By 2029, 76 million baby boomers will retire. And organizations, including yours, are losing knowledgeable employees due to retirement and a competitive labor market.
With 50% employee turnover in 2016, this brain drain of historical proportions increases our vulnerability to loss of institutional knowledge and critical skill sets required to conduct our business. In this interview, we explore the trends, urgency, value, techniques, and how-to of knowledge management — the new competitive and comparative advantage for high performing organizations.
This interview with Benjamin Anyacho (LinkedIn Profile) was recorded at the superb Project Management Institute (PMI)® Global Conference 2018 in Los Angeles, California.
In the interview we also discuss strategies for creating a knowledge management culture in your business environment and how to develop knowledgeable project teams.
If you are setting up a PMO for your company, then no matter what industry you are in, having the right PMO tools at our disposal can make a significant difference. And as they relate to the PMO, tools are the moment when you shift your focus from management to administration.
In fact, we project managers and program managers may even find ourselves scrambling around to find not only relevant but also accurate information to update our statuses, while resource managers may have to connect with several people to determine if they efficiently staffed their resources and have sufficient capacity for the upcoming initiatives.
And these are just some some of the reasons why our PMOs need the right tools. But what are the right tools and how do we identify them? And why on earth did we end up using this tool over here which is clearly wrong for our PMO?
All of those questions and also ‘Why are the right tools so important?’ is what we we are going to discuss today with Hussain Bandukwala (LinkedIn Profile).
For Project Management Professional (PMP)® Students: PMP Exam Prep :
All interview guests
Last year at the Project Management Institute (PMI)® Global Congress 2017 in Chicago, Illinois I recorded about a dozen interviews. They have all been published over the past year and you've probably heard some or all of them. But what you don't know is what happened once each interview was complete.
I pressed the recording button one more time and asked each of my guests the following question: What business management skills are essential for today’s project manager if they want to become more and more involved in strategic projects for their organizations?
And today you are going to get all the answers. In one nice mashup. Here are all the presenters in the order you will hear their answers
Oh, and spoiler alert... the answer that I received most often was "Flexibility".
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory has worked with PMOs around the United States to define a "best practice" for creating and delivering an annual plan.
This interview with Darryl Hahn (LinkedIn Profile) was recorded at the stimulating Project Management Institute (PMI)® Global Conference 2017 in Chicago, Illinois.
Our interview presents both strategic and tactical approaches for uncovering your organizations' goals and objectives and for creating the prioritized list of achievable projects. We also examine ways of categorizing and classifying types of work, identifying and weighting priorities and adjusting the completed plan for when it collides with real life.
In this second interview with Jamal Moustafaev (https://ca.linkedin.com/in/jmoustafaev we take what we learned about the project portfolio management process and discuss how to implement it in our organizations.
We look at PPM reviews, internal resource cost, the importance of our mission and strategy, how involved c-level executives need to be, a charter for portfolio management, how the halo effect can skew your project selection methods, and how to improve the quality of project proposals.
Project Portfolio Management and the realization that strategic alignment of all projects within an organization is crucial are both gaining ground. And this realization also emphasizes the need for having solid project selection methods.
But how exactly do you do all of this? The number of books that focus on practical advice for implementing a strategic project portfolio management process is quite small. Lucky for us that a new one with exactly that focus has just been published
Good strategy can be critical to organizational success, however in order for strategy to transform from ideas into results it must be successfully executed. In order for organizations to successfully formulate and execute strategy they must achieve sufficient strategic alignment.
Project managers and project team members can make a critical contribution to their organization’s strategic alignment. This paper examines strategic alignment through the frame of three strategic functions: formulate, align, and execute and how they interact with each other.
Additionally, three strategic alignment frameworks are presented and recommendations are made as to how they may be used by project managers to contribute to organizational strategic alignment at the project-level.
This interview is 29 minutes and 30 seconds long. This means that it is 30 seconds too short and you can "legally" only claim 0.25 PDUs for listening to it. However... if you first listen to the interview and then also read the white paper on which it is based, then you can go ahead and claim 0.50 PMP PDUs!
Studying for the Project Management Professional (PMP)® exam? Get PMP Exam Prep on any mobile device!
NK Shrivastava and Cornelius Fichtner
This interview about why Agile might be failing in your organization with NK Shrivastava was recorded at the Project Management Institute (PMI)® Global Congress 2016 in San Diego, California. We discuss his presentation and white paper Top Five Warning Signs That Agile is Not Working for You. Here are the abstract and conclusion:
Abstract: There are good possibilities of success when adopting an agile approach in an organization, but five symptoms in particular serve as warning signs that the organization’s agile transformation is not working well.
