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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/

 

 

Sleepless in Project Management

 

Project Business Management

SERIES ARTICLE

By Oliver F. Lehmann

Munich, Germany

 


 

“If a composer suffers from loss of sleep and his sleeplessness induces him
to turn out masterpieces, what a profitable loss it is!”
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

 

Summary

Listening to project managers can bring many new insights. Here are results of surveys done over a time of seven years, that show how the profession has changed and what keeps project managers sleepless at night.

Surveys Revisited – What Happened Meanwhile?

An interesting question in project management is, what gives project managers sleepless nights. They have to meet different challenges in different projects. Some projects have static requirements from the onset, in others, they are ever changing, and in a third group, no one can tell the project manager, what these requirements are. Project managers have to find that out.

Another major difference are customer projects versus internal projects. The first are mostly profit centers, the latter cost centers.

How common are these different project types?

One of the greatest inventions of the age of the Internet is the availability to survey groups of people with simple and affordable means. This allows us to gain new knowledge about professions such as project management and adjust offerings for services to them, such as training or writing and publishing articles like this one.

It can be an even more interesting exercise, when the surveys are repeated so that older results get confirmed, or not, and the dynamics of the profession become visible. In this article, I report of such a survey I did between June and November 2019. This article is the first to publish the results that repeat older surveys.

Another opportunity that comes with these surveys is the ability to listen, instead of telling practitioners, what their practice is. While practices are changing, many basic principles are universal. Active listening over surveys are a great way to gather knowledge from that.

I made a decision in spring 2019 to do another survey repeating older ones. Here are the results.

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. (2019). Sleepless in Project Management; Series on Project Business Management; PM World Journal, Vol. VIII, Issue XI, December.  Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/pmwj88-Dec2019-Lehmann-Sleepless-in-PM-PBM-series-article2.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/

 

 

Strategy in the context of transparent leadership

and sustainable project management

 

SERIES ARTICLE

Article 2 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 second article gives a brief overview of the first book in our series; namely Project: Strategy. This is a straightforward guide to strategic planning within organisations, presenting the reader with a fundamental understanding of strategic management and functioning as a practical handbook.

Strategic planning has the potential to enable every organisation to realise its ideals and actualise its values, whether it be a small start-up business, a large international company, or even an entire society. Yet strategic planning efforts often fail due to an inability to execute the plan or because of poor decisions resulting in mismanagement of resources, for instance betting on the wrong projects. This book explores the perspective of project, portfolio and programme management and it shows how strategy is, in fact, the starting point for many projects. It is therefore imperative for project orientated organisations to understand their position and environment, and to make rational decisions when selecting and defining their projects and programs. Strategic planning is a key tool in such considerations and the book gives real life examples on strategy within different organisations.

We have written the book to be a practical handbook on strategic planning in organisations of any size, from small start-ups to large corporations and will be of interest to professionals in management and specialist positions within knowledge-based organisations in all sectors. Within such organisations, managers, specialists and in fact all employees are active participants in continuous strategic planning and are expected to contribute to it. Everyone must thus be familiar with the basic aspects of strategic planning and able to apply these skills, either as a leader or participant, and the book facilitates this. The book is also well-suited as a basic textbook in strategic planning at undergraduate and graduate level, and its exploration of open strategic planning on a social level would be of interest to readers in the public sector.

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. (2019). Strategy in the context of transparent leadership and sustainable project management. PM World Journal, Vol. VIII, Issue XI, December. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/pmwj88-Dec2019-Ingason-transparent-leadership-sustainable-pm-2-strategy.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.   Dr. Jonasson can be contacted at haukuringi@ru.is

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

 

 

 

7. Comments on major contexts

and further discussions

 

Series on Project Contexts

By Alan Stretton, PhD (Hon)

Sydney, Australia

 


 

INTRODUCTION AND RECAP

This is the last of a series of seven articles which have identified and discussed a variety of key contexts impacting on the management of projects. The basic reason for developing this series is that there is far too little attention given to the contexts of projects in the relevant literature – particularly when you consider that, in practice, effective management of projects’ contexts is usually quite critical to achieving overall project management (PM) success.

