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A commentary on strategy formulation-related causes

of “project” failures in an organisational strategic context

 

COMMENTARY

By Alan Stretton, PhD (Hon)

Sydney, Australia

 



INTRODUCTION

In a recent article in this journal (Stretton 2018k) I discussed causes of so-called “project” failures in an organisation strategic management context. It was found that over a half of these failures (which were mainly derived from Jenner 2015) were not directly attributable to project management per se, but to other entities, including top-level strategic and/or general management, strategic portfolio management, and particularly directors and/or managers responsible for strategy development.

Additionally, with only two partial exceptions, these causes of failure were primarily related to post-strategy formulation stages of organisational strategic management. In an earlier article in this journal (Stretton 2015a) I had identified some causes of “project” failure, additional to those in Stretton 2018k, which were particularly relevant to strategy formulation. This article comments on some aspects of these additional causes of failure.

But we start with the organisational strategic management framework to which these causes of failure relate.

WHY USE AN ORGANISATIONAL STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT FRAMEWORK?

The strategic framework I am using is from Stretton 2018k, shown in Figure 1 below.

Figure 1: The organisational strategic management framework from Stretton 2018k

The main reason I have been using an organisational strategic management framework to discuss causes of “project” failures is that it provides a context which appears to be relevant to most projects, irrespective of their type, origins, application area, etc. My reasoning has always been that projects are means to help the achievement of broader ends (e.g. Stretton 2016b,c,d,e).

Broader ends can be hugely variable, but if we represent them as an organisation’s (or equivalent body’s) strategic objectives, we appear to be covering most, if not all, types of broader ends. In associating projects with organisational strategic objectives, I have argued previously (e.g. Stretton 2017k) that, no matter how projects originate – i.e. whether in deliberate or emergent ways – sooner or later they become integral components of organisational strategic plans, and of their execution. The strategic framework is not a static one. In allowing for the addition of emergent strategic initiatives, the organisation’s strategies can, and should be, changed to respond appropriately to emergent factors in an increasingly dynamic external environment

THE STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK AND CAUSES OF “PROJECT” FAILURE

In Figure 2 below I have abbreviated the strategic management framework of Figure 1 to its headings. Against this I have summarised the causes of failure listed by Jenner 2015, which were discussed in some detail in Stretton 2018k. I have added causes of failure from Stretton 2015a which most directly relate to Strategy formulation. These are indicated by solid bullet points. The hollow bullet points indicate additional causes I want to discuss.

Figure 2: Adding Strategy Formulation-related causes of failure to a summary of Jenner’s causes of failure

I had some difficulty finding a satisfactory way of grouping the causes of failure which appear to most directly relate to Strategy formulation. I think the main reason is that many of these causes also apply to later stages of the organisational strategic management framework. This is also the case with some of the causes from Jenner 2015 that I listed under Strategy development in Stretton 2018k, particularly Lack of effective engagement with stakeholders, and Unrealistic cost estimates and/or benefits forecasts.

Both of the latter appeared to me to be very applicable to the Strategy formulation stage (as well as execution stages), and I decided to use these as sub-headings to cover several of the causes of failure cited in Stretton 2015a. The remainder appear under the sub-heading Other external causes – all as shown in Figure 2.

I will now discuss these additional detailed causes of failure under the above three sub-headings.

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How to cite this paper: Stretton, A. (2018). A commentary on strategy formulation-related causes of “project” failures in an organisational strategic context, PM World Journal, Volume VII, Issue XII (December). Available online at https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/pmwj77-Dec2018-Stretton-strategy-related-causes-of-project-failures-commentary.pdf


 
About the Author


Alan Stretton, PhD      

Faculty Corps, University of Management
and Technology, Arlington, VA (USA)
Life Fellow, AIPM (Australia)

 



Alan Stretton
is one of the pioneers of modern project management.  He is currently a member of the Faculty Corps for the University of Management & Technology (UMT), USA.  In 2006 he retired from a position as Adjunct Professor of Project Management in the Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS), Australia, which he joined in 1988 to develop and deliver a Master of Project Management program.   Prior to joining UTS, Mr. Stretton worked in the building and construction industries in Australia, New Zealand and the USA for some 38 years, which included the project management of construction, R&D, introduction of information and control systems, internal management education programs and organizational change projects.  He has degrees in Civil Engineering (BE, Tasmania) and Mathematics (MA, Oxford), and an honorary PhD in strategy, programme and project management (ESC, Lille, France).  Alan was Chairman of the Standards (PMBOK) Committee of the Project Management Institute (PMI®) from late 1989 to early 1992.  He held a similar position with the Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM), and was elected a Life Fellow of AIPM in 1996.  He was a member of the Core Working Group in the development of the Australian National Competency Standards for Project Management.  He has published over 190 professional articles and papers.  Alan can be contacted at [email protected].

To see more works by Alan Stretton, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/alan-stretton/.

 

Ineffective Risk Management

and the collapse of Carillion

 

COMMENTARY

By Robert J Chapman, PhD

Director, Dr Chapman and Associates Limited

United Kingdom

 


Risk management failings

As reported in the press, on 15 January 2018 Carillion plc, the British multi-national company declared insolvency and the Official Receiver started to liquidate its assets and contracts. The examination of company insolvencies provides valuable insights into failed corporate processes. These lessons are important not only for executives but also for construction managers, project managers, risk managers and advisers. At the heart of the collapse was an acute lack of understanding and management of risk by both the UK government[1] and Carillion itself [2]. The Carillion failure occurred against the backdrop of a growing interest in describing and defining measures of risk capacity and risk appetite. As described by Richard Barfield of PWC[3] “defined well, risk appetite translates risk metrics and methods into business decisions, reporting and day-to-day business discussions. It sets the boundaries which form a dynamic link between strategy, target setting and risk management”. When considered together, the Carillion behaviours described below portray a clear absence of operating boundaries based on a risk appetite statement and associated risk metrics. Despite the early warning signs that the company was running into significant difficulties, the company either had a poor perception of the risk it was facing or consciously ignored it. It would appear that it was not until the preparation of Carillion’s January 2018 transformation Group Business Plan that there was recognition that the group had “weak operational risk management” [4].

Background

The company predominantly operated in low-margin industries[5] within highly competitive markets with inherent risks[6]. A large element of Carillion’s contracts were government construction and facilities management contracts. The collapse was the most spectacular corporate failure in recent memory. The company was described by the House of Commons as “an unsustainable corporate time bomb, characterised by the increasingly reckless pursuit of growth with scant regard for long-term sustainability or the impact on employees, pensioners and suppliers”[7]. The collapse attracted intense media coverage and triggered several Parliamentary investigations and inquiries. Once the background to the collapse became apparent a Parliamentary report commented “The mystery is not that it collapsed, but that it lasted so long”[8]. The accumulation of debt and an inability to reduce it caused concerns among Carillion’s investors, who had begun to divest themselves of shares towards the end of 2015.  For investors generally, perhaps the most striking observation of all was that “Carillion could happen again, and soon” [9]. At the time of its collapse, Carillion was the UK’s second largest construction company and second largest supplier of maintenance services to Network Rail. The insolvency left in its wake (i) a pension deficit of approximately £2.6 billion[10] (ii) 30,000 unpaid suppliers with the risk of getting little or nothing back[11] – on 30 June 2017 Carillion owed £2 billion to its suppliers, sub-contractors and other short-term creditors[12], and (iii) uncertainty with regard to approximately 420 contracts with the public sector[13] although other estimates placed the number at closer to 450. Carillion held contracts with the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Justice, Network Rail, HS2 Ltd and various hospitals. At the time of liquidation Carillion employed around 45,000 people of which 18,200 were located in the UK.

Carillion behaviours

The House of Commons report[14] was damming in its summary of the behaviour of Carillion’s board of directors. These behaviours all contained an element of risk that had a compounding effect.

Carillion’s rise and spectacular fall was a story of recklessness, hubris and greed. Its business model was a relentless dash for cash, driven by acquisitions, rising debt, expansion into new markets and exploitation of suppliers. It presented accounts that misrepresented the reality of the business, and increased its dividend every year, come what may.

The use of the word ‘recklessness’ brings to the fore memories of Northern Rock. The House of Commons Treasury Committee inquiry held to identify the lessons to be learned from the failure of UK banks during the 2007-2008 financial crisis[15] identified that among the banks that ran into trouble, there was evidence of a direct correlation between risk exposure and leverage. As banks increased their borrowings, the risk of their inability to repay their borrowings due to a fall in income increased[16].  In its findings the inquiry acknowledged that those financial firms that showed the greatest appetite for rapid growth through leverage were amongst the heaviest casualties. Increased debt simply led to increased risk. An example was the British bank Northern Rock. It was the first British bank in 150 years to fail due to a bank run[17]. As stated in the inquiry report “the directors pursued a reckless business model which was excessively reliant on wholesale funding”. There are clear parallels between Northern Rock and Carillion particularly with regard to the extent of their borrowings.

More…

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How to cite this article: Chapman, R. (2018). Ineffective risk management and the collapse of Carillion; PM World Journal, Vol. VII, Issue XII (December).  Available online at https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/pmwj77-Dec2018-Chapman-ineffective-risk-management-and-collapse-of-carillion2.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, Singapore and Malaysia. Robert is an external PhD examiner.

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

To view other works by Robert Chapman, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at https://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/robert-j-chapman-phd/

 

[1] The Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee report, “After Carillion: Public Sector Outsourcing and Contracting”.  https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmpubadm/748/748.pdf /09 July 2018

[2] Commons Select Committees web page www.parliament.uk , Carillion plc. https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmworpen/769/76905.htm .  

[3] Richard Barfield/PWC Risk appetite – How hungry are you? https://www.pwc.com/gx/en/banking-capital-markets/pdf/risk_appetite.pdf

[4] Carillion plc , Group Business Plan, January 2018, p 6

[5] Unravelling a web of failures at UK outsourcer Carillion, Financial Times, https://www.ft.com/content/37f63372-58f3-11e8-b8b2-d6ceb45fa9d0, May 16 2018.

