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Support employees during challenging times

 

ADVISORY ARTICLE

By Dr. Bruno Roque Cignacco, SFHEA

United Kingdom

 


 

In relation to change affecting a company, most employees are comfortable with the status quo, and therefore they have a natural resistance to change. In the business environment, most of the time, changes are inevitable. These changes can affect different aspects of the organisation, for example, the way it is organised internally, its policies and procedures, the products they sell, the type of customers it serves, and the employees’ functions, among others.

When a company supports its employees on a continuous basis, they tend to feel more at ease when they perform their work tasks. Nonetheless, most employees tend to feel anxious when their company goes through challenging times. In some of these situations, employees tend to feel threatened, which prompts them respond to these factors in a defensive manner. Schein (2009) observed that employees’ fear can have different origins, for example, fear of losing their share of power, fear of being incompetent in the new scenario, etc. In these situations, employees are likely to become overwhelmed, which prevents them from tapping into their skills and talents.

Oftentimes these anxious employees become incapable of tackling challenging circumstances effectively. Goleman (1996) stated that anxious individuals’ cognitive functions become severely impaired, which affects their capacity to generate creative solutions to troublesome issues.

Sometimes, employees feel powerless and left to their own devices, as if they had to face these challenging situations on their own. Some tips for managers to take into account during challenging circumstances are:

◾ Some employees are very fearful of the negative effects of change affecting the company they work for. These employees must be thoroughly told the main aspects of change and the main reasons that justify it. In this way, employees’ uncertainty and apprehension regarding changing circumstances can be lowered.

◾ Angell and Rizkallah (2004) observed that during periods of change, managers should always avoid any communication vacuum, where employees do not know or understand what is going on in the organisation. Managers should provide subordinates with loving support and reassurance during turbulent times. Managers should show employees the potential implications of the changing circumstances, especially highlighting benefits that change will bring about for employees. Managers should be a sounding board for subordinates to navigate these changes confidently.

 

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Editor’s note: This is an excerpt from the book “The Art of Compassionate Business: Main Principles for the Human-Oriented Enterprise” (2019, Routledge). Link to the book: www.bit.ly/2MAkr4k 

How to cite this article: Cignacco, B. R. (2020).  Support employees during challenging times, PM World Journal, Vol. IX, Issue IV, April. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/pmwj92-Apr2020-Cignacco-support-employees-during-challenging-times.pdf

 


 

About the Author


Dr Bruno Roque Cignacco

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 and 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

 

 

Are incremental and iterative

the same phenomenon or not?

 

ADVISORY ARTICLE

By Henny Portman

The Netherlands

 


 

During training classes I often notice that students mix the words iterative and incremental together. After reading this article I hope you understand the relationship between incremental and iterative development. I will start with a comparison of a waterfall and an agile approach by delivering a payment app[1]. In the second part of this article, I position waterfall and agile in an incremental versus iterative matrix and shows what happens in the other two quadrants too. As a last step I elaborate on the minimum viable product (MVP) and the minimum marketable product (MMP) and shows where these fit in the different approaches and a story map[2].

The development of a payment app

Waterfall approach

If this app is developed according to a traditional waterfall approach, the following steps could be observed (see figure 1).

It all started with a project sponsor from the marketing department who was able to free up the necessary funds for this app. It was his assumption that the app will improve the retention figures and the inflow of new clients will grow. He visualized three high level function groups.

At a certain moment this project gets the approval to commence. A project manager is assigned, and a project team built. After many discussions and requirement gathering workshops there was an agreement to deliver a payment app with 250 features. All these features are recorded in an extensive and very detailed requirements document and signed by the project sponsor and customer representative (and some others).

In the next step the project team translates the requirements into a design for the app. The architect checks the design towards the design principles. He checks if all needed data attributes are available in the backend system too.

