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Project Management and Toastmasters

Understanding their synergy in developing knowledge and skills

 

ADVISORY ARTICLE

By Raju Rao, PMP, SCPM, OPM3 Certified Professional

Chennai, India

 



Introduction

After working for nearly two decades in project management training and consulting I was looking for a change of scenario where I could network with people with a general background. This is when I ran into Toastmasters and after visiting one club as a guest, promptly joined it. Since then it has been a very enjoyable and fruitful experience with them. I was also pleasantly surprised to find that the twin disciplines of communication and leadership espoused strongly by the Toastmaster community are in fact important areas of knowledge and practice in project management. So, the question arose, is there any synergy between Project Management and the Toastmaster way? What are the areas of commonality and differences? And how can the two benefit from each other?

Toastmasters and Project Management – Communication & Leadership

Toastmasters International considers itself to be the first-choice provider of dynamic, high-value, experiential communication and leadership skills development. Members improve their speaking and leadership skills by attending one of the club meetings. Leaders head families, coach teams, run businesses and mentor others. These leaders must not only accomplish, they must also communicate. By regularly giving speeches, gaining feedback, leading teams and guiding others to achieve their goals in a supportive atmosphere the Toastmasters platform provide a supportive and positive learning experience. This empowers members to develop communication and leadership skills, resulting in greater self-confidence and personal growth.

Some of the well-known standards and competency frameworks in Project Management include

The PMBOK® Guide 6th edn or the Project Management Body of Knowledge of the Project Management Institute or PMI. It lists ten knowledge areas of which Communication is one of them. Leadership is a part of Interpersonal and team skills which is one of the techniques for managing a team.

PMCDF 3rd Edn or the Project Management Competency Development Framework of PMI has identified the major skills required for Project Managers in the form of a talent triangle with Technical Project Management, Leadership and Strategic Business Management at the three apex points. The Leadership skills include among others dealing with people, being visionary, collaborative, optimistic and managing relationships. Most of the project manager’s time is spent in communicating and in the triangle it is considered part of this node.

ICB 4.0 or Individual Competency Baseline of the International Project Management Association or IPMA considers Communication and Leadership as part of People competencies .It includes elements like personal communication, relationships and engagement, leadership, teamwork, resourcefulness and negotiation. IPMA standards describe competence in terms of Knowledge and skills. These together would reflect abilities. Competence is the application of knowledge, skills and abilities to produce desired project results. In the Project Excellence Baseline or Model assessments are done to ascertain the level of competency achieved. Leadership is considered one of the criteria in People & Purpose area and Communication is evaluated as part of Project Management processes & resources area. In the Organizational Competency Baseline, which considers assessments from an organizational perspective, Leadership as an element and part of Governance, and Communication is part of People’s competency.

Toastmasters skills in Project Management – some observations

Many of the skills practised in the Toastmaster community find their place as knowledge and skills required in project management standards of PMI. Some examples are:

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How to cite this article: Rao, R. (2018).  Project Management and Toastmasters: Understanding their synergy in developing knowledge and skills, PM World Journal, Vol. VII, Issue XII (December). Available online at https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/pmwj77-Dec2018-Rao-project-management-and-toastmasters-advisory.pdf



About the Author


Raju Rao

Chennai, India

 

 

 

Raju Rao, PMP, SCPM, is a social entrepreneur and a project management evangelist. He is the Founder of the Forum for Food Recovery and Xtraplus Solutions, a PM consulting and training company based in Chennai, India. Mr Rao has a B.Tech degree in Chemical Engineering from the National Institute of Technology,Trichy,India; an Advanced PM certificate from Stanford University; and a certificate from IIM Calcutta. He has more than 40 years’ experience in engineering, process and project management and has been an active member of PMI for several years.He has held leadership positions in standards development ,developing systems for awards governance ,been a jury and has reviewed and mentored speakers for global congresses.Raju has been a President of South India section of AACE International.

Mr Rao has been a visiting and adjunct faculty for engineering and business schools in India. Raju is a member of Toastmasters International and has mentored speakers on behalf of PMI for the North American Global Congress held in 2018. He has presented numerous papers in global congresses and is the co-author of two books – Project Management Circa 2025 published by PMI and Organizational Project Management published by Management Concepts, USA. He has been an International Correspondent for PM World Journal. He is also involved in writing fiction and has recently authored a novelette ‘Triumph at Last ’.

