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Risks, benefits and disadvantages

of different organization structures among contractors in the virtual teaming agreement environment

 

ADVISORY ARTICLE

By Stanimir N. Sotirov

Dublin, Ireland

 


 

            credit: pixabay 

ACE in Project Business Management [1]

Summary

The remote/virtual teams[2] become more and more popular workforce in the present time. Their part in the organization structure growing considerably over the last few years. This is also because of the increasing need for shared resources usage as well as the significant number of cross-corporate projects, different types of partnerships and outsourcing activities. To all this, we can add also the need for people with flexible work hours and different time zones.

To manage these teams is a big challenge. The presence in the team of members – cross countries, cross culture, cross time zones and mostly cross-organizations. Not to mention that this entire structure communicating virtually most of the time.

To have a successful management model, these teams need to be reviewed from the organization structure perspective. To look at the diversity of the teams, to point the possible issues and to define each person, each process and tools that can be used in the work process.

Looking closer to these issues and assignments, which are essential for the team performance, we need to define the followings:

  • Roles and responsibilities;
  • Communication;
  • Working, committed to the same goal;
  • Relationship management;
  • Objectives;

The challenges of performance can be various. From a single problem dealing and one-time decisions to a multiple project work environment with a complex issue and all this done by people who are never or just a few times met in “face-to-face”, sometimes even work in various organizations, managed via different online tools.

More…

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How to cite this article: Sotirov, S.N. (2020).  Risks, benefits and disadvantages of different organization structures among contractors in the virtual teaming agreement environment, PM World Journal, Vol. IX, Issue I, January.  Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/pmwj89-Jan2020-Sotirov-risks-benefits-different-organization-structures.pdf

 


 

About the Author

 


Stanimir Sotirov

Dublin, Ireland

 

 

 

 

Stanimir Sotirov, SFC™, ACE®, SSYB™, PMI® Member & Volunteer, is an Operations Director with more than ten years of experience supervising several teams in different countries. He can plan and maintain work schedules and update procedures and policies and has excellent organizational and managing abilities with critical thinking and key decision skills.  He can be contacted at stanimir@sotirov.cc

 

[1] This article is based on official Pilot Qualification Program “ACE – Approved Consultant/Educator for Project Business Management” by Oliver F. Lehmann, MSc., PMP (2019)

[2] remote/virtual team – a group of people who are not located in the same place and/or have different time zones and working hours and very often from a diverse culture.

 

 

 

The Added Value of Professional Development

 

ADVISORY ARTICLE

By Rami Kaibni
B.Eng , PfMP®, PMP®, PMI-(PBA®, RMP®, ACP®), CBAP®, AgilePM®, GPM-b™

Vancouver, BC, Canada

 


 

Over the past few years, I’ve heard so many different opinions, been through countless constructive debates and read so many different articles about what people think of professional development and certifications. Many do not see any added value in certifications while others have a totally different point of view, of which I am one of them.

The benefit is not in the certificate itself, but the journey to achieve the certificate and that, for me, is called Professional Development. We live in a rapidly evolving world where new information, methodologies, frameworks, ideas are spreading like fire in a wild bush so in my opinion, professional development, with or without a certificate, should be part of our commitment to the profession. It will help the individual grow on professional and personal levels; it will help that individual give back to the profession and help others grow as well.

A good example to relate to how the project management profession is evolving is looking at Medicine. Fifteen or Twenty years ago, most General Practitioners (GP’s) would diagnose and treat you for most cases without the need to refer you to a specialist unless it is really needed; but nowadays, you will find that the demand for specialists significantly increased with the complexity of diseases, changes in the human cells, changes in the environment and many other factors. The same goes for the Management field. In earlier days, there was no high demand for a portfolio or program manager, and a project manager could handle programs and portfolios. I am not saying that these days they can’t; of course they can, but with the increase in complexity and size of the portfolios, programs and projects, the demand for those specialities is increasing and in parallel the demand in other areas as well like stakeholder management and change management.

Some would argue that experience is what matters, but I beg to differ. Experience is important but knowledge is essential as well and the best recipe for success is a combination of both experience and knowledge. Knowledge can help you be creative, and experience can help you apply this creativity in real life.

Now that we’ve established the importance of Professional Development, let us think how to approach professional development from an Agile Mindset where practically, the candidate is the Agile Team (Customer, Scrum Master and Development Team all in one). As a customer or product owner, you’re looking at:

Step (1) – Value Maximizing, but what does this mean in this context? This simply means that the candidate has to inspect how and what type of professional development they can do in order to maximize and capitalize on their experience and portfolio within this competitive market. Yes, the Project Management world is a very competitive one.

