Interesting Project Management Reads

Paul Naybour

The first thing a client says he or she wants is never really what they want
An article by Jerry Bauers caught my eye today in which he states that his long experience in project management (via his consulting engineering business ) has taught him many things, a couple of which stand out:

  1. The first thing a client says he or she wants is never really what they want
  2. Manage your clients so that your firm is selected for their next project

The first of these points is all too often true in other project management spheres and yet there is still a tendency to try and minimise change once the project has started. Of course, that is an attempt to control change so that we don’t veer too far from the original objective but what if the original objective is wrong.
Read more about Jerry’s project management philosophy here
Stakeholder Commitment
An article by the Intuate Group around stakeholder commitment highlights the fact that some stakeholders may not be directly involved in a project but their interests may be affected and divides stakeholders into 3 groups:

  1. Those within the project i.e. the project team
  2. Those outside the project, but within the organisation such as the project sponsor, portfolio and programme managers, organisational managers and groups.
  3. Those outside the organisation such as business partners, customers, regulators.

Handling Under-Performing Project Team Members
A useful discussion on how project managers can confront under-performing individuals in their team on a one-on-one basis to find out the underlying problem. And some examples of how such a situation can be turned around and produce a successful projects. It recognises that reasons for underperformance can be varied: a lack of time management, an excessive number of requirements, work-related distractions, problem in an individual’s personal life, or that someone simply might not have the right skills for the job.
The State of the PMO 2014
PM Solutions Research produced their first report about Project Management Office (PMO) practices back in 2000. Since then they have been actively gathering data on PMO trends and have recently produced their latest State of the PMO 2014 report, which notes a steady climb in the prevalence and influence of the PMO during that time. In their 2000 report only 47% of companies had a PMO. By 2014 that percentage has grown substantially, to 80% (90% in large firms), with a small dip from 2012, caused mainly by a drop in the percentage of PMOs in small organizations. It’s clear that PMOs at the top of their game not only impact project management performance, but boost organizational performance as a whole.
The report’s main finding are:

  • The majority of firms surveyed (80%) have a PMO in place.
  • PMOs are a strategic resource. Most report to a VP or higher.
  • There is a strong, direct correlation between the age of the PMO and its capability.
  • PMOs in high-performing companies have significantly more project managers reporting to them than in low performing companies.
  • PMOs are performing portfolio management functions as well as project management functions.
  • More than half of PMOs use contracted resources to manage projects.
  • PMOs in high-performing companies are far more likely to have a PM training program in place.
  • PMO staff are highly experienced (10 years) and almost half (49%) have PMPs.


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