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.

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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…

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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]

 

 

Project Planning Flow Process

 

Project Workflow Management

SERIES ARTICLE

By Dan Epstein

New York, USA

 



Introduction

While PM Workflow® is a continuous multi-threaded process, where all PM processes are integrated together; this article will describe the project planning flow process. For a full introduction to PM Workflow® , I strongly recommend reading my article Project Workflow Framework – An Error Free Project Management Environment and on the PMI affiliated projectmanagement.com website (https://www.projectmanagement.com/articles/330037/Project-Workflow-Framework–An-Error-Free-Project-Management-Environment). That article provides an overview and explanation of how the project workflow framework achieves established objectives.

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

Before studying the project planning process, it is recommended that readers also revisit the project initiation process previously published in PM World Journal, as follows:

Part 1 (February 2015)

Part 2 (March 2015)

Part 3 (April 2015) 

Purpose

The purpose of the project planning process is to develop plans for executing and controlling all project groups of processes called frames and processes within each frame. This section instructs how to break down project tasks, estimate them, package them, and then, most importantly, to communicate the detailed project plan. The Planning Frame consists of the following major detailed processes:

  • Preliminary Project Planning and Updating the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)
  • Risk Management Planning and Execution
  • Communications Management Planning and Execution
  • Configuration Management Planning and Execution
  • Resource Management Planning and Execution
  • Subcontractor/Offshore Management Planning and Execution
  • Quality Management Planning and Execution
  • Estimate project activities
  • Develop/Update the plan package
  • Communicate the plan package
  • Develop Statement of Work (SOW)
  • Update and approve the project, frame and the scope change budget

The combination of the above elements is used to develop plans for all project activities, which have a major impact on project cost, duration and quality. The more thorough the project plan, the more predictable the project’s cost and schedule.

All activities require planning. This includes planning of the Planning Frame, since the Planning Frame activities include plans for high level design, plans for risk management, plans for quality management etc. Planning of all project activities and the overall project is always done in the Planning Frame, but may be initiated by other frames. The list of where the planning of each frame is initiated is shown in Table 5-1.

More…

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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. (date), Project Planning Flow Process, PM World Journal, Volume VII, Issue 5, May 2018. https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/pmwj70-May2018-Epstein-project-planning-flow-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/

 

 

Be the Project (Business) Manager that People Think You are

And Get Paid as That!

 

Project Business Management

SERIES ARTICLE

By Oliver F. Lehmann

Munich, Germany

 


 

Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking
they can’t lose. And it’s an unreliable guide to the future”[1]
Bill Gates

Summary

The demand for Project Managers with business skills is robustly growing.  However, they face additional challenges, compared with project managers in strictly internal projects and have an increased responsibility for the well-being and the survival of the own organization. Their mindset should reflect this, but also their payment.

A Loss-Making Contractor

It was some years ago that I was hired by a software development company to give project management basics training to their staff. The company was about midsize and we had last been in contact about 15 years earlier. For the case story, let’s call the firm Mosquito, Inc. I thought it was a good feeling to be a guest at the company again, after such a long time, and do a seminar for them.

When Mosquito’s general manager booked me for the class, he requested me to plan some time at the end of the seminar to talk with him about my observations and some other issues. I agreed, knowing what this kind of request means. Managers commonly ask for such additional time, when their companies have a specific problem, or challenge, or a difficult question, hoping that I can provide a solution or an answer from my more distant position. I am booked as a trainer but, as I am there anyway, also am in addition used as a free consultant.

The specific problem became visible during the class and was a topic of repeated discussion among attendees: A troubled customer project. Mosquito had a major client, a professional association that needed to implement a new fee clearance system with its members. These members were small service companies that had to use the system to make their cost calculations more transparent to their customers. Another purpose was to make it easier for tax authorities to assess tax claims based on the services provided by these members.

The main components of the clearance system were a centralized database to which the association members had access, and an ID card the size of a credit card that was owned by the customers and allowed access to their data in the system. The implementation of the system was not a strategic decision by the association or its members, it was a new legal demand on them, and the law had a deadline imposed for the implementation of the system. The deadline was originally not too short, but a lot of time had been lost during requirements identification and clarification. These delays have made the deadline pressing. Another problem: Mosquito, the contractor was about to make a heavy loss, that could grow big enough to jeopardize the existence of the company.

The customer project had been agreed to be performed under a fixed-price contract. It was further agreed to be performed based on the “Agile Manifesto”[2], a document from 2001, which is generally considered the basis of agile approaches. Among its statements are four value assignments:

More…

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Editor’s note: This is the 7th 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 author profile below.

