Archive for the ‘project management’ Category

Top 5 Project Management Certifications To Become A Great Project Manager!

September 10, 2018

5-pm-certifications

Are you working as a project manager? You may want to improve your prospect. There are many certification courses for project manager you should do. We here bring the great options in project management certification. Here you can know the various options available in certification and how to continue in your post.

You as a project manager can increase your skill and prospects of job sharp with certifications. A project manager who combines certification with their degree get opportunities. In the past few years, the PM jobs have got increased to 425%.

Behind all IT projects success, you can find a highly talented and capable project manager. From software to hardware upgrades to security patches, application development and software itself, a project manager has to keep their teams on task and production.

Almost all IT professional can benefit from adding a certification to their IT credentials. It shows how you plan, schedule the budget, execute it, deliver and report them on IT initiatives. If you want a hike in your salary, a certification can give you this.

If you are looking to gain all the above-mentioned points, you can analyze and choose the best project manager certification for your requirements.

First of all, you should know which the best certification is. The top 5 certifications for project manager available are:

  1. PMP
  2. PRINCE2
  3. CAPM
  4. CSM
  5. PMI-ACP

Let us see, what all these courses have to offer you in details:

Project Management Professional (PMP)

One of the top credentials is the PMP certification (Project Management Professional) for project managers. This is the most widely accepted and popular certification you can find anywhere. The Project Management Institute is the accreditation body for the PMP certification.

About the PMP certification exam structure

The PMP training certification examination can be passed only if you are perfect with all the techniques needed to plan and monitor a project from its start to finish. According to the 8th edition salary survey of Project management, a project manager who has PMP certification should get 17% more monetary benefit than others.

The PMP exam isn’t easy to clear. To be successful, you need to spend about +35 hours to prepare for the exam.

The exam has about 200 MCQs and runs for 4 hours. No extra time is given to you for the exam unless specified otherwise.

No negative marking is awarded, so it’s best you answer everything; even if you aren’t sure of the correct answer.

PMP certification prerequisites

To be able to do the PMP certification, you need to have:

  • A 4-year degree
  • 4500 hours or 3 years experience in guiding and managing projects
  • 35+ hours of PM education

Or

  • A secondary degree
  • 7500 hours or 5 years experience in guiding or managing projects
  • +35 hours of PM education

You can pick a PMP training either from a university or from an online training provider. In fact, in many cases, PMP is integrated into certain master’s degree programs.

This project management certification ensures you possess certain skill and qualification that is necessary for successfully managing all phases of the project. This includes planning, initiating, controlling, monitoring and closing the project.

A manager certified in PMP will be highly equipped in managing every aspect of the constraints of cost, time and scope. The employers will depend on the project manager to manage the budget, track costs and expenditure, ensure there is no scope creep and to identify potential risk factors that could impact the project and minimize such risk to protect the investment of a project.

 

  1. PRINCE2

The PRINCE2 certification course is another important project management credential project managers can take.  was first introduced for the government offices of UK. After the huge success, it came into the corporate world. Now it has become an important certification program in much organization all over the world.

PRINCE2 is accredited by AXELOS and focuses on managing, directing and delivering projects throughout all phases from pre-project to initiation, delivery, and the final delivery.

About the PRINCE2 Certification exam structure

PRINCE2 is divided into two: foundation and practitioner. The entry-level credential is Foundation that tests your basic methodology and terminology of project management while in Practitioner tests the advanced project manager who has passed PRINCE2 Foundation. The key features of this exam are:

  • Focuses on business justification
  • Product-based planning and approach
  • Defined organization structure
  • Emphasis is given on projects division into controllable and manageable stages

The Prince2 exam consists of 50 objective-type questions, each of which weighs about 1 mark. The duration of this exam is two and a half hours, with no extra time given for breaks. 30 marks or 60% is required to clear the exam and get certified.

PRINCE2 certification prerequisites

The Prince2 foundation exam has no prerequisites. The Prince2 practitioner exam, however,  needs proof that you have cleared at least one of the following exams.

