Driving Project Management – old hat or new challenges


By Tom Taylor

United Kingdom


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

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

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

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

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

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


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About the Author

Tom Taylor

United Kingdom


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



Project to Portfolio Management Outsourcing


By Jyoti Madabhushi

Hyderabad, India




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

Keywords: Portfolio, organization, project, component, outsourcing

Project to Portfolio Management Outsourcing

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

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

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

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


To read entire article, click here



About the Author

Jyoti Madabhushi

Hyderabad, India


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



The Art of the Pivot


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

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

San Francisco, California, USA




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


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

Opportunities in the API-enabled Cloud Computing World

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

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

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

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


To read entire article, click here



About the Author

Donald R. Hammons, MBA

San Francisco, California, USA


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



How Outstanding Leaders Inspire Change


By Cecilia Boggi

Buenos Aires, Argentina



“Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.” 

– Stephen Hawking

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


To read entire article, click here



About the Author

Cecilia Boggi, PMP

Buenos Aires, Argentina


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

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

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



How to Build Your Self-Esteem for Better Workplace Performance


By Zeta Yarwood

Dubai, UAE


Introduction by Almahdy Eltonsy:

As a Projects Manager, the main contributors are the sub projects manager and other team members. Knowing their abilities and what kept them from going on is a main responsibility of the project manager. With big projects that could last for more than a year, it is really essential to understand the motive and inner feelings of your team, that doesn’t mean you need to be a psychiatric but you need to have more in depth understand of the human nature and motivation. We always work with numbers, budget, milestones, over-run / under-run but at the end of day we sit down and lay our heads back and remember a nice situation in the work that add a smile on our face or just remember a word from the customer or a comment that puts a big sad face.

Same with our team members…

The article in your hand today is a really wonderful article, dealing with a topic that could be confusing to differentiate (self Esteem vs. confidence). I contacted Zeta and get her permission to share the article, thanks for her. You will enjoy the article; you could find some reflection on you … I found some and I could understand some of my reactions about 10 years ago. I wish I had this article 10 years ago; it would have made me understand more.


How to Build Your Self-Esteem for Better Workplace Performance

While many are too ashamed to admit it, the number of people experiencing low self-esteem in the workplace is significant. People with low self-esteem often spend a large part of their day comparing themselves to others in the office. They perceive themselves and worry others perceive them as inadequate. They often feel inferior, and in extreme cases live in constant fear they could lose their job because they don’t, and may never, measure up. This is often accompanied by high stress levels, feelings of overwhelm or for some depression – which can, of course, impact performance. Which then reaffirms their belief they are, in fact, not good enough.

People with low self-esteem often doubt their decisions and capabilities, always seeking reassurance, approval or validation from their boss or peers. This is particularly true of those who have experienced low self-esteem in the past, a traumatic event such as redundancy or illness, or simply a long period of time out of the workforce.

If you want to have a successful career, building your self-esteem in the workplace is fundamental. If you don’t believe in yourself, how can you expect others to believe in you?

Building self-esteem can be a long journey, but for everyone is absolutely possible. The first step is to understand what self-esteem really is. In my opinion, it’s a combination of knowing you are of equal value to everyone else on this planet, and believing in yourself. Knowing that even if you’re not good at something yet, if you put your mind to it, you will get there in the end. It’s about self-respect and knowing who you are and who you want to be. Self-esteem is not the same as confidence. Confidence comes from doing. The more you do something, the more confident you will become doing it. Take driving for example. Scary to begin with, but practice and repeat it enough times, it almost becomes subconscious.

So how can you build your self-esteem in the workplace even further? Here are some steps you can take to get you started today:

1)   Start making more decisions

To build your self-esteem, you have to start trusting yourself. The only way to do this is by making more decisions. The more decisions you make the more confident you will become at making them. Ensuring at each stage you note what worked, what didn’t work and what you need to do differently next time. So you can learn and constantly improve. Seeing yourself learning, getting better and making decisions independently can be great for self-esteem.

Remember – you’re making decisions every day. Decisions on what to wear, eat, read and do etc. You’ve probably made some pretty big decisions in the past – some of which will have brought you to where you are today (still alive with a roof over your head and food on your table). So you can make decisions. Now it’s simply a case of getting better at them. Which comes from practice, practice, practice.

2)   Trust your instincts

This feeds into point number one. Often people who rely on outside confirmation they are doing the right thing, have forgotten to listen to their intuition. To listen to their minds and bodies to see and feel whether something is right or wrong.

Whenever you need to make a decision or take action, take 10 deep breaths and ask, “What is the outcome I am looking for? What looks and feels like the right decision here?”

We often do things we know aren’t right through fear. Fear if we don’t do them, something bad will happen. If you want to develop high self-esteem, being true to yourself and what you believe in is a crucial step. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it.


To read entire article, click here



About the Author

Zeta Yarwood

Dubai, UAE



Zeta Yarwood is recognised as a leading Career Coach and NLP Life Coach in Dubai, helping individuals across the world to achieve success in all areas of their lives. With a degree in Psychology and over 10 years’ experience in coaching, management and recruitment – working for multinational companies and award-winning recruitment firms – Zeta is an expert in unlocking human potential. Passionate about helping people discover their strengths, talents and motivation, Zeta lives to inspire others to dream big and create the life and career they really want.

While setting up her coaching business, Zeta simultaneously worked for the CEO of an MNC pharmaceutical company. This was to obtain a deeper insight into the corporate world and a greater understanding of leadership. Zeta gained significant exposure to all aspects of the business, working closely with the CEO on company strategy development and planning. She managed the strategy project, coached the CEO, restructured and rebuilt an entire department from scratch, managed and coached a culturally-diverse team, and initiated and led a corporate social responsibility programme. Zeta also had the fortune to work for the best manager she had ever had who taught her what it was to be a great leader.

With all of this experience, her NLP training and her genuine desire to help people, Zeta now coaches people all over the world to be the best they can be. Zeta feels lucky to have a career and life that she loves. It is her goal to help you, too, have the life, career and success you deserve.

Zeta’s qualifications include Evolved Life Coach (accredited by Federation of NLP Coaching Professionals); Evolved NLP Practitioner (FNLPCP accredited); Evolved NLP Life Coach (FNLPCP accredited); Time Paradigm Techniques Practitioner (FNLPCP accredited); and BSc Psychology from University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK.

For more, visit http://zetayarwood.com/



From Zero to Hero


Four Ways to Stop PMO Failure in its Tracks

By Alan Shefveland

Director of Product Management – Strategy & Innovation

Seattle, WA, USA



It’s not just Dilbert cartoons where projects are doomed before they begin. Real-life PMOs are no stranger to failure. In the past three years, PMI research found that 75 percent of Project Management Offices closed or failed to add value.

Yet, while project success metrics are less than optimistic, effective project management can deliver tremendous business value by improving project execution and strategic resource alignment. Businesses agree. An astounding 97 percent of organizations believe project management is critical to business performance and organizational success.1 In fact, the increasing drive to complete more projects on time and on budget with fewer resources means demand for project management discipline is greater than ever.

Stakes are high for underperforming PMOs. High-performing PMOs nurture capabilities that enable successful strategy implementation, contribute value to their organization and impact financial performance. While these high-performers are perceived as integral to strategy implementation initiatives, underperformers who ineffectively manage programs are viewed as cost-centers that offer little value to their organization.

In reality, some projects will fail and yet, many failures are easily avoidable. In these situations, failure rarely has anything to do with project management itself. Taking a few relatively simple corrective steps can quickly illustrate the PMO’s value and head off trouble before it impacts how the PMO is perceived.

Read on to learn some of the most common warning signs and actions you can take to go from project failure to project hero.

Warning #1

You’re asked, “How does that project map back to our goal this quarter?” and you have no clue.

