Stage 5: Achieve strategic outcomes and realise benefits

 

Organisational Strategic Planning & Execution

SERIES ARTICLE

By Alan Stretton, PhD (Hon)

Sydney, Australia

 



INTRODUCTION

In this series of five articles I have been using the basic strategic business framework shown in Figure 1 below to discuss some particular issues within the organisational strategic planning, execution and benefits realisation processes which do not appear to have been adequately addressed in the PM literature.

Figure 1: An organisational strategic management framework, with project contributions

The first article in this series (Stretton 2018d) addressed Stage 1: Establish strategic objectives, and discussed the extensive preliminary work needed before strategic objectives can be reasonably established, the importance of “emergent” strategies, and the need to re-establish strategic objectives as the latter come into play.

The second article (Stretton 2018e) addressed Stage 2: Develop options, evaluate, and choose the best. It focused on the importance of developing alternative strategic initiatives, and of achieving reliable conceptual level estimates to facilitate valid evaluation of the options.

The third article (Stretton 2018f) addressed Stage 3: Augment and consolidate strategic initiatives, which included augmenting and elaborating the business cases for the chosen initiatives, confirming feasibilities, and prioritising, balancing and consolidating the strategic initiatives into a strategic portfolio, or portfolios.

The fourth article (Stretton 2018g) was concerned with Stage 4: Execute “other strategic work” along with projects, and focused on the former, hopefully partially redressing the imbalance with project/program execution which so dominates the literature.

This fifth and final article will be concerned with Stage 5, Achieve strategic outcomes and realise benefits, focusing mainly on some strategic benefits management and realisation issues which do not appear to have been altogether convincingly covered in the project management literature.

BENEFITS AND ORGANISATIONAL STRATEGY

I have not seen much material in the relevant general management literature that uses the terminologies outcomes and/or benefits to any extent in the strategic context. Yet these terminologies are used quite widely in the project management literature – particularly benefits, as we will see shortly.

More…

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How to cite this paper: Stretton, A. (2018). Stage 5: Achieve strategic outcomes and realise benefits, Series on Organizational Strategic Planning and Execution, PM World Journal, Volume VII, Issue VIII – August. Available online at https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/pmwj73-Aug2018-Stretton-stage-5-achieve-strategic-outcomes-series.pdf

 


 
About the Author


Alan Stretton, PhD

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

 


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

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

 

 

 

Issue and Configuration Management Process

 

Project Workflow Management

SERIES ARTICLE

By Dan Epstein

New York, USA

 



Note:
 This article is based on the book Project Workflow Management: A Business Process Approach by Dan Epstein and Rich Maltzman, published by J Ross Publishing in 2014. The book describes PM Workflow® framework, the step-by-step project workflow guiding approach using project management methods, practical techniques, examples, tools, templates, checklists and tips, teaching readers the detailed and necessary knowledge required to manage project “hands-on” from scratch, instructing what to do, when to do and how to do it up to delivering the completed and tested product or service to your client. This article is the fourth article in the series on Project Workflow Management.

The project workflow framework is the result of Dan’s research into the subject, having the following objectives:

1. Create the virtually error-free project management environment to ensure significant reduction of project costs

2. Reduce demands for highly qualified project managers using the step-by-step workflow guiding approach.

While PM Workflow® is the continuous multi-threaded process, where all PM processes are integrated together, this article will attempt to describe the Issue and Configuration Management groups of processes as a stand-alone group of processes that can be used independently outside of PM Workflow® framework. It will be difficult in this article not to venture into processes outside of the current topics, such as planning, quality, communications and other management processes, so they will be just mentioned. However, to get full benefit and the error free project management environment, the complete implementation of PM Workflow® is required.

In order to understand how PM Workflow® ensures this environment, I strongly recommend reading my article Project Workflow Framework – An Error Free Project Management Environment in the PMI affiliated projectmanagement.com (https://www.projectmanagement.com/articles/330037/Project-Workflow-Framework–An-Error-Free-Project-Management-Environment)

The article above provides the overview and explanation of how the project workflow framework works and achieves the established objectives.

For more information, please visit my website www.pm-workflow.com.

This article bundles together two processes: Issue and Configuration Management.

Issue Management

Purpose

Issues are triggered risks which may affect project goals, if they are not resolved in a timely and effective manner. Issues are not the same as scope change request. While scope change requires participation of the delivery team and usually involves design modifications, many issues may be resolved by administrative means. A few examples of issues are:

  • Staff or resource problems, such as lack of the necessary skills or team performance
  • Lack of cooperation or slow response from the client or from management
  • Requirements problems (These usually start as an issue, but eventually scope change will be initiated in order to resolve requirements problems)
  • Any triggered risk, such as a large increase in the cost of a resource

The purpose of Issue Management is the identification and management of issues that come up during all project frames; establishing actions to resolve issues and minimizing their impact on the project. The Issue Management Plan identifies resources responsible for each issue resolution task, resources for escalation when needed and the target dates for the issue resolution. The Issue Management Planning triggers every time one or more issues come up. In some cases, when issue requires scope change, it triggers new SCR. SCR will be triggered even if the issue is a result of an insufficient budget or the project slips the schedule without changing the project scope.

Unlike the quality, risk and other project processes, there is no advanced issue planning. Issue planning and issue resolution are processes which are triggered by every new issue. Issue resolution and tracking is done in the Construction Frame.

More…

To read entire article, click here

 

Editor’s note: This series of articles is based on the book Project Workflow Management: A Business Process Approach by Dan Epstein and Rich Maltzman, published by J Ross Publishing in 2014. The book describes the PM Workflow® framework, a step-by-step approach using project management methods, practical techniques, examples, tools, templates, checklists and tips.  The book teaches readers how to manage a project “hands-on” from scratch, including what to do, when and how to do it up to delivering a completed and tested product or service to a client.

How to cite this paper: Epstein, D. (2018).  Issue and Configuration Management Process, Series on Project Workflow Management, PM World Journal, Volume VII, Issue VIII – August. Available online at https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/pmwj73-Aug2018-Epstein-issue-and-configuration-management-series-article4.pdf

 



About the Author


Dan Epstein

New York, USA

 




Dan Epstein
combines over 25 years of experience in the project management field and the best practices area, working for several major Canadian and U.S. corporations, as well as 4 years teaching university students project management and several software engineering subjects. He received a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the LITMO University in Leningrad (today St. Petersburg, Russia), was certified as a Professional Engineer in 1983 by the Canadian Association of Professional Engineers – Ontario, and earned a master’s certificate in project management from George Washington University in 2000 and the Project Management Professional (PMP®) certification from the Project Management Institute (PMI®) in 2001.

Throughout his career, Dan managed multiple complex interdependent projects and programs, traveling extensively worldwide. He possesses multi-industry business analysis, process reengineering, best practices, professional training development and technical background in a wide array of technologies. In 2004 Dan was a keynote speaker and educator at the PMI-sponsored International Project Management Symposium in Central Asia. He published several articles and gave published interviews on several occasions. In the summer of 2008 he published “Methodology for Project Managers Education” in a university journal. His book, Project Workflow Management – The Business Process Approach, written in cooperation with Rich Maltzman, was published in 2014 by J. Ross Publishing.

Dan first started development of the Project Management Workflow in 2003, and it was used in a project management training course. Later this early version of the methodology was used for teaching project management classes at universities in the 2003–2005 school years. Later on, working in the best practices area, the author entertained the idea of presenting project management as a single multithreaded business workflow. In 2007–2008 the idea was further refined when teaching the project management class at a university.

Dan is an author of many publications in professional magazines, speaker at the international presentations, a guest at podcasts, etc. The Project Management Institute’s (PMI) assessment of his book says: “Contains a holistic learning environment so that after finishing the book and assignments, new project managers or students will possess enough knowledge to confidently manage small to medium projects”. The full list of his publications and appearances can be found at the website www.pm-workflow.com in the Publications tab.

Dan can be contacted at [email protected].

To see other works by Dan Epstein, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at https://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/dan-epstein/

 

 

 

Disappearing Benefits

You can’t simply pick and choose your investments!

 

Applying Earned Benefit Management

SERIES ARTICLE

By Crispin (“Kik”) Piney, PgMP, PfMP

Southern France

 



Introduction: Link to the Previous Article

The tagline of the previous article was “If you can’t track the allocations, you can’t understand the situation” and explained how to determine the allocation to the costs of each component project throughout the lifetime of the program. The article showed how to apply that algorithm to the case study and identified that one of the component projects and a number of the intermediate nodes clearly cost more than they contributed to the ultimate benefits. It finished with the warning that more information about the overall program benefits model was needed before any decisions could safely be taken on how the set of components might be modified to provide the optimal business result. The current article will explain the points to take into account when optimizing the portfolio in this way, and will demonstrate the potential issues that could be caused by taking a simplistic approach.

Reminder on Benefits Maps

The first articles [Piney, 2018b; Piney, 2018c; Piney, 2018d] in this series [Piney, 2018a], explained how to build a benefits realization map (BRM), how to evaluate the contribution of each component of this map to forecast the strategic benefits of the total program (the “Benefits Allotment Routine” – BAR), and how to evaluate the corresponding allocation of costs to each element of the realization map by using the Break-Even Everywhere Routine (the BEER). These concepts were illustrated on a simple case study. This introduction provides a brief reminder of these ideas.

A BRM illustrates how to make the benefits happen. It can be constructed as follows.

Once the anticipated benefits have been defined by the strategic sponsor, you need to determine all of the steps that are required to construct this result, thereby allowing you to identify the necessary component projects. The dependencies from each logical step to the next are quantified for each step in the logical chain. The BAR uses the forecast value of the strategic objectives in conjunction with this link information to calculate the contribution of every node in the BRM to the anticipated benefits. In particular, the BAR evaluates the contribution to the anticipated benefits of each component project. This value is known as the “Earned Benefit At Completion” (EBAC) of that component project.

Once the full set of parameters that define the model is known (predicted benefits, estimated cost per initiative, and the structure of the benefits map, including the contribution fractions), no additional assumptions on the model are required in order to use these parameters to evaluate to cost of each intermediate node in the model. The return on investment of any node can then be evaluated from its benefit contribution and its cost allocation.

The Earned Benefit of a component project (initiative) at a given point in time is evaluated from its EBAC in proportion to the its degree of completion at that point – i.e., the Earned Value “percent complete” of this project. As a first approximation, the Earned Benefit of the total program is defined as the sum of all of the project Earned Benefits. This definition of the program Earned Value will be revisited in the next article in this series, taking into account concepts defined later on in the current article.

