Project Management Principles – has anything really changed?

Project Management Principles – has anything really changed?

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Adrian Hopper, Createful, welcomes attendees to the Digital Project Management meetup.

Project Management doesn’t stand still.

I had the pleasure to speak all about this topic and Project Management Principles with two other fantastic speakers Shirley Thompson and Karen Thompson at the latest Digital Project Management Bournemouth meetup.

Hosted by the fab team doing even more fab stuff to create a positive impact in the world, with web and apps, at Createful.

We covered the past, the present and the future of Project Management.

To be able to chair a discussion with other aspiring project managers, current project managers and the business community was so positive.  Shhh, here’s a secret we discovered, you know what? In the discussion we all found we have the same issues in projects. No really! We do!

To kick off our topic and debating we asked our audience, as a Project Manager do you even know which principles you’re using and why?

Why does this matter?

The old school Project Manager.

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Shirley Thompson speaking at Digital Project Management, Bournemouth.

Shirley Thompson

Shirley with over 30+ years from IBM, has all the experience of traditional Project Management in software engineering. Now with her coaching hat on, her experience and questioning really got us all thinking.

Her challenge and statement to us, was nothing really has changed over the years to the basics or principles of project management…

That we used to call a meeting to discuss and focus on an area (like the standups of today), that we set out the benefits of why we were doing the project, so what’s changed she asked?

Re-thinking Project Management

Karen Thompson

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Karen Thompson had a long career in Information Systems and Technology that included strategic consultancy and now is a leading academic at Bournemouth University. Her current project is research towards her PhD on the role of social media in Project Management.

The insights Karen shared were fascinating and all spot on! The role of communications and social channels for how projects are kept alive and evolving is how she discussed with the group how to re-think project management.  The new definitions were food for thought and here they are;

[Project] “a temporary set of roles tied together by channels of communication to achieve change’ [Karen Thompson, 2017]

[Project Management] “the art and science of achieving change by enabling communication, coordination and integration amongst temporary roles to convert vision into reality” [Karen Thompson, 2017]

Concluding that project management is about people management or communication amongst people…

Re-invention of the PM

Charlotte Joyce

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Charlotte Joyce and Karen Thompson speaking at Digital Project Management, Bournemouth.

I ended the trio of speakers on this topic and brought us all up to date to Agile and Artificial Intelligence.

I’m also off the ilk of Shirley and Karen, trained in Prince II and started my career working on waterfall delivery for General Electric and others for a decade. I then saw I needed to adapt and reinvent myself, several times over for what businesses were looking for from Project Managers to navigate today’s business environment.

Agile

Business wanted change faster, lower costs – the usual squeeze. I talked about the 12 Agile principles but was asked do I use these in my role? The short answer was the same as the two other areas, yes to a point, as a reference like Prince II but I use mostly emotional intelligence with team work and priorities from the business to get the job done.

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Charlotte Joyce speaking at Digital Project Management, Bournemouth.

Agile allows a PM to build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done.

Artificial Intelligence

We discussed Artificial Intelligence (AI) in project management. Possibly just the new buzzword like ‘Big Data’ was for quite some time.  There is a significant surge is observed in tool mobility, analysis, and performance-oriented usage. 

Are you excited about the new wave of possibilities? Are you wondering how artificially intelligent workplaces can become quite productive? It’s time to change your day-to-day project management tactics and replace them with more technologically smart ones.

Summary

In the end the discussion decided that that the main Project Management principles we’d advocate is facilitating shared, realistic expectations, by keeping two-way communications flowing amongst stakeholders and influencing anyone else who could risk the project.

What’s next?
How can you get involved or find out more about PM Principles? What are you going to do different after attending DPM Bournemouth or reading this write up of the event?

To signup to the next DPM Bournemouth visit meetup.com

Contact me to receive a copy of the presentation covering the topics above.

Chief Marketing Officer Role in Digital Transformation

Easing your company into digital transformation shouldn’t be met with trepidation, but laying the groundwork can make it a lot easier. Your team will be more ready to embrace change if change is an expectation. Continue reading “Chief Marketing Officer Role in Digital Transformation”

Digital Transformation Trend Predictions for 2019

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An infographic created by ZDNet to summarise its digital transformation trend predictions for 2019.

Hinchcliffe’s predictions for technological trends are big-picture rather than specific. Instead of placing his bets on particular technologies that will dominate the landscape, he forecasts the trends that are likely to influence them. These include better strategic organisation of enterprise data, investment in reducing technical debt, and better delivery on digital customer experience.

He also predicts that we will see a number of new technologies emerge in 2019 “to augment the vast and growing list of emerging tech that the enterprise must somehow absorb to stay relevant.” Fortunately, Hinchcliffe believes that 2019 will be the year that organisations become systematically better and faster at fielding emerging technology, experimenting, and trialling promising new innovations.

