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Change Management In Projects – 10 Success Factors

Change Management In Projects – 10 Success Factors
By Michael L Young

According to change guru Peter Senge (1999), most change initiatives fail simply because they fail to produce hoped-for results. Given that project management is all about changing the status quo, effective change management is critical to project success.

Whether this is the latest ‘flavor of the month’ programs that senior management rolls out, implementation of an IT system or an internally-driven team initiative, it is important that the change and expectations are effectively managed.

Current thinking indicates that good managers are the key to successful change management. In general, managers who see the need for change are usually correct in their assessment. Senge (1999) says: “companies that fail to sustain significant change end up facing crises. By then their options are greatly reduced.”

It can be quite difficult for managers to view their work on change in a holistic fashion. Read the Complete Article

Seven Contract Management Tips You Need to Know

Seven Contract Management Tips You Need to Know
By Michael L Young

To successfully manage contracts for a government agency requires that you are able to:

  • Develop suitable arrangements for managing the contract, including establishing risk management and communication strategies
  • Monitor the contractor’s performance against the contract and deal with issues such as contract variations and disputes

  • Complete the contract, review the contractor’s performance and prepare a contract review or audit report that can be used in future evaluations.

This is all text book stuff but I have developed seven tips you need to know to facilitate this process and become a successful contract manager:

  1. Relationships are everything

    Maintaining good relationships with suppliers is vital to the successful completion of any project. You need to try to work as partners with suppliers to get the job done for the benefit of the project. Once a contract gets into dispute, no-one ends up winning and the project almost always suffers as a result.

Read the Complete Article

Legal Aspects of Contract Management

Legal Aspects of Contract Management
By Michael L Young

While procurement and contract managers are not expected to be legal experts, it is very difficult to manage a contract well without a basic understanding of the key elements to a contract and the meaning of significant terms and clauses.

The Australian public service has been highly criticized from being “risk averse” what does this mean for a contract manager? There is a distinction between a good contract manager and a bad contract manager:

  • A bad contract manager is not very well qualified and applies or thinks that they are following the rules for the sake of the rules even if it means a less than desirable outcome in business terms.
  • A good contract manager is well-qualified and asks how can we interpret the law responsibly and reasonably to ensure the best possible business outcome.

Law and rules were created to serve society rather than society serves the law and rules. Read the Complete Article

Project Management Breeds Innovation

Project Management Breeds Innovation
By Michael L Young

One of the earliest activities of the Rudd Government was to recognize the importance of innovation to Australia’s future and to commission a review of the management of innovation in Australia.

Both the Gershon Review and the Review of the National Innovation System (Cutler, Sept 2008) released reports characterized by a strong focus on innovation to achieve efficiency within Government.

Projects are fundamentally all about innovation. Project Managers are ‘agents of change’ -facilitating what hasn’t been done before. They solve problems to get things done. If we take a direct line from the Rudd Government’s strong support of improving innovation through the Gershon recommendations we arrive at a conclusion that Government agencies need to take more of a project management approach to their business to achieve better outcomes. What is required in order to achieve this efficiency and the resultant savings is a strong organizational focus because in essence, taking a project management approach to business is about changing the way things have always been done. Read the Complete Article

What Is Stakeholder Analysis and Why Should You Do It?

What Is Stakeholder Analysis and Why Should You Do It?
By Michael L Young

Scottish poet Robert Burns coined the phrase: “The best laid schemes of mice and men gang aft agley”. It happens often with project management.

You put a great plan together, hire contractors, procure equipment, train staff and get management on board. Then, out of nowhere it comes unstuck because somebody you didn’t even think about has concerns with the way the project is running and you have to start again from scratch or, worse still, scrap the whole thing.

People can just as easily grease a project’s wheels as stop it in its tracks. Stakeholder analysis is about identifying all persons, groups and institutions who may have an interest in a project and taking steps to manage their interests and expectations so that the project runs as smoothly as possible.

This analysis needs to be done in the early stages of a project so that any risks and required communication can be included in the overall project plan. Read the Complete Article

Project Management for Small Business

Project Management for Small Business
By Michael L Young

Introduction

Large business and Government have been using project management for years as a way to deliver critical business outcomes. But project management is not just for the big end of town. Small business can also benefit by using project management tools and techniques to drive the achievement of their objectives.

