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The Freelancer’s Story

 

Project Business Management

SERIES ARTICLE

By Oliver F. Lehmann

Munich, Germany

 


 

“I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has
reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.”

Booker T. Washington, Up From Slavery: An Autobiography

 

 

Summary

A lack of communication between customer and contractor can lead from hope to disaster. Here is an example of that happening to a freelancer, a one-man show as a contractor.

Entry to the Freelancer’s Diary

April 1: This was my lucky day today. I received the confirmation that I will work as the project manager for the DOLPHIN project of Jellyfish, Co. They were impressed of my biography and the experience that I can bring into the project on technical, interpersonal, and organizational level. My help is needed over the entire project lifetime, and my work will be essential to its success.

I will have a team of ten developers, most of them also self-employed freelancers, some may be internals, and Jellyfish will pay me a good rate.

I had 3 months of frustrating searching for a new project, after the end of my last assignment. I am meanwhile running out of cash. The combination of travelling costs and lack of income was devastating for my bank account.  But end of next month, it will be able to write an invoice and hope, they will pay it immediately. It feels good to have income again and to be back in project business.

My wife is not happy that I will need to do a lot of travelling, leaving her alone with the kids, and she has a job to do too. However as the travel costs are covered by the customer, and understanding that jobs like this are not easy to find these days, she accepted the deal with gritted teeth.

Jellyfish—Internal Memo

April 1: Today, we finally took Mr. Smith under contract. He will contribute to the RIGHT FLIPPER work package of the DOLPHIN project. RIGHT FLIPPER is not a mission-critical part of the DOLPHIN project, but it adds to its business value and to its acceptance by important stakeholders. We believe, Mr. Smith’s work will be relevant to gain acceptance of the entire project by the requesting departments.

Mr. Smith was second choice. We had two highly capable candidates for the job, but they decided instead to accept competing offers from other companies that were prepared to pay much better. So, Mr. Smith was our last option. At least, choosing him was a budget-friendly decision.

We are uncertain about his technical capabilities, and there is also a question mark on his ability and preparedness to subordinate to a team mission. Therefore, we will need to have a watchful eye on his performance.

He will start working on the tasks next month. He will be paid based on daily rates and work records. He will send his invoices at the end of each month. We have agreed that travel charges will be included.

More…

 

To read entire article, click here

 

Editor’s note: This series of articles is by Oliver Lehmann, author of the book “Project Business Management” (ISBN 9781138197503), published by Auerbach / Taylor & Francis in 2018. See author profile below.

How to cite this article: Lehmann, O. (2020). The Freelancer’s Story; Series on Project Business Management; PM World Journal, Vol. IX, Issue III, March.  Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/pmwj91-Mar2020-Lehmann-The-Freelancers-Story-PBM-series-article2.pdf

 


 

About the Author

 


Oliver F. Lehmann

Munich, Germany

 

 

 

Oliver F. Lehmann, MSc, ACE, PMP, is a project management author, consultant, speaker and teacher. In addition, he is the President of the Project Business Foundation, the home association for professionals and organizations involved in cross-corporate projects.

He studied Linguistics, Literature and History at the University of Stuttgart and Project Management at the University of Liverpool, UK, where he holds a Master of Science Degree. Oliver has trained thousands of project managers in Europe, USA and Asia in methodological project management with a focus on certification preparation. In addition, he is a visiting lecturer at the Technical University of Munich.

He has been a member and volunteer at PMI, the Project Management Institute, since 1998, and served as the President of the PMI Southern Germany Chapter from 2013 to 2018. Between 2004 and 2006, he contributed to PMI’s PM Network magazine, for which he provided a monthly editorial on page 1 called “Launch”, analyzing troubled projects around the world.

Oliver believes in three driving forces for personal improvement in project management: formal learning, experience and observations. He resides in Munich, Bavaria, Germany and can be contacted at oliver@oliverlehmann.com.

Oliver Lehmann is the author of the books:

To view other works by Oliver Lehmann, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at https://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/oliver-f-lehmann/

 

 

Professionalism and the Project Manager

 

Positive Leadership in Project Management

SERIES ARTICLE

By Frank Saladis, PMP, PMI Fellow

New York, NY, USA

 


 

Project managers and those with similar titles and roles are placed in leadership positions. They are selected for the assignment, in most cases, because they have demonstrated an ability to “get things done.” It is a reputation that has been earned through perseverance, dedication, and a willingness to go the proverbial extra mile. This requires a very well-balanced approach that combines effective management and strong leadership to meet the objectives of the project and to ensure the team remains engaged and motivated. Part of that balance requires the project manager to present a consistent and professional image to all stakeholders.

Professionalism in project management can be defined as a set of values, behaviors, and characteristics demonstrated by the project manager and carried forward by the team. The key point here is the leader sets the tone for the team and influences the behavior of the team. The values, behaviors, and characteristics of the leader are the essential factors that will drive the team to provide extraordinary service and high-quality products to stakeholders. A consistent display of professionalism can create a positive project environment, enhance team member commitment and gain greater support and acknowledgment from executive management, clients, and other key stakeholders. Consistent demonstration of professionalism is not only observed by customer and clients, it drives the organization to greater levels of business success.

With a great degree of confidence, I believe that most project managers spend a fair amount of time gathering information about best practices in the project management community, discussing lessons learned with team members and peers, or observing other leaders in action, to further enhance their leadership abilities and professional image. The following tips, gathered from many sources and personal experience, will help to further advance the professional image and brand of those in leadership positions and within an organization’s project management environment.

1. Professionalism begins at the leadership level. If you are leading a team, department, division or an entire organization, set expectations early and intentionally. This is extremely important at the start of a project or as a new role begins. Expectations should also be revisited often due to the frequent changes that most organization experience in the business environment. Review the organization’s code of conduct or guiding principles and emphasize the importance of achieving excellence through teamwork, collaboration, and professional conduct. As a leader, display the characteristics you desire to see in your team members. Establish yourself as a resource and focus on the development of your team while you emphasize your vision and mission. Create a desire among your team members or within the organization to create value every day.