  • PRINCE2 Foundation
  • Project Management Professional (PMP)®
  • Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)®
  • IPMA Level A (Certified Projects Director)
  • IPMA Level B® (Certified Senior Project Manager)
  • IPMA Level C® (Certified Project Manager)
  • IPMA Level D® (Certified Project Management Associate)

  1. CAPM

The CAPM certification or Certified Associate in Project Management is the precursor of the PMP certification and is also accredited by the PMI. If you are a professional without graduation or project management experience or you want to pursue PMP certification next all together, then CAPM is the first step toward this.

About the CAPM certification exam structure

The CAPM certification in project management is a renowned program for the IT professionals who want their career to grow as project manager. The CAPM certification exam has 150 MCQs that needs to be completed in 3 hours. A candidate needs to retake the exam every 5 years to maintain his or her CAPM credentials.

CAPM certification prerequisites

The eligibility for this certification is:

  • Secondary Degree or High School Diploma or an associate degree or any equivalent degree accepted globally
  • And you must have a 1500 hours project experience

or

  • Secondary Degree or High School Diploma or an associate degree or any equivalent degree accepted globally
  • 23 hours of project management education

If you are interested in shifting your career to the project management, get this certification done. When you get CAPM certification, it shows the commitment of yours learning new skills. This also shows you understand the processes and terminology used in this project management.

  1. CSM

We cannot mention project management without bringing up the CSM Certification. The Agile methodology has become the standard of all IT organizations. Therefore it is not at all surprising that IT professionals must be qualified uniquely to manage any projects. A CSM certification offers a big jump to project managers starting out as Scrum professionals.

Scrum Alliance is the parent organization that accredits the CSM certification. The Scrum Alliance helps organizations follow Scrum and Agile practices, promote user group and also provide resources for development professionally. CSM certified project managers can facilitate teams in using scrum effectively for successful project organization.

About the CSM certification exam structure

The CSM exam consists of 35 MCQs, out of which you need 24 or more correct answers to clear the exam. Candidates are given an hour to complete their tests, with extra time given for breaks. You can pause and take breaks as and when required.

CSM certification prerequisites

This is a great certification for anyone who is a beginner in the field of project management. There is no set prerequisite for candidates to take this course. While a working knowledge of how scrums work would be beneficial, this isn’t mandatory. Having said that, there are prerequisites that need to be fulfilled for you to take the exam.

These are:

  • Attend training sessions conducted by a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST)
  • Register and attend the exam within 90 days of completing the course
  • Clear the CSM exam

  1. PMI ACP

ACP stands for Agile Certified Practitioner. The PMI-ACP certification carries a high level of integrity professionally because it includes agile training by examining the tools and fundamentals of agile projects.

About the PMI-ACP certification exam structure

PMI-ACP helps people address the need of their organizations. It helps professionals apply their skill on different projects in a proper manner.

To get certified, you need to take the ACP test, which consists of 120 MCQs. To successfully clear the paper, you need to answer about 100 of these questions in 3 hours.

PMI-ACP certification prerequisites

If you are a project manager who works in rapidly changing environments, or if you have to deliver products in a short developmental cycle, then you should explore this certification. Its requirements are:

  • A secondary Degree
  • 2000 hours general experience in project management
  • 1500 hours experience in agile projects
  • 21 hours training on the agile practice

The PMI-ACP certification helps you discover techniques for managing the project scope actively and learn the principles of Agile to improve the performance of the team and collaborate that to ensure better delivery.

Regardless of choosing which certification is better for you, ensure they are well-versed in all concepts of the project methodology, and you are capable of handling all the aspects of all projects successfully. Now that you understood the basic principles of these top 5 certifications; it is going to be easier for you to choose anyone. You should prepare properly for appearing the certification examination.

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It’s all in the Presentation

August 15, 2018

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I was once in a restaurant.

The location was good, the décor and ambience very acceptable, the company most enjoyable, and the snow fell softly outside providing a winter wonderland visual delight through the large windows.

But sadly all of that positive build-up for a great evening’s dining was almost outweighed by the food and service.

After an initial ordering experience the diners elected to eat the same main course but each agreed that the chef’s vegetable of choice for the evening was not to their personal liking. It was the humble Brussels sprout, a member of the brassica family that enjoys a somewhat tarnished image which, considering its status as a nutritional powerhouse, is perhaps a little unfair.

