Project Management Paradise 2016 Highlights – Part 2


This is Part 2 of a 2 part series and features a collection of 2016 highlights and key points from Project Management Paradise interviews (Episodes 14 to 26).

If you missed part one you can catch it here. Subscribe to Project Management Paradise via one of the links above or on the right and you’ll automatically receive new episodes directly to your device.

Episode 14 – “Risk Management Explained” with Mike Clayton.

Risk Management is looking into the future to identify possible Risks and how to mitigate them. Most Project Managers are not managing huge projects but smaller Projects where the Team could sit around a white board and brainstorm possible risks. While that is one approach you could also decide to start off with a list of risks faced in similar projects; or you could use a reference book. Another method could be to use a ‘cause and effect’ analysis, where you look at possible factors that can affect a project like – going over budget – getting delayed – quality issues and the like. Thereafter you identify what could cause each of these situations. Then you can dig down to what triggered that ‘cause’ to happen and then identify how these risks might be avoided or minimized.

Listen to or download the full episode here.

Episode 15 – “What to do before you buy EPPM software” with Raymond Poole.

Some organizations when purchasing EPPM software or 3PM (Project Program Portfolio Management) do not realize that unless they have the core competencies at the lower end of the spectrum the benefits of the program cannot be realized. Many organizations that are armatures in Project Management and have even less knowledge of Program and Portfolio Management expect that the EPPM software alone can bring the results they are looking for – and that is a misconception.

Listen to or download the full episode here.

Episode 16 – “The role of the project sponsor” with Ron Rosenhead.

The ‘Project Sponsor’ is in fact the ‘Project owner’ who has the responsibility to ensure that the Project is successfully implemented and reports to the Board. It really does not matter whether you call them the owner or the sponsor. The important thing is that every project should ideally have one and that it is clear what is expected of the sponsor/owner. A good sponsor/owner strengthens the governance of the project. If however the project is a short quick win project which is not of a strategic nature then it may be possible to manage without a sponsor.

Listen to or download the full episode here.

Episode 17 – “Developing a Company Culture That Works” with Gerald Leonard from Principles of Execution.

In the book ‘Culture is the Bass’ it focuses on the role of the Bass-line in Music. The songs that are popular are those that have a great Bass-line. The Bass lays the foundation, tells you what style of music it is, provides the background, gives the color and sets the pace. And Culture in any organization does exactly that. Music brings people together creating an emotional and spiritual atmosphere as the artists practice different instruments and vocals and work hard to ensure that the performance is perfect. Tony Hsieh for example has created that kind of bonding at an emotional level within Zappos. Companies can learn from Musicians how – when the conductor leads effectively the group comes together to play their different roles and create a harmonious piece.

Listen to or download the full episode here.

Episode 18: “Managing the psychology of modern-day Project Management” with Amy Hatton.

The Workplace is the only part of our lives where we don’t recognize our human fallibility and our own human behaviors. We have little sympathy for how problems outside of work, sickness or unexpected family events might affect people’s performance. A lot of project management is about change and transformation programs. When we ask people to change their behaviors in the workplace and adopt better ways of doing things they might not appreciate it because they will not immediately see the benefits of the new program or process. It is important to find out what motivates your staff in order to convince them to buy in to the project. When considering the carrot or the stick – it is always better to lead people by motivation rather than by fear. Listed to or download the full episode here.

Episode 19: “The Benefits of Collaboration Tools for Project Managers” with Elizabeth Harrin.

The concept of the need for quick and efficient communication to collaborate with stakeholders in your project has remained consistent over time. However, the tools for communication have evolved in a way that incorporates the method and format directly into the tool. This eliminates the need to contemplate how, what, and with whom you need to communicate. A definition of collaboration would be ‘the ability for people to work together wherever they are based.’ So, if you are accustomed to using a board for moving sticky notes around, today, you can achieve the same online. Even if the expert you seek to hire is in another country, you can still proceed to hire them, as these tools facilitate easy collaboration. It’s about improving what we used to do by making smarter choices.

Listen to or download the full episode here.

Episode 20: Cora Client Case Study Interview with Ifti Majid, acting Chief Executive at Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

Two or three years before the establishment of Cora Systems, there was no unified system for managing projects. Each Project Manager would independently determine the best approach for a specific project, lacking a means to centrally compile that information. Before Cora Systems, an Excel Database successfully fulfilled this role. However, an Excel Sheet proved insufficient for handling volumes exceeding 60 projects simultaneously.

The significant advantage of Cora lies in its adaptability and modifiability, making it highly appealing. ‘Project Vision’ from Cora emerged as a cost-effective and contractually robust option. ‘Resilience’ stands out as a primary benefit of Cora. Additionally, it guides Project Managers through the system, highlighting necessary actions. The system also offers a wealth of management information that can be analyzed extensively and accessed from any location.