More…

 

To read entire article, click here

 

Editor’s note: This article is one in a series on Positive Leadership in Project Management by Frank Saladis, PMP, PMI Fellow, popular speaker and author of books on leadership in project management published by Wiley and IIL in the United States. Frank is widely known as the originator of the International Project Management Day, the annual celebrations and educational events conducted each November by PMI members, chapters and organizations around the world.

How to cite this paper: Saladis, F. (2020). Positive Leadership in Project Management: Professionalism and the Project Manager. PM World Journal, Vol. IX, Issue III, March. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/pmwj91-Mar2020-Saladis-professionalism-and-the-project-manager.pdf

 


 

About the Author

 


Frank P. Saladis

New York, USA

 

 

 

Frank P. Saladis, PMP, PMI Fellow is a Consultant and Instructor / Facilitator within the project management profession and has over 35 years of experience in the IT, Telecom Installation and IT Project Management training environment. He is a senior consultant and trainer for the International Institute For Learning Inc. and has been involved in the development of several project management learning programs. Mr. Saladis has held the position of Project Manager for AT&T Business Communications Systems, National Project Manager for AT&T Solutions Information Technology Services and was a member of Cisco Systems Professional Services Project Management Advocacy Organization. His responsibilities included the development of Project Management Offices (PMO) and the development of internal training programs addressing project management skills and techniques.

He is a Project Management Professional and has been a featured presenter at the Project Management Institute ® Annual Symposiums, Project World, PMI World Congress, CMMA, and many PMI Chapter professional development programs. He is a past president of the PMI New York City Chapter and a Past-President of the PMI ® Assembly of Chapter Presidents. Mr. Saladis is a Co-Publisher of the internationally distributed newsletter for allPM.com, a project management information portal, and a contributor to the allPM.com project management website.

Mr. Saladis is the originator of International Project Management Day and has written numerous leadership and project management related articles. Mr. Saladis is also the author of the Project Management Workbook and PMP ® / CAPM ® Exam Study Guide that supplements Dr. Harold Kerzner’s textbook – Project Management, A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling and Controlling?, 9th Edition published by John Wiley & Sons and the author of Positive Leadership in Project Management, published by IIL Publishing. He is a member of the International Executive Guild and the NRCC Business Advisory Council. He has also held the position of Vice President of Education for the Global Communications Technology Specific Interest Group of PMI ® and holds a Master’s Certificate in Commercial Project Management from the George Washington University. Mr. Saladis received the prestigious Lynn Stuckenbrook Person of the Year Award from the Project management Institute in 2006 for his contributions to the organization and to the practice of project management.  He can be contacted at saladispmp@msn.com

To view other works by Frank Saladis, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at https://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/frank-p-saladis/

 

 

Risk Management in the Age of Big Data

 

Risk Doctor Briefing

SERIES ARTICLE

Marconi Fábio Vieira, PMP

The Risk Doctor Partnership

Minas Gerais, Brazil

 


 

There’s no doubt that we’re living in the age of Big Data. The numbers tell the story:

  • 5 quintillion bytes of data are created each day.
  • 90% of all data in the world was created in the last two years.
  • 50 billion connected devices and sensors are expected by 2020.
  • 82% of executives say their organizations are increasingly using data to drive critical and automated decision-making, on an unprecedented scale.
  • 89% of companies believe that Big Data will revolutionize business operations in the same way that the internet did.

Of course, there are many risks associated with managing an organization and its projects in the age of Big Data. Risk is inherent in all human endeavour, and we need to identify and understand Big Data risks and know how to manage them effectively. Two risks currently appear to be the most critical, and these demand focused attention from any organization that is serious about surviving and thriving in the age of Big Data:

1. Data Governance. Today’s organizations recognize that managing data is central to their success. They recognize the value of their data and seek to leverage that value. As the human capacity to create and exploit data has increased, so too has the need for reliable data management practices. This makes data governance really essential. There is a major risk if we are trying to exploit the benefits of Big Data without having data governance that is aligned with business strategy. If your organization currently doesn’t have data governance in place, then now is a good time to start. Data governance:

  • Defines a set of guiding principles for data management and describes how these principles can be applied within data management functional areas.
  • Provides a functional framework for the implementation of enterprise data management, including widely adopted practices, methods and techniques, functions, roles, deliverables and metrics.
  • Establishes a common vocabulary for data management concepts and serves as the basis for best practices for data management professionals.

DAMA International (https://dama.org/) has developed The DAMA Guide to the Data Management Body of Knowledge (DAMA-DMBOK, see https://dama.org/content/body-knowledge), which can help your company in establishing excellent data governance.

2. Talent.  To manipulate, analyse, and leverage the insights available from Big Data, companies must hire people with skills and knowledge in data science, mathematics, statistics, artificial intelligence (machine learning and deep learning), and storytelling. The demand for data scientists, data engineers and programmers can only grow stronger. It will not be possible to exploit the value that Big Data can generate for your business without having these professionals working in your company. Some businesses are forming talent teams, investing in courses to develop the skills that are needed.

More…

To read entire article, click here

 

How to cite this paper: Vieira, M. F. (2020).  Risk Management in the Age of Big Data, Risk Doctor Briefing; PM World Journal, Volume IX, Issue II, February.  Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/pmwj90-Feb2020-Vieira-risk-management-in-age-of-big-data2.pdf

 


 

About the Author

 


Marconi Fábio Vieira, PMP

Minas Gerais, Brazil

 

 

Marconi Fábio Vieira, PMP is CEO of InfoChoice. He has been working in the IT field since 1985 and in the Project Management field since 2000.  He also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Translation and a formation in Data Science. Marconi currently provides online course in Big Data Project Management and IT project management services and risk analysis to multinational companies, and speaks at global and national congresses. Marconi holds a wide range of certifications (PRINCE2 Foundation and Agile, ASF, SFC, CUA, CUE, CACP Storage Specialist, CNS, MCP, MCT), and is a member of PMI® and IIBA.  His book “Gerenciamento de Projetos de Tecnologia da Informação” was published by Grupo GEN. For more, go to: https://www.grupogen.com.br/gerenciamento-de-projetos-de-tecnologia-da-informacao-2-edicao

Marconi is based in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais state, Brazil and can be contacted at mv.joao3.16@gmail.com or marconi.vieira@infochoice.com.br.