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

To view other works by Raju Rao, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/raju-rao/

 

 

A Practitioner’s Guide to the PMO

 

ADVISORY

By Kenneth F. Smith

Honolulu, Hawaii

 



A Practitioner’s Guide to the PMO[1]

ABSTRACT

This is a discussion about Project Management Organizations (PMOs).   The author describes the characteristics of three basic types suited to serve different organizational forms and objectives.

 “For Forms of Organization, let fools contest;

That which Administers best, is best![2]

Unless you were blessed by (or cursed with) overly-protective parents who prevailed upon you to follow in your father’s footsteps; take over the family’s business enterprise; or persistently pushed you towards their vicarious vocation of what they considered a ‘good’ profession – i.e. doctor, lawyer, engineer, ‘tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor,’ or whatever“What do you want to be when you grow up?” was a constant query asked of children through emerging adulthood; and sometimes, even beyond.  Indeed — dogged by uncertainty — many college-level students opt for a ‘general studies’ program, then flip from one major to another because they are still unsure what they want to be.  And when they finally graduate to the workaday world, some continue to chop and change – for better or worse!

Organizations are much like people.  Each one is unique.  As they age &/or develop, they continue to metamorphize!  In the world of Project, Program and Portfolio management, the “P[3] manager is the driving force, and the PMO is their designated domain.  However, what they can accomplish is constrained by where they ‘sit’ in a function-oriented Matrix.[4]  Indeed — despite whatever budget, staff, personality and collective skill-sets the PMO may possess[5] – the desired function of the PMO should predetermine its form, locus and hierarchical status in the organizational structure as the alter ego of the Manager-in-charge.

There are three (3) basic forms of PMOswith an almost infinite number of ‘mix & match’ variants – to suit an organization’s self-perceived needs and wants:

  1. Direct Management & Control (DM&C) of Programs, Projects &/or Operations in the Organization’s Portfolio
  2.  NEUTRAL Service CENTER Support (NSCS)
  3. Independent in-house Auditing (IIHA), or Evaluation (IIHE)[6]

THE Direct Management & Control (DM&C) PMO

This form of PMO is most suited for 1) an individual Project Manager; or 2) a Program Manager in a “Strong Matrixwhere the component Project Managers are assigned to, and under the direct management control of the Program Manager.[7]  The DM&C PMO is comprised of a support staff with a set of relevant skills to service any or all of the Manager’s needs to implement the project(s) and deliver the Outputs[8]i.e. WBS, Gantt/MS/CPM, project scheduling software and processing, MIS reporting; and EVA, S-curves and control charts to monitor and assess progress –- that the overall organization does not provide.  [Any residual functions not subsumed by lower levels – such as procurement, financial management, human resources, and legal support — would be retained by the Portfolio Manager, or ultimately the organization’s CEO at the top of this hierarchy.]

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How to cite this article: Smith, K. F. (2018). A Practitioner’s Guide to the PMO, PM World Journal, Volume VII, Issue XI – November. Available online at https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/pmwj76-Nov2018-Smith-practitioners-guide-to-the-pmo-advisory.pdf

 



About the Author


Dr. Kenneth Smith

Honolulu, Hawaii

 

 

Dr. Kenneth F. Smith has been a project management consultant for ADB, the World Bank, and USAID for decades. He earned his DPA (Doctor of Public Administration) from the George Mason University (GMU) in Virginia and his MS from Massachusetts Institute of Technology/MIT (Systems Analysis Fellow, Center for Advanced Engineering Study). A long-time member of the Project Management Institute (PMI) and IPMA-USA, Dr. Smith is a Certified Project Management Professional (PMP®) and a member of the PMI®-Honolulu Chapter.

Dr. Ken Smith can be contacted at [email protected]

 

[1] Project Management Office (PMO): “An organizational structure that standardizes the project-related governance processes and facilitates the sharing of resources, methodologies, tools and techniques.” [Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK)®.]

[2] Freely adapted from Alexander Pope.

[3] NOTE: Many organizations use the terms ‘Project’ and ‘Program,’ &/or ‘Program’ and ‘Portfolio” interchangeably.  For clarification: Project: “A temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result;Program: “A group of related projects, subprograms, and program activities managed in a coordinated way to obtain benefits not available from managing them individually;” and Portfolio: Projects, programs, sub-portfolios, and operations managed as a group to achieve strategic objectives.” [Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK)®.]  However — with no intent to compel others to conform to my usage — for the purposes of this article’s audience, whatever “P” fits your situation, apply it! 