What to do: Ideally you discussed the PMO department’s metrics when you first began your role. However, as business goals change, sometimes they are not communicated to each department. This is especially true in business climates that revere adaptation and transformation. In fact, almost 80 percent of project management executives don’t know how their projects align with their company’s business strategy.2 It is critical to regularly connect with the business leader to ensure that your projects are consistently mapping back to operational efficiency and business value. Book that meeting before it’s too late.

Warning #2

You receive multiple emails asking for the status of Project X.

What to do: The term “over-communication” is overused for a reason–30 percent of the time, project failure can be attributed to poor communication.2 Proactively offer update the leadership team and take a hard look at your reporting to ensure you provide a true and complete picture of the portfolio at all times. Better still, once you’ve established two-way of communication, ask if the project is a dependency for another objective. Consistent communication and robust reporting will help projects stay on course and build trust and cooperation with your stakeholders who will recognize your efforts to align projects with larger initiatives.


To read entire article, click here



About the Author

Alan Shefveland

Seattle, WA, USA


Alan Shefveland
is director of product management charged with strategy and innovation at Changepoint. He has more than 37 years of experience facilitating business and technology transformation for companies. For more than 25 years, Alan has demonstrated leadership with project, portfolio, and value management process implementations that span a wide variety of industry verticals, including finance, high-tech, light manufacturing, telecommunications and utilities.

Visit Alan’s blog at http://changepoint-blog.net/author/alan-shefveland/



Performance Measures and Metrics


A Pragmatic Approach to Project, Program, and Portfolio Management

By Rex B. Reagan

Washington, DC area, USA



The narrative describing the administration, management, and monitoring of U.S. Federal Government projects continues to grow. The approach to describing the tremendous cost of non-oversight of the underlying elements of our major projects often rests with the Acquisition contracts and a critical need for a method, tool, or technique for measurement of the contractor’s performance that may predict success of these increasingly complex projects. The author will introduce a tool that could aid significantly for executing the contract portion for successful project management.

At the heart of most projects, programs, and portfolios there exists a document that initiates that entity to begin work. That document is most often the “Contract”. In the world of contracting, there are contract vehicles that require pronounced oversight, regular and strict reporting, and contractually required deliverables that provide detailed accounts of those accomplishments and contributions by the contractor. However, a tangible tool has been absent from much contract administration that presents a clear and present technique that will capture the performance observed by the customer. That tool is essentially a “scorecard” that is comprised of relevant criteria or standards that the contractor will be measured against.

Is it not time to entertain the thought of revising the venerable Earned Value Management (EVM) formulas, or at least introducing a variable that might be an option for those who require a comprehensive approach to realistic performance? 1967, the Department of Defense established a criterion-based approach, using thirty-five criteria, entitled the “Cost/Schedule Control Systems Criteria (C/SCSC). Afterward, until additional attention was placed on this much-need approach, C/SCSC was viewed as a financial control technique that could be placed in the hands of financial analysts. Frequently, these techniques did not reach the in-box of Project Managers, in its early days. Much of earned value management (EVM) methodology has remained (for fifty years) the bedrock of project performance report, in particular for cost-contracts. During this time, project, program, and portfolio complexity has evolved to warrant addition of an application, or at least a tool, that would address performance.

This article provides an outline of the “Contractor Assessment of Monthly Performance” (CAMP), a brief, one-page, non-software-driven effort with multiple criteria or standards that are based on traditional work elements. It is designed to capture the levels of proficiency, on a monthly basis, encountered within the main factors that are active during execution of a contract. The CAMP has been used on contracts for the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security and has been well received by both the contractor and government with appreciation. These assessments have resulted in mutual benefits from early upfront notification of concerns or content of contract performance. This article will explore the benefits from employing a standard, uniform, yet concise tool to capture contractor performance. A suggestion of the usage of this CAMP will appear later in illustrations and how this index would support, strengthen, and increase information for regular and consistent reporting on contracts and projects that the customer requires.


To read entire article, click here



About the Author               

Rex B. Reagan

Washington, DC, USA


Rex Reagan
is a Senior Project Manager with ICF, Inc. He has been a senior Federal Manager for the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security and a senior Naval Officer (SC, SCWS, CDR, Ret.).   He is a graduate of East TN State University, American University, and the Naval War College. He is PMP certified and a global consultant.

Rex has a 24 year career with the Federal Government, primarily in the Department of Defense (DoD) and culminating at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), with a parallel career with the U.S. Navy, as a Reserve Supply Officer. Establishing a foundation of knowledge in Acquisition, and financial management at DoD, transition to DHS in 2004 at the Under Secretary of Management, Office of Chief Financial Officer, Budget Division.   He has held subsequent assignments as the Acquisition Chief of Infrastructure for the US VISIT Program Office with final role as the Business Financial Manager at the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office at DHS. Leadership positions were maintained in both the Federal Government and U.S. Navy (CDR, Supply Corps, SCWS, Ret) from various Reserve units as Executive. He retired from the Federal Government as GS-15 after qualifying for SES, and as Commander from the U.S. Navy. This experience has been merged with consulting experience from IBM, BearingPoint (Deloitte), and small business in various Program Management positions supporting the Federal Government and commercial entities.

Experience attained in civilian and military leadership positions have encouraged human capital improvement and innovative strategic thinking to improve performance in acquisition and program management. This focus has been demonstrated by architecting a Commander’s Development and Leadership Program for a major Department of Defense Acquisition Command. Rex has introduced continued process improvements, with forward vision, to influence constant organizational improvement. Demonstrated excellent communication skills by writing, and publishing professional articles (“Earned Value Management, Its Place in the Federal Budget Process”, “Preparing for a Global Acquisition Environment”) in the DoD Acquisition Technology & Logistics (AT&L) Magazine, published by DAU involving acquisition, financial, and program issues, and other articles..

His formal education includes his Bachelors in Business Administration and Psychology from East Tennessee State University, Masters in Financial Management from American University and a graduate of the Naval War College.

Rex has been President of American Association for Budget and Program Analysis, (2004), Vice-President of American Society of Military Comptrollers (Quantico Chapter, 2001), and is active in the Program Management Institute (PMI) Board Member for Professional Development at PMI Silver Spring, Chapter. He is a consistent contributor to professional development efforts and designated Mentor for the American Corporate Partners for the past three years   He resides in Silver Spring, MD with his wife Margy of almost thirty years. He has two children who have entered their professional careers.



Projects, Super Sized Projects and Black Hole Projects


By Charles Villanyi Bokor

The CERP Group

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada



Aim of the Study (Issue): To advance the knowledge that Project Leaders need in order to be able to develop extremely large and complex projects and examine how the size of a project impacts the development methodology and the project governance needed to develop and deploy it. To explore the scalability of current methodologies, as well as the implications of ignoring project size when using development methodologies in their standard forms and by extension inspire future reflections to pro-actively prevent size induced project failures.

Lessons to Learn:

  1. Projects have grown in size and the effort needed to develop them and have also become complex not just complicated;
  2. The standard project development methodology is not scalable and has to be customized when used to develop enormously large projects.
  3. BHPs are unique and current standard project management methodology and capabilities are inadequate to develop them and consequently BHPs are designed to fail.

Key Words: super-sized project, sub-project, enable, black hole project, project manager, project management, project leader, success criteria, paradigm shift, governance.


According to common belief, a project is a temporary endeavour. It has a defined problem to solve, a specific deliverable, a start date, a few stakeholders, an end-date, and an allocated budget that is based on the estimated schedule, the selected solution and the development team. This idea served its purpose in the ‘70s and ‘80s when application system specifications were written ‘over coffee’ on a napkin, when application system were coded in COBOL or FORTRAN, were developed on and ran on mainframe computers to automate specific operational procedures.

