Archives for January2013


Thomas Juli – Project Management and Zen

Zen and the art of time management

 

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Does time control you or do you control it? Is there never enough time and do some people have more of it than others? Will life be past before you have realised how to use time to balance your working life and your ‘free’ life.

At the recent PMI UK Chapter Synergy 2012 conference Dr Thomas Juli, laid out 10 pointers from the school of Zen that can help you achieve balance in your life and in your projects.

The first point was to do with identity. Knowing who you are is vital in a world where many feel a cog in a very large gearbox.  Having an identity in your private world will help you stand in your public world, in your project and in your organization. It will help you prioritise when managing time. Knowing who you are will help you know what is important to you. In addition, knowing what your strengths are and accepting yourself will give you the confidence to survive in a world (and potentially a project) full of conflict.

His second point was about having vision. This is not about project objectives but the vision that provides the real underlying motivation for what you are doing. He challenged his audience by asking if they had an MVP? M for motivation – do you know why this is being done? V for vision – do you know what the ideal solution will look like? P for project – do you know how the vision will be delivered? He encouraged the use of the 5 ‘whys?’ Asking the question ‘why’ until the answer is revealed. Understanding this will again help with prioritising and managing time effectively.

His third point concerned simplicity. As a key Zen principle, it is important not to make things too ‘simple’ but also not to make them over complex. Try explaining the vision, the project and the task in ways that an ‘outsider’ can grasp. Managing time is integral with understanding what is to achieved.

An important fourth point was the important of having a timeline or a plan. The wise man sees the mountain he wants to climb but knows he needs a pathway and provisions to get to the top. The wise man also knows that most deaths on the mountain occur on the way down and needs to plan the way back as well. Time is relative and must be used wisely. Plan in personal time, team time, review time or it will not happen. Managing time is about managing all aspects of life.

He also covered elements that can help in managing time such as overcoming angst, hierarchy versus individualism and motivation. These principles can underpin behavior and change practice for the better and ultimately lead to more successful projects, better team work and happier individuals.

Found this talk and more keynote speakers presentation on The PM Channel to sharpen your project management skills. Available on the Development Package for £149/year.

Patrick Beauvillard – Leadership

Leaders, when are you gonna make your revolution?

Recently interviewed by The PM Channel Patrick Beauvillard is talking about the leadership revolution.

Today’s decision makers are facing two growing aspirations in their teams: teammates all want to be part of the decision-making process and they commit to the project if it offers significant value for them. Whether you are the executive of a company, a senior project manager, or the elected representative of a community, you will have to operate a “leadership turnaround” in order to meet these expectations. New management tools are required, but more important, new leadership behaviors and approaches.  Patrick Beauvillard first explains what is causing this need for change. It then describe three case studies showing how this “leadership turnaround” was applied to making decisions otherwise, involving people otherwise and creating meaning otherwise, using multiple approaches such as sociocracy and appreciative inquiry. The primary mission of tomorrow’s leaders is changing. The name of the game is now to help people grow and give the best of themselves.

Patrick Beauvillard is co-founder of Inovane, a company that assists people and organizations to imagine, design and implement their plans for a brighter future.  He also teaches project management in business schools. Patrick is involved in his community and is an elected member of the Aquitaine Regional Parliament, dealing with innovation, industry and agriculture. Prior to founding Inovane, he spent 15 years in project management in the semiconductor industry, in Europe, Asia and the United Sates. His background led him to a strong belief: beyond tools and technologies, methods and processes, managing a project requires first to care about people.

Watch Patrick Beauvilard’s interview by The PM Channel at the recent IPMA World Congress:

Found more interviews available on The PM Channel – on demand project management training and development for £149/year. (CPD Log)

The PM Channel has been appointed media partner for EVA18

The PM Channel is pleased to announced that it has been appointed media partner for EVA 18 Project Control .

The annual EVA conference is considered to be one of the best for personal development and networking. Originally dealing with earned value, it now embraces all aspects of project control: toolset and mindset. You don’t have to be an earned value specialist to derive benefit from this event. The EVA conference is also noted for new and original presentations from practitioners you are unlikely to have seen and heard before.

