GAPPS Program Manager Standard

PM Certification commentary by William Duncan, IPMA-USA Certification Director. GAPPS is the Global Alliance for Project Performance Standards. IPMA-USA is a founding member of GAPPS, and we continue to be active in supporting their standards development efforts. We also use their standards as part of our implementation of IPMA’s Four-Level-Certification (4-L-C) Program. GAPPS has recently … Read more GAPPS Program Manager Standard

Change Management: Confusion or Success Factor?

PM Commentary by Stacy Goff

Many people we have spoken to over the last several years have expressed concern over the increasing level of confusion around the term Change Management. The confusion goes back many years, but appears to be getting worse. As Change Agents, it is important for Project and Program Managers to understand the topic, the relevant competences, and the different perceptions asserted by different interested parties.

Depending on your perspective, Change Management is one or more of the following:

  • The configuration management of developers’ code, and the operating environment in which it was validated.
  • Managing the impact of requested and approved project changes, during the project.
  • Managing the impact of needed changes, updates, and improvements on the project result after that result is in business use.
  • Managing the organizational changes needed to embrace and appropriately apply project results.
  • Figuring out how to get reassigned and work for a Manager or Project Manager who is more effective.

Well, we just made that last one up. We are not here to proclaim which is the right or wrong perception: However, in every project or program, we do proclaim that you need to have a common understanding of what everyone means when speaking of Change Management.

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Are activities part of the WBS?

PM Certification commentary by William Duncan, IPMA-USA Certification Director. I got an email earlier today from an IPMA-USA member who wanted an answer to the title questions above. I told him “yes,” and he then quoted my words from the 1996 version of A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge back to me: “The activity list must … Read more Are activities part of the WBS?

Exploring Success Factors and Measures; 2 of 2

PM Commentary by Stacy Goff

This is part two of our two-part post on Success Factors and Measures. Two independent events last month (an interview for a magazine article and a webinar) resonated around a frequently-discussed, but often disputed topic: What is project success, and how do you achieve it? The events covered two aspects of project success, the Success Factors (that lead to project success) and the Success Measures (used to evaluate success). This posting covers the Success Measures.

The Success Measures
Tim Jaques and Frank Salidis ran the latest webinar in the IPMA-USA 2010 Dialogue series the first week of July. The topic was Perspectives on Project Success: Excellence in Project Management. The well-presented and discussed Dialogue was excellent, but there is much more to the topic than an hour’s time. Some of the key points included the fact that the Triple Constraint is merely a project measure, and is certainly not as important to the end-user as such hard-to-measure items as customer satisfaction.

Other points included discussions about tangible and intangible value, including Return On Investment, Stakeholder satisfaction (beyond customers), and even enhanced PM intelligence. Perceived failures, at least according to project measures, may be successes by the time of product measurement. A key example provided was the Sydney Opera House. The distinction made: Project outputs versus project outcomes

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The rush to licensure

PM Certification commentary by William Duncan, IPMA-USA Certification Director. The idea of licensed project managers has been discussed off-and-on for nearly 30 years now. With the Association of Project Managers in the UK apparently on the verge of getting approval from the British government to begin chartering project management, the discussions are heating up again. … Read more The rush to licensure

Exploring Success Factors and Measures; 1 of 2

PM Commentary by Stacy Goff

The last month brought us two interesting media events, an interview for a CIO magazine article and an IPMA-USA Dialogue webinar. Both covered key aspects of project success. Though independent events, both showed synchronicity around a frequently-discussed, but often disputed topic: What is success, and how do you achieve and measure it? The events covered two aspects of project success, the Success Factors (that lead to success) and the Success Measures (used to evaluate success). This first of two postings covers the Success Factors.

The Success Factors
Success Factors, also called Critical Success Factors (CSFs), are the activities or factors in a project that are essential for it to meet its goals and expectations. They are enablers of success. We recently participated in an interview for the CIO magazine article, IT Project Management: 10 Less-Considered Keys to Success. The article explored comments in a discussion at the magazine’s CIO Forum LinkedIn group (access only with approval). The lively discussion revolved around the most important, but least-well-known Success Factors, or inputs, for a successful IT project.

The first-mentioned Success Factor was (drumroll, please) A Clear Definition of Success. And, while the forum and article are targeted to CIOs and Information Technology projects, most of the comments apply to most project types, in any industry. One participant commented that too often success is based merely on elements of the “triple constraint”. He commented that project teams need to understand the expected value proposition of the project—and then achieve it.

Read moreExploring Success Factors and Measures; 1 of 2