Some application system development projects today are very large, cost millions of dollars to develop, use many people with different skills and take years to deploy. Their primary focus is not efficiency but to change a paradigm and enable the organization to reach its strategic objectives. Some of these very large projects evolve into larger than very large projects, which are different from the projects of old. These larger than very large projects have to be developed in a modified/customized development environment, using a customized project management methodology, and an adaptive and iterative systems design and development lifecycle (SD²LC). They will cost much more than the originally allocated budget and/or take longer than the established schedule, will not meet all the usual or all the initial success criteria and will make the measuring of their success as challenging as developing the project itself. We will call these projects Super Sized Projects (SSP).

In the last two decades, the size of some SSPs exceeded all upper bounds. These projects have very large number of stakeholders, many different requirements and expected outcomes, unmanageably large development teams and a governance structure that becomes purely administrative. These innovative, enormous and larger than very large projects are conceived to impact the organization in such fundamental way(s) that most operational people reject them, even if they do not admit to their views. These totally overwhelming, all consuming, centers of the organization’s focus are analogous to the most exciting concept in the universe and so we call this third type of project a Black Hole Project (BHP).

Developing BHPs in general, has proven to be beyond the capability of organizations using standard project management methodologies. They end up costing several times more than their poorly estimated and allocated initial budgets, last beyond their established development schedules, have on-going changes to their requirements, their design and the solution, as an integral part of the system design and development life cycle, and do not meet the success criteria that was set at the start. In short, using the present approach, BHPs are not viable projects, we do not know how to develop them and hence, they fail by design.


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 has been previously published in
Software Quality Professional VOL. 17, NO 2/ March 2015; Business Systems Laboratory, International Symposia Proceedings January 2015; Requirements Network Group (RQNG), Nov 2012; and fmi*igf Journal, VOL 23, NO 1, 2011. It is republished here with the author’s permission.



About the Author

Charles Villanyi Bokor

Ottawa, Canada


Charles Villanyi Bokor
is a Strategic Management Consultant focused on Leading to Better Decisions. Principal activities include Business Transformation, Problem Project Recovery & Leadership, Strategic Planning. Charles works mostly in Ottawa but has successfully completed assignments in Florida, Wales, Malaysia, Sweden and Australia, and was key-note speaker in Johannesburg South Africa and Victoria BC. Formal education includes an Executive Development and Diploma in Management (McGill University), M.Sc. Mathematics (Université de Grenoble, and U. de Montréal) and B. Sc. Mathematics (Concordia University). He was: Program Director of the Corporate Performance Management Program, Sprott, Carleton; Director of IS/IM at Royal Trust; and at Northern Telecom; CMC; CMC Board Member; PMI-OVOC Board Member; Governor of ICCC; is ITIL Certified and a TBS Independent Project Reviewer. Charles can be contacted at [email protected]



Uncertainty and Indeterminacy in the Project World


By Crispin ‘Kik’ Piney





The ideas in this article arise from the philosophical puzzle around the meaning of uncertainty and probability when applied to a single occurrence. That is to say that, whereas statistics and probability calculations are very meaningful in conditions involving a large number of events, what this all means is much less clear for a unique event. This conundrum therefore applies in the case of projects, each of which, as defined by PMI [ref 4], has the characteristic of “uniqueness”.

The scientific area in which uncertainty and unique events has been extensively studied is in quantum physics. Although, it may seem rather a long stretch from projects to particles, some insights into project risk management can be gained from this comparison, as will be explained below by describing the ideas from quantum physics that are relevant to this analysis, and noting their relevance to project risk management: the uncertainty principle, indeterminacy, probability waves and entanglement.

The terminology used in quantum physics is a potential barrier to understanding:

  • The term “uncertainty” is associated with the lack of precision available in measuring (and therefore predicting) certain quantities – whereas in projects, the term “uncertainty” is associated with lack of knowledge about the occurrence or not of an event or condition.
  • The term “indeterminacy” is associated with lack of knowledge about an outcome or set of outcomes. In projects, as mentioned just above, the term “uncertainty” is used for this as well.

This article analyses the practice of project risk management with respect to each three major features of quantum theory: uncertainty, indeterminacy and entanglement, and draws a few action-oriented lessons for practitioners.

In this article, I will try to reduce the risk of confusion by using the terms Q-Uncertainty when referring to the meaning used in quantum theory, to distinguish it from the everyday use of the term “uncertainty”.


The uncertainty principle in quantum mechanics states that the more precisely you try to measure the momentum of a particle, the more inaccurate will be the measure of position. Similarly, in the project world, the more strictly you limit variation in one component of the triple constraint of time, cost and scope, the less accurate is your control over the others, so the greater is the uncertainty over the result with respect to that component. In the project environment, this arises from the fact that the three parameters of the triple constraint are not mutually independent. This will be explained next by expanding the following three truisms which show the pairwise relationships between the components of the triple constraint as shown below (Figure 1):

  1. Time is money (cost)
  2. Rome (scope) wasn’t built in a day (time)
  3. You don’t get owt (the product scope) for nowt (cost)

This section will finish with a brief conclusion about how projects should deal with this type of Q-Uncertainty.


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 June 2011 edition of PM World Today. It is republished here with the author’s permission.


About the Author

Crispin Piney

South of France



After many years managing international IT projects within large corporations, Crispin (“Kik”) Piney, B.Sc., PgMP is now a freelance project management consultant based in the South of France. At present, his main areas of focus are risk management, integrated Portfolio, Program and Project management, scope management and organizational maturity, as well as time and cost control. He has developed advanced training courses on these topics, which he delivers in English and in French to international audiences from various industries. In the consultancy area, he has developed and delivered a practical project management maturity analysis and action-planning consultancy package.

Kik has carried out work for PMI on the first Edition of the Organizational Project Management Maturity Model (OPM3™) as well as participating actively in fourth edition of the Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge and was also vice-chairman of the Translation Verification Committee for the Third Edition. He was a significant contributor to the second edition of both PMI’s Standard for Program Management as well as the Standard for Portfolio Management. In 2008, he was the first person in France to receive PMI’s PgMP® credential; he was also the first recipient in France of the PfMP® credential. He is co-author of PMI’s Practice Standard for Risk Management. He collaborates with David Hillson (the “Risk Doctor”) by translating his monthly risk briefings into French. He has presented at a number of recent PMI conferences and published formal papers.

Kik Piney can be contacted at [email protected].

To view other works by Kik Piney, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/crispin-kik-piney/



A New Approach on Blended Learning Instructional Design


The Case of BLENDLEE

By Marcos Welker

Jolita Kiznyte

Prof Dr. Andre Dechange




Despite the emergence of new learning technologies, the field of competence development has suffered from a lack of effective methodologies and frameworks that integrate current technological, professional, organizational and experiential requirements. Traditional unitary approaches have faced challenges when trying to cope with the complexities of competence development in project management. Using a case study as a background, this paper presents a new and innovative way of creating blended learning instructional design and the results of its application on a module in a master’s course on project management. The hypothesis is that factual information can be delivered using computer-based instruction (online) – as declarative knowledge held by students – whereas face-to-face time is saved for deeper social learning experiences.

Keywords: blended learning, project management, project management skills, skills’ development, contextualization, scenario-based learning, situated cognition

  1. Introduction

Nowadays, the market demand for highly applicable skills is more dynamic than ever and, as a result, educational institutions and training providers face the challenge of adapting their approaches to a more performance-centered learning that combines both efficiency and effectiveness and focuses on these dynamic market demands.

