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The Project Management Methodology to assist ZIMRA

 

COMMENTARY

By Tasiyana Siavhundu

Gweru, Zimbabwe

 


 

Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) is a quasi-governmental organisation whose four-fold mandate is to collect revenue, facilitate trade and travel, advise the government on fiscal and economic matters as well as protecting the civil society. Like any other organisation in the private or public sector, Zimbabwe’s revenue administrator can benefit substantially through embracing and fully implementing the project management methodology in its revenue administration and collection projects. The need to ensure synchronisation of projects and coordination of the implementation process resulted in ZIMRA establishing the Modernisation Projects Office (MPO) on 1 September 2011. ZIMRA’s current five-year strategic plan (running from 2019 to 20123) talks of the organisation’s adoption and application of international good practice project management principles to successfully implement its projects on time, within stated budget and scope.

Adopting a proper project management culture would undoubtedly assist the organisation in smoothly accomplishing its revenue generation endeavours especially at this point in time when the government is in dire need of funds to implement a plethora of national development projects meant to resuscitate dilapidated industries and restore the precarious economy to normalcy.

ZIMRA carries out a number of projects that inevitably require proper project management modalities and algorithms in their implementation. Such projects are found in various divisions of the organisation such as operations, ICT, finance and administration. Examples of projects that the organisation implement from time to time include ICT projects (e.g. installing software, servers etc.), construction projects (e.g. building staff dwellings, customs warehouses, office buildings etc.) as well as short to medium term revenue enhancement projects that are carried out by revenue officers on quarterly, semi-annual, annual or biennial basis.

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How to cite this article: Siavhundu, T. (2019). The Project Management Methodology to assist ZIMRA; PM World Journal, Vol. VIII, Issue IX, October.  Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/pmwj86-Oct2019-Siavhundu-project-management-methodology-to-assist-zimra.pdf

 


 

About the Author


Tasiyana Siavhundu

Gweru, Zimbabwe

 

 

 

Tasiyana Siavhundu is a member of the Project Management Zimbabwe (PMZ) with qualifications and experience in Project Management, Economics, Taxation as well as Investments and Portfolio Management. He is a holder of a B.Sc. Honours Degree in Economics, Master of Commerce Degree in Economics, Post-Graduate Diploma in Project Management, Executive Certificate in Investments and Portfolio Management, Advanced Certificate in Taxation as and many other qualifications.

Tasiyana has worked both in the private and public sectors in Zimbabwe. He is now employed as a Revenue Officer with the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) where he has been instrumental in economic research, revenue enhancement projects, taxpayer education, audits and so forth. He is very passionate about research work and has interests in the fields of Economics (particularly Public Economics), Project Management and Taxation.

Tasiyana Siavhundu can be contacted by email address: tsiavhundu@gmail.com

 

 

Should additional Project Management Knowledge Areas

and related project management processes be considered for inclusion in the PMBOK® Guide­ Seventh Edition?

 

COMMENTARY

By Martin Smit, PhD

South Africa

 


 

Background

The author is now in a new phase of his life after he had to exit employment with his employer when he reached the age of 65. It is thus an opportune time for the author to do some reflection after having had the privilege to gain excellent experience in organisational project management during a working career of some 45 years. The author obtained his PMP® in 1992 (#1071). At that time the PMBOK® Guide (i.e. A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge) had eight Project Management Knowledge Areas (Project Integration Management and Project Stakeholder Management were added later). In this opinion piece the author suggests that the Project Management Institute (PMI) Development and Review Team for the PMBOK® Guide­Seventh Edition should consider the possible inclusion of additional Project Management Knowledge Areas with their associated project management processes.

Keywords: project management knowledge areas; project management processes.

Project management processes and project Management Knowledge Areas

Project management processes

According to PMI (2017) project management is accomplished through the appropriate application and integration of logically grouped project management processes. PMI (2017) briefly describes a project management process as a systematic series of activities directed towards causing an end result where one or more inputs will be acted upon to create one or more outputs. PMI (2017) states that the project life cycle is managed by executing a series of project management activities known as project management processes. Every project management process produces one or more outputs from one or more inputs by using appropriate project management tools and techniques. The output can be a deliverable or an outcome which is an end result of a process. PMI (2017) mentions that these project management processes apply globally across industries and categorizes them by Project Management Knowledge Areas.

Project Management Knowledge Areas

PMI (2017) describes a Project Management Knowledge Area as an identified area of project management defined by its knowledge requirements and described in terms of its component processes, practices, inputs, outputs, tools and techniques. PMI (2017) clarifies that Project Management Knowledge Areas are fields or areas of specialization that are commonly employed when managing projects and that each Knowledge Area is a set of processes associated with a particular topic in project management. PMI (2017) mentions that the following ten Knowledge Areas are used on most projects most of the time:

  • Project Integration Management.
  • Project Scope Management.
  • Project Schedule Management.
  • Project Cost Management.
  • Project Quality Management.
  • Project Resource Management.
  • Project Communication Management.
  • Project Procurement Management.
  • Project Stakeholder Management.

