Challenges with a Work-Life Balance and Project Management


By Rebecca J. Brady, PMP


Michael I. Borts, PMP

Dallas area, North Texas, USA


There was a time when working hours were more clearly defined. You went to work at the same time and you returned home at the same time. For example, dinner was at 6:03 p.m. every night. The “breadwinner” then had time to spend with the family, for hobbies and spiritual development. In this day and age, the separation between work and the rest of your life has become nebulous. It often starts with just one short email that leads to one more conference call from home. By the time you have powered down your laptop, it is well into the evening, where all of your home responsibilities are not being met and your personal needs are not being addressed. In addition, globalization makes it much more difficult to decide when your work hours begin and end. High speed internet and smart phones mean that we are always connected to the workplace. Having a work-life balance in your life has become a more challenging goal.

Corporations are requiring more of employees and striving to do more with less. At the same time businesses want to maintain and develop an effective workforce. They recognize the importance of a home and life balance, although this balance at times conflicts with business exigencies. The conundrum is how to maintain an effective workforce while remaining profitable, keeping costs low, and maintaining customer satisfaction.

Work-Life balance: What it is and what it is not

The definition of a work life balance is not straightforward. One definition is managing your work life and personal life so that you are productive, satisfied, and happy.  Stephen R. Covey states “having a good work/life balance means that your actions and priorities are aligned in a way that is taking care of what is really important to you.” (Covey)

There does not have to be an equal balance of time for work and the rest of your life’s activities. Life is fluid and changing. For example, some parts of your company’s business cycle may be more time intensive than others.  In the NICE IEX WFM Implementation Group, the expectation is that additional time and efforts will be required at the end of every quarter for project managers and technicians in completing implementations and in revenue recognition. Introduction of a new product has and will require extra focus and time for one of our group’s project managers this year. On the other hand, your personal life will take precedence for events such as the first day of school, a Boy Scout camping trip, or the birth of a baby. Priorities need to be evaluated and managed by both the business and the individual together.

There is no one size fits all Work-Life balance. Different stages of life and career have different Work-Life balances. Different business needs require different commitments and requirements. An imbalance is created when dissonance occurs between work time and personal life time. An imbalance results when you end up dealing with your urgent tasks and neglect the non-urgent, but important. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the work-life balance and methods to achieve this balance.

Why is a Work-Life balance important?

A work-life imbalance may result in the following:

  • Decreased efficiency: According to studies, the first forty hours of work a week are more productive and effective than subsequent hours. We become less efficient with the extra hours and are more prone to mistakes. For example, in 2008, it was reported that an overworked medical staff in the US made approximately 4,000 avoidable errors. (Articlesbase, par 2).
  • Increased stress may result in health concerns including anxiety, depression, heart conditions, excessive weight, hair loss, and even loss of libido. According to a study of the American Psychological Association:
    • 54% of Americans are concerned about their stress levels. 30% consider their stress levels as extreme.
    • 66% of American adults suffer from stress induced chronic health condition. (Nyab)
  • There is even a Japanese term, Karōshi, which can be translated literally into “death from overwork”.
  • Relationship degradation – Working too much may cause you to miss family interactions as well as important events or milestones. Relationships require nurturing, time and ongoing attention. Once damage is done, it is often more difficult and time consuming to repair than if appropriate time and focus had occurred all along.

Companies have higher turnover and employee burnout when there are long term work-life imbalances. Employees are less efficient. Profitability and sustainability are core goals for companies and to achieve both recognition of the necessity of a work-life balance for employees is essential.


To read entire paper, click here


Editor’s note: Second Editions are previously published papers that have continued relevance in today’s project management world, or which were originally published in conference proceedings or in a language other than English.  Original publication acknowledged; authors retain copyright.  This paper was originally presented at the 5th Annual UT Dallas Project Management Symposium in August 2011.  It is republished here with the authors’ permission.


About the Authors

Rebecca Brady, PMP

Texas, USA




Rebecca Brady, Sr. Manager, Implementation, has been employed with NICE Systems IEX Workforce Management Group since 1998. She has had several roles at IEX including project manager, customer advocate, and manager of implementation. Rebecca has over fifteen years of project management experience. She has a MS in Finance and is a PMP.   Rebecca can be contacted at [email protected].


Michael Borts, PMP

Texas, USA



Michael Borts has been employed as a project manager with NICE Systems IEX Workforce Management Group since 2000. Michael has over fifteen years of project management experience. He has a BA and is a PMP. In addition, he is a member of the Vocal Majority chorus and is a National Anthem soloist for the Dallas Mavericks and Texas Rangers.  Michael can be contacted at [email protected].



The Best Project Leaders Admit Their Mistakes


By Ron Taylor

Virginia, USA


I am not young enough to know all the answers.

I have made plenty of mistakes and almost, but not quite, relished the opportunity to admit them. It has allowed me to let others know by example that I did not expect them to be perfect, but I did expect them to admit when they made a mistake, learn from it and move on.

The more aggressive members of your team or organization may consider someone’s willingness to admit mistakes as weakness, or try to use admitted mistakes as weapons.  If you allow them to win the day, you are in trouble.

People will not admit their mistakes if they have to defend themselves for doing so. Allowing people to revisit old mistakes and reopen old issues keeps you and your organization mired in the past while your competition is moving ahead.

One healthy way of looking at mistakes is to redefine them. Thomas Edison’s philosophy provides a great example. Edison was an American inventor, scientist and businessman who, with his team, invented the phonograph, the motion picture camera and the light bulb, among many other things. Known as “The Wizard of Menlo Park,” he turned invention into a business, and created the first industrial research laboratory.

He held over 1,000 U.S. patents during his lifetime, along with several patents in other countries. Along the way he made a lot of mistakes, but he defined them in positive terms. When asked about his many failures, he responded: “I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”  If Edison can redefine mistakes, we can too.

There are a lot of common-sense reasons to admit your mistakes beyond merely being an example to others. One of them is that no matter how hard you try to hide your own mistakes, you are almost doomed to fail. Other people are going to find out about your mistakes. They will spread the word, and pretty soon everyone will be hiding their mistakes as well. You will not only lose credibility when you try to hold people accountable, you will also lose access to information that can help you make decisions that can prevent minor issues from developing into major problems.


To read entire article, click here



About the Author

Ron Taylor MBA, PMP

Virginia, USA




Ron Taylor
is an internationally-known leader, lecturer, author, and consultant, and the principal and founder of the Ron Taylor Group.  Ron served as President and CEO of a 10,000-person organization (PMIWDC) and was named Leader of the Year by the 500,000-person Project Management Institute (PMI®).

Ron is an Adjunct Professor in the MBA Programs at both Virginia Tech and George Mason University.  He is represented by the Washington Speakers Bureau, and his latest book, Leadership: Stories, Lessons and Uncommon Sense, is available on Amazon.  Ron can be reached at [email protected]

To view other works by Ron Taylor, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/ron-taylor/.




A Year in Project Communication


Communicating Projects – The Series

By Ann Pilkington

The PR Academy

United Kingdom

 During the past year I have been sharing thoughts and ideas about the role of communication in project management. It’s something that I feel really passionate about. We all know that statistic of how many change project fail and it is often said that it is in large part down to poor communication.

The end of 2016 seems like a good opportunity to look back over some of the key themes:

  • It is a myth to say that people don’t like change. If there is one thing that 2016 has taught us is that many people actively seek it! (I am of course referring to Brexit and the US elections.)  The idea that all change is bad and people are going to react negatively to it influences a lot of project communication. We go into it expecting trouble and trying to “sell” the change instead of concentrating on engaging stakeholders.  This was the topic of my July article “Brexit, Football and Project Communication” which you can read at https://pmworldjournal.net/article/brexit-football-and-project-communications/
  • Risk isn’t just about risk to the project.  Projects contain risk, we all learn on our project management courses, and the management of risk is something that project managers excel at. However, as a communicator coming into the project world, a big thing for me is that the identification of risk is often about risk to the project; there isn’t always enough attention paid to potential risks to the wider organisation’s reputation.  This is why it matters to have a communicator involved in risk identification, because he or she will have the reputation of the organisation in mind and may be sighted on issues elsewhere that could combine to make the perfect storm of a crisis.  This was the topic of my May article “Communicating in a Crisis” which you can read here: https://pmworldjournal.net/article/communicating-in-crisis/


To read entire article, click here


Editor’s note: This series of articles on effective project communications is by Ann Pilkington, founding director of the PR Academy (UK) and author of the book Communicating Projects published by Gower in 2013.  Ann is one of the UK’s leading experts on communications; she shares her knowledge with project managers and teams around the world in this series in the PM World Journal.


About the Author

Ann Pilkington

United Kingdom


UK small flag 2


Ann Pilkington
is the author of Communicating Projects published by Gower in 2013.  She is a founding director of the PR Academy which provides qualifications, training and consultancy in all aspects of communication including change project communication and project management.

Information about Ann’s book, Communicating Projects, An End-to-End Guide to Planning, Implementing and Evaluating Effective Communication, can be found at http://www.gowerpublishing.com/isbn/9781409453192.