What are the next steps?

More…

To read entire article, click here

 

How to cite this article: Kaibni, R. (2020).  The Added Value of Professional Development, PM World Journal, Vol. IX, Issue I, January.  Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/pmwj89-Jan2020-Kaibni-added-value-of-professional-development.pdf

 


 

About the Author

 


Rami Kaibni
B.Eng , PfMP®, PMP®, PMI-(PBA®, RMP®, ACP®), CBAP®, AgilePM®, GPM-b™      

Senior Projects and Development Manager
Canada / Palestine

 

Rami Kaibni is a Career Coach, Agile Trainer and a certified Senior Portfolio and Project Management Professional holding a bachelor’s degree in Structural Engineering and over 15 years of professional experience in Professional Development / Career Coaching, Portfolio/Program/Project Management, Construction Management, and Business Development.

Besides holding multiple certifications in Project Management (PfMP®, PMP®, PMI-RMP®, PMI-ACP®, PMI-SP®, PgMD Pro®, AgilePM®, GPM-b™, PSM II, LSSBB) and Business (PMI-PBA®, CBAP®), Rami is also a member of many global organizations of which some are: Project Management Institute (PMI) and Green Project Management (GPM)  in the United States, International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) in Canada, PMO Global Alliance, Agile Business Consortium in the UK, and the International Association of Project Managers (IAPM) in Germany as their Senior Official for Vancouver/Canada and Jordan areas.

Over the course of his career, he worked with highly reputable organizations and clients both nationally and internationally and have been deployed on high profile projects across Asia including the Gulf Region, Middle East, Shanghai/China and currently in Vancouver, Canada.

LinkedIn: https://ca.linkedin.com/in/rami-kaibni

ProjectManagement.com: https://www.projectmanagement.com/profile/ramikaibni/

 

 

Multigenerational Project Management

 

ADVISORY ARTICLE

By Alfonso Bucero, PMP, PMI Fellow

Madrid, Spain

 


 

1. Introduction

The workplace is in a demographic transition today. Dealing with different generations and working well with all of them understanding each other is a must. Four overlapping generations (Baby boomers, Gen X, Gen Y, Gen Z) can be distinguished. What is normal and used daily for people from one generation, maybe not the same thing for people from another. Different habits, behaviors, and even different skills come up to the game.

That situation has become more and more challenging for project managers today. Depicting a picture of the current workplace, some facts like quick technology evolution, uncertainty and complexity increase; more and more changes arise, and the business world is becoming more competitive. Then project managers need to sharp and tune their skills in managing successful projects and adding value to their performing organizations.

The purpose of this article is to describe my point of view and experiences about multigenerational project management. As a frequent business traveler, consultant, teacher, author, and project practitioner, I had the opportunity to work with different generations and cultures over the years. Every project manager needs to understand all those generations and facilitate them working together to manage successful projects for the benefit of the organization. In this article, it is covered how to understand, compare, motivate different generations, how to be aware of our changing environment and which are the PM challenges in our century.

2. Understanding generations

Project managers need to understand people and influence them to get successful results. To do that they need to develop the ability to listen to people. Learning key lessons about listening usually takes time. Let us share an example with you:

One common thing shared among our professional colleagues is that when project professionals try to sell project services to customers, they talk too much but they listen very little to them. However, in many situations, people are not conscious of that. People listen to themselves and are blind because of their enthusiasm.

Project professionals cannot succeed with others by dumping information on them. To help or have a positive impact on people, it is necessary to learn how to listen to them. No human being would listen to your talk if he didn’t know it was his turn next. Too many people approach communication that way, they are too busy waiting for their turn to listen to others. The ability to skilfully listen is one key to gaining influence with others. There are some suggestions to be a better listener:

  1. Pay attention to the other people words when they are speaking instead of trying to answer their questions
  2. Write notes to remember what the other people said
  3. Then prepare your answer, count from 1 to 5
  4. Answer quietly

More…

To read entire article, click here

 

How to cite this article: Bucero, A. (2020).  Multigenerational Project Management, PM World Journal, Vol. IX, Issue I, January.  Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/pmwj89-Jan2020-Bucero-multigenerational-project-management.pdf

 


 

About the Author

 


Alfonso Bucero

Madrid, Spain

 

 

 

Alfonso Bucero, MSc, CPS, 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 then nominated as a PMI EMEA Region 8 Component Mentor. Now he is a member of the PMIEF Engagement Committee. Alfonso has a Computer Science Engineering degree from Universidad Politécnica in Madrid and is studying for his Ph.D. in Project Management. He has 32 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, the PMI Fellow Award on October 22nd 2011 and the PMI Eric Jenett Excellence Award on October 28th, 2017.