Possible Additional Project Management Knowledge Areas

PMI (2017) clarifies that the needs of a specific project may require additional Knowledge Areas. The author is of the opinion that consideration should be given for the inclusion of additional Project Management Knowledge Areas during the development and review of the PMBOK® Guide­Seventh Edition as these Knowledge Areas are commonly used on most of the projects most of the time, for example:

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How to cite this article: Smit, M.J. (2019). Should additional Project Management Knowledge Areas and related project management processes be considered for inclusion in the PMBOK® Guide­ Seventh Edition? PM World Journal, Vol. VIII, Issue IX, October.  Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/pmwj86-Oct2019-Smit-additional-project-management-knowledge-areas-for-pmbok-guide.pdf

 


 

About the Author


Martin J Smit, PhD, PMP®

Johannesburg, South Africa

 

 

Martin Smit is semi-retired and is the owner of a sole proprietorship, OrgPM-Value, that provides portfolio-, program- and project management consulting, education and training services and products to help organizations to create sustainable business value. His career spanned some 45 years. He worked for Eskom, the electricity utility in South Africa, for 39 years where he held various management positions in construction-, outage-, maintenance-, and project/program- management. During the latter years Martin worked in the Eskom Project Management Office (EPMO) as a Project Management Specialist/Consultant/Advisor. He has extensive experience in the development and application of project-, program- and portfolio- management methodologies, processes and best practices. Martin is certified as a facilitator to conduct project definition readiness assessments. He is also certified to facilitate learning, conduct outcomes-based assessments and moderation. Martin has developed and presented various project- and outage- management training courses.

Martin holds a MSc (Management of Technology and Innovation) from the Da Vinci Institute in the domain of Project Management and a PhD in Engineering from the North-West University in the field of Development and Management Engineering. The title of his thesis was: “Development of a project portfolio management model for execution organizational strategies: A normative case study.” He also has qualifications in civil and mechanical engineering, information management, management, and maintenance practice. Martin is registered as a Project Management Professional (PMP®).

During his career Martin has presented at various national and international conferences and he has also published articles in international journals.

Martin can be contacted at martin.smit@vodamail.co.za.

 

 

Alexander and the Indian King – Part 5

 

COMMENTARY

By John Schlichter

Georgia, USA

 


 

Discernment

I knew there were challenges associated with PMI’s governance of OPM3 from the beginning, but I stuck with it, believing we could work those things out, and my firm benefited even though some significant issues were never resolved satisfactorily. OPM Experts received OPM3-related requests from all kinds of fascinating organizations. Some requests we responded to directly, e.g. the governments of Hong Kong, Kurdistan, and Saudi Arabia, and blue chip companies like IBM, Johnson & Johnson, and Microsoft. Others we passed along to partners or colleagues, e.g. the government of Iran asked us to use OPM3 to audit all of Iran’s energy projects, starting with its nuclear portfolio, which we passed on due to sanctions. We made powerful friends along the way and have served a “who’s who” list of amazing entities whom we have helped achieve dramatic results in terms of strategy implementation. I wrote vignettes about some of these engagements: AmanaBattelle, CARICOM, European Union’s External Action ServiceHarris CorporationJohnson & Johnson, Kurdistan Regional Government, Melco CrownMicrosoft, Northrop Grumman, Panasonic, Popular Financial, SAP, and Saudi Ministry of Interior. Overall, we had a good run with OPM3, and there is much more to come (though some stories may never be told), but OPM Experts moved on by creating a better model. We never wanted any conflict with PMI, whom we did our best to help create industry standards that would enable PMI to elevate the field of project management to the profession of project management.

My interest in these matters has evolved from OPM3’s apotheosis as I have cultivated empathy for the leaders involved in this narrative. Now I am more intrigued by the institutional logic of the profession than the conflicts of interest and specific instances of competition implied above. OPM Experts LLC is a firm of specialists, our place in our niche is secure, and if the Brightline brand was inspired by OPM Experts LLC we should be flattered (even if we were not acknowledged). However, OPM3’s fate and what followed beg questions that interest many: Where is PMI going? Who gains and who loses, and by which mechanisms of power? Is this development desirable? What, if anything, should we do about it? The logic that produced PMI’s decisions in the six episodes described above persists. Consequently, a schism appears to have emerged between those who envision PMI as a market specialist and those who envision PMI as a full-line generalist, i.e. two camps. There are those who believe PMI’s raison d’etre is to advocate the profession of most of its members (project managers) through standards, certifications, conferences, networking events, and educational materials. Full stop. There are others who believe PMI’s purpose is growth through expanding commercial endeavors, e.g. vertical integration, i.e. combining project management advocacy with strategy management advocacy in ways that make PMI look more and more like a strategy consulting firm. I am wary of people in the latter camp who rationalize their actions by suggesting it serves the former camp. Are you? We are faced with questions of phronesis that appear to some stakeholders all but lost to PMI’s leaders (especially leaders directly involved in these issues who dismiss these concerns with a wave of the hand). Has phronesis been lost to PMI executives in ways that have allowed a logic of instrumentality to trade PMI’s most noble aspirations for more pedestrian ambitions at society’s expense?

I will go on record as saying it is painfully clear to me the field of project management is not the profession of project management that it needs to be to meet the exponential future that is accelerating toward us. I have led countless assessments of Organizational Project Management in organizations of all kinds. One thing which has struck me is that so many of the organizations which have hired me to assess how capably they have implemented PMI standards have been organizations that fundamentally misunderstood the most important aspects of PMI’s standards. Organizations reap huge benefits by correcting those errors, but why were those errors made in the first place? Can we truly say that something is a standard if most organizations implementing it do so incorrectly? Then there is the question of certifications. If organizations comprised of professionals certified by PMI are implementing PMI standards incorrectly, what does that suggest about needing to improve the link between standards and certifications? More importantly, what do these things suggest about the opportunity to improve the efficacy of PMI’s standards and PMI’s certifications to help transform the field of project management into the profession of project management? Leaders interested in tackling that opportunity should consider the four freedoms essential to standards development (outlined above), and it may be helpful to debate whether PMI’s commercial interests have interfered with the standards development process. Could the American Medical Association create and arbitrate standards for America’s doctors if it engaged in the development of medical devices or the acquisition of hospitals? Could the American Bar Association create and arbitrate standards for America’s lawyers if it did any of the things that a law firm does or if it competed with companies the likes of LexisNexis or Amazon and proffered productivity tools or artificial intelligence products that changed the ways lawyers ply their trade? Doing so would surely alienate essential stakeholders and de-legitimatize the trade associations. In short, there are profound issues pertaining to codification of knowledge as standards and, by extension, profound issues pertaining to certifications, that merit any organization involved in such endeavors to seek root causes for those issues. Is commercialism a culprit?