Anyway the request was made to replace said evil vegetable with an alternative, and asparagus tips were requested. And so the meal continued through a mediocre appetizer and on until the main course finally arrived … without Brussels sprouts (the good news) but also without anything in their place as requested (the bad news).

The waiter was recalled and cajoled and encouraged to resolve this rapidly, at which the staff applied all of their skills and training, by ignoring us and disappearing. Eventually after a long period, during which most of the meal was consumed, the waiter did reappear and proceeded to almost, but not quite, save the entire situation.

With a silver platter and a silver fork of delicate proportions the waiter proceeded to ceremoniously, and with great flourish, place two small asparagus tips across the centre of each diner’s remaining half-eaten meal.

It was theatrical and exaggerated and, had it not been for the sheer humour of the whole thing, he may just have got away with it. Presentation can win the day.

My friends from Office Timeline have some useful thoughts along these lines, well less about dining and waiters but more about impressive presentations to your clients and your executives:

Project Software for Presentations That Stand Out in Meetings

Even when relying on dense, data-rich content, business presentations can still be interesting for the audience if they come in the right package. The key to it lies in simplicity and relevance, along with the suitability of the media chosen to address the given audience. In other words, extracting what matters the most and presenting it in a proper format ensures the success of a presentation, no matter its nature.

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Simple Yet Stylish Project Visuals to Impress Your Audience

A good presentation grabs the audience’s attention, sends a clear message, and maintains the participants’ interest alive throughout its entire duration. This may seem intimidating and unrealistic for project planners who need to showcase content that is a bit more technical, especially if it’s a report or overview of a complex project. But it shouldn’t be so. Just because the presentation relies on dense material, it doesn’t have to end up with a bored audience or an output too complicated to understand on the spot.

Another factor that can make things even harder is the need to prepare joint presentations for the regular executive or client meetings. For instance, let’s say you and the project managers from other divisions are preparing the executive status reports for each of your projects. Your counterparts have finished presenting their well-documented reports, which were apparently produced using Microsoft Project or Excel and pasted into a PowerPoint slide. Now it’s your turn and you want to keep the same presentation format, but have a feeling that the audience is not going to appreciate any more charts and numbers.

Your team and colleagues all use MS Project and Excel, if not some other specialized project management programs such as Wrike or Smartsheet as well. Although you work with such software regularly, you wouldn’t use it for the due summary level presentation just because a previous presenter has done it. In such cases, a simple, familiar visual slide that shows only key data will help you get your message across and stand out.

Aiming to help business professionals who need to present their projects in a comprehensible way, Bellevue-based software developer Office Timeline offers a lightweight Gantt chart and timeline maker add-in for Microsoft PowerPoint that helps turn complex information into neat PowerPoint slides that show the big picture. The plug-in allows project planners to import data from any of the tools mentioned above and will update the results based on new input with a mouse click.

Powerful Data Processing for a Presentation-Ready Output

The key benefits of the Office Timeline software are not restricted solely to its broad data integration capabilities. While flexible and easy data-gathering is invaluable, the real advantage is in how that input can be presented so that it is visualized by the audience in the most impactful format possible.

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With a variety of built-in and downloadable templates to choose from, Office Timeline allows project managers to easily preview the impact of each timeline or Gantt chart style and then quickly tailor the visual to match their audience. Forget about the standard, inflexible timelines. The PowerPoint add-in helps users to make the data speak for itself with just minimal input. Countless adjustments can be made to the timeline, one object at a time or all at once.

See How Easy Is to Get Started

With simple to use controls, integration with popular PM tools, and numerous customization options, Office Timeline enables users to quickly turn complex data into easy-to-grasp visuals that stand out in meetings.

Try Office Timeline Plus Free for 14 Days

3 Books for £10 from The Lazy Project Manager

June 25, 2018

Book Sale

3 books from The Lazy Project Manager for only £10 (eBooks only – pdf format)

Just select your 3 choices from the below list and then email me at peter.b.taylor@btinternet.com  (or message me) and I will send out the simple PayPal payment options and then email your 3 books – easy!