[4] Matrix Organization:Any organizational structure in which the project manager shares responsibility with the functional managers for assigning priorities and for directing the work of persons assigned to the project.” [Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK)®.]

[5] As outlined and elucidated in my recently-published Project Management PRAXIS book (available from Amazon).

[6] But don’t locate both in the same PMO!

[7] As opposed to a ‘Weak’ or ‘Moderate’ Matrix, where the individual project managers are assigned to — and under the direct management control of — their Functional Department managers; and merely indirectly ‘coordinated’ with, or by, the Program Manager.

[8] In terms of the Portfolio, Program or Project “Logframe.”

 

Engaging Stakeholders to Drive Transformational Change

 

ADVISORY ARTICLE

By Evan Piekara

Washington, DC, USA

 



Abstract

Technical prowess is not enough in managing change efforts. Crafting a change management plan requires careful consideration and knowledge of stakeholders to introduce, drive, and reinforce change. This paper provides lessons learned and considerations on engaging the right stakeholders, at the right time and using the right medium, to brace an organization for sustainable change.

Build Your Stakeholder Strategy

When going through any transformational change, the best systems, processes, and technology are not always enough to ensure a smooth transition. The success or failure of any change management effort lies in your ability to communicate and engage stakeholders by identifying the right audience, at the right time, using the most appropriate medium to deliver the message. Adept change agents and project managers can avoid miscues through a comprehensive stakeholder analysis and communications plan. These tools will enable the message to not just be communicated, but also be received, understood, and acted upon.

Crisis Averted!

Early in my career, I was part of a team that was responsible for conducting a workload analysis and designing performance activities and standards for a large percentage of an organization’s workforce. The goal of this effort was to develop targets that were aligned with the organization’s strategic priorities, calibrate performance so that employees were evaluated more fairly, and identify high-performers to share best practices and consider in succession planning. At the same time, our team was also focusing training efforts on core knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to further develop the workforce. Facing an ambitious timeline and lofty goals, we had little margin for error.

Our team followed change management 101, engaged leadership and had executive support, identified key stakeholders and built a guiding coalition, and (over-) communicated the vision and goals of the project. As we neared completion and the product was undergoing executive review, the leadership team brought union leadership to the table to review the “near-final” performance standards. As the discussions digressed, we recognized our near fatal flaw, timing. While we had identified the right stakeholder, we had brought them in too late in the process. Not involving union leadership from the beginning had enabled rumors to circulate and metastasize, fear of these changes to spread, and union opposition to harden. It created a perception that the union’s opinion was not valued or that leadership was attempting to force change upon them rather than give them a seat at the table.

Our team had to quickly update our project schedule and communications plan to account for this mistake. Whenever possible, in-person meetings with union leaders became the preferred method of communication so that we could respond to body language and build a stronger rapport. Union members who were part of the earlier design process shared their roles and feedback on the process with union representatives to show that there was buy-in and involvement by union members.

More…

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How to cite this article:  Piekara, E. (2018). Engaging Stakeholders to Drive Transformational Change, PM World Journal, Volume VII, Issue XI – November. Available online at https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/pmwj76-Nov2018-Piekara-Engaging-Stakeholders-advisory-article.pdf

 



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 by helping government and nonprofit organizations develop strategic plans, establish and analyze performance metrics, and manage change efforts. In this capacity, Evan has collaborated with a range of executive leaders and managed diverse, cross-functional teams to deliver solutions to complex challenges under tight timelines. Evan currently holds professional certifications in Project Management (PMP), Change Management, Conflict Management, Lean Six Sigma, Total Quality Management, Strategic Organizational Leadership, and Continuous Process Improvement.

Evan can be contacted at [email protected]

 

 

Relative Estimation

in Agile Project Management

 

ADVISORY ARTICLE

By Arvind Mundra

Philadelphia, PA, USA

 



As they say that life is a journey and most (if not all) value should be derived while you are traveling (or alive).

I want to propose a similar perspective of relative estimation in Agile Project Management. Many times (if not most), the relative estimation is viewed and conducted as if it is a sprint task by itself, barely touching upon the productive side of this journey. If it is performed as a journey to understand the requirements clearly, be creative and bring collective wisdom and knowledge into solution design, and align on optimal solution efficiently, then a couple of hours spent on estimation each sprint would not feel a waste of time. In fact, the time spent on this journey could be the most value adding time of team’s calendar.

As part of many years of Agile coaching and project management, I have come across so many well-intentioned people with valid question – “Why do we need to do estimation?”