The five warning signs include: (a) no signs of value delivery for over 3 months, (b) teams resisting customer changes, (c) teams “waterfalling” sprints, (d) customers foregoing involvement in development and testing, and (e) lack of visibility for agile in the organization. Potential solutions for these problems are also described in this paper. Many organizations can solve these problems internally, but sometimes an external resource such as a change agent or an agile coach is needed. By addressing these issues, organizations can increase the chances of a successful agile transformation.
Conclusion: Agile doesn’t work by itself. Organizations that implement agile with minimal team support and expect it to work perfectly “out of the box” will likely be disappointed. Successful agile adoption depends on factors at the organization and team levels. Organizations need the right mindset, a strong commitment, a culture conducive to implement agile, and the ability to secure resources and outside help as needed. Teams need the training, skills, and empowerment to absorb and implement agile principles. With these factors in place, organizations and teams should be able to build the foundation for agile success.
Get Project Management Professional (PMP)® exam ready by putting PMP training in your pocket!
Joy Beatty and Cornelius Fichtner
We continue our look at the topic of scaled agile that we started in the previous episode, this time by looking at "agiLE" - Agile in the Large Enterprise.
This interview about Scaling Agile with Joy Beatty, PMI-PBA was recorded at the Project Management Institute (PMI)® Global Congress 2016 in San Diego, California. We discuss her presentation and white paper Making "agiLE" Work: Agile in the Large Enterprise. Here are the abstract and final thoughts:
Abstract: Almost all large enterprises are making some transition to agile practices. There are many approaches to scale agile in the large enterprise, and we’ll give an overview of the most common scaled approaches and their limitations. This paper also discusses the most common challenges our customers’ teams are facing when scaling agile and provides suggestions to overcome those challenges.
Final Thoughts: This sounds like a daunting task—to transition to agile approaches in a large organization. However, with solid collaboration and communication, it’s absolutely doable. Teams will constantly be collaborating through elicitation, answering questions, and testing the actual product. Business analysts have a critical role to play in keeping the collaboration running smoothly, including helping to facilitate backlog grooming and elaboration, participating in planning in sprints, working with interfacing teams to identify dependencies, and serving as a product owner proxy on any teams as needed. Likewise, project and program managers can act as advisors about appropriate levels of process, help guide projects toward common goals, and ensure a focus on prioritization based on business needs. Instead of instilling a hierarchical control between PMO and product owner, in agiLE the PMO and product owner work together to achieve the objective. The real goal for agiLE teams is self-organization and creativity, while still contributing as a part of a large organization
Studyng for your Project Management Professional (PMP)®? Put PMP training in your pocket!
Andrew Burns and Cornelius Fichtner
Agile began with the promise to make smaller project teams more able to react to ever changing customer requirements. But what if your project is big? I mean really, really big. Can we have scaled agile?
Product portfolios can easily scale to 50 teams or more in meeting large organizations’ needs. Large portfolios with strong foundations are derived through values-based leadership. The technique links corporate and individual values to scientific principles. Scientific principles inform us that change is constant and therefore adaptation defines good practices. Values-based leadership’s agile practices take root, thrive, and adapt at the pace of business change.
The three-hundred software engineers considered herein innovated within a portfolio of 18,000 colleagues. Their agile, adaptive product development practices continue to evolve from plan-driven provenance. Leveraging agile practices at the portfolio, program, and project level continually unleashes innovation, quality, and throughput of value. Though contextualized in terms of software product development in the 2010s with Scrum, the message of innovation through values-based adoption of scientific principles is timeless and framework unallied. Implementation of practices observant of values and principles endures as a way to deliver the best products regardless of toolset.
Setting up a PMO usually means setting up some Project Management KPI (Key Performance Metric). But which?
This interview about PMO metrics with Denise McRoberts was recorded at the PMI® Global Congress 2016 in San Diego, California. We discuss her paper and presentation "Meaningful Metrics -- The Path toward Measuring what Matters". Here is the abstract:
"The project management office (PMO) was in a rut. The number of projects in work at any one time was increasing; project managers were routinely reporting that all was well while schedules slipped, and there was limited understanding of true project costs." Does this sound all too familiar? In this session, attendees will learn some innovative methods to implement metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) to better understand your organizational weaknesses and how to overcome them. This session will provide a case study on how a PMO did just that, with plenty of practical examples
You will learn what makes a 'good' metric, how metrics should be developed, and that we also need specific project metrics and project portfolio metrics.