Clarifications

I received the following comment on an earlier article (Piney, 2018c):

  1. “How can you claim to measure benefits when the project has yet to be completed?  […] Asked another way, how can Activity A produce any measurable benefits until Activities C and D are also finished and the services actually implemented?”

I gave a partial answer in Piney, 2018d and proposed to complete it in the current article. Once I had started work on the full explanation, I came to the conclusion that it was sufficiently interesting and involved to warrant its own article. This additional article will therefore be added to this series as a follow-on to the current article.

The Case Study for the Current Article

The business objective of the program in this example is to increase profits for an organization in the area of customer service. For the purpose of the case study, strategic analysis by senior management has shown that increased customer satisfaction with after-sales support enhances business results and has the potential for delivering additional revenue of €300,000 per annum compared with the current level of business, but that this service will also lead to an increase in operational costs amounting to 25% of the corresponding financial improvement, thereby reducing the net benefit by the corresponding amount.

More…

To read entire article, click here

 

How to cite this article: Piney, C. (2018). Disappearing Benefits, Series on Applying Earned Benefit Management, PM World Journal, Vol. VII, Issue VIII – August.  Available online at https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/pmwj73-Aug2018-Piney-Benefits-series-part4-dissapearing-benefits.pdf

 



About the Author


Crispin 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/

 

 

Mission Failure at LIDL

But Actually, What was the Mission?

 

Project Business Management

SERIES ARTICLE

By Oliver F. Lehmann

Munich, Germany

 



“Every mission has life-or-death moments.”
Alan Stern, Scientist at NASA


Summary

The international grocery chain Lidl wanted to replace a conglomerate of individual software solutions with a unified standard software supplied by SAP. The epic failure of the project named eLWIS is a prime example of the need to learn Situational Project Management (SitPM) and Project Business Management (PBM). Trial and error are too expensive as teachers for these disciplines.

A Mission Success First approach might have saved the project.

Project eLWIS: The Main Players

Lidl Stiftung & Co.KG is the world-largest discount supermarket chain based in Germany. Its standard retail program is basic grocery products but also special items including mobile licenses and temporary offerings of electronic items and other goods. Founded in its current form in 1973, the group has over 11,000 stores in 27 countries in Europe and the US[1]. Through the group’s focus on very cheap prices, which they achieve through a number of measures[2], it had a steady growth over the years and achieved a turnover of over € 70 billion (US$ 81.7 billion) in 2016[3].

Figure 1: A Lidl store in Munich, Germany

SAP is also a leader in its field – business software. Its turnover for the year 2018 is expected to be around € 25 billion (US$ 29 billion)[4]. With its offering of widely demanded state-of-the art solutions, such as high-performing databases and cloud services for their software, their outlook is very positive.

A third player was a Bavarian consulting company named KPS AG, a consulting company that presents a focus on Rapid Transformation®[5] of organizations, combined with software implementation. In July 2018, the company was selected for the Top 100 Innovation Award for small and medium enterprises.

Further players in the eLWIS project were Hewlett-Packard and Software AG[6]. For a project of this size, it is likely that there was a greater number of subcontractors working for the main players. These can be companies, but also freelancers, individuals, who work as self-employed contractors.

Replacing Old Software at Lidl

It is a common observation that providers of large and complex operations, distributed over a number of locations, have developed a farrago of software solutions throughout their history. Each individual software solution was developed and implemented against

  • specific requirements of a location,
  • by that time prioritized tasks,

which were often different to the requirements of other locations and to the task priorities of other places and moments .

More…

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

How to cite this article: Lehmann, O. (2018). Mission Failure at LIDL – But Actually, What was the Mission?, PM World Journal, Volume VII, Issue VIII – August.  Available online at https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/pmwj73-Aug-2018-Lehmann-Mission-Success-series-article2.pdf

 



About the Author


Oliver F. Lehmann

Munich, Germany

 

 


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

He has been a member and volunteer at PMI, the Project Management Institute, since 1998, and served five years as the President of the PMI Southern Germany Chapter until April 2018. Between 2004 and 2006, he contributed to PMI’s PM Network magazine, for which he provided a monthly editorial on page 1 called “Launch”, analyzing troubled projects around the world.

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

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

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

 

[1] (Lidl, 2013)

[2] (Hanbury, 2017)

[3] (Handelsblatt, 2018)

[4] (Kerkmann, 2018)

[5] The expression “Rapid Transformation” is a trademark of KPS.

[6] (Lidl, 2018)

 

 

Agile Projects Don’t Need Risk Management (?)

 

Risk Doctor Briefing

SERIES ARTICLE

Thomas Wuttke, PMP, PMI-RMP, PMI-ACP

The Risk Doctor Partnership

Munich, Germany

 



The Agile Manifesto was published as long ago as 2001, but agile is still a hot topic in project management. In theory, agile project management is supposed to reduce risks by design, so that ultimately there are no risks any more. As a result, alongside backlogs, user stories and velocity in the agile approach, there seems to be no place for risks, for example there is no risk backlog. So where are all the risks in agile projects? Have they really disappeared? Three claims of the agile approach imply that this might be true:

1. Using an agile approach massively reduces risk. Right and wrong. It is true that the agile approach reduces some risks, such as the possibility of developing products that the market does not need. Used correctly and constantly, communication and iteration make it nearly impossible to miss the market. But the risk of developing the wrong product is only one type of risk. Risk is defined as the effect of uncertainty on goals. Since all agile projects, releases and sprints have goals, there will also be risks.

2. Risks are managed through the Impediment Backlog. Wrong. The impediment backlog provides a list of current obstacles. Impediments are like issues: they are problems that need to be resolved now. Some impediment backlogs probably also contain real risks, but that isn’t their main purpose. So, if it is used properly, an impediment backlog cannot help us to manage risk.

3. Risk is avoided through close cooperation in the team. Wrong. Of course, good cooperation within a team, working in one place and without constant interruptions, is really good for successful project work. It will avoid some risks, but not all.

Effective risk management is usually correlated with project success. But if projects conducted in an agile environment need no active management of risks, then do they all succeed?

If we focus only on the risk of missing the market needs, then perhaps it is true that agile projects are more successful than traditional projects. But within agile projects it is a different story. Much of the work turns out to be redundant. Product owners neglect their duties. The agile method is misinterpreted and misused. Managers expect miracles. And the tendency to believe that agile projects don’t need documentation only makes things worse.

More…

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How to cite this paper: Wuttke, T. (2018).  Agile Projects Don’t Need Risk Management, Risk Doctor Briefing; PM World Journal, Volume VII, Issue VIII – August. Available online at https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/pmwj73-Aug2018-Wuttke-agile-projects-dont-need-risk-management.pdf

 



About the Author


Thomas Wuttke

Munich, Germany

 

 

Thomas Wuttke PMP PMI-RMP PMI-ACP CSM has a degree in Computer Science and has worked for more than 20 years on large IT integration projects in both the public and commercial sectors. He has intensive project and program management experience, and has served several organisations as general manager, director, president, international partner and Board member. His focus is on risk management in respect of process, people, culture and maturity. Thomas is a renowned and inspirational trainer, consultant, coach and speaker with assignments across Europe, China, Korea, Japan, India, Brazil and the United States. Thomas is married, has three children and lives near Munich, Germany, where he enjoys Bavarian culture, sailing and mountaineering.

Thomas can be contacted at [email protected]

 

 

Communicating Project Management

A Participatory Rhetoric for Development Teams

Excerpt of Chapter 4: On site with The Gardener and The Chef: Project Leadership and Communication

 

Advances in Project Management Series

SERIES ARTICLE

By Benjamin Lauren

Michigan, USA

 



There are two metaphors I’ve come across used to describe leadership philosophy at the project team level. The first, offered by Demacro and Lister (1999), suggests that teams can be grown, but not built. This leadership approach describes project managers who cultivate the conditions for teams to succeed as a member of a team. The second approach was described by Lammers and Tsvetkov (2008), and it positioned project managers as chefs because they must deliver successful project results consistently. The chef, they argue, uses “industry standard processes” to achieve these results. Chefs tend to have a more complicated power relationship with the team, as they are very clearly responsible for managing its processes and procedures. Leadership models in project management offer important insight into communication practices. This excerpt from Chapter 4 of my book Communicating Project Management: A Participatory Rhetoric for Development Teams explores leadership at the project level by embodying the two metaphors of gardening and cooking to understand how these leadership values influence the approach to communicating. Through a closer examination of two of the participants, this excerpt explains how leadership values influence communication at the project level, and to what extent they shape invitations to participate in project work.

To study the relationship between leadership and communication, the excerpt will lean heavily on examining the communication of two participants. The first participant I call “The Gardener” because she tends to communicate in ways that focus on growing and cultivating the growth of people to help a team succeed. Meanwhile, I refer to other participant as “The Chef” because he tends to focus on making and assembling, usually through industry standard practices, the kinds of resources and people needed to successfully complete a project. As the excerpt will explain, their individual positionality on the team also influenced how they performed leadership. Given these metaphors, how each participant approaches communicating project management is very different, even though they work toward the same goals: to complete project work successfully and to make space for people to participate.

The excerpt begins by reviewing leadership in project management. Then, it introduces The Gardener and presents the data from our work together, which illustrates her approach to growing and contributing to project teams. After, The Chef is introduced and I explain how his approach to communicating focused on following proven recipes for success. Next, the excerpt explores how their leadership approaches are linked to specific ways of communicating; how they give presence to certain values. Finally, the article ends describing the role of leadership identity as a form of rhetorical performance.

Communicating Leadership, Positionality, and Identity

As a scholarly interest and workplace practice, leadership contains a broad range of topic areas. For example, there are a number of books that focus on how to best lead (such as, Asghar, 2014; Maxwell, 2007) or attempt to teach students to be effective leaders (Northouse, 2015; Kouzes and Posner, 2017). Often the published work in leadership traverses academic and practitioner spheres. Particularly useful is Higgs’ (2003) work, which assembled a trajectory of leadership research in a western tradition, including the trends and schools of thought emerging since the ancient Greeks. In his article, he argued that scholarship in leadership tends struggle with its paradigm, oscillating between a focus on personality or behavior (p. 274). A focus on leadership personality asserts, for example, the importance of an individual’s character and charisma; whereas a focus on behavior is concerned with how leadership can be developed as a skillset. Higgs explained, “A personality-based paradigm would argue for selection as being the main focus, whereas a behaviour-based one would argue for development. In essence this is the debate around whether leaders are born or made” (p. 274). This excerpt seeks to add to this conversation to argue that leadership at the project level is a kind of rhetorical performance that is based on a set of implicit values that shape communication activities.