Ann can be contacted at [email protected]

Website: www.pracademy.co.uk

To see previous articles by Ann Pilkington, visit her author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/ann-pilkington/



Welcome to the December 2016 PMWJ

The Potential Impact of Disruptive Political Events and Welcome to the December 2016 Edition of the PM World Journal

David Pells

Managing Editor

Addison, Texas, USA

Welcome to the December 2016 edition of the PM World Journal (PMWJ). This 53rd edition continues to reflect the international nature of this publication; 24 original articles, papers and other works by 27 different authors in 15 different countries are included this month.  News articles about projects and project management around the world are also included. Since the primary mission of this journal is to support the global sharing of knowledge, please share this month’s edition with others in your network, wherever in the world they may be.

Since August I have been using this opportunity to mention new trends or important issues that I see as journal editor.  This month I return to an issue that I first explored in 1998 in a paper for that year’s PMI congress; the paper was titled “Global Tides of Change: Significant Recent Events Affecting Globalization of the Project Management Profession”.  I presented an update to that paper in South Africa in 1999, then touched on the topic again in a June 2009 article on “Global Business Intelligence for Managers of Programs, Projects and Project-oriented Organizations” which I also presented at an IPMA conference in Finland.  I returned to the topic in earnest in a September 2009 editorial titled “Disruptive Events: Are you, your project or your organization prepared? This was also the topic of my keynote presentation at the PM South Africa conference in 2010.  Because of recent unexpected but dramatic political events in the UK and USA, it’s time to return to the subject of…

The Potential Impact of Disruptive Political Events

In the papers referenced above, significant political events are only one of several categories of disruptive change that can impact programs, projects, organizations and project managers.  The categories that I previously studied include extreme weather and natural disasters, manmade disasters, human health and social factors (i.e. pandemics), economic disruptions (i.e. 2008 global financial meltdown), disruptive political or governmental changes, international geo-political events (i.e. wars, disputes), disruptive technology developments, industry or market disruptions, and legal/regulatory changes.  Of course, this last category is often directly related to political changes, but not always. A new law can be quite disruptive. Disruptive events in any of these categories should be considered during the risk planning process by many teams and organizations.

The thing about political changes though is, they can often be seen coming. Elections happen on a regular basis, with the outcomes having measurable probabilities. Nevertheless, many organizations and leaders do not factor such risks into their programs or projects.  This is a mistake, as some political changes can be quite unexpected and very disruptive.

Which brings us to today’s world.  What was the impact of the “Brexit” vote in the UK to leave the European Union on 23 June 2016?  Who saw it coming, or the subsequent fall in the value of the Pound?  What was the immediate and long term impact on projects in the UK or investment in projects outside UK by British organizations? Which companies factored these potential outcomes into their risk management plans and took appropriate mitigation actions?

What was the impact of Donald Trump’s election to the U.S. Presidency on 8 November 2016?  Which industries or organizations may benefit or suffer? What will be the impact on regulations, federal government agency policies and structures, federally-funded programs and projects?  It seems clear to me that the Trump election may in fact be very disruptive, not only in the U.S. but in many other countries where U.S. organizations have influence.  It is still early in the transition process, but opportunities and threats are already visible.  There will be winners (oil & gas, power plants, financial services, military, property developers) and most likely losers (renewable energy, healthcare, outsourcing, public education among others).

What will be the impact on organizations and projects in Brazil or South Korea if their presidents are impeached in coming weeks, as now appears likely? What will be the impact of presidential elections in France on 23 April 2017 or in Germany later in the year?  If existing leaders are ousted, then there will be major changes, and those changes will impact many industries, organizations, programs and projects.  How are those threats and opportunities being factored into risk plans?

What will happen in Cuba since Fidel Castro died on 25 November 2016 at the age of 90? While it might not happen immediately, his death will most likely affect investment in Cuba, regulations, foreign trade, local access to modern electronics and technologies, and other factors in tourism, building, energy, agriculture and other industries.  The impact of Castro’s death is probably already being felt by every program, project and project manager in Cuba.

What will happen in Zimbabwe when Robert Mugabe dies?  Perhaps it will be similar as in Cuba, but Zimbabwe seems in worse shape economically than Cuba.  The impact could be even more dramatic.  What if another world leader suddenly passes?  Unlike elections, the death of political leaders is less predictable; nevertheless, everyone dies, so planning for such disruptive political changes in many places seems wise.

Another point, if we work in service organizations where our projects are performed under contracts to others, we need to consider the impact of disruptive changes on our customers, not just our own organizations.  Impacts of political changes can be either indirect (from changes to policies, regulations, leadership) or direct (federal budgets for programs or organizations such as defense, energy, infrastructure, IT).

Obviously, I cannot mention every possible recent or future political change.  There are elections held around the world each year that impact organizations and projects in those countries, and often with international repercussions.  But it should be obvious to everyone in the PM field that more risk planning should consider the impact of significant disruptive changes – and political changes like those we have seen this year in America and Britain are good examples.  Regardless of our personal political opinions (or votes), we need to factor significant potentially-disruptive political events (and changes), including state and local political changes, into our program and project risk planning.


To read entire paper, click here



About the Author

David L. Pells

Managing Editor, PMWJ
Managing Director, PMWL



David L. Pells is Managing Editor of the PM World Journal (www.pmworldjournal.net) and Managing Director of the PM World Library (www.pmworldlibrary.net). David is an internationally recognized leader in the field of professional project management with more than 35 years of experience on a variety of programs and projects, including engineering, construction, energy, defense, transit, technology and nuclear security, and project sizes ranging from thousands to billions of dollars. He has been an active professional leader in the United States since the 1980s, serving on the board of directors of the Project Management Institute (PMI®) twice.  He was founder and chair of the Global Project Management Forum (1995-2000), an annual meeting of leaders of PM associations from around the world.

David was awarded PMI’s Person of the Year award in 1998 and Fellow Award, PMI’s highest honor, in 1999. He is also an Honorary Fellow of the Association for Project Management (APM) in the UK; Project Management Associates (PMA – India); and Russian Project Management Association.  Since 2010 he is an honorary member of the Project Management Association of Nepal.  From June 2006 until March 2012, he was the managing editor of PM World Today.  He occasionally provides high level advisory services for major programs, global organizations and the U.S. federal government.  David has a BA in Business Administration from the University of Washington and a Master’s degree in business from Idaho State University in the USA.  He has published widely, spoken at conferences and events worldwide, and can be contacted at [email protected].

To see other works by David Pells, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/david-l-pells/



The Gig Economy


pmwj53-dec2016-martn-bookBook Title:    The Gig Economy: The Complete Guide to Getting Better Work, Taking More Time Off, and Financing the Life You Want
Author:  Diane Mulcahy
Publisher:  AMACOM       List Price:   US$22.00
Format:  Hardcover, 237 pages
Publication Date:   2017     ISBN: 9780814437339
Reviewer:     Rodger L. Martin
Review Date:   December 2016



The Gig Economy, of short-term assignments, contract work, and freelance jobs, is embraced by millions of people.  The book offers a counter-narrative to doomsday economic reports of this phenomenon by highlighting how professionals in diverse fields can thrive.  It reveals effective, long-term strategies to make the gig economy work for you.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The three-part strategy as identified in the subtitle, expands into chapters devoted to each of the 10 guiding principles:

  • Getting Better Work
    • Define Your Success
    • Diversify
    • Create Your Own Security
    • Connect without Networking
  • Taking More Time Off
    • Face Fear by Reducing Risk
    • Take Time Off Between Gaps
    • Be Mindful About Time
  • Be Financially Flexible
    • Financing the Life You Want
    • Think Access, Not Ownership
    • Save for a Traditional Retirement . . . but Don’t Plan on Having One


The author teaches this subject as an MBA course at Babson College.  The Gig Economy “guides you through each step of the way as you build a career that offers autonomy, flexibility and ultimately, stability on your own terms.”  In essence, the approach, views a career of gigs the same as the basic definition of a “project” instead of expecting to work for a few companies for an extended time.


To read entire Book Review, click here



About the Reviewer

Rodger L. Martin, JD, MBA, BSEE, PMP, PMI-ACP

Texas, USA



Rodger L. Martin
has a broad background in business, law, engineering and Project Management, both plan driven and Agile.  He is a retired US Air Force officer with expertise in rockets and National Ranges.  His work experiences include government, military, public corporations, small business consulting and high-tech non-profit organizations.  For the last 15 years, he has worked on Document Management, Knowledge Management and Process Management/Modeling projects for commercial companies.  He acquired his PMP certification in 2007 and his PMI-ACP in 2015.  He is also a certified Mediator.

Email address: [email protected]

LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rodgerlmartin

To view other works by Rodger Martin, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/rodger-martin/


Editor’s note:  This book review was the result of a partnership between the publisher, PM World and the PMI Dallas Chapter. Authors and publishers provide the books to PM World; books are delivered to the PMI Dallas Chapter, where they are offered free to PMI members to review; book reviews are published in the PM World Journal and PM World Library.  PMI Dallas Chapter members can keep the books as well as claim PDUs for PMP recertification when their reviews are published.  Chapter members are generally mid-career professionals, the audience for most project management books. 