Listen to or download the full episode here.

Episode 21: “Innovation Implementation” with Lou Kerestesy

Innovation is a widely accepted and encouraged topic in various sectors, including the government, federal agencies, consulting firms, and beyond. Resistance to innovation is a natural aspect of human nature and should be acknowledged and addressed.

The notion of ‘If it ain’t broke – don’t fix it’ no longer confines people. In the 1990s, during the Clinton Administration, a significant movement named ‘Reinventing Government’ focused primarily on innovation. Similar programs, under different names, were implemented under subsequent administrations. In each case, ‘Change agents’ were identified and acknowledged by their colleagues, being viewed as leaders capable of pioneering new paths.

A healthy tension exists between embracing change to create new value and maintaining operational efficiency. The U.S. public recognizes that the Government can and desires to enhance the customer experience provided through public service.

Listen to or download the full episode here.

Episode 22: “Amazing Project Management” with Susan Tuttle.

Amazing Project Management is an online course designed for individuals entering the field of project management. It begins with the concept phase, progressing through ‘definition’ and ‘delivery,’ while introducing participants to relevant terminology. The course emphasizes the significance of quality and team motivation in ensuring project success. Practical exercises, applicable within the context of participants’ work, are provided to enable immediate application of the learning.

Listen to or download the full episode here.

Episode 23: Defining your internal value proposition with Siobhan Maughan.

The term “value proposition” may sometimes refer to the external messaging employed to position a company. However, the internal value proposition is what you articulate before formulating your external messaging. A detailed internal value proposition assists in creating marketing messages and training salespeople to engage positively with clients. It also aids engineers in understanding customer requirements. The starting point of this process is market analysis from the customer’s perspective, defining the client’s needs and how your product can offer a viable solution. This approach ensures the delivery of a product of superior quality.

Listen to or download the full episode here.

Episode 24: “Project Management Ethics and more” with Jeff Furman.

To ensure a successful project, active engagement with stakeholders is vital. The PMI, originally with nine knowledge areas, added ‘stakeholder management’ as the latest addition. Presently, three soft skill areas are emphasized: Communications Management, Stakeholder Management, and People Management. Customer satisfaction is a pivotal aspect of effective stakeholder management. Merely adopting a ‘head down approach’ concentrated on technical perfection falls short. An open, interactive, and lean-in approach is equally essential for maintaining client confidence and clarity regarding the delivered results.

Listen to or download the full episode here.

Episode 25: “Project Management Predictions and more” with Paul Duff from EY.

Organizations managing multiple concurrent projects gain greater control and visibility by utilizing portfolio management software. This software facilitates the analysis of ‘what if’ scenarios, allowing for easy mapping and visualization of the potential impacts on the entire organization, considering all projects rather than just the current one.

Despite technological advancements, projects often fail due to simple issues such as inadequate communication. Alongside communication, ensuring regular independent reviews is crucial. Effective management programs should prioritize the big picture, prompting a moment to step back and verify the project’s alignment with the correct path, even amidst detailed project engagements.

Listen to or download the full episode here.

Episode 26: “Three things to look for in Project Management Software” with Derry Lynch from Cora Systems.

Business remains dynamic, with constant change being an inherent reality in any organization. Hence, when acquiring software, you require a tool-set that can be configured to not only mirror your current state but also grow with you in the event of mergers, acquisitions, changes in your business, or improvements in business processes.

The software serves as a tool, and we advocate for organizations to focus on the change management process in terms of hearts and minds. When implementing the PPM, careful consideration should be given to its impact on individuals. Adequate communication is essential to ensure they understand the system’s benefits and why its implementation is necessary. Additionally, the choice between hosting the program on-premises or in the cloud is a crucial factor, and not every vendor offers this flexibility.

Listen to or download the full episode here.

Episode 27: How to combine people and projects with Donnie MacNicol, founder of Team Animation.

The frustration of keeping the people aspects (such as understanding oneself, communication, and teamwork) separate from the process aspects (structures, methodologies, and tools) led to the emergence of the iMAPraxis tool. iMAPraxis has combined these two aspects to improve the adoption and practice of project management by recognizing the uniqueness of individuals. This innovative approach, which integrates the iMA tool for identifying different engagement styles using four colors, has generated significant interest as it had not been attempted before. The Praxis framework, an open source, allows the overlay and combination of various methodologies created by professional bodies. Examples, such as Risk Management, have been created to illustrate the capabilities of iMAPraxis.

Listen to or download the full episode here.

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