More…

To read entire article, click here

 

Editor’s note: The Advances in Project Management series includes articles by authors of program and project management books published by Routledge worldwide. Information about Routledge project management books can be found here.

How to cite this paper: Lauren, B. (2018). Communicating Project Management: A Participatory Rhetoric for Development Teams – Excerpt of Chapter 4: On site with The Gardener and The Chef: Project Leadership and Communication, PM World Journal, Volume VII, Issue VIII – August. Available online at https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/pmwj73-Aug2018-Lauren-communicating-project-management-series-article.pdf

 



About the Author


Benjamin Lauren

Michigan, USA

 

 

Benjamin Lauren is an Assistant Professor of Experience Architecture in the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures at Michigan State University, where he serves as Assistant Director of the MA in Digital Rhetoric and Professional Writing and as a HUB for Innovation in Learning and Technology Fellow. His book, Communicating Project Management: A Participatory Rhetoric for Development Teams was published in the ATTW Series by Routledge. The book makes an argument that project managers must communicate to facilitate participation in project work, particularly in the context of networked organizations. Ben’s work has been published in journals such as Technical CommunicationTransactions on Professional Communication, and Computers and Composition.

For more about the book Communicating Project Management: A Participatory Rhetoric for Development Teams, click here.

 

 

The power of communication

and the challenge of hidden assumptions

 

Advances in Project Management

SERIES ARTICLE

By Prof Darren Dalcher

Director, National Centre for Project Management

United Kingdom

 



Communication is recognised as essential to successful projects (Dalcher, 2012), and indeed for almost any human endeavour. Moreover, one of the most commonly recorded complaints about the performance of organisations and teams relates to their inability to communicate, or to the lack of knowledge regarding the intentions of the executive group. The 2013 Pulse of the Profession Report (PMI, 2013) contends that one in five projects is unsuccessful due to ineffective communication. The report further affirms that a typical project manager should be spending 90 per cent of their time communicating.

Given the critical role of communication in projects, is there anything new to say about communicating?

When describing communication there is a temptation to focus on the message being sent, the channel that is being utilised or the underpinning technology. The Merriam Webster Dictionary accordingly describes communication as ‘a process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of symbols, signs or behavior’.

However, communication entails a lot more. The Oxford Dictionary defines communication as: ‘the imparting or exchanging of information by speaking, writing or using some other medium’, including ‘a letter or message containing information or news; the successful conveying or sharing of ideas and feelings; and social contact’. The Oxford Dictionary traces the use of the phrase communication, to Late Middle English, with a derivation from Old French counicacion, and the Latin communicatio(n-), originating from the verb communicare, meaning ‘to share’.

The idea of sharing is more powerful than the single direction implied by imparting, or even the mutually bi-directional association enabled through exchanging. Indeed, the Cambridge Dictionary refers to communication as ‘the process of sharing information, especially when this increases understanding between people or groups’. The Collins Dictionary duly notes that communicating can extend beyond mere information to encompass ideas or feelings.

Conveying meaning, increasing understanding and sharing ideas and feelings extend beyond the typical core knowledge and skills taught to managers and leaders and should therefore merit further consideration regarding the potential, place and role of communication.

Exploring the context

Communication is not a smooth process that is constituted by recipient design and intention recognition, as is often implied by the different theories (Kecskes, 2010; p. 50). Firstly, there is a need to account for the internal representations of external things, whilst many of our thoughts are not represented in the external world (Rapaport, 2003; p. 401). Secondly, we do communicate with others (ibid.; p. 402)

‘When you and I speak or write to each other, the most we can hope for is a sort of incremental approach toward agreement, toward communication, toward common usage of terms.’ (Lenat et al., 1995; p. 45)

More…

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Editor’s note: The PMWJ Advances in Project Management series includes articles by authors of program and project management books published by Gower and other publishers in the Routledge family.  Each month an introduction to the current article is provided by series editor Prof Darren Dalcher, who is also the editor of the Gower/Routledge Advances in Project Management series of books on new and emerging concepts in PM.  Prof Dalcher’s article is an introduction to the invited paper this month in the PMWJ. 

How to cite this paper: Dalcher, D. (2018). The power of communication and the challenge of hidden assumptions, PM World Journal, Volume VII, Issue VIII – August.  Available online at https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/pmwj73-Aug2018-Dalcher-the-power-of-communication-and-challenge-of-hidden-assumptions.pdf

 



About the Author


Darren Dalcher, PhD

Author, Professor, Series Editor
Director, National Centre for Project Management
United Kingdom

 

 

 

Darren Dalcher, Ph.D. HonFAPM, FRSA, FBCS, CITP, FCMI SMIEEE SFHEA is Professor of Project Management, 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 and was voted Project Magazine’s “Academic of the Year” for his contribution in “integrating and weaving academic work with practice”. 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 written over 200 papers and book chapters on project management and software engineering. He is Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Software: Evolution and Process, a leading international software engineering journal. 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.

Darren is an Honorary Fellow of the APM, 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 of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Member of the Project Management Institute (PMI) and the British Academy of Management. 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 CMI Academic Council and the APM Group Ethics and Standards Governance Board.  He is the Academic Advisor and Consulting Editor for the next APM Body of Knowledge. Prof Dalcher is an academic advisor for the PM World Journal.  He can be contacted at [email protected].

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

 

 

Stage 4: Execute other strategic work

along with projects

 

Organisational Strategic Planning & Execution

SERIES ARTICLE

By Alan Stretton, PhD (Hon)

Sydney, Australia

 



INTRODUCTION

This is the fourth of a series of five articles on organisational strategic planning and execution. I am using the following basic strategic management framework as a common reference base for this series (with some small amendments from the first two articles in the series).

 

Figure 1: An organisational strategic management framework, with project contribution

The first article in this series (Stretton 2018d) addressed Stage 1: Establish strategic objectives, and discussed the extensive preliminary work needed before strategic objectives can be reasonably established, the importance of “emergent” strategies, and the need to re-establish strategic objectives as the latter come into play.

The second article (Stretton 2018e) addressed Stage 2: Develop options, evaluate and choose the best. It focused on the importance of developing alternative strategic initiatives, and of achieving reliable conceptual level estimates, to facilitate valid evaluation of the alternative ‘outline’ business cases, and choice of the best.

The third article (Stretton 2018f) addressed Stage 3: Augment and consolidate strategic initiatives, which included augmenting and elaborating the business cases for the chosen initiatives, confirming feasibilities, and prioritising, balancing and consolidating the strategic initiatives into a strategic portfolio, or portfolios.

This article on Stage 4 will look at strategy execution, but particularly at some aspects of what I have described as the other strategic work which is normally needed, over and above programs and/or projects, to help achieve organisational strategic objectives.

We start with discussing some broad attributes of strategy execution.

SOME ATTRIBUTES OF STRATEGY IMPLEMENTATION/EXECUTION

Many large organisations struggle to implement their strategies effectively

Butler 2008 points out that many organisations pay more attention to strategy formulation than strategy execution, and goes on to make the point that

….. the vast majority of organisations simply do not execute their strategies effectively. Some of the statistics are illuminating:

  • Fortune Magazine – less than 10% of business strategies are effectively delivered.
  • Australian Institute of Company Directors – 70% CEOs who fail, do so not because of wrong strategy, but because of poor execution.
  • Ernst & Young – 70% of capital expenditure spent on initiatives not aligned with organisational strategy.
  • McKinsey – 28% of CEOs say that their company produces a strategic plan that reflects the company’s goals and challenges, but is not effective.
  • PriceWaterhouseCoopers – Only 2.5% of companies have 100% of strategic projects on time, within budget, to scope and delivering the right benefits

In a recent article in this journal, Dalcher 2018c reported that Sull et al 2015

….refer to a survey of more than 400 global CEOs that found that executional excellence is the leading challenge facing corporate leaders in Asia, Europe and the United States, topping a list of over 80 issues, including geopolitical instability, top-line growth and innovation. The authors further concede that multiple studies indicate that between two-thirds and three-quarters of large organisations struggle to implement their strategies. Similar figures are regularly quoted in most strategy textbooks.

In discussing problems associated with strategy execution, Dalcher also pointed to another situation which is related to poor performance in strategy execution, namely poor coverage in the literature, to which we now turn.

More…

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Editor’s note: This is article four in a five-part series on strategic planning by Alan Stretton, one of the world’s leading experts in program and project management.  This series is based on Alan’s research and writing on this topic over the last several years, much of which has been published in previous editions of the PM World Journal.

How to cite this paper: Stretton, A. (2018). Stage 4: Execute other strategic work, along with projects, Series on Organizational Strategic Planning and Execution, PM World Journal, Volume VII, Issue VII – July. Available online at https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/pmwj72-Jul2018-Stretton-strategic-planning-series-article-4-other-strategic-work.pdf



About the Author


Alan Stretton, PhD

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

 

 

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

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

 

 

The Digital Social Workplace

People over Process

 

Advances in Project Management Series

SERIES ARTICLE

By Dale Roberts

United Kingdom

 



Workplace computing has, for the last three decades, been about automating process. The result is that we work together in ways that are stilted. In information science terms, they are nothing more than transactional. Digital social tools are changing the way we work, share and collaborate but surprisingly in a way that is more, not less natural. Paradoxically, technology is making organisations, teams and projects human again.

THE END OF ADVANTAGE THROUGH SCALABLE PROCESS

“I understand why you would think that” my executive contact acknowledged at a recent customer meeting, “that our competitors are businesses like ours, other [so-called] fast moving consumer goods businesses”. The threat to their €50B turnover, it would seem was clearly going to be less obvious than my earlier posseting of the name of their biggest competitor. He went on “Rather, it is the vast crowd of small, innovative brands that are no longer held back by barriers to scale, even globally”. No one competitor was going to bring this behemoth down, it would seem. Rather, it was vulnerable to a thousand cuts from the long tail of artisanal sourdough and locally made soaps.

In a digital economy, businesses are no longer secure by virtue of their size. Our high streets are slowly emptying of lumbering giants. A decade ago the financial services landscape was populated by a handful of titans whilst today, they are under threat from small, pioneering insurgents commonly referred to as ‘challenger banks’. One, unsurprising reaction, has been for incumbent businesses to buy-up and absorb the new players but they may be making a fundamental miscalculation. They are typically acquiring technology, customers or brand but overlooking the critical ingredient: Their agile ethos.