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How to cite this article: Schlichter, J.  (2019). Alexander and the Indian King: Part 5; PM World Journal, Vol. VIII, Issue IX, October. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/pmwj86-Oct2019-Schlichter-Alexander-and-the-Indian-King-Part5.pdf

 


 

About the Author


John Schlichter

Atlanta, GA, USA

 

 

John Schlichter coined the term “Organizational Project Management” or “OPM,” which is the system for implementing the business strategy of an organization through projects. OPM became a global standard and is how companies throughout the world deliver projects valued in billions if not trillions of dollars. “John has contributed greatly to PMI,” Greg Balestrero, CEO, PMI Today, 2002. “In John’s role as the leader of PMI’s OPM3 program, he has immeasurably contributed to the growth of the profession,” Becky Winston, J.D., Chair of the Board of Directors, PMI Today, 2002. Having created OPM3© (an international standard in project, program, and portfolio management), John founded OPM Experts LLC, a firm delivering OPM solutions and a leading provider of maturity assessment services. Industry classifications: NAICS 541618 Other Management Consulting and NAICS 611430 Training. John is a member of the adjunct faculty of Emory University’s Goizueta Business School.

John can be contacted at jschlichter@opmexperts.com or frank.john.schlichter.iii@emory.edu.

To view more works by John Schlichter, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at https://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/john-schlichter/

 

 

New in Kind

The Post 9/11 World of Projects

 

COMMENTARY

By John Schlichter

Georgia, USA

 


 

It began as an ordinary day. Israel had surrounded another West Bank city. Michael Jordan was coming out of retirement for “love of the game.” Outside the weather was 72 degrees and sunny, but inside the headquarters of The Weather Channel (TWC) in Atlanta the mood turned dark before 9AM. Stacks of monitors at the international television network switched from images of complex weather systems to images of The World Trade Center in Manhattan as word spread that a plane had flown into one of the twin towers. Chaos unfolded on TV’s throughout TWC’s Information Technology department, where I was implementing a Project Management Office on behalf of the Chief Information Officer. Gasps erupted as a second plane appeared on banks of screens and crashed into Tower Two.

My phone rang with a call from the Project Management Institute to discuss the situation unfolding in New York. A number of people in cities throughout the world were scheduled to fly to my location in Atlanta for a meeting later that day to continue developing the OPM3 standard, work that I had conceived and proposed to PMI several years earlier and which I was leading on PMI’s behalf. No sooner had the members of our team decided not to fly than all US flights were grounded. The forecast had changed.

Seven years to the day after the Twin Towers fell on 9/11, accelerated computer-based trading caused a $550 billion draw-down of American money market accounts, nearly crippling the global economy in less than 24 hours. When the crisis hit historic projects like building the Hoover Dam ($78 million) and the Panama Canal ($790 million) were eclipsed by a $29.5 billion dollar bailout of Bear Sterns, followed by $97.2 billion for Bank of America, $97.4 billion for the American automobile industry, and $112 billion for AIG, which was almost as much as the $115 billion spent on the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe after World War II. This was followed by $139 billion for GE and $235 billion for Citigroup. Although the role of a healthy financial sector is to support the “real economy,” Americans began to wake up to the fact that the opposite had become the case with the tail wagging the dog (Figure 1).”

More…

 

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How to cite this article: Schlichter, J.  (2019). New in Kind: The Post 9/11 World of Projects; PM World Journal, Vol. VIII, Issue IX, October.  Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/pmwj86-Oct2019-Schlichter-new-in-kind-post-911-world-of-projects.pdf

 


 

About the Author


John Schlichter

Atlanta, GA, USA

 

 

John Schlichter coined the term “Organizational Project Management” or “OPM,” which is the system for implementing the business strategy of an organization through projects. OPM became a global standard and is how companies throughout the world deliver projects valued in billions if not trillions of dollars. “John has contributed greatly to PMI,” Greg Balestrero, CEO, PMI Today, 2002. “In John’s role as the leader of PMI’s OPM3 program, he has immeasurably contributed to the growth of the profession,” Becky Winston, J.D., Chair of the Board of Directors, PMI Today, 2002. Having created OPM3© (an international standard in project, program, and portfolio management), John founded OPM Experts LLC, a firm delivering OPM solutions and a leading provider of maturity assessment services. Industry classifications: NAICS 541618 Other Management Consulting and NAICS 611430 Training. John is a member of the adjunct faculty of Emory University’s Goizueta Business School.

John can be contacted at jschlichter@opmexperts.com or frank.john.schlichter.iii@emory.edu.