Figure 1: waterfall delivery of an app

We are now two months underway and the customer hasn’t seen anything working yet, only some progress reports. Probably some sort of ‘melon’ reporting[3] so they have no clue if the project is on track or not. It takes six months to develop the app and when that’s done the customer representative is asked to deliver some people who can help with a user acceptance test. During the test it becomes clear that several features are not working. The project team doesn’t understand why. It’s exactly what was described in the requirements document. Lots of discussions, rework, delays and customers who aren’t happy with the results. If we look at the final result, we can also notice that many of the developed requirements are not or rarely used[4] by the customer. It could even be worse. Suppose the development of the app took 1.5 year and another bank delivers a payment app when you are halfway. What would you do at that moment? Would you still have a viable business case to continue and finish your own app?

If you look at figure 1 it becomes clear that in case of a waterfall approach the scope and underlying quality criteria are fixed with a single delivery. All steps are performed once for the entire project and management control is focusing on cost and time. Value delivery to the customer only takes place after the deployment of the complete app.

Agile approach

If we develop the app in an agile way, we see the following pattern. The development team stated that they are able to deliver the first two features prioritized by the product owner (balance information and submit feedback) in the first iteration. The project team delivers every three weeks (sprint or timebox) an increment of the product. After the first deliveries or increments we see a customer who has confidence that the project will deliver. He/she already has a working app. He understands that not all features are there yet but what he has is working. Looking at the latest release and the provided features, he mentions a completely new feature. One that nobody had on his mind at the start of the project but a feature that can make his life as a customer much more productive. After every increment the customer feedback results in new features (not on the list) or adjustments of potential features and the product becomes more and more mature. Every time when the customer receives a new version you can see a happier customer.

 

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How to cite this article: Portman, H. (2020).  Are incremental and iterative the same phenomenon or not? PM World Journal, Vol. IX, Issue IV, April.  Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/pmwj92-Apr2020-Portman-are-incremental-and-iterative-the-same.pdf

 


 

About the Author


Henny Portman

The Netherlands

 

 

 

Henny Portman, a partner of HWP Consulting, has 40 years of experience in the project management domain. He was the thought leader within NN Group of the PMO domain and responsible for the introduction and application of the PMO methodologies (portfolio, programme and project management) across Europe and Asia. He trains, coaches and directs (senior) programme, project and portfolio managers and project sponsors and built several professional (PM(O) communities. He is an accredited P3O, PRINCE2, MSP, MoP, PRINCE2 Agile, AgilePM, AgilePgM and AgileSHIFT trainer and a SPC4 SAFe consultant and trainer too. He is a P3M3 trainer and assessor and PMO Value Ring Certified Consultant. In addition, Henny is international speaker and author of many articles and books in the PM(O) field and blogger (hennyportman.wordpress.com).  Henny can be contacted at henny.portman@hwpconsulting.nl .

 

[1] See YouTube for my mini webinar on this topic (Waterfall vs agile delivery): https://youtu.be/Ky4BUPEFq7Y

[2] See YouTube for my mini webinar on this topic (Incremental vs iterative): https://youtu.be/cWADcFyMX4w

[3] ‘Melon’ or better ‘watermelon’ reporting is a progress report with green indicator(s). In reality the green indicator is red inside.

[4] Standish Group research shows that 60% of the developed requirements are not or rarely used (https://www.standishgroup.com).

 

 

Expect the Unexpected

How to Manage the Hidden Costs of Upgrading Old Buildings

 

ADVISORY ARTICLE

By Nitin Gulati, MS, PMP

New York, USA

 


 

To remain operational, periodically buildings need to be upgraded. Changes to laws and building codes require renovations to remain in compliance. Structures deteriorate, fire alarm systems become outdated and ventilation units become inefficient. As technology progresses, sprinkler systems are upgraded, and once commonly used materials, like lead and asbestos, are found to be environmental hazards. While there are a variety of reasons to update an aging facility, these and other renovations come with unique challenges.

Upgrades can be divided into two camps: optional and mandatory. Optional upgrades improve the building’s function or aesthetics but are not required by any legal authority. Such improvements may include expanding a lobby or installing air conditioning.

