SPONSORS

SPONSORS

Welcome to the September 2016 PMWJ

and Buy your Team a Lunch

David Pells

Managing Editor

Addison, Texas, USA


Welcome to the September 2016 edition of the PM World Journal (PMWJ). This 50th edition continues to reflect the international nature of this publication; it contains 30 original articles, papers and other works by 33 different authors in 15 different countries. 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.

In July I wondered in this space whether my welcome article should contain more than simply a description of the current month’s contents. Several readers have now suggested that I use this opportunity to mention new trends or important issues that I see as journal editor. This month I reflect on a recent conversation with a colleague who described a situation in his office that, I think, raises some issues for project teams and some good ideas.

Buy your team a lunch

Over an afternoon coffee a few weekends ago, I asked my friend how things were going with his projects. He’s working at a technology company that has both internal and external IT and web-related projects. He is working on some website enhancement projects; others are working on projects for customers. The company specializes in HR and training support software, tools and services and is apparently growing rapidly. Although they are adding staff, current employees are working long days, some evenings and partial weekends. There are 20-30 people there now, maybe more.

He told me that over the last month, he has taken some snacks into the office, put them in a glass bowl on his desk and people have been stopping by for something to nibble on during long afternoons. The previous week the CEO of the company came by, noticed the snack bowl, then announced that he was buying everyone lunch on Mondays, starting the following week. “On one condition,” he stated. “You have to eat in the cafeteria on the first floor with co-workers. You cannot bring your lunch back to your desk.”

My friend told me, “Hey, it’s a free lunch! I guess I’ll take it, start eating lunch again.” I immediately thought, Wow, that was a great idea, and probably not too expensive for a growing, profitable company or an executive. And it could produce some positive, even powerful results. I immediately thought this could be a good idea for many project managers or team leaders.

Here are some things that came to mind from this simple move – buying the team a lunch:

  • It could improve morale, increasing positive attitudes towards the company and leadership;
  • It forces people up off their chairs, walking, getting away from work for 30+ minutes – widely recognized as healthy for both mind and body (think health improvement, mindfulness)
  • It facilitates and promotes interaction, communication and networking (think team building, teamwork, problem resolution, etc.) – also with potential benefits to body and mind.

We know the benefits from celebrating successes, well established practice on Agile teams and in many project offices. But this move came from a CEO with no background in project management. It was simply a good leadership move, people-friendly, and widely appreciated. The application to project leadership was obvious to me, but we should also recognize that we can learn a lot from good managers and leaders whoever and wherever they might be. And some things like being kind to others, or buying the team a lunch, can generate some really positive results.

Maybe this was not a big new project management idea but I thought it was great and just wanted to pass it on.

This month in the Journal

Now for this month’s journal which again contains some interesting and outstanding works. Six featured papers are again included. Frank Parth and Paul Giammalvo are back with papers that continue their recent themes or major program management and project management roles defined, respectively. Four other serious papers are included from researchers in Indonesia, Netherlands, Nigeria and Pakistan. Three very good series articles are included again this month, along with three useful advisory articles. Prof Sampietro has authored a fascinating Commentary article bout Britain’s Olympic success and how project management concepts played a major role in the UK’s success in Rio. Please check out these good articles and papers.

More…

To read entire paper, click here

 


About the Author

pmwj36-Jul2015-Pells-PHOTO
David L. Pells

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

 flag-usa

 

David L. Pells is Managing Editor of the PM World Journal (https://pmworldjournal.net/article/scaling-agile-adoption-local-agile-centers-excellence/) and Managing Director of the PM World Library (http://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/

 

 

Scaling Agile Adoption through Local Agile Centers of Excellence

ADVISORY ARTICLE

By Eric O’Brien, Rebekah Knapp, Harshad Desai and Kurt Seifert

AT&T

USA

 


When adopting agile, one of the most common myths is that agile is a silver bullet. After spending a little over a year with the AT&T organization Digital Experience and watching their journey through Agile Transformation, they have created their own silver bullet through an agile local center of excellence. This article will outline how the Digital Experience organization has implemented a local agile center of excellence and why they are critical to scaling agile in large organization/companies like AT&T.

Formation of a Local Agile Center of Excellence (Guide Group)

The Digital Experience organization realized quickly that a dedicated Agile Coach could not be maintained long term and could not provide all the services needed for the entire organization. Digital Experience needed to create their own process with the support of the Agile Center of Excellence so that an Agile Coach would not be a bottleneck to their organization. This led to the formation of the Digital Experience Guide Group by Kurt Seifert and Rebekah Knapp. The Digital Experience Guide Group is a self-organized team that is the front door for all agile work and has been successful in creating their own process to ensure the communication channels have been created and teams have the necessary resources to be successful. To support scaling of their team as their organization grows each new member of the guide group is trained by members of the guide group. This train the trainer model allows the guide group to function without dedicated support from limited resources. The guide group in addition follows the Scrum Framework and can be seen having daily standup and practicing what they teach in their co-located office in downtown Dallas. The guide group became the local center of excellence. The primary goal of the local center of excellence is people and communication over process.

Scaling Through People & Communication

The local center of excellence realized that they needed to demonstrate value by making their work visible and the need to communicate often. Every week on Sunday, Rebekah Knapp creates a release grid of all the work the organization is engaged on and distributes it to the right people. Unlike the Agile Center of Excellence the local center of excellence is engaged daily with the right people and knows who needs to be informed and engaged. To ensure the Product Owners and Scrum Teams are working on a common working agreement the local center of excellence has created the DOR – Definition of Ready process. This three phase process is an organizational process that ensures work is communicated in a common format, team members agree to a common practice, work is visible, and the scrum framework is implemented by the scrum teams. Due to a partnership with the Scrum Teams Delivery Executive Director Michael Morris and Lead Scrum Master Harshad Desai from the local center of excellence every Scrum Team performs a metrics that matter review with Mike Morris.

More…

To read entire article, click here

 


About the Authors

160808 - Eric Obrien 2
Eric O’Brien

Dallas, TX, USA

flag-usa

 

Eric O’Brien, SAFe Agilist, CSM, CSPO, PMP started his career in Computer Ligation Support for the United States Attorney’s Office before migrating to the Bay Area.  There he began a 10 year career with AT&T, a multinational telecommunications corporation.   At AT&T, he has worked in diverse roles such as a Test Quality Manager for 3 years for project Lightspeed aka U-Verse (where he found a passion for coordinating large projects and programs).  As a Lead Project/Program Manager for 4 years, he led a multi-million dollar project portfolio.  Then, inspired by an Agile Boot Camp, he became a Scrum Master for 2 years working on Cloud projects integrating with OpenStack and Pivotal Lab’s Cloud Foundry.  This led to a move to the Dallas Fort Worth area and a change in roles to Agile Coach. Eric is presently responsible for agile transformation, providing leader-led boot camps on Agile and the Scrum Framework, auditing organizations for agile maturity and overall subject matter expert for AT&T Digital Experience.  In addition to the day job, his volunteer projects include the non-profit Dallas-Fort Worth Chapter of FACES (Filipino-American Communication Employees of AT&T) resource group in which he is the Vice President and Graduate Teaching Assistant at Georgia Tech for the Online Master of Science Computer Science (OMS CS) program.  Visit his LinkedIn Profile at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/eric-obrien-pmp-safe-agilist-csm-cspo-987a565

 

160808 - rebekahknapp_pic
Rebekah Knapp

Texas, USA

flag-usa


Rebekah Knapp
is the Director of Client Services for Tekzenit, a digital transformation company offering user-experience, design and software solutions using Agile. She has over 15 years of experience in product development, deployment and management. Starting in telecom, her first large product launch was enhanced directory assistance with call completion for PrimeCo which became Verizon. From there, she worked in eCommerce to manage, deliver and enhance products such as DSL (old dial-up for those that might recall), corporate and promotional websites, and entire corporate internet entities including both marketing and operations (think strategy, banner adds, affiliate programs, online sales/sales inventory, customer service, credits/returns, web development, redesigns, channel management – the whole thing). Often referred to as “Reebok” because of her agility and speed, she has been able to transform how companies traditionally manage and deliver large projects.   She fills all spare time working with fellow innovators on new product ideas, reading (current business books, classics, and New York Best Sellers), gardening, and spending time with her husband and two teenagers. She currently is on assignment at AT&T with Business Digital Solutions. Visit her LinkedIn Profile at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rebekahknapp

 

160808 - Harshad Desai
Harshad Desai

Texas, USA

flag-usa

 


Harshad Desai
is a Program Manager with Cognizant Technology Solutions, a multi-national company that provides custom information technology, consulting, and business process outsourcing services. He has over 16 years of experience in Information Technology and has been working in Project Management for last 10 years. He has been working in delivering projects using Agile Methodology for the last 6 years and has been working on transforming organization from traditional waterfall to Agile Methodology for Software Delivery. In his spare time, he volunteers for PMI’s Dallas chapter and spends time with his family. He is currently on an assignment with AT&T. His linkedin profile is available at https://www.linkedin.com/in/harshad-desai-4261225

 

160808 - Kurt_Seifert
Kurt Seifert

Texas, USA

flag-usa

 


Kurt Seifert
has flirted with project and process management all of his life. Starting out when he was young working on his families Porsche 914s, he campaigned in SCCA club racing. Although most would think it would be all mechanical, he gravitated to; preparation tasks, travel scheduling, and competition data gathering. Moving on, post college, he ended up in a role in the Windsurfing industry (not far from racing cars actually) doing Sales, Race Team and Trade show management for a global company. Again, complex management of ‘stuff’ race team, R&D, equipment, scheduling, and trade shows, was my passion although, he had a ‘sales’ title. Kurt moved into technology in his next professional career. As a Director of Sales for Hosting for one of the world’s most admired brands, he had a change meeting as part of a new data center with the Dir of Operation who handed him his card which had a title of PMP, which he had never heard of before. In discussion over dinner, Kurt finally put a ‘name’ to what he had been doing most of his life – Project Manager. The constraints of PMP structure quickly showed their limitations and he found himself at Menlo Innovations in Ann Arbor at a class on a new way to work.