The first article of this series (Stretton 2019e) identified six key types of project contexts. These were summarised pictorially into a combined model, depicted in skeleton format in Figure 1 below.

Figure 1: Outline project context model

The second article of this series was concerned with the context of organisational strategic management; the third with the contexts of projects being undertaken by supplier organisations (SOs), and by owner organisations (OOs); the fourth with the contexts of what Shenhar & Dvir 2007 have described as projects dimensions; the fifth with types of projects; and the sixth with external influencers, and with application areas in which projects are undertaken.

In this last article we will first re-present the full version of Figure 1, which illustrates the six contexts and their sub-contexts, and discuss their multitudinous nature, and potential utility. We will then return to look at each of the six contexts, with comments on key issues, and on related issues not previously discussed, including some further contexts. We conclude the whole series with a brief note on the importance of this somewhat neglected subject of the contexts in which projects are undertaken.

We start with re-presenting the full version of Figure 1, which was first presented as Figure 5 in the immediately preceding article (Stretton 2019j).

Figure 2: A cumulative representation of the six contexts and their sub-contexts

We will now discuss some aspects of these project contexts and sub-contexts

More…

To read entire article, click here

 

How to cite this paper: Stretton, A. (2019). 7. Comments on major contexts, and further discussions, Series on Project Contexts; PM World Journal, Volume VIII, Issue XI, December. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/pmwj88-Dec2019-Stretton-7-conclusion-of-contexts-series.pdf

 


 

About the Author


Alan Stretton, PhD      

Faculty Corps, University of Management
and Technology, Arlington, VA (USA)
Life Fellow, AIPM (Australia)

 

 

Alan Stretton is one of the pioneers of modern project management.  He is currently a member of the Faculty Corps for the University of Management & Technology (UMT), USA.  In 2006 he retired from a position as Adjunct Professor of Project Management in the Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS), Australia, which he joined in 1988 to develop and deliver a Master of Project Management program.   Prior to joining UTS, Mr. Stretton worked in the building and construction industries in Australia, New Zealand and the USA for some 38 years, which included the project management of construction, R&D, introduction of information and control systems, internal management education programs and organizational change projects.  He has degrees in Civil Engineering (BE, Tasmania) and Mathematics (MA, Oxford), and an honorary PhD in strategy, programme and project management (ESC, Lille, France).  Alan was Chairman of the Standards (PMBOK) Committee of the Project Management Institute (PMI®) from late 1989 to early 1992.  He held a similar position with the Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM), and was elected a Life Fellow of AIPM in 1996.  He was a member of the Core Working Group in the development of the Australian National Competency Standards for Project Management.  He has published over 200 professional articles and papers.  Alan can be contacted at alanailene@bigpond.com.au.

To see more works by Alan Stretton, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/alan-stretton/.

 

 

Why Should We Include Opportunity?

Five C’s

 

Risk Doctor Briefing

SERIES ARTICLE

Dr David Hillson, PMI Fellow, HonFAPM, FIRM

The Risk Doctor Partnership

United Kingdom

 


 

Many of the pieces are now in place to support widespread adoption of inclusive risk management that addresses both threats and opportunities. International standards define risk as double-sided, and this is supported by professional bodies, recognised thought-leaders, expert practitioners, and leading-edge organisations. All that’s needed is for more people to start doing it! But why should we?

Here are five reasons (and number 5 is the best):

  1.  Compliance. International risk standards use a double-sided definition of risk, and organisations wishing to align with these standards will have to follow suit.

2. Contracts. Some clients require their suppliers to use formal risk management, and if you want to do business with them you must have risk processes in place. If your client includes opportunity management within the contractual requirement, you’ll have to do the same.