How to cite this article:
Lehmann, O. (2018), Be the Project (Business) Manager that People Think You are—And Get Paid as That!, PM World Journal, Volume VII, Issue 5, May 2018. https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/pmwj70-May2018-Lehmann-Be-the-Project-Manager-series-article.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] (Gates, Myhrvold & Rinearson, 1996)

[2] (Beck, K. et al., 2001)

 

 

Stage 2: Develop strategic options

evaluate, and choose the best

 

Organisational Strategic Planning & Execution

SERIES ARTICLE

By Alan Stretton, PhD (Hon)

Sydney, Australia

 



INTRODUCTION

This is the second of a series of five articles on organisational strategic planning and execution. I am using the following basic strategic management framework, based on earlier articles in this journal, as the common base for this series.

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

This model places project planning and implementation in the broader context of organisational strategic planning and execution. In this series I am focusing more attention on certain elements in the top strategic stages, although projects will also figure in many of these discussions.

The articles in this series discuss each of the five stages in strategic planning and execution in turn. The first article (Stretton 2018d) addressed Stage 1: Establish strategic objectives, and summarised some of the extensive preliminary work that needs to be done before strategic objectives can be reasonably established; the increasing importance of “emergent” strategies in times of increasingly rapid change; and the need to re-establish strategic objectives as the latter come into play.

This second article addresses Stage 2: Develop strategic options, evaluate and choose the best. It will focus particularly on the importance of developing alternative strategic initiatives to achieve the strategic objectives, and on the importance of good conceptual level estimates, to help get meaningful comparisons in evaluating the alternative options, and to ensure that the chosen alternative will be viable.

DEVELOPING STRATEGIC OPTIONS

This second stage begins with developing alternative approaches – i.e. alternative strategic initiatives – for achieving the desired strategic outcomes and thence realising the  benefits.

The importance of developing alternative strategic initiatives

In Stretton 2017k I emphasised the need to develop alternative “approaches” to achieving the desired organizational strategic outcomes and benefits. In my substantial experience in many types of planning, I have found that the first approach is rarely, if ever, the best. The development of such alternatives receives a moderate amount of attention in the project management literature, and I discussed specific contributions by Archibald 2009 and Prieto (in Archibald et al 2012:22) in that article. However, I also believe that it does not always get the kind of direct attention in the literature that its importance deserves, in spite of the fact that it is often implicit in discussions by some who do not address it directly.

I also noted in that article that, in my time in Lend Lease, it was virtually mandatory to consider all available options in planning activities, including strategic planning.

Checklists re developing alternative strategic initiatives

At this point I will summarise and adapt a checklist from Archibald et al 2012, which relates to what they called a project incubation/feasibility phase. Instead of “project”, I am going to use the broader descriptor “strategic initiatives”, which include both project and non-project components. This checklist essentially says that a strategic initiative “must begin with a reasonable understanding of what the principle objectives, scope, schedule, and cost” of the initiative is expected to be, including:

More…

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Editor’s note: This is article two in a five-part series on strategic planning by Alan Stretton, one of the world’s 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 article:
Stretton, A. (date), Stage 2: Develop strategic options, evaluate, and choose the best; Series on Organizational Strategic Planning and Execution. PM World Journal, Volume VII, Issue 5, May 2018. https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/pmwj70-May2018-Stretton-developing-strategic-options-series-article2.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/.

 

 

Strategy execution

Overcoming the alignment trap

 

Advances in Project Management

SERIES ARTICLE

By Prof Darren Dalcher

Director, National Centre for Project Management

United Kingdom

 


The success of a vision is only as enduring as its execution. There is perhaps nothing more frustrating than to observe a beautiful strategy conceived in response to a promising big opportunity or cutting edge innovation, which succumbs to the vagaries and twists of life during an attempt at executing it.

A brilliant strategy, blockbuster product, or breakthrough technology can put you on the competitive map, but only solid execution can keep you there. You have to be able to deliver on your intent. Unfortunately, the majority of companies aren’t very good at it, by their own admission.’ (Neilson, et al., 2008; 60)

Sir John Reginald Hartnell Bond who retired as Chairman of HSBC Holdings plc, after 45 years with the bank, famously remarked that ‘there are few original strategies in banking; there’s only execution’.

Indeed, strategy execution appears to be difficult to carry out successfully. Sull, Homkes and Sull (2015; p. 60) 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.