Mandatory upgrades, on the other hand, carry a penalty for noncompliance. These changes are required by building codes or local regulations. For example, when New York City passed Local Law 26, it sparked a rush of retrofitting as businesses scrambled to comply. The law, passed in 2004, established retroactive safety requirements, including requiring business buildings 100 feet or taller to be fully protected by a sprinkler system. The city’s property owners had to install sprinklers in hundreds of buildings. The original plans for many of these buildings were long lost, leaving architects to guess what may be behind the walls.

Lay of the land

Missing or incomplete plans throw an extra wrench into the already complicated process of bidding on facility renovations. Contractors base their bids on original plans, feedback from facility managers and a site walk-through. Some problems, like lead or asbestos, are hidden, uncovered only once construction is under way. That puts contractors in a difficult position: they can’t bid what they can’t see.

Here’s another example. If a wall is opened as part of an optional upgrade and asbestos is discovered, the contractor can’t just ignore it and carry on with the original project. Asbestos remediation is mandatory. Once the problem is known to exist, legally, it must be addressed. What starts as an optional improvement may lead to a chain of mandatory upgrades.

Both the owner and contractor need to be prepared for such surprise situations and leave room for them in the budget. Contracts can be structured to allow contractors to submit invoices for actual costs plus a fee, usually up to a predetermined cap. These contracts can protect the owner from budget-blowing expenses and assure the contractor he or she will get paid.

 

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How to cite this article: Gulati, N. (2020).  Expect the Unexpected: How to Manage the Hidden Costs of Upgrading Old Buildings, PM World Journal, Vol. IX, Issue IV, April.  Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/pmwj92-Apr2020-Gulati-expect-the-unexpected-advisory.pdf

 


 

About the Author


Nitin Gulati

New York, USA

 

 

Nitin Gulati, PMP holds a master’s degree in construction engineering and project management from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Science in structural engineering from Michigan State University. He holds a project management professional (PMP) certification from the Project Management Institute (PMI). He has over 15 years of work experience in the design and construction industry and is currently working as a lead construction project manager. For more information, contact: littlengine@utexas.edu or call 517.944.4623.

 

 

How to Get the Job You Want

3 Keys to Success

 

ADVISORY ARTICLE

By Aina Aliieva

Vancouver, BC, Canada

 


 

The job search process was always annoying to me. I hated adjusting my resume all the time and write a new cover letter. It takes so much time! I tried to create a unique resume by listing all my skills in one place to describe all my experience briefly and just keep sending it to different job postings. This approach didn’t work well. I tried to figure out how to improve it and spend less time rewriting my resumes and cover letters until I realize a simple truth: I don’t know what I want.

  1. Know yourself

The job search might be very positive if you know what you want. But how to know this?

First, I listed all my skills and experience, volunteer work, certifications, blogs, education – everything might be related to my professional life. Then I started thinking about what types of jobs I am good at based on my experience. I did research looking at what job titles might need experience I already have.  It shouldn’t be a 100% match. I might need to expand my knowledge in some areas or have more years of experience but at least potentially it needs to be related to an experience I already have. After that instead of having one endless resume which matches all positions at once, I broke my list into 5 different resumes. Based on your personal experience you might have even more resumes. It is normal at this stage. The point is to identify your main areas of expertise and separate your experience. The recruiters will not dig into your endless resume trying to figure out how you can fit the firm. It is our job to make it clear for them. That’s why we need separate resumes. Don’t be afraid to skip some of your experience or certificates if it is unrelated to this specific position.

The next step I did is I wrote personal characteristics such as my temper, my values, what drives me, my ideal workplace and so on. Knowing my character and way of work helped me to understand that for example working for the government wouldn’t be the best option for me. This step helped me to narrow my search and keep just 3 resumes.

  1. Explore and work on feedback

Having in mind 3 different job positions, in my opinion, I might be good at I started exploring the market. I sent my resumes to all companies and recruiters I could found. The quantity has a meaning at this stage of the process. I had a table written in Exel where I had columns such as when I submitted my resume, what position, what company and if I had any feedback. You can use any other tool to keep tracking and any other titles for your columns.

