Welcome to the July 2020 PMWJ



By David Pells

Managing Editor

Addison, Texas, USA



Welcome to the July 2020 edition of the PM World Journal, the 95th monthly edition.  For many of those previous editions, a welcome article was included to briefly describe the articles, papers and other works included that month.  The welcome articles often also included an editorial on some current topic, or one that I felt compelled to discuss.  For example, the April 2019 welcome article discussed the recent crash and loss of the PMWJ website and database, which had to be rebuilt.  Since then, however, the volume of works received for publication grew so much that I found less and less time for either welcome articles or editorials.

A few readers actually complained about my silence.  So last month I included my first editorial in over a year, but no welcome article.  This month, here is a welcome article but without an editorial.  The editorial that I planned to publish this month is too important to rush and I ran out of time.  Maybe I can say something intelligent in this article, but… I’m going to keep it short, maybe a new model for welcome articles.

My Black Elephants editorial last month generated some interesting feedback and emails.  See the four letters to the editor this month for examples.  I will partially return to this topic next month, as there seem to be differing definitions of black swans and black elephants among our readers.  In the meantime, if anyone else wants to weigh in, please send an email to me at editor@pmworldjournal.com.

Meanwhile, the Covid-19 Pandemic continues to ravage the world.  Here in the U.S. and in Texas in particular, it’s getting worse. We’ve had 1,100 new cases in Dallas, 8,000 in Texas and 50,000 nationwide just in the last 24 hours.  The number of cases is increasing now in 37 out of 50 U.S. states and in many other countries.  One affect of the lockdown seems to be more researchers and professionals authoring articles and papers.  That is reflected in this edition, which includes 34 works by 44 authors in 16 different countries.  It’s not a record, but enough to keep me very busy.

We’ve republished another Interview provided by Spring, our correspondent in Beijing and our connection to PM Review, an outstanding publication that burst onto the PM scene about two years ago.  We’re now a media partner for PMR; check out their website (English version as I must do).  The link is at the top of the PMWJ website at www.pmworldjournal.com.

The Featured Papers this month includes a translated paper authored in China by Prof Xiaojin Wang at Yunnan University in Southwest China.  We were honored in June to have Dr. Wang join our academic advisory team…


To read entire welcome article, click here


How to cite this paper: Pells, D.L. (2020). Welcome to the July 2020 PMWJ; PM World Journal, Vol. IX, Issue VII, July.  Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/pmwj95-Jul2020-Pells-welcome-to-this-edition.pdf



About the Author


David L. Pells

Managing Editor, PMWJ
Managing Director, PMWL



David L. Pells is Managing Editor of the PM World Journal (www.pmworldjournal.net) and Managing Director of the PM World Library (www.pmworldlibrary.net). David is an internationally recognized leader in the field of professional project management with more than 35 years of experience on a variety of programs and projects, including engineering, construction, energy, defense, transit, technology and nuclear security, and project sizes ranging from thousands to billions of dollars. He occasionally acts as project management advisor for U.S. national laboratories and agencies, and currently serves as an independent advisor for a major U.S. national security program.

David Pells has been an active professional leader in the United States since the 1980s, serving on the board of directors of the Project Management Institute (PMI®) twice.  He was founder and chair of the Global Project Management Forum (1995-2000), an annual meeting of leaders of PM associations from around the world. David was awarded PMI’s Person of the Year award in 1998 and Fellow Award, PMI’s highest honor, in 1999. He is also an Honorary Fellow of the Association for Project Management (APM) in the UK; Project Management Associates (PMA – India); the Russian Project Management Association SOVNET, and the ISIPM.  Since 2010 he is an honorary member of the Project Management Association of Nepal.

Former managing editor of PM World Today, he is the creator, editor and publisher of the PM World Journal (ISSN:2330-4480).  David has a BA in Business Administration from the University of Washington and an MBA from Idaho State University in the USA.  He has published widely and spoken at events worldwide.  David lives near Dallas, Texas and can be contacted at editor@pmworldjournal.com.

To see other works by David Pells, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/david-l-pells/



Characteristics of Successful Organizational Change



By Angelica Larios, MBA, PMP

Mexico City, Mexico



Organizations change all the time, that is a fact. Whether the changes are planned or unplanned, that is a different story. The ideal is that organizations go through a process of change the best possible and prepared way; however, that is not always the case, and not all initiatives of change end with a good result. Several aspects are involved in the successful or unsuccessful result for an endeavor of change, no matter if the size, type, age, or industry for the organization, the following studied components are according to experience and studies vital for the success of the organizational change.

Leadership, without a doubt, is a strong component of the success of any organizational change projects. Even when there is not the only characteristic, it is evident that good leadership, a good head of the organization, will lead the boat to a right end. Leaders around the world under a broad of styles and approaches are the ones in charge of making the right changes for the organization. Either where is a great strategy to implement or an innovative process to take into consideration, a new product or service or as simple as focusing on internal people and building “professional and social capital.”[1] These actions will orient and influence the final result.