To view more works by John Schlichter, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at https://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/john-schlichter/

 

 

Required: A Roadmap

for the Achievement of a Successful and Sustainable Power Supply in Nigeria

 

COMMENTARY

By O. Chima Okereke, PhD

Nigeria & UK

 


 

Introduction

This is a roadmap that presents a path consisting of various power plants, transmission and distribution systems with suggested timelines for their establishment. It may contain fossil fuel powered plants, renewable energy sources for grid and minigrid operations. It should provide a guide to the country to achieve a successful and sustainable power supply.  The timelines could stretch into years and decades. The capacities of the plants, transmission and distribution systems, including the minigrids shall be specified. This, I submit, is what the country needs to enable concerted and directed investments for the establishment of a successful and sustainable power supply over time. It should be developed by a team of independent experts on the power supply industry.

This suggestion was triggered by the contrasting messages received from information on two investigative panels in the UK and Nigeria respectively, set up by the two governments, which were in the news in August 2019.  As one read the two accounts, one could see that the UK panel has been so constituted and briefed to achieve its defined and specified objective. In my assessment, the Nigerian power panel has not been structured or empowered to provide a solution to our perennial and intractable power supply problem.  A short description of the panels will bear out these points.

The UK panel is to investigate the HS2 railway linking about 21 destinations which include Birmingham, Birmingham airport, Carlisle, Chesterfield, Crewe, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Manchester airport, Newcastle, Old Oak Common in London, Oxenholme, Penrith, Preston, Sheffield, Warrington and York on a mixture of existing and new high-speed track. It has been set up by the government and constituted by independent experts. Its terms of reference confirm that it will look at whether and how HS2 should proceed, using all existing evidence on the project to consider:

  • its benefits and impacts
  • affordability and efficiency
  • deliverability and scope
  • its phasing, including its relationship with Northern Powerhouse Rail

The second panel is on power projects set up by the government of President Buhari to probe the $16 billion invested by former governments on the power projects. On 29th August, Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Nigerian law enforcement agency that investigates financial crimes, arrested four officers of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) on their probe of the $16 billion invested by former governments on the power projects. From this development, it appears that the probe is being conducted by the EFCC [1].

In the absence of any other terms of reference, we would quote the President who reportedly stated: “The previous government mentioned on their own that they spent $16bn on power but you are better witnesses than myself. Where is the power? Where is the money? We will follow them, eventually God willing, we will catch them and get our money back.” [2]

What could be inferred from the quoted statement is that the president and some others expected the $16 billion to be adequate to produce the national grid power supply. The resulting power should so serve the whole nation that everyone will “be witnesses” that the fund has been judiciously and properly invested.

In writing the foregoing statements, this writer has no moral right to question the president’s decision to institute a probe. Given his much-publicised mantra on anticorruption, it is his prerogative to choose what he does. However, if the objective is to alleviate and resolve the nation’s persistent grossly inadequate power problem which seems to defy solutions, we submit that producing a roadmap for achieving a successful and sustainable power supply should be the way forward.

More…

 

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How to cite this article: Okereke, O.C. (2019). Required: A Roadmap for the Achievement of a Successful and Sustainable Power Supply in Nigeria; PM World Journal, Vol. VIII, Issue IX, October. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/pmwj86-Oct2019-Okereke-roadmap-for-sustainable-power-supply-in-nigeria.pdf

 


 

About the Author


Chima Okereke, PhD, PMP

Herefordshire, UK

 

 

Dr. O. Chima Okereke, Ph.D., MBA, PMP is the Managing Director and CEO of Total Technology Consultants, Ltd., a project management consulting company working in West Africa and the UK.  He is a visiting professor, an industrial educator, a multidisciplinary project management professional, with over 25 years’ experience in oil and gas, steel and power generation industries. For example, On December 26th 2013, he completed an assignment as a visiting professor in project management; teaching a class of students on Master’s degree in project management in the Far Eastern Federal University, Vladivostok, Russia.  In August and September 2013, he conducted an innovative, and personally developed training programme for seventy six well engineers of Shell Nigeria to enhance the efficiency of their operations using project and operations management processes.

Before embarking on a career in consulting, he worked for thirteen years in industry rising to the position of a chief engineer with specialisation in industrial controls and instrumentation, electronics, electrical engineering and automation. During those 13 years, he worked on every aspect of projects of new industrial plants including design, construction and installation, commissioning, and engineering operation and maintenance in process industries.  Chima sponsored and founded the potential chapter of the Project Management Institute (PMI®) in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, acting as president from 2004 to 2010.

Dr. Okereke has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Lagos, and a PhD and Masters in Business Administration (MBA) degree from the University of Bradford in the UK.  He also has a PMP® certification from the Project Management Institute (PMI®) which he passed at first attempt.  He has been a registered engineer with COREN in Nigeria since 1983.  For many years, Total Technology has been a partner for Oracle Primavera Global Business Unit, a representative in Nigeria of Oracle University for training in Primavera project management courses, and a Gold Level member of Oracle Partner Network (OPN. He is a registered consultant with several UN agencies.  More information can be found at http://www.totaltechnologyconsultants.org/.

Chima is the publisher of Project Management Business Digest, a blog aimed at helping organizations use project management for business success.  Dr. Okereke is also an international editorial advisor for the PM World Journal. He can be contacted at chima.okereke@totaltechnologyconsultants.com   or info@totaltechnologyconsultants.org.

 To view other works by Chima Okereke, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at https://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/dr-o-chima-okereke/

 

 

Proper Reliance on Artificial Intelligence in Project Management

 

COMMENTARY

By Bob Prieto

Chairman & CEO
Strategic Program Management LLC

Florida, USA

 


 

There is a growing and proper interest in the deployment of artificial intelligence (AI) into the management of projects, especially large, complex projects. I have previously written about this[1] highlighting some of the limitations, cautions and transparency required while at the same time outlining the benefits available. I suggested that data looking at the broader project environment (stakeholder, regulatory, labor etc.) may provide even earlier insights given the propensity of large, complex projects to frequently be adversely impacted by external factors, outside the project team’s direct control.