What Is a Project?

PMBOK defines a project as “A temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product or service”. A project, like business, requires the use of scarce resources to achieve a pre-determined set of objectives. Large or small, most organizations now refer to key actions, activities or tasks as ‘a project’.

But what is project management all about and how does it apply to small business?

Project management, is exactly that: the management of a project. It requires the identification and management of a number of key elements. You need to determine:

  • Why you are doing it (the mandate)
  • What you need to do (the scope)
  • How it will be achieved (the approach)
  • When are resources – human or otherwise – required
  • Who will perform each task (resourcing)
  • What can go wrong (risk management)

More specifically you need to ask the following questions:

  • Why
    • What are your objectives?
Read the Complete Article

Top 10 Procurement Risks – Tender Preparation

Top 10 Procurement Risks – Tender Preparation
By Michael L Young

Responding to RFTs (requests for tenders) can be risky, given that your tender response is a legal offer and you may be bound to the terms within it, if the client accepts it. Responding to a complex tender can also be very time-consuming, tying up substantial company resources for significant periods of time.

For both of these reasons you need to:

  • Evaluate the risks associated with each tender carefully, to ensure that it is in your organization’s best interests to respond
  • Establish an effective team to develop the bid and work to a realistic schedule that will allow the team to produce a thorough response within the available timeframes
  • Oversee the development of human and physical resource cost estimates very carefully, to ensure that the tendered price is accurate and comprehensive of all likely costs
  • Prepare the response carefully, to ensure that it meets all necessary requirements and evaluate it to ensure that it is accurate and professional
  • Gain the necessary endorsement or approval before submitting the tender response to the client.
Read the Complete Article

Staff Development: A Key Success Factor in Project Management

Staff Development: A Key Success Factor in Project Management
By Michael L Young

How many times have you read the term ‘Staff Development’ in a duty statement and sighed or rolled your eyes and then set about identifying the right “buzz words” to say at interview to secure you the job?

The thing is – a great project team leader is one who takes responsibility for making sure team members have the skills, knowledge and experience required to produce outstanding results. At Transformed we focus on a number of key elements that make up staff development:

  1. Develop and Articulate a Vision

    Develop a shared vision among all project members and articulate a common set of goals and expectations. A vision shouldn’t be written in the meeting minutes and forgotten – assess regularly the team’s progress against the vision and goals and identify where there are gaps that need to be addressed.

Read the Complete Article

Great Project Managers Can Manage Anything!

Great Project Managers Can Manage Anything!
By Michael L Young

Good project managers have skills that apply in every management profession.

Most people understand the traditional view of PM’s. They establish a project’s scope, prepare budgets and schedules, plan communications, monitor and report on all the distinct tasks needed to deliver results.

Traditionally, measurement of success relies strongly on implementation of technical tools and methodologies. People with an eye on the industry however know that that contemporary PM is so much more than just completing tasks.

Projects are mostly made up of humans and the interactions between them. We are complex creatures and it’s the differences between us and the ways we interact that often bring projects unstuck or result in excellence.

This means that project managers now need a broader range of business skills – especially ‘people skills’ to make sure that projects deliver outstanding results.

There are four areas of skill that separate those who can walk the walk from those who just talk the talk. Read the Complete Article

Conflict Resolution for Project Managers

Conflict Resolution for Project Managers
By Michael L Young

Who Says Project Managers Don’t Fight!

Because it involves people, conflict in project management is inevitable.

No matter how good your project schedule, how sound your budget, projects can still be undone through poor interaction between individuals.

Projects involve people of different backgrounds, delegations, skill levels, qualifications, experience – and not to mention egos – working together.

Conflict can arise out of differences in values, attitudes, needs, expectations, perceptions, resources, or just personalities.

Therapist David Kantor once said: “In calm situations, with low emotional stakes, it’s easy to deal with people. They will listen to rational explanations, and offer rational responses of their own. But in high-stakes situations…confrontation – overt or subtle – puts everyone on the line”.

Proper conflict resolution skills can assist project managers to effectively dissolve conflicts that threaten organizational productivity and harness the energy for the purposes of good. Read the Complete Article

Recommended PM App

Recommended PM App

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