 

 

Conflict Resolution in Project Business

 

Project Business Management

SERIES ARTICLE

By Oliver F. Lehmann

Munich, Germany

 


 

“Come not between the dragon and his wrath.”
William Shakespeare – King Lear

 

Summary

Healing conflicts between contract parties in a project and turning them into project partners may be no more possible in certain instances. For such cases, individuals and organizations involved should understand the various methods of conflict resolution.

Project Business Conflicts

The growing number of projects that are not just done inside the protective walls of an organization but in a cross-corporate manner with customers, contractors, possibly subcontractors and many other parties involved, brings a high potential for conflicts. These conflicts can be damaging to the organizations involved. They may prove disastrous for the projects affected.

In my May 2019 article “Healing Conflicts in Project Business”[1], I discussed approaches to “heal” project conflicts. This healing is based on the fundamental assumption that all parties are interested in a resolution and that the project, its results, but also the business that it incorporates, have enough value for the parties involved that they put aside their differences and find a jointly acceptable solution. The article also talks about the causes of such conflicts, with diverse business interests, cultures, and clashing strong egos at the top.

Here, I want to talk about those situations, when healing seems not possible. The project may be over, the parties have departed, and the conflicts are caused by the need to finally settle claims and obligations. There may no be the mutual interests to achieve joint goals that help overcome differences.

During the project, relationships may also become too poisoned to allow for a healing process. There may still be a joint interest to finish the project and gain the benefits expected from it, however, the causes of conflict are exceeding these positive forces, and emotions of anger, frustration, disappointment, and fear of losing out in the conflict make it impossible to find common ground again[2].

How will such conflicts be resolved?

Do Project Managers Need Legal Knowledge?

Details are depending on the legislation under which the conflict needs to be resolved. The following paragraphs are therefore not to be understood as legal advice, which can only be given by a lawyer. This is basic knowledge that a project manager should have to do the job.

One may compare this to driving lessons that convey basic knowledge of traffic laws, however, when legal advice is needed, this will not come from the driving instructor but from a lawyer educated in traffic laws and regulations. A car driver, however, has to make many decisions in traffic that may in a worst case lead to charges and fines, and the person cannot ask a lawyer in each of these moments. Instead, the person has to rely on education received in traffic rules and common sense.

Project managers in project business are in a similar situation: They make a large number of messages, actions, but also inactions during a project day. Each can cause legal troubles. And just like a car driver, a project manager cannot ask a lawyer at every crossing and every turn what to do. They need education and experience, and a lot of common sense, to make the right decisions.

More…

To read entire article, click here

 

Editor’s note: This series of articles is by Oliver Lehmann, author of the book “Project Business Management” (ISBN 9781138197503), published by Auerbach / Taylor & Francis in 2018. See author profile below.

How to cite this article: Lehmann, O. (2020). Conflict Resolution in Project Business; Series on Project Business Management; PM World Journal, Vol. IX, Issue II, February.  Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/pmwj90-Feb2020-Lehmann-Conflict-Resolution-in-Project-Business.pdf

 


 

About the Author

 


Oliver F. Lehmann

Munich, Germany

 

 

 
Oliver F. Lehmann, MSc., PMP, is a project management author, consultant, speaker and teacher. He studied Linguistics, Literature and History at the University of Stuttgart and Project Management at the University of Liverpool, UK, where he holds a Master of Science Degree. Oliver has trained thousands of project managers in Europe, USA and Asia in methodological project management with a focus on certification preparation. In addition, he is a visiting lecturer at the Technical University of Munich.

He has been a member and volunteer at PMI, the Project Management Institute, since 1998, and served five years as the President of the PMI Southern Germany Chapter until April 2018. Between 2004 and 2006, he contributed to PMI’s PM Network magazine, for which he provided a monthly editorial on page 1 called “Launch”, analyzing troubled projects around the world.

Oliver believes in three driving forces for personal improvement in project management: formal learning, experience and observations. He resides in Munich, Bavaria, Germany and can be contacted at oliver@oliverlehmann.com.

Oliver Lehmann is the author of “Situational Project Management: The Dynamics of Success and Failure” (ISBN 9781498722612), published by Auerbach / Taylor & Francis in 2016 and ofProject Business Management” (ISBN 9781138197503), published by Auerbach / Taylor & Francis in 2018.

To view other works by Oliver Lehmann, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at https://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/oliver-f-lehmann/

 

[1] (Lehmann, 2019)

[2] I described the underlying forces of such conflicts in my books “Situational Project Management – the Dynamics of Success and Failure” (Lehmann, 2016) and “Project Business Management” (Lehmann, 2018)

 

 

Execution in the context of transparent leadership

and sustainable project management

 

SERIES ARTICLE

Article 3 of 5

By Helgi Thor Ingason, PhD and Haukur Ingi Jonasson, PhD

Reykjavik University

Reykjavik, Iceland

 


 

We have written a series of four books for the modern business professional who needs to be able to lead and participate in different kinds of projects and understand and practice different contextual, leadership, technical and communication aspects of project, programme and portfolio management. For the readers of PM World Journal, we are introducing our series through a set of short articles, where we explain our ideas and scope.

This third article gives a brief overview of the second book in our series; namely Project: Execution. This book aims to provide the reader with a good understanding of the basics of project management. The book is a somewhat traditional project management textbook, suitable for teaching undergraduate-level university students. It is also heavily focused on project planning, and revolves around the project life cycle. The book is designed to be especially useful for people pursuing their IPMA D, C or B level certifications and the concepts of the IPMA Competence Baseline 4.0 are discussed and put into perspective throughout the text.