[6] UK Parliament (2018) House of Commons Hansard. Carillion. 12 July 2018. Volume 644. https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2018-07-12/debates/2D8B6F0E-B8C0-47C6-B9D0-D274EC5D72DD/Carillion

[7] House of Commons web page. www.parliament.uk , Carillion plc. https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmworpen/769/76908.htm

[8] House of Commons, Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and Work and Pensions Committees. Carillion. Second Joint report from the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and Work and Pensions Committees of Session 2017–19.

 16 May 2018, https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmworpen/769/769.pdf

[9]  Ibid

[10] UK Government. Commons Select Committee. Pension scheme trustees questioned on Carillion. 30 January 2018. https://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/work-and-pensions-committee/news-parliament-2017/carillion-pension-trustees-17-19/

[11] BBC (2018) Carillion collapse: Insurers pay out £30m to suppliers, 25 January.

[12] ‘Trade and other payables’, p. 21 of the Carillion Interim financial statement for the six months ended 30 June 2017

[13] Report by the Comptroller and Auditor General, Investigation into the government’s handling of the collapse of Carillion, Session 2017–2019, HC 1002, p6.

[14] House of Commons, Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and Work and Pensions Committees. Carillion. Second Joint report from the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and Work and Pensions Committees of Session 2017–19.

16 May 2018. https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmworpen/769/769.pdf

[15] House of Commons. Banking Crisis: dealing with the failure of UK banks. House of Commons Treasury Committee, Seventh Report of Session 2008-2009, 1 May 2009.

[16] Chapman (2011). Simple tools and techniques for enterprise risk management. John Wiley and Sons Limited.

[17] The Guardian (2012). Financial crisis: timeline. The financial crisis, five years on: how the world economy plunged into recession. Patrick Kingsley, Tue 7 Aug 2012. https://www.theguardian.com/business/2012/aug/07/credit-crunch-boom-bust-timeline  

 

 

Strategy and Reputation

The Big Business of Slave Labor in 21st Century Projects

 

COMMENTARY

By John Schlichter

Georgia, USA

 



“The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear.” Socrates (469 BC – 399 BC)


Is the use of slave labor on large infrastructure projects a real thing in this day and age? Indeed it is. One may be forgiven for overlooking slavery as a valid strategy transparently situated and socially accomplished by sanctioned parties to develop the physical structures intrinsic to modern society. But this strategy-as-practice that turns people into property to erect our public works is a global standard. Over 20 million men, women, and children are trapped in forced labor worldwide, generating over $40 billion annually in profits for their captors. One would expect slavers to garner nasty reputations in the process, but they are glorified for roads and reservoirs, factories and fundaments, and pipelines and parks.

Whether prison labor constitutes slave labor has been an ongoing debate in the United States ever since the 13th amendment both abolished slavery and legalized it in the case of prisoners. Slavery was deemed despicable unless the slave owner was the state, in which case slavery was not only righteous but profitable. Beyond America’s borders, slave-based business strategies abound unencumbered by this cognitive dissonance. Cities the world over are built by slaves provisioned by merchants to municipalities. Evidenced by the extent to which the public takes it for granted (or fails to recognize it), slavery is an international institution.

I have witnessed it firsthand, auditing megaprojects that used unskilled Chinese prisoners who had been shipped outside China as compulsory labor camps. With no other pedigree than imprisonment, they were conscripted to build roads and bridges under harsh conditions on behalf of the state actors importing them. This open secret only came to my attention as I forced my way through layers of subcontracting to investigate the root causes of rampant quality issues on behalf of my client. I was not the first to learn bridges were failing because they had been built by slaves no more skilled in architecture than astrophysics. I was merely the first to report it, recognizing that the project teams, project sponsors, and even the public were complicit…

More…

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How to cite this article: Schlichter, J. (2018). Strategy and Reputation: the Big Business of Slave Labor in 21st Century Projects, PM World Journal, Volume VII, Issue XI – November. Available online at https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/pmwj76-Nov2018-Schlichter-strategy-and-reputation-commentary2.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].

To view more works by John Schlichter, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at https://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/john-schlichter/

 

 

From Maharashtra to Atlanta

India’s Emergence as a Project Management Super Power

 

COMMENTARY

By John Schlichter

Atlanta, Georgia, USA

 



It was a pleasure having lunch with India’s incoming Consul General Dr. Swati Kulkarni just two weeks after her arrival to that post to discuss collaboration between leaders in academia and business from the world’s two largest democratic republics. As an academic and consultant in the domain of Organizational Project Management (OPM), which is strategy-implementation through projects, I noted India is the fastest growing market for project management oriented employment in the world. India’s organizations will require 70 lakh new project managers in the next 10 years. Infrastructure will be a particularly active catalyst for project management in India, especially in industries like roads and railways and initiatives like smart cities.

The honorable Consul General can help meet India’s growing demand for capable project management by fostering collaboration between academia, consultancies, and the Indian Institute for Project Management (IIPM), which was established in 1989 by then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in response to cost overruns on large infrastructure projects. Project management has continued to be a national priority under Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Dr. Kulkarni has acted swiftly to reach out to local leaders, demonstrating the Consul General’s proactive approach to diplomacy. She is a career diplomat who holds M.B.B.S. degrees from the Government Medical College, Nagpur in India. She joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1995, served as Consul General in Cape Town, South Africa (2012-2014) and as Deputy Head of Mission in Muscat, Oman (2008-2012), two posts pervaded by projects.

More…

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How to cite this article: Schlichter, J. (2018). From Maharashtra to Atlanta: India’s Emergence as a Project Management Super Power. PM World Journal, Vol. VII, Issue X – October. Available online at https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/pmwj75-Oct2018-Schlichter-from-maharashtra-to-atlanta-commentary.pdf

 



About the Author


John Schlichter

Atlanta, Georgia, 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].

 

 

Women in Project Management

Future Perspectives

 

COMMENTARY

By Alnilan Fernanda Quinteros, PhD

Buenos Aires, Argentina

 


 

In 2017 the World Economic Forum published the results of the 2017 Global Gender Gap Report (1). The report evaluates gender parity across four key areas: health, education, economy and politics in 144 different countries. The economic category evaluates participation in labor force, remuneration and advancement to leadership roles. Notably, after the political gap which is the widest but the one that narrows faster (77% gap that according to the report could be closed within 99 years) the economic gap is second in place (42%) but it would take 217 years to be closed at the pace of today. This means that, globally, women participation in labor force is poor, get paid less than their male counterparts and struggled to get into leadership positions. In other words, many industries are failing to hire, retain and promote women. As a consequence there is a wide talent pool that is being underutilized.

Considering this situation, what can be said about women´s role in project management and the future of the profession?

Women in project management are not excluded from what the above results show. Though scarce information is found about women participation in project management,  data presented in the  PMI Project Management Salary Survey—10th Edition indicate that women representation in the field could be estimated to be mainly between 20-30% and that their average salary is lower than that of men (2). This is not surprising, even less taking into account that many of the industries with a long story in project management have been male-dominated like engineering, and construction (3).

Different studies analyze the future of jobs in a context of technological advancement and globalization. Technological drivers (mobile internet, cloud technology, big data, robotics, artificial intelligence, 3D printing, etc)  together with demographic and socio economic drivers (changing nature of work, climate change and the emergence of the green revolution, ageing society, urbanization, etc) will disrupt business models and shift the employment landscape to a future where new skills, abilities and knowledge will be needed. Given this scenario, some sectors will face talent shortages and recruitment challenges (1, 4-6).

When we look at the future of project management we found a positive impact of technological changes and globalization. Rapid change and fierce market competition are pushing organizations to rapidly adapt to changes and to maximize value delivery of their businesses and organizational practices. Organizations are increasingly recognizing the benefits of successful management of projects and its contribution to the achievement of their strategic goals. Project management practices are thus growing and expanding to different industries, even to those that were traditionally less project-oriented like health care, professional services, education and public administration (7-10).

Additionally, it is also seen a growth in short term project related work or freelance work, the so called gig economy, where time-limited, project based contracts are chosen over permanent ones. Altogether, this increase in projects and in project based organizations, named by the term projectification by different authors, is expected to generate a project related job growth of 33% collectively by 2027 (7-12) As a result, it is expected that organizations may experience shortages in qualified talent in the future (7). Given that the proportion of women in project management is low, opportunities arise here to fulfill that need and to grow in the area. In fact, some authors agree that one of the different trends of project management in the future is increase women participation (8, 13). It would be interesting to know whether women participation in project management is actually increasing nowadays since it seems to have increased in countries like Germany and UK (8).

On the other hand, looking at the big picture to the whole labor market and analyzing the perspectives for women we found that future jobs will grow mainly in the area of computer, technology, engineering and mathematics. This is worth noting since these jobs belong to highly projectized industries where women are under-represented. This is not only due to low women enrollment in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) careers but also to a low proportion of women entering those fields once graduated and a high proportion leaving them once they have entered ( 1,4,14-16).

According to the Global Gender Gap Report (1), if gender gap ratios informed persist over the 2015–2020 period there will be nearly one new STEM job per four jobs lost for men, but only one new STEM job per 20 jobs lost for women.

More…

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How to cite this article:  Quinteros, A. F., first initial (2018). Women in Project Management: Future Perspectives, PM World Journal, Volume VII, Issue X – October. Available online at https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/pmwj75-Oct2018-Quinteros-women-in-project-management-commentary.pdf

 



About the Author


Alnilan Quinteros, PhD, PMP

Buenos Aires, Argentina

 

 

 

Alnilan Fernanda Quinteros holds a PhD in Sciences (University of Buenos Aires, Argentina) and a graduate degree in Biological Sciences (National University of Mar del Plata, Argentina). After graduating in 2004 she worked in basic research projects in the cellular and molecular field in the School of Pharmacy and Biochemistry of the University of Buenos Aires to finally obtain her PhD in 2009. During that time, she published in peer-review scientific journals of the field. In 2010, she started working in the pharmaceutical industry in R+D+i projects. In 2013 she obtained a PMP certification and started to get involved in project management activities. She is a PMI member and member of the Buenos Aires PMI Chapter. She is interested in biopharmaceutical R+D, innovation and entrepreneurship.