This stage helped me to dig dipper into the responsibilities of each job offer, identify my knowledge gaps and what I need to learn. Also, it showed the interest from the other side. Which out of 3 resumes got more feedback and interview invitations, when I feel more excited during the screen calls, where I feel I can be a better fit.

So, at this moment I still explored myself based on the feedback from the others. After spending some time at this stage I understood what is the best position for me and left just ONE resume. I didn’t care about other job offerings anymore because I knew what position will be ideal for me and didn’t want to settle for less. I was ready to wait longer if needs but get what I really want because now I knew what it is.

Here are some questions you might have while reading my article:

 

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How to cite this article: Aliieva, A. (2020. How to Get the Job You Want – 3 Keys to Success, PM World Journal, Vol. IX, Issue IV, April. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/pmwj92-Apr2020-Aliieva-how-to-get-the-job-you-want.pdf

 


 

About the Author


Aina Aliieva

Vancouver, BC, Canada

 

 

Aina Aliieva is a Scrum Master with 4 years of experience in Project Management and 4 years in an Agile environment.  She is also CEO and instructor in Bee Agile Tutoring. She teaches Project Management, Agile and goal setting for organizations around the world. She has managed and consulted on projects for the technical, construction, and engineering disciplines.

Aina has a Masters’s degree in electrical engineering and an MBA in technology. She has PMP and PMI-ACP certificates.

Aina is an active member of PMI CWCC (Canadian West Coast Chapter), PMI Ukraine Chapter and UAE PMI. She is also a Program Manager, Disciplined Agile in PMI CWCC.

Aina is an experienced public speaker and coach. She also helps in personal planning and setting up goals.

In her free time, Aina participates in different mentorship programs, speaks at webinars and interviews people for her personal blog.

She can be contacted at https://www.linkedin.com/in/aina-aliieva/

 

 

Cultural Differences

Knowing the Nine Dimensions of Culture to Succeed in Project Management

 

ADVISORY ARTICLE

By Angelica Larios, MBA, PMP

Mexico City, Mexico

 


 

Introduction

In a world that always changes—one that has become globalized, interdependent of each nation economically, technically, socially, politically, and culturally—the need for leaders capable of facing challenges is growing every-day. We need leaders and project managers who are capable of understanding cultural and ideological differences, are respectful of different habits than their original environments, and are able to succeed in project goals. “In addition to fighting their own prejudice, leaders face the challenge of dealing with the prejudice of followers” (Northouse, 2013). Leaders need to be even more aware of the differences that can come from dealing with people from all around the globe. Project managers who are leading global projects need to be conscious of respecting their teams, customers, and stakeholders, with high esteem for their differences. In this article, we review the nine dimensions of culture, giving suggestions on how to benefit from these dimensions when we manage projects and teams with cultural differences.

What is the concept of global?

After several changes in our world following World War II—including processes, standardization, industrial development, expansion of our frontiers, and technological advances—the world has become closer than ever before. As Carr (2004) stated, “Most of us will recognize diversity in our work.” The global environment could either mean an extended project where resources are located practically everywhere, or a workplace that has contact with global resources. In this context, global leadership is defined as “the exercise of influence involving completely understanding important differences between people that affect the success of such influence” (Maranga & Sampayo, 2015).  Nowadays, more and more projects are developing broadly, and there are a lot of cases where leaders are physically located in long distances away from where the resources and customers are located. “Thus, it is generally understood that global leaders are required to work with people of other cultures as coworkers” (Maranga & Sampayo, 2015). A global leader or project manager should be aware of differences in others’ cultures, motivating beliefs, and fundamental behavior systems which could affect the outcome of their management style. In doing so, project managers could have better chances of success by identifying and learning about differences in culture among the participants of the project.

Cultural differences

When discussing project management practices in the global environment, we have to include culture differences, as the conceptualization of what a leader means differs from culture to culture.