3. Conformance. Many leading organisations use an integrated risk process to identify and capture opportunities proactively as well as to deal with threats, including those who are role models or “best of breed”. This may influence other organisations to adopt a similar approach, in order to keep up with the leading players in their industry.

More…

To read entire article, click here

 

How to cite this paper: Hillson, D. (2019).  Why Should We Include Opportunity? Five C’s, Risk Doctor Briefing; PM World Journal, Volume VIII, Issue XI, December.   Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/pmwj88-Dec2019-Hillson-Why-Include-Opportunity-the-Five-Cs.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.

To see other works previously published in the PM World Journal by Dr David Hillson, visit his author showcase at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/dr-david-hillson/

 

 

The Art of Managing Expectations

 

Positive Leadership in Project Management

SERIES ARTICLE

By Frank Saladis, PMP, PMI Fellow

New York, NY, USA

 


 

I have been writing articles about “Positive Leadership in Project Management” for several years. The reason for choosing this particular title as the main theme for each article is directly connected to my belief that project managers, when assigned to a project, are assuming a position of leadership regardless of project size. A positive, motivational, and inspiring attitude is essential for personal success and the success of the team and the project. Leadership is about creating change, taking risks, setting an example, helping others to succeed, and having the courage to keep trying when previous attempts did not work. Leadership is about filling people with a sense of confidence, pride, and determination to achieve goals. It is also about preparing people to be resilient during difficult times, taking the edge off in times of great stress, and providing followers with a sense of purpose and a belief that they can succeed in reaching their goals. Leaders help others define success and provide guidance and mentorship to improve the probably of a successful outcome. Success is, in part, achieved when a set of goals and objectives have been clearly stated and the team understands and strives to meet those goals

Leadership, if you really think about it, begins with the development of a set of clear expectations. Unfortunately, in many cases, expectations are set very informally and are not clearly articulated. Sometimes they are set in a very aggressive manner and can be viewed as dictatorial and overbearing. When a new leader is assigned to a position, it is very common to either experience or observe some type of dialog among employees, and sometimes among other managers, about the incoming leader and what to expect. Much of this dialog is based on hearsay, rumors and unsubstantiated information. Assumptions are formed, judgments are made and plans for dealing with the new leader are often created before the leader’s position actually becomes official or the new leader has communicated his or her plans.  These assumptions may lead to an uncomfortable environment for communication and could cause some serious issues in the areas of morale and productivity.  The newly assigned leader, upon some observation of the organization he or she is joining, may begin to set some expectations regarding organizational or specific individual performance without actually observing behaviors and performance or conducting any formal discussions with other leaders or employees. This lack of dialog, open communication and setting of “spontaneous expectations” may lead to a serious breakdown in many performance areas and create conflict that could have been avoided.

Truly effective leaders understand that setting expectations intentionally is one of the key factors associated with organizational success. By “intentionally” I mean the leader schedules a specific session with an individual or a team of representatives from a business entity to discuss issues, concerns, visions, ideas, and ultimately a set of expectations. It is also very important to understand that expectations are different from goals and objectives.

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). The Art of Managing Expectations: Positive Leadership in Project Management, series article. PM World Journal, Vol. VIII, Issue X, November. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/pmwj87-Nov2019-Saladis-the-art-of-managing-expectations.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/

 

 

6. Contexts of external influencers

and of project application areas

 

Series on Project Contexts

By Alan Stretton, PhD (Hon)

Sydney, Australia

 


 

INTRODUCTION

This is the sixth of a series of seven articles which identify and discuss a variety of key contexts which impact on the management of projects. The basic reason for developing this series is that there is far too little attention given to the contexts of projects in the relevant literature – particularly when you consider that, in practice, effective management of projects’ contexts is usually quite critical to achieving overall project management (PM) success.

The first article of this series (Stretton 2019e) identified six key types of project contexts. These were summarised pictorially into a combined model, depicted in skeleton format in figure 1.