Let me give a not-so-simple answer – Why does the Sun need to shine if we were to get the rain?

My sincere apology – I know that it is rude and unprofessional to answer a question with a question but sometimes a pointed question may prod us to find answers within, which is way better than the answers we seek outside. The answers that one finds within come with inherent peace and self-biased acceptance. That may not always be true of the answers we seek from outside.

Philosophy aside, let me connect the dots of this analogy. Just like how the Sun activates the process of evaporation and hence we (or someone somewhere) would get rain, the estimation process activates the process of better understanding and associating and refining, and clarifying and aligning to the requirements so that we (or some customer somewhere) would get the intended value of our product/service.

So how do we bring this new perspective to fruition?

Typically, I recommend three aspects of requirements (user story) to be considered – Doubt, Difficulty, and Duration. These 3Ds provide a good structure to evaluate a particular user story to the base user story. If the team does not have clarity in understanding the user story, the estimate should tilt to higher side. If team is venturing into a new area of development or working with new technology or working with multiple internal and external dependencies, then the user story should be estimated as bigger for the reason of difficulty. The third D brings in the experience into play that development of certain types take little or greater efforts and the user story can be estimated accordingly.

This structure of 3D is neither comprehensive nor was it meant to be but provides a simple, non-jargonized way of evaluating the user stories and sizing them to develop a guideline on time.

Here is a summary of the benefits of (Relative) Estimation in Agile Framework:

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How to cite this article:  Mundra, A. (2018). Relative Estimation in Agile Project Management, PM World Journal, Volume VII, Issue XI – November. Available online at https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/pmwj76-Nov2018-Mundra-relative-estimation-in-agile-project-management.pdf

 



About the Author


Arvind Mundra

Philadelphia, PA, USA

 

 

Arvind Mundra has been working Agile Project Management for last 20 years in various roles. After spending 6 years as C++ developer, Arvind became interested in aligning project management to the maximum value creation from a software development team’s work. For last many years, Arvind has focused on training software development teams on Agile Project Management and coaching them to build the self-sustaining discipline.

Arvind has gone through multiple certifications from both PMI and Scrum Alliance and has contributed to the pilot program of PMI-ACP certification and has been active in local Agile user groups.

Arvind can be contacted at [email protected]

 

 

Galloping to Greatness in Strategy Implementation

 

ADVISORY

By John Schlichter

Atlanta, Georgia, USA

 



The verb “to manage” was originally derived from the Italian word “maneggiare,” meaning to handle and train horses. This interesting bit of etymology got me thinking that one could demystify the way that capabilities in strategy-implementation are created by talking about it in terms of horse-racing. We are interested in how to help organizations become capable of choosing good projects and delivering them well to implement the organization’s strategies. But pretending that horse racing is our interest can be a useful thought experiment. Secretariat, Man o’ War, Phar Lap, Black Caviar, and Native Dancer are some of the legendary horses from world-class racing teams. One should learn from these examples that world-class management capabilities aren’t built in a day. Every photo-finish of competitors galloping across a finish line was a journey that began well before they set foot on the track. There are agendas that one must progress through.

Standardization

The first agenda or level of maturity in horse racing is called “Standardization,” and it requires us to do the following:

  • Establish “process governance.” This means we must engage the team’s owners (executives) and coaches and riders (process owners) and enroll them to help us lead the transformation of the horse racing team’s capabilities.
  • Articulate policies. This means that we must identify what is important about the performance of the horse racing team, including which processes are most important for the horses to be able to perform in the way that their owners want them to perform.
  • Document processes. This means that we need to write down the steps of the important processes so that both the practitioners and the owners agree to them.
  • Train stakeholders. This means that we need to train all the necessary stakeholders in the things listed above, including the process governance structure, the policies, and the documented processes. We need to train them in a way that enables them to experience their own competence.
  • Establish oversight. This means that we need to implement roles and protocols that ensure consistent implementation of work methods.

These things (above) are necessary to create the foundation for building a world class horse racing team. You can see that there are aspects pertaining to the riders and aspects pertaining to the horses. The same is true for building world class performance in your project, program, and portfolio management systems. To become capable of implementing your organization’s strategies successfully, consistently, and predictably, start with standardization.