Today, competitive edge is more about how businesses organise, communicate and behave rather than their products, services or the technology they use. It is less about web sites and mobile apps and more about people.

ORGANISATIONAL INTERACTION HAS CHANGED

Human interaction has reached an electronic tipping point. It is digital, omnipresent, instant, permanent, analysable and searchable. It’s a shame that, existential issues of privacy aside, the most successful change agent and so-called social tool is Facebook because their usefulness is far broader. The Conversation Prism, an infographic co-authored by Brian Solis and now at version 5 (2013) lists hundreds of such tools supporting everyday human interactions from organising events to crowd funding. Whatever a group of people need to do, it can be done on-line or with the help of an app.

Business tools such as Slack have revolutionised the way we interact in the workplace as much as Facebook changed the way we maintain personal connections. Indeed, the term social is spectacularly misleading. It isn’t the adjective that describes the act of enjoying activities outside of work. It is attributive. It relates to society or organisations. A social group. Businesses and projects are social constructs. They are a group of people organising around a common purpose albeit an economic one.

Enterprise social tools are permitting new workplace norms. Communication doesn’t require being in the same room or even the same building. I consult often but today there is a reasonable chance that at least one person in my meeting will be in their pyjamas, providing it is a teleconference. Physical meetings are still important to forge closer working partnerships but they are only part of the mix. Indeed, on one recent occasion, I and a colleague travelled 140 miles for a meeting with a team of 7 to find that only one of them was physically present, the others joining virtually through a conference phone occupying a single spot in the centre of the table.

A decade ago, when managing projects, I would strongly recommend and sometimes insist on co-location and a project office. Today, the natural beat of project communication barely slows down when the team don’t even share a time zone.

More…

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Editor’s note: The Advances in Project Management series includes articles by authors of program and project management books published by Routledge worldwide. Information about Routledge project management books can be found here.

How to cite this paper: Roberts, D. (2018). The Digital Social Workplace, People over Process; PM World Journal, Volume VII, Issue VII – July. Available online at https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/pmwj72-Jul2018-Roberts-digital-social-workplace-people-over-process.pdf



About the Author


Dale Roberts

United Kingdom

 

 

 

Dale Roberts is VP of Professional Services for Clarabridge, author, commentator, columnist, and speaker. As a professional services leader for Clarabridge in Europe, Roberts is advising some of the world’s largest companies on optimising the customer experience using social and digital insights. Prior to this he was part of the founding circle of Artesian Solutions, an innovator in social CRM and a Director of Services for business intelligence giant Cognos. Dale was identified a thought leader in big data and analytics by Analytics Week, is a contributor to business and technology publications including Wired and ClickZ and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. 

His first book, Decision Sourcing, Decision Making for the Agile Social Enterprise, is an inspiring commentary on the impact of social on corporate decision making. His latest, World of Workcraft, Rediscovering Motivation and Engagement in the Digital Workplace, is a timely piece on engagement, motivation and digital humanism in the workplace.

 

 

Dealing with Project Supply Networks

Be a Connective Leader

 

Project Business Management

SERIES ARTICLE

By Oliver F. Lehmann

Munich, Germany

 


“Like it or not; commands are out, negotiations are in.”
Jean Lipman-Blumen

Summary

Project Business Management brings together project management skills and business skills for the kind of projects that dominate today’s reality: Projects extending over corporate borders.

An aspect of both skills are leadership requirements that do no more stop at the boundaries of an organization but extend into other organizations, including clients and contractors. The ability to apply the achieving styles of the Connective Leadership Model often decide on the project success of these projects and also on the business success of the companies involved.

 

Leadership Requirements in Project Business Management

Some readers may have followed my previous articles on Project Business Management. In these articles, I describe various aspects of the art of doing project management in an environment characterized by contractual relationships between sellers and buyers, contractors and customers and other forms of business partners[1]. This series of articles follows a path from the outside, the organizations involved and the interfaces between them, to the core of the Project Business Manager discipline, from the technicalities and legal matters to the question what actually constitutes professionalism when projects span across corporations.

It began with a discussion of Situational Project Management (SitPM)[2] and a recommendation of an open typology of projects to prepare for the uniqueness and variability of the different projects along a major number of dimensions. Among these dimensions were those of predictable vs. exploratory projects, mark-1 vs. mark-n projects and many more.

One of these typological dimensions  was the dichotomy of internal projects, which are in essence costs centers, and customer projects, which are profit centers for the contractor company and opportunities to tap contractors’ assets and turn them into project resources for a customer organization. Contractors can constitute complex supply networks with many companies involved, including prime contractors and subcontractors over a number of tiers.

Figure 1: A simple two-tier project supply network (PSN) with a customer and five contractors

Figure 1 depicts a simple network with one ustomer and five contractors involved over two tiers. Each company has its own business interests, and getting to work together as one team dedicated to a common “Mission Success First” goal is a difficult task, whose mastership will make the project succeed or fail.

Discussing business aspects of projects under contract on both sides, customers and contractors, the articles led to questions of professionalism and qualification of project managers, who manage not only a project but a business relationship with customers, contractors or both, and as Figure 1 shows, the number of interfaces between the companies can grow rapidly.[3]

In this article, I intend to build a bridge to work that has been done since the 1990s by Jean Lipman-Blumen[4] under the flag of “Connective Leadership”.[5] Lipman-Blumen postulates that leaders have passed through two historical stages and are now entering a third one. Figure 2 describes, how leadership and also project management evolved and still evolve along these stages:

More…

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

How to cite this article: Lehmann, O. (2018). Dealing with Project Supply Networks (PSNs), Be a Connective Leader, PM World Journal, Volume VII, Issue VII – July.  Available online at https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/pmwj72-Jul2018-Lehmann-Connective-Leadership-in-Project-Supply-Networks.pdf



About the Author


Oliver F. Lehmann

Munich, Germany

 

 

 

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

He has been a member and volunteer at PMI, the Project Management Institute, since 1998, and served five years as the President of the PMI Southern Germany Chapter until April 2018. Between 2004 and 2006, he contributed to PMI’s PM Network magazine, for which he provided a monthly editorial on page 1 called “Launch”, analyzing troubled projects around the world.

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

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

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

 

[1] A chronological list of all articles in PM World Journal can be found at https://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/oliver-f-lehmann

[2] (Lehmann, 2016)

[3] (Lehmann, 2018)

[4] Her profile can be found at the Drucker School of Management at the Claremont Graduate University ( (Drucker School of Management, n.d.)

[5] (Lipman-Blumen, 2000)

 

 

Risk Management Process

 

Project Workflow Management

SERIES ARTICLE

by Dan Epstein

New York, USA

 



Note:
 This article is based on the book Project Workflow Management: A Business Process Approach by Dan Epstein and Rich Maltzman, published by J Ross Publishing in 2014. The book describes PM Workflow® framework, the step-by-step workflow guiding approach using project management methods, practical techniques, examples, tools, templates, checklists and tips, teaching readers the detailed and necessary knowledge required to manage project “hands-on” from scratch, instructing what to do, when to do and how to do it up to delivering the completed and tested product or service to your client. This article is the third article in the series Project Workflow Management.

The project workflow framework is the result of Dan’s research into the subject, having the following objectives:

  1. Create the virtually error-free project management environment to ensure significant reduction of project costs
    2. Reduce demands for highly qualified project managers using
    the step-by-step workflow guiding approach.

While PM Workflow® is the continuous multi-threaded process, where all PM processes are integrated together, this article will attempt to describe the Risk Management group of processes as a stand-alone group of processes that can be used independently outside of PM Workflow® framework. It will be difficult in this article not to venture into processes outside of Risk Management, such as planning, quality, communications and other management processes, so they will be just mentioned. However, to get full benefit and the error free project management environment, the complete implementation of PM Workflow® is required. In order to understand how PM Workflow® ensures this environment, I strongly recommend reading my article Project Workflow Framework – An Error Free Project Management Environment at (https://www.projectmanagement.com/articles/330037/Project-Workflow-Framework–An-Error-Free-Project-Management-Environment)

The article above provides the overview and explanation of how the project workflow framework works and achieves the established objectives.

For more information, please visit my website www.pm-workflow.com

Purpose

The formal purpose of the Risk Management process is to ensure that all potential project risks (both threats and opportunities) are identified, their impact analyzed and risk management plans developed and implemented in order to eliminate or minimize the effect of threats and maximize the effects of opportunities on the project throughout its life cycle.

Since, by far, threats heavily outweigh opportunities in frequency and effect on projects and since the vast majority of your work as a project manager in the real world will be dealing with threats, the following description of Risk Management planning will deal only with negative risks, which you can read for the purposes of this article as “threats”.

Risk Management Planning provides a risk containment or response plan, which may change project estimates. Project risk is an uncertain event, which if it occurs, may have a negative impact on project deliverables in terms of the project cost, schedule and quality.

Risk Management consists of three elements:

  1. Risk Assessment, which is a process of identifying and analyzing risks.
  2. Risk Response Planning, whose main purpose is avoiding or minimizing harmful effects of threats on project cost, schedule and quality. This will involve planning responses to high-scoring risks (those with high impact and probability) or reducing their probability and/or impact. It also includes responses to low and medium-scoring threats.
  3. Risk Monitoring is the process of monitoring risk occurrence, adjusting the project plan for the response to each of the risks we have identified, and tracking the result of the risk response.

When a risk occurs, it is initially treated as an issue. As described in the Issue Management Process section of the book, some of the issues require generating the project scope change request and treating the risk containment plans as scope changes in accordance with the Scope Change Control process section.

Risk monitoring is further described in the Construction Frame.

Risk Assessment and Risk Planning Process Flow

The process of Risk Assessment and Planning is repeatedly executed many times during the project lifecycle. It is executed once before beginning of each project group of processes, called frames and also when significant project events happen during the project execution, such as major issues, large scope change requests or unsatisfactory project performance. By implementing the process, all significant threats should be eliminated or reduced to the level of low risks, because the project cannot start or continue when a high threat level challenges not only the project, but perhaps the entire organization. The process described here is executed in accordance with the risk assessment schedule, which is a part of the overall project schedule, and also if an additional risk is identified at any time during project execution.