If execution is so important, why is it so neglected? To be sure, people in business aren’t totally oblivious to it. But what they are mostly aware of is its absence. They know deep down that something is missing when decisions don’t get made or followed through or when commitments don’t get met. They search and struggle for answers, benchmarking companies that are known to deliver on their commitments, looking for the answers in the organizational structure or processes or culture. But they rarely apprehend the underlying lesson, because execution hasn’t yet been recognized or taught as a discipline. They literally don’t know what they are looking for.’ (Bossidy & Charan, 2002; p. 31)

The problem with execution

Beer and Eisenstat (2000) note that while successful companies comprehend that they need a good strategy before proceeding to appropriately realign structure, systems, leadership behaviour, human resource policies, culture, values and management processes, many obstacles lie between the ideal alignment and the reality of implementation.

For one thing, senior managers get lulled into believing that a well-conceived strategy communicated to the organization equals implementation. For another, they approach change in a narrow, non systemic and programmatic manner that does not address root causes.’ (ibid.; p. 29)

Beer and Eisenstat point out that doctors refer to high cholesterol as a ‘silent killer’ because it blocks arteries with no obvious outward symptoms. They contend that organisations similarly have their own silent killers operating below the surface (i.e. within the shadow side of the organisation). These mutually reinforcing barriers block strategy implementation and organisational learning required for successful innovation, development and growth.

Beer and Eisenstat’s research identifies the most often mentioned major barriers to strategy implementation observed within the organisations they studied. The six ‘silent killers’ (p. 32) are:

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 article:
Dalcher, D. (2018), Strategy execution: Overcoming the alignment trap, PM World Journal, Volume VII, Issue 5, May 2018. https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/pmwj70-May2018-Dalcher-strategy-execution-overcoming-alignment-trap.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 challenges of implementing strategy

 

Advances in Project Management Series

SERIES ARTICLE

By Kurt Verweire, PhD

Belgium

 



Strategy implementation is a hot topic today. Managers spend billions of dollars on consulting and training in the hope to create brilliant strategies. But all too often brilliant strategies do not translate into brilliant performance. Strategy implementation ranks high on top managers’ agendas but is a topic that has not received sufficient attention in the academic world. It seems like academics assume that if a firm has a strategy, it gets implemented automatically. But talk with managers and most will admit that their organization is experiencing significant problems with translating their strategy into concrete activities and results.

Why do so many companies struggle with strategy implementation? And what can be done about it? In this article, I first present five root causes why strategy implementation is so hard. Some of these root causes deal with the quality of the strategy itself, the others deal with the topic of implementation. Then, I present a new model that tackles many of these issues. This model consists of three building blocks and is called the Strategy-Alignment-Commitment model. The article zooms in on each of the three building blocks and provides useful suggestions how to increase the success rate of your strategy implementation programs.

WHY DO STRATEGY IMPLEMENTATION INITIATIVES FAIL?

In my discussions with managers who struggle with strategy implementation, I have discovered that there are five root causes for an unsuccessful strategy implementation:

Too much focus on financials in strategy discussions. Strategy implementation only succeeds if a company has a well-formulated strategy in the first place. In reality, however, few companies have a genuine strategy. According to Michael Porter – one of the most influential writers in the field – managers often rely on a flawed definition of strategy.[1] For example, managers confuse strategy with aspiration. How many times have we heard or read: “Our strategy is to be #1 or #2 in that particular industry,” or “Our strategy is to grow shareholder value by 30% in the next three years.” But those statements are not strategies – they’re goals or aspirations. These statements say what the company wants to be or achieve, not how it will get there. Goals are important, but they do not substitute for strategy. Great strategies provide guidance and coherence to the organization, financial goals, unfortunately, do not!

Functional strategies are no substitute for a business strategy. One of the major reasons why it’s difficult to reach consensus on a clear business strategy is that the focus in many organizations is on the development of functional strategies. Companies have a strategy for operations, for sales, for marketing, for HR, and so on. But the more you break strategy up into various functional strategies, the less likely you will have a winning business strategy. There is a great risk for sub-optimization and conflicts among departments over resources and conflicting goals.

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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:
Verweire, K. (2018). The challenges of implementing strategy, PM World Journal, Volume VII, Issue 5, May 2018. https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/pmwj70-May2018-Verweire-challenges-of-implementing-strategy-series-article.pdf



About the Author


Kurt Verweire, PhD

Belgium




Professor Kurt Verweire
obtained his PhD at Erasmus University Rotterdam in 1999. He is Associate Professor Strategic Management and Partner at Vlerick Business School. He is also Programme Director of the MBA-FSI programme, a general management programme that is entirely focused on the financial services industry. His research interests include formulating and implementing winning business strategies, performance management and change management, and corporate strategy. Current research projects address how firms have to position themselves in the market, and how to create alignment and commitment within the organisation. Many of his research projects deal with financial services organisations.

