David Hancock on wicked problems in project management

David Hancock was interviewed recently by The PM Channel.  He describes the different type of problems that a project may face and how knowing the difference between them is important to project managers especially in the concept phase.

Watch David Hancock explaining about these different types of problems on The PM Channel here.

Dr David Hancock is Head of Risk and the Project Services Functional Head for Transport for London with responsibility for the project services of the £15 billion capital portfolio of underground and surface transportation projects across London. He is an internationally renowned author and thought leader on risk management and was Director of Risk and Assurance for the London Development Agency under Ken Livingstone and Boris Johnson’s leadership. He was responsible for creating and delivering the risk management system for the successful £4.2bn Terminal 5 Project at Heathrow, considered industry leading in risk management and the Copenhagen Metro. He champions the case for rethinking project management as a social interaction rather than delivery through the application of process and developed the concept of Risk Leadership. He is a Fellow of the Association of Project Management, Chartered Engineer and a Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Personnel and Development, and was Public sector risk manager of the year in 2008.

David Hancock is the author of the bestselling book “Tame, Messy and Wicked Risk Leadership” published by Gower in 2011. He is a member of the programme committee for the Major Projects Association and a visiting Fellow at Cranfield University in their School of Management.

David Hancock also described how Heathrow T5 can be used as a case study in a second video for The PM Channel.

Richard Newton speaks to The PM Channel

Richard Newton formed Enixus after holding a variety of consultancy and line management roles, working for a wide selection of organisations across the world. Richard’s core expertise is managing the delivery of complex change. This is supported by knowledge of disciplines such as process design, organisation design and technology exploitation, and functionally specific delivery/development processes such as new product development, software development and consultancy engagement processes.   He has also had strategic and operational roles with significant headcount, budgetary and P&L responsibilities which also enables him to understand change from the perspective of sponsors and those impacted by change.

Richard contributed five pieces to The PM Channel on building high performing teams, developing capability, productive stakeholder relationships, optimising project learning and combining project and change management.

Building high performance teams

Richard highlights some of the challenges faced in building project teams and outlines the culture of a high performing team.  He describes the important practical steps that a project manager can take to select, build and encourage, sustain and disband a project team and gives a couple of examples.

Productive stakeholder relationships

Richard outlines the goal and benefits of productive stakeholder communities for a project and gives tips and hints on how to develop them on your project.  He describes two examples of the steps he took to deliver more productive stakeholder relationships.

Optimising project learning

Richard sets the scene regarding project learning and asks two questions about project reviews and creating a learning culture.

Building delivery capability

Richard outlines what delivery capability of projects is and how there are five key aspects that can be improved.

Combining project and change management

Richard answers three questions: what are the differences between project management and change management; what are the tips for approaching change projects; and, what do project managers need to know.

Susan de Sousa interviewed by The PM Channel

Susan de Sousa has over 13 years experience in project management, and has managed some of the most complex, high profile cutting edge deliveries within the mobile, broadcasting, gaming, new media and retail sectors. During this time she has managed numerous large infrastructure and software development projects and programmes successfully to budget and to deadlines. She has also consulted in the UK, Europe, US and Dubai.

Today she runs a project management consultancy whilst also finding the time to advise global clients on social media strategies and speaking at conferences and academic institutions. Susan is also the site editor of, the industry leading project management website.
Susan is a contributing Author to the People in Project Management Handbook and has recently had two project management books commissioned by Gower (Ashgate Publishing Group). Susan is a sought after international speaker and frequent contributor to both media & TV.

Recently interviewed by The PM Channel, Susan has produced some short videos on a number of different subjects.

Discover soon on The PM Channel Susan’s advice regarding the six documentation tasks that all project manager should be doing and the reasons why.

Susan who has been a programme manager many times, will give you five characteristics of a failed Programme Plan. For her, many Programme Manager’s still think like Project Managers and further have no clear idea of how to plan the big picture, rather than a discrete set of tasks. She will give you some tips and hints to help Programme Managers on this task.

Susan will also give you the characteristics of an impossible Project and gives you way to mitigate to allow impossible projects to be successfully delivered.
Discover her vision about legal project management and see if legal project management is the future delivery model for law firms?

Discover these exclusive videos and interviews soon on The PM Channel.

Hans Thamhain – The Importance of Collaboration

Dr. Hans Thamhain draws upon his study of 800 project professionals that shows project collaboration correlates strongly with overall project success. The human side in a project is the main cause of failure (PMI study). Human side is a critical function that seems to predict success or failure within a project. He describes the ingredients of collaboration as being trust, respect and credibility and explores what a project manager should do to foster better collaboration.

Exclusive interview from the 26th IPMA Word Congress.

Dr. Hans Thamhain is a Professor of Management and Director of MOT and Project Management Programs at Bentley University, Boston/Waltham.  Dr. Thamhain, held management positions with Verizon, General Electric and ITT, has written over seventy research papers and six professional reference books.  He received the IEEE Engineering Manager Award in 2001, PMI’s Distinguished Contribution Award in 1998 and PMI’s Research Achievement Award in 2006.  He is profiled in Marquis Who’s Who in America and certified as NPDP and PMP.

This interview of Dr Hans Thamhain is available on The PM Channel (Best Practice-Leadership) and available on the Development package £149/year.

Rodney Turner – Sustainability in Project Management


Rodney Turner describes how sustainability comprises the three pillars: environmental, social and economic and how important it is to get a balance between these 3 pillars.  He gives a couple of examples of the challenges of balancing these three pillars.

Rodney Turner is managing consultant at EuroProjex Ltd and Academic Director to the PhD in Project and Programme Management at SKEMA Business School, in Lille France. He is Adjunct Professor at the University of Technology Sydney, and the Kemmy Business School, Limerick. Rodney is the author or editor of sixteen books, and over 30 peer reviewed journal articles. He is editor of The International Journal of Project Management. He lectures on project management world-wide. Rodney is Vice President, Honorary Fellow and former chairman of the UK’s Association for Project Management, and former President and Chairman of the International Project Management Association. His research interests are leadership and human resource management in project-oriented organizations, the management of projects in SMEs, the success of complex projects, and governance, ethics and trust on projects.

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)

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.


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).


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.


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


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.


John Saee – Project Management in China

China is the world’s largest emerging economy and the most preferred destination of foreign direct investment (FDI) in recent years, China is driving contemporary global economy. As a consequence, most leading Multinational Corporations (MNCs) are increasingly setting up R&D operations in China (Li and Zhong, 2004). While China’s physical and technological infrastructure is increasingly transforming at lightning speed, but institutional and cultural realities are much slower to change, which presents huge challenges for project consultants, project managers and teams (Wong, 2008). In the interview with The PM Channel Dr John Saee describes the important characteristics of the Chinese culture and particularly on communication context.  He also explains why western method in Project Management is not applicable in China.

John-SaeeDuring the past 24 years, Professor Dr. John Saee has held senior line managerial and leadership roles in industry and academia internationally. Whereas, his academic leadership roles cover three continents – Australia, Asia and Europe including France, and Germany. Professor Dr. Saee has authored more than two hundred publications and fifty made up of books and research articles, which have been published by globally leading and respected publishing houses and refereed academic and professional journals and refereed international conference proceedings in Australia, Europe, Asia and the USA.

Watch Dr John Saee interview on The PM Channel – Online project management training and development.