Mr. Bucero can be contacted at alfonso.bucero@abucero.com.

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

 

 

Adding Value to Earned Value:

The PISA P (PI) Chart[1] for Monitoring Project Implementation

 

ADVISORY ARTICLE

By Dr Kenneth Smith

Hawaii, USA

 


 

This article is a companion-piece to a previous Journal article on Earned Value,[2] and introduces a new graphic for monitoring & reporting integrated project schedule and cost performance status.

Every pedestrian Project Manager knows there are nine (9) different combinations in which a project can be during implementation with respect to its work schedule and budget, four of which are good, four mixed (good & bad) and one bad; as depicted in the following chart:

But Project Management Professionals (PMP)® of PMI[3] and other organizations familiar with the Earned Value Methodology (EVM) know better!  Actually, thirteen (13) Schedule & Budget status combinations are possible.  Unless recognized the additional four can result in invalid cost performance assessments, reports, inappropriate recommendations, and executive management decisions which in turn trigger detrimental ‘vicious cycle’ actions that exacerbate the current situation.

These four (4) additional combination conditions are often unrecognized because rather than monitoring the budget and actual cost for the work performed – i.e. whether completed ahead or behind schedule — traditional financial management focuses its attention on the time-phased budget for accomplishing work.

If the project stays ‘on schedule’ during implementation, Figure 1 accurately depicts the situation.  However, in most other instances, the possibility of ‘False Positives’ or ‘False Negatives’ exists.  For instance, if project work is completed ahead of schedule, even if ‘on budget’ it will entail utilizing its budget earlier than scheduled.  Similarly, if project work is delayed, the likelihood is that the project should not yet have incurred the cost budgeted for its accomplishment.  These possibilities are depicted in Figure 2, below.

More…

To read entire article, click here

 

How to cite this article: Smith, K. (2019). Adding Value to Earned Value: The PISA P (PI) Chart for Monitoring Project Implementation, PM World Journal, Vol. VIII, Issue XI, December. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/pmwj88-Dec2019-Smith-adding-value-to-earned-value.pdf

 


 

About the Author


Dr. Kenneth Smith

Honolulu, Hawaii

 

 

 

Dr. Kenneth F. Smith has been a project management consultant for ADB, the World Bank, and USAID for decades. He earned his DPA (Doctor of Public Administration) from the George Mason University (GMU) in Virginia and his MS from Massachusetts Institute of Technology/MIT (Systems Analysis Fellow, Center for Advanced Engineering Study). A long-time member of the Project Management Institute (PMI) and IPMA-USA, Dr. Smith is a Certified Project Management Professional (PMP®) and a member of the PMI®-Honolulu Chapter.

Ken is the author of Project Management PRAXIS: A Treasure Trove of Practical Innovations to Classic Tools and Techniques for Planning, Monitoring & Evaluating Projects, Programs and Portfolios for “Quick and Easy” application by Project Management Practitioners.  (Available from Amazon)

Dr. Smith can be contacted at kenfsmith@aol.com

 

[1] PISA PI: Project Implementation Status Altimeter   Performance Indicator Chart

[2] Smith, K. F. (2019). Understanding & Applying Earned Value: A ‘Quick & Easy’ Approach for Monitoring Project Implementation, PM World Journal, Vol. VIII, Issue V, June.

[3] The international Project Management Institute (PMI)®

 

 

The importance of adopting a loving attitude

towards stakeholders

 

ADVISORY ARTICLE

By Dr. Bruno Roque Cignacco

United Kingdom

 


 

In the business environment, love is commonly seen as a feeling totally alien to the cultures of most organisations. Some renowned authors have even observed that love could undermine important business variables or Key Performance Indicators (e.g., productivity, quality levels, competitiveness, efficiency, etc.). Most companies focus on improving these indicators, instead of centring on love. It is important to pinpoint that these indicators are always the result of the interactions of an organisation and its internal and external stakeholders.

Therefore, when a company adopts a loving attitude toward its stakeholders, these indicators tend to improve naturally. An organisation with a loving attitude develops continuous goodwill and mutually beneficial relationships with all its relevant stakeholders; this company is more likely to succeed in the business arena.

Stakeholders are individuals and organisations with an interest in the company; they can be external (e.g., suppliers, intermediaries, competitors, communities, media, government, etc.) or internal (management and the rest of the employees). All stakeholders have their distinctive objectives and agendas. A company which develops beneficial relationships with its stakeholders is more likely to be supported by them when needed. When a company acts in a considerate manner with stakeholders, they tend to respond in a reciprocal manner.