We’ll see how true that turns out to be – but the businesses that manage it will undoubtedly set themselves apart in 2019.

Is Digital Transformation just jargon?

The Digital or the Transformation can be misleading or jargon, and is diluted meaning the more it is mentioned.

Working with many clients in different stages of their digital transformation, leads me into framing with my clients what digital transformation is and what it isn’t. ‘Digital Transformation’ is a buzzword, appearing everywhere, with no clarity on what it is and what it means.  This can cripple organisations into action; some are not even able to articulate what is in they are in need of improving.

Before leaping into choosing new systems to implement, first an organisation should think about the maturity of digital skills of your people, this will be a factor in an ability to transform.

Transformation is also about an appetite to change. Motivated staff will wish to drive forward new and improved ways of working, but beware that enforcing it can result in demotivation and changes in the team structure.

The Digital or the Transformation can be misleading or jargon, and is diluted meaning the more it is mentioned. Put down the ‘transforming posters’ and PR is to put in place later in the programme, when you have tangible outcomes to demonstrate about change, unveiling a programme will also create uncertainty amongst staff.

Here’s my top 7 misconceptions in Digital Transformation;

  1. Needs a big budget to start
  2. So many different interpretations of what digital transformation means.  This confuses scope and creates fear in what it means
  3. When the transformation project is over, we can all go back to business as usual. Lots of organisations think you can carry on doing what you already do with some new tools in place.  Organisations that succeed in transformation are those who can adapt
  4. Customer experience is all that matters
  5. Digital transformation is only for tech companies
  6. It’s a big bang – incorrect, you can approach a transformation in phases with quick wins or smaller stepping-stone projects to form the overall digital transformation programme
  7. It’s about reducing the headcount and workforce

Moving away from these misconceptions and defining what it is for your organisation is what Technical Pursuit can help you with. Defining first what digital transformation means, together with stakeholders is a key step. Get in touch if you’d like to chat and work together to form your digital transformation.

Why, How and Where Time Gets Lost at Work

Everyone in your organisation keep saying “I’m so busy”? Sound familiar?

Wondering how you can achieve all of the goals and vision of your business by year end?

Often a business will review its physical workspace optimising it for productivity, yet it’s time to look at what else is slowing you down.

There’s only so much time in the day, and you want to make the most of it.  This neat infographic below from Scoro really does show you the why, how and where time gets lost at work. Showing top time-wasting activities, as well as do’s and don’ts of a productive work day.

Scoro’s infographic

 

If you feel like your weeks are flying by without getting much done, then get in touch with Technical Pursuit. We work with organisations to make tasks and projects more organised, structured and work in completely different ways to be effective.

We can help you work towards transforming your business to stop the waste!

How can your actions transform the world?

Upon reflection of the United Nations Day 2018, I wanted to share with you some of the great United Nations organisations I’ve been fortunate to work with so far and a little more about the sustainable development goals – that every individual or organisation can and should get involved in now!

Wouldn’t you or your organisation want to help transform the world?

You may think one individual or organisation action won’t make a difference, but through my own personal volunteering and involvement with charities, as well as assisting two United Nations agencies with their own transformations, I know one individual action makes and contributes, to many others, making a whole LOT of action.

UN Volunteers

Agency: RT Brand Communications

UN Volunteers are an international not-for-profit organisation who deploy almost 7,000 volunteers across the globe, to advance peace and development in developing, war torn and disaster struck regions.

In 2015, we began working with UN Volunteers, undertaking a complete brand review before clarifying and refining their branding which had become diluted, under-utilised and contained mixed messages.

Since the completion of the work, the new brand and messaging has been launched globally and toolkits deployed, in line with the United Nations’ Strategic Goals. The organisation has also secured several new corporate partners and sponsors.

My role in the process was pulling together the proposal and submitting our tendor to the UN Volunteers to demonstrate why working with us would assist their transformation. I then continued to be involved by overseeing the project health during the contract.

UNIDO

United Nations Industrial Development Organization is the specialized agency of the United Nations that promotes industrial development. There are 168 global member states all working towards promoting and accelerating this.

In 2017 we consulted and led an accelerated digital transformation project for this United Nations agency UNIDO. Worked with their chief of Communications and wider team, to identify and transform their digital skills and processes.

My role in this project was Digital Transformation Project Lead. Working remotely with the team from UNIDO’s HQ in Austria, we conducted interviews by videoconferencing, sharing documentation virtually.

A key part of how UNIDO operate is forming and fostering partnerships, your business may have a sustainable commitment to make and this is how you can get involved.