In pursuit of answers to this challenge, blended learning, as an approach to instructional design, has recently gained the attention of educators [1] [2]. In its simplest form, a blended learning course combines the best elements of two other approaches, online and live or lectured instruction, while also seeking to address some of their limitations [3]. Blended learning (or blended instruction) can benefit from both instructional methodologies, while the ways in which teachers are applying blended instruction in the classroom are becoming increasingly varied.

However, the simple combination of online and face-to-face sessions has so far not been proven to provide the expected efficiency and effectiveness from the point of view of performance-centered learning. The design of blended instruction can represent the difference between the development of high performing or low performing professionals. When developing an efficient and effective blended learning course, the following points should be considered:

  • How is the content created?
  • What types of content are offered?
  • In what amount and with what frequency are they offered?
  • Are the new roles and responsibilities of the instructor adapted to the new approach?

A new approach to blended learning instructional design was developed and used in the module Introduction to Project Management of the European Master’s in Project Management (EuroMPM) from the University of Applied Arts and Sciences, Dortmund.

Although other benefits were also observed, the main goals of the project were:

  • To raise the learning performance in terms of a holistic understanding of project management, levels of information retention and students’ practical skills.
  • To offer more flexibility in teaching and learning.
  1. Challenges in the development of project management skills

The development of project management skills is especially challenging [4] [5] as they require a particularly high amount of hard and soft skills as well as good decision-making and problem solving abilities. The inherent complexity of projects demands that key capabilities [6] be developed and present, even under immense pressure and stress. A lack of previous experience in this area on behalf of the learner can make achieving an understanding of the abstract nature and concepts of project management a particularly challenging task, making this an extremely difficult discipline to teach. Due to the nature of the competences required in such complex project scenarios, Egginton [7] has highlighted the need to hone specific professional behaviors which can only be attained through experiential learning [8]. Therefore, the approach to be taken in the blendlee case should not only be blended, but also be as experiential as possible.


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 International Research Conference 2016 at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts (Fachhochschule Dortmund) in Dortmund, Germany in June 2016. It is republished here with the permission of the authors and conference organizers.


About the Authors

Marcos Welker



Marcos Welker 
is PMP certified project management professional, holds an MBA in Information Technology and a Master’s Degree in Project Management. He is specialised in management of projects according to international standards; processes efficiency analysis and optimization strategies; market analysis for strategy definition; complex enterprise systems integration and optimization;  training and mentorship of teams.  His recent research on effective and efficient strategies for project management competences development motivated him to co-found a start-up company called ‘blendlee’ which is focused on innovative approach on blended learning instructional design. The approach combines different cognitive strategies using scenario-based learning, experiential practice and also the application of different media to enhance the blend. The latest project was a course design for a Master’s degree course “Introduction to Project Management” in the Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts.

Marcos can be contacted via email: [email protected]


Jolita Kiznyte



Jolita Kiznyte holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration, Double Master’s Degree in Project Management, and is certified as the Professional Scrum Master (PSM). She co-founded a start-up company called ‘blendlee’ which is focused on an innovative approach for blended learning instructional design. The approach combines different cognitive strategies using scenario-based learning, experiential practice and also the application of different media to enhance the blend. The latest project was a course design for a Master degree course “Introduction to Project Management” in the Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts.

The main areas of interest and research:

  • Applying project management methods in start-up business development
  • Agile in non-software development projects
  • Cross-cultural project teams’ management
  • The importance of cultural intelligence in project management
  • Public and cultural diplomacy

Jolita can be contacted via email: [email protected]


Prof. Dr. André Dechange

Dortmund, Germany


André Dechange
, born 1967, studied electrical engineering and business administration and made his PhD at the Technical University in Dortmund. He worked as a consultant and manager in different international companies for more than 20 years. He was responsible for more than 4 years for a Project Management Office (PMO) in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Since 2008 he is working as a trainer and consultant for project management. He is a PMP and a professor of project management at the University of Applied Science in Dortmund.

André can be contacted at e-mail: [email protected].



An Engineered Parrot


A Play

By Anil Seth

Gurgaon, India


One of our beloved clients requires – A Parrot.

Yes … a Parrot, the bird which has a beak, 2 eyes, 2 wings and of course weight around 500 gms.

Through all procedural exercises the contract was awarded and team started the detail engineering; Yes Ladies and Gentlemen to procure and deliver a PARROT under Lump sum turnkey Contract.

For those who already know LSTK-Lump sum is a noun which means a complete payment consisting of a single sum of money while turnkey is an adjective of a product or service which means product or service will be ready to use upon delivery.

Sweets were distributed, parties were thrown and the team inaugurated the PROJECT DETAILING of the PARROT.


PM: Project Manager

EM: Engineering Manager


RE: Responsible Engineer




PM:      Team, welcome to the prestigious project. We are proud to have the team onboard which is rightly selected to acquire and deliver the customized item which has to be as per:



BEST of engineering procedures.

Or was it Project Quality, Baseline Schedule and applicable engineering procedures. Only time will tell.

PM:      Team, please ensure that we include Right Accessories, deliver the customized item (ITEM?) and none of the interfaces are left open.

We should put special focus on testing and we are confident that through our hard work and know-how will make this project a benchmark.

EM:      Team, please ensure that no specification and procedure are unturned and we deliver as per Quality (was it Project Quality?)

Lead:   We need to prepare the Material Requisition Ram, Is the draft ready?? (Shouts) IS THE DRAFT READY RAM?

RE:       Yes Boss, we have included all clauses and specification and datasheet has reference to ALL Codes and Standards.

Lead:   Hmmm! As we are engineering a Parrot first time, please do not ignore any testing and inspection criteria. Please add that NO WAIVER will be granted post order, all queries are to be addressed through prequalification notes and criteria.

Our engineering world is full of glorified words like-All, Waiver, Criteria…and what not. So the requisition weighting 10kgs with all specification and references was prepared and issued to attract the Poor Vendors.


To read entire play, click here



About the Reviewer

Anil Seth

Gurgaon, India


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

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

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



Finland Project Management Roundup for March 2017


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

By Dr Jouko Vaskimo

International Correspondent & Senior Contributing Editor

Espoo, Finland




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


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

PMAF promotes the development and dissemination of project and project management knowledge. PMAF members are able to enjoy information sharing, workgroups, development projects, project management forums, conferences and certification services PMAF provides. PMAF organizes two annual conferences: Project days (Projektipäivät in Finnish) in early November, and 3PMO in early June. 3PMO 2017 focuses on Project, Program and Portfolio management offices, and takes place at Tampere on June 6th 2017. Please navigate to http://www.3pmo.fi/ for further information on 3PMO, and to www.pry.fi/en/association for further information on PMAF.


PMI Finland Chapter is a not-for-profit organization providing project practitioners in Finland continuous learning, networking and community support. The Chapter was founded in 2005. Today, with more than 400 members, the chapter is increasingly recognized as place where its members can enhance their project management and leadership skills, as well as network with other project management professionals.

PMI Finland Chapter hosts a number of events such as Breakfast Round Tables, regular meetings taking place once a month in Helsinki and occasionally also in other locations. The chapter members have the opportunity to attend events for free or with a discount and the chapter sends its members a regular newsletter with localized content on project management. Additionally, the Chapter supports its members in their professional development and training.

PMI Chapter Finland has an annual tradition of organizing a conference in spring. In 2017 the conference will take place on May 10th, in Helsinki, with the overarching theme “Change”. Wärtsilä CEO Mr Jaakko Eskola, Kaidi CEO Mr Carl Haglund and IIL Senior Consultant & Coach Mrs Jane Morgan will be presenting at the event. Please navigate to http://www.conference.pmifinland.org/ for further information on the PMI Finland Chapter annual conference, and to http://www.pmifinland.org/ for further information on PMI Finland Chapter.


