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Episode 29: Project Management Paradise 2016 Highlights – Part 2

This is Part 2 of a 2 part series and features a collection of just some of the key points from last year’s Project Management Paradise interviews (Episodes 14 to 26).

If you missed part one you can catch it here.

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Excerpts from Project Management Paradise 2016 Highlights – Part 2:

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.

Listed 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.

Listed 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.

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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.

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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 needing to communicate quickly and more efficiently to collaborate with stakeholders in your project remains the same over time. However, the tools we use to communicate have changed in a manner that the method and format of communication is actually built in to the tool. So you don’t have to think about how, what and whom you need to communicate. A definition of collaboration will be ‘the ability for people to work together wherever they are based’. So if you are used to a board where you move sticky notes around. Today you can do it online. If the expert that you are looking to hire is in another country – you can still go ahead and hire the person since these tools will enable you to collaborate easily. It’s about doing what we used to do better by using smarter choices.

Listed 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 Cora Systems came into being there was no single system to Manage Projects. Each Project Manager would do what they felt was best for a particular project. There was no way of collating that information centrally. Before Cora systems an Excel Data Base was used to do this successfully. However an Excel Sheet could not handle the required volumes of over 60 projects at a time. The greatest advantage of Cora is that it is adaptable and can be modified. This makes it very attractive. ‘Project Vision’ from Cora was a cost effective and contractually solid option. ‘Resilience’ could be termed as one of the main benefits of Cora. Another benefit is that it guides Project Managers through the system highlighting what they need to do. It also provides a rich wealth of management information which can be diced and sliced and also can be accessed from any location.

Listed to or download the full episode here.
Episode 21: “Innovation Implementation” with Lou Kerestesy from GovInnovators.com
Innovation is a hot topic and is accepted and encouraged widely in the government sector, agencies of the federal government, consulting firms and elsewhere. There is resistance to innovation. This is to be expected as human nature and should be understood and worked through.
People are not locked into the idea of ‘If it ain’t broke – don’t fix it’ anymore. In the 1990s during the Clinton Administration there was a big movement called ‘Reinventing Government’ which was primarily about innovation. Similar programs under different names were carried out under each different administration. In each of these the ‘Change agents’ were identified and recognized by their colleagues and were looked up to in terms of leaders who could blaze a trail. There is a healthy tension between doing things differently to create new value and being operationally efficient. The US public is aware that the Government can and wants to do things better in terms of the customer experience offered through the public service.

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Episode 22: “Amazing Project Management” with Susan Tuttle
Amazing Project Management is a course available online. The course is put together for people who are just joining the field of Project Management. It starts with the concept phase and moves to ‘definition’, ‘delivery’ and introduces people to the terminology. It covers the importance of quality and team motivation in running a successful project. A lot of practical exercises that can be done in the context of their own work are given to enable participants to put the learning into use immediately.

Listed to or download the full episode here.
Episode 23: Defining your internal value proposition with Siobhan Maughan
“Value proposition’ can sometimes mean the external messaging that is used to position a Company. But Internal Value Proposition is what you articulate before you formulate your external messaging. Detailed Internal Value Proposition helps to create marketing messages and helps to train the sales people to engage positively with the clients, helps the engineers to understand the customer requirements. That starting point of this process is the Market Analysis from the point of view of the customer – defining the need of the client and how your product is able to provide a viable solution. This will ensure a product of superior quality.

Listed to or download the full episode here.
Episode 24: “Project Management Ethics and more” with Jeff Furman
Considering what would lead to a successful project one can say that a lot of it is about engaging your stakeholders. The PMI had only nine knowledge areas and the latest addition was ‘stakeholder management’. There are now three soft skill areas – namely – Communications Management, Stakeholder Management and People Management. Ensuring customer satisfaction is a key element of stakeholder management. The ‘head down approach’ focused on getting the technical aspect of the project done perfectly does not suffice. The more open interactive and lean-in approach is equally important in keeping your clients persuaded and clear about the results that you are delivering.

Listed to or download the full episode here.
Episode 25: “Project Management Predictions and more” with Paul Duff from EY
When organisations are having multiple projects running concurrently – using portfolio management software gives you greater control and visibility of what is happening. For example if one were to look at ‘what if’ scenarios and the knock on effects that such scenarios might trigger, software will make it easy to map it out and see the impact on the whole organisation in the context of all the projects – not just the one you are currently considering.
Even in the context of the technological advancement available projects fail for the simplest of reasons such as poor communication. In addition to communication, it is important to ensure frequent independent reviews. Furthermore, effective management programs should focus on the big picture and check that while you are engrossed in the details of the project you do take a moment to step back and make sure that the project is on the correct path.

Listed 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 does not stand still and constant change is a reality in any organisation. Therefore, in purchasing software, you would need a tool-set that could be configurable to reflect not only your current state but one that could grow with you if you move in to mergers and acquisitions, if your business changes or if there are business process improvements.
Software is only the tool and we would encourage any organization to look at the change management process in terms of hearts and minds. When you implement the PPM you should consider what impact it will have on the people and if communication is adequate for them to know the benefits of the system and why it is required.
It is also important to consider whether the program is going to be hosted on the premises or in the cloud. Not every vendor will offer you that flexibility.

Listed to or download the full episode here.
Episode 27: How to combine people and projects with Donnie MacNicol, founder of Team Animation
The iMAPraxis is a tool that emerged as a result of frustration that the people aspects of understanding yourself, communication, teamwork and the like – and the process aspects, that is structures, methodologies and the tools; were often kept separate. So iMAPraxis has combined these two aspects. It provides an insight that would improve the adoption and practice of project management because it recognises the uniqueness of individuals. It’s not been done before and therefore has sparked off a lot of interest. The iMA is a tool to identify peoples different engagement styles and uses 4 colours to classify them. The Praxis framework is an open source where different methodologies created by professional bodies can be used and it is possible to overlay and combine the two. We have created examples using topics such as Risk Management in order to explain what exactly iMAPraxis can do.

Listed to or download the full episode here.

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