We thought we would start the new year off with a bit of humour around the nightmare project manager.
We often talk to project teams about the art of project management and the need to step into their safety zone and see the business as their customer not their victim, so here are a few of the characteristics that make up the nightmare project manager:
- Talks in jargon whenever asked basic questions, defensive when challenged
- Focuses so much on process, they can’t think for themselves, love filling in forms
- Is a hero at heart and loves last minute firefighting to get the project over the line, it will be alright on the night
- Focuses on project management not the business outcomes
- Dives into technical detail about the solution rather than trying to understand the business challenges
- Sees stakeholder management as everyone’s problem but theirs
- Seen it all before, 25 years experience sadly it’s the same every year
- Believes that the “can do” approach will overcome their incompetence
- Planning is a pointless exercise because everything will change anyway, so what is the point
- Talks a good game, vanishes when the going gets tough
P3O® stands for Portfolio, Programme and Project Offices, it is the UK Government publication on how to set up an organisational environment in which there are a mix of these offices and how they should interact with each other.
In this short video (from our partners at CC Learning in Brisbane) Elissa Farrow, a trainer at CC Learning, talks about implementing P3O within an organisation. Specifically, she discusses the hub and spoke model of Portfolio, Programme and Project offices.
We hope you find it useful!
P3O® is a [registered] trade mark of AXELOS Limited, used under permission of AXELOS Limited. All rights reserved.
This is one of the MSP Survival Guide series and the first of the publications intended to enhance the MSP® body of knowledge by focusing on the roles, tasks and techniques of each of the roles.
The author is Rod Sowden (MSP Lead Author) and he was supported by a number of the Aspire Europe team.
The book addresses the areas which were too complex for the main MSP® manual within the size constraints of the book.
It is designed as the companion guide for the individuals who are appointed in this complex role of BCM, a role that is increasingly being referred to as the SBO (Senior Business Owner).
The book includes a range of specific advice, tools and worked examples together with case studies that help everyone in this role to perform effectively.
If you are interested in ordering one, click on this link – MSP® Survival Guide for Business Change Managers
You may also wish to look at our other publications
MSP® is a [registered] trade mark of AXELOS Limited, used under permission of AXELOS Limited. All rights reserved.
In our “Rethinking” series we try to challenge traditional thinking and assumptions about particular topics.
Risk management should be the star of the P3M show, but it rarely is. In organisations that are forward thinking enough to have risk professionals the relationship between project managers and risk managers is not always optimal.
In this paper, Ed Brown, Aspire Assess director and a risk advocate provides some fresh insight into how the relationship could work better.
What can project risk management learn from rock climbing
Tim Banfield, ex Director of Strategy, MPA wrote the foreword for the SRO guide and says “Great programme leaders deliver great programmes. The emergence of the SRO role over the last 15 years has been a significant step forward. There is more to be done to understand what the SRO role means in different contexts and to help SROs understand how to be effective in their roles. This book is specifically targeted at SRO’s and I am sure it will make a valuable contribution to helping them achieve consistently higher levels of performance in their role”
The Survival Guides are written specifically with a role in mind. The BCM guide focused on the benefits, techniques and processes of business change that the main manual could not cover. The Programme Manager guide focused on the controls and process of the programme. The SRO guide focuses on keeping your finger on the pulse and steering the ship through troubled waters.
In the New Year, we will be producing weekly features with extracts from the book specifically for Executives and Senior Leaders
What you will find in the MSP® Survival Guide for SROs:
- Big on practical advice, quotes and examples so your day isn’t blighted by pages of bland advice and theory
- A foreword by Tim Banfield from the UK Major Projects Authority, one of the most influential figures in the industry today
- Written with the assumption that this is your first programme using MSP® so explanations are practical and straightforward
- Simplified lifecycle with advice on where to focus your energy
- Flip through format for easy access to the information you need when you need it
- Each topic focuses on the Magnificent Seven pieces of advice to help you lead your programme
- Extracts from the MSP® pocket book to give you greater detail on topics if you need them
- Pointers on where to find more detail in the rest of the trilogy.