Management by projects has become the most important driver of change within organisations and in collaboration between organisations. Project management as a discipline and as an approach to managing organisations is steadily growing worldwide. Projectification is on the rise – research has shown that more than 33% of the GDP in western economies is through projects[1]. This is a conservative estimate and it is rising. Hence, everyone must be familiar with the basic aspects of project management and be able to apply related skills – as a leader or participant.

We have written this book as a practical handbook on project management, useful to management professionals in all manner of organisations, but especially those which are knowledge-based, where not only managers but in fact all employees are active participants in a variety of projects. To begin with, the fundamental concepts, history and context of project, program and portfolio management are explained. In continuation, the focus is on project definition and assessment of the project environment, and on planning in terms of objectives, time and the critical path. Furthermore, resource planning, management structure and role division are discussed. The book gives a good oveview of project start-up and project close-out, co-operation in projects and project information. Uncertainty and risk management in projects are the focus of a special chapter. Finally, heavy emphasis is put on the role of the project manager and the project team.

More…

To read entire article, click here

 

Editor’s note: This series of articles is by Professors Helgi Thor Ingason and Haukur Ingi Jonasson at Reykjavik University in Iceland.  Active researchers and educators in the field of project management for many years, they are the authors of a series of books on project management and related fields, published by Taylor Francis / Routledge in 2019.  See their author profiles at the end of this article.

How to cite this article: Ingason, H.T. and Jonasson, H.I. (2020). Execution in the context of transparent leadership and sustainable project management. PM World Journal, Vol. IX, Issue II, February. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/pmwj90-Feb2020-Ingason-Jonasson-execution-in-transparent-leadership-sustainable-project-management.pdf

 


 

About the Authors

 


Helgi Thor Ingason, PhD

Professor, Reykjavik University
Reykjavik, Iceland

 

 

Helgi Thor Ingason (b. 1965) holds a PhD in process metallurgy from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), MSc in mechanical and industrial engineering from the University of Iceland and a Stanford Advanced Project Management Certification from Stanford University. He is an IPMA Certified Senior Project Manager (B level).

Dr. Ingason is a professor at Reykjavik University. He is co-head (with Dr. Haukur Ingi Jonasson) of the MPM – Master of Project Management – program at the university. The research fields of Dr. Ingason range from quality- and project management to system dynamics and renewable energy, production, transport and utilization, changes in the energy infrastructure and energy carriers of the future.

Dr. Ingason has reported on his research at conferences and in several reviewed conference and journal papers. He is the co-author of 7 books in the Icelandic language on project management, strategic planning, product development and quality management. He is also co-author, with Haukur Ingi Jonasson, of the books Project Ethics (2013), Project: Leadership (2018), Project: Strategy (2018), Project: Communication (2019) and Project: Execution (2019). To learn more about these books, visit the Routledge publishing site here.

Dr. Ingason was interim CEO of Orkuveita Reykjavikur (Reykjavik Energy) from 2010 to 2011. A co-founder of Nordica Consulting Group, Dr. Ingason is a management consultant and a recognized speaker. In his spare time he plays piano and accordion with the South River Band (www.southriverband.com), and Kólga (www.kolga.band), two Icelandic world music ensembles.

More information on Dr. Ingason can be found on www.academia.edu and on www.helgithoringason.com. Information about the MPM program at the University of Reykjavik can be found at http://en.ru.is/mpm/why-mpm/.  Dr. Ingason can be contacted at helgithor@ru.is.

 


Haukur Ingi Jonasson

Professor, Reykjavik University
Reykjavik, Iceland

 

 
Haukur Ingi Jonasson (Cand. Theol., University of Iceland; STM, PhD, Union Theological seminary; clinical training in pastoral counseling, Lennox Hill Hospital; psychoanalytical training, Harlem Family Institute New York City) is an assistant professor and chairman of the Board for the MPM – Master of Project Management – program at Reykjavik University in Iceland.

He is also a psychoanalyst in private practice and a management consultant at Nordic Consulting Group ehf. As a consultant, his clients have included energy companies, banks, hospitals, the government and other public and private organizations.  Dr. Jonasson is also a mountain climber and a member of the Reykjavik Mountaineering Air Ground Search and Rescue Squad.

He is co-author, with Helgi Thor Ingason, of the books Project Ethics (2013), Project: Leadership (2018), Project: Strategy (2018), Project: Communication (2019) and Project: Execution (2019). To learn more about these books, visit the Routledge publishing site here

Dr. Jonasson can be contacted at haukuringi@ru.is

 

[1] Schoper, Y. G., Wald, A., Ingason, H. T., & Fridgeirsson, T. V. (2018). Projectification in Western economies: A comparative study of Germany, Norway and Iceland. International Journal of Project Management36(1), 71-82.

 

 

What are Opportunities in Projects?

 

Advances in Project Management Series

SERIES ARTICLE

By Dr. David Hillson

United Kingdom

 


 

Based on Chapter 2 of “Capturing Upside Risk” (Taylor & Francis, 2019)

Most people accept that the concept of risk covers more than just threats, and there is a strong case for a broader definition of risk that also includes opportunities. Building on that insight, we can move on to consider how it might be applied to the world of projects. If the generic definition of risk includes both downside and upside, then it seems obvious that we should expect to find both threats and opportunities in our projects. This article explores the concept of “opportunity” in the context of projects.

