Thursday, 5 July 2018

What project management style should I take if it is not going well?

It is a cliché to say it is not what you do, but the way that you do it. Therefore setting aside whether you adopt PRINCE2, Agile, Waterfall or any other project methodology it is important to consider your project management style.

First I think it is important to recognise the role of project management as leadership, and then to example style as a leadership style.

PROJECT LEADERSHIP OVER PROJECT MANAGEMENT

For a summary of project leadership over project management see my earlier blog
https://adaptconsultingcompany.blogspot.com/2016/09/the-value-of-project-leadership-over.html

LEADERSHIP STYLES

Goleman provides a very handy guide to leadership style and when to apply them.

Visionary — mobilize people toward a vision.
Works best when a clear direction or change is needed.

Coaching — develop people for the future.
Works best when helping people and building long-term strength.

Affiliative — create emotional bonds and harmony.
Works best to heal rifts in teams or motivate people in stressful times.

Democratic — build consensus through participation.
Works best to create consensus or get input.

Pacesetting — expect excellence and self-direction.
Works best to get quick results from a highly competent team.

Commanding — demand immediate compliance.
Works best in crisis or with problematic people.

Source
https://intenseminimalism.com/2015/the-six-styles-of-leadership/


APPLYING LEADERSHIP STYLE TO PROJECT GOVERNANCE

It is commonly accepted that any projects should be on-time, on-budget, to-specification with low-risk and high-communication. These therefore present themselves as simple generic measures for good Project Governance. When dealing with any supplier make sure you are clear about

ON-TIME, knowing the timetable, delivering tasks, reporting progress and alerting issues

ON-BUDGET, knowing the budget, the spending, and issues or changes

TO-SPECIFICATION, knowing what needs to be delivered and why: this isn’t just about tasks it’s about end-results: What does success look like?

LOW-RISK, knowing the risks, issues and assumptions and agreeing the actions

HIGH-COMMUNICATION, making sure all the above is clear, documented, understood and followed


The role of a project manager includes planning of tasks and requirements; co-ordination of resources; monitoring of progress, budget, change, risks and issues and representing the project and product(s) through to delivery, hand-over and successful use.

The point about delivery, hand-over and successful use is key. Project Leadership is not only about Process but about Products it isn’t only about Outputs but about Outcome. Therefore Project Leadership needs to think broadly about “what are we trying to achieve here”.

This is a very important concept when dealing with suppliers. Do not let suppliers simply burn-up time and costs; make sure they are delivering something that is of value.

SOME TECHNIQUES FOR DIFFICULT SUPPLIERS

Keep a Record of Agreements
If suppliers are difficult, slippery or evasive about what was agreed or what they are doing make sure you have a regular meeting with agenda and minutes which formally agree in writing what has been decided. If necessary (because people find minute taking dull) get agreement to audio record the meetings. However make sure you have agreement before you audio record.

Keep a Record of Tasks, Progress and Issues
Make sure your suppliers provide a routine update (weekly or monthly) of tasks, progress and issues. Make sure they have end-results and they are delivering something that is of value.

Pay people for success
Make sure payment is linked to end-results and they are delivering something that is of value. Do not pay someone for hours done, pay them for agreed/approved outputs delivered. Have a check-list and tick off the items as they are done.

Trust, but verify
If a suppliers says something is done, or promises that they are ready (eg disaster recovery) put them to the test and get them to demonstrate something is done or that they are ready. If they fail, give them another chance. If they fail three times, don’t give them another chance.

Evidence hand-over and celebrate success
Have a formal ritual hand-over process done on a specific day and following completion of a tick-list that validates everything has been done as agreed. Then open the champagne and celebrate. If you supplier is never ready or always have “..just one more thing to do…” then that should be a warning.

FEEDBACK

If you have experience or suggestions applying different leadership styles or dealing with difficult project situations please comment. There is no one-truth in projects, programmes and change and I am always open and interested in different perspectives and different circumstances.

OTHER BLOGS YOU MIGHT LIKE

There are hundreds more blogs on projects, programmes and change here
https://adaptconsultingcompany.blogspot.com/
https://projectspeoplechange.blogspot.com/

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

TimHJRogers World Champs Rower, Commonwealth Games Triathlete, MBA (Management Consulting) PRINCE2 Projects & Change Practitioner, TEDx & Jersey Policy Forum
https://www.linkedin.com/in/timhjrogers/
http://www.timhjrogers.com/

Friday, 29 June 2018

Jersey’s Digital balance between Opportunity and Trust

There are some interesting challenges when considering innovation, artificial intelligence and the use of data and the purposes it is put to.

Is the role of government to be the conscience of business, make-up the short-fall in family and community responsibility, and the prefect for innovation and wealth?

There are some very stark contrasts between Singapore (government custodian of centralised data), Estonia (people decentralised data) and China (government controlled data).