In 1991, a research program was initiated by Robert House with the intention of reviewing cultural differences and leadership. Using this study, we can take a better approach in how to deal with preferences according to peoples’ origin. They defined nine cultural dimensions:

 

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Editor’s note: This article was first published on projectmanagement.com; it is included here with the Author’s permission.

How to cite this article: Larios, A. (2020).  Cultural Differences: Knowing the Nine Dimensions of Culture to Succeed in Project Management, PM World Journal, Vol. IX, Issue IV, April.  Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/pmwj92-Apr2020-Larios-cultural-difference-advisory.pdf

 


 

About the Author


Angelica Larios

Mexico City, Mexico

 

 

Angelica Larios, MBA, PMP, is a project manager with more than 20 years of experience in implementing software projects related to business intelligence, planning and budgeting, and financial consolidation solutions based on software applications to support the business decision process. She is the owner of ALACONTEC, an I.T. consulting company founded in Latin America. She has held several professional positions in private and public organizations, such as the Health Ministry in Mexico as I.T. director, and as a business manager for several firms in Mexico.

She holds a master’s degree in business administration and a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the National University of Mexico (UNAM). In addition to her studies in project management and her Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification, which have helped her to consolidate her career and have a better understanding of what businesses and projects need nowadays. She is a doctoral student in strategic leadership at Regent University, VA. She is a volunteer since 2007, starting in the local Mexico chapter, being Past President and in several positions within PMI (CMAG, BVAC) and currently serves on the Ethics Member Advisory Group (EMAG) that supports the PMI Global Operations (2018–2020).

Angelica can be contacted at angelica.larios@gmail.com

 

 

Renew or Die

 

ADVISORY ARTICLE

By Angelica Larios, MBA, PMP

Mexico City, Mexico

 


 

Introduction

Innovation is a common, frequent topic nowadays; however, it is not something new or exclusive to our time. Have you heard the phrase, “renew or die?” Well, this sentence was originated by the Spanish philosopher, essayer, novelist, and writer Miguel de Unamuno. Whose original expression was “progress consist in renewal,” at the debut of the XX century. People transformed the idea into common knowledge with the phrase “renew or die,” which is quite common to hear and understand at least in Spanish like “renovarse o morir.” Is that important the fact of not becoming obsolete? Is there a constant need for searching for new ways, new products, new services, new procedures, and so on? Well, it turns out that for many company’s innovations become everything.

Innovation implies the adoption of a new idea or behavior. Innovation can be put in place from different angles, such as technical innovations that include a new process and new products or services; or administrative changes, referring to new procedures, policies, and organizational forms. (Jiménez, 2011, p. 409). Innovation must become a consistent capability that is sustained over time (Phillips, 2012, p.xx).

The fact is that without innovation it is not possible to exist

Innovation brings many benefits to organizations such as

  1. becoming far more proactive rather than reactive;
  2. eliminate much firefighting;
  3. causing other firms to react to your new product, service, and business model;
  4. employees who are more engaged and who use a broader set of tools and techniques to accomplish strategic goals;
  5. deeper capabilities to define and achieve strategic objectives;
  6. increase revenues and profits while retaining efficient cost management;
  7. sustained market differentiation and favorable media and press coverage;
  8. increased ability to leverage internal knowledge and external partnerships. (Phillips, 2012, p.xxi).

 

  1. Enemies of Innovation

Innovation is not always welcome inside the organization; it can be seen as the enemy to beat. Innovation could be a threat to the business as usual, and it is understandable after all, it has taken time, effort, organization and process to keep business stable, why do we want to change status quo?

Bureaucracy, business as usual, and standard operating models will do what it takes to defend business as usual furiously. Who or what are the enemies of innovation?

Routine or Business as Usual

As it has been mentioned, Business as Usual and many implemented methodologies oriented to keep operations running in known standards of efficiency are quite hesitant to innovate and change the status quo. Six Sigma, Lean, and other methods are used to improve operations and refined existing process and products which goes against innovation. According to Phillips (2012), “ever-increasing focus on efficiency creates an innovation trap: the more efficient business, as usual, becomes, the more the firm seeks to protect and isolate business, as usual, leading to less and less innovation.” (p.20).