WHY PROJECTS ARE RISKY

Anyone who has ever worked on a project will know that projects are risky. But why? There are three main reasons:

  1. Common characteristics
  2. Deliberate design
  3. External environment

Common characteristics

All projects share a range of features which make them inherently uncertain:

  • Uniqueness. Every project involves at least some elements that have not been done before, and the novelty and lack of experience with these elements introduces uncertainty.
  • Complexity. Projects are complex in a variety of ways and are more than a simple list of tasks to be performed. There are various kinds of complexity in projects, including technical, commercial, interfaces, or relational, each of which brings uncertainty into the project. A project can be viewed as a complex system, and if we are unable to predict the way the system will react, then uncertainty is inevitable.
  • Assumptions and constraints. Project scoping involves making a range of guesses about the future, which usually include both assumptions (things we think will or will not happen) and constraints (things we are told to do or not do). Assumptions and constraints may turn out to be wrong, and it is also likely that some will remain hidden or undisclosed, so they are a source of uncertainty in most projects.
  • People. All projects are performed by people, including project team members and management, clients and customers, suppliers and subcontractors. All of these individuals and groups are unpredictable to some extent and introduce uncertainty into the projects on which they work.
  • Stakeholders. These are a particular group of people who can influence the project to a greater or lesser degree. Stakeholder interests can be varying, overlapping and sometimes conflicting, and the position adopted by stakeholders towards the project can change with time, making them a common source of uncertainty.
  • Change. Every project is a change agent, moving from the known present into an unknown future, with all the uncertainty associated with such movement.

Any uncertainty arising from these characteristics that might affect project objectives should be considered as a risk. However, these characteristics are built into the nature of all projects and cannot be removed without changing the project. For example, a “project” which was not unique, had no constraints, involved no people, and did not introduce change would in fact not be a project at all. Trying to remove the risky elements from a project would turn it into something else, but it would not be a project.

Risk includes both threat and opportunity, so each of these sources of uncertainty might give rise to project opportunities as well as threats. For example, unique aspects of a project might present unexpected savings in time and cost as a result of having to use novel development techniques. Considering complexity may reveal areas of synergy that were not previously apparent. Where assumptions or constraints limit the degrees of freedom for a project, if these were to prove false or flexible, it might allow the project to operate more efficiently. Not all stakeholders are adversaries of the project, and friendly stakeholders might offer support that makes life easier for the project team…

More…

To read entire article, click here

 

Editor’s note: The Advances in Project Management series includes articles by authors of program and project management books published by Routledge worldwide. Information about Routledge project management books can be found here.

How to cite this paper: Hillson, D. (2020). What are Opportunities in Projects? PM World Journal, Vol. IX, Issue II, February. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/pmwj90-Feb2020-Hillson-what-are-opportunties-in-projects.pdf

 


 

About the Author

 


Dr David Hillson HonFAPM PMI-Fellow CFIRM CMgr FCMI

The Risk Doctor
United Kingdom

 

 

 

Known globally as The Risk Doctor, David Hillson leads The Risk Doctor Partnership (www.risk-doctor.com), a global consultancy offering specialist risk services across the world.

David has a reputation as an excellent speaker and presenter on risk. His talks blend thought-leadership with practical application, presented in an accessible style that combines clarity with humour, guided by the Risk Doctor motto: “Understand profoundly so you can explain simply”.

He also writes widely on risk, with eleven major books, and over 100 professional papers. He publishes a regular Risk Doctor Briefing blog in seven languages to 10,000 followers, and has over 7,500 subscribers to the RiskDoctorVideo YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/RiskDoctorVideo)

David has advised leaders and organisations in over fifty countries around the world on how to create value from risk based on a mature approach to risk management, and his wisdom and insights are in high demand. He has also received many awards for his ground-breaking work in risk management over several decades.

 

 

Expanding our risk repertoire

to encompass opportunities

 

Advances in Project Management

SERIES ARTICLE

By Prof Darren Dalcher

School of Management
University of Lancaster

United Kingdom

 


 

Many of the words and terms we rely upon in project management have varying, albeit related meanings when used in slightly different contexts and by different groups and professions. Project, risk, constraint, assumption and benefit can have such differing interpretations depending on the situation, the user and the observer. Another such term is opportunity.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines an opportunity as: ‘a time when a particular situation makes it possible to do or achieve something’. The Collins Dictionary describes an opportunity as: ‘a situation in which it is possible to do something that you want to do’, while the Merriam-Webster dictionary positions it as a ‘favorable juncture of circumstances’. The definitions imply that an opportunity can thus be viewed as a favourable time, or occasion, for achieving, attaining or benefiting from something desirable.

Thinking about opportunities and their underpinning role in management and innovation has long featured in many facets of the business literature. Kevin Plank, US billionaire and founder of sportswear, footwear and accessories brand Under Armour, observed that the purpose of leadership is ‘to make sure you never limit the idea or opportunity’. Almost a century earlier, American inventor and businessman, Thomas Alva Edison remarked that ‘the reason a lot of people do not recognize opportunity is because it usually goes around wearing overalls looking like hard work’.

Opportunity seeking is often associated with costs and more recently with risk. Albert Einstein quipped that ‘in the middle of difficulty lies opportunity’. However, opportunity seeking and exploitation is also recognised as both enabling and underpinning the potential for achievement. Management guru, Peter Drucker, for example, reasoned that ‘the entrepreneur always searches for change, responds to it, and exploits it as an opportunity’. Opportunity recognition is therefore recognised as a key step in the entrepreneurial process (Venkataraman, 1997), and has often featured in research in the field of entrepreneurship (Bhave, 1994; Gaglio & Katz, 2001; Baron, 2006).

The critical role of opportunity is similarly acknowledged in competitive disciplines such as economics, marketing, diplomacy, strategy and war studies. Yet, opportunity highlights a need to balance different perspectives, needs and priorities. Obstacles and opportunities often come entangled, requiring interpretation, preference identification and some degree of unravelling. Winston Churchill recognising the implied trade-offs noted that ‘the pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty’.

Opportunities enable potential, achievement and excellence beyond competition. Baron (2006) typifies (entrepreneurial) opportunities in terms of three main characteristics:

  • Potential economic value: the potential to generate income
  • Newness: product, service or technology that did not previously exist
  • Perceived desirability: moral and legal acceptability of the new product or service in society

This notion and definition might be extended further by looking at the impact of missed opportunities. Psychologists often acknowledge and quantify the opportunity cost of failing to act and take advantage of an emerging potential opportunity and therefore the difference between where we are and where we might be can become a fruitful way of appreciating the power and impact of an opportunity, especially in uncertain contexts (Dalcher, 2017).