Measurement

Standardization is consistent implementation of work methods. To enact standardization fully, one needs to pursue the next level of maturity, which is called “measurement.” Measurement includes the following things:

  • Identify critical characteristics of the horse racing process. We must articulate what is critical or essential for the process to produce a quality result.
  • Document “Results Measures.” We must document the expected outputs and outcomes of the process and how those outputs and outcomes will be measured.
  • Document the measurement system. We must document how measurements will be taken.
  • Train stakeholders. We must train members of the organization in how to collect and analyze measurements.

Both the riders and the horses have roles in this. The riders must support each of these things and the horses must be trained in what to expect, learning how their performance will be measured. For example, they may be measured for “speed,” and they may be measured for “safety.” They will learn that these metrics are important and that the organization is tracking them closely.

The organization may already know intuitively that the performance of their horses occurs within a range that they expect. Or they may see that the range of variation in performance varies widely, and they will begin to uncover the reasons why.

More…

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How to cite this article: Schlichter, J. (2018); Galloping to Greatness in Strategy Implementation; PM World Journal, Vol. VII, Issue X – October. Online at https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/pmwj75-Oct2018-Schlichter-galloping-to-greatness-in-strategy-implementation.pdf

 



About the Author


John Schlichter

Atlanta, GA, USA

 

 

 

John Schlichter coined the term “Organizational Project Management” or “OPM,” which is the system for implementing the business strategy of an organization through projects. OPM became a global standard and is how companies throughout the world deliver projects valued in billions if not trillions of dollars. “John has contributed greatly to PMI,” Greg Balestrero, CEO, PMI Today, 2002. “In John’s role as the leader of PMI’s OPM3 program, he has immeasurably contributed to the growth of the profession,” Becky Winston, J.D., Chair of the Board of Directors, PMI Today, 2002. Having created OPM3© (an international standard in project, program, and portfolio management), John founded OPM Experts LLC, a firm delivering OPM solutions and a leading provider of maturity assessment services. Industry classifications: NAICS 541618 Other Management Consulting and NAICS 611430 Training. John is a member of the adjunct faculty of Emory University’s Goizueta Business School.

John can be contacted at [email protected] or [email protected].

 

 

From Strategy to Execution

 

ADVISORY

By Alfonso Bucero, MSc, CPS, PMP, PMI-RMP, PfMP, PMI Fellow

Managing Partner
BUCERO PM Consulting

Madrid, Spain

 



Our business world is full of expensive, well-intended strategies that failed in the execution phase. Some of them make the front pages and the evening news. Many others disappear into desk drawers and forgotten PowerPoint presentations. All represent a significant drain on resources that could have been used more profitably elsewhere. The spectacular flameouts of Carli Fiorina at HP, John Akers at IBM, John Sculley at Apple are merely a few high-profile examples among thousands of CEOs whose strategies fail every year because of poor execution.

Corporations spend about $100 billion a year on management consulting and training, most of it aimed at creating brilliant strategy. Business schools unleash throngs of aspiring strategists and big-picture thinkers into the corporate world every year. Yet studies have found that less than 10 percent of effectively formulated strategies carry through to successful implementation. So something like 90 percent of companies consistently fail to execute strategies effectively.

However, senior executives regularly retreat to their corner offices, to their boardrooms, or to elegant Conference Centers where they plan the next big think, leaving the grunt work of execution to the lower echelons. That is precisely where strategy goes awry. When strategy makers neglect the critical connections between words and deeds-between ideas and action–they are almost guaranteed to fail.

Many executives understand this instinctively, but they lack a systematic approach for identifying and implementing the right array of actions to deliver on their promises. Worse, they ignore their own responsibilities toward the people at execution level of the company. Repeatedly, they make broad –and mistaken-assumptions about how well the strategy they have in mind converts into understandable work at all levels of the organization, and whether the organization is capable of making the changes needed to implement the latest strategic vision. When executives think of the people who will implement strategy as mere lines and boxes on an organization chart, they inevitably fail to tap the full power of the enterprise.

In the midst of last-changing technologies and increasingly competitive global markets, senior executives face extreme pressure from customers, competitors, market analysts, shareholders, boards of directors, and employees. All of these forces place a premium on the executives’ ability to articulate strategy clearly and provide adequate resources for middle managers and workers to implement it within the context of the corporate structure, culture, attitudes, goals, measurement and reward systems, and ongoing operations. Often this requires reshaping the organization, developing new systems, learning new behaviors, and creating new types of interactions.

