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.

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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/

 

 

Look to 2018: Trends in Project Management

 

By Yu Yanjuan, Journalist

Project Management Review Magazine

China

 



Editor’s note: This article was originally published in Project Management Review in China in January 2018. “Project Management Review” Magazine is sponsored by State Grid Yingda Media Investment Group. The magazine provides an all-dimensional multi-perspective introduction to latest domestic and international project management research advances and application cases. Main columns: Cover Articles, Top Interview, Foresight, Chief Viewpoint, International Perspective, Special Research, Career Pulse, PM+, etc. For more information, please visit: http://www.pmreview.com.cn/  or contact us at [email protected]

Stacy Goff: past President of IPMA-USA / 2015 IPMA Honorary Fellow / ProjectExperts CEO / Speaker / Author / Consultant 曾任IPMA美国分会主席、IPMA荣誉会员、CEO、作者、演讲者

Chinese way of managing projects. In December 2014, a monumental IPMA Research event, in Tianjin, covered a range of interesting topics that asserted the following: China has five major literary foundations, going back over 2,000 years, for a Chinese way of managing projects, that, while including Western approaches, is rich with more advanced ways of integrating China’s strengths. This is potentially, greater than a trend!

More focus on application rather than certification only. In too many countries, the majority of training in project management for the last 20 years has focused on exam preparation. Because the half-life of learning-not-applied is cited as 2-6 weeks, most of this has little performance improvement in projects. Knowledge alone is inadequate for project performance. Skill (applied knowledge) and mentored application (experience, with coaching), resulting in true competence, is the performance advantage for those who use their learning funding wisely. Smart organizations understand this.

Emphasis on soft skills. While project and program processes (and methods, a subset) are important, their effective delivery depends on the “soft side”. Leadership, interpersonal skills, and team-building have much more to do with project success and business success with projects than all processes and methods. And the smartest organizations not only understand this, but it is their competitive advantage, as they use projects and programs as their change agents to deliver their strategic plans.

Reinhard Wagner: IPMA 2018 Chairman of the Council IPMA2018年主席

Change. The world is changing rapidly, which increases the pressure on organizations to change. Change is performed through projects and programs. The management of a change project means to organise change activities, plan them in regards of time, cost and resources and monitor and control the success of its implementation. Change management activities make sure that the people actually understand the reason for change and what’s in for them, to overcome potential resistance to change through collaboration, communication and coordination between all stakeholders involved.

Agile. A second key trend is the need for agile management, which does not mean a new methodology, but a mindset, which means changing the way of thinking and acting. The governance framework allows the project teams to be more flexible and adaptive to the context of their activities.

Mark Dickson: Chairman of PMI board of Directors PMI 2017年度董事会主席

Project management trends depend to some extent on the industry.

Rise of mega projects. In the infrastructure or construction industries the most significant trend has been the rise of the mega project. Mega projects require more sophisticated project control systems and broader management and leadership skills from the project managers. Project managers can no longer rely on their specialist technical skills and need to be able to understand and communicate across disciplines and even industries and lead large teams.

Rise of agile methodologies. In the information systems and particularly in the software industry the most significant trend has been the rise of agile methodologies.

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Using the CIA and AAA Models to Explain Cybersecurity Activities

COMMENTARY

By Livinus Obiora Nweke

Rome, Italy

 



Abstract

Cybersecurity is a broad field that is mainly concerned with protecting the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of computing devices and networks, hardware and software, and most importantly, data and information. Cybersecurity cannot be achieved through technology alone, it also involves the use of procedures, products and people. The goal of this article is to use the CIA model and AAA model to explain the activities of cybersecurity.

Keywords: Cybersecurity, CIA model, AAA models

Introduction

Cybersecurity refers to protecting the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of computing devices and networks, hardware and software, and most importantly, data and information. Cybersecurity involves times when data or information is in transit, being processed, and at rest. It is achieved through procedures, products and people. Also, it requires knowing who the attackers are, what their motivations are, where the vulnerabilities lie, and how protected the systems are. The security mindset involves thinking about how things can be made to fail. The following explains the CIA model, which refers to the three important goals of cybersecurity and the AAA model, which describes one of the methods through which the objectives of cybersecurity are achieved.

CIA Model

The CIA model describes the three important goals of cybersecurity. The C stands for confidentiality. Cybersecurity requires privacy in data and information. Certain people, devices, or processes should be permitted or restricted from seeing data, files, and items, like username, password combinations, medical records, etc. Confidentiality is concerned with viewing of data or information because if the wrong people see data or information they are not authorized, many problems could arise.

The I in the CIA model stands for integrity. Cybersecurity requires us to feel safe that data transmitted, processed, and stored has not been changed from its original form either accidentally or maliciously. For example, if one bit of a message is change, the whole message could change. Also, the whole message could be corrupted or unreadable.

For the last letter A, it stands for availability. Availability guarantees that with all the cybersecurity measures in place for dealing with hardware, software, people, processes and more, users who are authorized to do their job should be able to do so. It requires that authorized users should be able to access the resources they need to do their job with easy while ensuring that the system have full tolerance and load balancing in the event of cybersecurity incident or disaster.

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________________________________________


About the Author


Livinus Obiora Nweke

Sapienza University
Rome, Italy

 



Livinus O. Nweke
is currently pursuing his Master’s degree in Computer Science at Sapienza University of Rome, Italy and a MicroMasters in Cybersecurity at EDx/RITx. Livinus holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Computer Science from University of the People, Pasadena, CA, USA and a Higher National Diploma in Electrical Electronics Engineering from Institute of Management and Technology, Enugu, Nigeria. During five years of professional experience, Livinus has held titles such as Computer Consultant, Senior Technologist, IT Officer, and Customer Care/IT Support Officer.

