PMA Articles

In the Spotlight

Agile Project Management is not only for IT but for all projects!

ARCHIVE May 4th, 2016

Scrum Agile Board

I have been very much involved in working, teaching and consulting for project managers and projects since early 90’s. My career in project management started with the construction of the Twin Towers of Kuala Lumpur (Menara PETRONAS) when I was one of the few handpicked and trained in project management to train PETRONAS executives to understudy this project. These were the engineers, geologists, geophysicists, architects and generalists who were working alongside the foreigners who were designing and building the twin towers.
The PETRONAS teams (two groups of 20 in each) were handpicked to learn first from the construction of Twin Towers and lead the future projects of the Oil and Gas Sector of Malaysia. I was just too fortunate to have been given this opportunity which changed my own perspective about projects. I trained the PETRONAS understudy team which was assigned to Tower 1 built by the Japanese experts. The other team was working with the Koreans on Tower 2.

The most interesting thing about this assignment was that since there was no quality formal education available in Project Management in Malaysia around this time, PETRONAS had to cultivate its own trainers. No significant PMI or IPMA presence anywhere. Only a few companies like Kepner Tregoe Malaysia were teaching and training project people, particularly in the private sector. PETRONAS engaged KT to train a few of us as trainers. The excellent KT trainer, one Mr Ong S.M., imbibed me with the unshakable belief that project management is all predictable, systematic, hierarchical and orderly. The so called ‘iron triangle’ and the predictive nature of managing projects was very appealing for minds like mine which is of a generalist as well as a technical nature.

Thus, I started my active career in project management since then and regimentally adhered to the ‘predictive mindset’ that project management is planned extensively up front and implemented systematically through careful execution, close supervision and systematic monitoring & controlling, leading to complete closing.

However, to my dismay, I discovered much later that the predictive nature of projects is not always realistic and practical. When some groups who I worked with raised such alarm I realised that their disappointment was justified. The traditional approach was faced with a massive challenge which was real and alarming, especially coming from the IT community.

I did not know then that a set of IT professionals were already emerging at the advent of the 21st century with a new concept of managing projects called, ‘AGILE’. This was opposed to the traditional ‘Waterfall’ methodology which did not help the software industry well. Agile methodology emerged as the saviour of IT project success to some extent.

The Agile methodology professes that planning is still upfront but also on-going, done daily and more frequently as project progresses. All project management processes are handled with a ‘current’ mindset’ and immediate future perspective. They advocate this powerful solution opposed to the traditional project management process by introducing various Agile methodologies which advocated iterative or repeatable processes which in turn worked very well for the IT world where breakdowns, bugs, rework, repair etc., were rampant. Thanks for Agile, a great saviour indeed!

However, do not be misled to believe that Agile is only for IT guys. They discovered it alright but it is very well usable in most other projects like, transportation. procurement, logistics and other services like marketing, healthcare etc. In fact, the Agile advocacy of constant change management and progressive improvement (elaboration) lead to project managers’ support and signify the importance of ‘rolling wave’ planning. To be a good Agile project manager one must be both a technical manager as well as a people leader/manager. The Agile environment is so instantaneous, demanding and involved so much so that a weak leader/manager may fail to achieve success if he is not well trained or qualified as a leader. The concept of ‘Servant Leadership’ is emphasised in Agile.

Thus, the Agile methodology not only requires technical but also more importantly people skills to manage the iterative nature of Agile methodology.

Therefore, I wish to conclude by saying that the concept of ‘AGILE IS FOR ALL’. This idea is fast catching up and PMI-ACP exam is the fastest growing PMI certification as revealed by SDANDISH Group’s recent study as ascertained by PMI in its PMI-ACP Manual. More and more non IT project personnel have started showing interest in Agile and PMI-ACP.
The professional certification exam on Agile (PMI-ACP) emphasises this fact and greatly incorporates it in exam. Its coverage has been accordingly refocused. So, one need not be an IT qualified person to attend PMI-ACP class or acquire skills and knowledge to transfer to his/her workplace. All PMP’s can qualify for PMI ACP certification easily.

So, anybody there who wants to know about Agile and intends to use it in projects (not necessarily IT projects alone) should contact BRIDGIT/PMA for help. We have well-designed and industry oriented AGILE training offers for the take. Don’t miss this opportunity.