Work experience

AT&T, Director of Program Innovation and Operations December 2012 – Present, Dallas, Texas, United States

Kurt’s role(s) has evolved over the years. It began as an Agile transformation project in 2012. He built the teams from the ground up, ramping from 1 team to over 25 by January 2014. His role included almost every aspect from hiring the Scrum master and PO roles to daily standup with the Agile coaches. He worked the Program, Project, and release backlogs with the POs to maintain a healthy backlog for the teams to consume. Working with Executive leadership he held Quarterly Product Vision Team meetings across the various projects. For the first 18 months the focus was on educating the Business on Agile methodology and how Scrum works. The ceremonies, roles, cadences were the focus, during the startup phase. Into 2014 it became apparent that a Product Definition team would need to help agree the standard teams, and the intra-team roles in order to successfully ‘bake’ the Vision & technical Solutions. The complexity of the Business and technical environment could not be encapsulated into the team itself. Kurt ran the PDT team as a Scrum team with a Scrum Master, and himself as the PO. They have daily standup and work through backlog just as a dev scrum team would. They hold sprint retrospectives and are continually striving to be better each sprint. See more at: https://www.scrumalliance.org/community/profile/kseifert2#sthash.OASRRjB4.dpuf

 

 

Leadership Patterns for Software and Technology Professionals

BOOK REVIEW

pmwj50-Sep2016-Zorinsky-BOOKBook Title:   Leadership Patterns for Software and Technology Professionals
Author:        Matt McBride
Publisher:    CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
List Price:     $28.99
Format:       Paperback
Publication Date:   2016
ISBN: 1508634408
Reviewer:     Eldon Zorinsky
Review Date: August, 2016

 


Introduction

In his new book, Leadership Patterns for Software and Technology Professionals, author Matt McBride addresses what are, in his view, the most challenging aspects associated with developing good software – communication and leadership skills.

In today’s business environment, it has become the norm to utilize teams of software and technology professionals to develop complex software systems. It is well understood that the number of stakeholders assigned to typical development teams and the diversity of their respective backgrounds combined with potential organizational barriers makes good communication and alignment on objectives difficult. It is imperative to overcome these obstacles in order to deliver high quality software on time and within budget. However, these issues are not being effectively addressed by many organizations.

The author is convinced that better outcomes can be consistently achieved by software professionals through the application of effective leadership practices. He reviews many of the problems that are typically encountered and then, based upon his real-world experiences, proposes ways to deal with them using a structured approach to leadership that enhances team member and stakeholder engagement and improves interactions among everyone affected by the project in ways that quickly drive insightful and productive solutions.

Leadership Patterns for Software and Technology Professionals discusses how overlaying technical and project efforts with certain leadership (behavior) patterns allows problems to be re-framed in ways that can facilitate the formulation of solutions which deliver more effective and desirable results. These patterns provide a useful template that will help the reader leverage their leadership, influence, and relational skills to deliver impressive results.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The book begins with an explanation of the author’s reasons for writing this book along with a discussion of his overall objectives. This is followed by a description of the “Leadership Ladder” and its relationship to the reader’s personal goals. It is organized in a way that provides a very useful structure that identifies important leadership (behavior) patterns in four distinct areas of leadership: Self (S), Team (T), Project (P) and Customer (C). The patterns in each of the aforementioned areas are clearly defined and examined as separate chapters.

Self Leadership patterns include the Leader pattern, the Adaptor, the Iterator, the Communicator and finally, the Facilitator pattern. Team leadership patterns include Engagement, Coach, Freeze Frame and Tuner. Project leadership patterns discussed are the Early Riser, Snap, Vision, Base Camp, Wizard, Oz, and Showboat. Finally, Customer leadership patterns include Hat, Resolute, Pace Car, Partner, Translator and Step.

Each “pattern” chapter for a given area begins with a situational scenario followed by: a problem statement; the context of how the particular pattern is used to address the problem; the solution – how use of the described leadership pattern effectively addresses the problem; and a final section that deals with applications and consequences.

The last chapter of the book includes several exercises that provide an opportunity for the reader to practice using these patterns.

More…

To read entire Book Review, click here

 


About the Reviewer

pmwj34-May2015-Zorinsky-PHOTO
Dr. Eldon J. Zorinsky, PMP

North Texas, USA

 flag-usa


Eldon Zorinsky
is an award-winning technology executive, program director, certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and registered Professional Engineer in the State of Texas. He specializes in building high performance teams of technical and business professionals and leading them in the definition, development and commercialization of new products and technologies.

He received his Doctor of Engineering degree in Electrical Engineering and Master of Science degree in Engineering Management from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. He also earned a Master of Science degree in Physics from the University of Missouri at Columbia, MO and a Bachelor of Science degree from Creighton University in Omaha, NE.  He holds numerous patents in the areas of semiconductor devices and device isolation and over the course of his career, has successfully led product and technology development and commercialization efforts that generated combined revenue of nearly $1B.

Eldon is an active member of the Dallas Chapter of PMI and is currently serving as a Workshops Director with the Chapter’s Professional Development Group.  He is also a member of IEEE, The Engineering Management Society, AAAS, and The American Vacuum Society. Email: [email protected]l.com

 


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].

 

 

Visual Six Sigma: Making Data Analysis Lean

BOOK REVIEW

pmwj50-Sep2016-Townsend-BOOKBook Title: Visual Six Sigma: Making Data Analysis Lean, 2nd Edition 
Author: Ian Cox, Marie A. Guadard, Mia L. Stephens
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
List Price:   $65.00
Format: Hardcover
Publication Date: June, 2016      
ISBN: 978-1-118-90568-5
Reviewer:     Mary E. S. Townsend
Review Date: August 2016

 


Introduction

This book has two concurrent purposes, providing the reader with principles and basic foundational practices of Six Sigma and providing a basic tutorial and walkthrough of how to use JMP, a SAS tool, to perform analysis via graphs and charts.

Overview of Book’s Structure

This book has three main sections:

  • Section 1 – Background
  • Section 2 – Case Studies
  • Section 3 – Supplementary Materials

The Background section provides the foundational material for each main purpose of the book.

The Case Studies section provides six case studies presented as analysis projects across a variety of situations from manufacturing to marketing.

Finally, the Supplementary Materials section, which is just one chapter, offers advice on progressing to advanced JMP activities.

Highlights

The two main sections, Background and Case Studies are the meat of the book.

The first background chapter is devoted to Six Sigma basics and the SAS extension of that, namely Visual Six Sigma. A second background chapter provides the basic tutorial of the JMP tool itself. The third chapter provides practical advice on the implications of data quality on performing Six Sigma analysis in general.

Each case study provides a diversity of different business scenarios that a Six Sigma practitioner might encounter across their career along with the challenges and one possible solution to each analysis project. The studies walk through the thought process of the senior analyst on the theoretical project applying lean analytical practices while using the graphical tools found in the JMP product.

More…

To read entire Book Review, click here

 


About the Reviewer

pmwj50-Sep2016-Townsend-PHOTO
Mary E. S. Townsend, PMP

Texas, USA

flag-usa

 


Mary Townsend
, PMP, CSM, CISA has more than 30 years of experience in development and change of business process and technology. She has provided team and organizational coaching moving teams and organizations along the journey through Agile adoption. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Internet Technologies and Applications from Charter Oak State College.

She can be contacted at [email protected]

 


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].

 

 

System Engineering Management, 5th Edition

BOOK REVIEW

pmwj50-Sep2016-Raibick-BOOKBook Title: System Engineering Management, Fifth Edition
Author: Benjamin S. Blanchard, John E. Blyler
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
List Price:   $155.00
Format: Hard Cover, 576 pages
Publication Date: 2016      
ISBN: 9781119047827
Reviewer: Edward Raibick, PMP
Review Date: September / 2016

 


Introduction

The book titled System Engineering Management is a comprehensive publication, providing readers with a step-by-step guide for managing complex system engineering projects. This guide takes the reader through a disciplined systems approach in managing the project, from definition of system requirements through retirement of the deliverable. The book also covers topics such as system architecture, system analysis and logistics, supply chain management and reliability engineering.

Overview of Book’s Structure

  • Chapter 1 defines System Engineering and common terms.
  • Chapter 2 covers the complete System Design Engineering process.
  • Chapter 3 details design requirements and design engineering disciplines.
  • Chapter 4 introduces the reader to engineering design methods and tools. Chapter 5 outlines the System Engineering design review and evaluation process.
  • Chapter 6 details System Engineering program planning.
  • Chapter 7 introduces developing a System Engineering organization in a business environment.

Highlights

The Systems Engineering Management book provides the user with knowledge and tools needed to produce systems that are robust, high quality and supportable.

Provided are many checklists, diagrams, calculations and illustrations to support the design methodologies and concepts discussed in the book.

The appendix offers case studies, design review checklist, a supplier evaluation checklist as well as cost processes and models.

Highlights: What I liked!

This book provides very detailed analysis of the processes and methodologies involved in system engineering design and management. It introduces new concepts related to agile engineering and model-based system engineering (MBSE).