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Editor’s note: The PMWJ Advances in Project Management series includes articles by authors of program and project management books published by Gower and other publishers in the Routledge family.  Each month an introduction to the current article is provided by series editor Prof Darren Dalcher, who is also the editor of the Routledge Advances in Project Management series of books on new and emerging concepts in PM.  Prof Dalcher’s article is an introduction to the invited paper this month in the PMWJ. 

How to cite this paper: Dalcher, D. (2020). Expanding our risk repertoire to encompass opportunities, Advances in Project Management Series, PM World Journal, Volume IX, Issue II, February.  Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/pmwj90-Feb2020-Dalcher-expanding-our-risk-repertoire-to-encompass-opportunities.pdf

 


 

About the Author

 


Darren Dalcher, PhD

Author, Professor, Series Editor
Director, National Centre for Project Management
Lancaster University Management School, UK

 

 

 
Darren Dalcher, Ph.D., HonFAPM, FRSA, FBCS, CITP, FCMI, SMIEEE, SFHEA is Professor in Strategic Project Management at Lancaster University, and founder and Director of the National Centre for Project Management (NCPM) in the UK.  He has been named by the Association for Project Management (APM) as one of the top 10 “movers and shapers” in project management and was voted Project Magazine’s “Academic of the Year” for his contribution in “integrating and weaving academic work with practice”. Following industrial and consultancy experience in managing IT projects, Professor Dalcher gained his PhD in Software Engineering from King’s College, University of London.

Professor Dalcher has written over 200 papers and book chapters on project management and software engineering. He is Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Software: Evolution and Process, a leading international software engineering journal. He is the editor of the book series, Advances in Project Management, published by Routledge and of the companion series Fundamentals of Project Management.  Heavily involved in a variety of research projects and subjects, Professor Dalcher has built a reputation as leader and innovator in the areas of practice-based education and reflection in project management. He works with many major industrial and commercial organisations and government bodies.

Darren is an Honorary Fellow of the APM, a Chartered Fellow of the British Computer Society, a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute, and the Royal Society of Arts, A Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Member of the Project Management Institute (PMI) and the British Academy of Management. He is a Chartered IT Practitioner. He sits on numerous senior research and professional boards, including The PMI Academic Member Advisory Group, the APM Research Advisory Group, the CMI Academic Council and the APM Group Ethics and Standards Governance Board.  He is the Academic Advisor and Consulting Editor for the next APM Body of Knowledge. Prof Dalcher is an academic advisor for the PM World Journal.  He is the academic advisor and consulting editor for the forthcoming edition of the APM Body of Knowledge. He can be contacted at d.dalcher@lancaster.ac.uk.

To view other works by Prof Darren Dalcher, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/darren-dalcher/.

 

 

Achieving Success is No Reason to Stop Seeking Success

 

Positive Leadership in Project Management

SERIES ARTICLE

By Frank Saladis, PMP, PMI Fellow

New York, NY, USA

 


 

A quote that caught my attention several years ago was in an article in an issue of Fast Company Magazine. The article was entitled “Keeping The Crisis in Chrysler” and the quote was “We get stupid when we start succeeding.” That quote should get you thinking, especially if your organization is currently experiencing some successful project or initiative outcomes. Success is a wonderful thing, we should embrace it, celebrate it and strive for it in our personal lives, in our businesses and in our project work. That particular quote does, however, bring to mind something that we have all experienced during periods where we were most successful. A feeling of safety, security, confidence, happiness, and maybe even invincibility. Success brings upon us a very comfortable feeling that we would like to have surround us for as long as possible. Success and the acknowledgments that accompany it release endorphins (Endorphins are chemicals produced by the body to relieve stress and pain and boost happiness). We experience a release of endorphins when something positive happens.

The feeling in many cases, actually produces a desire to experience more of the same. That same feeling can also cause leaders, including project managers, to temporarily lose sight of the need to pay attention to other important goals, objectives, issues and problems. Success sometimes causes people to “let their guard down” or reduce their normal level of work effort and intensity. Basically “gliding along” on the recent success. That, in turn, can result in a weakening of preparedness for the next challenge. It’s the over-confidence that leads to complacency.

It is our job as leaders to deliver a successfully completed project (Success, we know, is defined in many ways by different stakeholders). This is often far easier said than done. Additionally, when the project is delivered to the sponsor or client and end users and fully meets expectations, there should be some time set aside for celebration and recognition. The emphasis here is to celebrate your victories!

However, along with celebrations, some attention should be given to lessons learned, what is coming next, and what is changing in the business environment. Many Project Managers are either working on highly complex projects that span several years or they are working on multiple projects with durations of a few weeks to a few months. Regardless of project duration, we all know that change is an integral part of project management. Change affects projects of short and long duration, therefore project leaders should not allow the success of one project to create a belief that all future projects will experience the same or similar outcomes.  We should certainly feel good about a successful outcome, but, it is important to maintain an awareness of factors that could overshadow a celebration of success. Sometimes an incident may occur that causes another project to become a living project management nightmare. Sometimes, the complacency, an after effect of success, is the cause root cause of a project or business disaster. There are many examples of this in history, especially military history, and in the sports world where a champion team somehow loses its momentum. The Fast Company article mentioned earlier in this article suggests the need to “keep your back to the wall.” This means that some pressure should be felt by the team or the organization even if things appear to be going well.

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Editor’s note: This article is one in a series on Positive Leadership in Project Management by Frank Saladis, PMP, PMI Fellow, popular speaker and author of books on leadership in project management published by Wiley and IIL in the United States. Frank is widely known as the originator of the International Project Management Day, the annual celebrations and educational events conducted each November by PMI members, chapters and organizations around the world.