In order to strengthen its bonds with its stakeholders, an organisation should identify their distinct needs and expectations in order to cater for them in the most effective way. Some specific tools (e.g., meetings, open telephone lines, emails, surveys, focus groups, etc.) can be used to discover stakeholders’ specific interests. A company should always take into account stakeholders’ unique needs when it develops its strategies and makes relevant business decisions. When a company continually cares for its stakeholders, its public image tends to improve significantly.

When a company adopts a loving attitude, all its activities (e.g., buying, selling, developing, and launching new products, etc.) are based on the development of mutually beneficial relationships with internal and external stakeholders. Strong relationships with stakeholders are always a relevant source of power, which gives an organisation an edge in the marketplace.

More…

To read entire article, click here

 

How to cite this article: Cignacco, B.R. (2019).  The importance of adopting a loving attitude towards stakeholders, PM World Journal, Vol. VIII, Issue X, November. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/pmwj87-Nov2019-Cignacco-importance-of-loving-attitude-toward-stakeholders.pdf

 


 

About the Author


Bruno Roque Cignacco, PhD

United Kingdom

 

 

 

Dr Bruno Roque Cignacco, PhD is an international business consultant, international speaker and business coach. For over 20 years, he has advised and trained hundreds of companies on international trade activities and international marketing. He is a university lecturer. He is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA – UK). He is also the author of business and personal development books published in different languages. His websites  are www.humanorientedenterprise.com and www.brunocignacco.com

 

 

Risk Management

A critical link in Project Success

 

ADVISORY ARTICLE

By Hareshchandra M. Thakur, PMP

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

Mumbai, India

 


 

ABSTRACT

Today, the global boundaries are fast diffusing and one cannot operate in isolation. Fast-paced changes brought about by the disruptive technologies have also contributed to the risks. The dynamic environment clubbed with the uncertainty in the global economy has forced us to look beyond the conventional methods to stay in control and prevent risks from adversely impacting the projects. We all need to accept the fact that the business activities today are no longer mutually exclusive but intertwined and interdependent. Above all, the activities and the tasks, we perform, are associated with higher risks than ever before.

The paper is based on the observations and discussions with the Project Managers (PMs) and other Stakeholders. It attempts to highlight the risks associated with the projects and aims to help the Project Management Fraternity to relate with these factors, generate higher awareness and enhance their success rate.  To promote better understanding by co-relating with the risks associated with the construction projects, the paper dwells with the major risks one encounters while setting up a Power Project. The basic objective of the paper is to help Project teams in staying focused and initiate timely corrective steps to prevent an adverse impact on the project.

Key Words:  Risks, Project Success, Stakeholders, Owners, Contractors, Project Teams

BACKGROUND

Organizations often have strong and high performing project teams delivering results and achieving project objectives. Such organizations have a success rate of over 95% and yet, failure of the one-off project completely sets-off these margins. This is intriguing and forces us to probe as to WHY the project failed and HOW do we prevent such project failure which not only nullifies the efforts by the other project teams but also erodes the profitability of the entire organization.

Most of the studies have pointed out that often, the project failure is not attributed to lack of competences and skills but relates to a lack of application of the Risk Management. We may have the best processes and plans in place, but at times, even the most experienced project team members tend to underrate the prudence of Risk Management. To add to the foes, the fast-paced technological innovations have created higher awareness and resulted in higher expectations and ever-changing taste of the stakeholders.

Accept the RISKS and be ready for the Rewards!!!

OBJECTIVE

Normal mindset associated with the word “Risk” is that we tend to look at the downside and 99% of the time, we usually perceive Risk as something dreadful, something bad is going to happen, dangerous etc. We need to remember that at times, the opportunities come disguised in the form of the risks.  Moreover, Storms are known to produce good sailors, here too risky projects are known to mold and shape the Project Managers as good professionals.

The Project teams are often driven by project pressures to complete the projects within the triple constraints of Cost, Quality & Time and the team members tend to overlook the associated risks during the project phases. Most pertinent questions which help us to reach the root cause of the project failure are enlisted below.