The 1 600 MW Olkiluoto 3 nuclear power plant, originally contracted to be built by consortium of Areva and Siemens for Teollisuuden Voima (TVO) at Olkiluoto, is currently proceeding through the final stages of construction by Areva. An international court of arbitration settling Areva and TVO differences has reached an intermediate result. TVO reports the court is ruling in TVO favor, however, the court has not yet made any decisions regarding monetary compensation. In order to ensure project completion, TVO has filed claims against Areva in France, and demanded clarifications regarding how Areva intends to complete the contractual responsibilities as the Olkiluoto 3 main contractor. The latest estimate is that the third power generation unit at Olkiluoto will commence commercial operation in December 2018. The project is currently nine years delayed from the original time schedule.


To read entire report, click here



About the Author

Dr Jouko Vaskimo

Espoo, Finland


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

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

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

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


March 2017 UK Project Management Round Up


Good News, Archeology Projects, Projects in Trouble and More Good News

By Miles Shepherd

Executive Advisor & International Correspondent

Salisbury, England, UK




At last the Winter is nearly over. Although we are not seeing much sunshine, the days are drawing out, spring flowers seem to be in bloom – at least they are in my garden. Snowdrops are almost over and the daffodils well on, trees are beginning to show the first shoots of green. That is the positive side! With Spring also comes the rapid growth of weeds and the onset of more tasks. It is always thus for project people!

It seems that no matter what my intentions might be, I cannot escape Brexit. The papers are full of it, along with its impact on infrastructure, finance and social cohesion. It looks like we will be in for an interesting time. This month, I intend to cover a range of topics, some less stressful than Brexit. I’ll start with some good news, move onto archeological projects, some more ‘interesting’ project challenges and then sweep up anything left over, doing my best to avoid the ‘B’ word.


I expect many of you go to the cinema, movies or theatre, depending on where you come from – personally, I only see films on planes. However, there is good news here as some 200 films were made in UK last year. All film production is project based, carefully planned and even more carefully monitored. So it is good news when a production company makes a film such as Star Wars VIII: The last Jedi or Alien: Covenant and the films made in UK last year entailed a spend in this country of some £1.6 billion. This is a 13% increase in revenue with £1.35 billion spent by overseas production companies. This gives new meaning to the concept of Talent TriangleÒ!

Also on the good news front, I have to report a special build by Rolls Royce who produced new, special purpose model. This is an electric vehicle build for St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester, near the Rolls car production facility in West Sussex. The target market is not luxury seeking mega rich but children who can use the new model, the SRH, to drive themselves to the operating theatre. The intention is to help reduce stress and pre-operation anxiety.

Rolls Royce SRH (photo: SWNS South West News Service)

The car is powered by a gel battery and is capable of 10 mph although this will be reduced to 4 mph in the hospital. The car took 400 hours of skilled voluntary work to build. The SRH, which is 165cm long and weighs 135kg, was delivered to the hospital at the end of February.


To read entire report, click here



About the Author

Miles Shepherd

Salisbury, 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/.



Project Management Report from Spain for March 2017


Construction Industry Event in Madrid, Toastmasters Club of PMI Madrid

By Alfonso Bucero

International Correspondent & Editorial Advisor

Madrid, Spain



Construction Industry Event organized by the PMI Madrid Chapter on March 23, 2017

The PMI Madrid Spain Chapter has organized its Ordinary general Assembly matching with a professional event addressed to the Construction Sector. Such event will join PMI professionals together with other professionals coming from AEDIP and AECMA Association. That event will have some known speakers coming from AEDIP Association (President Mrs. Leticia Sauco Sevilla), from AECMA (President Mr. Alfonso Gutierrez Manzanos) and from PMI (Mr. Miguel Tapia and Mr. Alfonso Bucero). The main objective for that event is to close tied collaboration among those three associations and to share advantages with the attendees from AEDIP and AECMA about what PMI does mean for professional project management development, explaining the need to be certified as a project professional.

“Puerta de Alcalá” Square


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



About the Author

Alfonso Bucero

Contributing Editor
International Correspondent – Spain



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

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



Project Networks – More than Managing Projects


Managing and Working in Project Society

By Jörg Sydow and Rolf A. Lundin

Germany and Sweden


The emerging Project Society comprises a wide variety of projects and other forms of temporary organizations as illustrated and exemplified in the book “Managing and Working in Project Society” (Lundin et al., 2015). Projects are used for research and development efforts, marketing and advertising campaigns, content production for television and the Internet, designing and constructing building as well as machinery and defense. In the book mentioned, the point is made that it is more appropriate and useful to discuss the contexts of projects rather than restricting oneself to define what a project is and to recommend project management techniques and practices in any generic way. For, there is an urgent need to adapt managing a project in situ to make it in line with the social, spatial and temporal contexts since the circum­stances (often changing at the same time) are crucial for the management outcome. Three groups of contexts are depicted in that book: Project-Based Organizations (PBOs), Project-Supported Organizations (PSOs) and Project Networks (PNWs).

One might think of project management in a PBO context as fairly stable in the sense that a formal order with a hierarchy has been established and routines been developed making projects in that context (look) more efficient. One more recent example illustrating the organizational focus on developing and diffusing project knowledge and routines is the project management office (PMO). But seen over a long time, the different projects, even within an organization, either a PBO or a PSO, change. Hence, it comes as no surprise that an important task of a PMO is to organize learning across projects in organizations. To take construction projects as an example, there is now a need for construction companies, typically conceived as PBOs, to attend to the multitude of new construction materials, noise reduction, energy saving measures and the like and at the same time to adopt organizing practices developed in other fields of practice (e.g. IT services). And obviously that multitude of changes has effects on how to manage not only the organization but the project in the contexts of a PBO or PSO.

The immediate contexts of PBOs and PSOs, i.e, organizations, are quite well understood with regard to managerial implications for project management (e.g. handling schedules and resources for each project, setting up a PMO, designing career systems for project managers, etc.). These contexts are traditional and have been well known for a very long time in line with the historical development of the project management field (cf. Wenell et al., 2017). However, this is much less the case for PNWs which are more dynamic, changing and diverse. What is more, managing PNWs can only to a limited extent rely on organizational contexts and techniques and practices known from organizations. Not only for that reason, managing projects in interorganizational networks requires understanding the context beyond the boundaries of a single organization. Hence, managing PNWs asks for managerial attention, capabilities and knowledge regarding interorganizational collaborations, how to initiate, maintain, deepen or end them around and with the help of projects (Lundin et al., 2015; Sydow et al., 2016).

What is more, PNWs may include not only collaborating organizations but also individuals (self-employed or self-activated) making them often more ephemeral than collaboration within organizations. In consequence, managing PNWs usually needs institutional support from the wider field. For instance, PNWs in the film and television industry, which is even more than the construction industry characterized by many self-employed or micro businesses, rely for their functioning on institutionalized events and specialized service providers, many of them PBOs themselves. Examples for the former are film festivals and award ceremonies; examples for the latter film studios and hirer of technical equipment. These brokering institutions – field events as well as service providers – are in the case of the film and television industry quite intentionally used to create, maintain or deepen relationships; relationships which are essential in PNW not only for advertising unused capacities and acquiring new projects but also for nurturing the pool of (potential) collaborators – organizations as well as self-employed entre­preneurs – and to exchange and store professional knowledge, not least about technological changes or regarding the management of PNWs.


To read entire article, click here


Editor’s note: This series of articles is based on the theme and concepts in the book Managing and Working in Project Society by Rolf A. Lundin, Niklas Arvidsson, Tim Brady, Eskil Ekstedt, Christophe Midler and Jörg Sydow, published by Cambridge University Press in 2015. The book won the PMI David I. Cleland Project Management Literature Award in 2016.