 

 

EVALUATION

The Project Management Cycle’s Sixth Dimension

 

COMMENTARY

By Kenneth F. Smith

Honolulu, Hawaii

 



ABSTRACT

This is a discussion about Project Evaluation tools and techniques.   The author advocates that project managers be familiar with the purpose, scope, tools & techniques of evaluation; and that the topic of Evaluation be included in future editions of the Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK)®.

___________________

 

The Project Management Body of Knowledge Guide® of the Project Management Institute® identifies five “Process Groups” in the Project Management Cycle:  Initiation, Planning, Execution, Monitoring & Control, and Closing.  I contend Evaluation is intrinsically a Sixth Process Group.

Monitoring & Control focuses on the project’s status during Execution, and what – if any — actions the project manager can undertake to rectify variances from its pre-planned time, cost &/or technical scope, in order to deliver the project’s planned ‘outputs;’ hopefully on schedule and on budget.  However, during the latter stage of Execution — as well as at, and after, Closeout – a separate and distinct Evaluation Process emerges to

1) validate the extent to which the project’s strategic and/or policy objectives are likely to be — or have already been — achieved,

2) feedback the findings to higher level managers and policy makers; as well as

3) recommend what else could be done to heighten the prospect for a successful outcome; &/or address any problems already encountered.

Evaluation is neither the function nor responsibility of project managers.  Nevertheless, whatever is learned from the evaluation, the project manager will ultimately be held accountable for subsequent shortfalls by the target clients — if not the sponsors!  Therefore, it is in the project manager’s direct interest to include sufficient resources during planning to achieve their project’s objectives beyond its immediate ‘deliverables;’ as well as provide for subsequent evaluations.  Thus, even though not directly involved in evaluation, Project Managers should be familiar with the unique processes, tools and techniques of evaluators.

Essentially, evaluation attempts to measure and compare changes (or differences) resulting from a project intervention; hopefully an improvement over the baseline situation.  But comparative analysis presupposes the existence of baseline data.  Otherwise, less desirable ‘work-around’ approaches must be undertaken during evaluation.  Moreover, systematic approaches to collect data for evaluation should be identified for subsequent processing, analysis and assessment.

While commercial sector project initiatives may be directed at:

  • Increased Profit
  • Greater Market Sector Penetration
  • Expand Outreach of Clientele
  • Customer Loyalty, or
  • In-house sustainability of operations

governmental social & economic development projects are intended to foster or further one or more of the following:

  • ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITYIncome Generation / Poverty Alleviation
  • SOCIAL – Better “Quality of Life” in terms of Health & Education, &/or prioritizing support for Women & Children
  • INSTITUTIONAL Capacity, Capability & Sustainability of Governance
  • GROWTH & DEVELOPMENTReplicability /Scaleup of Service Delivery
  • ENVIRONMENTALProtection of Natural Resources/Anti-Pollution
  • PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION Equity in Service Provision & Delivery

The Logical Framework (logframe) ­– essentially a ‘Hierarchy of Objectives’ — also known in the Asian Development Bank (ADB) as the Design & Monitoring Framework (DMF) is the “Best Practicetechnique used by the international multi-lateral and bi-lateral donor development agencies to relate deliverables to the strategic objectives of their projects, as well as identifying and specifying baseline and target indicators and metrics.

More…

To read entire article, click here

 

How to cite this article: Smith, K. F. (2018). EVALUATION: The Project Management Cycle’s Sixth Dimension, PM World Journal, Volume VII, Issue X – October. Available online at https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/pmwj75-Oct2018-Smith-Evaluation-the-project-management-cycle-sixth-dimension-commentary.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]

 

 

A commentary on program/project stakeholders

 

COMMENTARY

By Alan Stretton, PhD (Hon)

Sydney, Australia

 



INTRODUCTION

Some time ago in this journal (Stretton 2014a) I published a model showing a detailed classification and listing of program / project stakeholders, accumulated from several different sources in the project management literature. My main intention at the time was to provide a substantial checklist of potential stakeholders for an organization, and for its programs / projects. (This was a second edition of an earlier article, Stretton 2010e, which attracted some attention at the time).

More recently in this journal, Pirozzi 2017 published an article entitled “The Stakeholder Perspective”, which looked at various aspects of project stakeholders in substantial depth, including the centrality of stakeholders in projects and project management, the value of stakeholder relations, the complexity of the stakeholder domain, and the importance of relationship management. In doing this, he introduced a behavioural model of the community of stakeholders, and another related to managing the stakeholder network.

This article has led me to revisit my own earlier model, and to see how it relates with Pirozzi, and particularly with the two Pirozzi models just mentioned. This is broadly the subject of this commentary. It should be emphasised that I am not attempting to summarise Pirozzi’s article, but, in a sense, I am cherry-picking from it.

We start with my interpretation of the Pirozzi models, and identification of some issues deriving from them which I found most interesting and/or relevant to my previous work on project stakeholders.

FOUR COMMUNITIES OF STAKEHOLDERS, LANGUAGES, & INTERACTIONS

I do not have the drawing skills to attempt to adequately represent what Pirozzi calls his Stakeholders Hypercube diagram, nor his Stakeholder Network diagram. However, I will endeavour to progressively combine the two in a simplified two-dimensional way, which I hope do not grossly misrepresent Pirozzi’s materials.

Four communities of project stakeholders

First, Pirozzi identifies four main communities of stakeholders, which he describes as follows, and which are then notionally represented in Figure 1 below.

Within each project there are … four communities of stakeholders, which can be defined … as the suppliers [providers], the purchasers, the investors, and the influencers: each of these communities shares a prevailing interest, a specific language, and … a common behaviour.

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How to cite this article: Stretton, A. (2018). A commentary on program/project stakeholders, PM World Journal, Volume VII, Issue X – October. Available online at https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/pmwj75-Oct2018-Stretton-program-project-stakeholders-commentary.pdf

 


 
About the Author


Alan Stretton, PhD

Faculty Corps, University of Management
and Technology, Arlington, VA (USA)
Life Fellow, AIPM (Australia)

 

 

Alan Stretton is one of the pioneers of modern project management.  He is currently a member of the Faculty Corps for the University of Management & Technology (UMT), USA.  In 2006 he retired from a position as Adjunct Professor of Project Management in the Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS), Australia, which he joined in 1988 to develop and deliver a Master of Project Management program.   Prior to joining UTS, Mr. Stretton worked in the building and construction industries in Australia, New Zealand and the USA for some 38 years, which included the project management of construction, R&D, introduction of information and control systems, internal management education programs and organizational change projects.  He has degrees in Civil Engineering (BE, Tasmania) and Mathematics (MA, Oxford), and an honorary PhD in strategy, programme and project management (ESC, Lille, France).  Alan was Chairman of the Standards (PMBOK) Committee of the Project Management Institute (PMI®) from late 1989 to early 1992.  He held a similar position with the Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM), and was elected a Life Fellow of AIPM in 1996.  He was a member of the Core Working Group in the development of the Australian National Competency Standards for Project Management.  He has published over 190 professional articles and papers.  Alan can be contacted at [email protected].

To see more works by Alan Stretton, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/alan-stretton/.

 

 

Lessons about diversity and multiculturalism

as they relate to business communication

 

COMMENTARY

By Yerbol Jangabulov

Almaty, Kazakhstan

 



Without exaggeration, one of the successful lessons of diversity and multiculturalism, which influenced the successful development of business and business communications, has become the living example of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan is a multicultural country where people with different cultures interact. Different types of culture affect the worldview and doing business in the country. The development of this story will describe in detail what influenced successful intercultural communication within the framework of globalization. Positive historical aspects and cultural contributions to Kazakhstan society, secular and spiritual education, social status, religions and home education are all subject to consideration.

The Republic of Kazakhstan for 26 years of independence has turned into an international brand of “state success” achieved through the unification of efforts of society and power represented by the First President Nursultan Nazarbayev. The unification of the people of Kazakhstan in the most difficult years of testing, the definition of development tasks, the daily titanic work for the realization of the goals set, this was the path that led to success.

As our President noted, the “Strategy of Kazakhstan 2030” is based on three factors: people’s trust, domestic political stability and national unity, high level of human capital. In the period of state formation since 1991, Nazarbayev always put forward a motto that said that economy and business are in the first place, and politics afterwards. At the head is a person, not the reforms themselves. Thanks to this motto, today throughout the world they recognize the state success of Kazakhstan and are surprised by the powerful changes. Foreign news agencies and experts call Kazakhstan “the new leopard” in the center of Asia. The Central Asian leopard is a direct comparison with the “Asian tigers”, such as Japan and China, South Korea, which have hit the whole world with a record pace of modernization. Such a comparison in my analysis, I consider sound and logical. Many outside observers and ill-wishers think that the victory was easy and without any difficulty for all Kazakhstanis. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the situation in the country was critical, with an empty treasury and an incompetent economy.

It was at this time of survival. I remember the first years of Independence, when all the plants and factories stopped, there was no food. Me, my family and many other families had to fall asleep hungry and literally sleep under 3 blankets, and dressed in coats. The first severe winter was met by us by stopping the boiler-houses, because of the lack of combustible coal, by interruptions in electricity. It was a difficult time in which we survived. It is represented unreal when teachers, doctors, police didn’t receive the salary for 6 months. But thanks to the cohesion of the multinational Kazakh people and the strong-willed resolve of the President, everything was overcome. There was strict discipline when officials of high ranks, went on winter cold nights together with workers and restored the infrastructure of cities. This, on my part, deserves deep respect for the President, because we are not accustomed to seeing officials working in extremely difficult conditions.