Even when leadership becomes a fundamental aspect, in this paper, leadership is focused on human resources, contribution to the community, the use of standards, the importance of being agile, the importance of relying upon external consultant and more critical the trust needed in the leader and project manager to success in organizational change.

Focus on Human Capital and Resources

Experience and evidence show that leaders of outstanding companies take fewer risks in their decisions and when undergoing an organizational change than their competitors. Still, contrary to what one could think, they produce better outcomes by not rushing headlong into a decision. As it is illustrated, the best corporate leaders actively build the collective capacity for organizational growth and change by establishing strong, cohesive cultures where engagement, mutual understanding, and reciprocal accountability drive better organizational outcomes.[2]

There are several examples of these types of leaders, executives, CEOs, managers and project managers; one case can be found in companies that everybody knows. In the case of FedEx, his founder, and leader, Fred Smith was known for his spirit and participative leadership that was sympathetic and familiar at the same time. Taking into consideration its employees over the material value has made of this organization a huge success. In 2018, it was recognized among the most admired companies in the USA. “FedEx inspires its more than 400,000 team members to remain “absolutely, positively” focused on safety, the highest ethical and professional standards and the needs of their customers and communities.”[3]

With effective strategies in place for the stakeholders, organizations are turning their attention to improve the engagement with employees, using both external social tools and improved social functionality of internal platforms such as company intranets. Organizations recognize nowadays that employees are quite often “their most passionate, credible and impactful brand ambassadors, both internally and externally, and are designing communications strategies that reflect that reality,” said Tyler Durham, partner and managing director of Ketchum Pleon Change. They performed a study in 2012 that revealed an important movement among “those analyzed in the area of internal social connections on two fronts: internal engagement between the company and its employees, and empowerment of employees to represent the brand externally.” In both cases, the support that moves toward “true social business and will ultimately foster real business results in terms of employee retention, engagement, and productivity.”[4]


To read entire article, click here


How to cite this article: Larios, A. (2020). Characteristics of Successful Organizational Change, PM World Journal, Vol. IX, Issue VII, July.  Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/pmwj95-Jul2020-Larios-characteristics-of-successful-organizational-change2.pdf



About the Author

Angelica Larios

Mexico City, Mexico


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

She holds a master’s degree in business administration and a bachelor’s degree in computer science from National University of Mexico (UNAM) in addition to her studies in project management and her Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification, which have helped her to consolidate her career and have a better understanding of what businesses and projects need nowadays. She is a doctoral student in strategic leadership at Regent University, VA, USA; she is a PMI volunteer since 2007 starting in the local Mexico chapter, being Past President and and currently serves on the Board Volunteer Advisory Committee (BVAC) that supports the PMI Board of Directors (2016–2018).

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

To view other works by Angelica Larios, visit her author showcase in the PM World Library at https://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/angelica-larios/


[1] Jones, M., & Harris, A. (2014).

[2] Collins, J. & Hansen, M. (2012).

[3] Durham, T.  (2012).

[4] Durham, T.  (2012).


Operation 24/7

Effective Project Management in Different Timezones



By Steven Haywood

Illinois, USA



Every project manager’s goal is to streamline the workflow as efficiently as possible. There are, of course, dozens of tried and tested strategies to refer to. However, in practice, projects cannot always be managed based on the theory of these trusted methods. When a company expands or outsources work, the most challenging responsibilities fall into the hands of the project manager. With diverse teams located in different time zones, there are factors such as cultural and time differences that have to be taken into account. For the project manager, the risks may only magnify. Still, companies don’t seem to stop employing diverse teams as it leads to acquiring new talents and cutting off the costs.

However, if you ask any project manager working with global teams, they will say that the pros do not always outshine the complication. My experience associated with running global teams is along the same lines as well. Regardless of my opinion, business trends prove that global projects are here to stay. What is left to do for project managers is to find ways to tackle the issues, and make the global projects work in favor of you as well as your employees.

The Issue – Constraints of Time Zones

Imagine the case when your side of the organization is facing an emergency, and you need someone to solve it right away. But the team that attends to a certain department has already packed up for the day.

The Solution

Addressing the time zone issue starts even before your collaboration does. The first step is to ensure that both teams have an overlap in the working day, even if it is only for one hour per day. However, it might not necessarily offer a solution to an emergency described. There will inevitably be delays that occur in these cases. The upside is that with another team working during your off-hours, the problems could be fixed overnight. In effect, you will get an uninterrupted workflow as teams are essentially working in shifts throughout the day, although this might not work positively to manage team building or motivation aspects.

The Issue – Communication Barriers

Depending on your outsourcing team, you might be working with people whose mother tongue is not English. In some cases, the team members might still be fluent in the language, which diminishes the issue.

The Solution

Even without language barriers, a global workforce needs to have an effective communication system in place. Using simple language is the most vital step to facilitate communication with non-native speakers. Using business jargon and technology might make it easier. But you want to first establish common reporting strategies for all the teams. Collaboration tools might also be productive in order to exchange reports. Define expectations, the formats, and the frequency of communication right from the start. This would help to develop a standardized communication strategy. You can also assign someone who has the right language and interpersonal skills to be in charge of the correspondence.