About the Authors

Dr. Jörg Sydow

Freie Universität Berlin
Berlin, Germany


Dr. Jörg Sydow
is a Professor of Management at the School of Business & Economics at Freie Universität Berlin, Germany, and a Visiting Professor at Strathclyde Business School, Glas­gow. Moreover, he is the director of the Research Unit “Organized Creativity”, sponsored by the German Research Foundation (DFG), a founding co-editor of two leading German journals, Management­forschung and Industrielle Beziehungen – The German Journal of Industrial Relations, and a member of the editorial review boards of Organization Studies, Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Journal of Manage­ment Studies, and The Scandinavian Journal of Management. For more information visit: http://www.wiwiss.fu-berlin.de/en/fachbereich/bwl/management/sydow/index.html


Rolf Lundin, PhD

Jönköping International Business School
Jönköping, Sweden



Rolf A Lundin is a professor (em.) of Business Administration at the Jönköping International Business School (JIBS) and a Courtesy Professor-in-Residence at the Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE). He received his PhD in 1973 at the University of Chicago (now the Booth Business School) in Management Science. He has been a full professor since 1978, first at the business school of the University of Umeå (in northern Sweden), where he was also the founding dean of that school. In 2001 he was recruited to dean JIBS. He stepped down as dean in 2007. Since then he has been affiliated with the Media Management and Transformation Center. He has several publications in the management of projects and temporary organization area and is currently serving on the board for the PMI Global Accreditation Center which is working with accreditation of project management educational programs around the world. His current research focus is on the use of projects in media industries.

He is the lead author of the monograph Managing and Working in Project Society: Institutional Challenges of Temporary Organizations, published in 2015 by Cambridge University Press winning the 2016 PMI Book of the Year award.  Rolf is active in the Swedish Project Academy. He can be contacted at [email protected].



The Project Manager as a Tightrope Walker


Advances in Project Management Series

Dealing ethically with all affected parties

By Douglas G. Long, PhD



Ngaire E. Hunt, RN, PMP

New Zealand


Depending on the role held by a project manager, there appear to be three possible scenarios in which potential exists for ethics conflict:

  • If they are a vendor based PM:
    • how to implement the project to the benefit of the vendor
    • how to implement the project to the benefit of the customer
  • If they are an organisational based PM
    • how to implement the project to the benefit of the organisation
    • how to manage the internal stakeholders expectations and knowledge requirements (as the PM may be provided information which is confidential or in more detail than that of other stakeholders or team members)
    • how to manage / involve the vendor PM (if a vendor is involved)
  • If they are a contracted PM
    • how to implement the project to the benefit of the customer
    • how to manage the internal stakeholders expectations and knowledge requirements (as the PM may be provided information which is confidential or in more detail than that of other stakeholders or team members)
    • how to manage / involve the vendor PM (if a vendor is involved)
    • how to implement the project to the benefit of themselves and the contracting company (if used)

These can arise because:

  • Multiple stakeholders will have different, and competing sets of priorities.
  • There might also be a distinction between the customer and other stakeholders.
  • There might be tensions between the priorities of the project manager, and those of the different groups of stakeholders and also the clients.

In this article Douglas Long and Ngaire Hunt explore the application of The Ethical Kaleidoscopeas a tool for assisting project managers confront and deal ethically with conflicting project-owner demands faced in their work. By utilising the lens nominated in the model we seek to provide support to project managers no matter whether vendor based, organisational based, or contracted.

The Ethical Kaleidoscope is a construct developed by Douglas Long and Zivit Inbar to assist boards of organisations – large or small, public or private, government or non-government, for-profit or not-for-profit – to operate in ways that meet not only legal requirements but also to operate in ways that are dealing ethically with all affected parties. In their research leading to the book (interviews with the Chairs of some 130 organisations in Australia, New Zealand, and the USA), Long and Inbar found that the main emphasis at a corporate governance level related primarily to the legality of activities with any ethical considerations often relegated to a very poor secondary or tertiary position of, very often, only cursory concern. The result is that, even when an organisation has a clear and published code of ethics (as was the case for many of those studied), the incidence of organisations behaving badly occurs far too frequently.


To read entire article, click here


Editor’s note: The Advances in Project Management series includes articles by authors of program and project management books published by Gower in UK and by Routledge worldwide. Information about Routledge project management books can be found here. Douglas G Long, along with Zivit Inbar, is author of The Ethical Kaleidoscope: Values, Ethics, and Corporate Governance, 2016, Routledge Press, UK.



About the Authors

Douglas G. Long

University of New South Wales
Sydney, Australia


Douglas G. Long
teaches values, ethics and leadership at the School of Business, University of New South Wales, Sydney. From 1988 to 2000 he was associ­ated with Macquarie Graduate School of Management in Sydney, where he researched, designed and delivered the programme Leadership in Senior Management. His latest book (with Zivit Inbar) The Ethical Kaleidoscope: Values, Ethics, and Corporate Governance has just (2017) been released by Routledge. Two of his previous books, Delivering High Performance: The Third Generation Organisation and Third Generation Leadership and the Locus of Control: Knowledge, Change and Neuroscience, were published by Gower. For the past 40 years he has been teaching, consulting, and public speaking in Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, South East Asia, Europe, and the USA. He holds the degree of PhD in Organisational Psychology.

Click here to learn more about Dr. Long’s book, The Ethical Kaleidoscope: Values, Ethics, and Corporate Governance, published in December 2016 by Gower / Routledge.


Ngaire E. Hunt, PMP

New Zealand


Ngaire E. Hunt, RN, PMP
commenced her career in nursing and qualified as a NZRN. She then worked as a Registered Nurse in New Zealand and the UK, before returning to New Zealand and moving into management of nursing services. In 2008 she shifted her career to project management and worked, primarily in health related fields, as a project manager in New Zealand until 2015. In 2015 she moved to Australia and, since then, has been working as a project manager in a health related consultancy in Melbourne. She holds her PMP qualification.



It starts with trust


Advances in Project Management

People, perspectives and relationships as the building blocks for sustainable success

By Prof Darren Dalcher

Director, National Centre for Project Management
University of Hertfordshire




Trust plays a crucial part in many facets of life including politics, business, sport, friendship, love, marriage and indeed, human relationships. Trust appears to be a critical precondition for success in most collective human endeavours involving more than one individual. Trust can typically appear as a social construct or a psychological belief and may often touch on ethical, personal or organisational values.

The Oxford Dictionary defines trust as ‘firm belief in the reliability, truth, or ability of someone or something’. The word trust does not appear in the index of the main bodies of knowledge, and only receives a passing mention in the 5th edition of the PMI Guide to the Body of Knowledge as a key part of the interpersonal skills of effective project managers. Yet, many aspects of project practice including teamwork, power, delegation, influencing, reporting, stakeholder engagement and even leadership, intimately rely on the establishment and continued preservation of trust between individuals, team members, parties and organisations.

Assessing the crucial role of the concept, American educator, writer and public speaker Stephen R. Covey observed that ‘trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships together.’ (Covey, 1995, p. 203).

The five paradoxes of trust

The issue of trust evokes deeply held practical as well as philosophical contradictions and paradoxes. Revolutionary Russian Communist, Vladimir Ilyich Lenin opined that ‘trust is good, but control is better’. Former US President, Ronald Reagan, who held a rather different perspective on world affairs, subsequently borrowed an often-used Russian proverb that translates as ‘trust, but verify’ and used it as the basis for international relations and negotiations with the Russians. International relations often uncover perplexing dependencies and relationships as partners and competitors share, reflect, respond and copy strategies. Nonetheless, the issue of trust and our interaction with the concept continues to offer confounding enigmas and quandaries which will be explored through the lens of the five (plus one) paradoxes of trust.

Paradox 1: Knowing and trusting: When does trust begin?