Attendees are middle to senior professionals with interests in project management generally, project controls and earned value specifically. Defence, aerospace, construction, utilities, transport nuclear, FMCG, retail, insurance, banking and IT are represented sectors.

Last year EVA 17 attracted good feedback for content networking and business leads in continued tough times and attracted 150 participants over three days.

This year EVA 18 Project Control  conference will take place on  Tuesday 11 and Wednesday 12  June 2013 at the Armourers Hall in London and it will allows you to earn 8 CPD hours a day. The Armourers Hall is a spectacular and comfortable venue. It is well positioned for travel into London.  The dinner will once again be held in candlelight from magnificent chandeliers.

An  Earned Value Introductory Workshop with Steve Wake, will take place before the conference on Monday 10 June 2013  and will enable participants to earn 6 CPD hours.

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The PM Channel will be recording the conference and the talks will be available after the conference on The PM Channel.

For more information about EVA 18 and bookings, go to:  http://www.projectcontrolsonline.com/EVA18ProjectControls.aspx

 

Stakeholder management and the Olympics – Dame Tessa Jowell

A key part of project management is the art of recognising functional relationships and successfully managing them. At the recent PMI UK Chapter Synergy 2012 conference Dame Tessa Jowell, Minister for the 2012 London Olympics, emphasised how important it is to set and agree clear project expectations and manage them while keeping the stakeholders onboard.

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She compared the London Olympics with the building of what is now the O2 Arena, formally the Millennium Dome. The Dome was on time and within budget but judged a failure by the majority. Why was this? She suggested that endless meddling by key stakeholders (namely the politicians), constantly changing scope and above all an ambiguous objective of which nobody could agree.

She also drew on lessons from the construction of the new Wembley stadium. This suffered from a lack of good stakeholder management, contractual problems and was often driven by negative press headlines that involved the project’s lateness, it’s overspend and the competence of the people in charge.

Drawing on the lessons from these and other previous projects it was important that the Olympics could not be micro managed by civil servants (who initially wanted to sign off every contract over £12m) or be delivered by committee. It was clear that an empowered team of ‘believers’ was put in charge who would deliver the games in a non partisan way. She quoted Henry S Truman as saying “it’s remarkable what a small group of people can achieve if they do not mind who gets the credit.”  She described the team as ‘porous’ working across and beyond the normal boundaries.

With time being immoveable and a budget that was fixed, she explained how important it was to get stakeholder agreement and buy-in. The scope was visited at every stage to ensure that the project was under control. Stakeholder confidence was crucial and alliances had to built on all sides and at all levels. She talked about the challenge of managing the government’s expectations of the Olympics at cabinet level and how that they were ultimately the absolute guarantor they did not have total control and responsibility for the project.

Building a strong team is one thing, but managing your stakeholders so that they feel part of a wider team is a key success factor in any complex project such as the Olympics. Sharing the vision is a vital part of stakeholder management. She gave some interesting examples of managing stakeholders ‘under the radar’.

Things will go wrong and it is then that strong leadership is required. Resilience to the brickbats that will inevitably come and building confidence in the team and the wider stakeholders is a key part of good leadership. You have to keep on believing in the vision and share that belief.

Stakeholder management and the Olympics by Dame Tessa Jowell is available on the Development package for £149/year on The PM Channel.  CPD Log available.

Lord Digby Jones – Projects, a changing world and leadership.

Projects, a changing world and leadership.

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The world is changing. The western nations are giving way in growth terms to new emerging economies such as China and India. The wealth line that once moved west now is shifting eastwards and the expectations of millions of people is rising. At the recent PMI UK Chapter Synergy 2012 conference Lord Digby Jones, an active crossbencher in the House of Lords and a powerhouse leader for British Industry described growing up in a family of humble origins whose aspirations stretched beyond the norms of the time. He described how this is now being repeated in developing nations and their hunger for growth and what the wealthy nations have is unprecedented.

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How that growth will be managed, the demand for greater democracy and the pollution that our Lord Digby Jones asked where the emerging markets will turn to buy their goods. He answered by saying that while he hoped they would buy Mini’s from Oxford, Phones from Vodafone in Newbury and fly in an Airbus made in the UK and Europe they will only buy from the west if we invest in projects, large and small, that will equip us for the next 100 years.industrial revolution produced are the challenges that lay ahead. These challenges will need to be met with strong leadership and project led change.