If you are an author or publisher of a project management-related book, and would like the book reviewed through this program, please contact [email protected].



December 2016 UK Project Management Round Up


Looking back at projects and project management in UK in 2016; News in November: APM Charter approval, Brexit update, Jaguar’s new plant and big cost growth for Sellafield project

By Miles Shepherd

Executive Advisor & International Correspondent

Salisbury, England, UK


As this is my last report for the year, I thought I would look back at 2016 to see how well the Project World has coped with the vicissitudes of the year past.  However, I see that I did something similar in the January edition where I tried to put a brave spin on the events scheduled to occur and to look at the bright side.  I have long been concerned that we take too bleak a look at our work, or rather, we allow the Press to do that on our behalf.  So I wanted to do what I could to look at the more positive side of projects, portfolios and programmes.  If there is any space left we can look at some of the recent news.

January – this was a real cop out report with both a forward and backward look at the UK project scene.  I noted, in particular, the launch of the Infrastructure Project Authority (IPA) which replaced the Major Projects Authority (MPA and not to be confused with the Major Projects Association, also MPA) which had been formed in 2010 and the Infrastructure UK which had started work in 2011.  The thought in everyone’s mind – or at least mine – was that this is good housekeeping, replacing two similar supervising bodies with one.  Their jobs were the same and reports remain in the public domain, oversight is still rigorous and the cost burden should be lower.

The good news of the month was the announcement that the Association for Project Management (APM) Research Programme had got off to a good start and applications for the newly announced funding scheme were coming in well and the range of topics looked to be both challenging and worthwhile.

February – saw a nostalgic look at the many world famous rock and pop personalities who had died.  Apart from the enjoyment they brought, much of their work was conducted by projects, whether they knew that or not.  Cultural projects were very much in evidence as the Stonehenge Tunnel project, rat elimination programme in the South Atlantic and university expansion projects all hit the headlines.  It was difficult to justify a claim that the news was uniformly good but optimists like me saw benefit in the tunnel, improvements to the survival chances of magnificent seabirds, and a welcome boost to students and the firms working on the new university projects.  Other news in February covered Defence projects where the news was distinctly not good!

March – returned to the themes of power supply, infrastructure transport and construction, all of which provide a major part of the UK project portfolio.  The first two topics were a major theme throughout the year as the decision on new nuclear provision dominated the public consciousness.  Transport projects, or rather portfolios, in the form of High Speed 2 and new highways projects also attracted a lot of attention.


To read entire report, click here



About the Author


Salisbury, UK

UK small flag 2



Miles Shepherd is an executive editorial advisor and international correspondent for PM World in the United Kingdom. He is also managing director for MS Projects Ltd, a consulting company supporting various UK and overseas Government agencies, nuclear industry organisations and other businesses.  Miles has over 30 years’ experience on a variety of projects in UK, Eastern Europe and Russia.  His PM experience includes defence, major IT projects, decommissioning of nuclear reactors, nuclear security, rail and business projects for the UK Government and EU.   Past Chair and Fellow of the Association for Project Management (APM), Miles is also past president and chair of the International Project Management Association (IPMA).  He is currently Director of PMI’s Global Accreditation Centre and the Chair of the ISO committee developing new international standards for Project Management and for Program/Portfolio Management.  He was involved in setting up APM’s team developing guidelines for project management oversight and governance.  Miles is based in Salisbury, England and can be contacted at [email protected].

To view other works by Miles Shepherd, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/miles-shepherd/.



New Frontiers for Project Management: Earth Science, Monitoring the Planet & Climate Control


By David L. Pells

Addison, Texas, USA


Professional project management (PM) continues to grow rapidly in usage and demand worldwide, in most organizations and across all industries.  This is especially true in high technology organizations, but in many other industries as well.  The world is also rapidly changing, due to the global economy, climate change and other factors.  What do these changes mean to project-based organizations and PM professionals?  Many of these changes will offer new challenges and opportunities for individuals and organizations involved with project management.

I believe there will be some significant new industries, and major changes in existing industries, that will offer “new frontiers” for projects and PM around the world in the next 10-20 years.  Some of these new areas of PM application have been emerging slowly over the last decade, but are now expanding rapidly due to other forces and converging influences.  Other new frontiers are in traditional industries and sectors, but based on new global information, perspectives and awareness that are leading to new and massive investments in infrastructure.  And some frontiers are growing apparent based on changing demographics and more inter-connected, urban and global human populations and civil society.

In my March 2008 PM World Today editorial, I described Nanotechnology as a New Frontier for Project Management, describing the many fields of science and industry that Nanotechnology is already affecting.  In my May editorial, I discussed Future Energy sources and projects as another New Frontier for project management, a trend that is now accelerating as oil & gas prices continue to increase as supplies are stretched and demand continues to grow.  As populations and economies grow, the demand for new sources of energy will result in many new projects and an increasing demand for professional project management.

Another “new frontier” for projects and PM is also being affected by recent planetary changes and trends.  Over the last decade, climate change, global warming, severe weather and natural disasters have focused global attention on the need to better understand the Earth, mankind’s impact on the planet, and future options for improving both forecasting technologies as well as outcomes.  Many scientific projects and programs have been launched in the last few years to study climate change, changes in the polar ice caps, changes in the ocean and ocean currents, weather patters, the ozone, and other topics.  At the same time, earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, tsunamis, fires and other several weather causing huge natural disasters have focused attention on climatology, meteorology, oceanography, seismology and other “earth sciences”.

This month, I want to suggest another new frontier for PM, a broad topic that might be grouped together as earth sciences, monitoring of the planet, and climate/weather management.  Climate control is the stuff of science fiction, or is it?  I think it is still many decades away.  But over the next few decades, mankind must invest in a better understanding of the planet, and better tools and methods for predicting and preparing for extreme weather.  Let us examine a few areas where this is already occurring, and some implications for the project management profession.

Earth Sciences – Learning more about the Earth

pmwl53-dec2016-pells-earthEarth is a complex, dynamic system that mankind does not yet fully understand. The Earth system is comprised of diverse components that interact in complex ways. We need to understand the Earth’s atmosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, and biosphere as a single connected system. Our planet is changing on all spatial and temporal scales. [4]

According to Wikipedia, Earth science (also known as geoscience, the geosciences or the Earth Sciences), is an all-embracing term for the sciences related to the planet Earth. There are four major disciplines in earth sciences, namely geography, geology, geophysics and geodesy… Earth science generally recognizes 4 spheres, the lithosphere, the hydrosphere, the atmosphere, and the biosphere. These correspond to rocks, water, air, and life. Some practitioners include the cryosphere (ice) as a distinct portion of the hydrosphere and the pedosphere (soil) as an active, intermixed sphere as part of Earth’s spheres. [1]

It is worth repeating here this additional information from the Wikipedia webpage on Earth Science, describing disciplines and sub-disciplines in this general topic:


To read entire paper, click here


Editor’s note: Second Editions are previously published papers that have continued relevance in today’s project management world, or which were originally published in conference proceedings or in a language other than English.  Original publication acknowledged; authors retain copyright.  This paper was originally published in the now discontinued PM World Today eJournal in 2008. It is republished here with the author’s permission.


About the Author

David L. Pells

Managing Editor, PMWJ
Managing Director, PMWL
Addison, Texas, USA



David Pells
is Managing Editor of the PM World Journal (www.pmworldjournal.net) and Managing Director of the PM World Library (www.pmworldlibrary.net). David is an internationally recognized leader in the field of professional project management with more than 35 years of experience on a variety of programs and projects, including engineering, construction, energy, defense, transit, technology and nuclear security, and project sizes ranging from thousands to billions of dollars. He has been an active professional leader in the United States since the 1980s, serving on the board of directors of the Project Management Institute (PMI®) twice.  He was founder and chair of the Global Project Management Forum (1995-2000), an annual meeting of leaders of PM associations from around the world.

David was awarded PMI’s Person of the Year award in 1998 and Fellow Award, PMI’s highest honor, in 1999. He is also an Honorary Fellow of the Association for Project Management (APM) in the UK; Project Management Associates (PMA – India); and Russian Project Management Association.  Since 2010 he is an honorary member of the Project Management Association of Nepal.  From June 2006 until March 2012, he was the managing editor of PM World Today.  He occasionally provides high level advisory services for major programs, global organizations and the U.S. federal government.  David has a BA in Business Administration from the University of Washington and a Master’s degree in business from Idaho State University in the USA.  He has published widely, spoken at conferences and events worldwide, and can be contacted at [email protected].

To view other works by David Pells, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/david-l-pells/



ISO/TC 258 Convenes in Athens


ISO/TC 258, ISO Technical Committee for Project, Program, and Portfolio Management, convenes in Athens, Greece

By Dr Jouko Vaskimo

International Correspondent & Senior Contributing Editor

Espoo, Finland

ISO/TC 258, the Technical Committee (TC) of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) set up to work with standards in the field of project, program, and portfolio management, convened for the seventh plenary meeting at Athens, Greece, on October 24th … 28th 2016. The participants – over 70 representing 24 national standardization bodies – were warmly welcomed by Mr Theofanis Giotis, the host of the Athens event and the Head of the Greek Delegation to ISO/TC 258, and Mr Miles Shepherd, the Chairman of ISO/TC 258. Dr Frangoulis D. Krokos, the Director of Standardization at Hellenic Body for Standardisation (ELOT), the Greek national standardization body, also welcomed ISO/TC 258 plenary participants to Athens.