 Figure 1: Outline project context model

The second article of this series (Stretton 2019f) was concerned with the context of organisational strategic management, and the third (Stretton 2019g) with the contexts of projects being undertaken by supplier organisations (SOs), and by owner organisations (OOs). The fourth article (Stretton 2019h) discussed the contexts of what Shenar & Dvir 2007 describe as project dimensions, and the fifth (Stretton 2019i) the more general context of types of projects.

This sixth article is concerned with two external contexts, namely those of external influencers, and of application areas in which projects are undertaken. Their places in Figure 1 are illustrated by bolder typefaces, and heavier external borders.

CONTEXT OF EXTERNAL INFLUENCERS

Recapping discussions of the context of external influencers in the first article

I discussed aspects of this particular context in Stretton 2019e, under the following headings, as now summarised.

Types of external influencers

The following table lists potential external stakeholders, derived from Stretton 2018j.

Figure 2: A listing of potential external influencers

In Stretton 2018j I discussed a group of project stakeholders that Pirrozi 2017 described as influencers. In Figure 2 I have expanded on these to include other external stakeholders who can also influence the project. The above listing is rather a generalised one, and does not take account of particular influences which apply to only a few projects of a particular type – e.g. adverse geophysical conditions.

More…

To read entire article, click here

 

How to cite this paper: Stretton, A. (2019). 6. Contexts of external influencers, and of project application areas, Series on Project Contexts; PM World Journal, Volume VIII, Issue X, November. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/pmwj87-Nov2019-Stretton-6-project-contexts-external-influencers-and-application-areas.pdf

 


 

About the Author


Alan Stretton, PhD      

Faculty Corps, University of Management
and Technology, Arlington, VA (USA)
Life Fellow, AIPM (Australia)

 

 

Alan Stretton is one of the pioneers of modern project management.  He is currently a member of the Faculty Corps for the University of Management & Technology (UMT), USA.  In 2006 he retired from a position as Adjunct Professor of Project Management in the Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS), Australia, which he joined in 1988 to develop and deliver a Master of Project Management program.   Prior to joining UTS, Mr. Stretton worked in the building and construction industries in Australia, New Zealand and the USA for some 38 years, which included the project management of construction, R&D, introduction of information and control systems, internal management education programs and organizational change projects.  He has degrees in Civil Engineering (BE, Tasmania) and Mathematics (MA, Oxford), and an honorary PhD in strategy, programme and project management (ESC, Lille, France).  Alan was Chairman of the Standards (PMBOK) Committee of the Project Management Institute (PMI®) from late 1989 to early 1992.  He held a similar position with the Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM), and was elected a Life Fellow of AIPM in 1996.  He was a member of the Core Working Group in the development of the Australian National Competency Standards for Project Management.  He has published over 200 professional articles and papers.  Alan can be contacted at alanailene@bigpond.com.au.

To see more works by Alan Stretton, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/alan-stretton/.

 

 

Transparent leadership and sustainable project management

 

SERIES ARTICLE

Article 1 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 the PM World Journal, we are introducing our series through a set of short articles, where we explain our ideas and scope. This first article gives a brief overview of the series in whole.

The series is tailored to creatively strengthen four key proficiencies of the reader; strategy, leadership, implementation and communication. We intend the reader to develop his/her personal leadership and managerial style and the ability to take ideas and advance them through planning and execution – with the transparency and accountability that successful project management today demands. In line with the demands of the modern business environment, emphasis is put on both the technical and human elements of effective management, aligning the objectives of the project leader, team, and organization within the project’s social and environmental context.

The series is primarily written for the next generation of project, programme and portfolio management. Icelandic versions of the books have been taught for years in the most popular and successful management education and training program in the country. They reflect the integrated nature of this successful program and the integrated nature is designed to meet the needs of those who want to lead well in both their professional and private lives, deploying self-realization into the leadership of businesses, public bodies, NGOs and society in general.

