Project Management Insights In This Week

The Week - Project Management Insights

We gathered few interesting insights from project management and leadership world. Let me share project management insights from some of these articles

Project Management Insights

Why Bimodal IT Projects Require New Project Management Styles

Project Management Insights

This ComputerWorld article refers to Gartner report and advises organization struggling with bimodal IT projects adopt and focus more on outcome-focused approach. If you are wondering what are these bimodal IT projects approach: one is fast faced and other one is slow paced. And if I have to put these in a popular terminology, it will be waterfall and agile project management approach. As Gartner expert quotes: the Enterprise PMO leaders as well as application management leaders are finding it difficult to adopt, to manage different governance practices.

The way out will be: more focus on business outcome and value delivered. This approach will bridge the gap between these two project management styles.

Gartner expert proposes simple way of categorizing projects into Mode-1 (traditional) and Mode-2 (unconventional). Organization will move projects to Mode 1 for systems of record and Mode 2 for systems of differentiation and systems of innovation.

As Fitzgerald identifies in the article: the areas PMOs typically find difficult is how to ensure that the governance approach is consistent across all projects. To which, Fitzgerald advices following points

  1. Project ownership and responsibility to be assigned to capable people who can take pragmatic approach to deliver projects (either Mode -1 or Mode -2)
  2. Identify and assign responsibility of project portfolio investment with the people who are decision makers for entire project portfolio
  3. Irrespective of the traditional or unconventional mode of projects, it is the PMO’s function to establish governance structure with appropriate reporting (considering unconventional projects) to ensure successful project delivery.
 

Performing Project Pre-mortem

This is an interesting HBR article by Gary Klein about project pre-mortem.

Gary argues that failure rate for projects is considerably high and one of the reason of project failure is stakeholders (like team members, partners, vendors) have willingly decided not to speak of their reservations during the crucial project planning phase. The way out is to have/create environment such that knowledgeable resources/stakeholders will openly express their reservation, making it safe for them to let go of their reluctance and thereby improving chances of project success.

 

As Gary briefly mentions the history of pre-mortem and the process is really a prospective hindsight Pre-mortem is hypothetical reverse of postmortem and in business context, is to be done at the beginning of the project. The objective of pre-mortem has to be ‘improve project successes’ rather than criticizing it (to be improved rather than autopsied). He has further explained the process of conducting project pre-mortem.

Typically project team is provided a brief of project plan. Business leader initiate this exercise by informing everyone about project failure and ask everyone to independently pen down every plausible reason for project failure (which they wouldn’t otherwise state as a potential problem per say, may be because of fear of being considered stupid or possibility of getting cornered).

Subsequently business leader ask everybody to start reading reasons of project failure, beginning with project manager and thereby noting all possible and potential reasons which can lead to project failure. Gary has further given examples how pre-mortem brought out hidden messengers and project savers.

If you have followed ZilicusPM blog in the past, you would recall an article about performing project pre-mortem analysis.

Six Tips for Managing International Project Teams

Elizabeth writes in PM4Girls, interesting perspectives yet most practical challenges of managing international project teams and tips to manage those well. Elizabeth has shared her personal experience of working in international team. And she argues that project leader responsible for managing international team needs to have legal and political awareness & perspective of constituent international locations. It is important to navigate the unforeseen incidents, challenges and changes. As we know, today’s business world has been shrinking.

Someway or other, today’s professionals find themselves working in a globally integrated business environment. Let me quickly share the bullet point tips shared by Elizabeth to manage international project team.

  • Accept and research the cultural challenges of international teams
  • Deal with the practicalities of time zones
  • Protect the home-based team
  • Understand the challenge of split locations
  • Focus on communication
  • Use the right tools and technological aids

.As this article is quite interesting, I’d encourage you to read further here.