For your Project Management Professional (PMP)® exam use PMP exam prep on your phone with The PM PrepCast:
Dave Davis, PMP, PgMP, PBA
When we last spoke with Dave L Davis (https://www.linkedin.com/in/dldavispmp) we learned about the basics of benefits realisation and benefits realisation management? We discussed the benefits management process and focused on the important aspect of how all of this fits into project benefits management.
Now that we understand the theory of benefits realization management it’s time to take the next step and ask “How do we actually do all of this”. Luckily, Dave has a lot of experience in applied benefit management and he happily agreed to this second interview, so that we can take a look at a case study.
You’ll hear how we project managers are involved in the overall process, the importance of engaging stakeholders, how to ensure alignment between benefit management and organizational strategy, and of course, we will also look at metrics.
A project is truly successful only if it delivers the benefits an organization envisions.
Mark Langley, PMI President and CEO
At first glance this sentence is awfully obvious to us project managers. But having good and successful benefits realization management and thereby turning this statement into a reality is what makes our job so hard. And rewarding.
So what exactly are benefits realisation and benefits realisation management? Is there a benefits management process and how does all of this fit into project benefits management?
How about if I let Dave L Davis (https://www.linkedin.com/in/dldavispmp) explain it all to you? He has authored one of the articles in that Pulse of the Profession report from where I took the earlier quote. The article is titled “The Benefits Management Journey” and serves as our guide.
We’ll learn what exactly benefits realization management is, review the process of implementing it on projects, meet the people involved, and we’ll even talk about tools.
And at the very end of this episode you’ll learn that even failings project have benefits
Preparing for your Project Management Professional (PMP)® Exam? Get PMP exam prep on your phone with The PM PrepCast:
Bruce Harpham, PMP
If you are a regular listener to The PM Podcast then you heard me say on many occasions that projects are the mechanism by which companies turn their vision and strategy into a reality. And it is us -- the project managers -- who are asked to bring these projects to a successful completion so that the business needs are met.
This means that we project managers need a great deal of business acumen and business awareness. But many of us are accidental project managers, who at some point in our career found ourselves to be quite shockingly thrust into the position of a project leader. We were taken by surprise back when that happened and now they suddenly tell us that we also need all this awareness?
Well, fear not because Bruce Harpham (https://ca.linkedin.com/in/bruceharpham and http://projectmanagementhacks.com) is here to tell you how to grow your business know-how as a project manager. In this interview we review what foundational skills you need, how to access internal business knowledge from your organization and how to look for information and trends in the broader environment outside the four walls of your company.
Our goal is to help you grow the situational awareness that you need day after day on your projects by adding business awareness.
This episode is sponsored by The Agile PrepCast. PDU for PMP::
Joseph Flahiff, PMP, PMI-ACP
Decision making in project management can be hard. That is of course especially true if your decision making process is such that every decision you have to make must be passed up the command chain in your organization until finally someone up there has the time to review your input and make that project decision.
But what if there were an easier way for project management decision making?
We begin with a definition, look at what’s wrong with today’s decision making process, offer a way to make decisions simply by flipping a coin and then look at the proximal model in detail with lots of examples, tips and tricks. All with the goal that you can improve your project management decision making process.
This interview is 29:45 minutes long. This means that you can "legally" only claim 0.25 PDUs for listening to it. However... if you first listen to the interview and then also read the article on which it is based, then you can go ahead and claim 0.50 PDUs!
In many organizations, there is a familiar gap between what should get done and what does get done. This gap is commonly referred to as the “execution gap” and it represents an organizational leadership issue that is difficult to overcome.
The strategic execution gap is most often a result from a lack of focus and action between the strategic direction of the organization and its frenetic attempt to balance keeping the lights on and the customer happy.
In our interview Paul defines the problem and we learn a lot about these various gaps -- how they come to be and how they represent a problem to our organizations. But of course we also discuss how project management and project leadership fits into all of this and how we project managers and project leaders can help overcome the issues.
This interview is 28 minutes long. This means that you can "legally" only claim 0.25 PDUs for listening to it. However... if you first listen to the interview and then also read the article on which it is based, then you can go ahead and claim 0.50 PDUs!