The books are fully aligned to the most recent version of the IPMA Competence Baseline ICB4; they are practical as handbooks and as important support documents for those aiming to get certified according to the IPMA certification system. Businesses, government agencies and all manner of organizations require people with the vision and skills to conceive and execute their plans.

The series will be of interest to an international readership as it is aimed at professionals who seek to gain and employ a better understanding of their own leadership capabilities to become successful practitioners of modern strategic project management. This is a challenge as modern projects are typically planned and operated in an international context, through the collaboration of people from different countries and with different backgrounds.

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To read entire article, click here

 

Editor’s note: This sequel 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 paper: Ingason, H.T. and Jonasson, H.I. (2019). Transparent leadership and sustainable project management, series article 1. PM World Journal, Vol. VIII, Issue X, November. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/pmwj87-Nov2019-Ingason-Jonasson-transparent-leadership-and-sustainable-project-management1.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 Project Ethics, published by Gower (UK) in 2013.  Dr. Jonasson can be contacted at haukuringi@ru.is

 

 

Taking Care of (Project) Business

 

Project Business Management

SERIES ARTICLE

By Oliver F. Lehmann

Munich, Germany

 


 

“I admire Picasso. He sold his oil more expensive than anyone else.”
Unknown

 

Summary

Project Business with clients and contractors comes with specific challenges for all professionals involved. They need a good understanding of project management, but also of commercial and legal matters in order to make the project satisfactory for the organizations and individuals involved.

More education is necessary to prepare even experienced project managers for these challenges. At the moment, most project managers learn Project Business Management through trial and error.

However, trial in project business is expensive, and error even more.

Liquidity

It is autumn 2019 while I am writing this article, and attentive readers of business press find the topic of liquidity addressed in many places:

  • On 23 September, UK’s oldest provider of package holidays went into insolvency after 178 years of operation. British travel firm Thomas Cook had failed to fully refinance huge debts and went out of business, forsaking 150,000 tourists, Britons and people from other nationalities, stranded in holiday destinations, sending several thousand employees into unemployment, and leaving an unknown number of invoices from business partners unpaid[1].
  • On the same day, a scathing letter became public by Ola Källenius, the CEO of German Mercedes-Benz car maker Daimler AG. In this letter, Mr. Källenius criticized the losses of the group, which added up to 4.2 billion Euros, and called for the protection of the “financial solidity”, which he called a “life vein of the corporation[2].
  • Automotive again, same day. South China Morning Post reported that during the second quarter of 2019, the Chinese maker of electric cars NIO burned 2.6 billion yuan (US$4 million) a day. Their cumulative losses since their foundation 5 years ago are reported at US$5.7 billion. The company, according to the article, hopes for an infusion of 10 billion yuan by an investor, however given its reported rate of burning money, this would just help the company to survive another four days.
  • One month earlier, in August, India Business Law Journal wrote that “More action needed to ease contractors’ liquidity crisis”. Blaming unresolved disputes and insufficient performance of contractors in infrastructure and construction projects as the culprit, the article describes how an entire national industry suffers from losses and late payments.[3]
  • US aircraft manufacturer Boeing may currently also be much more in liquidity troubles than what is communicated in public. The corporation had a stock buy-back program over US$20 billion in 2018 and are about to invest US$4.75 billion in buying Brazilian Embraer, a manufacturer of small commercial aircraft. Since March 2019, their most promising model, the Boeing 737 MAX has been grounded by aviation regulators around the world, and newly built aircraft are stockpiling and cannot be delivered. Already delivered aircraft have also been grounded, and their operators already began charging the costs of the grounding to Boeing. According to IBA Group, the costs of grounding are at about US$150,000 – per aircraft and per day.[4] At the same time, sales of Boeing aircraft are slumping[5]. Boeing is still a darling of investors, due to its large backlog of orders from the last years to be fulfilled and its second business in military, however this may finally prove to be a temporary relieve only.