Prof Verweire is the author of the book Strategy Implementation published by Routledge in 2014.

 

[1] [email protected] (2006) “Michael Porter Asks, and Answers: Why Good Managers Set Bad Strategies,” November 1, http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article.cfm?articleid=1594.

 

 

Stage 1: Establish organisational strategic objectives


Organisational Strategic Planning & Execution

Series Article 1 of 5

By Alan Stretton, PhD (Hon)

Sydney, Australia

 



INTRODUCTION

This is the first of a series of five articles on organisational strategic planning and execution. The series will discuss, in turn, each of the five stages of strategic planning and execution shown in Figure 1, which is based on models used in some of my recent articles in this journal (e.g. Stretton 2017l, 2018a, 2018b).

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

This model (now somewhat modified) places project planning and implementation in the broader context of organisational strategic planning and execution. My previous articles were particularly concerned with project contributions to achieving strategic objectives. In this series I will be more concerned with the five strategic management stages per se, but will not attempt a comprehensive coverage of these. Rather I will tend to focus on particular issues that do not appear to be adequately covered in the project management literature, and/or where there are significant differences of perspective by different writers.

This first article of the series is about Stage 1: Establishing organisational strategic objectives. It will be primarily concerned with summarising some of the extensive work that needs to be done in “deliberate” strategic contexts before strategic objectives can be reasonably established; the increasing importance of “emergent” strategies in times of increasingly rapid change; the need to re-establish strategic objectives as the latter come into play – all of which makes strategic management a dynamic, rather than relatively static, series of processes, and which I have tried to reflect in the (new) summarised descriptor in the Stage1 text box.

SOME ATTRIBUTES OF TRADITIONAL ORGANISATIONAL STRATEGY

Organisational strategy has long been a major subject in its own right

A great deal has been written in the general management literature about organisational strategy, and I do not pretend to be in a position to attempt to encapsulate these materials in a relatively short article. However, the following chapter headings from Johnson & Scholes 1999, in their book “Exploring Corporate Strategy”, give an indication of the types of issues they believe need to be covered.

  1. Corporate strategy: An introduction
  2. Strategic management in practice
  3. Analysing the environment
  4. Resources, competences and strategic capability
  5. Stakeholder expectations and organisational purposes
  6. Bases of strategic choice
  7. Strategic options: Directions and methods of development
  8. Strategy evaluation and selection
  9. Organisation structure and design
  10. Resource allocation and control
  11. Managing strategic change

This represents what Booth 2018 has called a traditional “textbook” approach. The related strategies have often been described as “deliberate” strategies.

More…

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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 Value of Benefits

If you can’t track it, you can’t manage it!

 

Applying Earned Benefit Management

SERIES ARTICLE

By Crispin ‘Kik’ Piney

Southern France

 



Introduction: Reminder on Benefits Maps

In the first of this series of articles [Piney, 2018a; Piney, 2018b], I presented the basic ideas around program and portfolio. These concepts were illustrated on a simple case study. This introduction provides a brief reminder of these ideas.

Benefits and Benefits Mapping

As stated in the earlier article, whereas, for projects, you need to be able to specify precisely what you want to create, for programs as well as for portfolios, the objective is different. The question to be answered in this case is “how can I achieve a specific business or strategic benefit?” The approach for defining the solution is to create a benefits map. The output of this mapping exercise is a logical network that can be read in two directions.

The map illustrates how to make the benefits happen. Once the required benefits have been defined by the strategic sponsor, you need to determine all of the steps that are required in order to identify the component projects required in order to achieve the strategic objectives. The dependencies between these logical steps are quantified with respect to the size of the contribution of the source node to the required result. In conjunction with the forecast value of the strategic objectives, this link information allows the forecast contribution of every node in the benefits map to be evaluated. Comparing the calculated contribution of each component project with its estimated cost provides a measure of its business value: its forecast benefit-cost ratio.

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 has shown that increased customer satisfaction with after-sales support enhances business results and has the potential for delivering a benefit of €300,000 per annum compared with the current level of business. The steps to achieving this benefit have then been developed from this required strategic outcome all the way across to identifying the projects required. Analysis of this solution indicates that it will also lead to an increase in operational costs amounting to 25% of the corresponding benefit, thereby reducing the net benefit to be achieved by the program. The benefits map for this program, including all of the financial numbers mentioned above is shown in Figure 1. One important point about this case study is that, although the overall figures show a healthy return on investment, one component project (B: Call Handling Tool) costs more to develop than in contributes to the final benefit. The first article, however, explained why its inclusion was justified.