Livinus may be contacted at [email protected]

 

 

A Commentary on Project Classifications

COMMENTARY

By Alan Stretton

Sydney, Australia

 



INTRODUCTION

This commentary updates an earlier program/project classification model by the author, and discusses a recent project typology by Lehmann, and how it relates to that model.

A PROJECT TYPE / APPLICATION SECTOR MATRIX

A while ago I published a series of four articles in this journal on categorising projects and programs (Stretton 2014f,g,h,i). In particular, I distinguished between types of projects on the one hand (e.g. R&D, IT), and application sectors for projects on the other (e.g. infrastructure, education), and developed a matrix showing representative examples of each, to illustrate how various project types intersected with the many possible application areas, as follows.

The main reason for developing this matrix was that most listings of project types at the time were a mixture of project types and application sectors. However, the real world situation is that most project types are undertaken in most application areas. So, one way of describing a project is to nominate both its type, and the application sector it is being applied in – e.g. an ICT project in the Production Facilities sector.

ADDING COMPLEXITY / UNCERTAINTY DIMENSIONS

In Stretton 2014i I added a third dimension to Figure 1, which was intended to cover categorisations based in degree of complexity and/or uncertainty relating to each program/project.

I first incorporated the four dimensions of the NTCP model of Shenhar & Dvir 2007, namely:

  • project Novelty (e.g. market uncertainty),
  • Technological uncertainty,
  • project scope Complexity, and
  • project Pace.

I then added further complexity/uncertainty dimensions to this model, which I labelled:

  • Geographic complexity,
  • Risk-related complexity,
  • Organization complexity,
  • Resources complexity, and
  • Other

The latter were relatively superficial “catch-all” dimensions, as I had not at that stage looked into the nature of project complexity in any depth.

Subsequently, I have looked at sources of project complexity in more detail, as discussed in Stretton 2017b in this journal. Contributions from eight sources were discussed, and broadly aligned against each other, including the contribution from Prieto 2015, who nominated some 66 sources of complexity on giga-programs. I then proposed the following broad groupings to cover all these contributions.

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Editor’s note: Alan Stretton, PhD (Hon), Life Fellow of AIPM (Australia), is a pioneer in the field of professional project management and one of the most widely recognized voices in the practice of program and project management.   Long retired, Alan is still tackling some of the most challenging research and writing assignments; he is a frequent contributor to the PM World Journal. See his author profile below.



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 180 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/.

 

 

Options for the New Project Manager or Inexperienced Project Manager

COMMENTARY ARTICLE

By Rebecca Winston, JD

Former Vice-Chair, Chair, Fellow – PMI®

Idaho, USA

 



During my travels, speaking engagements, or even conference calls, I am asked what can the new project manager or inexperienced project manager use to help them do their work or become a better project manager. Many of the current textbooks, books, guidance documents, standards, and other manuals that are available in the marketplace are packed with information from the basic to the complex. There are few documents that contain the information in a simplified, straightforward manner without being burdened by tools, methods, or opinions. Currently, in the marketplace the only documents that are brief and succinct are the ISO documents. For the new project manager or the inexperienced project manager, the ISO 21500:2012 provides a simple road map to project management.

As with any document, it will undergo revisions and updating, but for the time being it is a simple view of the complex environment of the project world. It has applicability to most projects, most of the time in any organizations for any type of project. It allows for the tailoring that project managers should learn and implement.

Are there limitations to the document? Absolutely! However, no matter how many possibilities that one attempts to capture in any one standard, the world of project management is filled with one more exception. For a new project manager or an inexperienced manager the knowledge to be able to determine what is the best information to use found in any of the voluminous materials available is a difficult one. The use of a simplified standard allows the project manager to ask questions, invest the project management team in decision-making, and seek mentorship. If the project manager feels the text of any standard provides the answer to most, if not all situations, it is harder to seek answers from within or outside the project.

Individuals can agree or disagree about the particulars in any standard. No one standard is perfection. It is up to the project manager to use the standard to improve the management of his or her project, but not to blindly enforce the individual lines stated in any standard.

ISO 21500:2012 will undergo a revision in the next couple years, but in the meantime the document provides the roadmap for “what” a project manager should have established, provided, maintained, or by other action caused to happen within the project to provide for the framework of a potentially successful project. The standard provides concepts and for now processes. Part of the revision process may be to eliminate the processes, change the processes into text only, or move the processes into another document that may be a process standard or an implementation guide.   For now, the concepts are paired with the processes. The standard also provides the project manager with simple non-industry specific definitions of the basic project management terms. The standard does not attempt to redefine terms that are adequately defined by a dictionary, for example the term budget. Just adding “project” prior to budget does not change the term itself from the basic term as defined by the dictionary.

Another benefit of the standard is that it provides a view into the overall, generalized environment that the project exists. Thus, it allows the project manager to see how his or her actions and place in that environment fits into the larger organizational environment. This knowledge also allows the project manager to understand to some extent the world that his or her project stakeholders exist.

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About the Author


Rebecca Winston, JD

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

 

 

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

Active in PMI since 1993, Rebecca Winston helped pioneer PMI’s Specific Interest Groups (SIGs) in the nineties, including the Project Earth and Government SIGs, and was a founder and first co-chair of the Women in Project Management SIG. She served two terms on the PMI board of directors as director at large, Secretary Treasurer, Vice Chair (for two years), and Chair (2002). She was elected a PMI Fellow in 2005. She has served as a reviewer of the Barrie Student paper for the PMI Educational Foundation for several years and will begin service on the PMI Educational Foundation Board in 2018. She is also a member of the American Bar Association and the Association of Female Executives in the United States.