In a subsequent paper[2] I highlighted some of the ethical challenges one may face in the proper use of AI. For projects these included clearly understanding the scope and limitations of training data and ensuring that the specific AI algorithms being deployed are appropriate to the use case at hand. Transparency, and arguably certified validation and verification processes, are essential to confident use of AI in predicting project trajectories and likely performance.

Many of the AI efforts aimed at project management today are focused on performance prediction stopping short of addressing its role in a changed project management system. This is the equivalent of a state of the art fire detection system that detects when a fire begins much earlier than traditional detectors, but stops there, without the balance of the “system” responding to assess the situation, suppress the fire, and confirm the fire is out removing other similar flash points.

Proper reliance on artificial intelligence in project management requires a comprehensive project management system encompassing:

  • Strong AI Predictive Tools, with known confidence levels at various time frames (Less confident prediction of failure early on but with a strengthening predictive confidence as more time lapses), including:
    • Transparent and robust AI algorithms, trained on known, relevant data sets and validated for intended use.
    • Knowledgeable deployment of validated AI to use cases verified to be consistent with the validated AI.
    • Recognition of AI limitations due to excluded data (external ecosystem data) and an assessment of the relevance of its consideration in the particular use case (project)
  • Effective and meaningful project reviews, undertaken regularly and using AI predictions to focus and strengthen the depth of project reviews and diagnosis. AI tells us the project has a “fever” but management, especially more senior levels of management with broader more holistic views, must seek the underlying causes and develop a treatment plan. I have previously written[3] about the adverse impacts from perfunctory or non-existent project reviews which are becoming all too common.
  • Decisive action not delayed by a defensive response to what the AI is saying but driven by the earliest diagnosis obtained from the now heightened regular project review process and any “deep-dive” review it may trigger. AI will produce “false positives” or maybe in this context the term “false negatives” may be more apt. Its ability to predict project success is not yet well established which may speak more to the nature of large, complex projects than artificial intelligence.

Even when the AI has made the right call, raising concerns on project performance and trajectory, initial diagnosis and treatment plans may evolve as more insight becomes available. The value of time[4], afforded by the AI’s predictive analytics, must not be lost.

More…

To read entire paper, click here

 

How to cite this paper: Prieto, R. (2019). Proper Reliance on Artificial Intelligence in Project Management; PM World Journal, Vol. VIII, Issue VIII, September. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/pmwj85-Sep2019-Prieto-proper-reliance-on-artificial-intelligence-for-project-management.pdf

 


 

About the Author


Bob Prieto

Chairman & CEO
Strategic Program Management LLC
Jupiter, Florida, USA

 

 

Bob Prieto is a senior executive effective in shaping and executing business strategy and a recognized leader within the infrastructure, engineering and construction industries. Currently Bob heads his own management consulting practice, Strategic Program Management LLC.  He previously served as a senior vice president of Fluor, one of the largest engineering and construction companies in the world. He focuses on the development and delivery of large, complex projects worldwide and consults with owners across all market sectors in the development of programmatic delivery strategies. He is author of nine books including “Strategic Program Management”, “The Giga Factor: Program Management in the Engineering and Construction Industry”, “Application of Life Cycle Analysis in the Capital Assets Industry”, “Capital Efficiency: Pull All the Levers” and, most recently, “Theory of Management of Large Complex Projects” published by the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) as well as over 600 other papers and presentations.

Bob is an Independent Member of the Shareholder Committee of Mott MacDonald. He is a member of the ASCE Industry Leaders Council, National Academy of Construction, a Fellow of the Construction Management Association of America and member of several university departmental and campus advisory boards. Bob served until 2006 as a U.S. presidential appointee to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Advisory Council (ABAC), working with U.S. and Asia-Pacific business leaders to shape the framework for trade and economic growth.  He had previously served as both as Chairman of the Engineering and Construction Governors of the World Economic Forum and co-chair of the infrastructure task force formed after September 11th by the New York City Chamber of Commerce. Previously, he served as Chairman at Parsons Brinckerhoff (PB) and a non-executive director of Cardn0 (ASX)

Bob can be contacted at rpstrategic@comcast.net.

 

[1] Prieto, B. (2019). Impacts of Artificial Intelligence on Management of Large Complex Projects. PM World Journal, Vol. VIII, Issue V, June; https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/pmwj82-Jun2019-Prieto-Impacts-of-Artificial-Intelligence-on-Management-of-Large-Complex-Projects.pdf

[2] Prieto, R. (2019). Artificial Intelligence Ethics in the Project Management and Civil Engineering Domains; PM World Journal, Vol. VIII, Issue VII, August. http://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/pmwj84-Aug2019-Prieto-artificial-intelligence-ethics-in-project-management-and-civil-engineering.pdf

[3] Prieto, R.; Management of Engineering in Design/Build; National Academy of Construction (NAC) Executive Insights; July 6, 2019; https://www.naocon.org/wp-content/uploads/Management-of-Engineering-in-Design-Build.pdf

[4] Prieto, B.; Perspective on the Cost of Delayed Decision Making in Large Project Execution; PM World Journal, Vol. III, Issue II–February 2014; https://www.researchgate.net/publication/271849910_Perspective_on_the_Cost_of_Delayed_Decision_Making_in_Large_Project_Execution

 

 

Outreach, Networking, Communicating – Oh My

But I Am An Introvert

 