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How to cite this report:  Bucero, A. (2018). From Strategy to Execution, PM World Journal, Vol. VII, Issue X – October. Available online at https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/pmwj75-Oct2018-Bucero-from-strategy-to-execution-advisory.pdf

 



About the Author


Alfonso Bucero

Madrid, Spain

 

 

 

Alfonso Bucero, MSc, CPS, 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 then nominated as a PMI EMEA Region 8 Component Mentor. Now he is a member of the PMIEF Engagement Committee. Alfonso has a Computer Science Engineering degree from Universidad Politécnica in Madrid and is studying for his Ph.D. in Project Management. He has 32 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, the PMI Fellow Award on October 22nd 2011 and the PMI Eric Jenett Excellence Award on October 28th, 2017.

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 https://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/alfonso-bucero/

 

The Passion Factor

 

ADVISORY

By Alfonso Bucero

Madrid, Spain

 



When I looked for ways to motivate myself early in my career, I saw every project not only as a learning opportunity but also an opportunity to make people happier. And the key to doing that was fostering enthusiasm.

As a project manager, there’s a way to develop enthusiasm so meaningful and profound that it will not decline no matter what strain it is put under:

  • Decide what particular personal characteristic you want to strengthen.
  • Develop it by acting as if you already possess the desired characteristic.
  • Believe and repeatedly affirm that you’re in the process of creating the quality you’re working to develop.

If you want to be a more enthusiastic, for example, you must act with enthusiasm!

Another practice to foster an optimistic attitude is that of “mental ventilation.” Clear your mind of the gloomy, foreboding thoughts that prevent the cheerful and spirited thinking that stimulates enthusiasm.

Getting up on the Right Side of the Bed

A vital element in developing enthusiasm as a project manager is the manner in which you start the day. Approaching each morning with enthusiasm can set the tone for the entire day—despite any disappointing news you may face…

More…

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How to cite this article:  Bucero, A. (2018). The Passion Factor, PM World Journal, Vol. VII, Issue IX – September. Available online at https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/pmwj74-Sep2018-Bucero-the-passion-factor-advisory.pdf

 



About the Author


Alfonso Bucero

Madrid, Spain

 

 

 

Alfonso Bucero, MSc, CPS, 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 then nominated as a PMI EMEA Region 8 Component Mentor. Now he is a member of the PMIEF Engagement Committee. Alfonso has a Computer Science Engineering degree from Universidad Politécnica in Madrid and is studying for his Ph.D. in Project Management. He has 32 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, the PMI Fellow Award on October 22nd 2011 and the PMI Eric Jenett Excellence Award on October 28th, 2017.

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 https://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/alfonso-bucero/

 

 

A M.A.T.U.R.E way

to describe highly developed project risk management capabilities

 

ADVISORY ARTICLE

By Robert J Chapman, PhD

Director, Dr Chapman and Associates Limited

United Kingdom

 



Introduction

The benefits of risk management derived by organisations during the execution of their programmes and projects will depend directly on the maturity of their risk management capabilities[1]. Hence for organisations aiming to achieve mature capabilities there must be a clear understanding of what mature actually means.  However in the context of projects, there is no universally accepted definition of maturity[2]. Many authors turn to dictionary definitions to assist them in describing what maturity may mean, relying on for instance The Oxford Everyday Dictionary[3]. Mettler suggests maturity implies an evolutionary progress in the demonstration of a specific ability or in the accomplishment of a target from an initial to a desired or normally occurring end stage[4]. For organisations risk management maturity relates to both the current and the future state of practices or capabilities. There is an evolutionary path of increasing effectiveness between the initial or current state to a desired more mature or sophisticated state[5]. However this path is commonly a marathon not a sprint[6]. The term ‘mature capabilities’ adopted here is taken to mean capabilities that are fully developed or having reached their most advanced stage. Mature capabilities are recognised by the absence of discernible substantial improvement. They have overcome the common challenges to implementation[7]. They have been optimised, the label given to Level 5 of many maturity models such as the OGC Prince2 Maturity Model[8] .

MATURE as an acronym

Given the scant description in the literature, it is suggested here that the word ‘MATURE’ is treated as a mnemonic acronym for highly developed risk management capabilities, where MATURE in its expanded form denotes M for Meritorious, A for Advanced, T for Transformational, U for Utilitarian, R for Reliable and E for Evolved, as summarised below.