Get Fit with the Lazy Project Manager

How to make sure your project is as healthy as possible and does not become the ‘ex-project’ of tomorrow

How to get Fired at the C-Level

Why mismanaging change is the biggest risk of all

The Project Manager who Smiled

The value of fun in project management

The Lazy Winner

How to do more with less effort and succeed in their working and personal lives without rushing around like headless chickens or putting in 100 hour weeks

www.thelazyprojectmanager.com

Why You Need to Become Business Agile

May 11, 2018

https://mkt.clarizen.com/webinar-register-why-you-need-to-become-business-agile.html

In the first of this 3-part webinar series, we will explore ways to not only significantly reduce change failures but also how to dramatically raise the capability, speed, and success rates of delivering strategic change in any organization through the adoption of a ‘business agile’ change structure.

Join our webinar to learn:

  • Evolution and Stasis of Project Management: Challenges and Failures
  • Best Practices and Pitfalls of Change Management
  • Business Agility and the Obstacles to “Going Business Agile”

Sign up today. Space is limited.

How to get fired at the c-level * All attendees who fill out a brief survey at the end of the webinar will receive an e-book copy of Peter Taylor’s: How to get Fired 

https://mkt.clarizen.com/webinar-register-why-you-need-to-become-business-agile.html

3 Wishes for 2018 – Dubai, Reykjavik, Rio

January 10, 2018

As the new year kicks off and I look ahead at my wish list diary I came up with three things I would love to be able to do in this year. Well to be precise, three places I would love to visit – ideally speaking about what I love, project management, whilst I am there.

So, if you are part of a company or project organisation in these places (and others to be honest, it is a big, big world after all and I really haven’t been anywhere near everywhere yet…) then I would love to hear from you right away – www.thelazyprojectmanager.com

  1. UAE,Dubai – I had such an amazing time at the Dubai Internation Project Management Forum in 2015 that I would truly love the opportunity to return!
  2. Iceland, Reykjavik – Yes I keep putting this on my wish list, it so nearly happened in 2014 but sadly, it was not to be that time around – but hey, Iceland! I am ready, willing and able!
  3. Brazil, Rio – Having been twice I really want to return for a third time – Rio has a special place in my heart and besides, I never got to hang-glide down to the beach last time!

There you have it, three places on my wish list – two I want to return to and one I have never ever visited. Can you help? Then get in contact and let’s talk about bringing productive laziness and all things project management to your part of the world.

And, of course, anywhere else in the world is equally interesting.

Peter

The Project Manager who Smiled

December 15, 2017

Probably the best gift you can give the Project Manager in your life …

How many project managers does it take to change a light bulb?

A better question to ask is perhaps ‘how many project managers does it take to have a good project?’

I think just the one, if they have a real sense of humour and an appreciation for the value of ‘fun’ in a project team.

Richard Branson, Virgin Group said ‘Have fun, success will follow. If you aren’t having fun, you are doing it wrong. If you feel like getting up in the morning to work on your business is a chore, then it’s time to try something else. If you are having a good time, there is a far greater chance a positive, innovative atmosphere will be nurtured… A smile and a joke can go a long way, so be quick to see the lighter side of life’.

Now whilst there are, quite rightly, lots of books about the serious side of the profession there are none that address the more enjoyable aspects, and so I give you ‘The Project Manager Who Smiled’.

A superb resource of inspiration and entertainment; you’ll find this book invaluable in creating successful projects since:

  • A good laugh not only reduces tension and relieves stress, but also helps to increase team bonding and boost morale;
  • When you’re happy, you are more productive, more creative, more open, more likeable and a better leader.

It is packed full with ideas and jokes, inspirational thoughts and quotes, suggestions and maxims, anecdotes and all manner of good material that I just know you will steal and use in your own projects – and that is exactly what I want you to do.

Walt Disney said ‘It’s kind of fun to do the impossible’ but, unfortunately, many project managers seem to think, or have been trained to think, that ‘It’s kind of impossible to do the fun’ when in reality I say ‘It’s kind of not possible to not do the fun when you’re trying to do the impossible, or something close to the impossible’.

I do really believe in all of this fun stuff you know. Time flies when you are having fun and project work gets delivered, and delivered well, when the project team is having a jolly good time.