The benefits map provides you with a static view of the forecast result of the completed program. However, the addition of the Earned Benefit concept to benefits mapping provides additional, essential information for tracking the performance of the program during implementation.

More…

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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/

 

 

Expanding the Risk Management Universe

 

Risk Doctor Briefing

SERIES ARTICLE

Dr David Hillson, PMI Fellow, HonFAPM, FIRM

The Risk Doctor Partnership

United Kingdom

 



Like the physical universe, the risk management universe is expanding. This is true in two distinct ways, with enhanced depth of analysis and increased breadth of application. We might describe these as the micro perspective (looking very closely at the nature of the risks we face), and the macro perspective (looking at the bigger picture to see if we are missing anything). In addition to these, we need to think about how to manage the risks that we currently cannot see.

  • First is the micro perspective, where new advances in risk analysis are providing improved insights into the nature of risk, and developing new approaches for the effective management of risk and its impacts. Risk practitioners are committed to their profession, and it is not static. The high rate of publication of research papers and case studies and the release of new techniques and support tools provide evidence of a dynamic and developing discipline. Risk management has not settled but is continuing to develop and break new ground.
  • Progress is also being made on the macro level, with discovery of new dimensions to the risk management universe. The use of a structured approach to understanding and managing significant uncertainty is proving valuable in hitherto unexpected areas. Several fields are adopting “risk-based” approaches, including auditing, remuneration, social policy, communication, etc. It may only be a matter of time before these novel applications become full disciplines in their own right, adding new dimensions to the risk management universe.

Finally we should consider the risks that are currently invisible to us. Astronomers have realised that there is more to the physical universe than meets the eye or than can be detected using current instrumentation technology. Many have suggested the existence of “dark matter” to make their equations add up…

More…

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About the Author


Dr. David Hillson

The Risk Doctor
United Kingdom

 

 

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/

 

 

Working in the shadows

Exposing our inner demons

 

Advances in Project Management

SERIES ARTICLE

By Prof Darren Dalcher

Director, National Centre for Project Management

United Kingdom

 



Last month’s column focused on the complexity of the terrain and the difficulty in mapping and making sense of the full scale of reality. An earlier article focused on creation of a culture of cooperation between different disciplines. This article shifts attention to the complexity of individuals, and the cultures and organisations within which they operate. In particular, it highlights the role of light and shadows in determining what we can see and do.

Shadows may conjure up childhood images of playful finger and hand shapes of animals and magical creatures projected onto a wall in front of a torch, flashlight or fire, or perhaps invoke memories of elongated shapes manipulated at dusk, which lengthen as the twilight descends, until they are subsumed by the surrounding darkness when the sun is no longer visible.

The Oxford Dictionary offers two pertinent definitions: ‘a dark area or shape produced by a body coming between rays of light and a surface’, or, a term ‘used in reference to proximity, ominous oppressiveness, or sadness and gloom’. Upon reflection it thus becomes possible to focus on two main types of shadows:

  • The darkness that forms: the former description offered by the Oxford Dictionary refers to the shadow created when an opaque, or translucent, object casts a shadow, as it does not allow the light project projected from a source to pass straight through it.
  • The darkness that lurks: The latter definition acknowledges a more profound phenomena that could refer to a shadow of war impacting a country; a shadow of performance-enhancing drugs that blights a particular sport; a shadow cast by pests, vermin or disease, or some other threat; or even a more ominous shadow in the mind that encases the soul in darkness. Certain cultures, religions and mythologies also associate shadows with ghosts, demons or the underworld.

The common feature across both types of shadow is the absence of light, which manifests itself as a certain kind of emerging darkness.

Searching under the lamppost

Light seems to play an important part in driving local inquiry and emboldening the search for knowledge, while shadows and darkness, stifle the local search.

There is an old parable and joke about a police officer who observes a drunken man furiously searching under a streetlight. After a few minutes the police officer approaches to discover that the man had lost his house keys. The officer joins the search, as they both thoroughly and systematically comb the area underneath the streetlight. After repeating the search three or four times, the police officer asks the man if he is absolutely certain he lost the keys there, to which the man replies, ‘no, I lost them over there in the park’.

The officer proceeds to ask why he is searching in that particular spot, and the man replies that ‘this is where the light is

Searching under the lamppost is also known as ‘the streetlight effect’ or the drunkard’s search. It was popularised by Abraham Kaplan (1964), and has become an increasingly acknowledged and recognised observational bias where people search by looking in the easiest places. Farris (1969) observes that no matter where behavioural scientists have dropped their keys, they prefer to continue to search for them where it appears lighter, while Freedman maintains that ‘researchers tend to look for answers where the looking is good, rather than where the answers are likely to be hiding’ (2010).