By,
R. Masilamani CAPM, PMP, PMI-ACP, PMI-RMP

The Power of Facilitation.  -by Marco de Booij

June 23rd, 2016

This short article aims to create some understanding what Facilitation Skills are and why most companies do have a need to have a few staff that have undergone facilitation skills training (Facilitators).

fasb-lease-accounting-project-team

Facilitation, although it has many similarities, is substantially different from training or meeting management. The main difference is that the Facilitator focuses on an impartial role to facilitate the group processes but not to influence the outcome. This sounds complicated but in essence it is quite simple.

A facilitator is someone that knows how to manage a group and knows how to maximize the performance of the group and to get the best possible outcome. This sounds much easier than it is. That is why good facilitators are few and require training in order to improve their skills.

Some of the skills that a good facilitator needs to have:

  • Understanding Group Dynamics
  • Understanding Human Behaviour
  • Conflict Management
  • Presentation Techniques
  • Communication Skills
  • Meeting Management

The combination of all these skills will enable the facilitator to guide the group towards its goal without influencing the group or its goal. The primary role of a facilitator is to create and manage the processes that enable effective decision making.

So why do organizations need facilitators? For a number of reasons. There are many group activities and processes that can benefit from facilitation:

  • Creative processes such as brainstorming definitely require facilitation. Without a facilitator the brainstorming process will quickly turn into chaos.
  • Strategic planning sessions will strongly benefit from facilitation to keep the process on track
  • Workshops such as Risk Management Workshops or Scope Definition workshops
  • Problem Solving Sessions. Whenever there are problems or conflict, an independent facilitator is a MUST!

There are plenty of other reasons and situations why a facilitator would be useful. This leads to the conclusion that every organization needs to have access to facilitators. These can be internal or external.

Bridgit / PMA is organising an Effective Facilitation Skills training on the 1st to the 3rd of August 2016, conducted by Mr. Kevin in‘t Veld, a certified Facilitator.


CAN PROJECT MANAGERS BECOME COOs? -by Mr. Kuppu

May 30th, 2016

COOs responsibility is to manage business operations of an organisation. Managing business operation is to run the operations effectively (doing the right things), efficiently (doing things right), increasing productivity, delivering quality products and services, and speeding to market its offerings to the respective market segments. The bottom line is to maximise profit by popularising the brand of its offerings with quality and delivering according to the demands of its customers faster than its competitors.

Gen_Y_workers

The project managers’ role is to get work breakdowns from respective expert stakeholders (getting the right things) and executing them within time & budget and of quality (doing things right).

The COO’s role and PM’s role are similar but there are key differences;

  1. COO is accountable for business, which is continuous, and PM is accountable for a snap shot of a business (project), which has a start time and finish time.
  2. COO delivers the business objectives of an organisation and PM delivers the business benefits of a project, which is part of objectives.
  3. COO must have good business and process knowledge. PM can deliver better with business knowledge and process knowledge.
  4. COO operates from the big picture view. PM operates from project view. COO role spans across all functions in an organisation. PM role is to fulfil the needs of stakeholders of a project. The stakeholders can represent a number of functions.
  5. Both roles need managerial expertise but COO role exceeds in leadership. The key measures of operations are cutting cost, increasing revenue, adding value to customers, and retaining customers and employees. The key measures of operations are controlling project within budget & time, manage scope and deliver with quality,

The business benefit of a project is generally specified by the management team. A PM should really understand the business benefit and should know how to measure the benefit. The benefits should also be measured progressively and presented so that everyone understands the seriousness of gaining the business benefit and their contribution towards it. The business benefit should not be taken lightly. That should be the main deliverable besides the technical deliverable of triple constraints (within time & budget, and of quality).

Once a PM learns to focus on business benefit as the main measure to determine the success of a project the PM climbs the first step towards COO. The PM then moves forward to learn multiple business benefits when managing a program constituting multi-projects for achieving an objective of an organisation. Program management is the second step. When the PM moves forward to manage a portfolio of programs covering all objectives of an organisation the enterprise business benefits are measured. Portfolio management is the third step. With these experiences the PM is now ready for taking the technical accountability of a COO.

Taking interest in a business will propel a PM to get involved in the business and learn from hands-on or by attending courses. Intensive observation of processes in relation to the business benefit will give a different perspective for process improvement.

The focus on business benefit will slowly lead a PM to get interested in the big picture of the business. The drive to get things done in projects, one way or other, instead of denying, blaming, and finding excuses but to coach and guide will add another step towards leadership. The experience gained by moving from Project Management, to Program Management, and to Portfolio Management will add to the journey to become COO.