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

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

Becky can be contacted at [email protected]

To view more works by Rebecca Winston, visit her author showcase in the PM World Library at https://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/rebecca-becky-winston/

 

 

The Case for Further Advances in Project Management

COMMENTARY

By Prof Darren Dalcher

Director, National Centre for Project Management
University of Hertfordshire

United Kingdom

 



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

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

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

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

Let management methods evolve

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

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

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

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About the Author


Dalcher, PhD

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

 

 

Darren Dalcher, Ph.D. HonFAPM, FRSA, FBCS, CITP, FCMI, SMIEEE, SFHEA is Professor of Project Management at the University of Hertfordshire, and founder and Director of the National Centre for Project Management (NCPM) in the UK. He has been named by the Association for Project Management (APM) as one of the top 10 “movers and shapers” in project management in 2008 and was voted Project Magazine’s “Academic of the Year” for his contribution in “integrating and weaving academic work with practice”. In October 2011 he was awarded a prestigious lifetime Honorary Fellowship from the Association for Project Management for outstanding contribution to the discipline of project management. Following industrial and consultancy experience in managing IT projects, Professor Dalcher gained his PhD in Software Engineering from King’s College, University of London.

Professor Dalcher has delivered lectures and courses in many leading institutions worldwide, and has won multiple awards and prizes. He has written over 200 papers and book chapters on project management and software engineering and published over 30 books. He is Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Software: Evolution and Process published by John Wiley. He is the editor of the book series, Advances in Project Management, published by Routledge and of the companion series, Fundamentals of Project Management. Heavily involved in a variety of research projects and subjects, Professor Dalcher has built a reputation as leader and innovator in the areas of practice-based education and reflection in project management. He works with many major industrial and commercial organisations and government bodies in the UK and beyond.

Darren is an Honorary Fellow of the APM, a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, a Chartered Fellow of the British Computer Society, a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute, and the Royal Society of Arts, a Senior Member of the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and a Member of the Project Management Institute (PMI), the Academy of Management, and the Association for Computing Machinery. He is a Chartered IT Practitioner. He sits on numerous senior research and professional boards, including the PMI Academic Member Advisory Group, the APM Research Advisory Group, the Chartered Management Institute Academic Council, the British Library’s Management Book of the Year Panel, and the APM Group’s Ethics and Standards Governance Board. Prof Dalcher is an academic advisor for the PM World Journal. He can be contacted at [email protected].

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

 

 

Making the Right Decisions

COMMENTARY

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

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

Alberta, Canada

 



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

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

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

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

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

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

More…

To read entire paper, click here

 



About the Author


David Tain

Alberta, Canada

 


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

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

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

 

 

International Project Management

COMMENTARY

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

By Isaac Nyarwaya

Kenya and Rwanda

 



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

Dynamics in managing transboundary projects

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

Structure:

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

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

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

Challenges:

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

More…

To read entire article, click here

 



About the Author


Isaac Nyarwaya

Kigali, Rwanda

 


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

 

 

Corruption goes through the big door

COMMENTARY

By Germán Bernate

Bogota, Colombia

 



The new Romanian government chaired by Prime Minister Sorin Grindeaunu, who had been in office only a few months ago, promulgated his first Decree. Decriminalize cases of corruption when the amount stolen is less than $ 50,000 (fifty thousand dollars). That is, it is presented in Society to corruption and is accepted to have its own legitimacy. This decree is new: it legalizes the robbery and exempts from all responsibility those who infringe the Laws.

Many Colombians are surprised by this novel way of governing. Some, ironically, wonder when the Executive will consider these lessons from Romania to proceed in a similar way. Or, maybe, it’s not necessary?

Specialists in Project Management observe the so-called ‘Best Practices’. These include, among others: appropriate training for all stakeholders, information management, generation of ideas for improvement, lessons learned from other projects, comparison with work done in other countries with different cultures, audits, observing standards, and many more .

In parallel there are the so-called ‘Bad Practices’. These are not found in the Procedural Manuals of any company, but all citizens know them well. Among the most famous are some used by sellers: a) lie to the customer with false promises about the benefits of the products and services promoted. B) hide from the client: never appears, refuses to answer phone calls. C) delivering poor quality products. D) non-realistic advertising.

But there are other ‘Bad Practices’ that are also present in Romania: bribery and corruption. These are presented most notably in construction and infrastructure. For the award of contracts mechanisms are designed to present the requirements to the proponents and emphasis is placed on transparency. After the elaboration of the contract comes a mandatory management: the obtaining of authorizations of the most varied requirements. Complex and not always useful operation.

Risk appears. This is an important complement to the project’s governance. This, the Risk, provides a series of ‘Best Practices’ that has the mission to control the action and prevent complex situations. Controls include documentation, monitoring and control, communications, monitoring of contracts, among many.

Risk is generous in its support. Your first contribution is the definition of the corresponding procedure: that is, what should be done and what is not allowed. Then it is in charge of identifying them, understanding what is involved and setting priorities. Qualitative and quantitative analyzes are then performed. This to establish the true impact they have. A guideline is established to know what to respond to each risk and how its management is controlled.