M         Meritorious capabilities which directly contribute to effective risk management

A          Advanced technical capabilities which are developed, forward-thinking and
to some degree innovative

T          Transformational capabilities which when applied bring about significant
improvements in capability

U         Utilitarian capabilities which are practical, unambiguous and can be readily
implemented

R          Reliable capabilities which have supported the realisation of project objectives

E          Evolved established capabilities which have been refined and revised over such
a length of time that most of the initial challenges and inherent problems
have been removed or reduced

Further explanation of the initials

For MATURE capabilities to be recognised, created and sustained it is critical to have a more comprehensive understanding of what the letters represent.

More…

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How to cite this article: Chapman, R. (2018).  A  M.A.T.U.R.E. way to describe highly developed project risk management capabilities, PM World Journal, Vol. VII, Issue IX – September. Available online at https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/pmwj74-Sep2018-Chapman-MATURE-description-of-risk-management-capabilities-advisory.pdf

 



About the Author


Robert J. Chapman, PhD

United Kingdom

 

 

 

Robert J Chapman is an international risk management specialist and Director of Dr Chapman and Associates Limited. He is author of the texts: ‘Simple tools and techniques for enterprise risk management’ 2nd edition, published by John Wiley and Sons Limited, ‘The Rules of Project Risk Management, implementation guidelines for major projects’ published by Gower Publishing and ‘Retaining design team members, a risk management approach’ published by RIBA Enterprises. He holds a PhD in risk management from Reading University and is a fellow of the IRM, APM and ICM and a member of the RIBA. He has provided risk management services in the UK, the Republic of Ireland, Holland, UAE, South Africa, Malaysia and Qatar on multi-billion programmes and projects. Robert has passed the M_o_R, APM and PMI risk examinations. In addition he has provided project and risk management training in Scotland, England and Malaysia. Robert is an external PhD examiner.

Dr. Chapman can be reached by email at [email protected]

 

[1] Chapman, R.J., (2007). Maturity models as a vehicle for improving risk management practices. Published by www.exaprotect.com.

[2] Y. Ayse B. Nordal and Ole Martin Kjørstad, (2017). A different approach to risk maturity – a simple model, The Municipal Undertaking for Educational Buildings and Property in Oslo, Bank of Norway

[3] Hawkins, J. M. and Weiner, E. S. C. (1985). The Oxford Everyday Dictionary and guide to correct English Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK. Mature is described as: having reached full growth or development.

[4] Mettler, T (2009). A Design Science Research Perspective on Maturity Models in Information Systems.  https://www.researchgate.net/publication/44939433_A_Design_Science_Research_Perspective_on_Maturity_Models_in_Information_Systems [Accessed Sep 01 2018].

[5] Chapman, R.J., (2014). The rules of project risk management, implementation guidelines for major projects. Published by Gower publishing limited, UK and USA.

[6] Protiviti (2007). Enterprise risk management in practice. Profiles of companies building effective ERM Programs.

[7] Chapman, R.J., (2011). Simple tools and techniques for enterprise risk management, 2nd Edition. Published by John Wiley and Sons Limited

[8] OGC, (2010). PRINCE2® Maturity Model (P2MM) Self-Assessment. Crown copyright

 

 

What’s the Key to a Successful Product Launch by a Marketing Manager?

Here’s a Guide to doing it Right!

 

ADVISORY ARTICLE

By David Miller

Michigan, USA

 


 

http://www.mindvalleyinsights.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/shutterstock_287787359-1140×641.jpg

It’s not all development and sales. In fact, if there were no intermediaries to pack it all up and send it to consumers with a shiny bow clip, most product launches would go by terribly unnoticed. It’s in the product marketing manager’s job description to turn every idea into the next big thing on the market.

Here’s how to do that right.

Team Up with the Product Manager

 

https://collaborationsolution.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/business-collaboration.jpeg

Drawing the line between a product manager and a product marketing manager is not always easy. In smart companies, they are seldom the same person – while the first one has the ultimate responsibility for the product, the second one is responsible for communicating the product’s value to the market.

However, the two of them must work together to ensure the best possible product launch.

As a marketing manager, you need to approach the product CEO and learn the problems the product is trying to solve for the target audience. Also, address questions like why, how, and for whom it was designed to get a better understanding of the product. In other words, you need to become the product expert, so make good use of your project collaboration software and team up.

Be the Boss of Your Market Space

Of course, your primary responsibility is to stay in charge of the market and alight the soon-to-be-launched product with consumer needs and expectations. You’ll need to return to your ideal buyer persona and revisit his or her purchasing mindset. Moreover, you’ll need to answer these questions:

More…

To read entire article, click here

 

How to cite this article:
Miller, D. (2018). What’s the Key to a Successful Product Launch by a Marketing Manager? Here’s a Guide to doing it Right! PM World Journal, Volume VII, Issue 5, May 2018. https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/pmwj70-May2018-Miller-succcessful-product-launch-advisory-article.pdf



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.