Project Managers are good candidates for COO, provided they internalise the advices, processes, procedures, and guidelines specified in PMBOK. They should also commit to learn the domain business knowledge of the organisation, processes to enable them, finance management, capabilities & collaboration required to execute, and sharpen the soft skills, including leadership.

Project Management Trends from 2010 – 2016

May 18th, 2016

“Change is the only certain aspect of project management”-Kevin Veld

Group_meeting

We have over the past 7 years seen common trends in the growth of project management.

The table below is an indication of the common trends over the past 7 years.

PM TREND GRAPH

It is evident that the main trends over the past 7 years are:

  • PMP® Certified Project Managers – With strong Business Acumen
  • Managing Large Data through simplified dashboards – Project Intelligence
  • Cloud Project Management and Apps – Desktop Project Management is dying
  • PMO Sustainability – Add value not paper
  • Organisational Agility – To move like a fox

 

Let’s take a look at the 2016 project management tends:

 

Organisational Agility:

Your project management skills and resources will become increasingly agile in 2016 as more companies and projects rely on a self-compliance program to maintain visibility throughout the project. Ultimately, agility revolves around consistent improvements to processes and feedback on how to perform better. This means you will likely need to become a more prominent figure in instructing your project management team members and ensuring the success of your project.

 

Increased Emphasis on Mobility

More companies and organizations are beginning to understand the value and emphasis on compliance and visibility in modernity. As a result, the management rules, requirements, and procedures are evolving to reflect greater scrutiny into business processes, which directly reflect your activities as a project manager.

Therefore, your role will evolve to become more visible and accountable in the course of a project in 2016. This allows the overall organization to simply pass along information to authoritative figures, watchdog groups, and government agencies, who have oversight in your project.

PMP® Certified Project Managers

Due to increased scrutiny in project management processes and the policies within a given company, executive-level managers will move towards PMP-certified project managers. Although some project managers without the certification will still exist, the job opportunities will grow scarce, and eventually, companies will not even consider any applicants without this certification for project management roles.

Big Data

Project management has historically focused on physical factors and aspects of ensuring a project stays within budget and time constraints. However, 2015 gave birth to a new era of data analytics processes and improvements in efficiency within the ambit of the PMO as the custodian of these key elements of successful project management. 2016 will see the evolution of these processes into the processing power of many project management suites. As a result, risk management and data analytics will help provide stronger, more accurate forecasts into your project. Furthermore, your project management team will become more efficient and be able to work within tighter constraints.

Some project management trends for 2016 have yet to reveal themselves; however, many of the coming trends will reflect minor changes to trends in 2015. The time has come to start thinking about how you will adapt and meet the expectations of the trends in project management in 2016, especially those concerning training in new software capabilities and PMP-certification.

 

Project Managers to be entrepreneurs:

Not billing to a customer project is never a good thing regardless of the economy. In today’s climate of mergers and acquisitions, tight budgets and contract work, project managers need to be as entrepreneurial and hungry as a Shark Tank contestant.

Externally facing, the project manager becomes more entrepreneurial the more they participate in the sales cycle. While project managers in professional services organizations may already be part of the sales cycle there’s always room to improve in the joint sales call. This occurs when a company salesperson brings along a project manager to a sales call to answer technical and process related questions for a potential customer.

As internal forces press down on an organization, it’s up to the project manager to always be selling their team and its latest projects to executives. For example, when a company is going through a merger or acquisition, the entrepreneurial project manager is going to want to sell their team as indispensable to the newly combined company. Tactics include being on the right high-profile projects and communicating to decision makers how their team benefits the organization’s bottom line and intellectual property portfolio.

 

Key Take Always:

  • You will need to become more agile to change in 2016.
  • Organizational values and beliefs will become more visible next year.
  • Smartphone apps will probably replace terminal-based project management systems.
  • Project managers will be required to have a PMP-certification for most positions.
  • Big data will improve efficiency and accuracy in risk management and help other aspects of the project management team by becoming integrating with existing project management software.
  • Project Managers must be entrepreneurs

By,

Kevin in’t Veld (PMP) – CEO Bridgit Africa (Pty) Ltd

Agile Project Management is not only for IT but for all projects!

May 4th, 2016

I have been very much involved in working, teaching and consulting for project managers and projects since early 90’s. My career in project management started with the construction of the Twin Towers of Kuala Lumpur (Menara PETRONAS) when I was one of the few handpicked and trained in project management to train PETRONAS executives to understudy this project. These were the engineers, geologists, geophysicists, architects and generalists who were working alongside the foreigners who were designing and building the twin towers.

