Monday, October 11, 2010

The Future of Project Management - Trend 8

Risk management will become standard practice for all projects

Project teams will conduct regular risk assessments at the beginning, mid-way and at the end of a project to proactively identify what might prevent success in the management of a project as well as to have contingencies in place to manage a risk, should it occur.

Proper risk management implies control of possible future events, and is proactive rather than reactive. It will reduce not only the likelihood of an event occurring, but also the magnitude of its impact. Organizations that consistently follow a risk management process on all of their projects will see a reduction in their management by crisis. There will always be some things that will occur but most of these, through sound risk management, can be managed, rather than reacted to.

Concluding Remarks
Many of you will read these trends and believe that you are not “senior” enough in your respective organizations to ensure these trends are effectively implemented in your organizations. This is not at all true. One of the great strengths of leaders is their ability to use influence and critical thinking skills to bring about positive change. Each of us can choose to be either a leader or a follower. We must decide. Our organization’s future may depend upon the right decisions being made today. Hopefully, knowledge of these trends will help you stay ahead of your competitors and help you contribute to your organization’s future success.

I look forward to hearing your comments,

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Future of Project Management - Trend 7

Organizations will increase the use of Project Health Checks and Project Audits

There will be more project health checks to quickly identify the interim issues, concerns and challenges being experienced by projects. This will reduce fire-fighting and management by crisis by quickly identifying the root causes of the problems. This forensic view will identify the actions required to realize the project’s opportunities and provide assurance to the organization that the project will meet the required schedule, budget and customer requirements.

There will be more project audits completed at the end of projects in order to identify the lessons learned that will help future projects gain knowledge from the project’s successes and challenges. This knowledge will be incorporated into project data repositories to ensure the lessons learned can easily be accessed by project managers.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Future of Project Management - Trend 6

Organizations will use Best Practices and Knowledge Transfer to successfully launch projects

Organizations that follow best practices will be at a competitive advantage to those who do not apply a structured process to each project. Project management best practices include a disciplined approach to planning, executing and learning from projects.

As part of the move towards greater use of best practices we will also see:
•Use of competency assessments to select the best project resources for any given project.
•Incorporation of project management best practices into all aspects of project management infrastructure including tools, templates and techniques.
•Incorporation of portfolio project management to make sure that projects are prioritized and resourced to align with corporate strategies.
•Increased training for project sponsors to improve their understanding of their roles in helping projects succeed.

Organizations will find value in recording and documenting “Lessons Learned” on projects as a means of passing along the things that worked or did not work on a project. This kknowledge retention and transfer will be a major benefit to organizations because it will contribute to continuous learning and avoidance of repeated mistakes.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Future of Project Management - Trend 5

Project management and quality management will unite as critical job skill requirements

Project and quality principles will be infused into everyone’s roles within an organization. As the principles of project management fuse with quality management requirements, organizations will expect a quality-based approach to the management of projects. This will help them to successfully execute projects time after time.

To achieve this, organizations will need to apply quality management processes to all aspects of the project management infrastructure including: project management tools, project management templates, project management methods or techniques as well as project management competencies. These project quality management systems will improve project management by providing quality standards for project processes, tools and templates. As well, it will cause a shift in the competency requirements for project management roles.

All this will have enormous implications for project management training as organizations begin to search for curriculums that combine both quality management and project management knowledge bases.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Future of Project Management - Trend 4

Traditional performance management systems will be overhauled to better reflect work performance on projects

Generally speaking, most performance management systems are out of touch with how work is performed today. They undermine project delivery success because they fail to measure employee performance on special projects that are outside the realm of day-to-day job responsibilities.

This problem with performance management systems can greatly hinder an organization’s ability to successfully deliver projects because employees are less likely to consider their work on projects of equal importance to their measured job performance. Furthermore, functional managers may add fuel to the fire if they disapprove of an employee’s project work or are inflexible about work deadlines.