This episode is sponsored by The Agile PrepCast. PDU for PMP®:
Cornelius Fichtner and Peter Monkhouse
This interview with Peter Monkhouse was recorded at the 2015 PMI® Global Congress in Orlando, Florida. We discuss his paper and presentation "My Project is Failing, It is Not My Fault". Here is the paper's abstract:
Projects fail. This is not new; projects having been failing for years. Studies have been done on why projects fail. The Project Management Institute (PMI) reported in the Pulse of the Profession® (2013a) that poor communication is the number one reason why projects fail. In fact, PMI states that poor communications is a contributing factor in 56% of the projects that failed.
But is this the fault of the project manager? A good project manager follows the appropriate methodology for the project, including using a variety of communication tools. But it is not just the method of communication that matters, it is the also the content of the communication that is important. The project manager needs to communicate with the project sponsor and stakeholders in the language of the business. The project manager needs to take the project data and convert it into business information that is actionable for the project sponsor and key stakeholders.
To do this, there are two tools the project manager can use. The first is to determine how the product or service of the project supports the organizational strategy. Knowing how the project supports the strategy of the organization will provide the language of why it is important for the project sponsor to support the project.
The second tool is the business model canvas which uses nine building blocks to describe how the strategy of the organization is implemented through organizational structures, processes, and systems. Knowing which block the project impacts will provide the project manager with the context to describe the project in the language of the business.
A project manager that speaks the language of the business will communicate more effectively with the project sponsor and project stakeholders, and improve the chances of the project meeting its objectives.
This interview with Richard Larson was recorded at the 2015 PMI® Global Congress in Orlando, Florida. We discuss his paper and presentation "Entrepreneurial Business Analysis Practitioner" (Co-written with Elizabeth Larson). Here is the paper's introduction:
Given both authors are entrepreneurs and have done extensive business analysis work, it seems logical for us to write about this topic. But, why bother? What possibly could be relevant about entrepreneurialism for a business analyst or project manager? For starters, entrepreneurship is an increasingly attractive career option within an organization and as a start-up, and is more and more viable with each passing year. Even if we are not interested in forming a start-up, the principles of entrepreneurship are becoming increasingly important for organizations to innovate and stay competitive.
In this paper, we will explore several aspects of entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs and what it means for business analysis. Our firm belief is that by adopting a more entrepreneurial way of working, practitioners will be more effective and organizations will benefit.
This interview with Jack Ferraro was recorded at the 2015 PMI® Global Congress in Orlando, Florida. We discuss his paper and presentation "Measure Twice, Change Once: Practical Strategies for Change Management". Here is the paper's abstract:
Sound change management processes and behaviors link strategy and execution teams. They enable portfolio managers, executive leadership, and program and project teams to increase their organization’s ability to react effectively to change.
This paper presents a comprehensive approach to making an organization more responsive to change by means of effective structuring, planning, and measuring of change management across portfolios, programs and projects. It explores the role of change management in portfolio management and how to structure an organization for successful change. It discusses the value of measuring change management and how to best do so before, during, and after the change process.
With effective structuring, planning, and measuring of change management efforts, organizations can achieve effective change when challenged by resource constraints and conflicting executive priorities.
This interview with Frank Parth (www.projectauditors.com) was recorded at the 2015 PMI® Global Congress in Orlando, Florida. We discuss his paper and presentation "Successful Projects Depend on the Business". Here is the paper's abstract:
This paper looks at the literature on successful critical projects and examines the impact of decision making on project success. When are the most critical decisions made? Who makes them? Where are the sensitive areas that can have a huge impact on project success? Research in this area shows that the only part of the effort where traditional project management approaches makes sense is in the later stages, the engineering and EPC stages. The earlier stages require a different approach to ensure success.
While all projects are dependent on decisions made outside the project, large projects are particularly susceptible to this because of the increased number of stakeholders and increase complexity. This paper will focus on the pre-project decision process for large construction, engineering, and infrastructure projects. We will examine how these projects are most effectively divided into several stages and compare the approaches promulgated by both academic research as well as by private industry. They are all consistent with each other in where the critical decision points are.
We will examine those critical points, the data needed to receive a “go” decision, and who should be involved in those decisions. We will see that the data needs to be increasingly complete and accurate the later in the life cycle the decision is made. Giving the engineers and the contractors bad data will ensure cost and schedule overruns as well as claims. Yet the most critical decisions are done when we have the least amount of accurate data, before the project managers ever get involved.
We will look at four areas and provide recommendations for the project manager at the end:
The business environment
Approaches to assessing the adequacy of the early planning