ISO/TC 258 Athens plenary meeting participants (photos courtesy Jouko Vaskimo)

ISO/TC 258 main initiatives include Working Group WG2 developing an ISO standard on governance of projects, programs and portfolios, WG3 developing a vocabulary of terms used in projects, programs and portfolios, WG4 developing an ISO standard on program management, Study Group SG5 investigating ISO 21500 maintenance, as well as Working Group WG6 developing an ISO standard on Work Breakdown Structures, WG7 developing an ISO standard on Earned Value Management, and WG8 developing an ISO standard on project and program management competences.

At the time of the Athens event ISO/TC 258 had 40 participating (P) members, 13 observing (O) members, and 17 liaisons.

Argentina, Australia, Austria, Barbados, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and United States are current ISO/TC 258 P – members.

Belarus, Czech Republic, Egypt, Hong Kong, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Kenya, Lithuania, Morocco, New Zealand, Romania and Uganda are current ISO/TC 258 O – members.

International Project Management Association (IPMA), Project Management Institute (PMI), Global Alliance for Project Performance Standards (GAPPS), and College of Performance Management (CPM) are ISO/TC 258 liaison organizations.


To read entire report, click here



About the Author

Dr Jouko Vaskimo

Espoo, Finland




Jouko Vaskimo is an International Correspondent and Senior Contributing Editor for PM World in Finland. Jouko graduated M.Sc. (Tech.) from Helsinki University of Technology in 1992, and D.Sc. (Tech.) from Aalto University in 2016. He has held several project management related positions with increasing levels for responsibility. Jouko holds a number of professional certificates in the field of project management, such as the IPMA Level C (Project Manager), IPMA Level B (Senior Project Manager), PMP, PRINCE2 Foundation, and PRINCE2 Practitioner. Jouko is also a Certified Scrum Master and SAFe Agilist.

Jouko is a member of the Project Management Association Finland, a founding member of PMI Finland Chapter, and the immediate past chairman of the Finnish IPMA Certification Body operating IPMA certification in Finland. Since October 2007, he has been heading the Finnish delegation to ISO/TC 258.

Jouko resides in Espoo, Finland and can be best contacted at [email protected]. For more information please navigate to www.linkedin.com/in/jouko-vaskimo-6285b51.

To view other works by Jouko Vaskimo, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/jouko-vaskimo/




Finland Project Management Roundup for December 2016


Updates on Project Management Association Finland; PMI Finland Chapter; Olkiluoto 3 nuclear power plant; Hanhikivi 1 nuclear power plant; Helsinki’s Länsimetro extension; Raide-Jokeri is a light rail transit project

By Dr Jouko Vaskimo

International Correspondent & Senior Contributing Editor

Espoo, Finland


This roundup continues the coverage of Project Management Association Finland, PMI Finland Chapter, and the key projects currently going on in Finland.


pmwj53-dec2016-vaskimo-finland-pry-logoProject Management Association Finland (PMAF), Projektiyhdistys ry in Finnish, is a not-for-profit organization, and the International Project Management Association (IPMA) Member Association (MA) in Finland. Founded in 1978, PMAF promotes the interaction, project-oriented thinking, and exchange and development of practical and theoretical knowledge among project management professionals.

PMAF promotes the development and dissemination of project and project management knowledge. PMAF members are able to enjoy information sharing, workgroups, development projects, project management forums, conferences and certification services PMAF provides. PMAF also works as a promoter and an intermediary of good project practices and experiences. PMAF members receive the biannual Projektitoiminta magazine, electronic newsletters, and web services. As of 2016, PMAF has over 4000 individual members.

Each autumn PMAF organizes an electoral meeting in which new officers are elected for the following year. This year the electoral meeting took place on November 23rd. In this meeting Mrs Taina Rämö-Korpinen was re-elected for a one-year-term as the Chairman of the PMAF Board of Directors. Mr Mats Söderlund and Mr Petteri Hellsten were also re-elected, however, for two-year-terms as members of the PMAF Board of Directors. Mr Jori Kosonen was elected into the PMAF Board of Directors for a new two-year-term. The elected officers assume their positions on January 1st, 2017.


To read entire report, click here



About the Author

Dr Jouko Vaskimo

Espoo, Finland



Jouko Vaskimo
is an International Correspondent and Senior Contributing Editor for PM World in Finland. Jouko graduated M.Sc. (Tech.) from Helsinki University of Technology in 1992, and D.Sc. (Tech.) from Aalto University in 2016. He has held several project management related positions with increasing levels for responsibility. Jouko holds a number of professional certificates in the field of project management, such as the IPMA Level C (Project Manager), IPMA Level B (Senior Project Manager), PMP, PRINCE2 Foundation, and PRINCE2 Practitioner. Jouko is also a Certified Scrum Master and SAFe Agilist.

Jouko is a member of the Project Management Association Finland, a founding member of PMI Finland Chapter, and the immediate past chairman of the Finnish IPMA Certification Body operating IPMA certification in Finland. Since October 2007, he has been heading the Finnish delegation to ISO/TC 258.

Jouko resides in Espoo, Finland and can be best contacted at [email protected]. For more information please navigate to www.linkedin.com/in/jouko-vaskimo-6285b51.

To view other works by Jouko Vaskimo, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/jouko-vaskimo/




December 2016 Project Management Update from Madrid


PMI Madrid Chapter’s XIII Annual Congress; Interviews with Claudia Alcelay and Charo Fresneda

By Alfonso Bucero

International Correspondent & Editorial Advisor

Madrid, Spain

The PMI Madrid Chapter celebrated its XIII Annual Project Management Congress

Last November 24th, I had the opportunity to attend the 13th Project Management Congress in Madrid at “Hipódromo de la Zarzuela”. All event attendees considered that event as a great success, not only because the content but also because its organization. Almost 400 professionals joined this event, one day long and with a tied and intensive agenda. I had the opportunity of interviewing two project professional colleagues from the PMI Madrid Chapter, Claudia Alcelay, PMP and current PMI Madrid Chapter President, and Charo Fresneda, PMP and PMI Madrid Chapter volunteer, event project manager. I will summarize both interviews as follows:


Claudia Alcelay

PMI Madrid Chapter President

Claudia, what were the event objectives?

Alfonso, our Board of Directors has as an objective to expand and attract project Management practitioners from other sectors, organizing events with different focus or area of expertise. We expected the following objectives:

  • Opening project Management to different sectors, attracting new audiences and new organizations to practice project management
  • Sharing what is done outside with the PMI Chapter members, thinking “out of the box”

Claudia, could you update us about the PMI Chapter status since you are Chapter President?

Alfonso, I can perceive an exciting Chapter, a Board of Directors with a lot of interest to get things done and make it happen. We have some volunteers, but they sometimes lack motivation; I believe we need to reinforce the volunteers’ recognition and contribute to motivating them.

Thanks so much Claudia, go ahead!


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



About the Author

Alfonso Bucero

Contributing Editor
International Correspondent – Spain



Alfonso Bucero, MSc, PMP, PMI-RMP, PfMP, PMI Fellow, is an International Correspondent and Contributing Editor for the PM World Journal in Madrid, Spain. Mr. Bucero is also founder and Managing Partner of BUCERO PM Consulting.  Alfonso was the founder, sponsor and president of the PMI Barcelona Chapter until April 2005, and belongs to PMI’s LIAG (Leadership Institute Advisory Group).  He was the past President of the PMI Madrid Spain Chapter, and now nominated as a PMI EMEA Region 8 Component Mentor. Alfonso has a Computer Science Engineering degree from Universidad Politécnica in Madrid and is studying for his Ph.D. in Project Management. He has 29 years of practical experience and is actively engaged in advancing the PM profession in Spain and throughout Europe. He received the PMI Distinguished Contribution Award on October 9th, 2010 and the PMI Fellow Award on October 22nd 2011.  Mr. Bucero can be contacted at [email protected].

To see other works by Alfonso Bucero, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/alfonso-bucero/



December 2016 PM Update from Buenos Aires


PMI Southern Cone Tour 2016; Events in Mendoza, Cordoba, Buenos Aires and Rosario; PMI Buenos Aires Chapter 20th Anniversary Celebration

By Cecilia Boggi, PMP

International Correspondent

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Once again the PMI Southern Cone Tour 2016, a multiple Congress that has been held in the Latin American South Region since 2005 with the participation of the PMI Chapters of the countries of Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Peru, Bolivia and Paraguay, was developed with great success.

This tour began with its first event in the city of Montevideo, capital of the Eastern Republic of Uruguay. This congress started a series of 13 consecutive events that take place in the South of Latin America during the last week of October and throughout November, ending in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, on November 25th.

As for Argentina, the Southern Cone Tour already took place in Mendoza on October 28th and 29th, organized by the PMI Nuevo Cuyo Chapter. With an audience of more than 120 participants at the National University of Cuyo, I had the honor of being the Keynote Speaker of the Congress on October 28th with a talk about “Leading Change through Emotions”.