Based on our experience, although, we may have covered key Risks in the article below, the Risks highlighted below should serve as food for thought and is not a checklist. Also, as mentioned above, the overall aim is to help project teams to clearly identify the key factors and/or combination of the factors that lead to project failure. The factors can be broadly categorized into five areas –

More…

To read entire article, click here

 

How to cite this article: Thakur, H.M. (2019).  Risk Management – A critical link in Project Success, PM World Journal, Vol. VIII, Issue X, November. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/pmwj87-Nov2019-Thakur-risk-management-a-critical-link-in-project-success.pdf

 


 

About the Author


Hareshchandra M Thakur

Mumbai, India

 

 

 

Hareshchandra M Thakur is a professional in the Power Sector with over 35 years’ experience in setting up of multiple Power Plants in Nuclear, Oil & Gas sectors in India and abroad. Presently, he is working as Associate Vice President, Project Management, Energy Business with Wartsila India Pvt. Ltd. Hareshchandra has held various positions in Financial Management and Project Management with Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd., Wartsila Finland Oy and Wartsila India Pvt. Ltd.

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

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

 

 

Common Misconceptions about Agile

 

ADVISORY ARTICLE

By Ajay Shenoy

Bangalore, India

 


 

Summary

Most software companies claim to have implemented agile methodologies. However, there are some common pitfalls and myths about agile. Many Software development teams think they are agile. They would have been working in small iterations and would have ranked a backlog with product teams to build a workable solution at end of the iteration. Many teams believe implementing Scrum is agile or implementing Scrum Ceremonies/Agile Artifacts is being Agile

Here are some common myths about agile below which I have seen about agile.

People think Scrum is agile

People often think scrum and agile are the same thing as scrum is around continuous development, which is one of the core principle of agile. Scrum is a framework and whereas agile is a mindset. Agile software development refers to group of software development methodologies based on iterative development where requirements and solutions are progressively evolved through collaboration between self-organizing cross-functional teams. Agile development refers to any development process, which is aligned with the concepts of the Agile Manifesto. The Agile manifesto was written in 2001 by seventeen independent-minded software practinoners.

Being Agile Doesn’t Mean there is No Plan

Being agile is a goal toward every day. Too many waterfall projects failed because they did too much planning and likewise agile projects failed because they had less planning.

Yes, Agile Projects fail when they don’t plan. And yes, Agile Projects need a plan.

Now by planning, I do not mean a spreadsheet document with 500 rows with tasks and dependencies, baselines and status of each with start and end dates. Agile projects start with lesser upfront planning and we progressively plan as we uncover more information. However, we would start with ballpark solutions with plan and estimates. However, none of the plan will be a refined plan like what we would have in waterfall project. This means we stay flexible when we are confronted with challenges, and we embrace and adapt to the change and we are open to new ideas and solutions. We are flexible, but this does not mean we do not have a plan.

Reporting Agile projects through waterfall mechanism

Agile expects senior leaders and sponsors to spend more time on the project than off it. This means to spend time in sprint planning sessions, to ensure the requirements are understood, attending them tells to ensure what is being delivered to meet expectations and regular touch base with the team to provide continuous feedback.

More…

To read entire article, click here

 

How to cite this article: Shenoy, A. (2019).  Common Misconceptions about Agile, PM World Journal, Vol. VIII, Issue X, November.  Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/pmwj87-Nov2019-Shenoy-common-misconceptions-about-agile.pdf

 


 

About the Author


Ajay Shenoy

Bangalore, India

 

 

 

Ajay Shenoy, a certified Scrum Professional and Agile Coach, has been involved in Technology Solutioning since 2007. He started working as a Solution Engineer and slowly incorporated into a technical program manager. He is a Certified Scrum Professional and has good knowledge on Prince2, Agile, Lean, Scrum, Kanban and SAFe frameworks. Along with expertise in Project management, he has deep interest in Technology side. With these skills, Ajay can help people understand process as well as Agile. Ajay has a perfect blend of project management with technical skills and business acumen.

Ajay started his Agile journey in 2012, as part of engineering teams. He practiced scrum and other agile frameworks in delivering successful products within limited time frames. Ajay is proficient in Engineering practices such as Scrum, Lean Software development, and Kanban and has designed several solutions and market rollouts working with product/services companies. He believes in following key agile practices like Just In Time, Value Stream mapping, Refactoring, Improving lead and cycle time.

He single handedly built a group comprised of 700 employees with different skills/roles. He indulges in several meets/ conferences and sharing knowledge on public platforms like linkedIn with reference to Agile. Ajay has coached/trained several teams in different organizations; he was part of an agile team to improve an existing framework.

He has a Master’s degree in IT & Finance and is currently based out of Bangalore.

You can reach him on his email @ shenoyajay82@yahoo.com.