Then in the early 1990s experts predicted a short life for Kazakhstan. Other countries were analogues to the neighbors. Strong ethnic heterogeneity gave little chance for a calm development in Kazakhstan. I remember the troubled years. There were civil wars in Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, there was a revolution in Georgia, neighboring Uzbekistan was also uneasy. Conflicts have begun between Moldova and Transnistria, Georgia and Abkhazia, Georgia and South Ossetia. The war was between Armenia and Azerbaijan. In the center of Moscow, tanks were fired at the Government houses. In Chechnya there was a monstrous war. In the once prosperous Yugoslavia, there was a bloody civil war, while at the same time, the cities of Belgrade and Kosovo bombed in 1999 by the aircraft of the Western Air Force (The book “NATO Aggression Against Yugoslavia, by E.Yu. Guskov”).

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How to cite this article: Jangabulov, Y. (2018). Lessons about diversity and multiculturalism as they relate to business communication, PM World Journal, Volume VII, Issue X – October. Available online at https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/pmwj75-Oct2018-Jangabulov-lessons-about-diversity-multiculturalism-commentary.pdf

 



About the Author


Yerbol Jangabulov

Almaty, Kazakhstan

 

 

 

Yerbol K. Jangabulov is currently pursuing his Master’s degree in Supply Chain and Project Management at Kazakh-BritishTechnical University (KBTU, Almaty, Kazakhstan) for the academic year 2017-2018. He holds a BS degree in Economics at Kazakh University of railways (Almaty, Kazakhstan), where he studied from 2006-2008. He also studied at Zhezkazgan University named after academician O. Baikonurov from 1996-2001, specializing in Underground mining of mineral deposits, qualification-mining engineer.

From 2011 to 2017 Yerbol worked as the head of the estimate and contract department in the construction corporation «MAG» JSC, Astana. From 2016 to 2018 he worked as the Project Manager of «Vitality Stroy» LLP, Astana. Since 2017-2018, he also worked as an expert in the expertise of construction projects and estimates in «Complect Service Astana» LLP. In October 2018 he starts working in the project team of the world-class company KAZ Minerals PLC, in position – Quantity Surveyor.

Yerbol Jangabulov can be contacted at [email protected] or [email protected]

 

 

On Leadership

A collection of viewpoints on leadership by recognized thought leaders from around the project management world

 

COMMENTARY

By Yu Yanjuan

PMR Magazine

China

 



Introduction

There have been many quotes on leadership since ancient times.

“A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.” This is ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu’s description about good leadership.

“Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to higher sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.” This is definition of leadership given by Peter Drucker.

In the field of project management, leadership is mentioned with increasing frequency. “Projects, programmes and portfolios increasingly rely on leadership,” IPMA ICB 4.0 noted. In the 6th version of PMBOK Guide, there is a new section about the role of project managers, talking about PMI talent triangle which includes leadership.

So what is leadership? PMBOK Guide defines leadership as “the knowledge, skills and behaviors needed to guide, motivate, and direct a team to help an organization to achieve its business goals”. In IPMA ICB 4.0, leadership means providing direction and guidance to individuals and groups. It involves the ability to choose and apply appropriate styles of management in different situations. Besides displaying leadership with his or her team, the individual needs to be seen as a leader in representing the project to senior management and other interested parties.

And IPMA has released Human Leadership Manifesto: Unleashing human potential over employing human resources; Diversity and dissent over conformity and consensus; Purpose and trust over command and control; Contributions to networks over position in hierarchies; Creating leaders over leading followers; and Courageously exploring the new over efficiently exploiting the old.

On social media, there are quite a lot of articles that make distinctions between managers and leaders. A good manager is not necessarily a good leader. Peter Docker has pointed out, “Management is about handling complexity. Leadership is about creating simplicity. ” Grace Hopper says, “You manage things, you lead people. We went overboard on management and forget leadership.”

Leadership is not only competence that can be attained via learning,but also an art, as Warren Bennis said, “To an extent, leadership is like beauty: It’s hard to define, but you know it when you see it.”

In multi-cultural rapidly-changing digital age, what does good leadership look like? What are the important leadership competences? Here are a collection of experts’ viewpoints.

Yu Yanjuan
PMR Magazine

 


 
Collection of Viewpoints

Good leadership provides purpose, direction and space to maneuver for people to get things done. It´s of utmost importance to engage the right people. This means, searching and selecting talents matching the tasks given in a project. And then, let them organize the tasks by themselves, do not intervene and trust that the team will find a suitable way towards the target state. The leader is like a gardener, you will plant the seeds, provide the necessary ingredients and protect the growth from adverse influences. Support the development of the team, for example through facilitation, supervision and mentoring. But the more you intervene, the more the team will lean back and wait on your interventions (and stop doing it on their own).

Good leaders are humble, not dominant, supporting the growth of others and not being too much focused on themselves. One leadership competence is forward looking, understanding future scenarios, developing roadmaps and “making sense” to activities of an organization. Second, setting the right context for a project team is more helpful than performing micro management. A leader is taking care for the business case and the strategic direction, providing suitable resources and space for the team. The skills listed in the IPMA Individual Competence Baseline related to the competence element “leadership” include but are not limited to personal self-awareness, listening skills, emotional strength, capacity to express and share values, creating team spirit, communication and (virtual) team development. I personally add “cultural awareness” to this list, especially in a culturally diverse context this competence is crucial for success.

– Reinhard Wagner

 

More…

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Editor’s note: This collection of viewpoints was originally published in PM Review magazine in China (http://www.pmreview.com.cn/english/). It is republished here as a courtesy to PMR and the various authors. Republished with permission of PMR.

How to cite this article: PM Review (2018). On Leadership: A collection of viewpoints on leadership by recognized thought leaders from around the project management world; PM World Journal, Vol. VII, Issue IX – September.  Available online at https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/pmwj74-Sep2018-PMR-On-Leadership.pdf

 



About the Author


Yu Yanjuan

Beijing, China

 

 

 

Yu Yanjuan, Bachelor’s Degree, graduated from the English Department of Beijing International Studies University (BISU) in China. She is now an English-language journalist and editor working for Project Management Review Magazine and website. In the past, she has worked as a journalist and editor for China Manned Space Agency website and Student English Times. She once worked part-time as English teacher in training centers. For work contact, she can be reached via email [email protected] or Linkedin https://www.linkedin.com/in/yanjuan-yu-76b280151/.

 

 

Will Data Science Change Project Management Forever?

A Future Vision

 

COMMENTARY

By Martin Paver

CEO/Founder, Projecting Success Ltd

England, UK

 



Abstract

Data science is impacting a number of professions, yet its influence on project delivery is limited. Reports have been published on the future of project management but the timescales in which this future becomes a reality are beginning to compress. How will data science impact project delivery and how do we prepare for a future that will transform the project management landscape forever. 

Keywords: Project data analytics, data science, project hack, vision for project management, future for project management.

Introduction

In 2017 the Association for Project Management, Arup and University College London published a report on the future of project management. It provides a vision for how project management may develop in the future, highlighting the increasing role of data science and analytics. But is the vision bold enough and will the pace of change be faster than envisaged?

In December 2017 the author launched the first London Project Data Analytics Meetup. Since then it has grown to a community of over 1200 people and in August 2018 alone it grew by 20%. It now has the support of PMI UK with a growing level of interest across other institutions.

There is a huge thirst for knowledge, insights and understanding on how data science may influence the future of project management.  The meetup has also established project:Hack which aims to bring together data scientists, analysts, project professionals and subject matter experts to explore new boundaries and ignite the professional imagination on what can be achieved by working together. This paper is a product of the insights acquired from working with this community.

Background

In Dec 2017 the National infrastructure Commission (NIC) published the report ‘Data for the Public Good’, highlighting the huge opportunities for co-ordinating and sharing infrastructure data. In July 2018 the UK Government responded, agreeing with the NIC that “greater data sharing has the potential to further modernise our construction industry, improve the productivity of our infrastructure and support the UK’s digital economy”.

The primary focus of this work is associated with Building Information Modelling (BIM) and the creation of digital twins rather than improving the performance of how projects are delivered. This misses a huge opportunity for society and is something that I am campaigning to influence.

More…

To read entire article, click here

 

How to cite this article: Paver, M. (2018). Will Data Science Change Project Management Forever? A future vision; PM World Journal, Vol. VII, Issue IX – September. Available online at https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/pmwj74-Sep2018-Paver-will-data-science-change-project-management-forever-commentary.pdf

 



About the Author


Martin Paver

United Kingdom

 

 

 

Martin Paver, Data Scientist, Registered Project Professional, Chartered Engineer, BEng, MBA, MAPM, MIMechE, is CEO of Projecting Success Ltd. and Founder of the London Project Data Analytics meetup.

Martin is a Registered Project Professional with the APM and a Chartered Engineer with the IMechE. He is the CEO/Founder of a P3M and data science consultancy called Projecting Success who help project organisations to connect and understand their data for a more certain, evidence-driven project delivery by analysing historical and real-time data to discover insights and make recommendations with improved confidence in outcomes. He has 30 years of delivery experience spanning senior strategic roles across government and the private sector, led projects of up to $1bn, both client and supply side and he also led a PMO for a $multi-billion portfolio of ICT projects.

In late 2017 Martin established the London Project Data Analytics Meetup, the UK’s largest community that combines the cutting edges of data science and project management ranging from hosting talks, delivering hackathons through to influencing future thinking on project data science. He has also been instrumental in establishing a project data analytics work stream within the APM, helping to shine a light on the art of the possible and facilitate the development of a new cadre of professionals.

He is on a mission to leverage the benefits of advanced data science for the benefit of the project management profession, ensuring that we shape the direction of the industry and prepare us for a new future.

