Select Page

Categories

Project Operational Readiness

Project Operational Readiness
By Bruno Collet

Activities for ensuring smooth roll-out, operation, and maintenance of solutions produced by projects are often overlooked. The objectives of these activities constitute operational readiness (OR). A good definition of operational readiness (OR) is “the capability to efficiently deploy, operate, and maintain the systems and procedures.” The main purpose of OR is to reduce operational risks, which is defined as “the risk of loss resulting from inadequate or failed internal processes, people and systems or from external events.”

OR is often neglected because OR activities are usually not part of the project lifecycle. Indeed the job of the project manager and of the project team is essentially completed when the solution is ready for deployment. At this point, another entity such as “solution delivery” or “release management” takes over. I can’t count how many times I’ve seen IT projects linger for several months and incur significant (unplanned) costs in release management, before being finally delivered to users. Read the Complete Article

The Agile Balanced Scorecard

The Agile Balanced Scorecard
By Bruno Collet

How would you picture an Agile organization?

The traditional balanced scorecard offers a good starting point because it looks at the key perspectives that make an organization successful today and tomorrow.

However, some adapting needs to be done:

  • From Financial to Business value
  • From Internal business processes to Operational excellence
  • From Learning and growth to Future orientation
  • Customer remains unchanged

Beyond wording, the Agile Balanced Scorecard shows that the Agile organization has a different personality than the traditional one, as reflected by the key characteristics of each of the four perspectives.

Agile Balanced Scorecard

Figure 1: Agile Balanced Scorecard

Bruno Collet combines business acumen with technology know-how. His successful track record comprises Daimler-Chrysler, Siemens, and Loto-Quebec, with roles such as management consultant, project manager, SAP consultant, and software architect. Bruno Collet’s skills are firmly grounded in academic excellence by achieving an MBA at John Molson School of Business and a Master of Computer Science. Read the Complete Article

Estimating the Cost of Project Management

Estimating the Cost of Project Management
By Bruno Collet

Isn’t it ironic that we project managers regularly pressure teams to provide estimates but are often unable to estimate the cost of project management? Most organizations, even those reputed to have achieved a high maturity in project management, still apply a standard portion of project budget, typically between 10% and 15%, to estimate project management cost.

Properly estimating of the cost of project management is not just a good idea, it is often critical, for example when providing project management service to clients on a fixed-price basis.

Imagine we want to estimate the cost of project management activities for a project that’s just starting.

One way to estimate cost is by analogy. When used bluntly, analogy estimating can lead to the “standard” project management cost of 10% to 15% mentioned earlier.

Analogy estimating works when three conditions are met:

  1. The organization has a well-kept history of actual project management costs per project.
Read the Complete Article

Project Governance – A Practical Introduction

Project Governance – A Practical Introduction
By Bruno Collet

This is a video presentation.

Project governance is a hot topic. However, there is a lot of confusion regarding what it is. It’s easy to define it abstractly (“a decision-making framework to govern an organization’s capital investments.” – Wikipedia) but difficult to understand what it looks like practically.

We’ll try answering following questions:

  • What is project governance?
  • Why is it important?

  • Where does it fit compared to other better known processes such as project portfolio management (PPM), program management (PgM) and project management (PM)?

  • What are the main components of project governance and how do they interact?

  • What part of project management pertains to project governance?

Bruno Collet combines business acumen with technology know-how. His successful track record comprises Daimler-Chrysler, Siemens, and Loto-Quebec, with roles such as management consultant, project manager, SAP consultant, and software architect. Bruno Collet’s skills are firmly grounded in academic excellence by achieving an MBA at John Molson School of Business and a Master of Computer Science. Read the Complete Article

Comparing PMBOK and PRINCE2

Comparing PMBOK and PRINCE2
By Bruno Collet

Working as project management consultant in Canada and Belgium has its advantages. One of them is to use methods based on both PMBOK, which prevails in North-America, and PRINCE2, which prevails in UK and is common in Western Europe.

Wikipedia provides a good overview of PRINCE2 and PMBOK.

I summarized the key differences between the two methods:

  • PRINCE2 is more prescriptive than PMBOK. PRINCE2 is a methodology framework. PMBOK is a body of knowledge of best practices.
  • PRINCE2 is process-oriented (who does what, when). PMBOK is knowledge-oriented (what the project manager should know).