Because of this, we will see organizations starting to overhaul their performance management systems to make sure it measures employees’ total work performance. These new breed performance systems or “Total Performance Management” systems will be designed to capture feedback from functional managers as well as project managers and will measure total work performance.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Future of Project Management - Trend 3

The role of “Project Manager” as a unique role will go the way of the dinosaur

The role of the Quality Manager is no longer today what is was 20 years ago. In fact, this title is not commonly found in most organizations. We can expect to also see this happen in project management where the role of the Project Manager will evolve to such a degree that it will become a work skill that is part of every employee’s job responsibility. This will require a cultural shift so that it becomes a part of every employee’s responsibility to know and understand how to manage that part of their work which is a project.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Future of Project Management - Trend 2

There will be an increase in the number of centralized project management structures or Enterprise Project Management Offices

Organization’s project management functions will be centralized through the creation of an “Enterprise Project Management Office” or EPMO. This will help them to ensure that the projects that get initiated and implemented are supportive of their organizational strategies.

While many organizations have introduced the “Project Management Office” (“PMO”) to be an agent of change and created a project management infrastructure for the organization or department, the trend will be a more strategically focused project management function focused on ensuring that the portfolio of projects are prioritized, resourced and strategically aligned.

Global organizations will continue to have local PMOs but all will report into a single EPMO – using similar project management processes, tools and templates.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Future of Project Management

The first 10 years of this 21st century are almost over. Where is project management going in the next decade? Being able to look at current trends and see where they will take us is an interesting and thought provoking exercise. It can give us a much needed competitive edge to move ahead of the pack.

Through our continuous, extensive global research studies we have identified a number of key trends that will have a positive impact on organizations and how they manage projects over the next decade. Here are 8 trends you can expect to see happen that will help you gain organizational momentum. I'll present one trend in each Blog over the coming weeks.

As always, contact me with your questions, comments and own observations in regard to these.

Trend 1:
Organizations will undertake Project Culture Change Initiatives to ensure consistency in the management of projects.

Organizations that undertake the changes required to transition themselves from ad hoc and inconsistent project management practices to one where project management knowledge is incorporated into everyone’s job as a required skill set will see reduced costs and increased customer satisfaction rates. More organizations will implement a “Project Culture Initiative™” strategy to undertake this project cultural change to ensure the success in the management of all projects.

Successful project management systems do have a direct bottom-line impact on an organization as well as a profound effect on their structures, systems and resources. The process for creating the cultural change is easy but recognize it is journey. It is exciting but organizations will have to stay focussed throughout. Like all journeys, it takes time. When project management is built into the corporate culture than everyone who works on a project will immediately know what they have to do. They won’t have to locate a PMO or anyone else to tell them how to manage a project, what tools to use, what templates to use, etc.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Accelerate the Innovation Engine in Your Organization but Watch for the Potholes

With promising economic statistics in the US, some organizations are hiring again and manufacturing and retail sales are starting to turn around. Yet management remains cautious about spending and more and more are thinking about how to innovate in order to provide customers with products and services that are recession-proof.

They are asking:
--How do we innovate?
--How much should we spend on innovation?
--How much time should we devote to innovation?

But these are not the right questions. Rather, management should be asking, "How do we re-shape the culture in our organization so that innovation is just part of what we do?"

If you get the environment right, a culture of innovation will easily fall into place and the business side of your operations will be that much easier. Many organizations spend time on strategic planning and business planning but rarely spend time on building their culture, the development of values and principles and the type of reporting relationships that will support the new culture. These are requirements to get the innovation engine started.

Organizations often struggle with the on-going trade-off debate between growth and earnings, short and long-term goals, etc. They spend too much time discussing how to cut costs in order to meet monthly revenue targets and too little time talking about the longer-term opportunities and how the short-term decisions are likely to impact these. By the time leaders start to realize that their growth has been stifled by their need to meet these short-term objectives, innovation will have already been killed. Short-term thinking is perhaps one of the biggest pot holes to fill.

There is no doubt that being privately held certainly makes it easier. You'll be less prone to short-term thinking and profits, etc. demanded by shareholders and Boards that impede innovation and stifle the culture needed to foster it. However, innovation is not about private or public, retail or manufacturing, technology or science. It is about all of these and not specific to any type of industry.