The process flow is shown on Fig 6-1. The process consists of the following elements:

  1. Identify potential risks (P1-1)
  2. Determine probability of occurrence (P1-2)
  3. Determine Maximum Loss Value of each risk (P1-3)
  4. Calculate EMV (Expected Monetary Value) of each project risk (P1-4)
  5. Develop risk response plan (P1-5)
  6. Balance all acceptable project risks’ EMV (P1-6)
  7. Calculate total risk costs (P1-7)
  8. Determine severity of each risk (P1-8)
  9. Calculate each project risk rating (P1-9)
  10. Balance all acceptable project risks’ rating (P1-10)

 

More…

To read entire article, click here

 

Editor’s note: This series of articles is based on the book Project Workflow Management: A Business Process Approach by Dan Epstein and Rich Maltzman, published by J Ross Publishing in 2014. The book describes the PM Workflow® framework, a step-by-step approach using project management methods, practical techniques, examples, tools, templates, checklists and tips.  The book teaches readers how to manage a project “hands-on” from scratch, including what to do, when and how to do it up to delivering a completed and tested product or service to a client.

How to cite this article: Epstein, D. (2018). Risk Management Process, PM World Journal, Volume VII, Issue VII – July. Available online at https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/pmwj72-Jul2018-Epstein-risk-management-process-series-article.pdf


 
About the Author


Dan Epstein

New York, USA

 





Dan Epstein
combines over 25 years of experience in the project management field and the best practices area, working for several major Canadian and U.S. corporations, as well as 4 years teaching university students project management and several software engineering subjects. He received a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the LITMO University in Leningrad (today St. Petersburg, Russia), was certified as a Professional Engineer in 1983 by the Canadian Association of Professional Engineers – Ontario, and earned a master’s certificate in project management from George Washington University in 2000 and the Project Management Professional (PMP®) certification from the Project Management Institute (PMI®) in 2001.

Throughout his career, Dan managed multiple complex interdependent projects and programs, traveling extensively worldwide. He possesses multi-industry business analysis, process reengineering, best practices, professional training development and technical background in a wide array of technologies. In 2004 Dan was a keynote speaker and educator at the PMI-sponsored International Project Management Symposium in Central Asia. He published several articles and gave published interviews on several occasions. In the summer of 2008 he published “Methodology for Project Managers Education” in a university journal. His book, Project Workflow Management – The Business Process Approach, written in cooperation with Rich Maltzman, was published in 2014 by J. Ross Publishing.

Dan first started development of the Project Management Workflow in 2003, and it was used in a project management training course. Later this early version of the methodology was used for teaching project management classes at universities in the 2003–2005 school years. Later on, working in the best practices area, the author entertained the idea of presenting project management as a single multithreaded business workflow. In 2007–2008 the idea was further refined when teaching the project management class at a university.

Dan is an author of many publications in professional magazines, speaker at the international presentations, a guest at podcasts, etc. The Project Management Institute’s (PMI) assessment of his book says: “Contains a holistic learning environment so that after finishing the book and assignments, new project managers or students will possess enough knowledge to confidently manage small to medium projects”. The full list of his publications and appearances can be found at the website www.pm-workflow.com in the Publications tab.

Dan can be contacted at [email protected].

To see other works by Dan Epstein, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at https://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/dan-epstein/

 

Connecting for corporate social innovation

 

Advances in Project Management

SERIES ARTICLE

By Prof Darren Dalcher

Director, National Centre for Project Management

United Kingdom

 



According to the Oxford Dictionary to connect is ‘to bring together or into contact so that a real or notional link is established’, or ‘to associate or relate something in some respect’. The derivation appears to be from Late Middle English in the sense of being united physically. The dictionary further adds that the etymological root is from the Latin connectere, in the form of con – which implies ‘together’, and nectere, to ‘bind’. The Cambridge English Dictionary simply explains to connect as ‘to join or be joined with something else’, while the Merriam Webster Dictionary offers the brief definition ‘to join (two or more things) together’.

Connecting can thus be defined as joining, linking or being joined. Over time the use of the term appears to have expanded from a physical sense of binding together to a more logical set of connections that are being made between objects, things and people. The Oxford English Dictionary thus defines a connection as a ‘relationship in which a person or thing is linked or associated with something else’, while the Cambridge Dictionary relates to ‘the state of being related to someone or something else’. The Oxford Dictionary also provides a somewhat more contemporary definition of connections, as ‘people with whom one has social or professional contact or to whom one is related, especially those with influence and able to offer one help’.

The transformation of connecting from a physical-material point of view towards a more social sphere appears to be in train. In the age of social media, connecting can enable new forms of arranging, organising, and engaging for novel types of action and improvement. Ultimately, connecting can enable radical and beneficial transformation that empowers change subjects to engage, influence and shape whilst ensuring that communities buy into, co-create and make use of the budding change.

Projects for the community – The Eden Project

The Eden Project, located near St. Austell on a site of a former china clay mine is an extremely popular visitor attraction in Cornwall, England. The £141m project to reclaim and regenerate a neglected brownfield site, in Cornwall, which has the UK’s highest proportion of derelict mines, was the brainchild of Sir Tim Smit. Sir Tim previously restored the Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall, neglected since the Second World War, which gave him the inspiration to create the regenerative concept of the Eden Project (Petherick, et al., 2004; Smit, 1999; 2016).

The Eden Project is a dramatic global garden housed in tropical biomes that nestle in a crater the size of 30 football pitches. The two enormous biomes consist of hundreds of hexagonal and pentagonal, inflated plastic cells, supported by a steel framework. The site, which was opened in March 2001, has welcomed its 20th millionth visitor in 2018. The Eden Project, often marketed as the eighth wonder of the world, affords a gateway to the relationship between people and plants, offering a fascinating insight into the story of mankind’s connection to and dependence on plant life (Eden, 2016).

The Eden Project is a new kind of visitor garden. The rainforest biome, the world’s largest greenhouse and indoor rainforest at 3.9 acres, enables visitors to experience the sights, smells and scale of the rainforests and to discover the tropical plants that are used to produce everyday products from fruiting banana, coffee and rubber plants to giant bamboo. The Mediterranean biome offers the chance to explore more temperate and arid climates, including lemon trees, olive groves and gnarled vines, while the 30-acre outdoor botanical garden offers the opportunity to see tea, lavender, hops, hemp, sunflower and other plants that will change our future, flourishing under the Cornish sun.

The Eden Project recognises, and shares, the importance of sustainability to local communities and takes into account the economic, environmental and social benefits to be considered when making decisions. It has improved the image of the local area and rapidly transformed a derelict former mine into one of the UK’s top tourist destinations, averaging well over a million visitors per year and contributing in excess of £2 billion to the Cornish economy. It employs over 700 local people, the majority of whom were previously unemployed, and uses over 2,500 local farmers and suppliers. Indeed, all food and drink is locally sourced from Cornwall and the South West. The project has transformed the local economy, decreased unemployment by 6 per cent and introduced a growing demand for holidays and accommodation, whilst also boosting attendance at the other local and regional attractions and resorts.

The Eden Project is fast emerging as a unique resource for education, knowledge and innovation towards a sustainable future. The latest addition to the site is the Core, a sustainable education centre built to educate future generations as well as businesses and entrepreneurs about the benefits of sustainable development.

More…

To read entire article, click here

 

Editor’s note: The PMWJ Advances in Project Management series includes articles by authors of program and project management books published by Gower and other publishers in the Routledge family.  Each month an introduction to the current article is provided by series editor Prof Darren Dalcher, who is also the editor of the Gower/Routledge Advances in Project Management series of books on new and emerging concepts in PM.  Prof Dalcher’s article is an introduction to the invited paper this month in the PMWJ. 

How to cite this paper: Dalcher, D. (2018). Connecting for corporate social innovation, PM World Journal, Volume VII, Issue VII – July.  Available online at https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/pmwj72-Jul2018-Dalcher-connecting-for-corporate-social-innovation.pdf



About the Author

Darren Dalcher, PhD

Author, Professor, Series Editor
Director, National Centre for Project Management
United Kingdom

 

 

 

Darren Dalcher, Ph.D. HonFAPM, FRSA, FBCS, CITP, FCMI SMIEEE SFHEA is Professor of Project Management, 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 and was voted Project Magazine’s “Academic of the Year” for his contribution in “integrating and weaving academic work with practice”. 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 written over 200 papers and book chapters on project management and software engineering. He is Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Software: Evolution and Process, a leading international software engineering journal. 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.

Darren is an Honorary Fellow of the APM, 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 of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Member of the Project Management Institute (PMI) and the British Academy of Management. 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 CMI Academic Council and the APM Group Ethics and Standards Governance Board.  He is the Academic Advisor and Consulting Editor for the next APM Body of Knowledge. Prof Dalcher is an academic advisor for the PM World Journal.  He can be contacted at [email protected].

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

 

 

The Great Talent Gap

In Project Business Management

 

SERIES ARTICLE

By Oliver F. Lehmann

Munich, Germany

 


 

“How merit is with luck connected,
Is to suckers all unknown.
If the philosopher’s stone was theirs,
they’d lack a philosopher for the stone.”
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust II

Summary

A new survey confirms that Project Business Management (PBM) is a fast growing discipline in today’s reality of project management. It is nevertheless underrepresented in associations, literature, and education.

As the specific needs of project managers in customer-facing projects are so widely ignored, people have to develop their professional skills mostly based on trial and error. This is a costly approach that impacts the profitability of their employers as much as their own income.

 

Dear Project Managers, Again, We Need to Talk About Money

In my last PM World Journal article[1], I suggested that project managers should foster the skills needed to do customer projects. They should do that in a way that these projects are successes for both the paying  customers and the own organization. Ensuring monetary income from a customer project for a contractor is foremost not greed but giving the company the lifeblood for survival, growth, and development.

As a result, I had many discussions with colleagues from project management and related disciplines like governance (PMOs[2]), educators. I had also many discussions with project managers from both sides customers and contractors.

All agreed that there is a talent gap that makes it difficult for project managers to run customer projects as customer-facing profit centers. The income should reflect the responsibility of the project manager as the manager of an income stream for the own organization, but also for the deliveries and services provided to the customer, whose business success to are larger or lesser degree depends on the performanve of the project manager.