 

 

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF MANAGEMENT and LEADERSHIP

SELF-ESTEEM BASED or COMPETENCE BASED or A COMBINATION

 

ADVISORY ARTICLE

By Michael Marshall, PhD

Georgia, USA

 



Studies and research into management and leadership is showing that the motivation of individuals striving to be in management and leadership and stay in these positions, is primarily based on achieving power and achieving self-esteem; both, self-esteem how they feel about themselves and how they think others perceive them.

Lower self-esteem can cause over achievement and high aspirations oriented to help compensate for this.  High self-esteem can stimulate the same.  These can be a big motivator to achieve higher needs and wants and higher self-gratification.

Management and leadership often have a strong personal drive to achieve management and leadership position levels to satisfy self-esteem needs, self-worth, self-ego and what is referred to as ‘self-actualization’ of higher wants and needs well beyond the basics and norms.

Sociology influences can be a motivator.

Father, mother, relatives, brothers, sisters, close neighbors, friends, peers of all types that may possibly be in management or leadership positions can influence  individuals to be motivated to strive for management  and leadership positions to be equal or worthy of relationships.

A passion for some type of change can also motivate an individual for such as well.

When individuals are personally driven for management and leadership due to any of these things, often, they are referred to as having ‘ambition’.

As individuals with personal drive for management and leadership get older in age and become tired of the responsibilities, tired of worrying and caring about having power and what others think about them due to their position, they then may lose the drive for such needs and wants.  The needs and wants have been overly and exceedingly satisfied.

They are ready to move on with life and enjoy other aspects of life more.

More…

To read entire article, click here

 

How to cite this article:
Marshall, M. (2018). THE PSYCHOLOGY OF MANAGEMENT and LEADERSHIP: SELF-ESTEEM BASED or COMPETENCE BASED or A COMBINATION, PM World Journal, Volume VII, Issue 5, May 2018. https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/pmwj70-May2018-Marshall-psychlogy-of-management-and-leadership-advisory-article.pdf



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 www.AskTheBusinessDoctor.com over the last 10 years has had over ¾ million readership.  He can be contacted at [email protected]

 

 

The Importance of Having Both Sequential/Linear Thinking Skills

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

Which One Are You?

 

ADVISORY ARTICLE

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’:

More…

To read entire article, click here

 



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 www.AskTheBusinessDoctor.com 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

 

ADVISORY ARTICLE

By Evan Piekara

Washington, DC, USA

 



Abstract

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.

More…

To read entire article, click here

 



About the Author


Evan Piekara

BDO USA, LLP
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 https://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/evan-piekara/

 

 

Managing Millennials

Project Management for an Evolving Workforce

 

ADVISORY ARTICLE

By Evan Piekara

Washington, DC, USA

 



Abstract

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:

More…

To read entire article, click here

 



About the Author


Evan Piekara

BDO USA, LLP
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


ADVISORY ARTICLE

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.

THE PROBLEM

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.

More…

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, ProjectManagement.com, 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 https://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/michael-obrochta/

 

 

In search of a better Product Owner


ADVISORY ARTICLE

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.

More…

To read entire article, click here

 



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 https://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/chandan-lal-patary/ 

 

Decision Analysis

Projects Management and Risk


ADVISORY ARTICLE

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.

More…

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) (www.57357.com ), 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 http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/almahdy-eltonsy/.

 

 

Revisit of Reference Class Forecasting (RCF)

Estimating Costs of Infrastructure Projects

 

ADVISORY ARTICLE

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?

Introduction

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?

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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

ADVISORY ARTICLE

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!”

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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. http://www.bechangecompany.com

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 http://www.springer.com/de/book/9783658094522.  The English version will be published soon.

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

 

 

Agile Transformation for Organizations and Projects

ADVISORY ARTICLE

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. (http://csse.usc.edu/TECHRPTS/1988/usccse88-500/usccse88-500.pdf)

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 https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/pmis-pmbok-process-flow-iterative-incremental-walenta-pmi-fellow).

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 (https://www.pmi.org/learning/thought-leadership/pulse).

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.

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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!!!

ADVISORY ARTICLE

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.

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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 http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/mr-anil-seth/

 

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 www.fluor.com