On Saturday, October 29th, the Tour Cono Sur Mendoza moved to outdoor, at the Monteviejo Winery, where a Coaching for Competences activity was carried out, winery was visited, and ending with a lunch and wine tasting.

Other speakers of very high international level contributed their knowledge and experiences to this important event, which has been developed in the city of Mendoza since 2008, improving year by year the level and quality of the event.

During November, events were held in Cordoba, on November 1st, then Buenos Aires on November 3rd and ended in Rosario on November 8th, completing 4 days of Project Management in the framework of the PMI Tour Cono South in our country this year.

International speakers have presented their high level conferences in this PMI Tour Cono Sur 2016, a classic of the southernmost region of the planet.

International speakers include Cecil White, Member of the Board of Directors of PMI Global, Agnieszka Gasperini, Past President of PMI Poland Chapter and current Mentor of PMI Region 8 Central Europe, Victor Villar, Past President of PMI Chapter Lima, Peru and former Mentor of Region 13 Latin America South, Luis Flores, Past President of PMI Chapter Lima, Peru.

In addition, there were renowned local exhibitors such as Diego Golombek, Doctor in Biology, Professor of the National University of Quilmes and researcher of CONICET Argentina, Alexis Atem, entrepreneur from Mendoza, partner of the innovative company Energe, which develops products that use renewable energy, specifically solar energy.

More (with great photos from the events)…

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



About the Author


International Correspondent
Buenos Aires, Argentina


 Argentina flag smallest


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

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

She can be contacted at [email protected] and www.activepmo.com

To view other works by Cecilia Boggi, visit her author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/cecilia-boggi/.



Planning, Scheduling and Controlling the Efforts of Knowledge Workers


By Russell D. Archibald

Archibald Associates

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico


Seminar in Advanced Project Management Concepts

Co-Sponsored by

The School of Industrial & Systems Engineering
Georgia Institute of Technology


The Project Management Institute

October 9-10, 1969
Atlanta, Georgia, USA



Why Are We Here?

The one common factor which brings us together at this meeting, which I hope is the first of many productive sessions of this type, is our interest in projects. As we get acquainted with each other in these two days, we will find that we represent a very wide variety of organizations, industries, agencies, special backgrounds, and specific personal interests. Nevertheless, we are all interested in projects, and that’s why we are here: to talk about projects, and the management of projects.

What Are Projects?

Since projects are the central focus of our interest, I believe it is germane to ask that question at this point, since all of the speakers and panel discussions that are to follow will be dealing with some aspect of projects and project management.

Projects are complex efforts:

  • To achieve specified results within a schedule and budget
  • That typically cut across organizational and functional lines
  • That are unique, and not completely repetitious of come previous effort.

This definition of projects has weathered considerable exposure, but I would welcome your reaction and improvement on it. Perhaps this is a project which the Project Management Institute should take on: development of a sound definition of a project in systematic terms.

The Management of Projects

Managing projects is, without question, a difficult job. It is a rare organization these days that is satisfied with its performance on projects in meeting the schedule and budget, achieving the desired quality of the end result, and controlling the effort without too many buckets of blood sloshed around mahogany row.

Managing projects is considerably different from managing stable organizations. The traditional concepts we learn in the graduate business school don’t apply very well when it comes to projects. In fact, severe conflicts usually exist between organization or functional or line management on one hand, and project management on the other. Project management requires special concepts, tools, procedures and systems, and we will be hearing about some of these later in this conference. We must be careful of over-developing these areas without commensurate development of a sound understanding of them, and of the needed skills to use them effectively.

Managing projects requires two basic categories of skills which are relatively new, at least in some industries. These are:


To read entire paper, click here


Editor’s note: Second Editions are previously published papers that have continued relevance in today’s project management world, or which were originally published in conference proceedings or in a language other than English.  Original publication acknowledged; authors retain copyright.  This paper by Russell Archibald was presented at the first conference ever sponsored by or held in the name of the Project Management Institute (PMI®), conducted at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia, USA in October 1969.  In addition, it was the first paper presented that day, making this the first paper ever presented or published for or by PMI.  Amazingly, it is just as relevant today as it was in 1969, the year that PMI was founded. It is republished here with the author’s permission.


About the Author

pmwj49-Aug2016-Archibald-PHOTO1 RUSS
Russell D. Archibald

Archibald Associates
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico



When this paper was presented in 1969 Russ was 45 years of age. It reflects his previous two years as the Project Engineer (Captain, Senior Pilot) for pressure and temperature control systems for all USAF bomber aircraft within the USAF Air Research and Development Command; then the Project Controls Manager for the POLARIS Solid Rocket component at Aerojet General Corp for two years (where the first computerized PERT system was developed); plus four years in project management consulting as President of CPM Systems, Inc., in California. In 1967 he was co-author (with Richard Villoria) of Network Based Management Information Systems (PERT/CPM), Wiley, one of the first books to appear on project management.

Now 93, with careers spanning more than 70 years, Russ has had broad international experiences in piloting and designing aircraft, corporate engineering, operations, and program and project management. His three project management related careers have been Military/Aerospace (19 years), Corporate Engineer & Executive (17 years), and Management Consultant (34 years to date).  Russ has consulted to a wide variety of large and small organizations in 16 countries, has trained thousands of people in project management, and has resided in the USA, France, Mexico, Venezuela, Panama Canal Zone, and Peru with Marion, his wife of 70 years. For the past 23 years they have resided in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico.

Russ is founding member number 6 of the Project Management Institute/PMI. After presenting this first PMI paper in 1969 he was President of the PMI Southern California Chapter in 1991-2, founding member of the PMI Mexico City Chapter in 1996, and in 2006 was awarded the PMI Jim O’Brien Lifetime Achievement Award. A PMI Fellow and Certified Project Management Professional, he co-authored with Prof. Dr. Jean-Pierre Debourse the 2011 PMI research report Project Managers as Senior Executives. He was also a founding member in 1970 and is an Honorary Fellow of the Association of Project Management (APM/IPMA-UK).

Russ is co-author with his grandson Shane Archibald of Leading and Managing Innovation-What Every Executive Team Must Know about Project, Program & Portfolio Management(2nd edition CRC Press 2015, 1st edition 2013 also published in Italian, Portuguese and Spanish); author of Managing High Technology Programs and Projects (3rd edition Wiley 2003, also published in Italian, Russian, and Chinese), has contributed chapters to 15 books edited by others, and presented 88 papers at many PMI, IPMA and other conferences in many countries. He holds BS (U. of Missouri 1948) and MS (U. of Texas 1956) degrees in Mechanical Engineering. Russ was awarded an honorary Ph.D. in Strategy, Program, and Project Management from the Ecole Superieure de Commerce de Lille in Lille, France in 2005. See russarchibald.com.  Russ can be contacted at [email protected]

To view other works by Russell Archibald, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/russell-d-archibald/



Project and Programme Managers are Positive Change Agents


Some key questions and answers

Prof Pieter Steyn, Pr Eng

Cranefield College

Republic of South Africa

The following questions and answers are based on a recent panel discussion with a well-known media house in South Africa and provide the underlying basis for the current curricula at Cranefield College.

How is project and programme management evolving as a profession?

The evolving trend is for organisations to adopt a cross-functional approach to their business models. Essentially, this means that diversification has become the norm and this has placed even greater emphasis on project and programme management to ensure a focused approach. In both the private and public sectors, the pressure is on meeting delivery targets in shorter timeframes. Completing work ahead of deadlines also reduces wastages in terms of manpower. Plus, earlier completion means prompter payment and positive cash flow management.

What’s the difference between programme and project management?

Project management is the foundation, and the principles and practices are very important to understand. Learning these skills provides project managers with the ability to move into the modern-day realm of programme management, which focuses on maximizing strategic benefits along the value chain.

Programme managers reflect critically on the role of quality and performance management in the organisational supply chain, and in particular the cross-functional processes. They compare business strategy theory with practice to meet challenges in both internal and external organisational environments, in a prescriptive and emergent manner, to enhance the value creation ability of the knowledge-based learning organisation. This includes managing multiple project portfolios. That’s where keeping bureaucracy to a minimum is vital, as is the need to remove silo cultures in organisations.

How closely is project and programme management linked to business success?

For organisations to survive, they need to stay focused on continuous improvement and product and service innovation. Project managers play an essential role here, and keep programmes on track.

What are the implications for virtual project management?

This is a major new area for project management professionals. Location is no longer an issue with an online systems approach. Business models are shifting to a network matrix in terms of functionality. Here virtual managers help to shape the evolving organization via online programme offices. Virtual networks enable dispersed organizational teams to collaborate more effectively, using the best talent available irrespective of geographical location. For virtual project managers to be effective, they need to build effective data linking systems to optimize interconnectivity. It’s an exciting near real-time approach as virtual teams work together to achieve targeted goals.