The temptation to look under the light, where it is easier to organise a search, continues to appeal to many disciplines (see for example, Shanto & William, 1993; McKenna et al., 2008). Indeed, Noam Chomsky dryly reasons in a 1993 letter that ‘Science is a bit like the joke about the drunk who is looking under a lamppost for a key that he has lost on the other side of the street, because that’s where the light is. It has no other choice.’ (reported in, Barsky, 1998; p. 95)

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. 


 
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/.

 

 

Shadow Working in Project Management

Towards new levels of consciousness in groups

 

Advances in Project Management Series

SERIES ARTICLE

By Joana Bértholo, PhD

Portugal

 


                                                        

 ‘I have yet to meet the famous Rational Economic Man theorists describe. Real people have always done inexplicable things from time to time, and they show no sign of stopping.

— Charles Sanford Jr., US business executive, quoted in Ket De Vries, M. (2003; p. 1)

The book Shadow Working in Project Management (Bértholo, 2017) is the result of a research project undertaken from 2009 to 2014. It tells the story of an experiential autoethnography, the Learning Journey, which sought methods to address unconscious and subconscious traits as they manifest in groups/projects. After this Journey, the author was equipped to return to the literature in project management and explore the implications of the Shadow, to try to answer the main research question – What are the most prevailing Shadows in project management culture? For that, some auxiliary questions had to be addressed, namely

  • What is the Shadow and how does it play out in the life of projects?
  • To what extent and in what way is project management influenced by unconscious factors in its practice and culture?
  • To what extent is the manager’s role the fulfilment of a psychological projection or an archetype?
  • In what ways is the Shadow related to personal development and organizational change?

The varied answers draw a map of the dominant Shadow-issues in project management practice and culture.  In the forward to the book Resonant Leadership, Goleman (2005; p. x) writes that: ‘The first task in management has nothing to do with leading others; step one poses the challenge of knowing and managing oneself’.

Management is not limited to outer circumstances and resources. Fundamental processes are happening within. Through internal management, the experience of the manager is less an outcome and more a process. Any situation becomes: ‘an encounter with the grander, more complex system described by the new sciences and the organizational systems literature. It also demystifies the relationship to this vast unknown, depotentiates the need for willful control over the environment and over other people in other roles.’ (Jones, 2004). These quotes illustrate some guidelines to the research. In addition, important premises were:

–        The existence of an unconscious realm;

–        The project manager as someone who participates in a shared psychological structure wherein unconscious factors play a significant role;

–        Individuals deny traits that belong to them, but which stand as a threat to their sense of self or ego identity;

–        These denied traits appear projected in the external environment and create conflict and tension;

–        The collective in itself as a source of tension between individual and collective needs;

The consequences are manifold. The way a project manager handles a situation cannot be solely attributed to personality, nor is it merely a result of acquired competencies and learned conduct. These rational aspects, although they are ever present, are in fact in relation to a larger totality. The Shadow is a permanent part of that larger totality, and it comes up generally through conflict or emotionally charged situations; in lack of drive or motivation; addictive and compulsive behaviour occurs, sensations of strong instability; somatic bodily symptoms, diseases, nervous ticks, allergies, and all sorts of bodily manifestations, among other forms the Shadow has to show itself.

What is outside of awareness plays out in our everyday lives (see Freud, Jung, Wilber, Zweig). Projection and transference mechanisms are the central mechanisms by which the Shadow manifests. These terms have been retrieved from the somewhat obscure jargon of the analyst or the psychologist and are being integrated in popular discourse, as well as in PM theory. Bowles defined the Organization Shadow as the ‘facts which organizations wish to deny about themselves, due to the threat posed to self-image and self-understanding and, more generally, the need to be viewed in a favourable light by others.’ (Bowles, 1991; p. 387). It is a useful extrapolation of the definition of the individual Shadow. When we speak about the Shadow of a project we are speaking about the Shadow of that project’s active culture at play, in the sense of its values, norms, etc. Different projects carry different Shadows, and the quest for a Shadow-free project is fruitless, as is the quest for a Shadow-free human being.