To read entire article, click here


How to cite this article: Haywood, S. (2020).  Operation 24/7: Effective Project Management in Different Timezones, PM World Journal, Vol. IX, Issue VII, July. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/pmwj95-Jul2020-Haywood-operation-24-7-advisory.pdf



About the Author

Steven Haywood

Chicago, IL, USA


Steven Haywood is a Project Manager at Essay Pro, a leading academic writing service. His experience in the industry has exposed him to working with diverse teams in different parts of the world. Over the years, Steven has developed project plans and strategies that have helped him coordinate successfully with multiple remote teams. His career ladder began as a trainee in a marketing firm, where he learned the ins and outs of marketing, outreach, and project management. He specializes in carrying out all aspects of project management, from conception to execution and feedback. Today, Steven Haywood  is the head of a project management team with individuals working from several remote locations.



Contingency Planning vs. Scenario Planning



By Steve Ford

Colorado, USA



The purpose of this paper is to provide a brief overview of contingency planning and how it fits into the overall scenario planning process. Furthermore, this paper will illuminate the significant steps of the scenario planning process and the importance of scenario planning in the modern marketplace.

Contingency Planning

Contingency planning is a component of risk management (PMI, 2017). The purpose of contingency planning is to proactively establish which project risks (both positive and negative) can be moderated against using various methods of mitigation. One form of contingency response is the strategic reserve. These reserves may take on several different forms. Schedule contingency, for example, is a duration estimate that accounts for possible schedule overruns and provides a time contingency. Budgetary contingency, such as a management reserve fund, protects against cost overruns by having a ready reserve of allocated funds available in the event a task or subroutine goes overbudget (PMI, 2017; Kerzner, 2018). Other contingency strategies include insurance tactics, hardware redundancies, software backup, alternate physical locations, legal strategies, human resource substitutions, and even comprehensive strategic alternatives regarding changes in the sociopolitical environment.

A contingency for a positive risk, such as a sudden and unexpected influx of resources, could be to initiate an internal effort to innovate or perhaps acquire additional human resources. In any case, all quantified risks are listed in the risk register. The risk register includes the action to take, resources required, decision-maker, risk owner, contingency plan, trigger conditions, contingency plan if the response fails, and residual and secondary risks that may trigger from the primary risk (PMI, 2017). Risk quantification and the risk register directly impact the decision-making matrix in that one can effectively categorize the level of decision-making authority needed to respond to the risk (PMI, 2017). Risk quantification is also used to establish cost and schedule contingency plans (PMI, 2017). For instance, a realized risk with high impact and high-resource mitigation may require a high-level authority to implement the corresponding mitigation strategy. In contrast, a risk with low impact and low-resource contingency utilization may only require low-level authority to implement a mitigation strategy (Kerzner, 2018).

Contingency Planning vs. Scenario Planning

Scenario planning is a strategic planning and risk management methodology to develop multiple, holistic, plausible scenarios for the future in order to gain insight and create strategic alternatives (Wilkinson & Kupers, 2013). Scenario planning was simultaneously developed by Herman Kahn (a member of the RAND corporation) in the United States and Gaston Berger in France in the 1950s (Wilkinson & Kupers, 2013). Scenario planning seemed to catch on and continued on a small scale until the 1970s when Shell oil publicly championed the process as part of its strategic planning and risk management operations. Immediately afterward, scenario planning came into vogue (Wilkinson & Kupers, 2013).


To read entire article, click here


How to cite this article: Ford, S. (2020).  Contingency Planning vs. Scenario Planning, PM World Journal, Vol. IX, Issue VII, July. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/pmwj95-Jul2020-Ford-contingency-vs-scenario-planning2.pdf



About the Author

Steve Ford

Colorado, USA



Steve Ford holds a BS from the US Air Force Academy (2004), an MS in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota (2009), and is currently in the Doctorate of Management- Project Management program at Colorado Technical University (2021). Steve is currently the managing member of Advanced Applied Project Management Solutions (LLC), a project management consultant firm. He holds numerous project management-related qualifications, including Project Management Professional (PMP), Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Professional, Project Management- Lean Process Certified, Lean Supply Chain Management Certified, and Lean Culture Certified. He has more than 18 years of aerospace and construction experience in project management.  He can be contacted at steven.w.ford.jr@gmail.com.

To view other works by Steve Ford, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at https://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/steve-ford/


The central role of stakeholders

in projects and in project management


Stakeholder Perspective and Effective Relationship Management

A series of stakeholder-centered short guidance articles for increasing delivered value and the success rate of projects



By Massimo Pirozzi

Rome, Italy



Stakeholders, who are they? The concept of stakeholders naturally corresponds to people and/or to people groups, and it definitively refers to the domain of human behaviors, but it addresses specific keywords, and, in case of project stakeholders, it has some specific attributes too.