Does Jersey want to use data to drive a political agenda (in the way China ranks and scores citizens) or encourage engagement (in the way Singapore offers-up centralised data) or reassure people (in the way Estonia will report each data access directly to the citizen)

Some interesting questions as we contemplate opportunities arising from AI and the blockchain, with the former offering data and decision power and the latter audit and trust.

I look forward to hearing the views of the panel at Barclays AI Frenzy Launch Event 12 July 2018
https://www.digital.je/news-events/digital-events/barclays-ai-frenzy-launch-event/

#jersey #egov #blockchain #regulation #socialchange

REFERENCE
How to fix the future – Andrew Keen
https://www.amazon.com/How-Fix-Future-Andrew-Keen/dp/0802126642

Feedback and comments always welcome

TimHJRogers
@TimHJRogers @AdaptCCompany +447797762051
https://www.linkedin.com/in/timhjrogers/
http://www.adaptconsultingcompany.com/

TimHJRogers World Champs Rower, Commonwealth Games Triathlete, MBA (Management Consulting) PRINCE2 Projects & Change Practitioner, TEDx & Jersey Policy Forum

Jersey’s Digital balance between Opportunity and Trust @TimHJRogers @AdaptCCompany
https://medium.com/@timhjrogers/jerseys-digital-balance-between-opportunity-and-trust-ff484363dbee

Five things to make a difference to our Digital Future

In his book “How to fix the future” Andrew Keen has looked to what five factors might mean the future is to our benefit rather than Brave New World, 1984, or The Matrix.

1. Ensure AI is open and not propriety or owned. A modern day example would be the World Wide Web. The open, free and accessible by all has been the formula for success.

2. Ensure fair play allowing new entrants to the market and preventing dominant abuse by larger organisations. This is where legislation and regulation is necessary for standards and certainty which helps innovators thrive.

3. Hold social media to high standards, fact-checking and challenging fake news and being vigorous with corrections but fair to opinions. Notably in some countries it isn’t possible to post comment without using their national-ID. That may be a step too far, since the idea of accountability and responsibility has to be balanced with privacy. There is room for debate, and some easy controls in a community as small as Jersey.

4. There is a sliding scale from human to robot. With augmented processing power available from our phone, glasses, and ear piece we are already seeing technology implants to help the disabled and enhance the able. We are already seeing technology replace humans and it’s time to rethink about the role of the human and the protections for those that will not thrive in this new world.

5. There is plenty of evidence that cave people have fuller and happier lives than people today. It can be debated if the industrial and technical revolution has liberated or subjugated the majority. There is a backlash against globalisation and expert-elite but is it too late when the decisions are made by machines rather than policy makers? How are preparing for these changes in education and choice?

I look forward to hearing the views of the panel at Barclays AI Frenzy Launch Event 12 July 2018
https://www.digital.je/news-events/digital-events/barclays-ai-frenzy-launch-event/

#jersey #egov #blockchain #regulation #socialchange

REFERENCE
How to fix the future – Andrew Keen
https://www.amazon.com/How-Fix-Future-Andrew-Keen/dp/0802126642

Feedback and comments always welcome

TimHJRogers
@TimHJRogers @AdaptCCompany +447797762051
https://www.linkedin.com/in/timhjrogers/
http://www.adaptconsultingcompany.com/

TimHJRogers World Champs Rower, Commonwealth Games Triathlete, MBA (Management Consulting) PRINCE2 Projects & Change Practitioner, TEDx & Jersey Policy Forum

Five things to make a difference to our Digital Future
https://medium.com/@timhjrogers/five-things-to-make-a-difference-to-our-digital-future-361f3c73a868

Go for Launch or Gone to Lunch?

Too many projects languish at the bottom of someone’s in-try.

My experience is people seldom like to say NO, and passive resistance to change comes from a thousand “Yes but…” excuses or pending some critical meeting, review, endorsement, memo, assurance or approval.

The problem is that too often delay or doing nothing is more expensive and risky than doing something and (if necessary) making corrective action.

The mantra is often to Do Ditch Delegate or Delay

My challenge is to help them Decide. My approach is what I call my Go for Launch meetings. I invite the stakeholders or work-stream owners to a meeting and simply ask: “Are we go for launch?”

This face-to-face approach to managing people and tasks is far better than memos and emails because people immediately have focus and ownership for the response.

The answer is either YES, or NO because…..

At least then I can hear and manage the delay which otherwise pile up as inaction rather than challenges to overcome.

Interestingly people don’t like saying NO, so very often I get YES and a firm commitment where otherwise there would be deafening silence.

Having made the firm commitment, and having done it personally (with ownership for the response) it is interesting to see how many stuck projects become personal missions and quickly become unstuck.

Feedback and comments always welcome

TimHJRogers
@TimHJRogers +447797762051
https://www.linkedin.com/in/timhjrogers/
http://www.timhjrogers.com/
https://medium.com/@timhjrogers_24478

TimHJRogers World Champs Rower, Commonwealth Games Triathlete, MBA (Management Consulting) PRINCE2 Projects & Change Practitioner, TEDx & Jersey Policy Forum
#linkybrain #projects #change #leadership #performance

Too Many Projects?