More…

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

 



About the Author


Germán Bernate    
   

Bogota, Colombia

 

 


Germán Bernate
is an Electronic Engineer (Universidad Distrital – 1962) and Master in Project Management (UCI University of Costa Rica 2009). He worked 31 years for IBM in Colombia in managerial and technical positions. He was work with NCR Colombia and served as Program Manager and Project Manager. Founder and CEO of Almagesto  (2004), a company dedicated to consulting and training in the areas of strategic planning and project management. In 1992 he won the first prize in the fourth edition of Doctor Zumel Literary Contest in Madrid Spain. President of the Board of Teatro Colón for five years (2007-2011). Led the Project Management program at Universidad Piloto August 2008 to December 2009. Parquesoft Director during the period from August 2010 to March 2011. Professor at universities Distrital Francisco Jose de Caldas, Nacional, Javeriana, Pamplona, Tecnológica de Bolívar, Andes, Externado, America and Piloto. Co-founder Colombia Chapter PMI (Project Management Institute) and its president for three terms. Co-founder of the Colombian Association ACGePro Project Management IPMA Member Association (International Project Management Association). He has published several books, including ‘El año 2000 al acecho. La crisis del Y2K afectará a su computador, aprenda a controlarla’on the issue of the change of the millennium. In February 2013, published as the book ‘Gerencia de Proyectos: aplicaciones en salud’. Computerworld Editorial Board Member since 1996 and international correspondent for PM World Today eJournal and PMForum.org from 2007-2011. Contact email: [email protected]

To view other works by this author, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/german-bernate/

 

Zimbabwe Embracing Project Management

COMMENTARY

Zimbabwe slowly embracing necessity of Project Management Training and Certification

By Tororiro Isaac Chaza, PMP

Harare, Zimbabwe

 



Tawanda Kurasa (real name) from Harare Zimbabwe is on cloud 19 having recently certified as a project management professional (PMP). Like many other thousands of professionals worldwide Tawanda has been practicing both locally and abroad for the past 10 years as an Engineer, he has worked in parastatals, private companies and listed companies such as Liquid Telecommunications as a Project Manager, delivering projects worth millions of dollars. In terms of best practice in the field of project management, despite possessing a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering and an MBA qualification, Tawanda was not recognized as a project manager before certification. This is the predicament of thousands of professionals out there not only in Zimbabwe but all over the world.

As the immediate past President of PMZ Mr Henry Mkhwananzi (PMP) puts it, “It is high risk for sponsors in the public and private sector, to entrust large scale projects worth millions of dollars into the leadership hands of uncertified project managers”. PMZ research has shown that the local public sector is fraught with ‘accidental’ project managers as many people are called to undertake project management responsibilities with little or no preparation. These ‘accidental’ project managers are selected for their managerial/technical expertise but lack competency to deliver projects.

In Zimbabwe and, as in most Sub-Saharan African countries the level of project management training and certification is nascent, albeit ominously low, given that these countries undertake massive infrastructural development projects. Hence projects fail due to incompetency in project management and the lack of appropriate project governance thereof, giving rise to opportunistic corruption.

Governments of a number of developed and emerging economies have gone to the extent of mandating enabling policies geared towards the acceleration of project management talent development in the public and private sectors in order to spur economic growth support. A case in point is the UK Government, which innovated by setting up a central Major Projects Authority (MPA) in 2011, by way of a Prime Ministerial Mandate. The reasons for setting up the MPA were cited thus, “There is currently no cross-governmental understanding of the size and cost of Government’s Major Projects portfolio, nor of the cost and viability of the projects within it. This failure will hinder our ability to prioritize and manage these huge costly projects,” (Prime Minister’s Mandate on Major Projects – Gov.uk, 2011). Similar developments have been attested in countries, such as Canada, USA, most EU bloc countries, Pakistan, Bangladesh, etc. where governments have pronounced the setting up of capacity development policies to enhance project management capabilities and attendant governance. Governments are prompting project management implementation to spearhead infrastructure development and innovation for sustained global competitiveness.

Project Management Zimbabwe (PMZ) is the Zimbabwe’s largest association of project managers, among its various mandates, the institute provides guidelines for certification of project managers. There are about 850 000 PMPs worldwide to date, and 50% of this number are in the USA and EU region, while Zimbabwe has less than 100 known PMPs to date. While the PMP certification is the world’s most popular project management credential, there are other equally good qualifications popular in Zimbabwe such as the PGDPM (Post Graduate Diploma in Project Management), CAPM (Certified Associate in Project Management), CPM/DPM (Certificate & Diploma in Project Management) including the PRINCE2.

More…

To read entire paper, click here

 



About the Author


Eng. Tororiro Isaac Chaza

Harare, Zimbabwe

 

 

Eng. Tororiro Chaza is one of the handful of PMPs in Zimbabwe. He has over 30 years of experience on projects in the Telecommunications industry, having worked for General Electric Company in the UK, then for the Zimbabwe Posts and Telecommunications Company, and top Cellular Company Econet Wireless. Tororiro was the General Manager of the Project Management Office (PMO) at Econet Zimbabwe for the last 5 years in charge of managing a large portfolio of telecommunications, banking and construction projects of varying complexities. Tororiro is now a full-time project management trainer and consultant.