Innovation, to exist, needs to disrupt the current operational model, which does not like to take risk, change, or uncertainty, that is the reason why business, as usual, does not feel comfortable with innovation.

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How to cite this article: Larios, A. (2020).  Renew or Die, PM World Journal, Vol. IX, Issue III, March. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/pmwj91-Mar2020-Larios-renew-or-die-advisory.pdf

 


 

About the Author

 


Angelica Larios

Mexico City, Mexico

 

 

Angelica Larios, MBA, PMP, is a project manager with more than 20 years of experience in implementing software projects related to business intelligence, planning and budgeting, and financial consolidation solutions based on software applications to support the business decision process. She is the owner of ALACONTEC, an I.T. consulting company founded in Latin America. She has held several professional positions in private and public organizations, such as the Health Ministry in Mexico as I.T. director, and as a business manager for several firms in Mexico.

She holds a master’s degree in business administration and a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the National University of Mexico (UNAM). In addition to her studies in project management and her Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification, which have helped her to consolidate her career and have a better understanding of what businesses and projects need nowadays. She is a doctoral student in strategic leadership at Regent University, VA. She is a volunteer since 2007, starting in the local Mexico chapter, being Past President and in several positions within PMI (CMAG, BVAC) and currently serves on the Ethics Member Advisory Group (EMAG) that supports the PMI Global Operations (2018–2020).

Angelica can be contacted at angelica.larios@gmail.com

 

 

What to do if you are behind schedule

 

ADVISORY ARTICLE

By Yury Shkoda

New York, USA

 


 

When you are managing a project, you do your best to complete it within budget and on schedule. However, sometimes things turn in a different direction and suddenly you realize that you are behind schedule. A project manager myself, I know that it’s not the best discovery and the first time it happens to you, you panic.

The thing is, it’s important to focus and remember that there are different strategies how a project manager can deal with this problem. Actually, there are two ways a project manager can compress the schedule: fast-tracking and crashing. Each of them has its advantages and disadvantages. The project manager has to assess the situation and choose what’s best for each particular case.

What I learned from my personal experience is that crashing should be used as a last resort, when other options have been considered first. Crashing is a technique when resources are added to the project. One of the biggest disadvantages of crashing is that it will have effect on costs. Obviously, if you involve additional people to finish the project, you will have additional costs. Also, additional team members will considerably increase the number of communication channels. Crashing may have unexpected change of events in case the new resources are not familiar with the subject. The additional resources might be over-qualified and this would lead to conflicts within the team.

Fast-tracking has its own flaws that must be taken into account when choosing the most appropriate compression technique for the project. This technique means performing the activities in parallel, when they were originally planned to be performed one after the other. It doesn’t involve any costs; however, it increases risks because activities now being performed in parallel may lead to rework or rearrangement of the project. And, reworking can lead to even more time loss.

Even though, as I said, I would first consider using fast-tracking, I can give you a real example of when crashing was a better option for my project.

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How to cite this article: Shkoda, Y. (2020).  What to do if you are behind schedule, PM World Journal, Vol. IX, Issue II, February.  Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/pmwj90-Feb2020-Shkoda-what-to-do-if-behind-schedule-advisory.pdf 

 


 

About the Author

 


Yury Shkoda, PMP

New York, USA

 

 

Yury Shkoda is a PMP from New York. He is a certified teacher and a developer. He has a Bachelor’s degree in web engineering and has managed multiple projects in different industries. His most recent personal project is a website to prepare users for PMI’s PMP exam. It has multiple PMP sample questions for practice.

He can be contacted at  info.erudicat@gmail.com

For more information, go to https://www.erudicat.com/project-manager-about

 

 

What is PI Planning?

Challenges of Remote PI Planning

 

ADVISORY ARTICLE

By Ajay Shenoy

Bangalore, India

 


 

Program Increment (PI) Planning is the heartbeat of the Agile Release Train. Or, perhaps more accurately, it lays down the tracks for the train to make sure all the train cars go in the same direction. Large-scale SAFe development is a finely tuned machine that must be maintained.