I have worked with a good many clients who have too many projects and not enough resources. In many cases hiring extra resource to help the work, the co-ordination and the delivery is all that is required.

But in some cases the in-tray is simply piled high with many No1 Priority Tasks to the extent that people suffering change fatigue regard failure as business-as-usual.

The simple answer is focus, but that isn’t necessarily the right answer.

As a triathlete too much focus on swimming is always at the expense of cycling and running and the secret to success is know the perfect blend for the person, the course, the circumstance. As a former athlete and high performance coach my challenge is always to focus on the outcome and rely upon the process.

In business focus on your strengths is a regular but wrong suggestion. It is seldom your strengths that cause you problems but your weaknesses. Being brilliant at sales is of little value if you are not equally good at invoicing and receipting income.

I have worked with organisations with as many as 250 projects in a 20 year pipeline. The question is often is it better to do 100 things at 1% or 1 thing at 100%. This is a hypothetic argument since no organisation will do only one project per year – but it makes a point: If you attempt to do too many things there will be no discernible benefit and you will simply dissipate your energy.

Project success is nearly always in the planning. Good planning makes for easy communication, collaboration and execution. The same is true of business strategy. Too many objectives both exhaust the staff and confuse the customers.

Inevitably strategy is about competing interests and becomes highly political and personal. What is often missing is an agreed method of measurement or priority. It may (or may not) be return on investment, customer satisfaction, market share. What is should not be is who shouts loudest.

Perhaps the subject of your next strategy, planning or management away-day should not be which projects should we do, but by what method should we prioritise. Then, like the athletes I train focus on the outcome and rely upon the process.

The perfect solution is one which is suitable, feasible and acceptable.

Feedback and comments always welcome

TimHJRogers
@TimHJRogers +447797762051
https://www.linkedin.com/in/timhjrogers/
http://www.timhjrogers.com/

TimHJRogers World Champs Rower, Commonwealth Games Triathlete, MBA (Management Consulting) PRINCE2 Projects & Change Practitioner, TEDx & Jersey Policy Forum
#linkybrain #projects #change #leadership #performance

Who do you work for? And how that question can determine the outcome of change.




I have been Project Manager for some large scale public sector change projects. One of the questions I ask is: Who do you work for?

They may answer as follows…

I work for the public sector
I work for government
I work for [person name]
I work at [location address]
I work for the finance team
I am an accountant

I find it interesting to see if their belonging and identification is with the organisation, the department, their profession or something else. Understanding this helps understand motives, values and loyalties.

For example loyalty to the boss, profession, department or organisation are not the same.

Too many projects start with communicating top-down and not listening bottom-up. My experience is before making pronouncements perhaps start by asking some questions. It may help to establish motives, values and loyalties.

TimHJRogers
@TimHJRogers @AdaptCCompany +447797762051
https://www.linkedin.com/in/timhjrogers/
http://www.adaptconsultingcompany.com/

TimHJRogers World Champs Rower, Commonwealth Games Triathlete, MBA (Management Consulting) PRINCE2 Projects & Change Practitioner, TEDx & Jersey Policy Forum

It’s not what you do but the order that you do it.



I have seen a good many large-scale and small-scale change projects in my time.

The order in which you do things can have a big impact on the result, as any mathematician: 4 / 5 + 3 -1 = 2.8 but 5 + 3 -1 / 4 = 1.75.

But here is a simpler example: If you put on your underwear, trousers and shoes and shirt you look ready for a job interview. If you put on your shoes, trousers then underwear first you may struggle to get anything past those shod feet and second, you’ll look like an idiot with your underwear on the outside.

This is obvious isn’t it? Ok, try putting this in the right order…

STREAMLINE: Use new procedures and technology to streamline your products and services making them efficient and effective.

DOWNSIZE: Reduce the size of the organisation, with an impact on competence, capacity and desire.

CHANGE: Embark on a massive period of change demanding significant competence, capacity and desire.

THINK: Rethink what are your core and affordable services; what should continue, what should be streamlined and what should be outsourced or stopped.

OUTSOURCE: Outsource non-core services and non-essential people, allowing flexibility without commitment and ostensibly allowing another organisation to provide the services to other people which you don’t want to do or cannot afford.

UPSKILL: Upskill your people so that they have competence, capacity and desire, either to improve your business or somebody else's. Either way they are adding to society rather than being a drain on the public purse as someone who is unemployed or depressed.
What are the implications of this order?

STREAMLINE, DOWNSIZE, CHANGE, THINK, OUTSOURCE, UPSKILL,

Or this?

THINK, UPSKILL, CHANGE, OUTSOURCE, STREAMLINE, DOWNSIZE,

Please put your observations in the comments below.