Martin can be contacted at [email protected]

 

 

A commentary on “commercial management”

in the program/project context

 

COMMENTARY ARTICLE

By Alan Stretton, PhD (Hon)

Sydney, Australia

 



INTRODUCTION

Quite recently, Dalcher 2017 and Hornby 2017b wrote articles in this journal about commercial management in the project context. Both were concerned, in somewhat different ways, with a lack of recognition in the project world about the key importance of the commercial side of project activities. This commentary is about a few of the issues raised in those articles.

TWO DEFINITIONS OF COMMERCIAL MANAGEMENT IN PROJECT CONTEXTS

Institute for Commercial Management (ICM)

For me, by far the most startling item to emerge from Dalcher 2017 was the following definition of commercial management from an institute I had not previously heard of, namely the Institute for Commercial Management (ICM) in the UK. Dalcher says that ICM “purports to be the leading international body for commercial and business development staff”. Its definition is as follows:

Commercial management: …the identification and development of business opportunities and the profitable management of projects and contracts, from inception to completion.

The first part of this definition evidently relates closely with project-based organisations providing project management services to external clients.

This definition relates directly to providers of project management services

What is most startling about the above definition is that it refects precisely what my old employer, Civil & Civic, did in providing project management services to external clients. But in nearly forty years working in such project-based organisations in the construction industry, I never once heard the descriptor commercial management used. This is in direct contradiction to Dalcher’s report that Lowe (in Lowe & Leiringer 2008) “contends that the term commercial management has been used for some time, not least in construction”. Maybe this is so in the UK, but not in my long experience in practice in Australia, New Zealand, or the USA.

The board and GM are responsible for commercial management

The situation with organisations which provide project management services to external clients is that they are automatically operating in a commercial environment. The commercial decisions and management are the responsibility of the board and senior general management (GM). That is a key part of their work.

Since commercial management is part of general management, the descriptor commercial management therefore appears to me to be redundant in this context, in spite of the fact that it appears in the title of Hornby’s book Commercial project management: A guide for selling and delivering professional services (Hornby 2017a)

A final comment is that ICM appears to be running a course exactly parallel to the project management services industry. Should the latter be doing something about this? Is it an opportunity, thinly disguised as a problem?

More…

To read entire article, click here

 

How to cite this paper: Stretton, A. (2018). A commentary on “commercial management” in the program/project context, PM World Journal, Volume VII, Issue IX – September. Available online at https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/pmwj74-Sep2018-Stretton-commercial-management-in-program-project-context-commentary.pdf

 



About the Author


Alan Stretton, PhD

Faculty Corps, University of Management
and Technology, Arlington, VA (USA)
Life Fellow, AIPM (Australia)

 

 

Alan Stretton is one of the pioneers of modern project management.  He is currently a member of the Faculty Corps for the University of Management & Technology (UMT), USA.  In 2006 he retired from a position as Adjunct Professor of Project Management in the Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS), Australia, which he joined in 1988 to develop and deliver a Master of Project Management program.   Prior to joining UTS, Mr. Stretton worked in the building and construction industries in Australia, New Zealand and the USA for some 38 years, which included the project management of construction, R&D, introduction of information and control systems, internal management education programs and organizational change projects.  He has degrees in Civil Engineering (BE, Tasmania) and Mathematics (MA, Oxford), and an honorary PhD in strategy, programme and project management (ESC, Lille, France).  Alan was Chairman of the Standards (PMBOK) Committee of the Project Management Institute (PMI®) from late 1989 to early 1992.  He held a similar position with the Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM), and was elected a Life Fellow of AIPM in 1996.  He was a member of the Core Working Group in the development of the Australian National Competency Standards for Project Management.  He has published over 190 professional articles and papers.  Alan can be contacted at [email protected].

To see more works by Alan Stretton, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/alan-stretton/.

 

 

One Project and

Three Teams to Rule them All: What can happen when you fail to communicate

 

COMMENTARY

By Pablo Cruz

PMP & Scrum Product Owner

Texas, USA    

 



You’ve heard the phrase “Communication is so important in a relationship”. This phrase is correct and the reason is that without the ability to communicate how the person feels, whether happy or upset, can create a precarious environment for the relationship, which one can say would be a rocky start. This can be said about projects because without effective communications, a project will be at risk before it starts.

In working on a large complex project using Scrum/Agile as the methodology, the project was split into 3 teams. Each team had its own Project Manager, Product Owner, Scrum Master, IT, and Business Client. The deployment date is the same for all 3 teams but the requirements are all different except that all three teams are dependent on each other’s work. In addition, team 2 and team 3 must agree on which product will be primary and which one will be secondary before product mapping can begin otherwise there will be an inconsistent report between revenue and volumes.

Team 1, completed building requirements, user stories, grooming, and development. They were able to communicate effectively and efficiently with all team members to complete the work 2 months ahead of schedule.

Team 2 scheduled several calls to begin discussing which product would be considered primary and secondary. After 3 meetings which spanned 2 weeks, one member realizes that team 3 is not part of the discussion. Team 3 joins the 4th scheduled meeting but has issues trying to catch up. Team 3 required a 5th meeting to get up to speed. The Project Manager failed to communicate across teams to coordinate an important requirement. The impact to the project was critical due to the release date was three months away.

This project required a dimensional cube for reporting. Although Team 2 is working on volumes and Team 3 is working on revenue, the list of dimensions is the same between teams. Team 2’s Product Owner begins to create user stories to list the dimensions that will be part of the cube but fails to engage Team 3’s Product Owner. Team 3’s Product Owner creates her own version of the user story with different dimensions. It is during the grooming session that it is realized the discrepancy between both teams. This mistake created modifications to the user story and required a second grooming session with all team members. The failure of the Product Owners and Scrum Masters to engage and communicate between each other created confusion and delays.

More…

To read entire article, click here

 

How to cite this article: Cruz, P. (2018). One Project and Three Teams to Rule them All: What can happen when you fail to communicate; PM World Journal, Vol. VII, Issue VIII – August.   Available online at: https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/pmwj73-Aug2018-Cruz-one-project-and-three-teams-commentary.pdf

 



About the Author


Pablo Cruz, PMP

Dallas, TX, USA

 

 

 

Pablo Cruz (PMP, Agile Product Owner) has over 24 years of experience in the Information Systems field which includes Project Management, Network Administration, and System Support. Previous certifications include Microsoft Systems Engineer, Oracle Administrator, Wireless Network Administrator, and Microsoft SQL.

Pablo is a Lead Financial Analyst at AT&T. He is currently working as a team member of the Alliance Business Intelligence Data Warehouse responsible for an enterprise wide effort to provide business intelligence data from a centralized data warehouse.  Pablo lives in Texas with his husband Adam and their loving daughter Karina Ruth.

Pablo Cruz can be contacted at [email protected]

 

 

SMART FIFA World Cup 2018

 

COMMENTARY

By Mark Reeson

United Kingdom

 



As always, it seems to have taken forever for the FIFA World Cup to have arrived but when it has we have all become absorbed by what it takes to get through the qualifying groups and then what route it will take to make it to the final.

However, let’s take one step back and consider what has happened before a ball has even been kicked and the achievement, for the sake of this paper, that England have made and are then set to continue with through the tournament.

For those of you that don’t want to use England as your example, please substitute the team of your choice and then you simply have to adapt the path as we work our way towards tournament glory and the ultimate achievement.  Let me just return though to what I just said, and just consider for one moment, what we have already achieved, a seat at the table of the world’s biggest game with thirty-one other teams all trying to compete for the same prize as England.

Yes, just consider it, because although you will always find the doom and gloom merchants of those saying England can’t do this and England won’t so that, I can think of a number of nations, such as Holland, Italy and the United States of America that would swap places with us right now, as they never received the invitation.

The SMART FIFA Strategy of every single Project Team!

So, we are down to the last thirty-two and from that the first thing we have to consider is the size and scale of the project before us.  Well, there are eight groups of four teams and inside the group we have to play each team once.  To put that into perspective now, by qualifying, England, like every other team, is now only seven matches away from winning the tournament.  Sounds simple really, but as we know and have seen through the suffering for many tournaments, there seems to a rule, if you are not German you can’t win.

So, how can we make that change count this time?

Well, having taken the matches into account, England now have the prospect of three weeks in Russia with a number of long haul flights, balanced between the training sessions and of course the small matter of playing the matches.

Prior to arrival, the management team underwent a long sustained thought process to design the right strategy for preparation.  Yes, the strategy was for preparation, not just to win the tournament, there is so much more that goes into event management and tournament management than simply playing the right games at the right time.

England’s choice of warm up matches weren’t simply an exercise in keeping the team fit, playing against Nigeria and Costa Rica was a result of the draw that had placed them into Group G, with their three opponents, Tunisia, Panama and a well versed friend in Belgium.  It was by choosing the stranger opponents in the warm-up matches that allowed England the flavour of what might come when playing teams from nations that typically they wouldn’t compete against on a regular basis.  

Two pre-tournament matches played and two more sets of lessons learned into the knowledge management box of tools and so it was off to Russia and the chance of becoming national heroes and making history.

More…

To read entire article, click here

 

Editor’s note: Now it is the quarterfinals of the 2018 World Cup that began in Russia in June and England is still alive.  However the individual teams do, the points in this article should survive long after the 2018 World Cup is concluded.

How to cite this article: Reeson, M. (2018). The SMART FIFA World Cup 2018; PM World Journal, Vol. VII, Issue VI – July.  Available online at https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/pmwj72-Jul2018-Reeson-SMART-fifa-world-cup-2018-commentay.pdf



About the Author


Mark Reeson, RPP, FAPM, PMP

United Kingdom

 





Professor Mark Reeson
is a project management specialist with over thirty years’ experience.  A Fellow of the Association for Project Management, he has been involved in many project and programme consultative roles.   Most recently Mark has been working with the Saudi Arabian Municipality of the Eastern Province to change the way that project management is carried out within the region, using his newly recognised SMART Sustainability Modelling for project and business management.