Tororiro Chaza can be contacted at mailto:[email protected]

To view other works by this author, visit his author showcase page in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/tororiro-isaac-chaza/

This article provided by Project Management Zimbabwe

Project Management Zimbabwe (PMZ – Project Management Institute of Zimbabwe) is Zimbabwe’s largest Association of Project Managers, with a membership base of over 1000. The institute has a mandate of policing the elevation of project management standards nationally through mentorship and membership services programmes. PMZ is registered and accredited by the Ministry of Higher & Tertiary Education Zimbabwe. For information, visit www.pmiz.org.zw or email: [email protected]

 

 

Culture in Multinational Projects

COMMENTARY

By Germán Bernate

Bogota, Colombia

 


In the decades of the sixties and seventies of the twentieth century there was a boom in projects involving several countries. In the former a customer with branches in several countries hired a company that provides hardware and software to install a novel solution that would allow them to provide their customers with new services. With this strategy they could achieve a leadership position in their marketing segment.

There is a new problem that must be addressed immediately: the difference in the culture of the stakeholders.

In 1965 the International Project Management Association (IPMA) was founded. Your mission: to teach about Project Management. Its emphasis is the development of three competences: technical, behavioral and contextual.

In 1969 the Project Management Institute (PMI) was founded: At one dinner James Snyder, Eric Jennett and Gordon Davis met. Its purpose: to create an organization that will bring Project Managers together so that they can share information and study common problems within their work. Companies that sell hardware and software since the late 1950s and early 1960s had developed methodologies for project management and administration. They were eagerly seeking a common technical language that would allow the exchange of information between regions.

Common Tools and Common Language

The emphasis was on the costs and schedule. The tool available for time management was the Gantt Diagram (GANTT ®) developed by the engineer Henry Gantt (1910). In a later step we worked with the Critical Path Method (CPM®) that resolved the use of predecessor activities and the layout of large networks. In 1957, the Department of Defense’s Special Projects Office of the United States Department of Defense, in its work to build the Polaris submarine, developed the Program evaluation and review technique (PERT®).

More…

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

 


 

About the Author


Germán Bernate

Bogota, Colombia

 

 


Germán Bernate
is an Electronic Engineer (Universidad Distrital – 1962) and Master in Project Management (UCI University of Costa Rica 2009). He worked 31 years for IBM in Colombia in managerial and technical positions. He was work with NCR Colombia and served as Program Manager and Project Manager. Founder and CEO of Almagesto  (2004), a company dedicated to consulting and training in the areas of strategic planning and project management. In 1992 he won the first prize in the fourth edition of Doctor Zumel Literary Contest in Madrid Spain. President of the Board of Teatro Colón for five years (2007-2011). Led the Project Management program at Universidad Piloto August 2008 to December 2009. Parquesoft Director during the period from August 2010 to March 2011. Professor at universities Distrital Francisco Jose de Caldas, Nacional, Javeriana, Pamplona, Tecnológica de Bolívar, Andes, Externado, America and Piloto. Co-founder Colombia Chapter PMI (Project Management Institute) and its president for three terms. Co-founder of the Colombian Association ACGePro Project Management IPMA Member Association (International Project Management Association).

He has published several books, including ‘El año 2000 al acecho. La crisis del Y2K afectará a su computador, aprenda a controlarla’on the issue of the change of the millennium. In February 2013, published as the book ‘Gerencia de Proyectos: aplicaciones en salud’. Computerworld Editorial Board Member since 1996 and international correspondent for PM World Today eJournal and PMForum.org from 2007-2011. Contact email: [email protected]

 

 

The Calm Before the Storm

COMMENTARY

By Steve Wake

United Kingdom

 


The announcement of the General Election in the UK for June 8 came like a bolt out of the blue.

So now we have to see what happens with:

  • Our Government
  • The Brexit Negotiation
  • The French election
  • Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland
  • Gibraltar
  • International terrorism
  • Climate Change
  • The money markets
  • US foreign policy
  • Russia
  • China
  • Korea
  • Pink Floyd

If you do risk management then some or all of the above will be factors which will affect our daily lives. What we will be waking up to for the foreseeable future.

The world we live in looks like it’s going to change and it could affect our prosperity by which I mean. Your job, your kids future. Where and how you live.

Now the good news is. Is hasn’t happened yet. Although we don’t quite know what yet.

The bad news is that most of the institutions and sources of guidance which inform our opinions and choices don’t know either.

The degree of uncertainty is unparalleled.

However, the sun will continue to rise and those of us with jobs will continue at least for a while.

It is safe to say that there will be projects. There always are. This profession is a good one to be in. Rain or shine.

So whilst we’re waiting, now is a good time to reflect and rehearse what’s coming and what we can do about it.

The PC manifesto (Project Controls) that is.

The Project Profession has to get and maintain its voice.

We the profession kid ourselves if we think that the first person the Prime Minister or members of the Government or those Civil Servants in Whitehall think of is us.

More…

To read entire article, click here

 


 

About the Author


Steve Wake

United Kingdom

 


Steve Wake
has worked in the print, automotive, aerospace, defence, insurance and IT industries as a project manager and consultant. He is an internationally acknowledged expert on Earned Value Project Management and has written and presented many times. He was chairman of the Board of the Association for Project Management in the UK steering it to Chartered status whilst pursuing a campaign of Listening, Learning and Leading as a way of being as well as doing Diversity properly.

Steve has also had to become an accomplished event organiser and chair with his own EVA conference in its 22nd year as well as continued close involvement in the high profile PMI UK Synergy events, both productions with a reputation for the unusual and innovative. His long passion for all kinds of music is almost matched by his continued appreciation of silence.