This book is packed full with ideas and jokes, inspirational thoughts and quotes, suggestions and maxims, anecdotes and all manner of good material that I just know you will steal and use in your own projects – and that is exactly what I want you to do.

Go ahead and don’t be shy out there – fill your boots!

In between all of my personal thoughts and the great submissions I received from project managers all over the world there are some superb contributions under the heading of ‘PM Celebrity Gossip’ from some project management experts that I have had the pleasure of meeting, and in some cases, working with, in the past. I know you will love these.

And there are two fabulous case studies of organisations ‘walking’ with joy on the fun side of the project world, and not only that, seeing some real return on the investment as a result.

Serious: Peter Taylor is the author of two best-selling books on ‘Productive Laziness’ – ‘The Lazy Winner’ and ‘The Lazy Project Manager’.

In the last 4 years he has focused on writing and lecturing with over 350 presentations around the world in over 25 countries and has been described as ‘perhaps the most entertaining and inspiring speaker in the project management world today’.

Fun: Peter Taylor is a recovering second generation Virgo with a penchant for occasionally dressing up as a root vegetable and generally getting bored when there hasn’t been a laugh or a smile in the last 60 minutes.

The Lazy Project Manager Podcast

December 7, 2017

Have you checked out my podcast?

Peter Taylor The Lazy Project Manager Podcaster Speaker Author

Well episode 183 included two fascinating interviews with Cedric Waldburger (a man with no office and no home but with many enterprising initiatives going on in his life) and Parikshit Basrur – Executive | Academic | Researcher (another really interesting guy)

Interested? Check it out here http://www.thelazyprojectmanager.com/podcaster

Peter Taylor is a PMO expert who has built and led four global PMOs across several industries, and has advised many other organisations in PMO and PM strategy.

He is also the author of the number 1 bestselling project management book ‘The Lazy Project Manager’, along with many other books on project leadership, PMO development, project marketing, project challenges and executive sponsorship.

In the last 5 years, he has delivered over 350 lectures around the world in over 25 countries and has been described as ‘perhaps the most entertaining and inspiring speaker in the project management world today’.

His mission is to teach as many people as possible that it is achievable to ‘work smarter and not harder’ and to still gain success in the battle of the work/life balance.

More information can be found at www.thelazyprojectmanager.com

 

LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/parikshitbasrur/

Twitter @parikshitbasrur

LinkedIn https://ch.linkedin.com/in/cedricwaldburger

FB: https://www.facebook.com/sendtask.io/

Catsuits and Parachutes

December 6, 2017

The following is an extract from my new book ‘How to get Fired at the C-Level: Why mismanaging change is the biggest risk of all’ in association with my friends at Tailwind Project Solutions – previous extracts followed a series of 5 Challenges that I think every organisation should consider, and consider very carefully – and now we will look at the 5 tests of control:

Challenge 4, if you remember, was all about investing in good analysis and in good reporting so that the precious portfolio of change is well looked after and cared for, in a kind of management by exception sort of way.

This book is not the book to advise you on what portfolio reporting or dashboard solution to choose and it is not about how you should go about implementing such a solution (I did suggest one specific dashboard view you might ask for from any supplier and/or solution though so make sure you lock that one down).

But I would like to offer some general advice and it is in the area of scale or being ‘fit for purpose’.

There is a great presentation by Tom Peters where he talks about some organisations that get so big that they forget about some of the basic, simple, everyday stuff.[1]

He produces a tiny shampoo bottle that he has taken from a hotel bathroom and he asks, rhetorically, ‘who was the average user of this bottle?’ The answer being that most likely this was going to be used by a middle-aged business traveller who more than likely wore reading glasses. He then asked, still rhetorically, ‘where was this likely to be used?’ And the answer this time was of course it would be used when the middle aged business traveller, who most likely wore reading glasses, was taking a shower. He paused for effect and summed up; this product was most likely to be used by this guy in a shower without his reading glasses in in steamy environment with water running and when he wanted to decipher between the two almost identical bottles of shower gel and shampoo. Result: frustration and improper use of products.