He was appointed a Professor of Project Management at the University of Business and Technology, Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia which was a culmination of his work in training and consulting in the region on matters that relate to project management, supply chain management and sustainability modelling.  Having previously held the position of a specialist Sustainability Management Global Advisor, he has moved forward from that position and now regularly supports businesses and projects alike in streamlining their approaches to change and strategic development providing greater longevity in their business planning.

Having started his career in the Royal Air Force, Mark has continued to develop by working and delivering projects in multiple fields of industry ranging from the nuclear environment, into pharmaceuticals, finance and also the international sporting fields.

Mark has developed his role within project management through further experience with the nuclear industry and is now the owner of M R Project Solutions Limited where he has fulfilled the role of Project Management Advisor for the last three and a half years covering every continent.  His role is very much client facing and Mark now almost permanently travels the world meeting clients, developing solutions and providing training for their project families either directly through his own organisation or in support of others.  Mark’s main role is the development and the consultation with many organisations on ensuring they choose the right approach or methodology to deliver their projects and then follows this up with the correct bespoke training programmes for how their company wants to share this learning with their staff members.

Mark has changed the approach to learning by the ongoing development of his original ‘Living Learning’ programme by introducing a new learning experience for all taking the classroom format and making it come to life with his popular and original ‘Applied Learning’ simulation training and coaching technique.  He has taken this forward over the past few years to introduce this training style so that project management learning and behaviour has now started to be delivered into the schools and colleges looking to develop the technical, behavioural and contextual skills and attitudes of their students.

As a regular public speaker Mark now shares his experience, knowledge and commitment with those associations wanting to move forward in a more sustainable and successful manner.

Mark’s next aim is to develop this further and to spread project management knowledge and competency to many more organisations worldwide, having already started with successful deliveries globally.

Mark can be contacted at [email protected]

 

 

CPAs, PDCA, and Financial Project Management

 

COMMENTARY

By Regina Parks

Texas, USA

 



Total Quality Management is defined by ISO as a management approach centered on quality and based on the participation of an organizations people and aiming at long term success (ISO 8402:1994). In thinking of all of the quality processes or actions which have been developed in the last few years, there is one which I have found the most interesting. It is interesting because it is a series of simple tasks which lead to big results if followed closely. The process is the known as the PDCA cycle. PDCA stands for Plan, Do, Check and Act. Plan means to design the business process components in order to improve the results of the task (Averson, 1998). Do implements the plan and measures the performance (Averson, 1998). Check assesses the measurements and reports the results to upper management or any project decision makers (Averson, 1998). The final component is act which is the process of deciding on all changes which are needed to improve the project processes (Averson, 1998).

When it comes to quality management, it is important to realize one of the main focus is to “improve the processes” of the projects. It is meant to drive success and deliver a high quality product or service (the deliverable). The PDCA process takes the fundamental requirements and places them in a logical sequence. These are everyday tasks which must be completed in order to accomplish quality regardless of the old or new process. For instance, Six Sigma is a process which incorporates the concept of everyone working together at all levels. PDCA entails the same thing. Six Sigma is a process of “combine the process with the people” and then to foster results. The same holds true for PDCA. Obtaining quality is a process of taking simple steps and performing those steps in an organized manner at the best of the employee’s or organization’s ability with one goal: deliver a quality product or service. There are issues in financial project management with can hinder the success of PDCA.

There is the argument which states more financial-based projects would be successful if a CPA was used as the project manager as opposed to an IT professional (Johnson, 2016). The reason for this theory is simple. CPAs know the nuances of finance and can determine what is business intelligence faster and more accurately then someone who does not have the training in finance or accounting. There is also the factor of finance regulatory needs which must be present in all financial projects.

Financial reconciliation, financial and managerial reporting, and implementation of robotic process automation are factors which can and should be determined by a CPA or a seasoned financial database analyst on projects involving financial data. When financial professionals are not included in the project management process where manipulation of financial data is the scope of the project, this does not fit into the PDCA frame. Planning is often times not done in an effective manner resulting in scope creep, split projects, delays, or cancellations.

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How to cite this article: Parks, R. (2018). CPAs, PDCA, and Financial Project Management, PM World Journal, Volume VII, Issue 5 – July. Available online at: https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/pmwj72-Jul2018-Parks-cpas-pdca-and-financial-project-management-commentary.pdf



About the Author


Regina D. Parks

Texas, USA

 

 

 

Regina D. Parks (Exec. MBA, Doctoral Student, Mom) has a varied work background. She has worked as a Mental Health Case Worker, Teacher, Retail Manager, and Financial Analyst. Currently, she is working as a Data Governess for financial databases and metadata catalogs. Her undergraduate degree is in Psychology. She also holds an Executive Master’s Degree in Business Administration, and is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Management with a concentration in Project Management. She lives in Texas and has a 14 year old son who is in his sophomore year in a dual credit program earning his High School diploma and Associate Degree. Regina can be contacted at [email protected].

 

 

Tinkerbell and the Empire State Building

   Recalling what seems to be forgotten

 

COMMENTARY

By Mattias Jacobsson, PhD and Timothy L. Wilson, PhD

Sweden

 



Introduction

“I do believe in fairies! I do! I do!!” (Peter Pan)

In the 1905 play “Peter Pan; or the Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up”, Sir James Matthew Barrie described how Peter Pan, through his strong beliefs, brought the fairy Tinkerbell back to life. In this short essay, we aim to initiate discussions on the role of strong beliefs and the so-called “Tinkerbell effect” in upholding taken-for-granted assumptions within the construction industry.

As the basis for the discussion, the essay reports on a recently published journal article in Business Horizons entitled “Revisiting the construction of the Empire State Building: Have we forgotten something?” (Jacobsson and Wilson, 2018). Presently the article is also sold as a case study and teaching case by Harvard Business Review. (The case study can be accessed at https://tinyurl.com/HBRcasestudy and the teaching case at https://tinyurl.com/HBPEcase)

The Empire State Building

The Empire State Building (ESB) was built in 1930-1931, which was at the beginning of the Great Depression—the worst economic downturn in modern history. Interestingly enough, the construction was completed 40% under budget and 25% faster than anticipated. The construction period was a mere 13 months, which was about 5 months faster than initially anticipated, and the total cost came to about $24.7 million which should be compared with the $43 million initially estimated (Jacobsson and Wilson, 2018). For a project of this size to be both faster and cheaper seems almost unreal, especially when compared with more modern megaprojects such as the Sydney Opera House in Australia (built in 1959-1973), which had a 1,400 % cost overrun, or the Scottish Parliament Building in Scotland (built in 1999-2004), which ended up with a 1,600 % cost overrun (Flyvbjerg, 2014:10).

Based on the observation that the ESB was the fastest erection of a skyscraper to date, we set out to take a retrospective look at the effort that went into the construction by reviewing the existing writings on ESB. In essence, we ask “how the afore mentioned success was possible and if there something we can learn from it?” (Jacobsson and Wilson, 2018:48).

Through the review and analysis, we outline twelve different factors—divided into strategic, operational, and contextual—that appeared to have played a role in the success. The five strategic factors were; objective, financing, approach, leadership and organization. The five operational factors were; equipment, logistics, design, repetition and motivation. And finally, the two contextual factors playing a role in the success were, economy and weather. Reflecting on the results, we highlighted how the ESB avoided some of the previously identified major sources for megaproject failure, factors such as impacts on local environment, laws and regulations related to planning, insufficient funding, late changes in the scope and design of the project, government bureaucracies, etc. (See e.g. Flyvbjerg, 2011; Lundrigan et al. 2015; Plotch, 2015). We concluded, however, that it is too simplistic to say that any single factor individually explains the success, so we argued that it was rather the “interplay among a dozen factors that enabled the observed results” (Jacobsson and Wilson, 2018:454). But there might be more.

A second reflection

Basically, we get down to this—construction is a service, and service theory is based on Grönroos’ expectation/delivery gap, i.e., the degree to which actual service meets expected service (Grönroos, 2007; Jacobsson and Wilson, 2012). Commonly, it is the “actual” terminal of the gap that causes concern. That is, the actual service received is not as good as would be expected. For instance, you might buy a meal out and the food is cold, or the server is slow or rude, then you are not pleased. That judgment is basic, and the nature of service management today is to improve actual performance.

With regard to construction, it is the other terminal of the expectation/delivery gap that is our concern, the expected, or more relevantly, accepted terminal. In the original formulation of our paper (Jacobsson and Wilson, 2015), interest was piqued by a replacement of a two-lane bridge on a bypass. The design was common and because the bridge was a replacement, the site was at least preliminarily prepared. In the particular case, the work was started first of May and scheduled to be done the end of October a year later at a cost of $10.2 million. In the local vernacular, “That’s 18 months and a chunk of change”.

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How to cite this article: Jacobsson, M. and Wilson, T. (2018). Tinkerbell and the Empire State Building: Recalling what seems to be forgotten; PM World Journal, Vol. VII, Issue VII – July. Available online at https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/pmwj72-Jul2018-Jacobsson-Wilson-Tinkerbell-and-Empire-State-Building-commentary.pdf



About the Authors


Mattias Jacobsson, PhD

Umeå, Sweden

 

 

 

Mattias Jacobsson, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Management and Organization at Umeå School of Business, Economics and Statistics, Umeå University, Sweden. Currently he is also working as a Researcher at the School of Engineering, Jönköping University, Sweden. His main research interests are in projects, practice, and temporary organizations and, on four occasions, he was a prizewinner at the Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence.

At present, Jacobsson is a Guest Editor of a Special issue on World Views on Projects and Society, in International Journal of Managing Projects in Business. His work has been published in a large number of journals, including Business Horizons, Management Decision, Project Management Journal®, Services Marketing Quarterly, the International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, and Construction Management and Economics. For more information see http://mattiasjacobsson.me. He can be contacted at [email protected] or [email protected].