In order to trust someone, you need to know them: However, You cannot know someone without trusting them first

The implication of this paradox is that trust requires a leap of faith that obliges one side to give the benefit of the doubt to a relatively unknown and ‘unproven’ person. While partial mitigation can take views and assessments from other interested parties, such as relying on the word of family members, friends, colleagues, or former partners, there is still a certain degree of embracing uncertainty through opening up a potential vulnerability to an unknown person or entity.


To read entire article, click here


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



About the Author

Darren Dalcher, PhD

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


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

Professor Dalcher has written over 150 papers and book chapters on project management and software engineering. He is Editor-in-Chief of Software Process Improvement and Practice, an international journal focusing on capability, maturity, growth and improvement. He is the editor of the book series, Advances in Project Management, published by Gower Publishing of a new companion series Fundamentals of Project Management. Heavily involved in a variety of research projects and subjects, Professor Dalcher has built a reputation as leader and innovator in the areas of practice-based education and reflection in project management. He works with many major industrial and commercial organisations and government bodies in the UK and beyond.

Darren is an Honorary Fellow of the APM, a Chartered Fellow of the British Computer Society, a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute, and the Royal Society of Arts, and a Member of the Project Management Institute (PMI), the Academy of Management, the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and the Association for Computing Machinery. He is a Chartered IT Practitioner. He is a Member of the PMI Advisory Board responsible for the prestigious David I. Cleland project management award and of the APM Professional Development Board. Prof Dalcher is an academic advisor for the PM World Journal. He can be contacted at [email protected].

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



Why Bad Projects Are So Hard To Kill


By Michael O’Brochta

Virginia, USA




Bad projects abound, and research by PMI and others has provided useful insight into the underlying causes of bad projects. This paper looks beyond why projects go bad into why bad projects are so hard to kill. It explains how sunk cost, groupthink, escalation of commitment, and conflicts of interest contribute to keeping death march projects needlessly alive.

Each of these behaviors is defined and illustrated using project stories from history (the sinking of the Titanic and the Concord jetliner), project stories from the author’s own personal experience climbing some of the world’s tallest mountains (McKinley, Aconcagua, and Kilimanjaro), and project stories from business (Abilene Paradox and industry-funded soda studies). Some recently published research about the neural science underlying these behaviors is referenced. The impact of these behaviors is described and then linked to the undercutting of ethics, trust, leadership, and project success.

A list of actions is provided that project managers can take to help avoid being victimized by bad projects.

Since McKinley is the tallest mountain in North America, it is considered to be one of the world’s “seven summits.” Its height of 20,320 feet and proximity to the Arctic Circle has earned it the reputation as being the coldest of the seven. The temperature on the upper portion of the mountain during the spring climbing season averages 40 degrees below zero. Ice axe, crampons, and ropes are required for the entire three-week climb.

Climbing McKinley is a project. My McKinley project was successful; I reached the summit, and I returned safely. I have done similar on two other of the world’s seven summits: Aconcagua and Kilimanjaro. Helen, one of the members of our climbing team, was not so successful. Her project went bad, she did not kill it, and on summit day, it almost killed her. Even though Helen was a former Olympian, even though she was an experienced mountain climber, and even though she set a record for her solo trek to the South Pole, Helen succumbed to altitude sickness and hypoxia. She had to be carried down the upper portion of the mountain; she lost portions of several fingers and toes.

Helen’s project started going bad days prior to summit day; it went from bad to worse during the days leading up to the summit attempt, yet she persisted. She did not kill the bad project.

Exhibit 1 – Bad McKinley Project


The Problem

Bad projects waste money and resources, divert attention from good projects, and undercut future projects by sewing seeds of doubt about organizational competence. And, since bad projects are all too common, there is a probability that many, if not most, project managers will be saddled with a bad project or two during their careers. That is too bad, because in today’s project based organizations the careers of project managers rise and fall with the outcome of their projects; a bad project can short-circuit the career of the project manager with the misfortune of being responsible for its outcome. In extreme cases, such as the bad McKinley project described in Exhibit 1, the consequences of failing to kill a bad project can be life threatening.

Statistics about the likelihood of a project going bad are, unfortunately, all too easy to come by. In PMI’s 2017 Pulse of the Profession Report (PMI, 2017), we find that only 38% of the project outcomes met the original goals and business intent, met the original budget, and met the original schedule. The Standish Group has been tracking project success rates in the information technology industry for years, and their findings are equally bad. During the 2,000-2,015 period, they report project success rates that hover between 29-31% (Standish, 2015).

Estimates of the associated financial impact of bad projects vary widely, but they all point toward a huge financial waste. The PMI 2017 Pulse of the Profession Report (PMI, 2017) estimates that $97M is wasted for every $1B spent on bad projects; that’s 10% of the project budget. Consider how many more good projects could be funded and consider the positive impact to organizational goals and corporate bottom lines if only a fraction of that wasted money could be redirected.


To read entire paper, click here



About the Author

Michael O’Brochta, ACP, PMP

Virginia, USA



Michael O’Brochta, who has managed hundreds of projects during the past thirty years, is also an experienced line manager, author, lecturer, trainer and consultant. He holds a master’s degree in project management, a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, and is certified as a an ACP and a PMP. As Zozer Inc. President, he is helping organizations raise their level of project management performance. As senior project manager at the Central Intelligence Agency, he led the project management and systems engineering training and certification program to mature practices agency-wide. Mr. O’Brochta’s other recent work includes leading the development of standards and courses for the new U.S. Federal Acquisition Certification for Program and Project Managers.

He serves at the PMI corporate level as the Chair of the Ethics Member Advisory Group; he is a graduate of the Leadership Institute Mater Class. Mr. O’Brochta has written / presented papers every year at PMI global Conferences during the past decade-and-a-half as well as at many international, and regional conferences. Topics that he is currently passionate about include how to get executives to act for project success and great project managers. Since his recent climb of another of the world’s seven summits, he has been exploring the relationship between project management and mountain climbing.

Michael O’Brochta can be contacted at [email protected].



Construction Arbitration Guidelines


Construction Arbitration: Guidelines for Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanism in Construction Contracts

Dr. Moustafa I. Abu Dief1 and Prof. Dr. Ibrahim Abdlrashid2

1 Contracts and Claims Manager, Z- Benaa JV
2 Construction Engineering and management professor, Ain-Shams University, Egyp




The global fall back in the construction industry and economic recess in the Middle East revealed many consequences in the construction projects, such as suspension, delay, payment corruption, cash flow failure, termination for default/convenience, and etc. Those consequences dragged the projects to critical status cases of claims, disputes, loss of business opportunities, especially when the disputes are referred to litigation with its featured disadvantages and damages backlog in the construction industry cases. Such severe circumstances shaded the light on the need to manage and control the construction disputes through win-win resolution mechanisms which is mainly achieved when the disputing parties go into a consensual procedure that was planned and designed by their own interference, like Mediation and Arbitration mechanisms. That is typically the need for Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanisms which had been widely adopted internationally in the construction industry to ensure fairness and maintaining the business relationships since the 1970’s. This paper will review and discuss the different ADR mechanisms which are considered most appropriate to be applied in the troubled construction projects.

Keywords:   Construction- ADR- Dispute Claim-Arbitration- troubled projects

  1. Introduction

ADR is generally known as any process or procedure implemented for resolving disputes apart from the adjudication by a judge in a statutory court. The ADR basis incorporates mutual consent between the parties either for proceeding with the dispute resolution mechanism or for determining the dispute result. (ADR) has demonstrated a valued support in boosting access to justice, taking speedy and cost-effective dispute resolution mechanism based on mutual consent that maintains the businesses relationship between the parties.