A definition of ‘fit for purpose’ is ‘something that is fit for purpose is good enough to do the job it was designed to do’, but you could argue that the shampoo bottle, standing next to the shower gel bottle, and sometimes also next to a ‘body lotion’ bottle, is fit for purpose. The trouble is you need to distinguish the shampoo bottle first to then use it and for it to truly become ‘fit for purpose’.

When it comes to reporting then this very much applies. Your portfolio reporting process and solution needs to be a good ‘fit’ for the purpose you wish to put it to, practical, usable, understandable, with the right data in it.

Yes, you can have the all-singing, all-dancing, let’s take this barn and put on a show with fireworks and banners approach and good luck to you – you might need it but almost certainly not. This is the ‘parachute approach’ making the solution so copious and all-covering that there is no danger in being exposed in any way – but guess what? You can’t move in it, well not very fast anyway, and it isn’t particularly suitable for most needs (unless you are actually jumping out of a plane of course but this is actually a metaphor so not relevant), and most of the material is wasted.

The alternative approach is to make it as minimal as possible, only the bare data available, lean and focused, tight as can be – this is the ‘cat-suit approach’ which does the job, precisely and nothing more – this is a good looking solution for sure and this may well work, but probably not, someone will want something extra (and justify that they need it) and suddenly you are making alterations, without any spare material to make that even remotely possible without causing an embarrassing rip.

The sensible approach is, of course, somewhere between the ‘parachute approach’ and the ‘cat-suit approach’ – perhaps the ‘It’s Friday dress down day in the office comfortable jeans with stretch denim approach’ or something like that.

Make it fit for purpose just don’t take the whole ‘fit for purpose’ too far:

In a circus, the Bearded Lady and the World’s Strongest Man fell in love, and decided to start a family. Soon the Bearded Lady fell pregnant[2].

A few weeks before she was due to give birth the Bearded Lady and the Circus Ring-Master were talking.

‘How’s it going?’ the Ring-Master asked, ‘Are you well?’

‘Yes thanks, we are very excited’ said the Bearded Lady ‘We have so many plans for the baby and we want to be supportive parents’.

‘That’s great’ said the Ring-Master ‘Do you want a boy or a girl?’

‘Oh, we really don’t mind as long as it’s healthy’ said the Bearded Lady ‘Oh and it fits into the cannon…’

TAKE THE TEST: The action for you now is to look at your reporting and ensure that it is right for your needs, the executive team’s needs, and the business needs. Can you access the data you need to make the right decisions? Is that data accurate and timely? Does it truly represent the change underway inside your organisation?

If not then best do something about that fast or you will be making ill-informed decisions, or worse no decisions at all.

Tailwind Project Solutions was formed in 2014 to provide a bespoke approach to project leadership development. Owned by Director & CEO Alex Marson, the organisation works with large FTSE 250 clients including some of the biggest companies in the world in the Asset Management, Professional Services, Software, Automotive, Finance and Pharmaceutical industry.  The company has a team of world-class experts who provide a bespoke approach to the challenges that our clients have, and the company was formed because of a gap in the market for expertise which truly gets to the heart of the issues clients are facing – providing a robust, expert solution to change the way that companies run their projects.

At the time, the market was becoming flooded with training companies, providing a ‘sheep dip’ approach to project management, and the consensus was that This didn’t solve the real challenges that businesses and individuals are experiencing in this ever-increasing complex world of project management. The vision was to hand-pick and work with the very best consultants, trainers and coaches worldwide so that Tailwind could make a difference to their clients, to sit down with them, understand their pain points, what makes them tick, and what is driving their need for support.

These challenges being raised time and time again are in the project leadership space, from communication issues, not understanding stakeholder requirements or having the confidence to “push back”, lack of sponsorship support, working across different cultures, languages, levels of capability and complexity. We expect more from our project managers – we expect them to inspire, lead teams and be more confident.