 

Estimating Realistic Activity Times

A Critical Pseudoscience Problem and Workaround Solution

 

ADVISORY ARTICLE

By Dr. Kenneth F. Smith

Hawaii, USA

 


 

ABSTRACT

This article highlights a flaw underlying the traditional “PERT” approach for estimating project activity durations and proposes a workaround solution.

THE PROBLEM

Estimating activity durations and scheduling project delivery and completion dates is particularly critical for both Contractors with Firm Fixed Price (FFP) contracts, as well as Clients/Donors awarding Cost Plus Fixed or Incentive Fee (CPFF & CPIF) -type contracts.

However, the difficulty of developing realistic time estimates has been pinpointed by participants in my project management seminars as one of their major concerns.   Experienced project managers unanimously acknowledge that — for one, or more, reasons – planned schedules were typically under-estimated.  Even those using the standard “PERT” formulas to estimate activity & project duration said that in practice both the “Most Likely” and the subsequently-calculated “Earliest Expected” times were unrealistic; being significantly over-optimistic!

As a bit of background, the Program Evaluation & Review Technique (PERT) is a statistical probability-based time-estimating technique of the Critical Path Method (CPM) — introduced in the late 1950’s — with which I became acquainted in the early 1960’s when I was a management intern on the U.S. Navy’s Polaris Project.  Today, PERT is a standard tool, incorporated into some scheduling software for use when there is uncertainty with individual activity time duration estimates.  [Not incidentally, when visiting Pearl Harbor with some of my grandkids a few years ago, I was shocked to see a Polaris Missile on exhibit as a museum piece near the entrance to the visitors’ center!]

The PERT formula for estimating an activity duration is: te = ( Opt + 4M + Pess ) / 6

Where: 

te     = earliest expected time estimate, i.e. a weighted average or “mean” of the range of possibilities

Opt    = optimistic time estimate

M      = most likely time estimate

Pess   = pessimistic time estimate

4        = a constant weight

6        = a constant divisor

For example, where:        Opt = 3;   M= 7 and    Pess = 23:

 te   =  [3 + 4(7) + 23] / 6    =  [(3 + 28 + 23)] / 6    =  54 / 6    =    9

Although seemingly more statistically sophisticated than a simple 3 point ‘average’ estimate – i.e. an arithmetic mean — the fundamental flaw in using this formula to estimate an Activity (or activities, and the overall project schedule) duration is that — by definition — the resultant te is merely a weighted average.  Hence the probability for completing the Activity (activities, and/or project schedule) by the expected time is still only 50%.  In other words, if/when applied to project activity scheduling, the calculated Project Activity te duration is under-estimated at least half of the time. Consequently, from the outset, the odds of the resultant activity milestones – and, indeed, the overall project – being completed as planned are just 50 / 50 — a very high risk that the estimated schedule will be overrun.  In essence — despite giving more weight to the Most Likely estimate — this pseudoscientific approach to take probability into account in estimating activity durations is still no better than tossing a coin!

More…

To read entire article, click here

 

How to cite this article: Smith, K.F. (2019).  Estimating Realistic Activity Times: A Critical Pseudoscience Problem and Workaround Solution, PM World Journal, Vol. VIII, Issue IX, October. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/pmwj86-Oct2019-Smith-estimating-realistic-activity-times.pdf

 


 

About the Author


Dr. Kenneth Smith

Honolulu, Hawaii

 

 

 Dr. Kenneth F. Smith has been a project management consultant for ADB, the World Bank, and USAID for decades. He earned his DPA (Doctor of Public Administration) from the George Mason University (GMU) in Virginia and his MS from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT Systems Analysis Fellow, Center for Advanced Engineering Study). A long-time member of the Project Management Institute (PMI) and IPMA-USA, Dr. Smith is a Certified Project Management Professional (PMP®) and a member of the PMI®-Honolulu Chapter.

NOTE: Ken’s book — Project Management PRAXIS (available from Amazon) — includes many other innovative project management tools & techniques; and describes a “Toolkit” of related templates available directly from him at kenfsmith@aol.com.

 

 

How to enhance role and responsibilities of managers

in Head Office despite their projects being offshored to the Offshore Center

 

ADVISORY ARTICLE

By Vimal Kumar Khanna

New Delhi, India

 


 

A large number of global companies are running Offshore Centers in distant countries. These companies have augmented their project teams in their global Head Office (HO) with the Offshore Center teams. The projects are distributed across the Offshore Center and HO, with the Offshore Center managers and HO managers leading the project teams to deliver on the project objectives.

In the absence of an Offshore Center, the managers in HO manage large projects with large directly reporting team sizes in the HO. However, as the company starts its Offshore Center, it offshores some of these projects. As time progresses, more projects with larger team sizes are offshored because of the advantage of lower cost of executing projects in the Offshore Center.