More…

To read entire Book Review, click here

 


About the Reviewer

pmwj46-May2016-Raibick-PHOTO
Edward Raibick, PMP

Texas, USA

flag-usa

 


Edward Raibick, PMP
is a PM consultant with extensive experience software engineering, managerial and IT Project Management experience. Edward holds a Master’s degree in Information Technology with a concentration in Internet and IT security, a Bachelor’s degree in Information Technology and an Associate in Specialized Technology degree in Electronics. His career includes over 10 years with the IBM Corporation and over 15 years with Texas Instruments. Edward is a member of the Project Management Institute, Dallas Chapter, having acquired his PMP certification in 2011.

Email: [email protected]

 


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].

PMP Exam Review Guide, Third Edition

BOOK REVIEW

Bpmwj50-Sep2016-Nag-BOOKook Title:   PMP Project Management Professional Exam Review Guide, Third Edition
Authors: Kim Heldman, PMP, Vanina Mangano, PMP and Brett Feddersen, PMP
Publisher: Sybex, A Wiley Brand
List Price:   $30.00     Format: Soft Cover, 408 pages
Publication Date:   2016     ISBN: 978-1-119-17972-6
Reviewer: Amitha Nag      
Review Date: August 2016

 


Introduction

This book is derived from PMBOK Guide. It explains the book structure, how it is going to review the processes in the order of the five process groups (Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring and Controlling and Closing).  How to use the book and interactive online learning environment and test bank

Overview of Book’s Structure

The book is broken down into 6 chapters and every chapter has review questions.   It also has an appendix at the end which answers to review questions and glossary.   The following are the chapters with chapter contents.

  1. Project Foundation

What is Project and Project Management (Project, Program, Portfolio and PMO), the difference between project and operations and identifying Stakeholders and Project Management skills.  It also explains understanding of Organization Structures, Project Environment (physical geography, Ethnic culture etc.), Project Phases and Project Life Cycles and recognizing professional and social responsibility.

  1. Initiating the Project

Following ten knowledge areas with their processes are explained briefly. Processes are classified by five process groups (Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring and Controlling and Closing).  This chapter also explains two processes, that is how to develop the Project Charter and how to Identify Stakeholders which belong to Process Group – Initiating.

  • Project Integration Management
  • Project Scope Management
  • Project Time Management
  • Project Cost Management
  • Project Quality Management
  • Project Human Resource Management
  • Project Communications Management
  • Project Risk Management
  • Project Procurement Management
  • Project Stakeholder Management
  1. Planning the Project

24 processes are explained which belong to ten knowledge areas which belong to Process Group – Planning.  Each process is explained with the inputs, tools and techniques and outputs.  This is the longest chapter in the book. Some of the processes are as follows:

More…

To read entire Book Review, click here

 


About the Reviewer

pmwj50-Sep2016-Nag-PHOTO
Amitha Nag

Texas, USA

 

flag-usa

 


Amitha Nag
, MBA, MS, PMP currently works as a Project Manager/Senior Business Analyst in the Dallas, Texas Metroplex.  She has over 9 years of programming and development experience and 5 years of business analysis and project management experience.  Amitha can be contacted at [email protected]

 


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].

 

 

75 Ways for Managers to Hire, Develop, and Keep Great Employees

BOOK REVIEW

pmwj50-Sep2016-Arroyo-BOOKBook Title: 75 Ways for Managers to Hire, Develop, and Keep Great Employees         
Author: Paul Falcone
Publisher: AMACOM
List Price:   $21.95 USA        Format: Soft Cover
Publication Date: 2016      ISBN: 978-0-81443-669-1
Reviewer: Jennifer Arroyo, PMP          
Review Date: Aug 2016

 


Introduction

A series of new trends in Talent Search, Human Capital Management, and business innovation change the way a next-generation manager interacts with his/her organization and talent. Any frontline manager who oversees daily business operations and is looking for opportunities to grow and develop leadership careers must focus on effective hiring, developing talent, and maximizing key employee retention as critical strategies to achieve organizational and personal success.

As a seasoned corporate HR executive in entertainment, healthcare, and the financial services industries, Paul Falcone makes frequent keynote speeches & presentations and has published half-a-dozen books about key human resources strategies that managers and executives need to know. His latest book,75 Ways for Managers to Hire, Develop, and Keep Great Employees (AMACOM June 2016), focuses on providing the best practices for managers to achieve “the leadership edge” which will lead to an effective operational performance for the organization by leveraging smart managerial leadership and insights.

Overview of book’s structure

This book summarizes the author’s HR insights and best practice experiences employed by his consulting services, Paul Falcone HR Strategies & Solutions, and past employment at Fortune 500 companies.

The detailed key features delivered by this book in each chapter include:

Chapter 1

Falcone tells the reader that “It’s nothing less than critical that your company- large or small, public or private, international or domestic, union or nonunion – invest heavily in creating and developing your online brand across multiple platforms such as the Big 5 social media locations – LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, and YouTube.” It’s a clear message from Falcone that why it’s essential to develop a successful branding strategy.

Research from LinkedIn shows that more than 50% of talented candidates identify reputable/brand as the number 1 factor in considering a job at a company. Falcone lays out 11 action plans focusing on Effective Hiring and Selection.

Chapter 2

Great Leaders are great communicators.” Falcone explains how to hone reader’s communication skills and demonstrate true value as a leader and caring human being. In this chapter, he lays out 11 action plans on Effective Leadership and Outstanding Communication.

Chapter 3

Falcone uses show-and-tell approach to show his reader the “how not-to” solution to each of the highlighted possible Communication Litigation Land Mines and Career Killers, for example: The “E” in Email Stands for “Evidence.” By engaging effective leadership and communication Falcone lays out 14 risk management strategies to minimize managerial and organizational risks.

Chapter 4

Falcone provides 13 useful risk management best practices to help strengthen leadership defense capacity and to protect both the leader and the company. For example: “By understand the history and rules of Employment Laws manager can effectively avoid Leadership Litigation Land Mines” is a logical advice to avoid the “L” word.

Chapter 5

This chapter focuses on how managers can build trust, respect, and camaraderie in the workplace. Falcone shares practical tips on how to become a leader who inspires team members, especially the top performers, by example and who creates an environment in which people can motivate themselves based on the strong team dynamics. In this chapter Falcone lays out 13 action plans on the topic of “Inspiring Employee Engagement”.

More…

To read entire Book Review, click here

 


About the Reviewer

pmwj44-Mar2016-Arroyo-PHOTO
Jennifer Arroyo

North Texas, USA

 flag-usa

 

Jennifer Arroyo received her M.B.A. degree in Marketing from State University of New York at Albany.  Jennifer joined PMI’s Dallas Chapter in 2015.  She volunteered and served as supporting Book Review Coordinator as part of the professional development and social media marketing initiative.

Ms. Arroyo has more than 8 years of project management experience in the Global Business Marketing, Talent Development, and Financial Services industries. With her diverse global and regional PM leadership experiences, Ms. Arroyo is passionate about helping clients and businesses achieve branding and PM success by effective social media project management.

Contact Jennifer Arroyo via [email protected]

 


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].

 

 

UK Sep 2016 Project Management Round Up

REPORT

Brexit Update; Infrastructure Projects; Government Major Projects Portfolio; Major Projects in the News

By Miles Shepherd

Executive Advisor & International Correspondent

Salisbury, England, UK


INTRODUCTION

As I note below, UK is emerging from its annual Silly Season, when little of significance is reported. However, that does not mean that nothing is happening. Rather like the famous Windmill Theatre in London’s West End, the project world never closes. So despite the impact of the summer, a Bank Holiday and Brexit, the project world continues. In this report, I will return to BREXIT as it overshadows much future project activity but will spend more time on the British Government’s infrastructure project report.

BREXIT UPDATE

Almost two months have passed since the voting population of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (UK) voted, by a small margin, to leave the European Union. Despite various alarmist newspaper reports, the sky has still not fallen in, nor have there been marches in the streets or civil unrest. You could be forgiven for thinking that not much has changed but then this is the end of the Silly Season, when most reputable journalists take off for their summer holidays and professional politicians (an oxymoron, I know, but they do get paid for what they almost never do) escape to whatever rock they have crawled out from under. Normally this is the time when the Great British Press focus on almost anything they can twist into a headline but this year, there has been little sign of such traditional activity. Instead, what we have seen is a more adult view of Britain post BREXIT and a general concern about just what the vote will eventually bring. The impact on the project world is not obvious yet and we seem to be carrying on much as usual.

The financial numbers are, at first sight, holding up quite well. The FTSE 100 is riding reasonably high despite the fact that almost all its members report in US$ and so the weakness of the £, which is about 20% lower than pre-Brexit. So long as they bill in US$ and do not change the rate they charge out, this means there will be little impact. However, if they calculate rates in £ then they will take a hit. It is probably too soon to see the impact of higher raw material costs but that will kick in next month.

For UK firms in the FTSE, who almost exclusively bill in £, incomes will drop soon but how soon depends on how long their creditors take to pay their bills.

At the political level, there has not been much impact although keen observers of the international business scene will have noted with dismay the probable loss of the new patents watchdog. It was widely expected that the Unified Patents Court would open next year with main offices in London, Paris and Munich. However, Brussels has warned that the launch is likely to be delayed or even cancelled as it relies on UK approval. The life sciences and pharmaceutical division, which was to be based in London is now likely to be merged with one of the other offices. Clearly it all depends on Brexit decisions by the UK Government.