Scaling Agile across teams helps organizations deliver larger, more complex outcomes by coordinating workstreams.

PI (Program Increment) Planning is the key event in encouraging true agile behavior in SAFe®.

It is a whole team event where the whole program – the set of smaller agile teams working closely together as a single team-of-teams – come together in a big room (hence it is often referred to as Big Room Planning) to agree a plan for the next 8 – 12 weeks. The goal of the event is to create alignment, encourage collaboration, enable self-organization, eliminate waste and exploit the synergy between the teams.

It is the beating heart of the agile release train and any SAFe® implementation.

Why is PI Planning Important?

Program Increment (PI) is one of the most critical part for successful PI delivery. If PI planning is not done properly due to any reason like insufficient backlog, or improper grooming, the whole PI will be chaotic and full of challenges.

Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) helps development teams tackle the challenges of coordinating multiple teams, processes, and programs to deliver a unified product.

The Agile Release Train (ART) is the core of all the teams working together for a common goal. In very large enterprises, there may be two or more trains working together, and that is why every eight to 12 weeks the teams need to step back and make sure they are still working toward the business goals and the overall vision.

PI Planning is scheduled at the beginning of each Program Increment and after the Inspect & Adapt Iteration. Although some companies may start the PI Planning event with the Inspect & Adapt meeting, that is not the focus of this article. The outcomes of the Inspect & Adapt event should be a part of the content of the PI Planning going forward. These items become action items for the next Program Iteration.

Steps of PI Planning

PI Planning normally lasts for two days which involves many ceremonies. Complete two-day agenda is defined to include the following

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How to cite this article: Shenoy, A. (2020).  What is PI Planning? Challenges of Remote PI Planning, PM World Journal, Vol. IX, Issue II, February.  Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/pmwj90-Feb2020-Shenoy-challenges-of-PI-planning-in-agile-advisory.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.

To view other works by this author, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at https://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/ajay-shenoy/

 

 

How I learned to stop worrying and love risk

 

ADVISORY ARTICLE

By Sachin Melwani

United Kingdom

 


 

Let’s face it, the world is a more complicated and scary place nowadays. The very real possibility of terrorist attack – both physical and virtual – has increased, and with it comes different kinds of ‘what if’ questions that should be asked: For example what if a virus invades our computer system and corrupts the data held? A critical consideration in the analysis of the risks and their possible controls is the duration of the impact and how long could the interruption last or, more appropriately, how long can the company afford it to last?

Often IT Managers lack a framework to analyse a comprehensive business continuity plan which actually can work when required and actually adds value. The following seven-step contingency process can be used by a company to develop and maintain a viable contingency planning program for their IT systems:

  1. Develop the contingency planning policy statement
  2. Conduct the business impact analysis (BIA)
  3. Identify preventive controls
  4. Develop recovery strategies
  5. Develop an IT contingency plan
  6. Plan testing, training, and exercises
  7. Plan maintenance.

Of course that all sound’s very straight-forward but it is difficult to know how to start. An IT Manager can hold a workshop and create long list of risks and tackle these in an incoherent manner. A risk management framework should be developed in advance of this risk identification. The following types of impact/categories of damage can be used to identify the effects of disruption and loss exposure:

  • Financial
  • Customers and suppliers
  • Public relations/credibility/reputation
  • Legal
  • Regulatory requirements/considerations
  • Operations
  • Competitive position
  • Personnel

The effects of these disruptions could be felt in terms of:

  • Loss of assets: key personnel, physical assets, information assets and intangible assets.
  • Disruption to the continuity of the service and operations
  • Violation of law/regulations
  • Public perception

To measure the extent of the effect the loss exposure could be determined quantitatively or qualitatively as per Table 1.