To do that, he said, would require 3 things:
One: Leadership to invest in projects in the public and private sector. He suggested that lack of money is not the problem. He gave examples of how other European nations have invested in large infrastructure projects and have done so efficiently and effectively. What we need is not more consultations and inquiries but action. This needs political will and vision led leadership.

Two: Better training for middle management. This will lead to greater efficiency and higher production. He traced the failure in this area right back to a failure in our education system where after 11 years of compulsory, free, full–time education 20% of the adult population in the UK functionally illiterate. The UK needs to lead the world not trail behind. He cited examples of France and Germany in how to train middle management to get maximum productivity. Leadership in education and training is a key priority.

 

Three: Leadership at project management levels. This is an area where we can all play our part. Each one of us can inspire or discourage. In our projects and in our daily lives we have the capacity to lead others and influence the way they think and behave. He gave some moving examples of leadership drawing on his experience in the Royal Navy.

Lord Digby Jones’s talk at the PMI UK Chapter Synergy 2012 conference is available on the development package for £149/year on The PM Channel.

Watch Lord Digby Jone’s talk on The PM Channel!

 

Project management exam readiness

Are you ready for your project management exam?

The PM Channel, in partnership with Provek’s proven online assessment tools, offers you the possibility to test your readiness for taking your project management exam.

Whatever exam you are preparing for we have the readiness test for you!

For each qualification course on The PM Channel, you can find a specific test aligned with the qualification syllabus to see if you are ready to pass the exam.  On completion of the test you will receive a short report which will advise you as to whether you are likely to pass the exam or not, and your current level of knowledge.

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APM Introductory certificate exam readiness:  This assessment comprises  40 questions and takes approximately 30 minutes.

APM Risk Management assessment:  This will help you measure your knowledge of risk management.  The assessment will take around 20 minutes to complete.

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PRINCE2 Foundation exam readiness:  The assessment comprises 10 PRINCE2 style questions and will take approximately 10 minutes.

PRINCE2 Practitioner exam readiness: This assessment takes approximately 15 minutes and comprises objective test questions similar to those used in the exam..

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PMI PMP exam readiness: This assessment takes approximately 40 minutes. This PMP exam readiness assessment will present you with a set of 35 questions. Following completion you will receive a report that gives your overall score and a breakdown into the PM BoK process areas.

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APMP course: test your readiness with the PMA5 Lite: This assessment takes approximately 30 minutes. This online assessment tool has been undertaken by over 8,000 programme and project management.  It also helps you to decide which APM qualification is the most suitable for you.

For more information about all our qualifications, please go to The PM Channel or contact us by email enquiries@thepmchannel.com or by telephone +44 1635 524610.

PMI PMP training on The PM Channel

PMI PMP training course joined the Qualification Package on The PM Channel.

 

PMI-PMP

PMI PMP preparation workshop, designed by PCMi, to help students to earn the PMP examination certificate by preparing them to pass the PMP exam.

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This workshop is divided onto 18 modules and offers 35h of study.

The objective of the course are:

  • To provide a broad base of information, aligned to the PMBOK Guide to enable students to be prepare to take the PMP Examination.
  • To develop an understanding of when and how to use recognised tools and techniques on projects.
  • To develop an understanding of specific PMI definitions and terminology.
  • To gain an understanding of the PMP examination format and typical question styles.
  • To develop a study plan for passing the PMP examination.
  • To satisfy the 35 hour formal project management training requirement for future professional certification with PMI.

Discover how to:

  • Gain exposure and awareness of the broad range of project management terms used within the workplace and  the PMP exam.
  • Understand existing project management knowledge and where further study is required prior to undertaking the PMP exam.
  • Know the effort required in order to pass the PMP exam.