The upside of Brexit is the low value of Sterling. This has encouraged many overseas visitors and they have spent a great deal of money in shops in London and the main tourist centres.

pmwj50-Sep2016-Shepherd-CHOPPERThe downside of Brexit, so far, is the low value of Sterling! Newspapers are reporting the increased cost of major military equipment programmes such as the purchase of 50 Apache AH-64E attack helicopters. The drop in the value of Sterling increased the original cost of £1.53 bn to £1.77 bn. To add insult to industry, the aircraft will be built in USA rather than at the Finmeccanica plant in Somerset which will only get some of the support and training contracts. (photo courtesy of Boeing Aircraft)

On a totally different front, cheap Sterling has allowed one of the most important science and technology firms ARM Holdings to be sold to Soft Bank of Japan for £24 bn. While some, including the British Government, see this as a sign that UK is still open for business, others view it with dismay. According to the Financial Times, the new Government plans “to review future foreign deals under the umbrella of an industrial strategy. Some would like these to be subjected to a wider “public interest” test”. There is a fair bit of interest in various infrastructure projects too.

More…

To read entire report, click here

 


About the Author

pmwj36-Jul2015-Shepherd-PHOTO
MILES SHEPHERD

Salisbury, UK

 

flag-uk

 


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/.

 

 

Sep 2016 Project Management Update from Kosovo

REPORT

Majlinda Kelmendi makes history; To the heart of the Balkans with National Geographic; Ski slopes in Brezovica

By Kushtrim Mehmetaj

International Correspondent

Prishtina, Kosovo


Majlinda Kelmendi makes history; first gold medal for Kosovo at Rio 2016        

Kosovo participated for the first time in an International Olympic Games Tournament at Rio 2016.

Kosovo 0

Majlinda Kelmendi, 25-year-old, representing the Republic of Kosovo, won a gold medal by defeating Odette Giuffrida (Italy) in the final of women’s 52 kg event to add Games gold to the two world titles and three European crowns she’s won since 2013. She was already the golden girl of judo — now she has the medal to go with it. The world No. 1, who represented Albania four years ago, gave Kosovo its first medal since becoming a member of the International Olympic Committee two years ago. This is the first Olympics at which athletes can compete under the flag of Kosovo. “I’m so happy,” she told reporters.

“To be honest, I came here for the gold medal, but it’s crazy. I’m so happy for me, for my coach, for all my country. This is the first time that Kosovo is part of the Olympics, and for the first time, I think gold is huge. “It means a lot. People, especially kids in Kosovo, look to me as a hero. “I just proved to them that even after the war, even after we survived a war, if they want something they can have it. If they want to be Olympic champions, they can be — even if we come from a small country, a poor country.” Kosovo now ranks 54 (out of 78 listed) after Rio2016 in the List of Countries by Medals won.

National Geographic Travel video of the week: Kosovo

This week, Joerg takes us to the heart of the Balkans to explore historic Kosovo

More…

To read entire report, click here

 


About the Author

Mehmetaj
Kushtrim Mehmetaj

International Correspondent
Prishtina, Kosovo

 

Kosovo flag




Kushtrim S. Mehmetaj
, BS, MS (Strategic Management) is an International Correspondent for PM World Journal for Albania and Kosovo. Mr. Mehmetaj is also working at the M4D OG, Management and Development consulting business. Mr. Mehmetaj has more than 12 years of professional experience in international environments including a number of management, support and advisory positions for various EU, USAID, SCO-K and other internationally financed enterprise and economic development organizations and projects, including the Hope Fellowship Program, the Kosova Private Enterprise Program, and the Kosova Trust Agency.

Kushtrim has extensive knowledge & experience in enterprise change management, modern corporate governance, strategic management, project management, financial & investment analysis, and human resource development. He has experience in investment promotion and economic development, and good knowledge of European Affairs, Competition Law and EU Integration processes. He holds many certificates related to business research, international business, entrepreneurship, market development, corporate governance, strategic management and other subjects directly related to programme and project management.

Kushtrim holds masters and bachelors degrees from the University of Prishtina in Kosove and ABMS Switzerland. Kushtrim is fluent in several languages, including English and German, lives in Prishtina, and can be contacted at [email protected].

To view other works by Kushtrim Mehmetaj, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/kushtrim-s-mehmetaj/

 

 

Finland Project Management Round Up – Sep 2016

REPORT

Olkiluoto 3; Hanhikivi 1, Länsimetro extension, Raide-Jokeri project

By Dr. Jouko Vaskimo

International Correspondent & Senior Contributing Edito

Helsinki, Finland


INTRODUCTION

This roundup continues the coverage of key projects currently going on in Finland: Two in the nuclear power business area, and two in the public transportation business area.

OLKILUOTO 3

The 1 600 MW Olkiluoto 3 nuclear power plant, contracted to be built by Areva for Teollisuuden Voima (TVO) at Olkiluoto, remains in its final stage of construction. The process of settling Areva and TVO differences in an international court of arbitration has not reached a result. There appears to be a growing consensus in Finland that nuclear power is a way to take care of the transition from traditional to renewable power generation. Furthermore, the nuclear power industry is in a dinosaur-like position: If it is unable change with the times, it may face extinction. Finnish media has started providing an increasingly detailed coverage of the problems with the other Areva nuclear power plant endeavors, such as the new units for Flamanville, France, and Hinkley Point, UK. This adds to the challenge of the Olkiluoto 3 project PR operations.

The contract for building the Olkiluoto 3 power plant was signed in 2003 for 3 000 M€, and construction began in 2005, targeting completion in June 2009. Due to numerous challenges during the planning and construction phases, the target date has been pushed forward several times, first to 2015, and now to 2018 – nine years in total. According to Areva, the delays have pushed the total cost up to 8 500 M€.

Areva and TVO have conducted negotiations regarding the delay and related penalties, with TVO demanding 2 300 M€ from Areva, and Areva 3 500 M€ from TVO: Areva claims TVO has not carried out its contractual duties, and is therefore accountable for the costs of the string of delays. TVO claims Areva has failed to construct the power plant according to the contractual schedule, and is therefore accountable for the cost increase and for the loss of profit from selling electrical power to private and public customers. Unable to reach an acceptable solution, TVO and Areva have suspended negotiations, and escalated the dispute to international arbitration.

The matter is made more challenging by the French government plan to sell its majority share of Areva stock to Électricité de France (EDF) S.A. – the French electric utility company, largely owned by the French state, headquartered in Paris, France, with 65 200 M€ in revenues in 2010. EDF operates a diverse portfolio of over 120 GW of electrical power generation capacity in Europe, South America, North America, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. The French government would like to merge the loss-making Areva with EDF, however, EDF is unwilling to proceed with the proposed arrangement understanding the international arbitration may agree with TVO’s claims.

pmwj50-Sep2016-Vaskimo-IMAGE1

In the photograph: Olkiluoto 3 nuclear power plant – on the left – is nearing completion despite the Areva and TVO delay penalty dispute (photo courtesy www.wikipedia.org ).

HANHIKIVI 1

The 1 200 MW Hanhikivi 1 nuclear power plant, contracted to be built by Rosatom for Fennovoima at Pyhäjoki, is proceeding with the preliminary ground works. Parallel to the preliminary ground works, the process of granting the main building permit is going on in the Finnish Ministry of Employment and the Economy. Due to the EU sanctions towards Russia, the Hanhikivi 1 plant has undoubtedly become a player in international politics. Many see the Rosatom three-way involvement in the Hanhikivi 1 project – being one of the main shareholders as well as the main contractor and the main equipment supplier – a way for Russia to get involved in EU matters. Some go as far as seeing the Rosatom involvement in the Hanhikivi 1 project as a way for Russia to strike a blow against a uniform EU sanction policy towards Russia. Setting aside the international politics, experts say the Hanhikivi 1 plant is unlikely to be able to produce electrical power at a price lower than the Teollisuuden Voima Olkiluoto 3 plant.

More…

To read entire report, click here

 


About the Author

pmwj49-Aug2016-Vaskimo-PHOTO
Dr. Jouko Vaskimo

Espoo, Finland

flag-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 https://pmworldjournal.net/article/sep-2016-project-management-update-buenos-aires/.

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

 

 

Sep 2016 Project Management Report from Milan

REPORT

2016 IPMA Italy National Congress; September event – The Role of the Project Manager in the Production Systems chain; Maire Tecnimont strenghens its presence in Russia and Caspian; Ansaldo Energia awarded contracts in Indonesia; 2016 Global Young Crew Workshop

By Luca Cavone

International Correspondent

Milan, Italy


INTRODUCTION

Here we are back after the summer break with a new report full of interesting news in the field of Project Management!

We start with some updates about upcoming events organized by IPMA Italy, which mainly refers to the National Congress that will be hosted in Milan at begin of October.

On the business side, we will provide some fresh news about several agreements signed recently by major Italian industrial groups, in particular Maire Tecnimont in Russia and Ansaldo Energia in Indonesia.

Finally, we will introduce the Global Young Crew Workshop, the event with the participation of young people from all over the world, interested in the field of project management.

Enjoy the reading!!!

More…

To read entire report, click here

 


About the Author                                                          

pmwj33-Apr2015-Cavone-PHOTO
Luca Cavone

Milan, Italy

 

flag-italy

 


Luca Cavone is a management consultant who has developed his career in supporting and coaching companies in the improvement of innovation processes, product development and organizational change.

His main background and expertise has been focused on project management methodologies and the application of Visual Management, based on Lean Thinking approach. Recently his interest moved to the application of new technologies, Industry 4.0 and their impact on Business Transformation projects for companies.

Together with the consulting activities, he is involved as a lecturer for masters and university courses on project management and innovation management.

Since 2014 he’s Adjunct Professor in “Applied Project Management” (former “Language and Communication Skills for Project Management“) at Master in International Business & Entrepreneurship, University of Pavia.

Since 2009 he has been member of the IPMA (International Project Management Association), for which he has held board positions both a national and international level. He’s regularly invited at international conferences to deliver speeches and workshops

Luca joined the PMWJ in 2013 as an international correspondent in Italy; he can be contacted at [email protected].