Read the full article at

I look forward to your comments and insights.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Increase Productivity

The Globe and Mail’s Report on Business recently stated that “Canada is about to pay the price for its failure to address a productivity rate that is universally described as woeful”.

Wow – that’s huge!!!

They went on to say that the economy is expanding but is producing less than it did before the financial crisis. Today there are fewer jobs and people buying goods and services. The only way to generate more wealth for companies is to increase their productivity levels. But this isn’t just a Canadian issue. It is a reality facing most of the world’s advanced economies.

More importantly – what do we do? So many organizations have already implemented Lean and Six Sigma approaches to save money. But these have not always increased the levels of productivity expected. However, there is an opportunity to increase productivity that is fast, effective and will deliver bottom-line improvements.

There is no doubt that as organizations seek ways in which to increase productivity and save money they will reach the conclusion that they will continue to have to work with fewer resources. These organizations must use Business Process Management (BPM) to examine their key processes. BPM will also ensure that employee performance and morale are maintained. Otherwise, productivity will negatively be affected, staff motivation levels will decrease and the customers will feel the impact of these decisions.

Streamlining key business processes will increase productivity, reduce costs and optimize customer service levels. Our current situation may seem challenging but through these efforts you can identify new opportunities for managing these.

If your organization is facing any of these challenges below you can benefit from BPM:
•There is increased global competition.
•Constant price reduction demands from customers.
•Increased requirements for quality.
•Must remain competitive, innovative and profitable.
•Need to implement enhanced cost and cycle-time reduction.
•Customer satisfaction and loyalty levels need to be increased.
•Requirement to minimize all forms of waste and maximize value for the customer.
•Resources are stretched and not sure where to spend their time.
•Many key business processes are in crisis and there is lots of fire-fighting rather than looking into the root causes of the problems.
•There is blame and excuses for poor individual and group work practices.

Improving productivity growth will become an even more important component of economic growth in the future as labour forces continue to remain stagnant.

If you need advise on how to get started or want help to increase your operational effectiveness, let me know -

Monday, January 11, 2010

How to Make Your PMO Improve Organizational Success so You Can Look Good to Management

Is it possible for a Project Management Office (PMO) to actually improve organizational success? The answer to this question is quite simply, "Yes."

Here’s why.
A recent research study of PMOs around the world reveals some very interesting findings about how some PMOs have actually improved their organization’s results despite a slower economic climate. You can learn the secrets of their success by reading the full 2010 Research Report, "How Project Management Offices Can Improve Organizational Effectiveness." The report includes helpful advice to get your PMO or EPMO to contribute positive results for your organization:
•How to apply project management to increase organizational success.
•How to create supportive structures necessary for project management to thrive.
•How to gain sponsor and management support for your projects.
•How to communicate and market the PMO/EPMO to the department and/or entire organization so they understand why it’s important to them.
•How to manage the challenges of managing multiple projects (portfolio management) successfully.
•How to deliver consistent project processes, tools and templates that will improve project success rate.
•How to document and retain knowledge from projects for future benefit.

Order Now and Save
You can order the report to receive generous savings before January 25, 2010. For more information about this useful new project management research study go to or download a free executive summary at

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

How to Save Time on Your Project and Win Sponsor Approval

Did you know that the major reasons projects fail is due to a breakdown of communication, lack of planning and poor quality control during the life cycle of a project? Just think about it... those challenges cost you and your company money, delays and frustration. We can help you solve those problems... After years of research and working with thousands of people just like you who want to improve their project management, we developed the Project Success Templates™. These templates will help you to: communicate better, develop a detailed plan for your project and improve the quality of your project delivery so that your project is successful.

These Templates are Superior to All Others
Although there are various project management templates on the market, I’m confident that you’ll find Project Success Templates™ superior to any other template product. Our templates are not just word processed forms. They are unique because they are interactive. They’re far superior to other project management templates.

Learn more
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