We all carry Shadows, they change through time, but they are not something we can get rid off, they are something we can be aware of and that can lead us to a more mindful life. According to Jung (1966; pp. 284-5) ‘[The Shadow is] the thing a person has no wish to be. It is everything that the subject refuses to acknowledge about himself and yet is always thrusting itself upon him – for instance inferior traits of character and other incompatible tendencies.’ The Shadow is that about ourselves we find unpleasant or unbearable. It contains aspects that appear contrary to the ego ideal or to the ego identity. Therefore, it becomes a reservoir of untapped potential, rich in raw emotions and primal drives, the disavowed, poorly developed and undervalued contents of the individual psyche – but also our highest morality, creativity, and power (the Light Shadow). When the disliked qualities are removed from view (positive or negative traits) they are also removed from supervision. They do not stop existing. Instead, they play out in unpredictable ways, usually erupting unexpectedly, potentially in hurtful forms to self or others. Afterwards, a deep sense of humiliation, shame, or guilt can be experienced. These are clear Shadow-pointers. “Confrontation with the shadow produces at first a dead balance, a standstill that hampers moral decisions and makes convictions ineffective or even impossible. Everything becomes doubtful.” (Jung, 1963; para 708).

More…

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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.



About the Author


Joana Bértholo, PhD

Portugal

 

 

 

Joana Bértholo is a researcher, novelist and playwright. She first attended the Fine-Arts in Portugal, with a focus on Communication Design, and later obtained a PhD in Cultural Studies in Germany. Art processes are her preferred mode of research, using writing as a platform to investigate a wide scope of interests, such as technology, ecology, sustainability and the darker aspects of groups and communities.

Joana Bértholo is the author of Shadow Working in Project Management: Understanding and Addressing the Irrational and Unconscious in Groups, published by Routledge, ©2018

 

 

Benefits Maps You Can Count On

If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it!

If you measure it wrong, you can’t control it!

 

Applying Earned Benefit Management

SERIES ARTICLE

By Crispin (“Kik”) Piney, PgMP, PfMP

South of France

 



Introduction: The Limitations of Current Benefits Maps

Whereas, for projects, you need to be able to specify precisely what you want to create, for programs as well as for portfolios, the objective is different. The question to be answered in this case is “how can I achieve a specific business or strategic benefit?” The approach for building the solution is to create a benefits map. There are four principal models for this (Fujitsu’s/Thorp’s ‘Results Chain’ [2007]; Cranfield’s ‘Benefits Dependency Network’ [Peppard et al. 2007]; MSP’s ‘Benefits Map’ [Office of Government Commerce 2011]; and Bradley’s ‘Benefits Dependency Map’ [Bradley 2010]) and they all work on similar principles [White 2015, Jenner 2013, and Jenner 2014]. The output of the mapping exercise is a logical network that can be read in two directions as explained next.

The map illustrates how to make the benefits happen. Once the required benefits have been defined by the strategic sponsor, the following steps allow you to build the map. You need to determine, in order: the changes to the environment that are required in order allow the benefit to occur (“outcomes”); what we need to be able to do if we want to change the environment in this way (“capabilities”); what tools we need in order to create these capabilities (“deliverables”); and, finally, what we need to do to create the tools (“component projects”).

This chain can be read in the reverse direction to explain why each step is necessary: from project to deliverables, to the capabilities of these deliverables, to the outcomes of applying the capabilities, to the benefits associated with the outcomes.

The diagrams associated with the development of the case study explained below provide examples of benefits maps (figures 1 to 5).

In the same way that the London Underground map gives no indication of cost or distance, current benefits maps do not provide a complete set of numbers to allow you to plan every aspect of your journey. I have found some tools that go part of the way to quantifying the map – such as P3M [P3M] and the tool from Amplify [Amplify]. However, even these tools do not provide a credible view of the allocations and contributions for every node in the map.

Without these numbers, business justification and modelling are incomplete. The same holds for performance planning, optimization, tracking, and review with respect to the required benefits.

This article explains how to fill this gap and evaluate some of the missing numbers. It is explained based on the following case study.

More…

To read entire article, click here


Editor’s note: This series is by Crispin “Kik” Piney, author of the book Earned Benefit Program Management, Aligning, Realizing and Sustaining Strategy, published by CRC Press in 2018. Merging treatment of program management, benefits realization management and earned value management, Kik’s book breaks important new ground in the program/project management field. In this series of articles, Kik introduces some earned benefit management concepts in simple and practical terms.



About the Author


Crispin (Kik) Piney

Author, Business Advisor
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/

 

 

Choosing to Change

 

Advances in Project Management

SERIES ARTICLE

By David Bentley

United Kingdom

 



The profession of project management is in its widest sense that of facilitating change. Whatever the context, it is essentially a process of creating something new from an existing situation. How we should best manage the process of change and create the best possible outcome has exercised management thinking for many decades.

