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Is the PgMP® Credential Right For Me?

Is the PgMP® Credential Right For Me?
By Gary Hamilton, Gareth Byatt, Jeff Hodgkinson, and Brian Grafsgaard

Gareth, Gary, Jeff, and Brian are PgMP (Program Management Professional)® credentialed through the Project Management Institute (PMI)®. (In fact, that’s how we met, became good friends and collaborators on articles.) We know from personal experience what it takes to obtain. Additionally, in early 2010, Jeff and Brian did a study and presentation on the overall results and benefits of having the PgMP credential, based on a survey of 225 PgMPs, over half of the PgMPs credentialed at the time. Their benefits study was one of the focus topics at the 2010 PMI North America Congress in Washington, DC.

As we weigh the value of the credential, let‘s first consider the PgMP credential itself. Per PMI, the PgMP credential is intended to “recognize advanced experience, skill and performance in the oversight of multiple related projects and their resources, aligned with an organizational objective.” We won’t be going into the formal details and process steps to obtain the credential; that information is readily available through the PMI. Read the Complete Article

Cultural Awareness in Project Presentations

Cultural Awareness in Project Presentations
By Gary Hamilton, Gareth Byatt, and Jeff Hodgkinson

It is generally accepted that communication is 90% of a Project Manager’s job.

As we have covered in an earlier article (Managing a Virtual Team), the basic theory of communication involves a sender, a receiver, a message and a medium. Another article that we published focused on “the challenges of virtual communication,” and explained how the inability to see body language and its relationship to a person’s vocal tone, facial expressions and hand gestures make it very difficult to judge the effectiveness of communication. This is especially noticeable when cultural and generational differences are factored into the equation.

There exists a great deal of high quality material about delivering effective presentations, and this is not the purpose of this article. This article focuses on face to face communication, particularly the subtleties in play when, as a Project Manager, you must to present to a number of people – be it a large group of stakeholders for your project, or perhaps a general audience. Read the Complete Article

The Color-coded Project Portfolio – Where is the Balance?

The Color-coded Project Portfolio – Where is the Balance?
By Gary Hamilton, Gareth Byatt, and Jeff Hodgkinson

Regardless of whether you are a seasoned project manager or you are embarking on your first project, the use of “color indicators” or “symbols” to indicate the health or status of a project (or a program or portfolio) is most likely something you will relate to. We have touched upon it in a previous article titled “What Makes a Good KPI Framework”. The use of colors and symbols for project dashboards, project health, and project portfolio reporting is commonplace today in project and portfolio management. Whether or not you use traffic signal lights (i.e. Green, Amber, and Red) or other colors, the symbolism is the same. As an example, in the Green, Amber, and Red scenario, Green indicates “all is well”, Amber indicates corrective action is warranted, and Red indicates an important risk, issue or several of either need to be addressed and resolved. Read the Complete Article

The Trouble with Continuous Multi-tasking, and How to Avoid It

The Trouble with Continuous Multi-tasking, and How to Avoid It
By Gary Hamilton, Gareth Byatt, and Jeff Hodgkinson

“To do two things at once is to do neither” – Publilius Syrus.

Picture the following scenario: you have gone into a “quiet room” such as your office or den to write a long-term program or project plan that you have been meaning to get to for several weeks. The plan requires your full concentration, and it has taken you say three plus weeks to get to because of short-term issues and urgent requests from others that have continually taken priority.

‘Today’ is the first day you have managed to budget or decided to set aside time to work on it. You are fifteen minutes into your task, but you find yourself struggling to concentrate on it. Your mind wanders. Then you see an email come into the Inbox on your computer and also your mobile device, which you have put on the desk in full view – both flash at you with the new message alert. Read the Complete Article

What Makes a Good Project KPI Framework?

What Makes a Good Project KPI Framework?
By Gary Hamilton, Gareth Byatt, and Jeff Hodgkinson

Key Performance Indicators, or KPIs as generally referred to by all of us, are a powerful tool at the project manager’s disposition that can, if structured appropriately:

  1. Play an important role in driving the behaviours and actions undertaken on a project.
  2. Have a significant effect on the reporting and monitoring of a project’s progress.