To read entire article, click here



About the Author

Prof Dr Pieter Steyn

Founder, Director, Principal
Cranefield College of Project and Programme Management
Pretoria & Western Cape, South Africa



Dr Pieter Steyn
is Founder and Principal of Cranefield College of Project and Programme Management, a South African Council on Higher Education / Department of Education accredited and registered Private Higher Education Institution. The Institution offers an Advanced Certificate, Advanced Diploma, Postgraduate Diploma, Master’s degree, and PhD in project and programme-based leadership and management. Professor Steyn holds the degrees BSc (Eng), MBA, and PhD in management, and is a registered Professional Engineer.

He was formerly professor in the Department of Management, University of South Africa and Pretoria University Business School. He founded the Production Management Institute of South Africa, and in 1979 pioneered Project Management as a university subject at the post-graduate level at the University of South Africa.

Dr Steyn founded consulting engineering firm Steyn & Van Rensburg (SVR). Projects by SVR include First National Bank Head Office (Bank City), Standard Bank Head Office, Mandela Square Shopping Centre (in Johannesburg) as also, Game City- and The Wheel Shopping Centres (in Durban). He, inter alia, chaired the Commission of Enquiry into the Swaziland Civil Service; and acted as Programme Manager for the Strategic Transformation of the Gauteng Government’s Welfare Department and Corporate Core.

Pieter co-authored the “International Handbook of Production and Operations Management,” (Cassell, London, 1989, ed. Ray Wild) and is the author of many articles and papers on leadership and management. He is a member of the Association of Business Leadership, Industrial Engineering Institute, Engineering Association of South Africa, and Project Management South Africa (PMSA); and a former member of the Research Management Board of IPMA. He serves on the Editorial Board of the PM World Journal. Pieter is also Director of the De Doornkraal Wine Estate in Riversdale, Western Cape.

Professor Steyn can be contacted at [email protected] For information about Cranefield College, visit www.cranefield.ac.za.

To view other works by Pieter Steyn, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/dr-pieter-steyn/



When You Cannot Do!


By Anil Seth

Fluor India

Gurgaon, India

I’ve got a theory that if you give 100 percent all of the time, somehow things will work out in the end.

~Larry Bird

Project Management looks difficult when you cannot deliver!

In one of my projects, our team was recommended to take up the job from an engineering consultant company which was not able to recover (in schedule) and hence required antiquated, skilled and thick skinned guys as finishers. Sounds complicated.. NO.

The simple rule of any mid-way management project is to take current stock of situation. This does not mean start questioning the handing over team “why certain activities are not done or   why documents are of bad quality.

As a minimum for such scenario always follow SIX RULE FUNDAMENTALS. These are :

Rule 1

Check the “To be completed and Remaining Project work Commitment. This needs to be checked with overall Project schedule and not with Engineering/Procurement /Construction stand-alone schedule. [Here there is a possibility that the handover may include some of the critical work under etcetera clause]

Rule 2

Check who is the main defaulter in arranging the required Input. At times this may not be the team painted as “defaulter”.

Rule 3

Make a clear scope of responsibility list. This list has to only cover “to go activity” and yes most important part is to correctly include the interface scope (i.e. battery limit demarcations/design basis scope/material management scope etc.).The Interface scope should also require revisiting the battery limit already defined. In Schedule crash projects, the handover team may not have adequate time to verify during handover…then? It is recommended to take (or seek) the buy-in in handover Kick-off Meeting (from client and not from “defaulter”).

Rule 4

Markup “to be developed area” on Plot plan or any other primary document (could be P&IDs) and distribute in the team.

For short term recovery, the factors governing the failure dominates .This means in all such RED Projects there is no reliability that the schedule negotiated at the time of handover will be good to go. Now this is the difficult part, HOW TO AVOID FALLING IN THE SAME TRAP OF EARLIER TEAM.


To read entire article, click here



About the Author

Anil Seth

Gurgaon, India



Mr. Anil Seth
is working as Project Manager in Fluor’s Indian office at Gurgaon. Fluor Daniel India Private Limited (Fluor India) provides a full range of engineering, design, procurement, and construction management services to Indian and overseas clients. Fluor India is an established quality provider of engineering, procurement, construction management (EPC) and project management services for Fluor’s energy and chemicals, power, mining, and industrial projects, and is a key support office for Fluor facilities located in North America, Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and Asia Pacific

Earlier to Fluor, was in Larsen & Toubro Ltd. at Faridabad, India and managing the Project Engineering Manager Portfolio for hydrocarbon projects. Before joining Larsen & Toubro Engineering and construction division he has worked for Indian Petrochemicals Corporation Limited. He holds B.E. degree with Honors in CHEMICAL Engineering from Panjab University Chandigarh India and has also done Diploma in Environmental Management. He is certified for Harvard Manage Mentor and specializes in Building High Performance cross functional Task Force as well as Converting Breakeven Projects to Profitable scenario. He can be reached at [email protected] or [email protected]

To see other works by Anil Seth, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/mr-anil-seth/




Diversity Intelligence


Drawing People Towards You Through Awareness

By Paul Pelletier, LL.B, PMP

Vancouver, BC, Canada










Todays’ project management leaders feel constant pressure to innovate and position their products, services, and teams more creatively than ever before. However, in our highly diverse workplaces, diversity intelligence is critical to success. Leaders who leverage diversity to develop, motivate and empower people to achieve extraordinary results aren’t acting randomly. By aligning diversity intelligence (DI) with leadership strategies and communication practices to ensure a truly collaborative, inclusive and engaging work environment, we can inspire our high performance teams and improve our project success.

The Impact of Workplace Diversity

The world is shrinking every day. Globalization means companies from virtually anywhere can sell to customers from virtually anywhere, and local markets continue to become more and more cosmopolitan due to immigration. Target demographics are changing, and organizations that ignore those changes will one day find themselves without clients or anyone to sell to. However, to stay relevant, businesses must do more than simply cater their project, programs, products and services to these increasingly diverse demographics. In fact, it’s unlikely they can even do that successfully without fostering workplace diversity.

What is Workplace Diversity?          

To improve our diversity intelligence, we must first understand workplace diversity. Diversity means understanding that each individual is unique, and recognizing our individual differences.  Diversity extends beyond race or ethnicity, religion, culture or newcomer status to include factors such as geography, language, politics, gender, beliefs, economic status, abilities, skills and interests.

A diverse workplace reflects our communities. Diversity is actually rooted in merit and in the appreciation of differences. It focuses on finding the right candidate for the right job regardless of (not because of) his or her ethnicity, religion, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, certain physical/mental abilities, marital status, education, and socioeconomic status – and then leveraging the various benefits that come with having a diverse workforce.

What is Diversity Intelligence?

It is about understanding each other and moving beyond simple tolerance to embracing and celebrating the rich dimensions of diversity contained within each individual. The concept of diversity intelligence encompasses acceptance and respect. It is the exploration of our differences in a safe, positive, and nurturing environment.

By integrating workers from culturally diverse backgrounds into their workforce organizations become much stronger and their project success rate improves. Diversity intelligent project management leaders ensure that diversity is an integral part of the business plan, essential to successful projects, programs, products and increased sales. This is especially true in today’s global marketplace, as organizations interact with different cultures and clients.

Benefits of Workplace Diversity

Workplace diversity can make organizations and teams more productive and profitable. They also bring differences that we must understand and embrace for those benefits to be realized. Among the advantages of diversity in the workplace are: better problem solving, higher productivity, better employee relations, new language skills, better client insight, and new processes.


To read entire article, click here



About the Author

Paul Pelletier

Vancouver, BC, Canada




Paul Pelletier, LL.B., PMP, is a workplace respect consultant, corporate lawyer, project manager and executive. He works with organizations to prevent, manage and eliminate workplace bullying. His book “Workplace Bullying – It’s just Bad for Business” highlights how bullying is lethal to project management and business success. He also serves as a member of the PMI Ethics Member Advisory Group. He has published articles, presented webinars, workshops and been a presenter at many PMI events, including Global Congresses, Leadership Institute Meetings and Chapter events.  Paul Pelletier can be reached at www.paulpelletierconsulting.com or [email protected]




An Introduction to a Typology of Projects


Advances in Project Management Series

By Oliver F. Lehmann

Munich, Germany

Could it be that in its current self-conception, project management is much more similar to ancient alchemy than to a modern science or an art?

Alchemists were driven by the desire to find the philosopher’s stone that could turn lead and other cheap metals into gold. They searched for panaceas, cures for all diseases, and while they developed various laboratory methods, some of them still in use today, their activities were mostly performed against a background of mysticism and magic.

There were several steps that took practitioners and scientists from old alchemists’ approaches to those of modern chemists. A central one was the publication of the periodic table (Mendelejew, 1869), which allowed chemists to classify and typify chemical elements and improve the understanding of chemistry through the identification of an inner order in the diversity of elements. A similar step was achieved in biology with the development of the Linnaean taxonomy, which allowed scientists to classify species and understand their relationships but also their differences.

Typologies and with them classifications allow to better manage diversity. Another example is provided by burns. Burns happen on a continuum between a minor injury and the most dreadful damage to tissue that can happen to humans. Each burn is different, but a typology in the form of a system of degrees helps respond appropriately to them. Burns of a first degree are mostly treated by applying outpatient care and superficial methods. Burns of the third or fourth degree (depending on the system) will be treated in intensive care within a hospital. Despite the uniqueness of burns, the typology helps to better select the most suitable response.