Steve Wake can be contacted at [email protected]

 

A viewpoint on guidelines for “non-traditional” projects

COMMENTARY

By Alan Stretton

Sydney, Australia

 



Introduction

This viewpoint has been prompted by David Pells’ editorial article in the March 2017 issue of this journal regarding the growing importance of identifying categories, context and typology in project management, to help in adopting appropriate approaches to managing them. Pells pointed out that I have had an interest in developing such classifications. I also have an emergent interest in guidelines which have already been published for managing what I describe as “non-traditional” projects. This is the broad subject of this viewpoint, although the main focus is the question of how these might be related to “traditional” guidelines as they appear in project management bodies of knowledge and similar standards.

Problems with “one-size-fits-all” approaches

Current bodies of knowledge, competency standards and similar guidelines cover only certain types of projects. Pells noted that “there seems to be an emerging realization that the ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach [to project management] may not be enough”. My observation is that, for well over two decades, multitudes of writers have been saying that “one-size-fits-all” most definitely does not apply to project management. I think Pells’ quote from Russ Archibald summarizes the situation nicely, when he says, “…the discipline of project management has not fully recognized that these different types of projects often exhibit different life cycle models and require different methods of governance, prioritizing, planning, executing and controlling….”.

In particular, the most widely used project management standard, PMI’s PMBOK Guide, appears to perpetuate the “one-size-fits-all” perspective, when it claims that the knowledge and practices it describes “are applicable to most projects most of the time”. This has been refuted countless times. For example, quite recently Prieto 2015:119 put it this way in the context of large complex projects (his emphasis):

Large complex projects differ from those that comprise the traditional domain of projects as defined and served by the Project Management Institute and its Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK). Remember its admonishment that PMBOK provides a management framework for most projects, most of the time. Large complex project appear to live outside these boundary conditions.

So, there is evidently wide-spread skepticism about the “one-size-fits-all” implication that project management standards tend to carry with them. This implication is contradicted by so many writers – and is also contradicted by the realities of practice, as many practitioners can attest, including myself.

Re-stating the reason for current standards being so important

However, current standards are still enormously important. This is primarily because, as Shenhar & Dvir 2007:7 (and many others) have pointed out, they provide sound and well understood foundations for basic training and learning about project management. In my view, this critically important attribute should be specifically spelt out by each standard. Accompanying this, any “one-size-fits-all” implications should be denied, with appropriate commentary about broader spectrums of project types – i.e. “non-traditional” projects.

Guidelines for managing “non-traditional” projects

Now, most of us who write about project management are well aware that several guidelines for managing various types of “non-traditional” projects have already been published in the wider project management literature. For example, I have quite often referred to Turner & Cochrane’s 1993 goals-and-methods matrix, with its recommended start-up and implementation techniques for four different types of projects, three of which are “non-typical”. There will be few writers indeed who do not know about the classifications of projects developed by Shenhar and colleagues since the early 1990s (more about these shortly when we discuss Shenhar & Dvir 2007). Readers of this journal will know of the many contributions by Bob Prieto on “non-typical” large complex projects, later consolidated into his book Prieto 2015. Agile is also a candidate for managing a particular type of non-traditional project.

Facilitating awareness of “non-traditional” project management guidelines?

It appears that, with the possible exception of Agile, most people who look mainly to traditional standards for guidance have little cause to be aware of the existence of the types of “non-traditional” project management guidelines exampled above. So, how could/should we promote pro-active awareness of the existence of such guidelines to people who use only traditional standards as guidelines?

More…

To read entire paper, click here


Editor’s note: This paper is by Alan Stretton, PhD (Hon), Life Fellow of AIPM (Australia), a pioneer in the field of professional project management and one of the most widely recognized voices in the practice of program and project management.   Long retired, Alan is still tackling some of the most challenging research and writing assignments; he is a frequent contributor to the PM World Journal. See his author profile below.



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 170 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/.

 

 

Driving Project Management – old hat or new challenges

COMMENTARY ARTICLE

By Tom Taylor

United Kingdom

 


When I was being taught to drive a car or automobile I remember being told to: hold on to the steering wheel, firmly but not tightly, to use both hands and to place them at “ten to two”. I do remember the confusion when I might need to steer with only one hand – starting the engine, operating signals, changing gear, applying the handbrake, turning the radio on and off. Progressively these things became second nature.

But back then I particularly remember being instructed not to look at my hands on the steering wheel. Also not to look at the bonnet or hood of my vehicle; not to look at the rear of the vehicle in front; not to look sideways at activities on the pavements or sidewalks; but to look down the road – to the horizon. That way I would be able to drive smoothly, safely, with comfort and consideration for my passengers, for other road users and pedestrians, for my vehicle and for myself.

Is there an analogy here for driving being like project managing? Is the hands on the steering wheel akin to writing “To do” lists? Is the hood or the bonnet the next event or meeting? Is the vehicle in front the next stage-gate or gateway? Is looking down the road about strategies, outcomes, destinations or benefits? As in driving does one really need to have them all in view and be aware / awake – and at the same time?

Alternatively or similarly is it valid to compare a project to going on a journey? Does one need a suitable vehicle, all passengers on board, sufficient fuel, a destination and a route to get there – with some contingencies and capabilities to overcome difficulties, distractions and unknowns?

Are such driving and journey analogies interesting but rather old hat these days? Perhaps they might still be helpful for basic inductions – to the world of projects – and how they might be managed – as some familiar fundamental analogies? Perhaps. Or in board room conversations and explanations? Perhaps.

So here we are in 2017; only just over a century since development of modern internal combustion engine (and the early foundations of modern project management). Currently we are seeing: creditable electric vehicles and fuelling points have arrived; rent and hire rather than buy and keep are common; software controls in our vehicles and for managing traffic systems are in place; satellite navigation (as GPS) is standard, reliable and universal; and we are seeing advances and testing of artificial intelligence (AI) notably with driverless vehicles.