The majority of the examples above are not from project management, however, they show the crucial significance of liquidity for any company’s survival. Most companies need to live from the earnings made from the business they do. The examples also show that the matter is not specific to an industry, or a certain country culture, it is a universal issue for every business anywhere in the world.

Such as project business.

Project Business

Project business takes place, when organizations come together to do one or more projects. These projects are no more just cross-functional, they are cross-organizational.

Figure 1: Cross-functional projects are performed inside the protective walls of a performing organization. Cross-corporate project span over several organizations.

Project Business Management (PBM) brings together project management and business management. However, it is different in its lack of experts who are qualified to help organizations do better projects with paying customers on one side and successful contractors on the other.

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. (2019). Taking Care of (Project) Business; Series on Project Business Management; PM World Journal, Vol. VIII, Issue IX, October.  Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/pmwj86-Oct2019-Lehmann-Taking-Care-of-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] (Collinson, 2019)

[2] (Köster, 2019)

[3] (Negi & Kumar, 2019)

[4] (Whybrow, 2019)

[5] (Johnsson & Kochkodin, 2019)

 

Using VUCA for Strategic Risk Management

 

Risk Doctor Briefing

SERIES ARTICLE

By Greg Githens

USA

 


 

VUCA is well known as a framework for identifying threats and opportunities. The aspects of Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity also characterize the enterprise environment for organizational strategy and understanding them gives risk professionals an opportunity to contribute to the way that strategy is crafted.

  • Volatility. Gasoline changes from liquid to gas at a lower temperature than water, so we say that gasoline is more volatile than water. This is a good thing if you want to drive across the country, but a bad thing if you spill gasoline in a confined space. In financial markets, volatility refers to rapid changes in pricing trends. A high-tech stock would be considered more volatile than an electrical utility. Generally, volatility is associated with emergent growth opportunities, and it can be useful if you’re in a relatively weak strategic position. On the other hand, volatility is undesirable if your organization requires predictability.
  • Uncertainty. What is the probability that it will rain today? This is an example of uncertainty because an explicit answer can be provided. Uncertainty is the focal point of classic risk management because it is concerned with specific events (threats or opportunities), the probability of those events occurring, and the impact of those events if they do occur.
  • Complexity. It is useful to distinguish complex systems from complicated systems.
    • A complicated system is one where it is possible for a suitably-skilled expert to analyse and understand causes and effects. A car is a complicated system, and a knowledgeable mechanic could disassemble and then reassemble it, but a layperson could not. Strategy work in highly-regulated industries might be complicated in that a suitably-qualified expert could develop an effective strategy.

More…

To read entire article, click here

 

How to cite this paper: Githens, G. (2019). Using VUCA for Strategic Risk Management; PM World Journal, Volume VIII, Issue IX, October.   Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/pmwj86-Oct2019-Githens-Using-VUCA-for-Strategic-Risk-Management.pdf

 


 

About the Author


Greg Githens

USA

 

 

Greg Githens is the author of How to Think Strategically. Sharpen Your Mind. Develop Your Competency. Contribute to Success. He has substantial direct experience in designing, developing, leading, and coaching strategic initiative programs.

He is skilled at building alignment in people that enables them to get the tough work done. He has the skill to efficiently structure, plan, prioritize, and implement high-risk, high-reward initiatives. He works effectively with people at all levels of the organization. His hands-on experience gives Greg the seasoning to make good judgments and quickly add value. Over his 25 years of experience in strategic programs and innovation, Greg has developed and acquired practices that address the “crux of the matter.”

Greg enjoys sharing his expertise with others and says, “I want to make an impact.” Greg leads three popular seminars for PMI SeminarsWorld as well as coaches and facilitates results for leading organizations

Greg can be contacted at GregoryDGithens@cs.com or https://strategicthinkingcoach.com/

 

 

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