Indeed, stakeholders, in their three hundred years of history – the word stakeholder dates back to the beginning of the eighteenth century, in England, and it meant the person who was entrusted with the stakes of bettors, i.e. a “holder of interests” – and especially in the last sixty years, progressively incorporated several key – and intense – concepts as interest, participation, support, influence, risk, responsibility, and value, and these concepts are common to all stakeholders that belong to organizational domains that may be very diverse.

Project stakeholders, in addition, focus on two specific basic attributes, which are unicity and centrality.  In fact, on one side, every project is unique, and its unicity is reflected not only in its scope, goals, objectives, deliverables, time, cost, resources, and so on, but also in its own set of stakeholders, which, then, characterizes specifically each project both with respect to others, and in terms of its inherent complexity too.

In addition, since each project is made by people to be delivered to other people, stakeholders are evidently central with respect to all projects. Indeed, stakeholders, including the project manager and the project team, are the doers of the project, as well as other stakeholders, including customers/users, and shareholders/investors/funders, who would like to beneficiate of project results, are the target groups of the project itself. Definitively, stakeholders contribute to project definition, implementation, and success, starting from strategies and arriving to generate benefits through their actual delivered value.

Stakeholder centrality is a concept that relates to both operations and strategy domains. In fact, organizations define their strategies, which are based on their own mission and vision, and projects are their operational means to accomplish strategic goals, then achieving, through their results, the expected benefits; the overall value that is generated by each project determines the stakeholder satisfaction, and the relevant project success rate, within the whole investment lifecycle (see Fig. 1). It is, indeed, a fact, that each project exists to implement an investment, which, on turn, has been mutually agreed to harmonize different stakeholder expectations; organizations define strategies, which are based on their own mission and vision, then select pursuable opportunities in accordance with their defined strategy, then set business cases up, and, finally, start projects up. The inputs of a project generally include, then, business case, contract, and Statement of Work, or equivalent documents and/or agreements: of course, there are different business cases or similar for different stakeholders, as, for instance, providers, investors, and customers are, and this leads to the existence of different perspectives, in terms of results to be achieved, that will accompany the project in all its life cycle, and also afterwards, i.e. in released product/ infrastructure/ service lifecycle.

Fig.1 – The Project Investment Value Chain

A crucial issue comes out: objective “project requirements” in fact do not exist – even though it would be easier to deal with them –, while, in each project, there are “stakeholder requirements” characterized by an intrinsic subjectivity, which is due to both the facts that they are originated by stakeholders, i.e. people, and that they are the result of a mediation among diverse stakeholder expectations.


To read entire article, click here


Editor’s note: This series of articles is by Massimo Pirozzi are based on the Author’s Book “The Stakeholder Perspective: Relationship Management to Increase Value and Success Rates of Projects”, CRC Press, Taylor and Francis Group, Boca Raton (FL), U.S.A., October 2019.

How to cite this paper: Pirozzi, M. (2020). Stakeholder Perspective and Effective Relationship Management: a series of stakeholder-centered short guidance articles for increasing delivered value and success rate of projects, The central role of stakeholders in projects and in project management, PM World Journal, Vol. IX, Issue VII, July. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/pmwj95-Jul2020-Pirozzi-the-central-role-of-stakeholders-in-projects-series-article-3.pdf



About the Author

Massimo Pirozzi

Rome, Italy



 Massimo Pirozzi, MSc cum laude, Electronic Engineering, University of Rome “La Sapienza”, Principal Consultant, Project Manager, and Educator. He is a Member and the Secretary of the Executive Board, a Member of the Scientific Committee, and an Accredited Master Teacher, of the Istituto Italiano di Project Management (Italian Institute of Project Management). He is certified as a Professional Project Manager, as an Information Security Management Systems Lead Auditor, and as an International Mediator. He is a Researcher, a Lecturer, and an Author about Stakeholder Management, Relationship Management, and Complex Projects Management, and his papers have been published in U.S.A., in Italy, and in Russia; in particular, he is the Author of the Book “The Stakeholder Perspective: Relationship Management to enhance Project value and Success”, CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, October 2019.  He has a wide experience in managing large and complex projects in national and international contexts, and in managing relations with public and private organizations, including multinational companies, small and medium-sized enterprises, research institutes, and non-profit organizations. He worked successfully in several sectors, including Defense, Security, Health, Education, Cultural Heritage, Transport, Gaming, Services to Citizens, Consulting, and Web. He was also, for many years, a Top Manager in ICT Industry, and an Adjunct Professor in Organizational Psychology. He is registered as an Expert both of the European Commission, and of Italian Public Administrations.

Massimo Pirozzi serves as an International Correspondent in Italy for the PM World Journal. He received two 2019 PM World Journal Editor’s Choice Awards for his featured paper “Stakeholders, Who Are They?”, and for his report from Italy titled “PM Expo® and PM Maturity Model ISIPM-Prado®”. He received also the 2018 PM World Journal Editor’s Choice Award for his featured paper “The Stakeholder Management Perspective to Increase the Success Rate of Complex Projects”.