It is one of the eternal paradoxes of life, that through the ages we constantly seek the security of continuity, sticking to the status quo, whilst life, and the world that we live in, inevitably changes. Politicians and financiers call for stability in the economy, markets and international relations knowing full well that it can’t and does not happen. Harold MacMillan, UK Prime Minister 1957-63, is reputed to have answered the question put to him by a journalist ‘What is most likely to blow governments off course?’ saying ‘Events, dear boy, events’. The exact words spoken and indeed the attribution is questioned, but the observation is clear. The best formulated policies and detailed planning will always be victim to the unpredictable. The events that continually emerge creating unexpected change.

Over the course of the past half century I have witnessed a rapid and accelerating pace of change. In technology, the advent of the computer and the revolution in access to information through the internet. In transport, from the post war spread of the motor car replacing horse drawn transport to the prospect of driverless cars and in health, evidenced by the extension of life expectancy. In all areas of modern life, we are constantly experiencing change but still we tend to be taken by surprise when it happens and resist it happening.

My professional career has been spent managing many facets of change. As a construction project manager I was involved in the planning and creating of change. Whilst it was, on the face of it, the physical change of building roads, utility plants and buildings, it was in fact that, most of my time in that role, was spent dealing with the unexpected. However detailed the planning and scheduling of the works a three-dimensional structure is being created from a two-dimensional plan or nowadays perhaps a virtual image. The interpretation of the detail required will always mean that the building created is emergent from those plans and change will be an integral part of the process. The time spent on crafting contracts and resolving disputes arising from the changes that happen are testament to that. Working now in organisational change the same applies. We can plan the change in great detail and strive to make the communication of the change as clear and widespread as possible. We can follow the latest model for change management but the unexpected will always happen. People will react in unpredictable ways. Sometimes resisting change that would appear, on the face of it, to be of clear benefit to them. Other times changing in ways that they did not expect themselves and being highly successful.

Whilst pursuing my career in change management I have been challenged to radically change my views on the nature of organisations. To re-evaluate what I was doing when planning a construction project and how I understood the reactions of the people that I was working with and the cultural changes. By chance I happened to choose to do an MBA course at the University of Hertfordshire that included taking a view of management theory that was developing out of complexity theory. A view that accepts unpredictability, takes human interaction as the basis of organisation and pays attention to what is actually happening rather than creating a model of what we think should be happening. It is in taking this complexity-based view that provides us with an understanding of what motivates people to accept or reject change. Providing an approach to managing change that works with individuals to make the choice to change and determines the way that change happens.

The mainstream approach to contemporary management and organisational theory that has been developed over the course of the twentieth century is founded on the application of scientific research principles. That is, by conducting experiments, taking measurements and analysing data we can come to a theory of how something works and then use that knowledge to predict and influence what may happen in the future. The ultimate assumption of this way of thinking being that, given sufficient time and research effort we will eventually discover the ‘theory of everything’ that will enable us to control our destiny.

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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.



About the Author


David Bentley

Author, Business Consultant
United Kingdom

 


David Bentley has many years of experience working in business planning and improvement through change management at the corporate level both in the private sector and embedded with public sector organisations, with a multi-national engineering consulting company and more recently in delivering organisational and cultural change programmes as an independent consultant.

As a Chartered Civil Engineer, his background is in construction planning and managing projects in the highways, water and power sectors. Working on the introduction of IT systems and quality management led to a career in business and change management and a Director level position with a major international engineering consultant, working on highways network management, in the UK and Australia.

Supported by an MBA and a PhD in Business David has strong leadership experience with teams of change agents and working to deliver significant benefits in business development and cultural improvement. Working in SHEQ management and business improvement for DownerMouchel in Perth, Western Australia, embedded in the state roads authority, Mainroads WA, involved bringing together a team from multiple ethnic backgrounds and melding the public and private sector ethos into an effective working team. David’s particular skills in training and coaching in management, systems development, process mapping and improvement, procedure development, audit and systems accreditation inform David’s approach to successful change delivery.

David’s work as an independent business consultant has involved a diverse range of organisations from providing business planning and support to local charity groups through small not-for-profit organisations to transformation projects for global companies and the provision of management training in the nuclear reclamation sector.

Recent project work brought together David’s range of skills. Providing management training, process improvement and procedure development and performance management was combined with his experience in culture change and mentoring to help in the delivery of significant financial returns, team working and individual performance. Most recent work has included advising on strategic direction, business development and implementing performance improvement strategies for a global support services business.

David is also the author of ‘Choosing to Change – an alternative understanding of Change Management’, published by Routledge, ISBN-10 1138237892 in 2018.