 


Timothy Wilson, PhD

USA and Sweden

 

 

 

 

Timothy L. Wilson has a PhD in Engineering (Carnegie Mellon University, 1965), a PhD in Marketing (Case-Western University, 1983) and an Honorary Doctorate in Social Sciences from Umeå University (2013). His experience in projects and project management comes from 15 years in fundamental materials research and high technology product development as a graduate engineer. His academic interest in projects dates from the initial IRNOP conference in Lycksele, Sweden. Tim’s research interests are in applied business topics, primarily Swedish and most recently Municipal Public Housing in Sweden.

Wilson is co-author of 23 journal articles on projects with past and present members of Umeå’s Project Group; the most recent appears in the International Journal of Managing Projects in Business with Thommie Burström “The texture of tension: Complexity, uncertainty and equivocality.” He is co-editor with Peter Zackariasson of the monograph The Video Game Industry: Formation, Present State, and Future. Projects in that industry are really interesting and the people even more so. He may be contacted at [email protected]

 

 

Where the Bodies of Knowledge Are Buried

& How Blockchain Will Resurrect Them

 

COMMENTARY

By John Schlichter

Atlanta, Georgia, USA

 



Leading thinkers in the realm of project management gathered somewhat secretively in Virginia Beach in the year 2000 at a meeting hosted by NASA as part of an implicit attempt to broker agreement among the developers of the major project management standards across industry. The question was “What constitutes the definitive project management body of knowledge?” Secretive may be too strong a word because it was not a covert meeting per se, but it was named the “Operational Level Committee” precisely to make it sound uninteresting and to avoid attracting attention. More accurately, the “OLC” was the name innocuously given to the group a year earlier at the PMI Annual Symposium in Long Beach, California to reserve a room where plans to recruit a critical mass of intellectual influence peddlers was hatched. The anti-advertising worked, and half a dozen people sat uninterupted by interlopers in an unremarkable room making a remarkable list of invitees.

In Virginia at a much nicer facility, about thirty of those invitees showed up, including David I. Cleland, J. Davidson Frame, Max Wideman, Rodney Turner, Lew Ireland, Olaf Pannenbäcker, Peter W. G. Morris, Christophe Bredillet, and me. I think Hans Knöpfel, Gilles Caupin, and Lynn Crawford may have been there as well, but my memory fails me, and there are many whose names I am forgetting. Described by one attendee as “the new blood,” I was nearly half the age of anyone in this august assembly. I was breathing that rarefied air because I had been recruited to its milieu two years earlier by persons interested in having me develop the philosophical first principles of project management. As it happens I did not develop those principles (we didn’t get further than an initial principle that “A project does not necessarily need a project manager.” An idea ahead of its time?), but I agreed instead to investigate the possibility of creating a maturity model for project management that would be a PMI standard, and that endeavor took off quickly. I recommended to the 1998 PMI Standards Committee that we should create a maturity model for project-based organizations but that its purpose should not be simply to improve the management of projects in organizations. I asserted that its purpose should be to help organizations improve their ability to implement an organization’s strategies through projects (which is quite a different thing), and I coined the term “Organizational Project Management” (OPM) to denote organizational strategy implementation through projects. This was a significant departure from PMI’s direction to date. PMI’s Executive Director asked me to create and lead a team to produce such a model (which I named “OPM3”), marking PMI’s first step toward a “strategy implementation through projects” paradigm. Marketing that paradigm is PMI’s dominant logic today, and countless consultants, academics, and authors have followed suit. Things were moving full steam ahead by the time I arrived at the OLC.

At the outset of the meeting in Virginia Beach, the point was made that the “body of project management knowledge” exists in many places, not least in the minds of practitioners like those gathered in the room and across the world. The best we can do is craft guides, summaries, or abstractions of the inherently dispersed and evolving body of knowledge. An exercise was undertaken wherein the attendees wrote the concepts of project management down on sticky notes, one concept per sticky, filling up a large wall, signifying our attempt at canvassing the project management body of knowledge. I suggested we make a copy of all the sticky notes and break into two groups of people so each group could organize the concepts on its own, and then we could compare results. Somebody near me immediately said “Organize this? That will never work.” I said “Why not? Aristotle did basically the same thing with genus, species, and differentia.” There was a collective shrug, and we set about organizing concepts.

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How to cite this article: Schlichter, J. (2018); Where the Bodies of Knowledge Are Buried & How Blockchain Will Resurrect Them; PM World Journal, Vol. VII, Issue VI – June. Online at https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/pmwj71-Jun2018-Schlichter-where-the-bodies-of-knowledge-are-buried-commentary.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.

For more background information on Mr. Schlichter, click here.

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

 

 

Stakeholder Management in Project Success

Is it an Object or Subject?

 

COMMENTARY

By Ömer Berkay Dağlı

MSc Student, Southampton Business School,

Southampton, UK

 



Abstract

A penny has two faces. This fact must be considered in every aspect of the life, including the world of project management. While each stakeholder is a pressure element for the project and can be harmful, they can also be useful in creating opportunities. This dualistic nature of the stakeholders brings a question: “Are stakeholders an object or subject?” This article tries to explain the two sides of stakeholders with the light of their effects on project success. In the first part of the paper the relationship between stakeholders and project success is tried to be illustrated by the definition of these terms. In the second part of the article, an example of a strategy that can be followed for the management of this uncertainty, which is caused by stakeholders, is tried to be explained.

Introduction

Verma likens projects to team sports and emphasizes the importance of each player (1995). Like team sports’ players, projects have different stakeholders and managing them is significant. Moreover, each stakeholder has their own unique influences on projects which can be both threat and opportunity. This two-sided interaction case leads us to a question that: “Are stakeholders an object or subject?” Below, paper begins by taking a closer look at the impact of stakeholders on the projects’ success in relation to practice. Secondly, paper will broadly examine the definition of success and stakeholders followed by their interaction. Next, the framework adopted by Ward & Chapman on the management of uncertainties will be roughly examined in order to present one of the stakeholder managing strategies. Finally, we will address some of the findings and recommendations regarding the importance of double-sided stakeholders managing practice for achieving success.

Success, Stakeholders and Interactions between Them

Every project consists of different interests, and those who own these interests are called project stakeholders (Olander & Landin, 2005). According to the PMBOK, stakeholder management is one of the factors that increase the success rate of the project (Project Management Institute, 2017). In addition, a survey conducted with 150 project managers from 8 different industries shows that stakeholders’ interest is the largest criterion for project success (Collins & Baccarini, 2004). Stakeholder management might be a challenge to project success in terms of creating disagreements and uncertainties (Johansen, et al., 2014). The great number of researchers demonstrates that especially for complex engineering and global projects which have a large number of interested groups or organizations, have been significantly affected by both internal and external stakeholders in different ways such as arising uncertainty or conflicts (Olander & Landin, 2005; Aaltonen & Kujala, 2010; Aaltonen & Sivonen, 2009; Davis, 2016).

Project management has an important place in all areas of life and business. However, in order to manage something, it is first necessary to see progress and to be able to measure[1]performance due to the most important consequences (Todorović, et al., 2015). How is a project’s success measured in today’s practical world? This question has long been a research topic that academics in project management have been trying to answer. “The Iron Triangle” which consists of time-cost-quality used in the past but recent works have shown that the success of the projects depends on many other factors, unlike The Iron Triangle (Atkinson, 1999; Todorović, et al., 2015). The main reason for this is that each project is unique, and the ability to measure success as a by-outcome or by-process is also specific to the project too. However, the project success and performance are measured in whatever way the comparison of the results with the objectives and identified success criteria is the most important measurement (Project Management Institute, 2017). The project objectives used during this comparison are determined entirely by the interests of the stakeholders directly or in-directly involved in the project (Atkinson, 1999).

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How to cite this article:
Dağlı, Ö. (2018). Stakeholder Management in Project Success: Is it an Object or Subject? PM World Journal, Volume VII, Issue 5, May 2018. https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/pmwj70-May2018-Dagli-stakeholder-management-in-project-success-commentary.pdf



About the Author


Ömer Berkay Dağlı

Southampton Business School
Southampton, United Kingdom

 



Ömer Berkay Dağlı
is currently a Masters Candidate at Southampton Business School, University of Southampton, based in UK for the academic year 2017-2018. Previously, he has served as an Officer on Watch for over 30 months on board chemical tankers, based in different routes around the world where he served as Third and Second Officer. He completed his graduation in Marine Transportation Management dual diploma with honours from both Istanbul Technical University, Turkey and State University of New York Maritime College, USA in 2014. His major fields of study are project management, logistics and inter-modal transportation. His research interests include global project management, leadership, uncertainty management, programme and portfolio management, strategic PM, PM governance, stakeholders, project control and PM in the transportation and logistics industries.  Omer served as a research intern for the PM World Library during January 2018, completing the program in record time.  He can be contacted at [email protected]

 

 

A Critique of Two Major Programmes

of the Buhari Presidency in Nigeria

 

FEATURED PAPER

By O. Chima Okereke, PhD

Nigeria and UK

 



Introduction

At his swearing-in on May 29th, 2015, President Buhari openly stated: “I belong to everybody and I belong to nobody” [1]. Also, during the Commonwealth Conference on Corruption in London on May 11, 2016, addressing the heads of states and others, he said: “Corruption is a hydra-headed monster and a canker worm that undermines the fabric of all societies. It does not differentiate between developed and developing countries. It constitutes a serious threat to good governance, rule of law, peace and security, …. Our starting point as an Administration was to amply demonstrate zero tolerance for corrupt practices as this vice is largely responsible for the social and economic problems our country faces today. The endemic and systemic nature of corruption in our country demanded our strong resolve to fight it. We are demonstrating our commitment to this effort by bringing integrity to governance and showing leadership by example”. [2]

At the same conference he also stated: “On assumption of office on 29th May 2015, we identified as our main focus three key priority programmes. They are, combating insecurity, tackling corruption and job creation through re-structuring the declining national economy”.