More…

To read entire article, click here

 


 

About the Author


Tom Taylor

United Kingdom

 


Tom Taylor
is from UK and is a principle of Dashdot, a joint founder of Buro Four and a vice-President of the Association for Project Management (APM). He is known as: a popular, confident and energetic speaker and broadcaster; a prolific author and publisher on innovative business and original management issues; an experienced and enthusiastic lecturer and course leader; and an award-winning, highly-experienced manager of projects, advisor and consultant. He passed his UK driving test at the second attempt.

 

 

Project to Portfolio Management Outsourcing

COMMENTARY ARTICLE

By Jyoti Madabhushi

Hyderabad, India

 


 

Abstract

In any organization, the portfolio components and management processes are selected to produce specific benefits to the organization. Outsourcing portions of the project/program/operations processes is a strategic decision which is being taken by organizations of late. Outsourcing includes investment of time, money and other resources required for the work to achieve specific goals. The practice of project, program and portfolio management needs to be top driven and percolated down. Roles and responsibilities need to be in place firmly, organizations decisions should be transparent and defined processes need to be in place which are oriented towards the vision and mission statements, organization goals and objectives.

Keywords: Portfolio, organization, project, component, outsourcing

Project to Portfolio Management Outsourcing

Outsourcing has become the norm especially in Information Technology industry for more than a decade. Earlier it was only a risk management strategy but now it is an inevitable trend. To sustain competition, to fore-come insufficient in house facilities or expertise, to become strategic and use technology for long term implications, for better resource utilisation while maintaining customer satisfaction and to decrease costs are a few of the factors which led to outsourcing. Projects, programs need to be evaluated as outsourcing involves huge amount of risk and skilled staff members are required to manage the portfolio. Different knowledge areas and process groups need to be handled as part of project, program and portfolio implementation. These groups and processes are repeated during the lifecycle and are not in phases. These groups and processes are independent of the application area or industry focus and might repeat prior to component authorization.

Organisations have their own niche capabilities which lead to the decision of what to outsource and what to be retained. Cost of availing latest technologies internally vis a vis utilising it through a vendor say a cloud vendor helps in concluding the project/program/portfolio areas to be outsourced.

Strategic and transformational decisions of where to outsource especially keeping the international projects/programs wherein cross cultural interaction, cultural differences, climate change etc. need to be kept in view for decision making. Discrete parameters for vendor selection and evaluation of vendors based on the parameters need to be planned in detail. Even if it is domestic outsourcing, the financial muscle of the vendors, partners in the changing industry scenario need to be considered seriously.

Outsourcing needs to be undertaken after doing thorough background check of the prospective vendor keeping firm’s reputation, organizational structure, exposure and experience in the particular domain in view. When to outsource depends on the strategic objectives of the firm, risk status, portfolio value, level of technical expertise, competitive advantage etc.

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About the Author


Jyoti Madabhushi

Hyderabad, India


 

Jyoti Madabhushi, B.E, M.S., PMP, PfMP has more than 25 years of work experience in IT industry with more than one and a half decade experience in project management. She has worked in various capacities from being a hands on technical person to project manager, program manager, portfolio manager to Regional Strategic Business Unit Head for Information Technology Infrastructure Services. Jyoti is currently a program manager with Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. in Gacchibowli, Hyderabad, India and can be contacted at [email protected].

 

 

The Art of the Pivot

COMMENTARY ARTICLE

Challenges and Opportunities for Project and Program Managers in Today’s Fast Moving API-enabled Cloud Computing Sector

By Donald R Hammons, UT-Dallas MBA (2004)

San Francisco, California, USA

 


 

Abstract

This paper provides an overview of the opportunities and challenges which co-exist in an API cloud enabled Information Technology (IT) world.

Introduction

Project and Program Management in the fast paced IT world of cloud computing represents one of the greatest opportunities for professional development and career trajectory we’ve seen in decades. The complexity of the IT eco-system combined with CIO and business leader demands that IT spend and projects correlate to direct revenue expansion, cost reductions and quality of analytics creates a significant opportunity for capable project and program portfolio managers. In parallel, there are significant challenges with such a role and this article will explore both.

Opportunities in the API-enabled Cloud Computing World

As a fan of Dr. Harold Kerzner’s approach to project and program management which speaks to the complexities and systems approaches to planning, scheduling and controlling project performance, I have to say these considerations apply more today than ever before. While we’ll leave the rationale behind the arguments of waterfall, hybrid and agile systems approaches to another day and paper, the opportunities that exist today for project and program managers have never been higher.

The concept of ‘opportunity’ for project managers rests with the definition itself. Perhaps it is defined based on a number of factors which may include the seniority or experience level of the manager, experience with prior project delivery performance (e.g. were they successful), the level of career seniority the manager views themselves to be at, and other human factors. There are also altruistic definitions of opportunity to be considered by project and program managers such as the impact upon society their projects hope to achieve, the derivative results a successful project may provide to an organization (e.g. increased revenue, increased analytic-based insights), etc. These are all valid perspectives. Thus, the old adage of “on-time, on-budget performance” may in and of itself not be sufficient as the only qualifier for the successful manager as a target outcome.