PMP modules on The PM Channel:

Session 1: Introduction
Session 2: Project Management Framework
Session 3: Project Lifecycle & Organisation
Session 4: Project Management Process Groups
Session 5: Initiating Process Group
Session 6: Planning Process Group
Session 7: Project Scope Management Planning
Session 8: Project Time Management Planning
Session 9: Project Cost Management Planning
Session 10: Project Quality Management Planning
Session 11: Project Human Resource and Communication Planning
Session 12: Project Risk Management Planning
Session 13: Procurement Planning
Session 14: Executing Process Group
Session 15: Monitoring and Controlling Process Group
Session 16: Earned Value Management
Session 17: Closing Process Group
Session 18: Personal Study Plan

Recommended further reading:

A guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK®), Fourth Edition.

The Qualifications Package is available for £149/year on The PM Channel. It gives you access to the 6 major project management courses ( APM IC, APMP, APM Risk Management Level 1, PRINCE2 Foundation and Practionner, PMI PMP)

Watch the presentation of PMI Project Management Professional certification:

 

Cultural Differences in Project Management

Cultural differences in international project management are very important. A project manager who works aboard has to take these differences in consideration if he wants to succeed. Global project team are confronted with balancing Western project management practice with local business custom to deliver high-quality result.

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In an interview with The PM Channel, Bill Young recent past president of AIPM (Australian Institue of Project Management), who work and lives in China declare that “50% of joint-venture project between Western companies and Chinese companies fail”. Understanding cultural differences is one key to the success.

Cultural differences are perceived by an international project manager to be the biggest challenges in China. Additional problems relating to project management in China reflect poor quality, workers hiding problems from management; weak team ethic, corner-cutting, poor internal communication and inadequate involvement by middle management (Wong, 2008).

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Understand these cultural differences will help you to work around them and articulate the issues. Paul Hesselman advises to gather the maximum information about the culture of the country beforehand. That will help you to understand: what type of people you have to deal with and how people will react to you?

John Saee declares that communication and good relationship is very important especially in China. For Chinese people building a solid relationship in business and with the Chinese government is very important. That is why Western companies have to understand and work around cultural differences to be successful.

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But Bill Young also advises people to understand their own culture first and to get critical about it. He also gives three useful tips for a project manager who would like to work aboard:

  • Understand the business culture of the country. Every country has a different national culture and different ways of thinking about business.
  • Encourage project managers who work with a side partners to understand and respect these differences.
  •  Be careful with stereotypes, people have different ideas and perspectives.

The PM Channel interviewed three international experts about cultural differences (Bill Young, John Saee and Paul Hesselman), who share their own experience and give advise on how to work within a different culture.

Bill Young – Cultural Influences in Project Management

BILL-YOUNGBill Young who lives and works in China gives a candid account of the importance of cultural influences in projects and business. Western culture is very different to Chinese culture and you must get to understand how Chinese people think and work in business.  He also encourages people to start by being self critical of their own culture.  Bill concludes by giving three helpful tips to support the successful handling of cultural influences.

William Young PhD (Melb), MBA, M.Eng, B.Eng (Mech), CPPD, FIEAust, FAIPM. William has over 30 years’ experience in engineering, business, and project management. He has been responsible for a diverse range of process chemical and mining developments working across Australia / NZ, in Europe, Asia, North America, and Africa. He is the former President of the Australian Institute of Project Management (2007-2011), and current President of the Asia Pacific Federation of Project Management (apfpm). He is a member of IPMA’s Research Management Board, and is a ‘Global Advisor’ to the electronic PM World Journal.

Find this and other great content on The PM Channel!

 

Meg Infiorati – Low-tech Project Management

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Meg Infiorati spent 5 years in Nepal and describes training people in project management who are completely unfamiliar with the concepts. Three key recommendations are given relating to language, participation and scope.

Meg Infiorati received her PhD in Organizational Psychology from Walden University in 2010 and her master’s certification from PMI in 2002. She recently returned from Nepal after 5 years. While in Nepal, Dr. Infiorati taught at Tribhuvan University and various junior colleges, as well as for organizations including the US Embassy, USAID, USIP and London Chamber of Commerce and Industry. She focused on project management, communication, leadership, conflict management, risk planning, and intercultural and interfaith project planning. She implemented a guide to basic project processes, translated into Nepali, now in use by various NGO partners and the Nepal All Religion Cooperation Committee.

This interview is available on The PM Channel.