Businessman-flying-rocket-670x348
The PETRONAS teams (two groups of 20 in each) were handpicked to learn first from the construction of Twin Towers and lead the future projects of the Oil and Gas Sector of Malaysia. I was just too fortunate to have been given this opportunity which changed my own perspective about projects. I trained the PETRONAS understudy team which was assigned to Tower 1 built by the Japanese experts. The other team was working with the Koreans on Tower 2.

The most interesting thing about this assignment was that since there was no quality formal education available in Project Management in Malaysia around this time, PETRONAS had to cultivate its own trainers. No significant PMI or IPMA presence anywhere. Only a few companies like Kepner Tregoe Malaysia were teaching and training project people, particularly in the private sector. PETRONAS engaged KT to train a few of us as trainers. The excellent KT trainer, one Mr Ong S.M., imbibed me with the unshakable belief that project management is all predictable, systematic, hierarchical and orderly. The so called ‘iron triangle’ and the predictive nature of managing projects was very appealing for minds like mine which is of a generalist as well as a technical nature.

Thus, I started my active career in project management since then and regimentally adhered to the ‘predictive mindset’ that project management is planned extensively up front and implemented systematically through careful execution, close supervision and systematic monitoring & controlling, leading to complete closing.

However, to my dismay, I discovered much later that the predictive nature of projects is not always realistic and practical. When some groups who I worked with raised such alarm I realised that their disappointment was justified. The traditional approach was faced with a massive challenge which was real and alarming, especially coming from the IT community.

I did not know then that a set of IT professionals were already emerging at the advent of the 21st century with a new concept of managing projects called, ‘AGILE’. This was opposed to the traditional ‘Waterfall’ methodology which did not help the software industry well. Agile methodology emerged as the saviour of IT project success to some extent.

The Agile methodology professes that planning is still upfront but also on-going, done daily and more frequently as project progresses. All project management processes are handled with a ‘current’ mindset’ and immediate future perspective. They advocate this powerful solution opposed to the traditional project management process by introducing various Agile methodologies which advocated iterative or repeatable processes which in turn worked very well for the IT world where breakdowns, bugs, rework, repair etc., were rampant. Thanks for Agile, a great saviour indeed!

However, do not be misled to believe that Agile is only for IT guys. They discovered it alright but it is very well usable in most other projects like, transportation. procurement, logistics and other services like marketing, healthcare etc. In fact, the Agile advocacy of constant change management and progressive improvement (elaboration) lead to project managers’ support and signify the importance of ‘rolling wave’ planning. To be a good Agile project manager one must be both a technical manager as well as a people leader/manager. The Agile environment is so instantaneous, demanding and involved so much so that a weak leader/manager may fail to achieve success if he is not well trained or qualified as a leader. The concept of ‘Servant Leadership’ is emphasised in Agile.

Thus, the Agile methodology not only requires technical but also more importantly people skills to manage the iterative nature of Agile methodology.

Therefore, I wish to conclude by saying that the concept of ‘AGILE IS FOR ALL’. This idea is fast catching up and PMI-ACP exam is the fastest growing PMI certification as revealed by SDANDISH Group’s recent study as ascertained by PMI in its PMI-ACP Manual. More and more non IT project personnel have started showing interest in Agile and PMI-ACP.
The professional certification exam on Agile (PMI-ACP) emphasises this fact and greatly incorporates it in exam. Its coverage has been accordingly refocused. So, one need not be an IT qualified person to attend PMI-ACP class or acquire skills and knowledge to transfer to his/her workplace. All PMP’s can qualify for PMI ACP certification easily.

So, anybody there who wants to know about Agile and intends to use it in projects (not necessarily IT projects alone) should contact BRIDGIT/PMA for help. We have well-designed and industry oriented AGILE training offers for the take. Don’t miss this opportunity.

By,
R. Masilamani CAPM, PMP, PMI-ACP, PMI-RMP

In the Spotlight

The Power of Facilitation.  -by Marco de Booij

Archive from May 4th, 2016

I have been very much involved in working, teaching and consulting for project managers and projects since early 90’s. My career in project management started with the construction of the Twin Towers of Kuala Lumpur (Menara PETRONAS) when I was one of the few handpicked and trained in project management to train PETRONAS executives to understudy this project. These were the engineers, geologists, geophysicists, architects and generalists who were working alongside the foreigners who were designing and building the twin towers.

