Getting Procurement to Support Projects: Mission Impossible?

Procurement is the bane of many project managers. While it should not be the case, wanting this to be so does not make it so. Procurement is an essential practice, but for many it is one that is riddled with delays, bureaucracy and red tape. How to rethink procurement in a way that can make projects more successful.

Managing Risk: Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory

Risk management tends to focus on the downside of things. ‘Risk’ is viewed as ‘what can go wrong’, and our risk management strategies are all focussed primarily on attempting to avert disaster. But what might go right? And what might we need to do differently if we want things to go right? A different perspective on how we think about risk.

Projects in the Cloud: Are We Ready to Go There?

Cloud computing’ is quickly becoming a prevalent trend in business. The presumption is that this is how applications will all be delivered in the future, and we simply have to get there. But what promises does the cloud offer to project managers? And what dangers may lurk in the mists? An exploration of the promise and perils of project management in the cloud.

Becoming A Master Project Manager

The typical project manager found themselves in their role by accident. Developing ourselves in this role also, unfortunately, is often accidental. Stepping back and looking at the development challenge, a model from the past offers excellent insight into how we think about developing our skills as project managers, and what mastery in project management might actually look like.

Organizational PM: Dream or Reality?

Organizations do projects. But do organizations have a project management capability? Is project success about who you select as project managers, or can you guarantee success regardless of who is assigned? An exploration of what it takes for project management to become truly organizational in nature.

Navigating Emerging Techniques

The good news is that we keep innovating new project management techniques. The bad news is… that we keep innovating new project management techniques. New approaches are a response to what hasn’t worked in the past. The challenge is that in addressing problems, we throw out the baby with the bath water. And then often re-label our tepid water as ‘lukewarm’. How to rethink how we think about process, and how we improve how we manage.

A Critical Look At Project Initiation

Project initiation is often held to be a formal, disciplined and rational process of objectively assessing project benefits. Reality routinely demonstrates that nothing could be further from the truth. Project initiation is at its heart a political process, and while project managers are not always involved at this stage, they ignore what happens here at their peril. A critical look at what it really takes to get a project off the ground.

Selling the PMO: Are They Still Relevant?

PMOs have been around for a while, now. Are they still relevant? Where they ever? And what are the key roles that a PMO should play? Where do they most provide value? A view of PMOs, through the lens of a major research effort into project management value.

Best, Better, Not Bad: How Do We Find the Practices that Work?

One of the most overused terms in business is ‘best practice’. Just calling something ‘best’, doesn’t make it so. In fact, there is no one ‘best’ way to do anything — there are only better ways in specific situations and contexts. How to think about better practices, rather than best.

Designing Teams As If People Mattered

Projects are all about people. And yet, we often approach dealing with people as if they will all approach situations in a consistent, rational manner. Evidence amply demonstrates that people are far from rational at times, and ignoring this makes for some major management challenge. How to rethink thinking about people and teams.