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is a name addressed to several methods used to resolve disputes apart from the litigation, the methods include, Arbitration, Mediation, and Adjudication. ADR aims to achieve accelerated resolution of the dispute and maintaining the amicable manner in the construction industry.

The ADR may be utilized as dispute settlement and or dispute resolution mechanisms for its different advantages which are badly required in the construction industry, such as confidentiality, consensual mechanisms, and maintaining the continuality business between the disputing parties.

  1. Alternative Dispute resolution Categories

Main types of ADR:

ADR includes different system of its processes; it is categorized mainly into 2 categories, as demonstrated in Fig. 1, and discussed below:


To read entire paper, click here



About the Authors

Moustafa Ismail Abu Dief, PhD, CFCCTM

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia


Dr. Moustafa Ismail Abu Dief
. Ph.D., FICCP, CFCC™, CCP, PMOC, PMP®, Certified Forensic Claims Consultant, is a project management professional with over 25 years of experience in the field in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, mainly in contract and claims domain. Moustafa is delivering training courses in FIDIC, NEC3 contracts and claims management. Dr. Moustafa Ismail can be contacted at the following:


mailto:[email protected]or [email protected]


Prof Dr. Ibrahim Abdlrashid

Cairo, Egypt


Ibrahim Abdlrashid
is a professor of construction engineering and management at Ain-Shams University in Cairo, Egypt. He is a seasoned consulting engineer in the construction management domain.



Scope of Quality Assurance in Higher Education Programmes and Projects


Assoc. Prof. Peter Neema-Abooki & Eric Gitta

East African school of Higher Education Studies and Development (EASHESD)

Makerere University

Kampala, Uganda




In the face of massification and globalisation, the quality of higher education is so severely threatened that everyone now appears to accept that quality assurance is part and parcel of modern higher education. Issues of accountability, authority and responsibility are paramount when responding, not only to industry bodies but also to the transnational provision of higher education, and to the use of market mechanisms. As higher education institutions control their own systems and processes, the question of the three ‘Ts’ “truth,” “transparency” and “trust” should be renewed. This chapter renders a description of quality, quality assurance and its relevance, and highlights the   areas which are   vital   for successful   quality   provision   and   learning   environments if higher education is to increase public confidence and understanding of its achievements in all programmes and projects. Ultimately, the paper observes that it is not easily possible and desirable to have a single quality assurance frame work that fits all provisions since quality assurance is broad and in addition requires ethical management, time, capacity, and finances.

Key words:     Higher Education, Quality Assurance, Scope

Introduction and background

Quality has always been a tenet that society has strived for since ancient human civilization (Mooney, 2013). According to Quevauviller (2009), the concept of quality can derive back as far as specifications for buildings in ancient Greece as well as building the pyramids in Egypt. . Goods would be inspected by other guild masters to ensure that a standard of quality was maintained by members within the guild. As the world changed, the Industrial Revolution started the modern ideology of quality assurance borrowing the methods prescribed by Frederick Winslow Taylor, a scientific management theorists, whose ideas pushed the methods of efficiency and productivity in manufacturing (Yanli, 2016). The immediate foregoing author asserts that these methods included training employees rather than having them train themselves, implementing and enforcing stringent documentation and protocol based on scientific study, and dispersing work equally among workers and managers.

To date, the means   by   which   business/service   providers   differentiate   themselves   from   their competitors is through quality maintenance which has remained the most important attribute that creates value about the product/service for the receiver (Baird, 2013). Accordingly, winning companies are those   that   meet   quality   standards   and   for   whom   customer services   is an obsession in every single market in which they operate (Harvey, 2002). Therefore relative terms such as “better”, “superior”, “acceptable” are applied to judge quality; and that since   businesses   are leaders   in quality   assurance, non-business     organisations   such   as higher educational institutions are here to benefit from the important lessons learnt by business (Baird, 2013). The truism heretofore is that quality is an inexhaustibly on-going programme and project in an institution of higher learning just as in any other public-sector organisation.

Quality institutions succeed because they are truthful, and there is transparency in verifying that truth; together, this breed’s trust as a one value central to any institution and anyone involved (Rosengard & Karen, 2015). So when information reflects badly on a college or a university, there is often an effort to bury that truth, lest parents or new students learn of it; and – note that if they lose the trust of the customers and the public – their faculties, officials, students, and sometimes their jobs are at risk.

Adjacently, Baver (2011) believed that at   the   heart   of all quality assurance activities are   the twin   purposes of accountability and enhancement; and that when taken together, these create trust in the higher education institution’s performance. Yet Middlehurst (2013) realized that a successfully implemented quality assurance system will provide information to assure the higher education   institution   and   the   public   of   the   quality   of   the institution’s   activities (accountability) as well as provide advice and recommendations on how it might improve what it is doing (enhancement).

Still, engagement   with   quality assurance processes allows higher education systems to   demonstrate   quality   and   increase   transparency,   thus   helping   to   build   mutual   trust   and   better recognition of their qualifications, programmes and other provisions (Kimula, Yonezawa & Ohmori, 2014). So quality assurance and quality enhancement are thus inter-related. They can support the development of a quality culture that is embraced by all: from the students and academic staff to the institutional leadership and management. For, it is vastly better that institutions of higher learning, rather than outsiders, control their own systems and processes through proper mechanisms (Vasconcellos, 2010).

Quality defined

In amity with the suggestion of Watty (2008) that the dimension of quality as perfection can be removed, since higher education does   not   aim   to produce defect-free graduates, William, Lao & Materu (2010) hold that “fitness   for purpose” and “transformation” seem to be   the   two   most   appropriate definitions of quality. The stance of the trio was a result of a small-scale research with a sample of senior managers in higher education institutions. However, Harvey and Green (2005) identify five categories or ways of thinking about quality. As cited in Watty (2003), key aspects of each of these categories can be summarised as follows:


To read entire paper, click here



About the Authors

Prof Peter Neema-Abooki

Kampala, Uganda


Assoc. Prof. Peter Neema-Abooki
holds academic credentials in philosophical and theological disciplines besides a Post Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE); a Masters and a Doctor of Philosophy: both degrees in Educational Management. He is an Associate Professor of Higher Education, including Educational Management and Administration, Human Resource Management in Education, Educational Policy and Planning, and Educational Foundations and Curriculum Studies. He is the Founding Dean, EASHESD, at Makerere University, and co-Editor for Contemporary Issues in Higher Education Management. Earlier, he lectured in Educational Foundations, Educational Administration, and Educational Planning and Management at Kampala University, Kisubi Brothers’ Centre for Uganda Martyrs University, and Kyambogo University. He doubles as External Examiner in several Public and Private Universities, nationally and internationally. Besides being a Reviewer at several International Fora, the Associate Professor has presented academic papers and delivered Key-note addresses at several International Conferences and Summits. The scholarly research of his delves into issues encompassing, but not limited to, managerial disciplines with specific focus on Quality Assurance (QA). He is Editor-In-Chief of International Journal of Progressive and Alternative Education, and a Member of several International Technical Committees. Neema-Abooki may be contacted at +2567724123184, +256704169214, +250781293741; and via email at [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected],  [email protected]

Skype: peter.neema.abooki


Eric Gitta   

Kampala, Uganda


Eric Gitta
is currently a PhD candidate at the East African School of Higher Education Studies and Development (EASHESD), College of Education and External Studies (CEES), Makerere University. He completed a Masters of Science in Human Resource Management in Education from the same University. He also has a Bachelor of Arts Degree with Education, a Certificate in Administrative Law and a Postgraduate Certificate in Monitoring and Evaluation, all from Makerere University, Uganda. He is now working as an Education Officer with Ministry of Education and Sports, Government of the Republic of Uganda. Contacts: +256772054509, +256704155381. E-mail: [email protected]