  • PRINCE2 is easier to apply without prior project management experience because it prescribes processes. PMBOK is easier for learning project management skills because it is organized as knowledge areas.

  • With PRINCE2, the project manager has less power, more a coordination role leaving real power to executives. With PMBOK, the project manager is more central and has more decision power.

Read the Complete Article

Basics of Change Management

Basics of Change Management
ByBruno Collet

When an organization undergoes change, people are at the same time the subject and object of change. Updating structures, processes and tools facilitates changes but does not lead changes. People lead changes. The difficulty comes from the fact that we can’t change people willingly; we can’t say “now I will change you”. Change requires making people want to change and nurturing an environment where change can occur. Because change involves people taking initiatives and that the optimal solution is not known at the beginning (uncertainty), we can’t direct change. But we can and should manage it.

Models of Change Management

Lewin’s change management model depicts three phases that apply to any change. First we need to unfreeze, which means removing the constraints and generate the will to change. Second we have the change itself, where people reposition themselves according to the new objectives. Third there’s the refreeze, where the new situation becomes stable. Read the Complete Article

Moving from Functional to Project Structure

Moving from Functional to Project Structure
By Bruno Collet

Many organizations face the challenge of moving from a situation where they produce a limited number of standardized products, to a situation where they have to constantly tailor their products and innovate in order to remain competitive. These two situations require very different organizational structures. The first one is better served by a functional structure, whereas the second one is made easier by a project structure (or a matrix structure with a strong project component).

As a whole, a functional organization is best suited as a producer of standardized goods and services at large volume and low cost. Coordination and specialization of tasks are centralized in a functional structure, which makes producing a limited amount of products or services efficient and predictable. – Wikipedia

In a project organization, team members are often co-located, most of the organization’s resources are involved in project work, and project managers have a great deal of independence and authority. Read the Complete Article

Do Program and Project Portfolio Management Add Value over Project Management?

Do Program and Project Portfolio Management Add Value over Project Management?
By Bruno Collet

Organizations are increasingly implementing Program Management (PgM) and Project Portfolio Management (PPM) on top of their existing Project Management (PM) practices. I had the opportunity to contribute establishing or improving such methods and noticed that there is a lot of confusion regarding the roles PgM and PPM can and should play. I have yet to see two organizations that define PgM or PPM the same way.

I thought it would be a good idea to summarize what differentiates PM, PgM, and PPM.

Whereas the role of Project Management is fairly well understood, there is no consensus regarding the roles of Program Management and Project Portfolio Management. Following are the most common demarcations.

Project Management (PM): The most notable difference between PM and PgM/PPM is that PM involves managing people, usually in the form of one or more delivery teams. Read the Complete Article

Tailoring the Project Management Process

Tailoring the Project Management Process
By Bruno Collet

This article proposes a simple approach to tailor the project management methodology to business projects based on their specific needs.

Although projects vary with regard to several criteria such as budget, criticality, and organizational span, many organizations still impose a one-size-fits-all process that, moreover, seems to have been designed by people who have read too many books and led to few projects. Choosing a project management process is like choosing vehicles to reach a destination. If you want to do groceries, would you rather go by plane, by car, or by bicycle?

So where do we start if we want to tailor a generic project management process to our specific needs?

First we have to speak the language that people who actually lead and work within projects understand best. There’s no room for philosophy here. Whether we’re building a bridge with PMBOK methodology or we’re developing a software product with an Agile framework, the guidance people expect comes down to what has to be done, when, and by whom. Read the Complete Article

Effective Project Management in a Weak Matrix Structure

Effective Project Management in a Weak Matrix Structure
By Bruno Collet

Most of large organizations are structured around functional areas, often called “silos” by analogy with the vertical construction lacking horizontal connections. This structure is usually referred to as functional organization or weak matrix structure. Silos are directed by functional or line managers. In this kind of structure, any initiative that crosses the boundaries of functional silos has to breach these intangible but powerful barriers.

Organizations where projects drive the show and where as a consequence functional areas are subordinate to projects, are called projectized organizations or strong matrix structures.

Picturing a project manager in a weak matrix structure, what comes to mind is the glorified messenger who reports on projects but has little influence over them. More administration, less management, even less action. Not exactly a glamorous role.

Here are a few issues that commonly occur in a weak matrix structure and not so often in projectized organizations. Read the Complete Article

Recommended PM App

Recommended PM App

Categories