To view other works by Luca Cavone, visit the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/luca-cavone/

 

 

Sep 2016 Project Management Update from Buenos Aires

REPORT

As the year goes, activities of PMI Chapters in Argentina

By Cecilia Boggi, PMP

International Correspondent

Buenos Aires, Argentina


As the year goes, the activities of the PMI Chapters in Argentina increase. Besides preparing for the biggest event in project management in Latin America, called PMI Tour Cono Sur 2016, the Argentine Chapters are developing a large number of events in order to spread and professionalize project management in the region.

By the Buenos Aires PMI Chapter, we can mention frequent conferences, webinars, meetings of communities of interest and the development of projects related to PMI Educational Foundation – PMIEF.

It´s worth highlighting the creation of a new community of interest focused on the recognition and repositioning of the role of Project Mangers in the organizations. The mission of the communities is to analyze and research about subjects related to project management, share ideas, methodologies and experiences, and above all, enable participants to develop professionally.

This community of interest called “Strategic Positioning”, led by Gabriel Roman, PMP, with a great professional experience and, besides, Director of Graduate Project Management at the University of CEMA in Buenos Aires, addresses the issue through the following postulate: “A Project Director, by definition, is the one who makes possible that the organizational strategies can be achieved through concrete projects. Within this framework, it seems indisputable their strategic role. However it´s very difficult for a PM to reach a position of middle management in any organization. The mission of this community is to understand why a profession born to shine, faces barriers at certain levels, and to find ways to eliminate them.

This professional discussion forum meets monthly, with a large participation of members of the PMI Buenos Aires Chapter interested in our profession.

Among other activities, it is worth noting the training project in project management as a skill for life, under the framework of PMIEF, carried out by volunteers of the PMI Buenos Aires Chapter in conjunction with the AIESEC organization…

More…

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

 


About the Author


pmwj35-Jun2015-Boggi-PHOTO
CECILIA BOGGI

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 http://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/.

 

 

Uncovering All Of The Risks On Your Projects

SECOND EDITION

By Paul Burek, PMP, CSM

Solutions Cube Group LLC

Texas, USA


Abstract

Through my experience working with project teams, in many industries, on hundreds of projects, I have learned that although Project Managers (PMs) are expected to manage risk on their projects, many times they end up fighting fires and managing the problems that result from unmanaged or unknown risks. There are many reasons why Project Managers avoid Risk Management and resort to firefighting project problems. Common perceptions PMs have are:

  • My project won’t hurt anybody
  • Our company has a “kill the messenger” syndrome, so it is best not to bring up risks
  • Firefighting is rewarded, the more problems I can solve, the better I look
  • Failure is not an option, so why focus on risks, our team won’t allow them to impact the project
  • Risk is inevitable, so why bother trying to avoid or manage it.

Another underlying reason for not managing risk on projects, or not managing it well, is because the Project Manager does not have the right tools and techniques for risk management. It all too common for PMs to understand risk management theory, but not be skilled in the transformation of this theory into practical application. Effective risk management includes engaging the project stakeholders throughout the entire risk management process: identifying, assessing, responding to and managing risks throughout the life of the project.

Several factors can stand in the way of an effective Risk Management effort including:

  • Preparing a Risk Plan with insufficient project knowledge
  • Risk Management is not an integral part of the organization’s project methodology
  • Too little time in invested in identifying and managing risk
  • Too few risks are identified (10 – 20 risks versus hundreds of possible risks) and those that are identified are not fully understood or clearly defined

This paper will share techniques for enhancing the success of risk management efforts by uncovering a larger number of well written project risks which may need to be managed throughout the life of a project. It will explain and demonstrate the use of the Risk Meta-Language technique (Hillson, 2004, p73) enabling stakeholders to fully develop actionable risk statements. Additionally this paper will provide an overview of multiple sources which can be used to uncover risks on projects.

Overview of Risk and Risk Management

In order to identify project risks, it is necessary to first agree on the definition of what a project is. The PMI PMBOK defines a project as “A temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product or service” (PMBOK Fifth Edition, 2013, p3). Temporary meaning the project has an end, and unique meaning that the project is bringing about change, by providing an end result that is different from what an organization is currently experiencing. Uncertainty is directly associated with change being introduced by a project; however uncertainty on its own is not the same as project risk.

Project Risk is defined as any uncertainty, or SURPRISE, that if it occurs, would affect one or more Project Objectives negatively (a threat hurting the project’s cost, time, quality or scope) or positively (an opportunity enhancing the project’s cost, time, quality or scope). Project Risk arises from the interaction of objectives and uncertainty. There must be an impact (positive or negative) to one or more Project Objectives to have project risk. For example, the chance that it might rain this afternoon is an uncertainty – but why would we be concerned about this on our project? On the other hand, knowing that because rain has been forecasted for this afternoon, it might rain hard enough to prevent us from pouring the cement for our new home’s foundation, which would cause a delay in completing the foundation on time. This describes an uncertainty along with a statement of impact we can sense concern for. Problems and issues are also not project risk either since these have already occurred and the uncertainty surrounding them no longer exists.

More…

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 10th Annual UT Dallas Project Management Symposium in August 2016. It is republished here with permission of the author and conference organizers.

 


About the Author

160825 - Headshot Paul Burek
Paul Burek, PMP, CSM

Texas, USA

 

flag-usa

 


Paul Burek
, PMP, CSM, COO of Solutions Cube Group LLC, brings his thirty plus years in project management, meeting facilitation and course development to his project management practice. Paul is a pioneer and leader in the field of collaborative meeting facilitation. He has planned, created and conducted meetings leveraging joint application design (JAD) techniques to engage project stakeholders in idea generation, decision making and interactive real time deliverable creation covering all aspects of the project lifecycle.

Paul has designed and implemented a training program in which he bases his training concepts on experiences and lessons learned throughout his expansive project management career. This perspective has resulted in training which closes the gap between project management theory – “What should be done on projects” and techniques for workable project practices – “How to actually do it”. His training has a global reach featuring more than 100 project management course topics presented to students virtually and /or face to face in more than 20 countries. He has been invited to deliver training at the local, regional, and national levels for the Project Management Institute, other professional organizations, Fortune 100 and 500 companies and organizations in the private and government sectors.

Paul can be contacted at [email protected]

 

 

The Change Management Implications of Scaling Agile

SECOND EDITION

By Danielle Cooper and Darla Gray

TXU Energy

Dallas, TX, USA


The Delivery Office at TXU Energy has been exploring Agile work practices since 2012. While the desire to do “more Agile” has been a leadership goal, it’s been unclear to the rest of the organization how being “more Agile” changes their day-to-day work. Early this year, the transition and implications became very clear as 100% of Technology’s team members were given new seating assignments. Agile teams were provided open seating bullpens, near the windows. All non-Agile team members were accommodated throughout the balance of the floor, with more open space for collaboration. This visceral experience – physically moving away from functional team members and managers – made the organization’s commitment to change and Agile real. The stage was then set for the next level of conversation regarding how the shift adjusts the role of people managers and their day-to-day responsibilities. For example, managers are not part of the Agile team structure. They are functional subject matter experts responsible for sharing knowledge and building functional capability within the organization, beyond their direct reports. Leadership through knowledge and influence is the new paradigm. As the seats, the teams and the business all shift to accommodate the change, the character of the work will as well.

Executive Summary

TXU Energy

About 50 retail electricity providers offer as many 250 retail plans in the competitive markets of Texas. TXU Energy (TXUE) is the market-leader, powering the lives of more Texans than any other retailer. TXU Energy exemplifies the spirit of competition and innovation, giving customers choice, convenience and control over their electricity usage and spending. Initiatives driven by the Delivery Office continue to strengthen TXU Energy’s competitive position by delivering quality solutions quickly to market.

Competitive Intensity

Texas is a fiercely competitive market, with new market entrants increasing the pressure to innovate and serve customers in ways that are new and relevant. This translates to the need to bring new projects and products to market quickly, with quality. Speed and quality can both be facilitated by Agile working methods, when executed properly.

Agile at TXU Energy

Beginning in 2011, TXU Energy began exploring Agile working methods and practices. The first stage of the journey included pilots and education. The second stage included formal training and methodology development. The “final” stage encompasses scaling the framework across the organization to make it “the way we do business.”

Signs of Change

The initial changes in shifting to Agile delivery processes were primarily contained within the delivery office and a small subset of technology team members. As the teams experienced successes and more business sponsors began requesting that their efforts be developed in an Agile fashion, a broader shift was required. The signal to the technology organization that we were becoming a primarily “Agile shop,” came via a revised seating plan which collocated Agile teams in one area, collocated managers and architects in another area, and created large collaboration spaces for feature reviews and Agile team demo sessions. Making the change more transparent and visible to the organization led to an increased sense of urgency to design and implement the supporting changes to make the model effective: defining patterns of engagement, roles and responsibilities, etc. The change has been initiated and will be an ongoing journey over the next six to twelve months as teams accept the change and assume ownership within their new roles.

Competitive Intensity

Since opening to competition in 2002, the Texas market has continued to grow; in population, in energy plans, in energy usage and in complexity.

Figure 1: Texas Market Overview

pmwj50-Sep2016-FIGURE1A

 











As basic laws of economics will tell you, where there is a large market with relatively few barriers to entry, there will be many companies to serve it. As the graphic below shows, that has certainly held true in Texas.

More…

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 10th Annual UT Dallas Project Management Symposium in August 2016. It is republished here with permission of the authors and conference organizers.