Scrum Agile Board
The PETRONAS teams (two groups of 20 in each) were handpicked to learn first from the construction of Twin Towers and lead the future projects of the Oil and Gas Sector of Malaysia. I was just too fortunate to have been given this opportunity which changed my own perspective about projects. I trained the PETRONAS understudy team which was assigned to Tower 1 built by the Japanese experts. The other team was working with the Koreans on Tower 2.

The most interesting thing about this assignment was that since there was no quality formal education available in Project Management in Malaysia around this time, PETRONAS had to cultivate its own trainers. No significant PMI or IPMA presence anywhere. Only a few companies like Kepner Tregoe Malaysia were teaching and training project people, particularly in the private sector. PETRONAS engaged KT to train a few of us as trainers. The excellent KT trainer, one Mr Ong S.M., imbibed me with the unshakable belief that project management is all predictable, systematic, hierarchical and orderly. The so called ‘iron triangle’ and the predictive nature of managing projects was very appealing for minds like mine which is of a generalist as well as a technical nature.

Thus, I started my active career in project management since then and regimentally adhered to the ‘predictive mindset’ that project management is planned extensively up front and implemented systematically through careful execution, close supervision and systematic monitoring & controlling, leading to complete closing.

However, to my dismay, I discovered much later that the predictive nature of projects is not always realistic and practical. When some groups who I worked with raised such alarm I realised that their disappointment was justified. The traditional approach was faced with a massive challenge which was real and alarming, especially coming from the IT community.

I did not know then that a set of IT professionals were already emerging at the advent of the 21st century with a new concept of managing projects called, ‘AGILE’. This was opposed to the traditional ‘Waterfall’ methodology which did not help the software industry well. Agile methodology emerged as the saviour of IT project success to some extent.

The Agile methodology professes that planning is still upfront but also on-going, done daily and more frequently as project progresses. All project management processes are handled with a ‘current’ mindset’ and immediate future perspective. They advocate this powerful solution opposed to the traditional project management process by introducing various Agile methodologies which advocated iterative or repeatable processes which in turn worked very well for the IT world where breakdowns, bugs, rework, repair etc., were rampant. Thanks for Agile, a great saviour indeed!

However, do not be misled to believe that Agile is only for IT guys. They discovered it alright but it is very well usable in most other projects like, transportation. procurement, logistics and other services like marketing, healthcare etc. In fact, the Agile advocacy of constant change management and progressive improvement (elaboration) lead to project managers’ support and signify the importance of ‘rolling wave’ planning. To be a good Agile project manager one must be both a technical manager as well as a people leader/manager. The Agile environment is so instantaneous, demanding and involved so much so that a weak leader/manager may fail to achieve success if he is not well trained or qualified as a leader. The concept of ‘Servant Leadership’ is emphasised in Agile.

Thus, the Agile methodology not only requires technical but also more importantly people skills to manage the iterative nature of Agile methodology.

Therefore, I wish to conclude by saying that the concept of ‘AGILE IS FOR ALL’. This idea is fast catching up and PMI-ACP exam is the fastest growing PMI certification as revealed by SDANDISH Group’s recent study as ascertained by PMI in its PMI-ACP Manual. More and more non IT project personnel have started showing interest in Agile and PMI-ACP.
The professional certification exam on Agile (PMI-ACP) emphasises this fact and greatly incorporates it in exam. Its coverage has been accordingly refocused. So, one need not be an IT qualified person to attend PMI-ACP class or acquire skills and knowledge to transfer to his/her workplace. All PMP’s can qualify for PMI ACP certification easily.

So, anybody there who wants to know about Agile and intends to use it in projects (not necessarily IT projects alone) should contact BRIDGIT/PMA for help. We have well-designed and industry oriented AGILE training offers for the take. Don’t miss this opportunity.

By,
R. Masilamani CAPM, PMP, PMI-ACP, PMI-RMP


CAN PROJECT MANAGERS BECOME COOs? -by Mr. Kuppu

May 30th, 2016

COOs responsibility is to manage business operations of an organisation. Managing business operation is to run the operations effectively (doing the right things), efficiently (doing things right), increasing productivity, delivering quality products and services, and speeding to market its offerings to the respective market segments. The bottom line is to maximise profit by popularising the brand of its offerings with quality and delivering according to the demands of its customers faster than its competitors.