COMMENTARY

By Rebecca Winston

Idaho, USA

 


 

The other day I was reading an article in one of my other professional journals, American Bar Association Journal, 1 Jul 2019, and came across an article by Heidi Brown, “Navigating ‘Introvert Hell”: You Don’t Have to be Hard-Charging to be an Impactful Legal Networker”.  It got me to thinking about the numerous social events I have attended as a project manager, as well as the other outreach events or other communication activities in which I have had to engage.  Just thinking about them caused some stress and by the time an hour passed, I needed to think about something and have a session of mindfulness to relax and send my stress into the ether.  I am an introvert and I need to recharge my batteries following any event or communication activity. I thought I would share what I have learned over several years of such events and activities, as well as practicing law and doing public speaking events.  I will also share that I learned some of these items through the school of hard knocks and road rash and others by reading and learning in the classic sense.

Most dictionaries define an introvert as a reserved or shy person.  The American Psychological Association defines an introvert, as one that as an orientation towards the internal private world of one’s self and one’s thoughts and feelings; prefer to work independently.  Whichever definition one accepts, the overall impression is one in which one is not adept at outreach, networking and communicating.  So how does one become adept or at least give the impression of being adept.

Well, growing up I can remember my Mother telling such gems as “Smile more, it will make it easier.” “Shoulders back and just do it, once you begin it will be fine.”  “Making friends will be easy, just start.”  None of those words of wisdom helped and each time I heard them they caused me to panic.

I ended up spending time in the public library in my town reading up on my weakness as it was referred to in my home.  I read about numerous coping skills, but one of them registered with me and I began thinking that I was doing it to some extent just to cope with life in general.

The book, the title of which I can no longer remember, recommended that one take a drama class and assume a bit of an alter ego.  For years I assumed the alter egos of pioneer girls or Nancy Drew from books I was reading, I would try that route.  I took three years of drama in high school and a year in college.  I have used this technique to great advantage.  I have been the lawyer or the project management.  These roles have been well defined by me with specifications and other requirements that provide several personality traits, allowing me to interact in a complete way with others and to communicate in those roles.

Do I still have to re-charge the batteries after any event?  Absolutely, acting is tough.  It is not the natural state for this person.  I have to continually remind myself of the performance requirements and boundaries.  But I have also put up boundaries for the interactions that protect the introvert.

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How to cite this article: Winston, R. (2019). Outreach, Networking, Communicating – Oh My! But I Am an Introvert; PM World Journal, Vol. VIII, Issue VIII, September. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/pmwj85-Sep2019-Winston-outreach-networking-communicating-oh-my.pdf

 


 

About the Author


Rebecca Winston, JD, PMI Fellow

Idaho, USA

 

 

 

Rebecca (Becky) Winston, Esq., JD, PMI Fellow, is a former Chair of the board of the Project Management Institute (PMI®). An experienced expert on the subject of project management (PM) in the fields of research & development (R&D), energy, environmental restoration and national security, she is well known throughout the United States and globally as a leader in the PM professional world.  Becky has over 30 years of experience in program and project management, primarily on programs funded by the US government.  She is a graduate of the University of Nebraska’s College of Law, Juris Doctorate (1980), in Lincoln, Nebraska and has a Bachelor’s of Science (BS) degree in Education from Nebraska Wesleyan University She is a licensed attorney in the states of Iowa and Nebraska, USA.

Active in PMI since 1993, Rebecca Winston helped pioneer PMI’s Specific Interest Groups (SIGs) in the nineties, including the Project Earth and Government SIGs, and was a founder and first co-chair of the Women in Project Management SIG. She served two terms on the PMI board of directors as director at large, Secretary Treasurer, Vice Chair (for two years), and Chair (2002). She was elected a PMI Fellow in 2005.  She has served as a reviewer of the Barrie Student paper for the PMI Educational Foundation for several years and now serves on the PMI Educational Foundation Board for a three-year period of service beginning in 2018.  She is also a member of the American Bar Association and the Association of Female Executives in the United States.

Ms. Winston periodically serves as an advisor to organizations such as the National Nuclear Security Administration (USA), U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on topics ranging from Program and Project Management to project reviews, risk management and vulnerability assessments. She served on the Air Force Studies Board for six years and currently serves on the Intelligence Science Technology Engineering Group for the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, as well as actively serving on many studies for the National Research Council.

Since 2008 she has also served in the capacity of Chair of the US Technical Advisory Group and Head of Delegation for Technical Committee 258:  Project, Programme, and Portfolio Management, as well as serving on the various Working and Study Groups drafting international guidance standards. She has extensive recent PM experience in the areas of software development and sustainment, cyber security, alternative energy, national defense and security, and has worked closely with local, regional and national officials, including Congress and the Pentagon.  She is also a global advisor to the PM World Journal and Library.

Becky can be contacted at rebeccawinston@yahoo.com.

 

 

Alexander and the Indian King: Part 4

 

COMMENTARY

By John Schlichter

Georgia, USA

 


 

Prudence

PMI’s decisions regarding OPM3’s Capability Statements and subsequent standards pertaining to OPM degraded PMI’s ability to achieve its purpose and set the stage for a new level of commercialism, which is explained in empathy episode #6, the culmination of all previous empathy episodes: the cru de ta. The episodes leading up to this one demonstrated PMI’s logic, which has conflated advocacy for project managers with expanding commercial endeavors associated with professional services for organizations that implement strategies through projects, e.g. ProductSuite and HSI. This conflation appears to have resulted in gaps between PMI’s current strategy and its execution, which PMI has not clarified adequately despite repeated requests for answers (which creates the risk of a fallacy of ambiguity, reification, or hypostatization). I have tried and failed repeatedly to obtain answers from PMI that would mitigate this risk.