Initially, the managers in HO directly control the Offshore Center project teams working on their globally distributed projects. As the project size and project team size increases, the Offshore Center components of these distributed projects are managed by local managers in the Offshore Center. Over a period of time, the Offshore Center teams and managers gain in expertise and experience in executing projects. The company then decides that some of its projects will be executed totally within the Offshore Center and will be independently managed by local managers in the Offshore Center.

However, giving more responsibilities to the Offshore Center managers may possibly dilute the authority and responsibilities of the HO managers. The HO managers end up managing much smaller teams in the HO. These HO managers feel that their authority and span of control over the teams has been significantly reduced. They start feeling insecure about slowly losing all their projects and all their authority to the Offshore Center management.

We suggest that these insecurities of the HO managers should be addressed by assigning them new and additional offshoring-related role and responsibilities. The suggested techniques can not only prevent dilution of the authority and responsibilities of the HO managers but can also make their role more critical to the company and can significantly enhance their contributions, even compared to the earlier role being played by them in the absence of the projects being offshored to the Offshore Center.

Let us consider the case of a global product development company with an Offshore Center. The product features are decided by the company’s Product Management team. The product management team interfaces with the key customers of the company to understand their pain-points and requirements, to decide the right set of features for the product. Since most of the key customers of the product are typically based in the country of the HO, the product management team is also based in the HO of the company.

Some components of the product are developed by executing independent projects in the Offshore Center that are managed totally by local managers. Although the Offshore Center manager of an independent project will have the management expertise and experience to deliver on it, it should be noted that the company’s product management team and key customers are still based in the HO.

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How to cite this article: Khanna, V.K. (2019).  How to enhance role and responsibilities of managers in Head Office despite their projects being offshored to the Offshore Center, PM World Journal, Vol. VIII, Issue IX, October. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/pmwj86-Oct2019-Khanna-how-to-enhance-role-and-responsibilities-of-head-office.pdf

 


 

About the Author


Vimal Kumar Khanna

New Delhi, India

 

 

 

Vimal Kumar Khanna is the Founder and Managing Director of mCalibre Technologies. He has more than 34 years of industry experience. He has won multiple international honors for his contributions to the management and technology domains – being listed in Marquis Who’s Who in the World and being Honorary Editor of IEEE Communications. He is the author of Amazon #1 Best Seller Book “Leading and Motivating Global Teams: Integrating Offshore Centers and the Head Office” published by CRC Press – USA (Taylor & Francis group). His sole-authored papers have been published in leading global refereed journals, magazines, and conferences. He is a frequent speaker at Project Management Institute (PMI) Global Congresses―North America, EMEA, and APAC. He is a frequent contributor to multiple PMI official global publications – PM Network and PMI E-Link.

 

 

The Digital PMO: Shifting Organizations

from Project base to product base organization

 

Article two in a three-part series

ADVISORY ARTICLE

By By Waffa Karkukly, PhD and Ian Laliberte, MBA

Ontario, Canada

 


 

Abstract

In the first article of this series, we focused on the need for PMOs to become digital to stay valuable for their organization and continue to improve and adopt industry trends; and to be more equipped to support their organizations’ digital transformations. We explored the PMOs landscape today and what is expected of them to do and not do to transition to digital and how the internal readiness and external readiness preparation play an essential role in ensuring success in digitalize themselves, and be ready for their organizations’ digital shift.  In this second article, we will explore what it means to be a product based and differentiate the areas of focus for a product based vs. a project-based organization.  We will step through the required elements for a successful transformation and explain the details for each of these elements. Further, leverage a specific organization transformation to share the challenges and benefits from a product-based model, and explore what changes the new model will make to ensure success, and what are the expected outcomes and measures.  Finally, the success of the new model relies on the orchestration of the various functions namely the EPMOs/PMOs and explain the reason they need to be re-invented, as well as the for a new oversight function to be setup to support the product-based organization in the digital landscape.

Key Words:  DPMO, DMO, Journey, Platform, Product-based, Project-based, Agile.

Introduction

Nearly two-thirds of CEOs and senior business executives already have a digital business transformation initiative underway at their organization. Some 90% of corporate leaders view digital business initiatives as a top priority, but 83% are not making any meaningful progress (5).

Organization differentiate themselves based on their business model, PMO is a business model that some organizations created to seek differentiation in the way they deliver products and services, or in the way they optimize on their strategic investments while maintaining the lights on for their operation.  The main problem that many organizations face today in the digital transformation is the operating model which impacts the PMO regardless of the PMO digital to gain the anticipated benefits.