There was however not much agreement, how project managers in customer projects should be paid and whether they are currently rather overpaid or underpaid. Here are some comments:

  • “The project managers of our contractors generally come in expensive cars to meetings. They are definitively overpaid, and the companies that send them suck the blood from us.”
  • “As a PMO manager, I am governing a portfolio of customer projects. The profit that our project managers create is too small, so they should not be angry that they do not get paid very well. If they help us make more profit, we can pay them better.”
  • “I am a project manager in a project, and we are the prime contractor. I always have the feeling that the project manager on customer side is much better paid, and I have the same feeling when I meet the project managers of our many subcontractors. We are the ham in the sandwich, and as we are organizing the project but are not doing the productive work, we are expected to be cheap.”
  • “I have strong experience in several software service delivery companies and in these companies it’s very easy answer to your question – PM’s who work on customer projects have high visibility, high appreciation and high salaries.”
  • “We hire project managers for customer projects in high technology. While certification gives an indication of people’s project management skills, no certification validates the business skills needed to do projects against payments.”

There is a common saying in quality managing: “Without data, you’re just another person with an opinion.”[3] The differing opinions show that we need better data on customer projects and many other aspects of Project Business Management (PBM). That data is so far not available. I therefore decided to obtain such data in form of another small survey performed between 13 and 27 May 2018. During the two weeks, I received 325 responses. The results of the survey are published here for the first time.

More…

To read entire article, click here

 

How to cite this article: Lehmann, O. (2018), The Great Talent Gap in Project Business Management, PM World Journal, Volume VII, Issue VI – June. Retrieved from https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/pmwj71-Jun2018-Lehmann-The-Great-Talent-Gap-series-article.pdf

Editor’s note: This is the 8th in a series of articles by Oliver Lehmann, author of the book “Situational Project Management: The Dynamics of Success and Failure” (ISBN 9781498722612), published by Auerbach / Taylor & Francis in 2016. See full author profile at the end of this article. A list of the other articles in PM World Journal can be found at https://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/oliver-f-lehmann.


 
About the Author


Oliver F. Lehmann

Munich, Germany

 

 

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

He has been a member and volunteer at PMI, the Project Management Institute, since 1998, and served five years as the President of the PMI Southern Germany Chapter until April 2018. Between 2004 and 2006, he contributed to PMI’s PM Network magazine, for which he provided a monthly editorial on page 1 called “Launch”, analyzing troubled projects around the world.

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

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

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

 

[1] (Lehmann, 2018)

[2] Project management offices

[3] (Revelle, 2004, p. 34)

 

The WBS and Preliminary Project Planning

Project Workflow Management

 

SERIES ARTICLE

By Dan Epstein

New York, USA

 


 

Introduction

This is the second article in the series on Project Workflow Management. The first article describes an overall Project Planning Process for developing plans for executing and controlling all project groups of processes called frames and detailed processes within each frame. The described here process is one of twelve detailed processes within the high level Project Planning process.

This article is based on the book Project Workflow Management: A Business Process Approach by Dan Epstein and Rich Maltzman, published by J Ross Publishing in 2014. The book describes PM Workflow® framework, the step-by-step workflow guiding approach using project management methods, practical techniques, examples, tools, templates, checklists and tips, teaching readers the detailed and necessary knowledge required to manage project “hands-on” from scratch, instructing what to do, when to do and how to do it up to delivering the completed and tested product or service to your client.

The project workflow framework is the result of the author’s research into the subject, having the following objectives:

  • Create a virtually error-free project management environment to ensure significant reduction of project costs
  • Reduce demands for highly qualified project managers using the step-by-step workflow guiding approach.

While PM Workflow® is the continuous multi-threaded process, where all PM processes are integrated together, this article will attempt to describe the Preliminary Project Planning  as a stand-alone  process that can be used independently outside of PM Workflow® framework. It will be difficult in this article not to venture into processes outside of the scope of this article, such as planning, quality, communications and other management processes, so they will be just mentioned. However, to get full benefit and the error free project management environment, the complete implementation of PM Workflow® is required.

In order to understand how PM Workflow® ensures this environment, I strongly recommend reading my article Project Workflow Framework – An Error Free Project Management Environment in the PMI affiliated projectmanagement.com (https://www.projectmanagement.com/articles/330037/Project-Workflow-Framework–An-Error-Free-Project-Management-Environment)

The article above provides the overview and explanation of how the project workflow framework works and achieves the established objectives.

For more information, please visit my website www.pm-workflow.com

Purpose

The purpose of the Work Breakdown Structure is to establish plans and methods for implementing and managing projects. The WBS in the context of this book is a tool for developing or updating the schedule data, such as milestones, deliverables, dependencies, risks, work products and resource requirements. Changes to the project scope any time throughout the project will bring the project flow back to this process. The WBS is a foundation upon which task estimates, task dependencies, resource allocation, risk management, quality management and project planning build into the project schedule.

WBS Activity Decomposition

The WBS is a deliverable-oriented multilevel decomposition of the entire project scope into sets of smaller, more manageable and controllable tasks. The WBS is, in effect, a hierarchical tree, which may be presented in several different forms:

  • WBS Decomposition Diagram (hierarchical)
  • Gantt Chart (adds element of time)
  • Network Diagram (focused on sequencing and dependencies)

WBS decomposition rules are different from process decomposition rules, which were described in the Requirements Frame section of the book. Instead of decomposing high level business activities to elementary business activities during the process decomposition, WBS activities are decomposed down to the level of the smallest executable project elements with the identified deliverables, called a task. Deliverables do not have to be a client deliverable; they may be an intermediate deliverables, which are required to create a client deliverable. There are two important rules of WBS decompositions:

  • No task should be longer than 40 hours (since any larger would indicate that further decomposition is possible)
  • No task should be shorter than 16 hours (since this could cause an excessive number of small tasks to track).

The 40 hour rule allows the project manager to have better control over the project. Experienced project managers know, when they ask team members about status of not yet completed tasks, the answer is often 80% or 90% completion. Unfortunately, the remaining 10% takes three times longer than the previous 90%. In fact, it is impossible to know the real status of the task until it is 100% complete and the deliverable is available for review. Therefore, the worst delay in task completion that may happen in this case is 40 hours, after which the corrective measures can be taken. If the task is eight weeks long, it will become obvious eight weeks down the road that the task is far from completion.

The correctly designed WBS of the medium size project has between several hundreds and one thousand tasks. If many tasks are shorter than 16 hours, then the WBS of the same project may have many thousands of tasks, which makes the project less manageable. There is an exception for mini projects with duration of several days or weeks, which may have shorter tasks. WBS creation should involve working sessions with all key technical personnel.

A Decomposition Diagram for a children’s birthday party is presented in Fig 7-1. The diagram is just a sample and many essential tasks are not included for the sake of keeping it simple. All activities and tasks are shown as rectangles. The top level activity Children’s Birthday Party is decomposed into four activities:

More…

To read entire article, click here

 

How to cite this paper: Epstein, D. (2018). The WBS and Preliminary Project Planning,  PM World Journal, Volume VII, Issue VI – June.  Available online at https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/pmwj71-Jun2018-Epstein-project-workflow-series-article-2-wbs.pdf

Editor’s note: This series of articles is based on the book Project Workflow Management: A Business Process Approach by Dan Epstein and Rich Maltzman, published by J Ross Publishing in 2014. The book describes the PM Workflow® framework, a step-by-step approach using project management methods, practical techniques, examples, tools, templates, checklists and tips.  The book teaches readers how to manage a project “hands-on” from scratch, including what to do, when and how to do it up to delivering a completed and tested product or service to a client.



About the Author


Dan Epstein

New York, USA

 




Dan Epstein
combines over 25 years of experience in the project management field and the best practices area, working for several major Canadian and U.S. corporations, as well as 4 years teaching university students project management and several software engineering subjects. He received a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the LITMO University in Leningrad (today St. Petersburg, Russia), was certified as a Professional Engineer in 1983 by the Canadian Association of Professional Engineers – Ontario, and earned a master’s certificate in project management from George Washington University in 2000 and the Project Management Professional (PMP®) certification from the Project Management Institute (PMI®) in 2001.

Throughout his career, Dan managed multiple complex interdependent projects and programs, traveling extensively worldwide. He possesses multi-industry business analysis, process reengineering, best practices, professional training development and technical background in a wide array of technologies. In 2004 Dan was a keynote speaker and educator at the PMI-sponsored International Project Management Symposium in Central Asia. He published several articles and gave published interviews on several occasions. In the summer of 2008 he published “Methodology for Project Managers Education” in a university journal. His book, Project Workflow Management – The Business Process Approach, written in cooperation with Rich Maltzman, was published in 2014 by J. Ross Publishing.

Dan first started development of the Project Management Workflow in 2003, and it was used in a project management training course. Later this early version of the methodology was used for teaching project management classes at universities in the 2003–2005 school years. Later on, working in the best practices area, the author entertained the idea of presenting project management as a single multithreaded business workflow. In 2007–2008 the idea was further refined when teaching the project management class at a university.

Dan is an author of many publications in professional magazines, speaker at the international presentations, a guest at podcasts, etc. The Project Management Institute’s (PMI) assessment of his book says: “Contains a holistic learning environment so that after finishing the book and assignments, new project managers or students will possess enough knowledge to confidently manage small to medium projects”. The full list of his publications and appearances can be found at the website www.pm-workflow.com in the Publications tab.

Dan can be contacted at [email protected].

To see other works by Dan Epstein, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at https://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/dan-epstein/

 

 

Benchmarking for a quick turnaround

The search for performance excellence

 

Advances in Project Management

SERIES ARTICLE

By Prof Darren Dalcher

Director, National Centre for Project Management

United Kingdom

 



According to the Oxford Dictionary the verb benchmark implies ‘evaluating something by comparison with a standard’. In practice, it often entails a direct assessment of business processes, procedures and performance metrics and outcomes against those applied by industry or sector leaders in order to understand why market leaders are successful, or against other organisations in a similar position or of a similar size and expertise, in order to provide a reading about the current performance level of the organisation.

Benchmarks emerge out of the pursuit of ‘best practice’ implying an intention to copy or replicate what is considered to be superior performance. Benchmarks provide a disciplined approach and a reference point for determining ones current position from which measurements could be made, or a basic standard and reference point against which others could be compared.

Reference points have long been used to determine position or encourage performance improvement. Land surveyors might be familiar with the idea of a benchmark, a distinctive mark made on a wall, rock or building which serves as a reference point in determining the current position and altitude in topographical surveys and tidal observations (Bogan & English, 1994, p. 3). Reference points are used elsewhere: Following the mass production and standardisation of rifles and cartridges in the mid-1800s, the marksman became the uncertain variable. Gun factories would therefore fix the rifle in a bench, making it possible to fire the rifle multiple times and determine the spread, introducing the idea of benchmarking weapons as used in both the gun factory and the ammunition factory to find the best combination of rifle, and ammunition, without necessarily accounting for the foibles of the rifleman.