Our article does not seek to focus on enterprise-wide or portfolio-level KPI metrics, nor does it seek to be all-encompassing in the uses of specific types of KPIs that can be deployed or how KPIs and metrics can help to run a business. We simply put forward some “pointers” to think about for project-level KPI control and how KPIs can be a tool to help you as an effective project manager ‘manage’ your project.
The type of KPIs you use is influenced (determined, even) by the size and nature of your project. Read the Complete Article

Managing a Virtual Project Team

Managing a Virtual Project Team
By Gary Hamilton, Gareth Byatt, and Jeff Hodgkinson

Let’s face it; virtual teams (where we work with colleagues in remote locations, be they close by or in different countries) are now a reality in the workplace. If this trend in the workplace environment continues, virtual working will increasingly influence the way we operate, and the ‘effective virtual team worker’ will be a valued asset. A key benefit to forming virtual teams is the ability to cost-effectively tap into a wide pool of talent from various locations. There are several definitions of the virtual team worker, but within the context of this article, we are talking about people who work on project teams and who display the following attributes:

  • They work primarily from a particular office (maybe a home office, or maybe a fixed work location), and they are not expected to travel each week as a part of their job (i.e.
Read the Complete Article

Project Management and Going Green

Project Management and Going Green
By Gary Hamilton, Gareth Byatt, and Jeff Hodgkinson

Today’s society is prevalent with organizational and social campaigns to “go green”. This is for good reason. It is, after all, our social responsibility to reduce our carbon footprint, to reduce our dependency on non-renewable energies, and to recycle – not to mention the potential financial benefits associated with going green and green products. There are many things that Program and Project Managers of all industries can take to contribute to this worthy cause as part of following good program and project management processes and practices, but what are the “big ticket items”?

  1. Direct your outcomes towards efforts such as Energy efficiency, Emissions (Carbon) reduction, Water efficiency and Waste minimization: There are many actions that program and project teams can take to achieve any of these four overall targets. For example, in IT the implementation of software that automatically turns off monitors when not used can lead to carbon reductions.
Read the Complete Article

Project Management and Firefighting: Are there Lessons to be Shared?

Project Management and Firefighting: Are there Lessons to be Shared?
By Gary Hamilton, Gareth Byatt, and Jeff Hodgkinson

The very worst fire plan is no plan. The next worse is two plans. ~Author Unknown

Let no man’s ghost return to say his training let him down. ~Firefighters Saying

Soon after being accepted as a member of a fire department, cadets are typically enrolled into training classes. Their training regime may consist of basic classes, hazardous material teaching, awareness classes, and several others that are relevant to the challenging role of being a firefighter. New firefighters also are trained early in their career on communications protocols, the chain of command, and standard operating procedures. The need for a common communication language in the fire service is arguably more critical than many other professions, as the cost of a miscommunication can have serious consequences in an urgent situation. In most situations, there are procedures that every firefighter should know, and there are guidelines and processes that establish the chain of command. Read the Complete Article

Are Program Managers on the Career Path to the C-Level?

Are Program Managers on the Career Path to the C-Level?
By Gary Hamilton, Gareth Byatt, and Jeff Hodgkinson

The debate on whether Program Managers would make effective senior executives is one that has gained attention in recent years. However, for this article we thought we would pose this question and contrast it with the muses of a well respected Management Guru, Peter Drucker. Drucker, who is often referred to the as the “father of modern management”, signaled out eight characteristics of effective executives1:

  1. They ask, “What needs to be done?”
  2. They ask, “What is right for the enterprise?”
  3. They develop action plans.
  4. They take responsibility for decisions.
  5. They take responsibility for communicating.
  6. They are focused on opportunities rather than problems.
  7. They run productive meetings.
  8. They think and say “we”, rather than “I”.

How different are these eight characteristics from the day to day responsibilities and behaviors of an effective program manager? Read the Complete Article

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An article published on PM Hut may be eligible for PMI PDU credits under the Category D of the CCR Program (Giving Back to the Profession). This category is capped to 45 PDUs per 3 years. Authors claiming their PM Hut published articles for PMI PDUs are required (by PMI) to supply PM Hut’s physical address in their application. Please contact us for this information.

Please note that it is the responsibility of the author to handle the whole process for claiming the PDUs, PM Hut’s role is currently only limited to supplying its own physical address to the author.

1 – A1 Enterprise 286 – Karl Fischer
2 – Aaron Sanders 287 – Kathlika Thomas
3 – Abdulla Alkuwaiti 288 – Katy Whitton
4 – Abhijat Saraswat 289 – Kay Wais
5 – Abhilash Gopi 290 – Kaz Young
6 – Adam Leggett 291 – Keith Custer
7 – Ade Miller 292 – Keith L.
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