 


About the Authors

pmwj50-Sep2016-Cooper-PHOTO
Danielle Cooper

TXU Energy

Dallas, Texas, USA

 

flag-usa




Danielle Cooper
is a Senior Manager in TXU Energy’s Delivery Office. Danielle leads the Enablement & Governance area, responsible for aligning Business Technology’s tools, metrics, and supporting processes to deliver business value for the organization. A graduate of Baylor University, Danielle has a background in change management, consulting, project management and is a Certified Scrum Master.   She can be contacted at [email protected]

 

2015darla
Darla Gray

TXU Energy

Dallas, Texas, USA

 

flag-usa

 


Darla Gray
is a Senior Manager in TXU Energy’s Delivery Office, Organizational Change Management.   Darla provides business client relationship oversight, major program and roadmap governance and coordination between key business, IT and strategic partner stakeholders to help drive organizational behavior.  With 30+ years of electric industry experience, Darla’s background includes Customer Operations, Security, Regulatory and Compliance, IT Application Management, Project and Program Management and is a Certified Scrum Master, Certified Product Owner and holds ITIL Certification.  Darla can be contacted at [email protected]
 

Leading in Moments of Change, Conflict and Crisis

SECOND EDITION

Employing Emotional Intelligence as a Tool for Agile Scrum Masters

and Project Managers

by Brian Vanderjack, PMP, MBA, CSM, SAFe Agile’ist

Illinois, USA


Emotional Intelligence and its Utility for Leading Scrum and Project Teams

The objective of this paper is to share why Emotional Intelligence (EI) is useful, what it is, and how one can use it to advance leadership best practices in Project Management and Scrum teams.  The working definition of EI as used in this paper is based on the definition of EI proposed by Salovey and Mayer: Emotional intelligence is the ability to monitor one’s own as well as other’s emotions. Then managing these feelings to guides one’s own, and other’s, actions (1990, p. 189).

Why EI is Important

“The special relevance to leadership revolves around the fact that leadership is an emotion-laden process, both from a leader and a follower perspective (George, p. 12).” In support of this, Dr. Goleman, who popularized the idea of EI, indicated “EI makes up about 2/3 of the ingredients of star performance (2006, p. 187).”  Thus, if one wants to be a star leader of a project team, he or she should develop EI skills. Dr. Goleman also indicates that people who have advanced control of their emotional self make for better listeners, and this is a core building block of leadership skills (2006, p. 240).  In Goleman’s 1997 book he identifies traits of an emotionally intelligent person that are well suited toward excellence in leadership: self-control, zeal, persistence, and self-motivation (p. xii).

If we look specifically at EI’s impact on leadership, here are some of Dr. Nadler’s findings:

  • “EI determines your leadership success, contributing as much as 85-90% (p. 8). “
  • “People who possess high EI are the ones who truly succeed in work”(p. 9). “
  • Leaders who possess a high EI are found to be more “adaptable, resilient, and optimistic (p. 9).”

In another work, there is further support of the value of EI. George calls out these 5 strengths of a leader who has a good EI.  They:

  • can use EI as a signaling device for what needs attention.
  • have a better feel for correct choices.
  • are more creative.
  • are stronger at integrative thinking.
  • are better at Inductive reasoning. (p. 10)

The bottom line is based on the observed literature; there is a direct and positive correlation between EI and successful leadership.

What EI is With Respect to the Fight or Flight Response?

Understanding the basis for idea of Emotional intelligence is relatively easy.  Inside your brain, near its base is the amygdala. “The amygdala is the part of the brain that regulates the fight, flight or freeze response (Nadler, P85).”  It does this by storing your emotional memories. Each time a new event is encountered, the event is compared to similar events that it has memorized (Goleman, 2006, P. 76).  Unfortunately, the amygdala is a bit jumpy.  When it feels there is a threat, it can easily respond disrupt the processes in the neocortex, which is responsible for logical thought.  Therefore, the brain’s logic processing shuts down and reactions favor more primal response to stressors.  That is, in a person without emotional control, when an unexpected undesired event takes place, the neocortex is flooded with stress hormones (due to the amygdala) before the neocortex has a chance to react logically.  Therefore the amygdala has pushed aside the brain’s ability to logically address an event.  Dr. Goleman refers to this state as an “emotional hijack” courtesy of the amygdala (p. 261).

A Broader Look at EI

Beyond issuing a fight or flight response, the amygdala also controls other emotions and processes.  Goleman identified 5 core traits that define emotionally intelligence: self-awareness, self-regulation, social skill, empathy, and motivation (2006, p. 260).  Dr. Savel & Dr. Munro, do a good job at defining these terms

More…

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 10th Annual UT Dallas Project Management Symposium in August 2016. It is republished here with permission of the authors and conference organizers.

 


About the Author

pmwj39-Oct2015-Vanderjack-PHOTO1 BRIAN
Brian Vanderjack, PMP

Illinois, USA

 

 flag-usa

                   

Brian Vanderjack, PMP, MBA, CSM, SA is as an Agile Scrum Coach for AT&T, where he develops & delivers training and assists Agile Scrum teams. Related activities include:

  • Two time presenter at the Wisconsin Business Analyst Development Day.
  • Two time presenter at the University of Texas-Dallas/PMI symposium
  • Published several articles and published a book on Agile Scrum (publisher Business Expert Press).
  • Regular speaker at IBM, AT&T and PMI on Agile Scrum and other topics.
  • Earned Awards for Facilitator of the Year for the University of Phoenix, excellence in Project Management from AT&T, and as a Scrum Master for AT&T.
  • Part time instructor for the University of Phoenix.

Brian can be contacted at [email protected]

To view other works by Brian Vanderjack, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/brian-vanderjack/

 

 

Leveraging Expertise

SECOND EDITION

What Every Project Manager Really Needs to Know about Leadership

By Laszlo A. Retfalvi, P.Eng., PMP, PMI-RMP

Principal – Retfalvi and Associates

Ontario, Canada


Abstract

In today’s environment with pressures for organizational efficiency, business value and growth, costs constraints, increased profit, and enhanced transparency and accountability, organizations must not only address the proper management of projects, but also the leadership of projects in order to succeed. Leadership competence is not an optional project management skill, but a key part of being a successful and respected Project Manager.

As reported by PMI®’s Project Management Talent Gap Report, between 2010 and 2020, 15.7 million new project management roles will be created globally across seven project-intensive industries. If organizations fail to equip Project Managers with the skillsets required to fill future project management roles, significant initiatives will be at risk.

In order to ensure this occurs, Project Managers and project management practitioners must clearly understand that it takes true project management leadership to successfully drive today’s aggressive and complex projects. Project management leadership combines select project management and leadership attributes with a risk-smart attitude and accountability-based behavior to achieve professional and personal success.

The goal of this paper is to build on PMI®’s Talent Triangle™ initiative and review the Project Management Leadership Model© to help Project Managers understand, assess, and strengthen needed leadership skills to meet today’s project challenges and industry expectations.

Introduction

One would think that with the abundance of project management training and the proliferation of various project management certifications, we would see a corresponding increase in project success. This does not appear to be the case. Almost every time we pick up a magazine or receive an e-mail, an organization or individual is promoting some type of training—different types of vendors promising mastery of a topic in a few short days. All these promotions, referred to by the author as silver bullets, promise to help individuals become better Project Managers.

Experience has shown that many Project Managers have not developed the right mix of skills and behaviours to be effective and successful. It almost seems that the technology and tools that we use today, such as e-mail or social media, are considered more important than the actual soft skills that Project Managers so dearly need.

In a way, these powerful tools cause us to skip or ignore the basics. As a result, our risk awareness suffers as we place our ability to listen effectively on the back burner. This lack of understanding of our current situation results in a significant lack of accountability. The end result is that we would rather focus on what is easy, not what is important.

What Has Happened?

We would all agree that most projects have undergone a drastic change over the last 10 to 15 years, or, in fact, even before that. There is probably no better example of this than the phenomenal growth of Information Technology (IT) projects and initiatives. In the past, IT was merely an option for our projects. But in today’s world, e-mail, as an example, is no longer an optional tool. It has become the core of just about any activity or project that we do. The IT industry has changed everything, and those who don’t embrace it are simply left behind.

In today’s competitive and fast-paced environment, Project Managers in all business sectors and project management roles face many challenges in successfully delivering the best product, project solution, or service.

These challenges include such things as:

1)  Tighter budgets which, because of increased customer expectations and all these new software tools, tend to be much more heavily monitored and scrutinized.

2)  Much shorter implementation schedules on traditional projects than ever before. For example, an IT installation and training project may now take only two months to complete. The project may be started and finished even before it is properly set up in the organization’s financial reporting system.

3)  Global teams with varying and, at times, conflicting cultures and practices. With global teams comes the required management of those teams. Many do not realize the burden this places on a Project Manager.

4)  Countless tools and software applications, each promising to be the silver bullet that will help make the management of our projects easier. Although these tools can be beneficial, Project Managers need to consider them very carefully and determine which ones they truly need. Tools do not replace leadership.

5)  A project’s impact on end users. For example, a small software update of a security feature in a large, global organization may impact thousands of users.

6)  Daily flood of e-mails and instant communications in which everybody considers their message to be the most important and expects an immediate response.

7)  Instantaneous reports showing progress against plan. What previously took weeks of effort compiling documents can now be done in, literally, a few hours or less.

When you pull all these factors together, Project Managers now also face the serious challenge of effectively implementing time management for their daily activities.

Clearly, things have changed significantly. Project management has moved from the old-fashioned paper and charts pinned up on the wall to instantaneous communications, agile methodologies, Scrum Masters, sophisticated software-based decision tools, and cloud-based computing.

There has been a shift. As a result of this shift, the “Art” of being a Project Manager is slowly being lost.