One should note that the classification systems in chemistry and biology are open classifications, that can be expanded, when new knowledge has been explored and new elements or species, genera and so on should be added to the existing ones. This is different to the closed classification of burns; this classification is generally considered to be complete.

“Best Practices” or Uniqueness?

In project management, the common belief in the existence of a “Best practice” approach is a concept comparable to Alchemy, and it is widely held. Many project managers believe that there must be a practice that is applicable to all projects that generally ensures success in all of them.

Interested in the question of how popular this concept is, the author asked project managers between April and August 2015, whether they believed in universal best practices. He received 189 responses, and the majority confirmed that they believed in best practices within the discipline. Figure 1 shows the results of the survey.


Figure 1: In a 2015 survey among project managers, more than 50% responded that they believe in the existence of universal project management methods as “Best practices”.

In scientific papers and articles, any differences between project types are also commonly ignored. Searching in websites that provide links to published work on project management gives many results of research in project management generally, but the vast majority is not linked to specific types of projects. The questions that they raise would be similar to scientific papers and articles in chemistry asking “What is the boiling point of an element” or in zoology “How do animals survive?”, ignoring the fact that boiling points are different from element to element and also depend on environmental conditions; and the same is true for the survival strategies of animals.

There are also “proven best practice methodologies” promoted, that can be “applied to all types of projects”, which would be comparable to a description of the best treatment practice of all burns, ignoring their degree.

More (with figures, footnotes and references)…

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 or Routledge publishers. Information about the series can be found at https://www.routledge.com/Advances-in-Project-Management/book-series/APM


About the Author                                                 

Oliver F. Lehmann

Munich, Germany



Oliver F. Lehmann
, MSc., PMP, is a project management trainer, author and speaker. He 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 and a volunteer and insider at the Project Management Institute (PMI).

Living in Munich, Bavaria, he is the President of the PMI Southern Germany Chapter and author of the book “Situational Project Management: The Dynamics of Success and Failure” (Taylor & Francis, ISBN 9781498722612).



On the importance of context


Why situational awareness remains an essential focus

Advances in Project Management

By Prof Darren Dalcher

Director, National Centre for Project Management
University of Hertfordshire

United Kingdom

 Context plays a principal part in the processes required for solving problems, managing and making decisions.

Starting with context

Influential architect and design theorist, Christopher Alexander, featured in our most recent column, considered design as an activity made of two symmetrical parts, the form and the context [Alexander, 1964]. The form refers to the solution to the problem which is being constructed by the designer, while the context is the domain – the setting which defines the problem. The ‘search for fitness’ between the two parts is the essential balancing process.

Fitness is a relation of mutual acceptability between these two. In a problem of design we want to satisfy the mutual demands which the two make on one another. We want to put the context and the form into effortless contact or frictionless coexistence. … Adaptation is a mutual phenomenon referring to the context’s adaptation to the form as much as the form’s adaptation to its context.” [ibid. p. 19]

Finding a good fit can be achieved through the neutralisation of misfits, the incongruities, irritants and forces which cause clashes that stand out and violate fitness. The design problem can thus be described as an effort to achieve fitness between the form and its context.

“In the case of a real design problem, even our conviction that there is a fit to be achieved is curiously flimsy and insubstantial. We are searching for some kind of harmony between two intangibles: a form which we have not yet designed, and a context which we cannot properly describe” [ibid.. p. 26]

The only reason we have for thinking that there must be some kind of fit to be achieved between them is that we can detect incongruities, or negative instances of it. The incongruities in an ensemble are the primary data of experience. If we agree to treat fit as the absence of misfits, and to use a list of those potential misfits which are most likely to occur as our criterion for fit, our theory will at least have the same nature as our intuitive conviction that there is a problem to be solved” [ibid., p. 26-7].

Context can therefore be said to be essential to the framing and problem solving practiced within the realms of architecture and design.

Other domains also tend to look beyond the objective and question additional aspects related to a problem and the given situation.

The person and the situation

One of the most recognised landmark studies in psychology, the Stanford Prison Experiment, was devised to evaluate the impact of perceived power and position. The experiment conducted at Stanford University in 1971, investigated the psychology of imprisonment. Volunteer participants were arrested in their homes by the local police department and ‘charged’ with armed robbery. Prisoners were booked by the police, strip-searched and issued with a new identity before being transported from the police station to mock prison cells in the university basement.

The mock prison was operated by other volunteers acting as guards. 12 of the 24 participants were assigned the role of guards, while the other 12 were assigned the role of prisoners. Guards were provided with suitable accessories including batons and sunglasses. The intention was to conduct a two-week prison simulation. But the environment, and context, in which the experiment was conducted, had an enormous impact on participants, beyond the expectations of the experiment designers.


To read entire article, click here


Editor’s note: The PMWJ Advances in Project Management series includes articles by authors of program and project management books previously published by Gower in the UK and now by Routledge.  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.  To learn more about the book series, go to https://www.routledge.com/Advances-in-Project-Management/book-series/APM. Prof Dalcher’s article is an introduction to the invited paper this month in the PMWJ. 



About the Author

Darren Dalcher, PhD

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

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Darren Dalcher
, Ph.D. HonFAPM, FRSA, FBCS, CITP, FCMI, SFHEA is Professor of Project Management at the University of Hertfordshire, and founder and Director of the National Centre for Project Management (NCPM) in the UK.  He has been named by the Association for Project Management (APM) as one of the top 10 “movers and shapers” in project management in 2008 and was voted Project Magazine’s “Academic of the Year” for his contribution in “integrating and weaving academic work with practice”. 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 150 papers and book chapters on project management and software engineering. He is Editor-in-Chief of Software Process Improvement and Practice, an international journal focusing on capability, maturity, growth and improvement. He is the editor of the book series, Advances in Project Management, published by Gower Publishing of a new companion series Fundamentals of Project Management.  Heavily involved in a variety of research projects and subjects, Professor Dalcher has built a reputation as leader and innovator in the areas of practice-based education and reflection in project management. He works with many major industrial and commercial organisations and government bodies in the UK and beyond.  He 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, and a Member of the Project Management Institute (PMI), the Academy of Management, the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and the Association for Computing Machinery. He is a Chartered IT Practitioner. He is a Member of the PMI Advisory Board responsible for the prestigious David I. Cleland project management award and of the APM Professional Development Board.  Prof Dalcher is an academic editorial advisor for the PM World Journal.  He can be contacted at [email protected].

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




Adding value to project clients


By Alan Stretton

Sydney, Australia


In recent articles in this journal (e.g. Stretton 2016b, c, d, e) I have been advocating that project management should move from a focus on project execution which many still have, to broader perspectives and involvement, which could include:

  • increased involvement in converting project outputs to (business) outcomes
  • increased involvement in project initiation activities, including
    • capturing client’s needs
    • planning to convert these needs into outcomes
    • defining the project to best contribute to these outcomes
  • increased involvement in organisational strategic planning, including
    • helping set organisational strategic objectives
    • developing, evaluating & choosing best strategic options for achieving the objectives
    • developing portfolios of projects to achieve these strategic objectives

From time to time in these articles I have made the point that early involvement in project initiation stages (whether collectively as in organisational strategic planning, or with individual project initiation activities) gives project management the opportunity to add value to the client (or to the client organisation). This article explores the matter of adding such value in a little more detail.

It should be noted here that the Japanese (in PMAJ 2008) put value creation right at the forefront in their definition of the nature of a project, as follows:

A project relates to a value creation undertaking based on a project mission, which is completed in a given or agreed timeframe and under constraints, including resources and external circumstances.

The Western project management literature has traditionally been rather more concerned with product creation than value creation. However, the latter was very much at the heart of the development of project management with my old employer, Civil & Civic, in the 1950s and 1960s. We will first briefly look at their experience.


It should first be noted that most of my nearly forty years hand-on experience in project management was with project-based organisations – i.e. organisations that derive most (if not all) of their revenue and/or other benefits from creating and delivering projects. This article strongly reflects this perspective on project management. In particular, when we are talking about value, we will be talking specifically about value to the project’s client – or the client organisation, as I sometimes describe it.

Therefore this article does not necessarily reflect the perspective of project managers operating in production-based organisations, which derive most (if not all) of their revenue and/or benefits from producing and selling products and services. Evidently, value can mean different things to different people in this environment. We start with a snapshot of the Australian building industry in the 1950s.

Value (or lack thereof) in the Australian building industry through the 1950s

Through the 1950s (and indeed well beyond the 1950s) virtually all non-dwelling buildings in Australia were delivered under the traditional tender system. Buildings were designed by architects, and put out to competitive tender for construction. This system virtually assured that the client received poor value, for two primary reasons.

  • Architects had little incentive to design in value for the client, either because of their fee structure, or with the prevailing architectural ethos up to that time.
  • Separation of design from construction denied clients possibilities for benefiting from value-adding practical construction advice in the design phase.

