“Sponsors – underestimated role”
| Strefa PMI Magazine
This article in Strefa PMI magazine answers the question about the role of the project sponsor. It also shows how to develop this key role in a mature way. It demonstrates the importance of sponsors and helps to take the right perspective when developing project oriented organization. Project, program and portfolio sponsors play central role here. It's simply because even most effective processes for project realization combined with competent project managers will only make problems in that area more visible and lead to frustration.
Most activities undertaken to increase effectiveness of projects concentrate on project managers and PMO's. Is this the right approach? Reality shows that the biggest challenge and key success factor is completely elsewhere.
When we ask about the person responsible for project success, we are very likely to hear "project manager". When we ask about the role of the project sponsor, we usually hear "should provide resources and supervise the project".
What would happen if project sponsors attitude could be described as "I'm investing organizations money and I make sure that results are achieved"? It's quite different then steoretypical perception of that role, isn't it? What shall we do to turn sponsors into entrepreneurs who invest, and as a result can ensure specific long term benefits to the organization?
Read the article (PL)Sponsors – underestimated role
Strefa PMI Magazine website (PL)www.pmi.org
Challenging project as an adventure – Emotions, cooperation and learning
17th IPMA Polska Conference was an opportunity to share stories about leaders who found the way to turn challenging projects into great adventures and development opportunities. And they did it not only for their teams, but also for partners and suppliers. These stories were also about lessons learnt in projects. Not for future generations, but here and now, for ourselves.
"...will make you stronger!" – said Sponsor after giving you the greatest challenge in your career. You immediately thought about one question: Will this challenge turn into opportunity or threat? How do you think, how your own answer will impact your ability to build engaged team, fill it with passion and achieve the goal that you were just faced with?
Leaders of several successful challenging projects demonstrated that their attitude is key to the success of such project. It’s not only impacting the atmosphere in the entire team, but also lets them build good relations with key stakeholders. Most of them will tremendously help in achieving success of the project.
As part of preparations for this presentation, I’ve analysed over dozen of large and mega projects where I had a chance to meet such leaders. Unsurprisingly, stories about them had lot of similarities…
IPMA Polska websitewww.ipma.pl
How to audit projects to bring real business value?
Invitation from Technology Risk & Information Security Wroclaw was a great opportunity to confront my 10 years of experience in auditing and assessing projects with experiences of few dozens of IT risk management professionals. Many questions asked during the presentation and their continuation during coffee breaks have shown the importance of the topic. It seems that it’s already time to re-think approach to project audit and focus on delivering useful management information.
Classic audit approach that is still the norm in most quality departments focuses on verification whether project processes comply with corporate standards. As a result, project management teams regularly get a clear message: „There is only one right way of working in project”. In addition, it’s regularly strengthened by the system of inconveniences or even punishments for each deviation from the standard.
The most common effect of such approach could be summarized as death of creativity in the area of project management methods. It also leads to hiding innovations implemented by teams that took flexible approach to adapt to reality. The methods shown in my presentation were based on the concept of Project Excellence. They allow embracing innovations and using them to continuously improve business. Finally, they also lead to huge improvement of the motivation level in project teams.
LinkedIn profile of TR&IS Wroclawwww.linkedin.com
International Project Management Forum in Guatemala
Guatemala is one of those places where project management gets strong attention these days. That’s explains huge success of the event organized Asociación de Gerentes de Guatemala in partnership with Asociación Project Management de Guatemala. We had a chance to meet few dozens of top managers leading large businesses in the region. It was a great opportunity to share experiences in assessing and developing project management excellence in organizations.
My presentation, „Developing Excellence in Project Management”, was an attempt to demonstrate the difference between two approaches to project management: one based on compliance with formal processes, and another focused on development of learning and continuous improvement culture.
It’s a very important topic in Central America that tries to recover after years of political and economic turmoil. There is a huge demand for knowledge on how to effectively manage investments that enable economic growth and improve quality of life. In this situation many organizations are tempted to quickly implement management methods followed in Europe and North America, most often based on formal standards such as ISO or Prince2. That’s why there is a huge need to complement these standards with processes that would help to adjust them to local business needs and that would enable organizations to build culture of continuous improvement. That was also the main topic in the discussion summarizing the conference.
APMgt: IPMA Guatemala websitewww.apmgt.org
Asociación de Gerentes de Guatemala websitewww.agg.org.gt
IPMA International Project Excellence Award Assessors Training
| Warsaw, Poland
That was quite an event! Over 50 professionals from all around the world came to share their experience in assessing excellence in projects, learn about the IPMA PE Model and PE Awards processes. It was amazing to see that energy, enthusiasm for project management and joy of sharing. For us, trainers, it was also a big test of our new Advanced training program. And I'm very happy to see the fantastic feedback we've received!
The training is conducted every year to train potential new Assessors and re-train experienced ones to run the Assessment process during the IPMA International Project Excellence Award. This year, for the first time there was a separate path for advanced Assessors who have potential to become TLAs. The training was prepared by trainers from 5 different countries. It consisted of dialogues, discussion groups, case study and presentations. All of these contributed to the effectiveness of the training and made it also a great networking event.
Summary at the IPMA websitewww.ipma.ch/award-news/
Other IPMA Awards training sessionswww.ipma.ch/awards/project-excellence/
“Project Management Excellence – Enabling Quality In Project Execution”
| Systemic Excellence Group
This paper, written together with my colleagues at Systemic Excellence Group, further develops a concept of excellence in project management developed by IPMA (International Project Management Association). The Project Excellence Model (PEM) aims to achieve a crucial balance between project execution and project quality. PEM facilitates this integration and supports broadening internal and external perspectives.