Most successful project managers would agree that defining critical project success criteria during the initial project charter setup with sponsors is a key milestone during the planning or agile Sprint 0 setup phase of a project. Post project retrospectives as such may in fact point ‘back’ towards those initially defined success criteria and may form a basis for sponsors to agree that a project, once delivered, in fact met or exceeded the expectations defined proactively at the outset. This is a powerful reference tool for project managers and should not be minimized.   While tried and true structural elements of successful projects have a ‘look and feel’ that lends a PMO audit to forecast project performance, the process in and of itself may not sufficiently meet the needs of CIO’s in today’s API-enabled fast moving cloud computing arena. In fact, more is needed.

My experience with prior projects, especially those early in my career, was focused on a central thematic delivery model aimed at a single platform. For example, during the buildout of the internet as we now know it, much of my early project management career was spent on projects which were ring-fenced by technological boundaries. Projects which involved single platform solutions such as SAP, Oracle, backhaul communication switches, PBX and voice communication systems, and long-haul fiber backbone technologies were all central themes for delivery on early projects. While foundational to today’s internet and mobile-first computing world, those foundational projects while valuable from a career experience perspective, did little to shore up the essential skills needed to meet today’s CIO and business leader expectations when it comes to a fast moving multi-faceted API-enabled cloud computing eco-system. In short, today’s project and program managers have a larger opportunity to impact an organization’s eco-system than ever before. As such, career opportunities for early and mid-career project and program professionals have never been higher. The project and program managers of today will potentially be tomorrow’s CIOs. Why is this true?

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About the Author


Donald R. Hammons, MBA

San Francisco, California, USA

 


Donald R. Hammons
is a graduate of the University of Texas at Dallas MBA program (2004). Don has lectured at the University of Texas Global Executive Forum and his co-authored paper on the collaboration potential of social platforms as a catalyst in scientific achievement was presented at Harvard University in Cambridge, MA. Don has enjoyed a 20+ year career in the information technology sector of the U.S. economy and he’s presently the Chief Executive Officer of Cloud Strategy firm Perigee360, Inc. and Chief Strategy Officer and Vice-Chairman Advisory Board of Directors for San Francisco-based start-up mxHERO (http://www.mxhero.com/). Don resides in the San Francisco Bay Area and can be reached at: [email protected]

 

 

How Outstanding Leaders Inspire Change

COMMENTARY ARTICLE

By Cecilia Boggi

Buenos Aires, Argentina

 


 

“Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.” 

– Stephen Hawking

According to PMI® Guide Managing Change in Organizations, “Innovation and a highly dynamic external environment force organizations and practitioners to act more quickly and be more adaptive to handle uncertainty.” [1]

In these times of globalization, great competition, new disruptive technologies and economies in crisis, organizations must adapt more and more rapidly to change, and the concerns of leaders are increasing.

Regarding this concern, I recently read an article about a top Italian executive and his strategy to get the organization he leads to adopt changes.

At the main private university in Rome, Luiss Business School, the CEO of the ENEL Business Group, Francisco Starace, responds to a student who asked him how to make people really adopt changes in the organization. [2]

Starace said that, in order to achieve change, “it is necessary to inspire fear” and, then, he added that it was important to first locate the “ganglia” – or power points into the organization – that are against the plan, and then “hit” them, creating fear and discomfort.

Obviously, many controversies were generated over these sayings of Francesco Starace and all the international press echoed this.

I was very surprised to read that this person believes that to inspire change should inspire fear and the question that arises in me is if this will be the most effective method.

In my opinion, I think that inspiring change through fear, as well as undesirable, will not be sustainable over time. It may, perhaps, get results in the short term. But, I do not imagine that his direct collaborators feel satisfied with this form of leadership to work motivated. At the same time, they will hardly be able to inspire their own personnel to carry out the desired change.

Perhaps, this may be one of the reasons for the failures of the organizational changes. As states Ron Carucci in his article published by Harvard Business Review, “In a survey of nearly 3,000 executives about the success of their enterprise transformation efforts, McKinsey discovered the failure rate to be higher than 60%, while Harvard Business Review conducted a study that suggested more than 70% of transformation efforts fail”.[3] Carucci considers that too many leaders want transformation to happen at unrealistic speeds, with minimal effort, and everywhere but within themselves.

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About the Author


Cecilia Boggi, PMP

activePMO
Buenos Aires, Argentina


 

Cecilia Boggi, PMP is founder and Executive Director of activePMO, giving consulting services and training in Project Management and Leadership skills in Argentina and Latin America.

After graduating with a degree in Computer Science Engineering from Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina, she has managed software development projects and PMO implementation projects for more than 20 years both in the government and private sector. Cecilia has an Executive Master in Business Administration from Universidad Francisco de Vitoria, Spain and also has graduated from an Executive Program in Business Management at Universidad del CEMA. She holds the Project Management Professional (PMP®) credential since 2003, is certified as SDI Facilitator from Personal Strengths©, is a Professional Executive Coach accredited by Association for Coaching, UK, and alumni of the PMI Leadership Institute Master Class 2012. Ms. Boggi is Past President of the PMI Buenos Aires Argentina Chapter, and is a founding member of the PMI Nuevo Cuyo Chapter and PMI Santa Cruz Bolivia Chapter. She has been designated by PMI in the role of Mentor of Region 13, Latin America South, for the years 2014-2016. Cecilia has participated in the development of PMBOK® Guide 5th Edition, leading the Chapter 9, Human Resource Management, content team and she is professor of Project Management and Leadership in some Universities and Institutes in Latin America.

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

 

 

Program Management Improvement and Accountability Act

Implications for US State and Local Governments

COMMENTARY ARTICLE

By Kenneth Perry

North Carolina, USA


 

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

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

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

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

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________________________________________

 

About the Author


Kenneth Perry

Raleigh, NC, USA

 

 

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