More…

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 10th Annual UT Dallas Project Management Symposium in August 2016. It is republished here with permission of the authors and conference organizers. 


 

About the Author

pmwj50-Sep2016-Retfalvi-PHOTO
Laszlo A. Retfalvi P.Eng. PMP PMI-RMP

Retfalvi and Associates
Ontario, Canada

flag-canada

 


Laszlo Retfalvi
is currently Principal of Retfalvi and Associates. Laszlo is past Vice-President of the Program and Risk Management Office (PRMO) at Allen Vanguard (now Allen Vanguard Corporation and Med-Eng). Previously, Laszlo held roles with General Dynamics, Irving Corporation, and SED Systems. Laszlo is also an instructor at University of California Irvine Extension Department of Business Management.

A seasoned 30 year veteran of engineering, project management and business in private and public sectors, Laszlo is author of The Power of Project Management Leadership: Your Guide on How to Achieve Outstanding Results (CS Publishing March 2014). Further information may be found at PMI Marketplace.

A leader focused on accountability, leadership, and business success, Laszlo is also a recipient of the 2013 UCI Extension Distinguished Instructor Award. Laszlo has been happily married to Lisa for over 30 years and they have two wonderful sons, Andrew and Alexander.

Laszlo may be reached at [email protected]

 

 

Successful Control of Major Project Budgets

SECOND EDITION

Dr. Steen Lichtenberg

Lichtenberg and Partners

Denmark


Abstract

This paper differs from scientific papers describing current research. In line with the theme of this special issue, it challenges conventional risk management practice against the background of former research results successfully finished decades ago. It is well-known that conventional practice frequently results in budget overruns of large projects. International reviews document that. Severe delays of schedules are also well-known. This paper describes successful research results from almost three decades ago, which successfully challenges this severe problem and has led to new practices. The research involved is an unusual mix: Scandinavian researchers from psychology, statistical theory and engineering economy. The resulting procedure has been widely used since around 1990 and challenges conventional procedures. The procedure is documented to be able to yield statistically correct prognoses, when the “rules of the game” have been correctly followed. After a short summary of the basic situation, this paper summarizes the research, followed by some resulting experiences, focusing on two recent studies each of 40 infrastructures and other major projects. In both sets, the actual final cost largely equaled the expected project cost. This result is a marked change from international past and present experience. Finally, the need for further research and progress is discussed.

Keywords: budget quality assurance; cost estimation; estimation methodology; major projects; risk management; scheduling; Successive Principle

  1. Introduction

Severe budget overruns and delays are still common while using conventional procedures and principles, especially among larger projects, despite the fact that Project Management and Cost Engineering have made tremendous advances in recent decades. Some reasons behind this are discussed below as a brief overview. This as a background to a presentation of Scandinavian research results that challenges conventional practice, as it has documented to yield correct statistical prognoses of costs and/or duration of large projects, inclusive of IT projects.

One of the most referred sources for describing project cost overruns is the Standish Group “Chaos” report [1]. It presents depressing results from a large sample of IT projects. This source is not alone in claiming that most projects go wrong. Other sources include Flyvbjerg, Holm, Buhl [2,3], and their conclusions from an analysis of many infrastructure projects was that 90% had cost overruns, generally of a significant size. They showed that the situation has not improved for decades. Merrow [4] documents that the situation is not much better in the private sector: 65–75% of industrial megaprojects fail on business targets. These projects are generally large and complex. However, does size matter? Odeck [5] studied this and his results indicate that small projects can have even worse results than large projects—cost overruns were even more frequent and relatively larger in small projects. To summarize, historically, we know for a fact that projects still have a strong tendency for cost overruns—large and small, private and public, when using conventional procedures.

The reasons behind cost overruns have also been thoroughly examined and discussed. Flyvbjerg et al. [2,3] argued that the main problem is that planners and promoters often deliberately underestimate costs and risks and overestimate the benefits in order to increase the likelihood that their project gets approval and funding. This view is supported by other studies—i.e., that there are political or strategic reasons for cost overrun. Similar reasons are identified by Merrow [4] in business projects.

These reasons need to be understood and handled in order to improve project execution performance. A key requirement is to have good quality, independent analysis of the project budget prior to go-ahead. A humoristic version of the story is illustrated in Figure 1 below.

pmwj50-Sep2016-Lichtenberg-FIGURE1
















Figure 1.
“The figures I have given are wrong. That is because I don’t have the right figures” (unknown source).

Another set of reasons for cost overruns are known to stem from human judgment, as recently documented in practical applications by the international Futuraone group of consultants [6], and excellently explained by Kahneman in 2011 [7]. In 1985, Lange [8] disclosed the reasons for this in a master’s thesis. He identified more than twenty pitfalls when making subjective quantitative evaluations. A considerable part of the total project results, total cost or duration, necessarily stems from such expert evaluations. It is documented that these pitfalls may twist the evaluations severely, and thus the total result. This research was an eye-opener in Scandinavia, and it initiated a different way of thinking about how cost estimation should be carried out.

More…

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 Journal of Administrative Sciences, MDPI (Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, Zürich), Special Issue: Project Risk Management: Challenge Established Practice, July 2016, Academic Editor: Ole Jonny Klakegg; NTNU, Norway.  It is republished here with the author’s permission.


About the Author

pmwj49-Aug2016-Archibald-PHOTO2 STEEN
Dr. Steen Lichtenberg

Denmark

flag-denmark


Dr. Steen Lichtenberg,
 PMI mb. no. 661, hon mb. & former president of IPMA. As an international management and risk management consultant, Steen is recognized as a leading researcher and expert practitioner in risk management. He consults, writes and speaks widely on the topic and has made an innovative contribution to the field, the Successive Principle, today internationally widespread.

Steen Lichtenberg has 40 years’ experience in research and risk management consulting providing support to public and private clients in many major industry sectors, including construction, telecommunications, transport, energy, IT, defense and government. Steen´s input includes in depth project analyses including accurate statistical prognoses of the end results as well as further possibilities of optimization and provisions against risks. He works both on ad hoc tasks or on implementation.

Steen’s contributions to the management discipline over many years have been recognized by a National Gold medal, and honorary membership of IPMA. His work has led to establishment of a governmental sponsored research program, Concept, in Norway which since 2002 aims to follow and further improve the basis for large public decisions.

Dr. Lichtenberg can be contacted at [email protected]

 

 

Project Leadership: Top 10 Cardinal Principles, Part 2

ADVISORY ARTICLE

Project Leadership: Top 10 Cardinal Principles: Part 2 – The Second Five

By Hareshchandra Thakur, PMP

Associate Vice President
Project Management, Energy Solutions
Wärtsilä India Pvt. Ltd.

Mumbai, India


Continued from Part 1 published in Aug, 2016 – https://pmworldjournal.net/article/project-leadership-top-10-cardinal-principles/

To re-cap, the first five cardinal principles have been discussed in Part 1 :

pmwj50-Sep2016-Thakur-FIGURE1

Figure 1: Ist Five Cardinal Principles – Covered in Part 1 (August Issue)

In this part, the balance 5 cardinal principles are discussed below:

pmwj50-Sep2016-Thakur-FIGURE2

Figure 2: Five Cardinal Principles – Covered in this article – Part 2

These top ten cardinal principles form a word “EFFECTIVE” + S. In effect, these principles serve as a guiding tool for the PMs enabling emerge as Effective Project Leaders.


Abbreviations:

EI – Emotional Intelligence       PM – Project Manager       PL – Project Leader                             
SH – Stakeholder               TM – Team Member

*TMs – Team Members (Chief Design Engineers – Civil, Electrical, Mechanical, Logistics Controller, Project Engineers, Procurement Manager, Business Controller, Export Assistants); Site Staff (Site Manager, Site Engineers – Mechanical, Electrical, Civil), Quality Controller, HSE Engineer, Commissioning Engineers – PLC, Mechanical, Electrical, Control & Instrumentation.

**SHs – *TMs, Owners, Sponsors, Owner’s Representatives, Owner’s Consultants (Design and Project Management), Suppliers, Contractors (Mechanical, Electrical, Civil), Transporters.


6. Test your assumptions. Untested assumptions are Risks!!

Decision making requires choosing an alternative and in absence of availability of 100% information, the decisions are usually based on certain assumptions, to that extent decision making involve an element of risk. Projects are no exception as various decisions made at varying stages involve certain assumption(s). PLs are mindful of the fact that almost every decision made is based on certain assumption(s) since complete information is usually not available. Moreover, putting decision on a back-burner until 100% information is available and/or holding on to decisions leads to complications. Dynamic environmental conditions and rapidly changing times add to the challenges.

pmwj50-Sep2016-Thakur-FIGURE3Untested assumptions are like “time bombs” waiting to explode and they are the major source of risks that can eventually derail the project. PLs act proactively and make sure that these assumptions are collated, tested and validated so as to prevent and/or minimise their negative impact on the project. One of the greatest advantages of testing assumptions is that it results in higher preparedness to expect the unexpected. It enhances our ability to respond to the unexpected and mitigate the negative consequences.

Figure – 3 : Testing Assumption

PLs understand that there is no guarantee that a Plan A which has worked successfully in earlier projects would lead to similar success in the current project. PLs invariably have a Plan B (backup Plan) should Plan A which has worked successfully in earlier projects, fail. Moreover, although we plan our activities meticulously but at times, much tour disliking, our projects are influenced and impacted by Murphy’s Law. The back up plans acts as our saviour and switching over to Plan B prevents building up of anxiety and flaring of temper.