Tailwind’s experience is vast, from providing interim resources in the project and programme management space, supporting the recruitment process, experiential workshops, coaching – from project managers through to executives, providing keynote speakers, implementing PPM Academies, PM Healthchecks and Leadership development. The approach is created often uniquely – to solve the real challenges of each of their individual clients.

http://tailwindps.com/

[1] Originally published in ‘Project Branding: Using Marketing to Win the Hearts and Minds of Stakeholders’ (RMC Publications, Inc. 2014) – author Peter Taylor

[2] Originally published in ‘Project Branding: Using Marketing to Win the Hearts and Minds of Stakeholders’ (RMC Publications, Inc. 2014) – author Peter Taylor

How to avoid a Project

November 24, 2017

The following is an extract from my new book ‘How to get Fired at the C-Level: Why mismanaging change is the biggest risk of all’ in association with my friends at Tailwind Project Solutions – previous extracts followed a series of 5 Challenges that I think every organisation should consider, and consider very carefully – and now we will look at the 5 tests of control:

The Cycle of Engagement (some also refer to this as the Cycle of Resistance, but that might be considered somewhat cynical) describes some typical stages in a project. Not stages of the project lifecycle you understand but stages of even getting to the project lifecycle, in getting the project started – despite the business case being approved and the project being well and truly ‘in the portfolio’

It goes something along these lines:

Corporate change initiative approved and announced, everyone cheers loudly. Kick off meeting (party) fueled by marketing spend is completed.

A department or team are asked to pick up the project and implement the change in relation to their day to day work.

The cycle commences…

  1. Ignore- Take a project logo’d beanie hat and mouse mat from the program kick off meeting and put on your desk, and then actively ignore the project for as long as humanly possible through non-communication
  2. Avoid – When ignoring the project, no longer works then instead loudly welcome the project initiative and then dodge your department or team being involved through any avoidance tactic you can think of
  3. Argue – When called out on this behaviour start arguing that you really aren’t the best team/department/group to be active at this point in time – if you can get away with pointing the finger at an alternative (and clearly in your opinion, better placed team/department/group to go before you) definitely do that – it may buy you more time
  4. Impact – An extension to the argument step can be that the impact is too much to bear right now and if only you can wait a few weeks/months/years (delete as appropriate) everything will be so much better and you can really focus
  5. Cost – Throw in cost as well if you can – this always gets people’s attention especially if you can challenge the assumptions on the initial business case (and if you can point to another team/department/group better placed i.e. more cost effective i.e. cheaper, to go before you then go for it)
  6. Start – Finally, you will most likely reach a point of acceptance (more than likely as a result of you wanting to keep your job) and the project, the change will finally be undertaken in your department/team etc’ – did out those logos’ goodies and shout ‘hallelujah’ for all to hear
  7. Fast – Then immediately ask a) what is the fastest way to get this done and dusted and b) can you just copy another team/department and make the change – even if it doesn’t really fit your real needs

You see what is happening here – no real commitment or buy-in, only lip service to the change and the value of that change.

Back to that classic isn’t it?

1.           What do we want? ‘Change’ comes the loud reply from all

2.           Who wants change? All hands go up as one

3.           Who wants to change? No hand goes up

Ensuring a successful change, it is necessary to create that clear vision and to make sure people are ‘on board’ with that change.

TAKE THE TEST: If you recognise this behaviour inside your organisation then you definitely have an attitude issue and your organisation needs to do a whole lot of Organisational Change Management[1] (OCM) and generally get out there making people realise that this stuff is important.

Tailwind Project Solutions was formed in 2014 to provide a bespoke approach to project leadership development. Owned by Director & CEO Alex Marson, the organisation works with large FTSE 250 clients including some of the biggest companies in the world in the Asset Management, Professional Services, Software, Automotive, Finance and Pharmaceutical industry. The company has a team of world-class experts who provide a bespoke approach to the challenges that our clients have, and the company was formed because of a gap in the market for expertise which truly gets to the heart of the issues clients are facing – providing a robust, expert solution to change the way that companies run their projects.

At the time, the market was becoming flooded with training companies, providing a ‘sheep dip’ approach to project management, and the consensus was that This didn’t solve the real challenges that businesses and individuals are experiencing in this ever-increasing complex world of project management. The vision was to hand-pick and work with the very best consultants, trainers and coaches worldwide so that Tailwind could make a difference to their clients, to sit down with them, understand their pain points, what makes them tick, and what is driving their need for support.