Just two of the three points will be focused on in this research, these are:

  • The federal government anti-corruption programme.
  • Combating insecurity, especially with respect to the Fulani cattle herdsmen

The essence of such a project management status report is to provide an objective analysis of how the observed performance compares with the declared objectives. In addition, one would suggest that a key objective of a critique on a subject of national interest should be to produce actionable set of information that, if implemented, could lead to the achievement of the desired goals of progress envisaged in the programme.

The product of this project should be a report that should facilitate the short and long-term developmental interests of the country. The way forward could be to conduct a balanced desktop research using published materials in the public domain that contain the various shades of views on the performance of the federal government on their programmes. Even this option is fraught with problems and not easy in practice because of the quality and nature of the published materials. To expatiate, some of the materials are down-right hero-worship of the President and his administration but some others are thinly veiled and often undisguised insults. It is therefore difficult and calls for a delicate balancing act to produce a professional report that is a reflection of the true situation in the country. Yet, the true situation may not make interesting reading to everyone. On the other hand, it does not help us as a nation if we fail to face up to our shortcomings and the failings of our present and past leadership. Sweeping dirt under the carpets does not eliminate it but stores it up with its damaging effects. Therefore, we need to discuss our failings and hopefully try to suggest the best way forward. Highlighting the flaws in our national government is one side of the coin, suggesting constructive, corrective actions is the other side which is necessary for our national socio-economic and political development.

As discussed in the foregoing paragraphs, the contents of this report are as follows:

  1. Some reports on the performance of the federal government anti-corruption programme
  2. Brief reports on government activities on insecurity, especially with respect to the Fulani cattle herdsmen
  3. Analysis and Recommendations
  4. Conclusion

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About the Author


Chima Okereke, PhD, PMP

Herefordshire, UK

 

 
Dr. O. Chima Okereke, Ph.D., MBA, PMP is the Managing Director and CEO of Total Technology Consultants, Ltd., a project management consulting company working in West Africa and the UK.  He is a visiting professor, an industrial educator, a multidisciplinary project management professional, with over 25 years’ experience in oil and gas, steel and power generation industries. For example, On December 26th 2013, he completed an assignment as a visiting professor in project management; teaching a class of students on Master’s degree in project management in the Far Eastern Federal University, Vladivostok, Russia.  In August and September 2013, he conducted an innovative, and personally developed training programme for seventy six well engineers of Shell Nigeria to enhance the efficiency of their operations using project and operations management processes.

Before embarking on a career in consulting, he worked for thirteen years in industry rising to the position of a chief engineer with specialisation in industrial controls and instrumentation, electronics, electrical engineering and automation. During those 13 years, he worked on every aspect of projects of new industrial plants including design, construction and installation, commissioning, and engineering operation and maintenance in process industries.  Chima sponsored and founded the potential chapter of the Project Management Institute (PMI®) in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, acting as president from 2004 to 2010.

Dr. Okereke has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Lagos, and a PhD and Masters in Business Administration (MBA) degree from the University of Bradford in the UK.  He also has a PMP® certification from the Project Management Institute (PMI®) which he passed at first attempt.  He has been a registered engineer with COREN in Nigeria since 1983.  For many years, Total Technology has been a partner for Oracle Primavera Global Business Unit, a representative in Nigeria of Oracle University for training in Primavera project management courses, and a Gold Level member of Oracle Partner Network (OPN. He is a registered consultant with several UN agencies.  More information can be found at http://www.totaltechnologyconsultants.org/.

Chima is the publisher of Project Management Business Digest, a blog aimed at helping organizations use project management for business success.  Dr. Okereke is also an international editorial advisor for the PM World Journal and PM World Library. He can be contacted at [email protected] or [email protected]

To view other works by Dr. Okereke, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at https://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/dr-o-chima-okereke/

 

 

 

Principles AND Processes

 

COMMENTARY

By Crispin ‘Kik’ Piney

Southern France

 



Introduction

This article has been triggered by the decision by the Project Management Institute (PMI®) to move two of its foundational standards away from their historical approach based on knowledge areas and processes (see also Piney 2018) towards what they describe as a “principle-based approach”. My feeling is that the choice between principles and processes is not a binary one and that the two approaches can – and should – complement each other. These two approaches should therefore be combined in each of the three standards: projects, programs, and portfolios.

Basic Concepts

To avoid misunderstandings, it is always useful to clarify the meaning applied to key terms.

Principles

There are two main meanings of principles in common use:

  • Rules of behaviour based on a particular view of reality or on a strongly-held belief. I call these “behavioural principles”;
  • Assumptions raised to the level of fundamental truths (e.g., conservation of energy). I call these “conceptual principles”

It is instructive to see, as explained below, that PMI uses the first definition for the Standard for Portfolio ManagementFourth Edition (PMI 2017c), and the second one for Standard for Program Management – Fourth Edition (PMI 2017d).

To paraphrase the description in section 7.1 of the Standard for Portfolio Management– Fourth Edition, “the purpose of principles is to provide guidance for practitioners in carrying out all of the steps required for managing portfolios in their organization”.

Section 1.1 of the Standard for Program Management – Fourth Edition adopts the second meaning by explaining that principles of program management are assumptions that are held to be true and should be applied in the management of programs.

So, one standard uses principles for behaviour, and the other uses them as a system of belief. Examples from the corresponding standards are provided later in this paper. But, first, where do processes come in?

Processes

The definition of a process, from the Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge – Sixth Edition (PMBOK® Guide) (PMI 2017a) is: “A systematic series of activities directed towards causing an end result such that one or more inputs will be acted upon to create one or more outputs.” These outputs can be used as inputs by other processes. In this way, a set of processes can be developed to form a system to provide predetermined services. Because of the interactions and feedback loops between processes, the system of processes can display complex characteristics.

Knowledge Areas

A knowledge area is a consistent set of practices within a domain. It calls on a set of specific skills and competencies

Why Abandon a Process Model

I have heard three different explanations:

  • a number of practitioners and candidates for certification disliked the requirement to learn all of the inputs, tools and techniques, and outputs (ITTOs) involved in each process.
  • the wish to avoid being prescriptive, and
  • the natural complexity of the program and portfolio environments which, apparently, could be better described by a principle-based description.

Each of these objections to processes is analyzed in turn.

More…

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About the Author


Crispin (Kik) Piney

South of France

 

 

After many years managing international IT projects within large corporations, Crispin (“Kik”) Piney, B.Sc., PgMP is now a freelance project management consultant based in the South of France. At present, his main areas of focus are risk management, integrated Portfolio, Program and Project management, scope management and organizational maturity, as well as time and cost control. He has developed advanced training courses on these topics, which he delivers in English and in French to international audiences from various industries. In the consultancy area, he has developed and delivered a practical project management maturity analysis and action-planning consultancy package.

Kik has carried out work for PMI on the first Edition of the Organizational Project Management Maturity Model (OPM3™) as well as participating actively in fourth edition of the Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge and was also vice-chairman of the Translation Verification Committee for the Third Edition. He was a significant contributor to the second edition of both PMI’s Standard for Program Management as well as the Standard for Portfolio Management. In 2008, he was the first person in France to receive PMI’s PgMP® credential; he was also the first recipient in France of the PfMP® credential. He is co-author of PMI’s Practice Standard for Risk Management. He collaborates with David Hillson (the “Risk Doctor”) by translating his monthly risk briefings into French. He has presented at a number of recent PMI conferences and published formal papers.

Kik Piney is the author of the book Earned Benefit Program Management, Aligning, Realizing and Sustaining Strategy, published by CRC Press in 2018

Kik Piney can be contacted at [email protected].

To view other works by Kik Piney, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/crispin-kik-piney/

 

 

Experience of Handling a Team

 

COMMENTARY

By Anil Seth

Gurgaon, India

 



I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.

~Albert Einstein

Ever since I graduated from university and started my profession career there was an irresistible desire to work for a multinational company like Fluor Corp. The desire was to learn and master the techniques of Project Management being used in Fluor Corp to resolve complex situations.

When I joined Fluor Corp in 2014, I realized that International Project Management gives a wholesome diversified perspective to managing and adds another dimension to resolution techniques. It does not take long to settle and resolve the problem if you have dealt with complex scenarios in the past; however the situation emerging by virtue of problems requires “experience of handling”. This “experience of handling” can be ours or borrowed from peers, mentors, friends or superiors.

I vividly remember one of my assignments where my Project Manager asked me 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. To add to it the teams had diversity in culture and execution. I believe every problem has hidden factors/solutions, i.e. there is a synergy between those factors that drives you, once you have found the right direction, your unique excellence shines through and the stage is set for developing solutions and thereafter continuous development. This experience taught me a lesson …. any problem has only three basic steps for recovery and resolution (and how hard we try, we cannot add any other step to this),these are

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

The key is to exploit and use synergy to settle the problem on two fronts:

1)     By emotionally engaging the team.

2)     By technically engaging the team. *

*2) to always be successor of 1).

If this sequence is reversed the result is extremely unfavorable. Why? …Because first by engaging the team emotionally, we create “Synergy Aura” to break diversity. This is a strong tool and hence requires penetration efforts at large in the team.

Therefore the first rule is to know your team. Here analyzing the team through principles of SWOT(1) is required. Once the SWOT composition of team is visible, the technical challenges or ASPECT(2)  can be assigned to the right worker for timely solution(s) which in fact is the Step 2 of three basic steps.

The team will always have an arrogant basic nature, i.e. the team will provide multiple solutions. Therefore the task of the leader is to select the direction which favors Step 3 and guides the team utilizing the theory “Ascent with modifications”.

The case study which was published earlier is for those who prefer adventures and likes to nose dive into exploring the complex situation through lucid dreaming.

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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 [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/