One of the classic example emphasizing the need for testing the assumptions as narrated by one PM is given below –

“In one of the projects, erection of 110 M chimney was considered with derrick due to non-availability of crane with large boom length locally. However, during the erection, it was observed that beyond 70 M, the HT transmission lines in the vicinity made it impossible to go ahead with the stay wires holding the derrick and continue further with the manual erection. We had to mobilize a crane with 125 M boom length to erect the remaining part of the chimney. Sensing the urgency, the crane hiring company also raised the prices. Mobilization of the crane at short notice, resulted in cost escalation, apart from the delays, idling of manpower on site and associated delays. Had the team validated their assumption at the project conception stage, such firefighting situation could have been avoided” – Sr. Project Manager.

Non-availability of local manpower with required competence in the country of operation, local holidays, torrential rains/snowfall blocking the roads and hampering the progress are other common causes that disrupt the flow of activities resulting in cost and time overruns. These examples emphasize the need for proper evaluation and validation of the assumptions, proactively planning the activities and making the needed provisions for additional time and costs in the project budget.

More…

To read entire article, click here

 


About the Author

pmwj43-Feb2016-Thakur-PHOTO
Hareshchandra M Thakur

Mumbai, India

flag-india

 


Hareshchandra M Thakur
is a professional in the Power Sector with over 30 years’ experience in setting up of multiple Power Plants in Nuclear, Oil & Gas sectors in India and abroad. Presently, he is working as Associate Vice President, Project Management, Energy Solutions with Wartsila India Pvt. Ltd. Hareshchandra has held various positions in Financial Management and Project Management with Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd., Wartsila Finland Oy and Wartsila India Pvt. Ltd.

He has closely worked with cross functional and cross cultural teams and has vast international Exposure in key areas – Project Management, Strategic Financial Management, Contract Management and Resource Management, Competence building, Formulation of Business Strategies and Establishing way of working for Indian & global projects. He is Certified NLP Practitioner and has been visiting various Engg and Management institutions as a guest lecturer. He has made presentations at IPMA World Congress at Helsinki, Istanbul & Crete and Global Symposiums on Project Management in New Delhi.

He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from College of Engineering, University of Poona and a Master’s degree in Financial Management from Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management, University of Mumbai. He obtained PMP Certification in April 2002. He lives in Mumbai, India and can be contacted at [email protected].

 

 

Effective Employee Engagement to Decrease Projects Complexity

ADVISORY ARTICLE

Lessons from Organizational Economics

David Tain, MSc., PMP

Alberta, Canada


The success of a project depends on the ability of the Project Manager to coordinate and integrate activities for the effective achievement of established goals. However, this success is permanently hindered by the complexity, naturally derived from the specific attributes of the project and the business environment. Analogous to the development of any economic activity, complexity represents the project externalities resulting from the organization of resources and activities along with the uncertainty to the completion of the different tasks.

One of the main contributors to complexity lays in the interactions of human resources, and the specific and temporary nature of projects exacerbated by the challenges to engage personnel and integrate activities, especially when changes emerge and quick adaptation is required. Project Managers, as leaders of these temporary organizations, are expected to effectively engage project personnel for the accomplishment of project activities. It is possible therefore to draw some concepts from Organizational Theory and Economics in an attempt to address complexity associated with the human resources, seeking a set of ideas that assist Project Managers in the adequate orchestration of activities.

Complexity and the Elements of Effective Engagement

The term “complexity” has been widely used in management literature to describe obstacles that hinder the achievement of objectives. Unfortunately, the loose use of this term, far from clarifying, adds a level of subjectivity that is a source of confusion (and anxiety) to the reader. For this reason, it is prudent to briefly examine the attributes of complexity in projects in terms that are tangible and useful for the advancement of our topic.

According to Professor Terry Williams, a prominent scholar in the field of Management Science and Operations Research, complexity in projects can be defined as a function of two major themes: 1- Structural complexity, defined by the number of elements involved in the project and the interactions among them and 2- Uncertainty, materialized in the level of clarity of project objectives and the methods used to achieve these objectives. This definition is in full correspondence with the recent PMI global Standard “Navigating Complexity” that explains complexity as a function of human behaviour, system behaviour (interactions and dynamics) and ambiguity (uncertainty and emergence).

A reflection on this definition allows inferring that it is imperative that the Project Manager understands human behaviour on a large scale to ensure effectiveness in the achievement of the planned objectives since, in essence, they are only possible through the aggregated contribution of the employees. Unfortunately, a simple examination of traditional concepts that describe human motivations (1) is not the best start point for setting strategies for engagement: as human actors it is natural to expect that stakeholders prioritize the satisfaction of their own needs over the achievement of the project or company goals. These rationales have been the cornerstone of theoretical frameworks that explain the tensions that emerge between organization and employee’s goals, including the well-known principal-agent problem.

In spite of these arguments, there are numerous examples of organizations that, fuelled with employees’ efforts, dedication and pride, overcome these conflicts predicted by traditional theories, progressively strengthening their positions in the market, ultimately resulting in the enhancement of their competitive edge. What have these “different organizations” done to maximize employee cooperation? What drives these employees to “work harder” towards the organizational objectives besides a monetary compensation? An appealing perspective to answer these questions was proposed by the Nobel Laureate Herbert Simon, founded on the most essential component of a firm: the Organizational Strategy.

More…

To read entire article, click here

 


About the Author

david-tain
David Tain, PMP

Alberta, Canada

 

flag-canada

Venezuela flag


David Tain
, MSc., PMP is a Project Management Professional with an international career in the management and execution of major oil and gas projects. His managerial experience has a major focus in projects execution, Strategic Organization, negotiation and the study of human behavior in the project environment. He currently works as a Facilities Development Lead for a JV formed by ConocoPhillips and Total E&P in the development of a major Oil sands asset in Alberta, Canada.

David obtained his Civil Engineering degree from Santa Maria University in Caracas, Venezuela in 2001. He completed a Master Certificate in Project Management from Villanova University in 2009, a MSc. in International Management (Oil and Gas concentration) at the University of Liverpool, UK and the Strategic Decision and Risk Management Program at Stanford University in 2016. David received his PMP® certification from the Project Management Institute (PMI®) in April 2009 and has been engaged in Project Management activities for over 16 years in the Development and Execution of Oil and Gas Major projects in South America (Venezuela) and in Canada, both in EPC and in the owner operator sectors.

A member of the Canadian Heavy Oil Association, the Strategic Management Society and the International Association of Energy Economics, he is fluent in English, French and Spanish. David can be contacted at [email protected].

 

 

The Rio Olympics: Explaining the UK’s Impressive Results through Project Management

COMMENTARY

By Prof Marco Sampietro

SDA Bocconi School of Management

Milan, Italy


Introduction                                                        

The UK concluded the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro with 67 medals, achieving an astonishing second place. Only the USA did better, and considering the size of the UK’s population the result is really impressive. In addition, the UK hosted the Olympics in 2012 and records reveal that host countries normally perform very well (the so-called home advantage). As a consequence, at the following Olympics the number of medals always decreases. This, however, is not the case here: the UK is the only nation to have won more medals at the next Olympics after having hosted them. Figure 1 reports the number of medals won by the UK in the last 18 Olympic Games.

Figure 1: UK medals at the Olympic Games

pmwj50-Sep2016-Sampietro-FIGURE1

Source: IOC

Focusing on the last 9 Olympics, figure 2 shows the breakdown of medals.

Figure 2: Type of UK medals won at the Olympic Games

pmwj50-Sep2016-Sampietro-FIGURE2

Source: IOC

We can see that two events led to important decisions: the notable increase in the number of medals (even if mainly bronze) at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, and the subsequent decrease in the number of medals at the following three Olympics, culminating in the very poor results of the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, where the UK won just one gold medal and ranked 36th, its lowest ranking in the history of the games since the modern Olympics began in Athens in 1896. That was the turning point.

Looking at the UK’s Results through a Project Management Lens

Just two years before the Atlanta Games, the National Lottery had been set up in 1994. After Atlanta, it was decided to use part of the National Lottery revenues to fund Olympic sports. In order to support Olympic sports and manage the funds properly, UK Sport was established by Royal Charter on 19 September 1996 and became fully operational on 1 January 1997. UK Sport is a non-departmental public body of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Also in January 1997, it was authorized to distribute lottery funding, which started a virtuous circle concerning the performance of Team GB at the Olympic Games (see figure 3).

More…

To read entire article , click here

 


About the Author

160504 - Sampietro 150x
Dr. Marco Sampietro

SDA Bocconi School of Management
Milan, Italy

flag-italy

 

Marco Sampietro obtained a Ph.D. at the University of Bremen, Germany. Since 2000 he has been a professor at SDA Bocconi School of Management, Milan, Italy. SDA Bocconi School of Management is ranked among the top Business Schools in the world (Financial Times, Forbes, Bloomberg, and The Economist rankings). He is a Core Faculty Member at SDA Bocconi School of Management and teaches Project Management in the MBA – Master of Business Administration, and GEMBA – Global Executive Master of Business Administration programs. He is Faculty Member at MISB – Mumbai International School of Business, the Indian subsidiary of Bocconi University, and Visiting Professor at IHU – International Hellenic University, Greece. He is also a Contract Professor at Bocconi University and Milano Fashion Institute for the Project Management courses.

He was a speaker at the NASA Project Management Challenge 2007, 2008, and 2011, in the USA, and a speaker at the PMI Global European Congress, Italy, 2010.

He is Member of the Steering Committee of IPMA-Italy.

He is co-author and/or editor of 10 books on project management and 7 books on IT management. Among them: Empowering Project Teams. Using Project Followership to Improve Performance. CRC Press, 2014. Finally, he is the author of award-winning case studies and papers.

Dr. Sampietro can be contacted at: [email protected]

To see other works by Marco Sampietro, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/marco-sampietro/