Massimo can be contacted at max.pirozzi@gmail.com

To view other works by Massimo Pirozzi, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at https://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/massimo-pirozzi/



Introduction, Overview, Enablers


Boosting Organisational Value Through Smarter Portfolio Management



By Iain Fraser

New Zealand




Back in 1785 internationally known Scottish poet Robert Burns used the words “the best laid plans of mice and men go oft agley”. Those words were used in a poem about a mouse and its vulnerable shelter it had built. Fast-forward a few hundred years and we see vulnerability everywhere today mostly associated with aspects of the VUCA influenced world. The COVID-19 global pandemic exposed our vulnerability hugely. Going forward new ways of business planning and implementing need to be deployed to safeguard value delivered to stakeholders. These new ways can and should revolve around the advanced use of portfolio management, in its most mature form, with a ‘way of doing business’ mantra to allow for better strategy development and its implementation. This series of articles introduces readers to modern business portfolio management and how it can help organizations and professionals deliver more value.

Overview of Portfolio Management

Modern business portfolio management has borrowed some of its philosophy from the finance sector, particularly around grouping and commonality. These groupings provide a viable and pragmatic business management mechanism for the development and implementation of strategies. This has long been an area that has troubled executives and senior managers in their quest for efficient and effective operational and tactical activity that aligns to their strategic intents. Portfolio management can be applied in a new investment manner as well as in a ‘business-as-usual’ manner. When portfolio management is coupled together with a value management framework a real mechanism results that positions portfolio at the right level to assist those involved in strategic business planning and oversees the downstream implementation. In this way portfolios typically exhibit common features, such as:

  • They are aligned with the organization’s strategic intent (think vision and purpose) and linked to its identified strategic goals and business objectives,
  • They represent investments via funding allocations made or intended by the organization,
  • They typically have one or more distinguishing features that prompts the organization to group them for more efficient management and control purposes,
  • The features are quantifiable; that is they can be ranked, prioritized and measured,
  • They should include relevant ‘business as usual’ (BAU) related work.

To be valued as an organizational performance enhancer, each portfolio must be overseen by a common and effective P3M governance structure that is empowered to authorize, guide, and change portfolio content and intention.


To read entire article, click here


Iain Fraser is a former Chair and Fellow of the Project Management Institute and a globally recognized PM expert and professional leader.  This series of articles on smarter portfolio management is based on Iain’s book “The Business of Portfolio Management: Boosting Organizational Value Through Portfolio Management” (PMI, 2017).

How to cite this paper: Fraser, I. (2020). Boosting Organizational Value Through Smarter Portfolio Management: Introduction, Overview, Enablers; PM World Journal, Vol. IX, Issue VII, July. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/pmwj95-Jul2020-Fraser-portfolio-management-introduction-overview-enablers-series-article2.pdf



About the Author

Iain Fraser

Scotland & New Zealand


 Iain Fraser, Dip PPC, PMP, MoP, P3M3, PMI Fellow, Fellow PMINZ has over 30 years of global business, portfolio, program of work, project, and EPMO leadership experience from a variety of sectors such as oil & gas, telecommunications, power, banking, defence, government and technology. He is globally known for his expertise and in-sights on leveraging benefits from project-based management for business advantage. A former CEO, he is now an independent consultant, speaker and trainer. He is considered a thought-leader by his peers, has been featured on live radio, video and podcasts and has been quoted in The Times and The Telegraph of the UK. He is the author of the top-selling business book ‘The Business of Portfolio Management— Boosting Organizational Value(PMI, 2017) and co-author ofThe Business of People: Leadership for the Changing World(Routledge, 2019) with Madeleine Taylor as well as other publications. More at www.jacobite.co.nz

Iain can be contacted at Iain.Fraser@jacobite.co.nz.

To view other works by Iain Fraser, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at https://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/iain-fraser/


Tips for Working at Home


Converting to Online Teaching

A series of short guidance articles for educators and institutions



By John Cable, Director

Project Management Center for Excellence
A. James Clark School of Engineering
University of Maryland

College Park, Maryland, USA



If you are generally new to working from home on a full-time basis, we have put together a few ideas that may be useful.


It is best to develop a schedule and routine that works for you. Treat the day like a workday and get up on time, dress for the office (even if it is casual) and try to keep a regular schedule.

  • Plan your day to work with your natural energy cycle. We all have one and they are different. Maybe you are a morning person or a night owl or something in between. Your curve may look something like this:

In any case, schedule your focused work during your peak energy cycle and do things that require less focus during low energy times. This is a natural cycle but can be influenced by diet and exercise. Eat some protein when you need to push through a low energy time to finish a task.

  • Take breaks at whatever interval works for you, even if it’s just getting a fresh coffee and walking around the house for a minute.
  • Be sure to change your field of vision and focal length when you take a break. If you are sitting at a computer doing your work, make sure to look out the window or go outside so you are looking at a distance.
  • Forget the 8-10 hour typical day in the office and don’t be afraid to take breaks for personal things you need to get done. Working from home means you actually have a much longer workday!