Whether you are simply looking for information about IPMA Project Excellence Model or you need a reliable source of arguments that would help you to convince management of your company to move towards continuous improvement of project management methods, this article is for you. We have gathered our experience in using and implementing PE in businesses of various sizes in order to demonstrate how this concept can bring actual benefits and transform organizations that run projects for a living.
Read the articleProject Management Excellence
Visit SEgroup Librarywww.systemic-excellence-group.com
Development of the IPMA Project Excellence Baseline has started
Having a great international team on board, we've just kicked-off the project to develop a new standard at IPMA. It will utilize over 10 years of experience coming from usage of the IPMA Project Excellence Model in the IPMA International Project Excellence Award. New standard will support project teams in assessing projects' capabilities for continuous improvement and ensuring optimal management in key areas, often missed by maturity models (e.g. leadership).
Project Excellence Baseline will complement two already existing IPMA standards: ICB and recently published OCB. It's based on the latest edition of the IPMA Project Excellence Model being currently under development at GPM (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Projektmanagement). One of the key changes is a revision of all the criteria to reflect the latest version of the EFQM. The latter has been a foundation of the PE Model since its very beginning.
IPMA Project Excellence Awardipma.ch/awards/project-excellence/
Executive MBA program opening lecture
| WSB Poznan
It was a pleasure to open this year's edition of the international Executive MBA program by presenting a lecture on "Developing excellence in project management". The program is delivered by WSB School of Banking in Poznan in partnership with Aalto University School of Business.
Nearly 10 years of experience with projects around the world that participated in the International Project Excellence Award became a source of many interesting inspirations. I had a pleasure to share them with participants of the EMBA program and representatives of WSB and Aalto University School of Business. Interesting discussion with practitioners gathered at this occasion has shown the significance of project management in todays business, especially when it comes to effective implementation of business strategies. I hope there will be another chance to meet with this group!
EMBA program at WSB Poznanwww.emba.wsb.pl
Aalto University School of Businessbiz.aalto.fi
“Projects in multicultural environment”
| Personel Plus Magazine
When speaking about diversity we usually come to slogans about cooperation and harmonious teams delivering value by engaging individuals that differ between eachother as much as possible. That's right, slogans - not specific actions. Besides that, where is that value?
Are you interested in projects in multicultural environment? Have a look at the article that opens the November edition of the Personel Plus magazine (in Polish). Together with Iza Markiewicz we share our experience in deriving value from diversity in projects. Have a great read!
Personel Plus is one of the top HR magazines in Poland. Its target audience consists of HR managers and specialists, owners of companies, training department managers and all professionals interested in HRM, labor law, management and coaching.
Read the articleProjects in multicultural environment
Keynote during PM@Siemens meeting
| Jozefow, Poland
Siemens is internationally recognized for its mature approach to project management. Possibility to meet and work together with a group of experienced project managers, including those responsible for PM@Siemens in Poland, was a unique opportunity to exchange experiences.
As expected, it was a very interesting meeting with a group of nearly all project managers working at Siemens in Poland who gathered together as a part of the Business Excellence Board. I had a pleasure to open that meeting by presentation on "Building and recovering control in projects". It was also great to join and contribute to their hands-on risk management workshop.
Presentation at the IPMA International Congress in Dubrovnik
| Dubrovnik, Croatia
The dynamics of changes in todays businesses combined with complexity of IT systems behind them lead to significant challenges in projects. In order to overcome them, project teams have to learn new ways of working together in an agile environment and building shared understanding of business and technology.
The paper "Rebalancing stakeholders: BUSINESS MEETS IT" presented during the IPMA International Congress in Dubrovnik was based on actual cases from mid-size and large business projects where IT played a significant role. By analysing success factors and reasons for failures in those cases, I have demonstrated a set of working approaches to bridge the gaps between business sponsors, key users, IT staff, IT suppliers and project management teams. Examples covered a complete project lifecycle and went beyond the scope of business or system analysis that is typically a main focus area of similar presentations. In this case, the presentation was focused on collaboration and establishing a good dialog that lasts throughout the entire project and beyond.
Presentation at the 7th International PMI Poland Chapter Congress
| Warsaw, Poland
Presentation "How to implement or improve PM methods and get most of them?" was inspired by observation of popular but ineffective patterns of implementing project management methods. I've shown some proven ways to successfully implement methods and tools that actually help in managing projects.
It usually starts like this: “Let’s choose a well recognized PM methodology, buy the best tools, hire some certified consultants, make everyone trained in new methods and tools, and shortly afterwards enforce their usage throughout entire organization”. Unfortunately, typical results include: increased administration, high IT costs, many unused tools, general confusion and frustration. And most of all, after all that effort, old problems are still there. It’s very surprising, given the fact that chosen methodologies and tools are based on the best practices and should bring exactly opposite effects.
This presentation demonstrated a systemic approach that helps to address the actual goals of methods implementation projects and takes care of all major stakeholders. It also introduces several techniques that combined together significantly increase chances for reaching the same goals in most environments.
As a result of a great interest in this presentation I had a pleasure to repeat it during other PMI events and internal meetings of some large international organizations present in Poland. Feel free to contact me if you think that it could also help you to start a good dialog on the ways to implement successful project management methods in your company.