Adding value in the design phase

Civil & Civic (C&C) was formed in Australia in 1951, and initially operated in the local building industry as a building contractor. Echoing the last bullet point above, Civil & Civic’s construction people (along with most other building contractors) very directly recognised “that the important cost savings in any building project are to be made on the drawing board …” (Murphy, 1984:7). There were no checks-and-balances mechanisms at the time to help ensure that consultants’ designs were efficient and/or effective.

It is quite certain that few people at the time had any idea of how inefficient and/or ineffective architectural designs often were. Civil & Civic soon found out that, in active management of the design of its own developments, effort spent on refining the design was invariably effort well spent. Along with its own development work, it was a natural step to offer design-and-construct services to external clients, which was initiated in the mid-to-late 1950s.

Perhaps even more revealingly, we began getting requests to do “rescue missions” on external projects which were going awry. Many of these were real eye-openers. In so many cases the genesis of the problem was design-related. It was not unusual for us to be able to reduce the final project cost by up to 40% (in one spectacular case double that!) by redesigning the project to improve efficiency, and in many cases to improve effectiveness as well.

Adding value by helping clients determine their business (or equivalent) needs

In describing the problems on these “rescue mission” projects as design-related, it should be emphasised that many of them were actually due to a failure to really clarify what the client’s real needs were in the first place – by clients needs I mean their business (or equivalent) needs.

More …

To read entire paper, click here

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



About the Author

Alan Stretton, PhD

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



Alan Stretton
is one of the pioneers of modern project management.  He is currently a member of the Faculty Corps for the University of Management & Technology (UMT), USA.  In 2006 he retired from a position as Adjunct Professor of Project Management in the Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS), Australia, which he joined in 1988 to develop and deliver a Master of Project Management program.   Prior to joining UTS, Mr. Stretton worked in the building and construction industries in Australia, New Zealand and the USA for some 38 years, which included the project management of construction, R&D, introduction of information and control systems, internal management education programs and organizational change projects.  He has degrees in Civil Engineering (BE, Tasmania) and Mathematics (MA, Oxford), and an honorary PhD in strategy, programme and project management (ESC, Lille, France).  Alan was Chairman of the Standards (PMBOK) Committee of the Project Management Institute (PMI®) from late 1989 to early 1992.  He held a similar position with the Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM), and was elected a Life Fellow of AIPM in 1996.  He was a member of the Core Working Group in the development of the Australian National Competency Standards for Project Management.  He has published over 170 professional articles and papers.  Alan can be contacted at [email protected].

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



Project Dammam – Making a City Smart


By Mark Reeson

UK and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia


The Eastern Province is the largest province of Saudi Arabia by physical geography.  The province’s capital city is Dammam, which is the host to the majority of the region’s population and is also the location of its seat of government.  This region is the third most populous province of Saudi Arabia after Makkah and Riyadh, the nation’s capital.  The current Governor of the Eastern Province and therefore also the main stakeholder for the project is Prince Saud Bin Naif.

This region of Saudi Arabia is home to most of Saudi Arabia’s oil production.  In addition, this province hosts the city of Jubail which is the global hub for the chemical industry.  Away from business and industry, this region is also a huge tourist attraction because of its location on the Persian Gulf and its close vicinity to the country of Bahrain.

The geography of the Eastern Province is very vital to the project strategy as it borders the Persian Gulf which contains the province’s only maritime boundary with Iran, yet borders five other countries by land, namely Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.  Although a huge region, over half of the province is covered by the largely uninhabited Rub’ Al Khali desert.

pmwj53-dec2016-reeson-photo1For so long this region has been fragmented and although covered by multiple municipalities and governed through many ministries there has never been any major structure to the governance or government of the province.  In September 2015 it was decided that this had to change and that a new approach should be undertaken.  The first step behind this was to set up a project team within the main Municipality Building in Dammam and then draw in a project team that could deliver the project to change the city, not just for a while but for a sustainable future.

The decision was made that the best way to deliver this major change would be to centralise the strategic planning of the whole region under one roof to be governed by one individual, the head of the Strategic Coordination Centre, Engineer Mosaad Mqhtani.  His project team that would deliver this was made up of four different companies spanning eight different nationalities from Saudi Arabians, other Middle Eastern countries, American, German and Venezuelan, all headed up by Mark Reeson from England.

Although there were many major dignitaries involved in the decision making process of what was needed for the new Coordination Centre, a typical Arab approach to decision making, the major stakeholder after the Governing Prince was the Eastern Province’s Mayor, Engineer Fahad Mohammed Al-Jubair.  With so much notoriety watching over the project this made every step sensitive to the needs of those making the decisions and also the community that would be affected by the delivery of this new approach to project management in the whole province.

What is the Strategic Coordination Centre?

The Strategic Coordination Centre was the result of the proposal to centralise the coordination of projects throughout all the municipalities in the region.  For far too long each municipality and authority had work independent from one another therefore creating a counterproductive working environment.  This would then allow and demonstrate for a new way to look at utilising the resources within the Eastern Province more efficiently.  What this new approach would offer was a clearer picture of what is happening in the province and more importantly, to allow people to understand why it is happening.

Further to this it was decided that a new way of selecting and prioritising projects should be brought into force through the new department.  The prioritisation of work would be based on the need of the work rather than simply a wish and to also eliminate the amount redundant work which takes place within the region where roads, rails and electrical cabling is dug up once and then within weeks dug up again.


To read entire paper, click here



About the Author

Mark Reeson RPP FAPM PMP

United Kingdom and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mark can be contacted at [email protected]




The Impact of Effective Project Control Plans on Buildings Construction Projects


Prof. Dr. Mostafa H. Kotb, Dr. Mohamed S. Atwa and Ahmed S. Elwan

Cairo, Egypt


One of the biggest challenges for Engineering, Procurement, and Construction Management (EPCM) companies is retaining control over the continuous health of medium to large scale projects, and more specifically, understanding the current status of the project in terms of cost, schedule, resources, progress, and performance at any given point of the project’s life cycle. Since the construction industry has always been cost and schedule conscious; however, in lean economic times, that consciousness becomes more important than ever before. An effective, well-defined, easily understood, and dedicated Project Controls Plan (PCP) is the foundation of any successful project. This paper has focused on the impact of effective project control plans on building construction projects.

Key words:   Construction – Impact – Project Control – Benefits – Cost – Schedule

  1. Introduction

At the upper level of the project management process is project control. It can be part of the daily responsibilities of the project manager, or it can be under the authority of the more specialized project analyst. Project control combines the management skills of the project manager with the analytic focus of the professional accountant.

In today’s commercial construction market, adhering to a schedule and maintaining a delivery date within the planned budget often define the difference between success and failure. Contracts carry substantial penalties for performance failures in the form of liquidated damages as well as the actual and consequential damages that may result from the delay.

Cost and time of construction projects are controlled with the objective of delivery within a predetermined time and a cost budget. Determining these objectives is the starting point of project control because it serves as a baseline to measure against.

2. Function of Project Control

The PMBOK® defines Project Control with the following statement: “A project management function that involves comparing actual performance with planned performance and taking appropriate corrective action (or directing others to take this action) that will yield the desired outcome in the project when significant differences exist.” Project control is the function of integrating cost and schedule data to establish a baseline or guidance system for monitoring, measuring, and controlling performance. Project control can be performed by the project manager or can be an independent discipline within the project team performed by the project analyst or project auditor. Project control is the aspect of the project management process that provides the analytic tools for keeping the project on track, on time, and within budget.

3.  Symptoms of Poor Project Control

Time and cost can easily get out of control on a construction project, even on a small project. While these two variables are independent, they are closely linked on all construction projects. Changes to schedule can affect the cost and vice versa. (We have all heard stories of projects that ran 30 percent over budget and six months late in delivery. How can this possibly happen? In most cases, lack of or loss of control is the underlying factor). There are many symptoms which show that the project is out of control.


To read entire paper, click here



About the Authors

Prof Dr. Mostafa Hassan Aly Kotb

Al Azhar University
Cairo, Egypt



Professor Mostafa Hassan Aly Kotb is a seasoned expert in structural engineering with more than 38 years’ experience as an academic professor in Al Azhar University, Faculty of Engineering, and a project management expert. He can be contacted at [email protected]


Dr. Mohamed Saad Atwa

Al Azhar University
Cairo, Egypt



Dr Mohamed Saad Atwa is an associate professor in architectural engineering in Al Azhar University, holds a Ph.D. degree from Department of Construction Science, Collage of Architectural Engineering, Texas A&M University (USA) Dissertation Title: “Quality Assurance in Supervision of Building Construction”, and has many researches in Architectural Engineering, Quality management in construction industry, Quality systems in Building Construction, Safety & health system in Building Construction and Project construction management. He can be contacted at [email protected]


Ahmed Salah Elwan

Construction Manager
Cairo, Egypt


Mr. Ahmed Elwan
, Msc, PMP® is a construction manager with 11 years expertise in construction implementation and supervision in the buildings sector (governmental facilities, schools, hotels, offices, commercial and  residential buildings) that relate to planning and  finishes, special construction and  modern material.  In addition Ahmed is a certified project management professional and holds a master’s degree in the architectural engineering. He can be contacted at [email protected] or [email protected]