In Deloitte’s most recent industry 4.0 reports, 48% of executives indicated that introducing new business models was one of the top five topics discussed most frequently within their organization, yet only half of those leaders consider themselves ready for new business model. The business model has become the basis of competitive differentiation in creating, delivering, and capturing value in the digital realm (2). According to the 2019 Gartner CIO Survey, enterprises are changing their business models and requesting help from the IT function to do so.  Forty-nine percent of the organizations surveyed reveal they experienced business model change, with 13% reporting they have already changed and 36% in the process of changing (5).

One of the most popular models that are on the rise is the product-based organization.   Businesses are making a model shift in becoming a product focus organization rather than a project focus organization for many reasons; one of the primary reasons is the digital disruption and what it means in delivery expectations. What does it mean to be a product-based organization?

More…

 

To read entire article, click here

 

How to cite this article: Karkukly, W. and Laliberte, I. (2019).  The Digital PMO: Shifting Organizations from Project base to product base organization, PM World Journal, Vol. VIII, Issue IX, October. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/pmwj86-Oct2019-Karkukly-Laliberte-the-digital-pmo-part2.pdf

 


 

About the Authors


Dr. Waffa Karkukly

Ontario, Canada

 

 

 

Dr. Waffa Karkukly, PhD, MIT, PMP, ACP, CMP has over 20 years’ experience in IT, and Project Management. Waffa has helped fortune 100, midsize, and small sized organizations improve their project management practices and PMO establishments through building scalable standards and proven solutions that improved their delivery process. She held many positions ranging from big 5 to small startups where she held the responsibility of managing IT strategy and operation; in her career progression she became head of PMO with titles ranging from director to VP, responsibilities ranging from $50 million to $1billion in Enterprise assets for global and international organizations.

Waffa is a strategist and change agent who had many organizations’ transformations in building agile organization culture and building CoE for IT organizations. Waffa teaches various beginners and advance project management and IT courses at various Ontario universities and colleges. She is a program and curriculum lead developer for variety of topics aligning education certificates with practical industry needs and trends.

Waffa holds a BSC in Information Systems from DePaul University, an MIT from Northwestern University, and a PhD from SKEMA School of Business. She is a Project Management Professional (PMP), Agile Certified Professional (ACP), and Change Management Practitioner (CMP) who is dedicated to improving the understanding and standards of project management practices especially in the Value proposition of Strategy execution via Portfolio Management and PMO.

Waffa is an active PMI member who has held various positions of Director of Communication for the PMO CoP and Regional communication coordinator for the PMOLIG. Waffa was one of the committee members that built the standards for PMI-OPM3. She is a volunteer and an Academic Reviewer for PMI’s academic paper proposals selection. She contributes often in project management publications and is a frequent speaker in project management chapters and forums.

Dr Karkukly can be contacted at karkuklyw@yahoo.com

 

 


Ian Laliberte

Ontario, Canada

 

 

Ian Laliberte, MBA, PMP, PRINCE2, is Vice President of Delivery Transformation, responsible for the TD’s strategy and transformation to ‘Agile Ways of working’. Ian joined TD in January 2014 as Vice President, Canadian Banking, Auto Finance and Wealth Management PMO and led the transformation of the project execution framework. In this role, he was responsible for managing the end-to-end delivery of the change portfolio for both business and technology initiatives.  From there, Ian then took on the role of Vice President of Delivery, Shared Services, where he was responsible for strategy, operating model and overall operations of IT for Canadian Banking and Wealth.

In over 20 years he has held senior positions leading business and IT transformation through turnaround, realignment and revitalization within international distribution, manufacturing, insurance (Life and GI) and banking industries.  Before joining TD, Ian held diverse Information technology, Project Management, and leadership roles at Canadian Bearings.  He has also held executive technology roles with Aviva Insurance, which included Change and IT Strategy, EPMO, Management Information & Analytics, and he has led Commercial Lines business transformation and the implementation of a business and operating model for Aviva’s Digital business.

Ian graduated from New York Institute of Technology with an MBA in Global Management. Ian’s leadership thinking has also been recognized as part of the top 50 thought-leaders in change excellence, and he has been published in 2014 Project Management Best Practices: Achieving Global Excellence – 3rd Ed (by Dr. Kerzner), collaborated in 2012 Managing the PMO Lifecycle, by Dr. Karkukly, and many other recent PMI article and publications on standards.

Ian can be contacted at ian.laliberte@sympatico.ca

 

 

 

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