McGrath and Bates suggest that Fredrick Taylor used the concept of a benchmark at the beginning of the Twentieth Century to identify excellent performers in the factory by putting a chalk mark on their benches (2017; p. 192). Taylor had utilised time and motion studies to identify good performers (Dalcher, 2017; p.3). The mark on the bench could thus indicate staff whose output or working practices should merit emulating, and McGrath & Bates (2017) propose that this rather crude method had evolved into rather more sophisticated benchmarking tools and procedures.

In the 1970s benchmarking became a widely accepted term. However, companies such as Xerox applied it in a narrow way that focused primarily on comparisons with one’s main competition to assess performance against the best in class, invoking the practice of competitive benchmarking (Camp, 1989). Competitive benchmarking entails comparison of company standards with those of leading rivals (Hindle, 2008; p. 15)

More…

To read entire article, click here

 

How to cite this article: Dalcher, D. (2018). Benchmarking for a quick turnaround: The search for performance excellence, PM World Journal, Volume VII, Issue VI – June. Retrieved from https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/pmwj71-Jun2018-Dalcher-benchmarking-for-quick-turnaround-series-article.pdf

Editor’s note: The PMWJ Advances in Project Management series includes articles by authors of program and project management books published by Gower and other publishers in the Routledge family.  Each month an introduction to the current article is provided by series editor Prof Darren Dalcher, who is also the editor of the Routledge Advances in Project Management series of books on new and emerging concepts in PM.  Prof Dalcher’s article is an introduction to the invited paper this month in the PMWJ. 


 
About the Author


Darren Dalcher, PhD

Author, Professor, Series Editor
Director, National Centre for Project Management
United Kingdom

 

 

Darren Dalcher, Ph.D. HonFAPM, FRSA, FBCS, CITP, FCMI SMIEEE SFHEA is Professor of Project Management, 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 and was voted Project Magazine’s “Academic of the Year” for his contribution in “integrating and weaving academic work with practice”. 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 written over 200 papers and book chapters on project management and software engineering. He is Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Software: Evolution and Process, a leading international software engineering journal. 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.

Darren is an Honorary Fellow of the APM, 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 of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Member of the Project Management Institute (PMI) and the British Academy of Management. 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 CMI Academic Council and the APM Group Ethics and Standards Governance Board.  He is the Academic Advisor and Consulting Editor for the next APM Body of Knowledge. Prof Dalcher is an academic advisor for the PM World Journal.  He can be contacted at [email protected].

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

 

 

Lean Quality in Construction Project Delivery

A new model and principles

 

Advances in Project Management Series

SERIES ARTICLE

By John Oakland and Marton Marosszeky

UK and Australia

 



Construction Industry Challenges and Solutions

All industries are undergoing rapid change under the pressure of technological innovation and changing client needs. The construction sector is no exception, the past 10 years has seen accelerating globalisation, a demand for larger and more complex projects, and a requirement for them to be delivered in ever shorter timeframes. Meanwhile clients of the industry are increasingly concerned that this sector is not keeping pace with the rates of improvement seen in other sections of the economy. In addition, in this sector, the rate and cost of errors in quality and safety have been too slow to improve.

In today’s construction industry, many among clients, designers and contractors are seeing BIM (Building Information Modelling) as the silver bullet that will transform the industry. We are convinced that this position is misguided. BIM provides the basis for improved communications within the design team and with external stakeholders, and it provides support for solution optimisation in both the design and construction stages of projects. However, it is no more than a very powerful enabling technology. The authors contend that it is the philosophical foundations of lean quality that will underpin the coming transformation of this sector globally, significantly improving productivity and increasing the industry’s potential for value creation for its customers. This viewpoint provides a foundation for organisational excellence across entire supply chains, it offers a powerful new perspective for policy makers, and helps to create the organisational prerequisites necessary for the effective deployment of technologies such as BIM.

Lean quality a new model for improved outcomes in the construction sector

Pressure from clients and governments as well as commercial competitive pressures have continued to force leading organisations in the construction sector to differentiate themselves on the basis of customer focus, overall product & process quality, cost of products and services and value creation for clients.

In response to these pressures, senior management in leading design and construction organisations worldwide are embracing the philosophy and principles of what we have now called Lean Quality. Often approaching the overall task from different perspectives, some adopt frameworks of performance measurement and benchmarking, others use the goal of continuous improvement while others choose to follow the values and concepts of lean construction. We see these as different perspectives through different lenses of the same broad objective, improving performance in all the activities of a business.

Traditionally, in conversations about quality, the building and construction sector has had a natural orientation towards product quality. Given the complexity of its organisational relationships and traditional craft-based processes, most of the construction quality literature reflects this product focus; providing either a guide to compliance with the ISO9001 quality system standards or pragmatic advice on tools for the control of quality. However, lead organisations in every area of the building and construction industry have recognised that the broad focus that Lean Quality brings to all aspects of organising and managing is as relevant to building and construction as it is to the manufacturing and service sectors. Furthermore, teachers and researchers in building and construction have recognised that a traditional product centred paradigm does not provide a sufficiently broad and robust basis for performance improvement within the sector.

More…

To read entire article, click here

 

Editor’s note: The Advances in Project Management series includes articles by authors of program and project management books previously published by Gower in UK and now by Routledge worldwide. Information about Routledge project management books can be found here.

How to cite this article: Oakland, J. and Marosszeky, M. (2018). Lean Quality in Construction Project Delivery: A new model and principles, PM World Journal, Volume VII, Issue 6 – June.  Retrieved from https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/pmwj71-Jun2018-Oakland-Marosszeky-lean-quality-in-construction-project-delivery.pdf


 
About the Authors


Professor John Oakland

Chairman, Oakland Group
Emeritus Professor, Leeds University Business School, UK

 

 

 

Professor John Oakland, PhD, CChem, MRSC, FCQI, FSS, MASQ is Chairman of the Oakland Group and Head of its Research and Education Division, The Oakland Institute. He is also Emeritus Professor of Business Excellence and Quality Management at Leeds University Business School.

For over thirty years he has taught all aspects of quality management, business excellence and performance improvement to literally thousands of organisations. He has directed several large research projects in Europe which have brought him into contact with a diverse range of organisations. His work on the quality management requirements of industry and commerce has been widely acknowledged and published.  Oakland Group is one of Europe’s leading organisations in helping clients to achieve performance improvement through excellence in planning and the management of people and processes, particularly in large complex organisations.

He is author of several books, including the best selling: Total Quality Management; TQM & Operational Excellence; Total Organisational Excellence, Oakland on Quality Management, Total Construction Management – lean quality in construction project delivery; Statistical Process Control and Production and Operations Management. He has written literally hundreds of papers, articles and reports on various topics in these fields.

Professor Oakland is a Fellow of the Chartered Quality Institute and an elected member of its Advisory Council. John is also a Member of the American Society of Quality, Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society and a Chartered Chemist / Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

 


Prof Martin Marosszeky

University of New South Wales (retired)
Sydney, Australia

 

 

 


Marton Marosszeky
is a civil engineer with early experience in road construction, contract supervision and structural design. He retired from the University of New South Wales where he was the Multiplex Professor of Construction Innovation in 2000 and has been working as a consultant in lean process improvement for the past 12 years. While he has been based in Australia, he has also worked in Canada, Russia, Singapore, Malaysia and the USA, helping major project teams and company executives to adopt lean thinking in building construction, infrastructure and the oil and gas sector.

Professors Oakland and Marosszeky are the authors of Total Construction Management: Lean Quality in Construction Project Delivery, published in 2017 by Routledge.  For information about the book, click here.

 

 

The Cost of Benefits

If you can’t track the allocations, you can’t understand the situation!

 

Applying Earned Benefit Management

SERIES ARTICLE

By Crispin (“Kik”) Piney, PgMP, PfMP

Southern France

 



Introduction: Link to the Previous Article

The tagline of the previous article was “If you can’t track it, you can’t manage it” and explained how to determine the contribution to the benefits of each component project throughout the lifetime of the program. The article finished by pointing out that, although we were now in a position to know the contribution of each component project to the planned benefits, we did not know how to share the estimated project costs between the other components of the model. This article will provide an innovative solution to this challenge and present some of the ways in which this additional knowledge can improve program decision-making.

Reminder on Benefits Maps

The first articles (Piney, 2018b; Piney, 2018c] in this series [Piney, 2018a], explained how to build a benefits realization map (BRM) and how to evaluate the contribution of each component of this map to forecast the strategic benefits of the total program (the “Benefits Allotment Routine” – BAR). These concepts were illustrated on a simple case study. This introduction provides a brief reminder of these ideas.

A BRM illustrates how to make the benefits happen. It can be constructed as follows.

Once the anticipated benefits have been defined by the strategic sponsor, you need to determine all of the steps that are required to construct this result, thereby allowing you to identify the necessary component projects. The dependencies from each logical step to the next are quantified for each dependency in the logical chain. The BAR uses the forecast value of the strategic objectives in conjunction with this link information to calculate the contribution of every node in the BRM to the anticipated benefits. In particular, the BAR evaluates the contribution to the anticipated benefits of each component project. This value is known as the “Earned Benefit At Completion” (EBAC) of that component project.

The Earned Benefit of a component project at a given point in time is evaluated from its EBAC in proportion to the its degree of completion at that point. The Earned Benefit of the total program is defined as the sum of all of the project Earned Benefits.

From this starting position, a more general approach to evaluating various numerical characteristics of the components of benefits maps will be developed in the current article.

Clarifications

I received the following comments on the previous article (Piney, 2018c) and will address them here to remove any misunderstandings it may have produced:

  1. “… [The] only possible ‘benefits’ that I can imagine would come in the form of cost savings.”

Cost saving is not so much a benefit as a project performance indicator. However, I am addressing programs, and I should obviously have provided my definition of a benefit in this context. A program benefit is defined as: “An improvement of one or more strategic or business-related results. Program benefits are normally set as a goal by senior management along with the corresponding, quantified objectives”. For example, an underground mining project (Wibikskana, 2012) would normally be one of the components of a program that also needed to address power generation, storage and distribution of the extracted product, environmental considerations, etc. in order to obtain benefits such as profits, market share etc., while avoiding disbenefits to reputation due to environmental issues caused by the mining operations. These program benefits accrue to the mining company in this case, whereas project cost savings are a main consideration for the mining contractor. For this reason, the program manager should use the Earned Benefit Method (EBM), whereas the project manager would apply the Earned Value Method (EVM).

