Quitting the Project

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“You’ve got to know when to hold ’em
Know when to fold ’em
Know when to walk away
And know when to run.”

Kenny Rogers – “The Gambler”

“The Gambler” reminds us that in poker, folding is part of the game. It allows us to take risks, knowing that if things don’t take a positive turn, we can always abandon the pursuit, although as in poker our project might be seduced by sunk costs – irreversible expenditure.

In 1996 there was a fatal attempt to climb Everest, when five people died on the mountain unwilling to heed the mandatory turnaround time and pull the plug on an expedition that faced deteriorating conditions. How do projects continue in the face of evidence that the plug should have been pulled? How can we make sense of this compulsion to continue? While there’s no single … Read More »


IMNZ Diploma in Project Management – Review

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Surprising Invitation to Review Proposed Content

IMNZ (Institute of Management New Zealand) is tinkering with the current Diploma in Project Management (DipPM). The structure, content, and method of delivery will evidently be very much the same as the previous programme developed by SkillPower, and will still be waterfall-based, but some adjustments, such as the exclusion of project site visits that were designed to add a practical element to the otherwise classroom-bound tuition, have apparently been made to align the programme with new qualifications, but unfortunately there will still be no recognition of prior learning or cross-crediting for this programme as for NZ National Diplomas.

Frankly, I’m not sure the IMNZ is now in the project management training hunt and might be better to focus on their generic management training given the increasing presence of project management-specific training organisations, such as ProjectPlus, and … Read More »


PRINCESS

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My intention is to write a book titled “PRINCESS” which will be a soft skills companion for the hard skills focused PRINCE2 or any other project management (PM) methodology.

The book will be designed as a uniquely Kiwi companion to the UK process-heavy PRINCE2 methodology that largely ignores the so-called soft skills essential for PM success. Once the technical processes of PRINCE2 have been mastered, it’s always the people that make the difference. Soft skills help us use our hard skills expertise to full advantage. So, to be effective PMs we need both soft skills and hard skills, and research supports this assertion, but let’s describe these two skill sets:

Hard Skills. Hard skills are technical abilities that generally involve the creation of a tangible deliverable such as a work breakdown structure (WBS), project schedule, critical path diagram, earned value reports, and … Read More »


Delegation

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Big projects mean we can’t do all the work ourselves,  and no one wants us to because we aren’t that good at everything. So assigning or delegating project tasks to others who possess the requisite skill sets is crucial to getting the project done. Within an organisation, project management (PM) itself is an example of delegation of authority, typically from the CEO to the project sponsor to the PM.

Delegation means realising results, by empowering and motivating others to achieve their assigned targets. But before we explore this important soft skill further, we need to have an understanding of three terms – accountability, responsibility and authority. The main difference between them is that the last two can be shared, while the first cannot, and responsibility moves upwards, whereas authority flows downwards.

Accountability. Accountability is the answerability for performance of assigned tasks. … Read More »



Blog

My latest thoughts on Project Management and life.

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