To read entire article, click here


Editor’s note: This series of articles by the Director of the University of Maryland’s Project Management Center for Excellence provides information and advice for converting from traditional in-person classes to online teaching, based on their experience before and during the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020. See Professor Cable’s background at the end of this article.

How to cite this paper: Cable, J. H. (2020). Converting to Online Teaching: A series of short guidance articles for educators and institutions – Tips for Working at Home, PM World Journal, Vol. IX, Issue VII, July. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/pmwj95-Jul2020-Cable-converting-to-teaching-online-3-working-at-home2.pdf



About the Author

John Cable

Director, Project Management Center for Excellence
University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA


 John Cable is Director of the Project Management Center for Excellence in the A.James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland, where he is also a professor and teacher of several graduate courses in project management. His program at the University of Maryland offers masters and PhD level programs focused on project management. With more than 1,300 seats filled annually with students from many countries, including more than 40 PhD students, the program is the largest graduate program in project management at a major university in the United States.

John Cable served in the newly formed U.S. Department of Energy in 1980, where he was involved with developing energy standards for buildings, methods for measuring energy consumption, and managing primary research in energy conservation.  As an architect and builder, Mr. Cable founded and led John Cable Associates in 1984, a design build firm. In 1999 he was recruited by the University of Maryland’s Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering to create and manage a graduate program in project management. In his role as founder and director of the Project Management Center for Excellence at Maryland, the program has grown to offer an undergraduate minor, master’s degrees, and a doctoral program. Information about the Project Management Center for Project Management at the University of Maryland can be found at www.pm.umd.edu.

In 2002, PMI formed the Global Accreditation Center for Project Management Educational Programs (GAC).  Mr. Cable was appointed to that inaugural board where he served as vice chair.  In 2006, he was elected as chairman, a role he held through 2012.  As Chair of the PMI GAC, John led the accreditation of 86 project management educational programs at 40 institutions in 15 countries in North America, Europe, the Middle East, Latin America and the Asia Pacific Region. John was awarded PMI’s 2012 Distinguished Contribution Award for his leadership at the GAC.  He can be contacted at jcable@umd.edu.

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



July 2020 UK Project Management Round Up


Bad news, APM, PMI UK, Coronavirus, Good news and Beavers in Scotland



By Miles Shepherd

Executive Advisor & International Correspondent

Salisbury, England, UK




It is now more than 100 days since UK began lockdown. We are still dominated by the coronavirus but life is slowly returning to something like “normal”.  Whether we get to “new normal” is debatable but one thing is certain – “new normal” will become one of the words of 2020.  This month I’d like to mention how the professional associations are doing, a brief mention of wildlife projects and a few snippets of project related news.  Categorisation is difficult but I’ll end with the good news.


Reporting bad news about the UK nuclear industry is a little like shooting fish a barrel – not difficult but no fun!  The latest reports concern the graphite bricks which surround the tubes that the control rods pass to moderate the reactor.  These bricks deteriorate over time and those in the elderly reactors are getting close to their sell by date.  This is nothing to be alarmed about as the condition is known and monitored in the 15 reactors on 11 sites.  These reactors supply about 18% of UK’s electricity generating capacity and are being phased out.  For example, Hinkley Point B has two reactors, the first of which closed down in February and the second shut down in early June.  As the plant is scheduled for final shutdown in 2023, decisions on maintenance projects that would enable either or both reactors to restart will need to be taken – a straightforward cost benefit analysis one would hope.

However, such decisions are always complicated since ownership is shared with the French EDF owning 80% and Centrica the balance.  EDF has suffered some pretty poor financial returns over the past few years and it is doubtful that they could afford the cost of projects needed to replace the aging graphite blocks.  To complicate matters, the other Advanced Gas Reactors are likely to be suffering from similar problems which is one reason why they are being phased out in stages between 2023 and 2030.  The replacement reactors are not scheduled to start generating until 2025 at the earliest.  Other reactors are also affected and Hunterston B in Scotland has had many delays to its repair programme.

This situation is monitored by the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) who require proof that the control rods will operate effectively, even in the event of a major earthquake.  According to Richard Bradfield, chief technical officer at ONR, such an event has never been known in UK and is described as a once in 10.000-year event.  EDF have already spent over £200 million on test, inspections and modelling.  This latter includes construction of quarter scale models to evaluate the safety case.  Investment decisions are always difficult, in this case as Centrica has been trying to flog its 10% share and the intervention of the virus will have repercussions.


APM has continued its traditional programme but made a number of adjustments to cope with lockdown and social distancing.  The most notable change was the transfer of its conference programme to a two-week long set of webinars.  These ran throughout June and members can access the recordings via the members area on their website.