How to cite this paper: Saladis, F. (2020). Positive Leadership in Project Management – Achieving Success is No Reason to Stop Seeking Success. PM World Journal, Vol. IX, Issue II, February. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/pmwj90-Feb2020-Saladis-achieving-success-is-no-reason-to-stop-seeking-success.pdf

 


 

About the Author

 


Frank P. Saladis

New York, USA

 

 

 

Frank P. Saladis, PMP, PMI Fellow is a Consultant and Instructor / Facilitator within the project management profession and has over 35 years of experience in the IT, Telecom Installation and IT Project Management training environment. He is a senior consultant and trainer for the International Institute For Learning Inc. and has been involved in the development of several project management learning programs. Mr. Saladis has held the position of Project Manager for AT&T Business Communications Systems, National Project Manager for AT&T Solutions Information Technology Services and was a member of Cisco Systems Professional Services Project Management Advocacy Organization. His responsibilities included the development of Project Management Offices (PMO) and the development of internal training programs addressing project management skills and techniques.

He is a Project Management Professional and has been a featured presenter at the Project Management Institute ® Annual Symposiums, Project World, PMI World Congress, CMMA, and many PMI Chapter professional development programs. He is a past president of the PMI New York City Chapter and a Past-President of the PMI ® Assembly of Chapter Presidents. Mr. Saladis is a Co-Publisher of the internationally distributed newsletter for allPM.com, a project management information portal, and a contributor to the allPM.com project management website.

Mr. Saladis is the originator of International Project Management Day and has written numerous leadership and project management related articles. Mr. Saladis is also the author of the Project Management Workbook and PMP ® / CAPM ® Exam Study Guide that supplements Dr. Harold Kerzner’s textbook – Project Management, A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling and Controlling?, 9th Edition published by John Wiley & Sons and the author of Positive Leadership in Project Management, published by IIL Publishing. He is a member of the International Executive Guild and the NRCC Business Advisory Council. He has also held the position of Vice President of Education for the Global Communications Technology Specific Interest Group of PMI ® and holds a Master’s Certificate in Commercial Project Management from the George Washington University. Mr. Saladis received the prestigious Lynn Stuckenbrook Person of the Year Award from the Project management Institute in 2006 for his contributions to the organization and to the practice of project management.  He can be contacted at saladispmp@msn.com

To view other works by Frank Saladis, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at https://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/frank-p-saladis/

 

 

The Key to Achieving Extraordinary Results

 

Positive Leadership in Project Management

SERIES ARTICLE

By Frank Saladis, PMP, PMI Fellow

New York, NY, USA

 


 

Successful project management practitioners are a unique group of people who possess extraordinary skills, have enormous amounts of patience, demonstrate competency in many areas, especially leadership, and will probably agree with the following statement: “the duties of the project manager may be extremely challenging, but the challenge is the factor that drives them achieve success.”

The project manager position requires a balance of managerial and leadership skills plus some business knowledge and a dash of miracle worker. A quick analysis of the state of project management today and for the foreseeable future indicates, with very few exceptions, the following trends:

  • Larger, more complex projects
  • Higher and more challenging strategic business goals
  • Greater responsibility placed on the project manager
  • Less availability of resources
  • Tighter timelines
  • Greater cost constraints
  • Increased customer demand for quick and reliable execution
  • More focus on risk management
  • Enhanced emphasis on organizational brand recognition
  • Project management as a competitive factor
  • Value metrics
  • More emphasis on “leading indicators”
  • Cross-over of traditional waterfall project management and Agile techniques (Hybrid project management)
  • Technology advances in IoT and A.I.
  • More focus on managing and leading people through Emotional Intelligence

After reviewing this list, I think most seasoned project managers would say without hesitation; “been there, done that” or, for many practitioners, “still there, still doing that.”

The career project manager accepts these demands and plans a strategy that will guide him or her through the many trails and challenges that can be expected. Part of that strategy is to continue developing leadership capability. Leadership, like quality, is not a destination, it’s a journey and one can expect to encounter many tests along the way.

A statement expressed many years ago by McDonald’s CEO Ray Kroc helps us to understand a little more about leadership and to assist us in developing a strategy for success. He said “Happiness is a by- product of achievement”. If an employee has pride in what he or she has done, and the work is recognized by management, that employee will become a willing and enthusiastic part of a winning team. Project managers need a winning team and effective leadership is the key factor, regardless of project size and complexity…

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Editor’s note: This article is one in a series on Positive Leadership in Project Management by Frank Saladis, PMP, PMI Fellow, popular speaker and author of books on leadership in project management published by Wiley and IIL in the United States. Frank is widely known as the originator of the International Project Management Day, the annual celebrations and educational events conducted each November by PMI members, chapters and organizations around the world.

How to cite this paper: Saladis, F. (2020). Positive Leadership in Project Management – The Key to Achieving Extraordinary Results. PM World Journal, Vol. IX, Issue I, January. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/pmwj89-Jan2020-Saladis-positive-leadership-key-to-achieving-extraordinary-results.pdf

 


 

About the Author

 


Frank P. Saladis

New York, USA

 

 

 

Frank P. Saladis, PMP, PMI Fellow is a Consultant and Instructor / Facilitator within the project management profession and has over 35 years of experience in the IT, Telecom Installation and IT Project Management training environment. He is a senior consultant and trainer for the International Institute For Learning Inc. and has been involved in the development of several project management learning programs. Mr. Saladis has held the position of Project Manager for AT&T Business Communications Systems, National Project Manager for AT&T Solutions Information Technology Services and was a member of Cisco Systems Professional Services Project Management Advocacy Organization. His responsibilities included the development of Project Management Offices (PMO) and the development of internal training programs addressing project management skills and techniques.

He is a Project Management Professional and has been a featured presenter at the Project Management Institute ® Annual Symposiums, Project World, PMI World Congress, CMMA, and many PMI Chapter professional development programs. He is a past president of the PMI New York City Chapter and a Past-President of the PMI ® Assembly of Chapter Presidents. Mr. Saladis is a Co-Publisher of the internationally distributed newsletter for allPM.com, a project management information portal, and a contributor to the allPM.com project management website.