More…

To read entire article, click here

 

How to cite this article: Melwani, S. (2020).  How I learned to stop worrying and love risk, PM World Journal, Vol. IX, Issue II, February.  Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/pmwj90-Feb2020-Melwani-how-i-learned-to-stop-worrying-and-love-risk.pdf

 


 

About the Author

 


Sachin Melwani

United Kingdom

 

 

Sachin Melwani gets problems solved through his ‘disruptive creativity’. Leveraging his strong knowledge of ERP transformation from the Client, Prime Integrator and Tier Supplier perspectives, through DADA he now aims to bring genuine innovation to the traditional consultancy model by offering a unique “Consultancy as a Subscription” service.

He has over eighteen years’ experience in multiple industry sectors across Europe, Africa and the Middle East, involving both management of projects and implementing enterprise-wide project control systems, that deliver authoritative and informed governance information to C-level management on P3M3, Earned Value Management & Project Planning methodologies.

As an AXELOS Consulting Partner, DADA helps companies on project controls setup, NEC4 contract administration, ERP systems integration (Ares PRISM, Deltek Cobra, Oracle, SAP), critical projects delivering to automating SharePoint business workflows.

DADA provides on-demand resourcing & flexible monthly plans to provides a unique, low-cost delivery model which combines both extra staffing and software tools. The advantage over a traditional consultancy is that DADA provides an economical and responsive way to support any project by offering a “Consulting Service at Contractor prices” through flexible monthly subscription packages.

Sachin can be contacted at sachin.melwani@big-dada.co.uk

Learn more about DADA at https://www.big-dada.co.uk/

 

 

Transformation Journey from Project based to product based Organization

The TD Journey

 

ADVISORY ARTICLE

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 explored what it means to be a product-based and differentiate the areas of focus for a product based vs. a project-based organization.  Further, provided the required elements for a successful transformation and explained the details for each of these elements. Leveraging an organization transformation journey to illustrate the challenges and benefits from a product-based model, and explored what changes the new model needs to implement 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 after they are re-invented, as well as propose a new oversight function to be setup to support the product-based organization in the digital landscape.

In this third and final article, the authors will showcase a case study of TD Bank and their journey in achieving success in transforming from a project-based organization to a product-based. We will explore the steps that TD’s leadership has taken through multiyear planning, delivering, and sustaining each stage of their evolution. The case will feature the drivers to the change, the components that changed and the components that remained, the outcome as results, successes, and challenges.  The final objective of sharing TDs journey is to allow organizations and individuals involved in Digital transformation, Product based transformation, the sustainability of Agile, and improving DevOps to reflect on their journeys and be more prepared to respond to continuously evolving ways of work imposed by clients, internal stakeholders, and competition.

Key Words:  Journey, Platform, Smart Funding, Spend Envelops, Practice Leadership, Digital, DMO,

About the Case Organization

As a top 10 North American bank, TD aims to stand out from its peers by having a differentiated brand – anchored in our proven business model, and rooted in a desire to give our customers, communities and colleagues the confidence to thrive in a changing world. The strategy focused on:

  • Deliver consistent earnings growth, underpinned by a strong risk culture
  • Centre everything we do on our vision, purpose, and shared commitments
  • Shape the future of banking in the digital age

TD’s shared commitments

  • Think like a customer; provide legendary experiences and trusted advice
  • Act like an owner; lead with integrity to drive business results and contribute to communities
  • Execute with speed and impact; only take risks we can understand and manage
  • Innovate with purpose; simplify the way we work
  • Develop our colleagues; embrace diversity and respect one another

TD Bank Group has gradually phased in a new way of working transforming the organization to focus on products and customers vs. projects. As a result a new way of looking at product-based funding, resourcing, and governance to allow teams to continue delivery and allow business functions seeing work end-to-end.

More…

To read entire article, click here

 

How to cite this article: Karkukly, W. and Laliberte, I. (2020).  Transformation Journey from Project based to product based Organization.  The TD Journey, PM World Journal, Vol. IX, Issue II, February.  Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/pmwj90-Feb2020-Karkukly-Laliberte-from-projrect-to-product-based-organization-the-td-journey.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 PMOCoP 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.

 

 


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.

Waffa and Ian can be contacted at ask.ian.waffa@gmail.com

 

 

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