My firm, OPM Experts LLC, abandoned OPM3 when PMI bought HSI, and we developed a proprietary model to replace OPM3, which is the Strategy Implementation Maturity Protocol for Learning Enterprises (SIMPLE®). From the first day OPM Experts began marketing SIMPLE® in 2016, the firm has used the image of a maze with a vivid red arrow cutting through it as the only image to brand the offering (Figure 4). Soon thereafter, despite the PMI BOD’s apparent strategy to pivot away from organizational consulting and back to helping individual practitioners of project management demonstrate their professionalism individually, PMI launched a marketing campaign in the latter part of 2017 called the “Brightline Initiative” designed to “generate interest in and demand for project management capability within organizations.” PMI’s Brightline website emphasized “smart simplicity” as a key principle of its campaign and used the image of a maze with a bright line cutting through it to convey this idea.

Indeed, Brightline’s lead consultant narrated a video rendering of a bright arrow cutting through a maze to bridge the gap between strategy design and execution, emphasizing the word “Brightline” in punctuated plosives suggesting the “Brightline” brand’s derivation from an image of this vivid arrow cutting through a maze. In effect, OPM Experts LLC, widely known for having led the creation of OPM3 and for being a leading provider of maturity assessments and capability development programs pertaining to bridging the gap between strategy design and strategy execution, created an alternative to OPM3 that emphasizes simplifying strategy implementation in smart ways and branded that with a bright line cutting through a maze, and immediately thereafter, PMI did precisely the same thing. I know great minds think alike, but naturally I had some concerns.

Figure 4: Before PMI created Brightline and began marketing the need to simplify strategy implementation, which was a message PMI paired with the image of a bright line cutting through a maze, OPM Experts LLC had already launched SIMPLE© to propose simplifying strategy implementation, using the image of a bright red line cutting through a maze.

PMI’s officials and the consultants PMI had hired to carry out the Brightline Initiative appeared to me at first to present Brightline and PMI discretely, framing Brightline as its own thing though Brightline was conceived by PMI and funded by PMI to advance PMI’s interests. Many people were shocked to learn Brightline was a PMI action when I began telling them so as I wrote this article, but PMI’s corporate communications about Brightline have since improved on the specific point of clarifying the relationship between PMI and Brightline. At the bottom of the “About” page on the Brightline website, PMI has stated clearly that the Brightline Initiative is led by PMI. Overall, this appears to have been a rebranding effort, paving the way for PMI to embark on various sorts of commercialism, including some varieties PMI has tried before and other varieties that are unprecedented in PMI’s history (per Figure 5).

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How to cite this article: Schlichter, J.  (2019). Alexander and the Indian King: Part 4; PM World Journal, Vol. VIII, Issue VIII, September. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/pmwj85-Sep2019-Schlichter-Alexander-and-the-Indian-King-Part4.pdf

 


 

About the Author


John Schlichter

Atlanta, GA, USA

 

 

 

John Schlichter coined the term “Organizational Project Management” or “OPM,” which is the system for implementing the business strategy of an organization through projects. OPM became a global standard and is how companies throughout the world deliver projects valued in billions if not trillions of dollars. “John has contributed greatly to PMI,” Greg Balestrero, CEO, PMI Today, 2002. “In John’s role as the leader of PMI’s OPM3 program, he has immeasurably contributed to the growth of the profession,” Becky Winston, J.D., Chair of the Board of Directors, PMI Today, 2002. Having created OPM3© (an international standard in project, program, and portfolio management), John founded OPM Experts LLC, a firm delivering OPM solutions and a leading provider of maturity assessment services. Industry classifications: NAICS 541618 Other Management Consulting and NAICS 611430 Training. John is a member of the adjunct faculty of Emory University’s Goizueta Business School.

John can be contacted at jschlichter@opmexperts.com or frank.john.schlichter.iii@emory.edu.

To view more works by John Schlichter, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at https://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/john-schlichter/

 

 

A time of change

Reflections on my term as APM president

 

COMMENTARY

By David Waboso

United Kingdom

 


 

Project management and change go hand in hand. The most successful projects – and project managers – are those that embrace change and seek out the new.

During my three years as Association for Project Management (APM) president, the pace of change we have seen in the profession and within APM itself has been truly staggering.

When I took on the role of president in 2016, my ambition was to enhance APM’s status as a body that supports the needs of our profession, to further raise the profile of the profession at home and abroad.

Gaining our Royal Charter in 2017 was a significant step towards realising this ambition. Achieving chartered status is helping us to galvanise the profession and build recognition in the eyes of other professionals, organisations and the wider public. We have seen the creation of nearly 800 Chartered Project Professionals (ChPPs), including 495 within the first five months of the standard being announced in October 2018, according to the latest APM Member Review.

There are also other areas where I feel APM has made a real difference in building the strength of the profession:

  • Improving the delivery of the programmes and change that we manage, especially against the backdrop of increasing organisational and operational complexity.

This has been supported by an increasing range of APM research and thought leadership, development of relevant qualifications and e-learning. In addition, the themes of our recent conferences and events will help ensure APM is increasingly seen as the leading source of knowledge and insights for the project profession.

  • The need to manage the unprecedented rate of technology change sweeping across our personal and working lives across all sectors.

As a profession, we recognise this challenge and the continuing need to adapt. We can therefore provide the professional standards and framework to build a community of credible, capable and trusted professionals, delivering effective change in all sectors to all stakeholders.