Mr. Saladis is the originator of International Project Management Day and has written numerous leadership and project management related articles. Mr. Saladis is also the author of the Project Management Workbook and PMP ® / CAPM ® Exam Study Guide that supplements Dr. Harold Kerzner’s textbook – Project Management, A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling and Controlling?, 9th Edition published by John Wiley & Sons and the author of Positive Leadership in Project Management, published by IIL Publishing. He is a member of the International Executive Guild and the NRCC Business Advisory Council. He has also held the position of Vice President of Education for the Global Communications Technology Specific Interest Group of PMI ® and holds a Master’s Certificate in Commercial Project Management from the George Washington University. Mr. Saladis received the prestigious Lynn Stuckenbrook Person of the Year Award from the Project management Institute in 2006 for his contributions to the organization and to the practice of project management.  He can be contacted at saladispmp@msn.com

To view other works by Frank Saladis, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at https://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/frank-p-saladis/

 

 

 

Leading Through Difficult Times

 

Positive Leadership in Project Management

SERIES ARTICLE

By Frank Saladis, PMP, PMI Fellow

New York, NY, USA

 


 

I think it’s safe to say that difficult times can be expected to be experienced by the project manager and team at some points in time during most project life cycles. The level of difficulty depends on several factors:

  • The complexity of the project
  • The degree of planning and preparation
  • Degree of uncertainty (risk)
  • The skills of the project manager – leadership, management, negotiation, problem solving etc.
  • Personalities of the stakeholders
  • Upper management involvement (and meddling)
  • Politics
  • Resource availability
  • Changing requirements
  • Many other factors!

The most difficult times for a project manager (or any leader) are those associated with  periods of great uncertainty during which environmental factors (factors that cannot be directly influenced by the project manager and team) threaten the stability of the project (or organization) and the confidence of the people within the team or organization. Truly effective leaders are aware of the potential bad times that may be encountered and place significant effort in panning for them while enjoying and celebrating achievements and progress of the teams they lead. A major element of that enjoyment is the pride a leader feels when teams work together to deliver high performance, meet objectives, and display a winning attitude.

It is especially during periods of prosperity and success that effective leaders maintain a watchful eye on the uncertainties that lie ahead. For example, we have seen in this the current world economy, the rapid advances in technology, the impact of Artificial Intelligence and many other factors, that change occurs rapidly with little or time for detailed preparation. The economic and technology lessons learned the last 6 months alone have caused many organizations to redefine themselves in terms of strategic direction, product offerings, research and development, and financial capability. What appeared to be a relatively secure market position for many organizations has been transformed into a quagmire of uncertainty. This is where the true leader emerges. It is important to work towards stability in times of crisis. Understanding that stability and control is not actually 100% plausible, the leader should attempt, during a period of extreme crisis, to establish a “known and stable state” to allow tome for diagnosis.

A lesson can be learned from the emergency room at any given hospital. A patient is transported in. The situation is serious. No time for a diagnosis at this time. The ER team springs into action performing a triage to determine the immediate action required. Vital signs are checked and the goal is to stabilize the patient. Once that has been accomplished a detailed diagnosis can begin.

More…

To read entire article, click here

 

Editor’s note: This article is one in a series on Positive Leadership in Project Management by Frank Saladis, PMP, PMI Fellow, popular speaker and author of books on leadership in project management published by Wiley and IIL in the United States. Frank is widely known as the originator of the International Project Management Day, the annual celebrations and educational events conducted each November by PMI members, chapters and organizations around the world.

How to cite this paper: Saladis, F. (2019). Leading Through Difficult Times; Positive Leadership in Project Management, series article 3. PM World Journal, Vol. VIII, Issue XI, December. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/pmwj88-Dec2019-Saladis-leading-through-difficult-times-positive-leadership-article3.pdf

 


 

About the Author


Frank P. Saladis

New York, USA

 

 

 

Frank P. Saladis, PMP, PMI Fellow is a Consultant and Instructor / Facilitator within the project management profession and has over 35 years of experience in the IT, Telecom Installation and IT Project Management training environment. He is a senior consultant and trainer for the International Institute For Learning Inc. and has been involved in the development of several project management learning programs. Mr. Saladis has held the position of Project Manager for AT&T Business Communications Systems, National Project Manager for AT&T Solutions Information Technology Services and was a member of Cisco Systems Professional Services Project Management Advocacy Organization. His responsibilities included the development of Project Management Offices (PMO) and the development of internal training programs addressing project management skills and techniques.

He is a Project Management Professional and has been a featured presenter at the Project Management Institute ® Annual Symposiums, Project World, PMI World Congress, CMMA, and many PMI Chapter professional development programs. He is a past president of the PMI New York City Chapter and a Past-President of the PMI ® Assembly of Chapter Presidents. Mr. Saladis is a Co-Publisher of the internationally distributed newsletter for allPM.com, a project management information portal, and a contributor to the allPM.com project management website.

Mr. Saladis is the originator of International Project Management Day and has written numerous leadership and project management related articles. Mr. Saladis is also the author of the Project Management Workbook and PMP ® / CAPM ® Exam Study Guide that supplements Dr. Harold Kerzner’s textbook – Project Management, A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling and Controlling?, 9th Edition published by John Wiley & Sons and the author of Positive Leadership in Project Management, published by IIL Publishing. He is a member of the International Executive Guild and the NRCC Business Advisory Council. He has also held the position of Vice President of Education for the Global Communications Technology Specific Interest Group of PMI ® and holds a Master’s Certificate in Commercial Project Management from the George Washington University. Mr. Saladis received the prestigious Lynn Stuckenbrook Person of the Year Award from the Project management Institute in 2006 for his contributions to the organization and to the practice of project management.  He can be contacted at saladispmp@msn.com

To view other works by Frank Saladis, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at https://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/frank-p-saladis/

 

 

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