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Thoughts on the new year

As I enjoy the New Year long weekend, reflecting on the activities of the past year and decade, my mind considers what can be achieved in the coming years.

We overestimate what we can accomplish in the coming year, but severely underestimate what we can accomplish in the coming five years. For example, in 1995 I did not believe it was possible to immigrate to the USA and complete my MBA. Looking back in wonder and awe at the journey of life, helps me to believe that we can accomplish big goals in the future.

Here is food for thought on how we can revolutionize project management executions in the next five years.

1. Find innovate ways to communicate project status. Instead of the nauseating Green, Yellow, Red status on spreadsheet columns and 34 page PowerPoint status decks attached to three page status emails, lets find ways to automatically update project status from MS-Project to stakeholder iPhones for real-time status, and offer a the project manager's commentary on implications of status via MP3 for an executive to be informed of status on the daily commute or while working out in the gym. In other words, lets use innovative technology to mange innovative technology programs.

2. Focus on developing project leaders through professional coaching and mentoring. Stop relying on classroom style training and passing a text-based project management exam to develop exemplary and prosperous project leadership behavior. Archaic project management training programs and sorely lacking real-world effectiveness in developing project leaders of the future.

3. Educate project managers to manage their own time and set the example. Project managers should never complain that they "Have too much work and not enough time". If a project manager cannot schedule his/her own time, then how can he/she be scheduling tasks and duration for project team members with any credibility?

4. Train project leaders to identify and sell the value of their services. Project leaders should say "This project is worth $2 million dollars. The value of my management service is a mere $150,000. If you choose to manage it yourself or allow a bureaucrat into the building, then it will probably go over schedule and over budget, and ultimately cost you $3 million before you cancel the project. I recommend that you use my services, as other clients have wisely chosen to do". It is beyond amateurish to inform a project sponsor that you have no idea what it costs to manage a project successfully, but that appointing three full-time project managers working 50 hours a week will lead to a successful project. How can a project sponsor measure efficiency in this situation? How will you defend your position if a project sponsor receives a proposal from an outsourcing vendor promising to deliver the project with only two full time IT project managers in India? Project leaders need to understand and market the value of our services.

There you have it - let's see which of these New Year Revolutions can become reality over the next few years. Keep this posting and remind me to report back in 2020, via our portable hologram devices


Posted on 12/28/2011 by Wayne BothaCategories: Project Management Life

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