To read entire report, click here


How to cite this report: Shepherd, M. (2020). UK Project Management Roundup for July 2020, PM World Journal, Vol. IX, Issue VII, July.  Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/pmwj95-Jul2020-Shepherd-UK-Regional-Report.pdf



About the Author

Miles Shepherd

Salisbury, UK



Miles Shepherd is an executive editorial advisor and international correspondent for PM World Journal in the United Kingdom. He is also managing director for MS Projects Ltd, a consulting company supporting various UK and overseas Government agencies, nuclear industry organisations and other businesses.  Miles has over 30 years’ experience on a variety of projects in UK, Eastern Europe and Russia.  His PM experience includes defence, major IT projects, decommissioning of nuclear reactors, nuclear security, rail and business projects for the UK Government and EU.  Past Chair, Vice President and Fellow of the Association for Project Management (APM), Miles is also past president and chair and a Fellow of the International Project Management Association (IPMA).  He was a Director for PMI’s Global Accreditation Centre and is immediate past Chair of the ISO committee developing new international standards for Project Management and for Program/Portfolio Management.  Miles is Chair of the British Standards Institute’s Committee on Project, Programme and Portfolio Management and has been involved in the development of Uk’s BSI 6079 for more than 25 years.  He was involved in setting up APM’s team developing guidelines for project management oversight and governance.  Miles is based in Salisbury, England and can be contacted at miles.shepherd@msp-ltd.co.uk.

To view other works by Miles Shepherd, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/miles-shepherd/.




Fostering Collaboration

with an Empowered Technical Program Manager



By Dharma V. Mehta

California, USA



Employing technical program managers (TPMs) has become one of the more recent trends in the technology industry. A recent review of LinkedIn job posts finds that nearly 10,000 TPM positions are available in the United States, including opportunities within such major companies as Amazon, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Netflix, Apple, Airbnb, Lyft, Uber, and Intel. The increase in demand for TPMs stems from a need to employ individuals who are capable of managing and delivering on complex projects that involve multiple stakeholders. While the goal seems clear and straightforward, there is an interesting irony. And that is, there is a lack of consistency in how the job is defined and therefore implemented. In some cases, hiring managers don’t really know what to expect from TPMs, which can result in biases that affect job performance. Add to that discussion the conversation about the degree of which hands-on technical skills are required, and the debate rages on. While it’s true that TPMs should possess a background in technology, this skill is not sufficient to effectively staff this role. An ability to collaborate with multiple stakeholders, to lead others without reliance on authority, and to make reasoned business decisions that are supported by those throughout an organization are much more important qualities for TPMs to exhibit.

Defining the role of the TPM

The role of the TPM is to be responsible for ensuring that projects and programs remain on schedule and that all stakeholders are able to prioritize the work in order to meet deadlines and deliver on customer satisfaction. As a baseline, qualified TPM candidates need to:

  • Display a business acumen that is customer centric and strategic
  • Demonstrate an ability to solve problems
  • Influence others in different departments to remain aligned for a common goal
  • Have organizational skills that lend to end to end project management
  • Be well versed in proactive risk management
  • Understand core concepts in technology software and/or hardware (including architecture design, that is required to complete jobs and tasks.)

The TPM will be responsible for coordination across diverse teams—for example, a customer interface for a new website that allows for product reviews. For this type of project to succeed, the TPM must be able to evaluate the end-to-end technical design and user functioning, to question the validity of potential problems related to design and/or functionality, and to determine the appropriate delegation of staff members and their responsibilities, such as back-end engineers, web developers, and testers. If and when complications arise, it is important for the TPM to be empowered to rank problems based on importance and severity and to understand which issues are most technically difficult to solve so that solutions can be accomplished and further problems can be mitigated…


To read entire article, click here


How to cite this article: Mehta, D.V. (2020).  Fostering Collaboration with an Empowered Technical Program Manager, PM World Journal, Vol. IX, Issue VII, July. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/pmwj95-Jul2020-Mehta-empowered-technical-program-manager2.pdf



About the Author

Dharma Mehta

California, USA




 Dharma Mehta, Director of Program Management at Roku, has 10+ years of professional experience at prestigious companies including Amazon, PayPal and Accenture, solving complex processes and technology problems with simplified solutions. He has expertise in the fields of technology portfolio/ program/ project management, driving software product development, advertising technology and platform business, strategic planning, building high performance teams, and transforming software experience for developers and end customers. He is particularly effective at optimizing performance of people, processes, and technology to deliver improved business outcomes. For more information call 408-987-1794 or email dharmamehta@gmail.com.