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Editor’s note: This article appeared as a blog post on the APM website in July 2019.  It is republished here with APM and the author’s approval so the rest of the world can read his comments.

How to cite this article: Waboso, D. (2019). A time of change: Reflections on my term as APM president; PM World Journal, Vol. VIII, Issue VII, August.  Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/pmwj84-Aug2019-Waboso-a-time-of-change.pdf

 


 

About the Author


David Waboso

United Kingdom

 

 

 

David Waboso served as president of APM from 2016 to 2019. He was awarded an APM Honorary Fellowship in 2011. He is an internationally renowned engineer and project manager who has worked on some of the world’s most prestigious infrastructure programmes including Docklands Light Railway and the Jubilee Line Extension in the UK, projects for the European Rail Agency and World Bank funded infrastructure developments in Africa.

David has a passion for training and education. He has served on committees focusing on the teaching of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects in schools, speaks regularly to the media and radio/TV, and promotes opportunities for people of all backgrounds to realise their full potential in engineering and other professions.

David was awarded a CBE in 2013 for services to transport in London. He is a Chartered Engineer, a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers, a Fellow of the Institution of Railway Signal Engineers, and an Honorary Fellow of Association for Project Management.  He also holds a Fellowship to the City and Guilds Institute.

 

 

Future PM Trends

 

COMMENTARY

by Yu Yanjuan

Journalist, Project Management Review: PMR (China)

Beijing, China

 


 

At the end of 2018, this PM Review magazine (http://www.pmreview.com.cn/english/) journalist interviewed more than 20 top experts across the globe to collect their opinions about future PM trends. Based on the results, we summarized their observations into 17 trends.

Trend 1: Redefinition of Project Success

In VUCA era, projects are characterized by Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity. Therefore, it is necessary to redefine the criterion of project success. Doctor Harold Kerzner pointed out that we will not merely rely on scope, time and cost to measure project success and that business value creation will be an essential criterion. Professor Wang Xiaojin said, “Faced with rapidly-changing technology and markets, projects, as the means for organizations to embrace changes, will play an increasingly important role. Therefore, measuring project success should focus on the extent to which projects have achieved expected changes for organizations and on the business value created by the changes. When talking about the definition of projects, PMBOK Guide (6th edition) added ‘driving change’ and ‘creating business value’, which aims to remind us not to forget the original reason of doing projects. It’s unreasonable to do projects only for doing projects.” Professor Ou Lixiong emphasized that project success should not merely be measured in terms of delivering the deliverable within agreed framework but in terms of the satisfaction of key stakeholders. Professor Ding Ronggui emphasized that in terms of the criterion of project success we should learn from Eastern philosophy: more synthesis, less decomposition.

Trend 2: From Agile Tools to Agile Mindset

The application of Agile is getting more and more common. It is reported that 75% companies in Netherlands and Belgium adopt agile methods, but many ended up in failure. Relevant surveys show that the most common reason is that corporate philosophy and culture cannot adapt to agile practice. Reinhard Wagner, Chairman of the IPMA Council of Delegates, said, “Agile is an ongoing trend, but the focus should shift from agile methods and tools to agile leadership, mindsets and cultures. Application of agile methods and tools will fail if the embedding organization is not ready for it. Agile projects require the leaders to give more space to maneuver to project teams, to let them self-organize, to enable creativity and innovation. The top-down mentality will disappear over time, otherwise agile project management is a farce.” To embrace this trend, IPMA has initiated Agile Leadership Certification.

Trend 3: From Responding to Change to Embracing Change

In VUCA era, change is constant and inevitable. Since change also means new possible projects and opportunities, project management and change management should go hand in hand. In our interview, it is agreed among experts that we should change our attitude towards change, which means making good use of disruptive technologies to identify opportunities in the course of change rather than passively responding to changes. Professor Ou Lixiong explains, “In light of the VUCA era ushering in an era of change, it also means the opening of doors to a world of new possibilities and opportunities. This also means that the study of ‘how to manage opportunities’ would be an area that is worth researching. Also we previously used to emphasize on ‘responding to change’, however, now we should put emphasis on ‘embracing change’. Previously when encountering changes, we may wonder if there are problems but now faced with changes we should try to identify opportunities. Therefore, for project managers the attitude towards changes needs changing.”

Matti Ahvenharju, former IPMA Vice President, has proposed the concept of Management of Opportunities by Projects (MoP), which I believe will have more room for application in the future.

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Editor’s note: This article was first published in PMR, Project Management Review magazine, China.  It is republished here with the permission of PMR. The PM World Journal maintains a cooperative relationship with PMR, periodically republishing works from each other’s publications. To learn more about PMR, visit http://www.pmreview.com.cn/english/

How to cite this article: Yanjuan, Y. (2019). Future PM Trends; PM World Journal, Vol. VIII, Issue VII, August. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/pmwj84-Aug2019-Yanjuan-future-pm-trends.pdf

 


 

About the Author


Yu Yanjuan

Beijing, China

 

 

 

Yu Yanjuan (English name: Spring), Bachelor’s Degree, graduated from the English Department of Beijing International Studies University (BISU) in China. She is now an English-language journalist and editor working for Project Management Review Magazine and website. She has interviewed over forty top experts in the field of project management. In the past, she has worked as a journalist and editor for other media platforms in China. She has also worked part-time as an English teacher in various training centers in Beijing. For work contact, she can be

reached via email yuyanjuan2005@163.com  or LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/yanjuanyu-76b280151/.

 

 

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