These challenges being raised time and time again are in the project leadership space, from communication issues, not understanding stakeholder requirements or having the confidence to “push back”, lack of sponsorship support, working across different cultures, languages, levels of capability and complexity. We expect more from our project managers – we expect them to inspire, lead teams and be more confident.

Tailwind’s experience is vast, from providing interim resources in the project and programme management space, supporting the recruitment process, experiential workshops, coaching – from project managers through to executives, providing keynote speakers, implementing PPM Academies, PM Healthchecks and Leadership development. The approach is created often uniquely – to solve the real challenges of each of their individual clients.

http://tailwindps.com/

[1] Organizational Change Management (OCM) is a framework structured around the changing needs and capabilities of an organization. OCM is used to prepare, adopt and implement fundamental and radical organizational changes, including its culture, policies, procedures and physical environment, as well as employee roles, skills and responsibilities.

The ESP connection

November 18, 2017

The following is an extract from my new book ‘How to get Fired at the C-Level: Why mismanaging change is the biggest risk of all’ in association with my friends at Tailwind Project Solutions – previous extracts followed a series of 5 Challenges that I think every organisation should consider, and consider very carefully – and now we will look at the 5 tests of control:

Another quick test of control is the ‘Executive board to Sponsor to Project Manager’ relationship or the ‘ESP’ connection test.

Let’s start with the simplest form of this test by asking ‘Is there one?’.

Does the executive team interact with project sponsors on a regular basis, perhaps are they even the executive sponsors themselves? And do the sponsors interact and engage on a regular, bi-directional manner with the project managers?

Come up with a ’No’ at any of these connections and you have trouble ahead. You do need all three and you do need them connected and communicating.

If you don’t declare a complete and utter ‘No’ then the next step of the ‘ESP’ test is to consider any weak points in this ‘Executive board to Sponsor to Project Manager’ relationship. Here we can go back to the question of do the executives understand change (and projects), and/or do the change sponsors understand what it means to be such a sponsor, and how to go about being and effective sponsor, before arriving at the project management community and asking they know what they are doing, do they have experience and are they supported in skills and tools and method?

Such a consideration will allow another perspective on the robustness of your entire change management structure and to focus where there is a need.

One point here. If there is a problem at say the ‘E to S’ connection and also at the ‘S to P’ connection, then the priority has to be to focus and fix the ‘E to S’ problem first as the higher the issue the bigger the issue is in my personal experience.

TAKE THE TEST: Consider each level on the ESP connection and evaluate the change leadership maturity at each level – then assess the strength of connection at each of those touch points, ‘E to S’ and ‘S to P’.

Tailwind Project Solutions was formed in 2014 to provide a bespoke approach to project leadership development. Owned by Director & CEO Alex Marson, the organisation works with large FTSE 250 clients including some of the biggest companies in the world in the Asset Management, Professional Services, Software, Automotive, Finance and Pharmaceutical industry.  The company has a team of world-class experts who provide a bespoke approach to the challenges that our clients have, and the company was formed because of a gap in the market for expertise which truly gets to the heart of the issues clients are facing – providing a robust, expert solution to change the way that companies run their projects.

At the time, the market was becoming flooded with training companies, providing a ‘sheep dip’ approach to project management, and the consensus was that This didn’t solve the real challenges that businesses and individuals are experiencing in this ever-increasing complex world of project management. The vision was to hand-pick and work with the very best consultants, trainers and coaches worldwide so that Tailwind could make a difference to their clients, to sit down with them, understand their pain points, what makes them tick, and what is driving their need for support.

These challenges being raised time and time again are in the project leadership space, from communication issues, not understanding stakeholder requirements or having the confidence to “push back”, lack of sponsorship support, working across different cultures, languages, levels of capability and complexity. We expect more from our project managers – we expect them to inspire, lead teams and be more confident.

Tailwind’s experience is vast, from providing interim resources in the project and programme management space, supporting the recruitment process, experiential workshops, coaching – from project managers through to executives, providing keynote speakers, implementing PPM Academies, PM Healthchecks and Leadership development. The approach is created often uniquely – to solve the real challenges of each of their individual clients.

http://tailwindps.com/