low self-esteem often doubt their decisions and capabilities, always seeking reassurance, approval or validation from their boss or peers. This is particularly true of those who have experienced low self-esteem in the past, a traumatic event such as redundancy or illness, or simply a long period of time out of the workforce.

If you want to have a successful career, building your self-esteem in the workplace is fundamental. If you don’t believe in yourself, how can you expect others to believe in you?

Building self-esteem can be a long journey, but for everyone is absolutely possible. The first step is to understand what self-esteem really is. In my opinion, it’s a combination of knowing you are of equal value to everyone else on this planet, and believing in yourself. Knowing that even if you’re not good at something yet, if you put your mind to it, you will get there in the end. It’s about self-respect and knowing who you are and who you want to be. Self-esteem is not the same as confidence. Confidence comes from doing. The more you do something, the more confident you will become doing it. Take driving for example. Scary to begin with, but practice and repeat it enough times, it almost becomes subconscious.

So how can you build your self-esteem in the workplace even further? Here are some steps you can take to get you started today:

1)   Start making more decisions

To build your self-esteem, you have to start trusting yourself. The only way to do this is by making more decisions. The more decisions you make the more confident you will become at making them. Ensuring at each stage you note what worked, what didn’t work and what you need to do differently next time. So you can learn and constantly improve. Seeing yourself learning, getting better and making decisions independently can be great for self-esteem.

Remember – you’re making decisions every day. Decisions on what to wear, eat, read and do etc. You’ve probably made some pretty big decisions in the past – some of which will have brought you to where you are today (still alive with a roof over your head and food on your table). So you can make decisions. Now it’s simply a case of getting better at them. Which comes from practice, practice, practice.

2)   Trust your instincts

This feeds into point number one. Often people who rely on outside confirmation they are doing the right thing, have forgotten to listen to their intuition. To listen to their minds and bodies to see and feel whether something is right or wrong.

Whenever you need to make a decision or take action, take 10 deep breaths and ask, “What is the outcome I am looking for? What looks and feels like the right decision here?”

We often do things we know aren’t right through fear. Fear if we don’t do them, something bad will happen. If you want to develop high self-esteem, being true to yourself and what you believe in is a crucial step. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it.


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About the Author

Zeta Yarwood

Dubai, UAE



Zeta Yarwood is recognised as a leading Career Coach and NLP Life Coach in Dubai, helping individuals across the world to achieve success in all areas of their lives. With a degree in Psychology and over 10 years’ experience in coaching, management and recruitment – working for multinational companies and award-winning recruitment firms – Zeta is an expert in unlocking human potential. Passionate about helping people discover their strengths, talents and motivation, Zeta lives to inspire others to dream big and create the life and career they really want.

While setting up her coaching business, Zeta simultaneously worked for the CEO of an MNC pharmaceutical company. This was to obtain a deeper insight into the corporate world and a greater understanding of leadership. Zeta gained significant exposure to all aspects of the business, working closely with the CEO on company strategy development and planning. She managed the strategy project, coached the CEO, restructured and rebuilt an entire department from scratch, managed and coached a culturally-diverse team, and initiated and led a corporate social responsibility programme. Zeta also had the fortune to work for the best manager she had ever had who taught her what it was to be a great leader.

With all of this experience, her NLP training and her genuine desire to help people, Zeta now coaches people all over the world to be the best they can be. Zeta feels lucky to have a career and life that she loves. It is her goal to help you, too, have the life, career and success you deserve.

Zeta’s qualifications include Evolved Life Coach (accredited by Federation of NLP Coaching Professionals); Evolved NLP Practitioner (FNLPCP accredited); Evolved NLP Life Coach (FNLPCP accredited); Time Paradigm Techniques Practitioner (FNLPCP accredited); and BSc Psychology from University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK.

For more, visit