Gen_Y_workers

The project managers’ role is to get work breakdowns from respective expert stakeholders (getting the right things) and executing them within time & budget and of quality (doing things right).

The COO’s role and PM’s role are similar but there are key differences;

  1. COO is accountable for business, which is continuous, and PM is accountable for a snap shot of a business (project), which has a start time and finish time.
  2. COO delivers the business objectives of an organisation and PM delivers the business benefits of a project, which is part of objectives.
  3. COO must have good business and process knowledge. PM can deliver better with business knowledge and process knowledge.
  4. COO operates from the big picture view. PM operates from project view. COO role spans across all functions in an organisation. PM role is to fulfil the needs of stakeholders of a project. The stakeholders can represent a number of functions.
  5. Both roles need managerial expertise but COO role exceeds in leadership. The key measures of operations are cutting cost, increasing revenue, adding value to customers, and retaining customers and employees. The key measures of operations are controlling project within budget & time, manage scope and deliver with quality,

The business benefit of a project is generally specified by the management team. A PM should really understand the business benefit and should know how to measure the benefit. The benefits should also be measured progressively and presented so that everyone understands the seriousness of gaining the business benefit and their contribution towards it. The business benefit should not be taken lightly. That should be the main deliverable besides the technical deliverable of triple constraints (within time & budget, and of quality).

Once a PM learns to focus on business benefit as the main measure to determine the success of a project the PM climbs the first step towards COO. The PM then moves forward to learn multiple business benefits when managing a program constituting multi-projects for achieving an objective of an organisation. Program management is the second step. When the PM moves forward to manage a portfolio of programs covering all objectives of an organisation the enterprise business benefits are measured. Portfolio management is the third step. With these experiences the PM is now ready for taking the technical accountability of a COO.

Taking interest in a business will propel a PM to get involved in the business and learn from hands-on or by attending courses. Intensive observation of processes in relation to the business benefit will give a different perspective for process improvement.

The focus on business benefit will slowly lead a PM to get interested in the big picture of the business. The drive to get things done in projects, one way or other, instead of denying, blaming, and finding excuses but to coach and guide will add another step towards leadership. The experience gained by moving from Project Management, to Program Management, and to Portfolio Management will add to the journey to become COO.

Project Managers are good candidates for COO, provided they internalise the advices, processes, procedures, and guidelines specified in PMBOK. They should also commit to learn the domain business knowledge of the organisation, processes to enable them, finance management, capabilities & collaboration required to execute, and sharpen the soft skills, including leadership.

Project Management Trends from 2010 – 2016

May 18th, 2016

“Change is the only certain aspect of project management”-Kevin Veld

Group_meeting

We have over the past 7 years seen common trends in the growth of project management.

The table below is an indication of the common trends over the past 7 years.

PM TREND GRAPH

It is evident that the main trends over the past 7 years are:

  • PMP® Certified Project Managers – With strong Business Acumen
  • Managing Large Data through simplified dashboards – Project Intelligence
  • Cloud Project Management and Apps – Desktop Project Management is dying
  • PMO Sustainability – Add value not paper
  • Organisational Agility – To move like a fox

 

Let’s take a look at the 2016 project management tends:

 

Organisational Agility:

Your project management skills and resources will become increasingly agile in 2016 as more companies and projects rely on a self-compliance program to maintain visibility throughout the project. Ultimately, agility revolves around consistent improvements to processes and feedback on how to perform better. This means you will likely need to become a more prominent figure in instructing your project management team members and ensuring the success of your project.

 

Increased Emphasis on Mobility

More companies and organizations are beginning to understand the value and emphasis on compliance and visibility in modernity. As a result, the management rules, requirements, and procedures are evolving to reflect greater scrutiny into business processes, which directly reflect your activities as a project manager.

Therefore, your role will evolve to become more visible and accountable in the course of a project in 2016. This allows the overall organization to simply pass along information to authoritative figures, watchdog groups, and government agencies, who have oversight in your project.

PMP® Certified Project Managers

Due to increased scrutiny in project management processes and the policies within a given company, executive-level managers will move towards PMP-certified project managers. Although some project managers without the certification will still exist, the job opportunities will grow scarce, and eventually, companies will not even consider any applicants without this certification for project management roles.

Big Data

Project management has historically focused on physical factors and aspects of ensuring a project stays within budget and time constraints. However, 2015 gave birth to a new era of data analytics processes and improvements in efficiency within the ambit of the PMO as the custodian of these key elements of successful project management. 2016 will see the evolution of these processes into the processing power of many project management suites. As a result, risk management and data analytics will help provide stronger, more accurate forecasts into your project. Furthermore, your project management team will become more efficient and be able to work within tighter constraints.