Partner: Leaps Innovation

UN goes digital

A digital tool for your pocket, is the Sustainable Development Goals in Action App, get it here. It has detailed information about each of the 17 goals, including targets, explanatory videos, key facts and figures, and suggestions on how you can help achieve them take action. What action will you take?

Form a partnership with the UN

Another way to take action is to partner with the many United Nations agencies and help them work towards 2030 and the sustainable development goals. There’s lots of examples already and your idea or action through a partnership could make a difference, just like our examples above did! The United Nations collaborate with creative agencies, the entertainment industry, media organizations and businesses who are committed to achieving the sustainable development goals. Here are few of their successful partnerships.

If you would like to collaborate with Technical Pursuit in helping your digital transformation, please do get in touch and I’d love to hear about your call to action in the comments to this article.

What do you get when you mix Project Management and F1?

A showcase of technology and innovation at Goodwood’s Festival of Speed! I project managed this event with the Siemens UK Communications team for around 6 weeks, with some of them working on it for several months to make it the success that it was.

Since the event I have seen some fantastic posts from employees who won tickets, crew who worked hard to speak to the public and what shines through is the pride to be Siemens and that what the team pulled off on the Autonomous Mustang was a sight on the hill they won’t forget! Well that’s exactly the result the project team was looking for and so much more.

I don’t know where to start to talk about what a unique, complex and logistically challenging outdoor event for Siemens partnership with Goodwood, was to project manage. We created 3 different touch points at the event to communicate what Siemens does and how it does it in the event’s Future Lab, in the F1 Paddock and at the First Glance Paddock. The core project team worked in separate workstreams, some remotely and self-collaborating throughout the project, working agile and towards common goals. It was teamwork that made it happen and a lot of hours working endlessly behind the scenes.

What was the hardest part to pull off? Well the unknown which was our autonomous Mustang, from concept to execution was only 6 weeks and this meant a lot of challenges along the way to get a 53 year old legend of a car onto the Goodwood FoS track, Lee Dryden, Head of Planning &Strategy for Siemens UK Communications led this and the overall strategy at the event, and the results are a great showcase for a media moment as well as getting people talking about the future of autonomy. You can see how and why we did this here.

SiemensatFOS

We had over 50 staff working the event, a core project team of 15, many customers, Siemens hosts and 2 thought leadership round tables, 7 demonstration vehicle entries in the infamous hill climb making a historic first at the event with a classic Mustang v8 289 performance engine fitted with robotics, and controlled by GPS, software algorithms, over 85 press & TV pieces featuring the event (probably more to come).

Some fantastic partners from across Siemens divisions for the lead up to the event and spokespersons during the event. With external partners for content, communications, video, public relations, social, web, virtual reality experience and more. We also had the pleasure to host Siemens executives, board members and business divisions leads and they came to visit our staff on stand and around the event experiences.

I was asked what could we do next time to top this event? And you know what there are many ideas because Siemens has great innovations to showcase in the future…

Its great isn’t it when you are working and you are having so much fun, it does not feel like work, now that’s the next project I’m looking for!

 

Selfies at Goodwood FoS
Who’s ready for day 3 at the Future Lab @fosgoodwood?

After lots of selfies, walking at least 40 miles in 4 days and over 200,000 visitors to our showcases, I cannot finish this post without mentioning my favourite cars?! … well of course our own Mustang but these two stood out. The Lamborghini Aventador supercar and of course the Landy lover in me, the 70th edition V8 Defender that roared up the hill.

Is Project Management as we know it, dead?

With 20 years of experience, I know and have lived how Project Management over the years has changed. Submitting my CV with project management experience is not really cutting it now, you know why? Because companies and organisations are going through major change and need leaders who can take them on that change. Continue reading “Is Project Management as we know it, dead?”

Recruitment reflections – from a candidate

“It’s all in the power of the candidate now”

“Things happen for a reason, you’ll find something”

“Recruitment is a two way street”

It’s spring, there’s been time for lunch today in your working day. Maybe you’re finishing early and are just having a mooch around LinkedIn to pass the time? Well I am in that mood today is a Friday, of reflection, reflections from the last three months of looking for my next opportunity. Also receiving your P45 in the post also helps you reflect quite a lot!

Continue reading “Recruitment reflections – from a candidate”

How to develop a business growth strategy

Transforming a business, and the people –  from the way they do things and always have, isn’t easy and there’s no list to follow.

I started out talking to people at the company, whether it was the business I work for, or at the non profit I volunteer for. Both were the same, some eager for change and plenty of ideas to carry through, but not the mechanisms or the culture to move forward to enable this. Bit like swimming through soup. Continue reading “How to develop a business growth strategy”