AXELOS are planning to use the MSP® Survival Guide series for their MSP® Advanced qualifications in the future.
MSP® is a registered trade mark of AXELOS Limited, used under permission of AXELOS Limited. All rights reserved.
Why not join our MD Rod Sowden, for a complimentary breakfast briefing in Auckland
Date: Tuesday 19th December, 8am to 9.30am
Venue: JACK TAR, North Wharf, 34-47 Jellicoe Street, Auckland
Speaker: Rod Sowden
Rod Sowden’s company, Aspire Europe have recently completed a major review of Network Rail using P3M3. The organisation with the biggest infrastructure investment portfolio in the UK has made massive steps forward and achieved maturity level 3 in project management and are now steadily improving their programme and portfolio management maturity; all in preparation to enable expenditure of nearly £50bn on the UK rail infrastructure between 2019 and 2024, Aspire were also involved in helping to plan that improvement journey.
Rod led the assessments and is keen to talk through how the P3M3 framework should be used as the framework for delivering performance rather than simply benchmarking and the lessons from Network Rail that should shape the adoption by other organisations.
Rod is the current lead author for Managing Successful Programmes and P3M3 itself.
This session is for:
• Anyone accountable for improving their organisations programme and portfolio management maturity
• Those responsible for developing P3M3 frameworks for delivering performance.
Your takeaways will be ……..
- Hear a bit about the Network Rail story
- Opportunity to network with the lead author of MSP and P3M3
- Insight into what a sucessful organisation lookslike, with a range of P3M3 maturity levels
Places are limited, don’t delay register today Register Here
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about this session.
Business Development Manager
M 027 4226 062 / 0800 888 897
We were undertaking a review of what we had seen and learned over the last year, and one of the main developments was the emergence of organisations achieving P3M3® level 3 and 4 ratings.
There have been some interesting discoveries about the characteristics of these organisations, beyond what we had anticipated. Some of the characteristics took us by surprise as they were more around moods and behaviours that were less tangible, we could almost “feel” the positive energy.
We have analysed dozens of organisations through our work with P3M3. We thought it would be useful to share some of the characteristics of those that stand out from the crowd, in no particular order.
- Self critical and restless: Organisations that are on the improvement projectory are continually dissatisfied and impatient, they are looking at where further improvements can be made and willing to take risks to achieve better performance.
- Learning organisations: They do not pay lip service to learning lessons and most importantly, they do not wait for a failure before looking for the new opportunities, they will analyse successes as well to differentiate performance from luck
- Measuring performance: They don’t just gather data in reports for the sake of it, they analyse it and use it to being good enough is rarely enough, they analyse their data and turn it into an asset.
- Educating their people: They don’t just send them on courses, they seek to develop their knowledge to underpin performance improvements from increasing confidence as part of a professional development strategy.
- Respecting assurance: They see this as an opportunity to avoid unnecessary failure and an opportunity to learn. Many organisations pay lip service to this and are grateful for a non-critical report, the high performers are much more demanding.
- Curating knowledge: They see knowledge as the foundation of power to improve and to do this they will implement tools and systems that enable them to not just store information but to interrogate and proactively broadcast it to an organisation that is listening.
- Clear lines of authority: Enable them to make the right decisions at the right time, sometimes they may be bound by their industry and regulation but they will have optimised themselves to function as best they can.
- Knowing their own limitations: They will know their limits of capability and competence, this will enable them to make balanced risk based judgements so that they do not get out of their depth unexpectedly.
- Committed leadership: They will have leaders who are committed believers, they will provide support and encouragement to teams to follow the proven working practices, but they will flex and adapt when needed. Lower performing leaders abandon proven practices and panic when trouble threatens or stick to them rigidly.
- Standing on the shoulders of giants: They don’t make the same mistakes as others, they investigate the solutions to problems and use proven solutions rather than inventing their own routes to failure through guesswork.
P3M3® is a [registered] trade mark of AXELOS Limited, used under permission of AXELOS Limited. All rights reserved.