Evolving Maintenance Culture in Nigeria

The Role of Facilities Management



By Dr Reuben A Okereke

Department of Quantity Surveying
Imo State University

Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria




The public perception as an “all comers’ affairs” poses a challenge of competence on practitioners, while the multidisciplinary nature of the practice of facilities management (FM) enhances access to requisite professionals in puts. Maintenance on the other hand is important for production of machinery and equipment’s in technological advancement since population is fast growing. The aim of the study is to examine the role of facilities management to the evolving maintenance culture in Nigeria by professionals practicing facilities management. Lagos state was used as a case study and structured questionnaires were administered to 150 professional facilities managers within the state. Also data was gotten from other researchers work and articles. Result of the study shows that 39% of the respondents have between 6-10 years of working experience, which means that younger generation professionals currently dominate the practice of FM. It has been established that FM can be best practiced by adopting information standardization, acquisition of more relevant trainings by practitioners as well as the practice performance benchmarking. Finding validates the literature on the multidisciplinary nature of FM. Also to embrace a better maintenance culture within the country, industry, professional bodies and university academics have to embrace FM practice and begin to create innovations that will move FM practice in Nigeria to maturity stage just like in the developed countries like USA and UK.

Key words: multidisciplinary nature, facilities management, maintenance, culture, industry


As the population is fast growing, technological advancement (in quality and quantity) should also be growing in like manner, for this reason production engineers and manufacturers are working round the clock seeking for the technical ideals of maintenance to meet up with ever increasing demand of the populace. Infrastructural development is the basis and bedrock of any development effort in the world today. The maintenance of production machinery and equipment and assurance of availability of spare parts are becoming increasingly important (Ramdeen and Pun, 2005). It is important to stress that, it is not enough for facilities of development to be put in place; it is more than enough for these facilities to be adequately and properly maintained so that the purpose for which they are meant would be accomplished.

Maintenance management is a data-intensive activity which forms an important aspect of human and non-human resources development as it is considered one of the major catalysts of the continuous existence of all forms of resources in the universe (Uma, 2009). With the increasing specialization and complexity of equipment and other facilities used in manufacturing, the need to develop effective maintenance culture in the industries had become imperative (Olatunbosun and Abimbola, 2005). Olatunde (2009) is of the view that understanding the importance of project sustainability will mean incorporating long term facility management agreements in all major projects.

Maintenance is the work necessary to keep the body, equipment and machines in proper and safe operating conditions (Usman, 2008). Maintenance is therefore seen as a vital part and a necessity in human or non-human resources management if they are to be continuously functional. Maintenance can be summarized as the repair and upkeep of existing equipment’s, buildings and facilities to keep them in a safe, effective as designed condition so that they can meet their intended purpose (Eti et al, 2004, Adeniyi et al 2004). Any equipment or facility has a pre-determined expected standard of performance and support for extent to which the maintenance objectives are met as regards the satisfaction of both internal, external and customers requirements (Oluleye and Olajire, 2009). The phrase maintenance culture could therefore be seen as an important one that should be defined to have a proper understanding of what it stands for in the process of sustainable development. In financial perspective, maintenance is classified as an operating expense while the other non-maintenance activities such as process optimization, manufacture of replacement parts, relocation, upgrading, modification and installation of equipment (plant engineering functions) are capitalized. Ajibola (2009) defines culture as “the shared belief and values of a group; the beliefs, customs, practices and social behavior of a particular nation or people”. A good maintenance culture ensures that machinery functions properly even when depreciation is assured. Cost saving can be enormous if basic maintenance procedures are put in place (Ikpo, 2000). Appropriate maintenance culture, proper repair and preventive maintenance of industrial machinery and equipment will not totally prevent their breakdown and failure but it would reduce it to a barest minimum. Also, the cost of preventive maintenance would be returned in many folds in the form of better performance, greater reliability and long equipment useful life. It may even enhance less down time during peak operating period (Adigun and Ishola, 2004).

Maintenance work is generated by a whole range of factors including weathering, corrosion, dirt, structural and thermal movement, wear, low initial expenditure, passing of time, incorrect specification, inferior design, poor detailing and damage by users. Some of the major maintenance problems stem from the use of new materials and techniques.


To read entire article, click here


How to cite this paper: Okereke, R.A. (2020). Evolving Maintenance Culture in Nigeria: The Role of Facilities Management; PM World Journal, Vol. IX, Issue VII, July.  Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/pmwj95-Jul2020-Okereke-evolving-maintenance-culture-in-nigeria2.pdf



About the Author

Dr. Reuben A. Okereke

Owerri, Nigeria



Q.S. Dr. Reuben A. Okereke, PhD, QS & Sust. Dev., MSc. Const. Mgt., MSc. Env. Res. Mgt., FRQS, FIIA, FAPM, ACArb, CIPM, MAACEI., is a multi-talented and erudite scholar. A versatile professional with academic qualifications in Quantity Surveying, Project Management, Construction Management and Environmental Resource Management. His Quantity Surveying professional experience of almost three decades spans through his employment with consultancy and construction firms in Lagos, Nigeria, work as Project Manager in the Bank for eight years, services as in-house consultant Quantity Surveyor for several years for the Imo State University Owerri, Nigeria, experience as Consultant Quantity Surveyor in private practice as well as several years of teaching in both the University and Polytechnic. He is currently serving his second term as the head of department of Quantity Surveying, Imo State University, Owerri, Nigeria. He can be contacted at  raphicaben2013@gmail.com



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