Some project management trends for 2016 have yet to reveal themselves; however, many of the coming trends will reflect minor changes to trends in 2015. The time has come to start thinking about how you will adapt and meet the expectations of the trends in project management in 2016, especially those concerning training in new software capabilities and PMP-certification.

 

Project Managers to be entrepreneurs:

Not billing to a customer project is never a good thing regardless of the economy. In today’s climate of mergers and acquisitions, tight budgets and contract work, project managers need to be as entrepreneurial and hungry as a Shark Tank contestant.

Externally facing, the project manager becomes more entrepreneurial the more they participate in the sales cycle. While project managers in professional services organizations may already be part of the sales cycle there’s always room to improve in the joint sales call. This occurs when a company salesperson brings along a project manager to a sales call to answer technical and process related questions for a potential customer.

As internal forces press down on an organization, it’s up to the project manager to always be selling their team and its latest projects to executives. For example, when a company is going through a merger or acquisition, the entrepreneurial project manager is going to want to sell their team as indispensable to the newly combined company. Tactics include being on the right high-profile projects and communicating to decision makers how their team benefits the organization’s bottom line and intellectual property portfolio.

 

Key Take Always:

  • You will need to become more agile to change in 2016.
  • Organizational values and beliefs will become more visible next year.
  • Smartphone apps will probably replace terminal-based project management systems.
  • Project managers will be required to have a PMP-certification for most positions.
  • Big data will improve efficiency and accuracy in risk management and help other aspects of the project management team by becoming integrating with existing project management software.
  • Project Managers must be entrepreneurs

By,

Kevin in’t Veld (PMP) – CEO Bridgit Africa (Pty) Ltd

Agile Project Management is not only for IT but for all projects!

May 4th, 2016

I have been very much involved in working, teaching and consulting for project managers and projects since early 90’s. My career in project management started with the construction of the Twin Towers of Kuala Lumpur (Menara PETRONAS) when I was one of the few handpicked and trained in project management to train PETRONAS executives to understudy this project. These were the engineers, geologists, geophysicists, architects and generalists who were working alongside the foreigners who were designing and building the twin towers.

Businessman-flying-rocket-670x348
The PETRONAS teams (two groups of 20 in each) were handpicked to learn first from the construction of Twin Towers and lead the future projects of the Oil and Gas Sector of Malaysia. I was just too fortunate to have been given this opportunity which changed my own perspective about projects. I trained the PETRONAS understudy team which was assigned to Tower 1 built by the Japanese experts. The other team was working with the Koreans on Tower 2.

The most interesting thing about this assignment was that since there was no quality formal education available in Project Management in Malaysia around this time, PETRONAS had to cultivate its own trainers. No significant PMI or IPMA presence anywhere. Only a few companies like Kepner Tregoe Malaysia were teaching and training project people, particularly in the private sector. PETRONAS engaged KT to train a few of us as trainers. The excellent KT trainer, one Mr Ong S.M., imbibed me with the unshakable belief that project management is all predictable, systematic, hierarchical and orderly. The so called ‘iron triangle’ and the predictive nature of managing projects was very appealing for minds like mine which is of a generalist as well as a technical nature.

Thus, I started my active career in project management since then and regimentally adhered to the ‘predictive mindset’ that project management is planned extensively up front and implemented systematically through careful execution, close supervision and systematic monitoring & controlling, leading to complete closing.

However, to my dismay, I discovered much later that the predictive nature of projects is not always realistic and practical. When some groups who I worked with raised such alarm I realised that their disappointment was justified. The traditional approach was faced with a massive challenge which was real and alarming, especially coming from the IT community.

I did not know then that a set of IT professionals were already emerging at the advent of the 21st century with a new concept of managing projects called, ‘AGILE’. This was opposed to the traditional ‘Waterfall’ methodology which did not help the software industry well. Agile methodology emerged as the saviour of IT project success to some extent.

The Agile methodology professes that planning is still upfront but also on-going, done daily and more frequently as project progresses. All project management processes are handled with a ‘current’ mindset’ and immediate future perspective. They advocate this powerful solution opposed to the traditional project management process by introducing various Agile methodologies which advocated iterative or repeatable processes which in turn worked very well for the IT world where breakdowns, bugs, rework, repair etc., were rampant. Thanks for Agile, a great saviour indeed!