  1. “I don’t understand how you calculated the Benefits in Figure 1?”

In Figure 1, the overall program benefits as defined by the dollar values of the strategic outcome (node K) are specified as an objective by senior management. The way in which business objectives are set and quantified by senior management is the domain of strategy setting and is outside the immediate scope of the program manager. In general, the problem of valuing non-financial benefits is still the subject of debate (see for example SROI 2012). However, the article described in detail how to evaluate the contribution of each of the other components of the benefits map, including the benefits contributions of each of the component projects, once these quantified strategic objectives had been specified.

  1. “How can you claim to measure benefits when the project has yet to be completed?  […] Asked another way, how can Activity A produce any measurable benefits until Activities C and D are also finished and the services actually implemented?”

My previous article did not address the challenge of measuring benefits. It presented the concept of “Earned Benefit” during program execution as a direct extension of the Earned Value approach to project performance measurement. As such, it measures the potential result of the work completed at each stage. To give a practical example, as a freelance consultant, I know full well that earning my fee and receiving payment are two related, but very separate, events.

I intend to return to this fundamental question of “earned” vs. “delivered” in more detail in the next article in the series, but this will require the additional concepts that will be developed in the current article.

The Case Study

The business objective of the program in this example is to increase profits for an organization in the area of customer service. For the purpose of the case study, strategic analysis by senior management has shown that increased customer satisfaction with after-sales support enhances business results and has the potential for delivering a additional revenue of €300,000 per annum compared with the current level of business, but that this service will also lead to an increase in operational costs amounting to 25% of the corresponding financial improvement, thereby reducing the net benefit by the corresponding amount.

More…

To read entire article, click here

 

How to cite this article: Piney, C. (2018), The Cost of Benefits, PM World Journal, Volume VII, Issue VI – June. Available online at https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/pmwj71-Jun2018-Piney-Benefits-series-part3-the-cost-of-benefits.pdf



About the Author


Crispin “Kik” Piney

Southern 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 2017

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/

 

 

Stage 3: Augment and consolidate strategic initiatives

 

Organisational Strategic Planning & Execution

SERIES ARTICLE

By Alan Stretton, PhD (Hon)

Sydney, Australia

 



INTRODUCTION

This is the third of a series of five articles on organisational strategic planning and execution. I have been using the following basic strategic management framework developed from earlier articles in this journal as the common base for this series. (The summarised materials for Stages 3 and 4 in Figure 1 have been slightly amended from those shown in the first two articles of the series).

Figure 1: An organisational strategic management framework, with project contributions

The first article in this series (Stretton 2018d) addressed Stage 1: Establish strategic objectives, and discussed the extensive preliminary work needed before strategic objectives can be reasonably established; the importance of “emergent” strategies; and the need to re-establish strategic objectives as the latter come into play.

The second article (Stretton 2018e) addressed Stage 2: Develop options, evaluate, and choose the best. It focused on the importance of developing alternative strategic initiatives, and of achieving reliable conceptual level estimates, to facilitate valid evaluation of the ‘outline’ business cases for these initiatives, and choice of the best.

This third article addresses Stage 3: Augment and consolidate strategic initiatives. The augment part of this heading is shorthand for first augmenting and elaborating the chosen strategic initiatives into sufficient detail to be able to expand the relevant ‘outline’ business cases from Stage 2 into detailed business cases with appropriate levels of confidence about the underlying estimates. The latter are generally associated with bottom-up estimating, which is more detailed and reliable than the top-down estimating typically used for conceptual estimated in Stage 2. For strategic initiatives with softer projects whose parameters cannot be so well defined at this stage, I have provided for iterations with the double-headed arrow in Figure 1

The feasibilities of these strategic initiatives and their business cases can then be re-checked and confirmed, and formal approval given to proceed to the next step.

The consolidate part of the Stage 3 heading is shorthand for prioritising and  balancing the group of strategic initiatives, and then consolidating them into a strategic portfolio (or portfolios), to facilitate effective strategy execution. We will also discuss three different understandings in the literature about the scope of management of strategic portfolios, and touch on responsibilities for managing them.

More…

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How to cite this article: Stretton, A. (2018). Stage 3: Augment and consolidate strategic initiatives, Series on Organizational Strategic Planning and Execution, PM World Journal, Volume VII, Issue 6 – June. Available online at https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/pmwj71-Jun2018-Stretton-strategic-planning-series-article-3-augment-consolidate.pdf


 
About the Author


Alan Stretton, PhD

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

 


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

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

 

 

Ten Things Every Business Needs to Know

 

Risk Doctor Briefing

SERIES ARTICLE

Dr David Hillson, PMI Fellow, HonFAPM, FIRM

The Risk Doctor Partnership

United Kingdom

 



Everyone knows that “business hates uncertainty”. Uncertainty poses a clear threat to business, but it also contains significant opportunity. Sources of uncertainty must be understood so that these threats and opportunities can be effectively managed, avoiding and minimising unnecessary problems as well as capturing and maximising benefits. In the current uncertain business climate, it has never been more important for businesses to assess and manage their risks. But how do we do that when we are surrounded by uncertainty?

In The Analects of Confucius, the ancient Chinese philosopher says: “Shall I teach you about knowledge? What you know, you know; what you don’t know, you don’t know. This is true wisdom.”

(由,誨女知之乎,知之為知之,不知為不知,是知也。)

Taking our advice from Confucius, there are ten things every organisation needs to know if we are to survive and thrive in this increasingly uncertain world:

1. Know your goals. When times are uncertain you need to know where you’re heading. This includes strategic vision as well as tactical objectives, both long-term and short-term. Ensure goal congruence and alignment to focus efforts on what matters.

2. Know your market. Don’t assume you know what your customers might want – find out. Market intelligence is vital in identifying trends and opportunities that you can exploit. Reducing market uncertainty prevents wasted effort and optimises effectiveness.

3. Know your business. Review your processes, products and people, to identify and focus on the winners, and maximise return-on-investment (ROI) by increasing efficiency.

4. Know your environment. Be sure you understand the world in which you operate, including political, economic, social, technical, regulatory and legal factors that might affect you. Conduct an environmental scan to identify and challenge constraints.

5. Know yourself. Assess your organisational culture and attitudes, identify your strengths and weaknesses, and determine your risk appetite and thresholds. These have a significant influence on how you respond to uncertainty.

More…

To read entire article, click here

 

How to cite this article: Hillson, D. (2018). Ten Things Every Business Needs to Know, Risk Doctor Briefing; PM World Journal, Volume VII, Issue 6 – June. Available online at https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/pmwj71-Jun2018-Hillson-ten-things-every-business-needs-to-know.pdf



About the Author


Dr. David Hillson

The Risk Doctor

 

 

 


Dr David Hillson
CMgr FRSA FIRM FCMI HonFAPM PMI-Fellow is The Risk Doctor (www.risk-doctor.com).  As an international risk consultant, David is recognised as a leading thinker and expert practitioner in risk management. He consults, writes and speaks widely on the topic and he has made several innovative contributions to the field. David’s motto is “Understand profoundly so you can explain simply”, ensuring that his work represents both sound thinking and practical application.

David Hillson has over 25 years’ experience in risk consulting and he has worked in more than 40 countries, providing support to clients in every major industry sector, including construction, mining, telecommunications, pharmaceutical, financial services, transport, fast-moving consumer goods, energy, IT, defence and government. David’s input includes strategic direction to organisations facing major risk challenges, as well as tactical advice on achieving value and competitive advantage from effectively managing risk.

David’s contributions to the risk discipline over many years have been recognised by a range of awards, including “Risk Personality of the Year” in 2010-11. He received both the PMI Fellow award and the PMI Distinguished Contribution Award from the Project Management Institute (PMI®) for his work in developing risk management. He is also an Honorary Fellow of the UK Association for Project Management (APM), where he has actively led risk developments for nearly 20 years.  David Hillson is an active Fellow of the Institute of Risk Management (IRM), and he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) to contribute to its Risk Commission. He is also a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and a Member of the Institute of Directors (IOD).

Dr Hillson can be contacted at [email protected].

To see other works previously published in the PM World Journal by Dr David Hillson, visit his author showcase at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/dr-david-hillson/

 

 

 

Risk Management in Developing Countries

 

SERIES ARTICLE

Risk Doctor Briefing

Rasoul Abdolmohammadi, PMP, PMI-RMP

The Risk Doctor Partnership

Iran

 



Based on experience, it seems that the majority of companies in developing countries who are implementing risk management do not get the added value that they expect. This is often because they are attempting to import risk management from a different cultural setting, from developed to developing parts of the world.

In many cases, it makes sense to begin by bringing in a system from a developed country, rather than starting from the beginning to build something new. But how can organizations in developing countries avoid the threats that come with importing a risk management approach from elsewhere? These steps will help:

  • Self-awareness. Knowing ourselves will help us to develop a more realistic approach to managing risk. We should study our history to discover how risk has been considered and managed in the past, and we should look for particular cultural influences that might affect how we perceive risk.
  • Real Needs. What exactly do we need? Organizations in developing countries often look at others elsewhere and say: “They have implemented this system, so we want it too.” But copying others can lead us to adopt systems that fail to add value for our company. We must start by understanding what we really need from risk management, and then design an approach to meet it. We can define our needs by interviewing stakeholders or analysing weaknesses in our current systems. We should not merely copy the risk approach from others without being sure that it will help us in our specific setting.
  • Preparation. We need to understand what level of infrastructure is needed to support risk management, and determine whether our people have the necessary understanding, knowledge and skills to implement it. Many companies in developing countries try to implement risk management without having the necessary infrastructure or skills in place.

More…

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About the Author


Rasoul Abdolmohammadi

Iran

 

 

Rasoul Abdolmohammadi is an industrial engineer with more than 15 years project management experience including risk, time and cost management. He currently works as planning and scheduling specialist in Petronas. His risk experience includes developing, implementing and training project risk processes for a range of mega-projects in the oil & gas and construction industries (for the first time in Iran), including quantitative risk analysis using Primavera Risk Analysis. Rasoul has published his experiences in the book “Practical Project Risk Management Processes“, and he has presented on risk at international conferences.

He can be contacted at [email protected]