However, do not be misled to believe that Agile is only for IT guys. They discovered it alright but it is very well usable in most other projects like, transportation. procurement, logistics and other services like marketing, healthcare etc. In fact, the Agile advocacy of constant change management and progressive improvement (elaboration) lead to project managers’ support and signify the importance of ‘rolling wave’ planning. To be a good Agile project manager one must be both a technical manager as well as a people leader/manager. The Agile environment is so instantaneous, demanding and involved so much so that a weak leader/manager may fail to achieve success if he is not well trained or qualified as a leader. The concept of ‘Servant Leadership’ is emphasised in Agile.

Thus, the Agile methodology not only requires technical but also more importantly people skills to manage the iterative nature of Agile methodology.

Therefore, I wish to conclude by saying that the concept of ‘AGILE IS FOR ALL’. This idea is fast catching up and PMI-ACP exam is the fastest growing PMI certification as revealed by SDANDISH Group’s recent study as ascertained by PMI in its PMI-ACP Manual. More and more non IT project personnel have started showing interest in Agile and PMI-ACP.
The professional certification exam on Agile (PMI-ACP) emphasises this fact and greatly incorporates it in exam. Its coverage has been accordingly refocused. So, one need not be an IT qualified person to attend PMI-ACP class or acquire skills and knowledge to transfer to his/her workplace. All PMP’s can qualify for PMI ACP certification easily.

So, anybody there who wants to know about Agile and intends to use it in projects (not necessarily IT projects alone) should contact BRIDGIT/PMA for help. We have well-designed and industry oriented AGILE training offers for the take. Don’t miss this opportunity.

By,
R. Masilamani CAPM, PMP, PMI-ACP, PMI-RMP

Sustainable Project Management Unravelled

April 2nd, 2016

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAlzAAAAJGNhMDgxZDQ4LWVhNGMtNGNhNy1iNGIyLTU0Y2Q0NjYzM2I4Yw

First let’s clear up some confusion. People very often use sustainability and green throughout each other. However Sustainability is more than just green. When talking about sustainability we often talk about the 3 Ps, People, Profit and Planet. Or in other words People is social sustainability, Profit is economic sustainability and Planet is environmental sustainability. It is important to understand this concept because if we would only focus on Green then we might not pay enough attention to the necessary balance between the three Ps.

Let me explain. People, Profit and Planet are interconnected and influence each other. True sustainability only exists if all three aspects are taken care of. A company that makes huge negative effect on one both others. Therefore true sustainability is understanding and managing the impact on all Ps and having the skills to balance them.

Sustainability most often comes into the picture when we are looking at end products or operations of an organization. Sustainability in combination with managing projects is still very much an unexplored area.

As an example let’s explore the installation of solar panels on the roof of an office building. Although you can argue about the economic sustainability, there is little discussion that solar power is good for the environment and most probably also a positive measure from a social point of view. So the conclusion is that from a sustainability point of view, solar panels are great.

But now let us look a bit closer at the solar panel project. What if:

  • The solar panels are manufactured on a different continent and need to be transported more than 10,000 kilometres.
  • The solar panels are shipped in disposable polystyrene packaging.
  • The manufacturing process of these solar panels require using certain chemicals that are toxic and extremely bad for the environment
  • Some parts of the solar panels are manufactured in countries where working conditions are poor and child labour is tolerated.

Of course this ‘What If’ scenario is a bit farfetched but it allows us to examine an important point. It is not only the end result that counts. It is also the way you get there! And that is the area that Sustainable Project Management focusses on. It combines the sustainability of the end result with the sustainability of the road to the end result. Or in other words it looks at the sustainability of the total life cycle! Also sustainable project management looks at every step and deliverable of the project and how it ranks in regard to the 3 Ps. It will include the complete supply chain and all vendors and sub-contractors.

 

All in all Sustainable profits but abuses its staff and ruins the environment is obviously not sustainable. But a company that is completely focused on doing everything green to the maximum, might lose its economic sustainability. Banning all use of fossil fuels might be very good for the Planet aspect, but it will be disastrous for the Profit and People aspects.

This balancing act between the 3 Ps makes sustainability much more complex than if we only focus on the Green or Planet aspect. Very often a positive effect on one aspect results in a

e Project Management is the perfect addition to the traditional project management frameworks. It will surely make future projects better managed from a sustainability point of view.

By,

Marco de Booij BSc, MBA, PMP, RMP, GPM-b