ipma-usa logo  Welcome to the IPMA-USA November - December, 2013 Newsletter!


This opt-in Newsletter is from IPMA-USA, the American Society for the Advancement of Project Management. We are the USA member association of the International Project Management Association. Enjoy!

In This Issue
1. Change Agents Post, .ru Ready?
2. IPMA-USA Appoints Jeff Hodgkinson as Director of Standards
3. What Is a PM Methodology? A Search for Efficiency, Consistency, and Performance
4. IPMA-USA Offers PM-SAT, Self Assessment Tool for Development and Advanced Certifications
5. Call for Papers, 28th IPMA World Congress, Rotterdam, NL. Due 15 January
6. Unlocking a Project Team's High-Performance Potential Using Cognitive Readiness
7. Useful PM News From the PM World Journal
8. Book Review by James R. Brady: Managing Business Analysis Services, by Barbara Davis
9. IPMA-USA Requests Your Participation In a Doctoral Survey
10. IPMA-USA and IPMA Items of Interest
11. Featuring Tim Herd in Our Series on Leadership

1. Change Agents Blog, by IPMA-USA President Stacy Goff
Our Change Agents blog embraces the change that the practice of Project Management brings to the USA, and to society. We post below a teaser from this month's blog posting; click the bold heading to see our latest.

.ru Ready?
Two recent experiences resulted in the title of this article: First, we were recently in Russia to keynote a very successful Project Management conference, and .ru is the national web domain for Russia. Second, we recently saw the latest updates in Project Management Institute’s “Are You Ready?” campaign. For the last few years, they have been pivoting to embrace the leadership/behavioral and context/strategic linkage aspects long-advocated by IPMA, International Project Management Association.

I especially appreciate this pivoting action because these were our PM consulting firm’s (Goff Associates, Inc., the ProjectExperts) key differentiators from the early 1980s. Our clients’ success was based on their early embrace of the importance of these demonstrated competences. And, I have long-fought for the consistent application of the factors that make the greatest difference in project and organizational success–even in the era when they were a difficult sale.

Project Management 2013: Mission Possible!
The conference, organized by Infor-Media Russia, and held at the Swissotel Krasnye Holmy Moscow, was very well-managed, interesting, and informative. Among the most interesting parts was the level of experience of most participants–truly outstanding, compared to many events I have participated in. It is an audience similar to the high level of sophistication of the UT Dallas PM Symposium, the PMO Symposium, and of course, our IPMA World Congress. As kick-off keynote speaker, my primary role was completed early in the event (except for a panel later in the morning), so I had the opportunity to relax, observe and enjoy the other presentations... More

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2. IPMA-USA Appoints Jeff Hodgkinson as Director of Standards
IPMA-USA President Stacy Goff announced today the appointment of Jeff Hodgkinson as IPMA-USA Director of Standards. Jeff is replacing Joel Carboni, who was recently elected IPMA-USA Vice President. Jeff Hodgkinson

Jeff has long been an active contributor to project and program management, including his series of articles, published over a multi-year period, with Gareth Byatt and Gary Hamilton as co-authors.

Jeff is a Senior Program & Project Manager with 33 years’ experience at Intel Corporation, managing various enterprise wide programs and projects. He is well known in Program and Project Management circles through LinkedIn (www.LinkedIn.com/in/jeffhodgkinson), where he is one of the most networked and recommended individuals.

Jeff has earned the most relevant project and program management certifications, including IPMA Level B®. His specialties are diverse, as he has managed all types of projects, from construction to IT, to product development to sustainability and energy efficiency. A highlight of his engagement is his voluntary involvement in supporting other PM’s through LinkedIn, including founding several PM support groups. See the full Press Release at the site of our Media Partner, PM World Journal.

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3. What Is a PM Methodology? A Search for Efficiency, Consistency, and Performance
This is an update and republication of a 2007 article by IPMA-USA President Stacy Goff, prompted by a recent resurgence of claims that bodies of knowledge and other encyclopedic documents are methodologies. The purpose of the article is to clarify what is and is not a pm methodology, and to identify the characteristics that distinguish the better ones from those that do not deliver the promise.

Abstract: By now, you would think that everyone who needs a Project Management (PM) Methodology would have one. They have been in popular use for over 30 years. But as more Enterprises understand the importance of demonstrated PM Competence in projects, programs and portfolios, new requirements emerge, that your methods may not support. In this article, we answer the question “What is a PM Methodology?” from a perspective of today’s requirements. While we cite Information Technology methodologies, we also refer to other application areas, and universal methods. Finally, we list the criteria against which to score your in-house or commercial methodologies. You can then use the criteria to help improve the effectiveness of your PM delivery.

What Is Not a Methodology: This update of our popular 2007 article is prompted by the recurrence of a problem once before solved—by all but a few who seem not to understand the nature and purpose of PM methodologies. While some find it convenient to assert that exam-oriented knowledge taxonomies are true PM methodologies, most audiences understand the differences—and different purposes between these documents and true PM methodologies. But recently, we have seen that it still serves some parties to consider BOKs, or bodies of knowledge, to be true PM methodologies. For those who understand the differences, they are huge. For others, the purpose of this article is to help clarify those differences so you can make better decisions in your selection of PM methodologies ... More

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4. IPMA-USA Offers PM-SAT, Self Assessment Tool for Development and Advanced Certifications
Advanced PM Certifications are more rigorous and require more preparation than entry-level certifications. One must prepare a portfolio of evidence across nearly 50 competence elements, to show how you have applied each one in a project. That's a lot different than taking a class, then passing an exam. But for many PM practitioners, the actual certification is only part of your goal. The most important reason for considering advanced PM Certifications is to evaluate and improve your performance. Certainly, that is what your managers, customers, team members and top executives expect--especially if they are helping pay for your certification. Competence Ladder

As most educators, trainers and others involved with talent development understand, short-term knowledge accomplishes nothing. The right breadth of knowledge can be a strong foundation for higher learning. But it is just the first step in the progression we in IPMA-USA have emphasized, of knowledge, to skill, to reinforcing attitudes and behaviors, to competence, to performance, that top rung that all stakeholders expect. And, improving the competences where you are weakest should be your development focus--both if you wish to improve your project results, and if you intend to earn an advanced PM Certification.

So, how do you decide where you are in this performance progression? How do you know your weakest competence elements? Inspired by the popularity of our Project and Program Management Complexity tool, we now offer PM-SAT, our Project Manager's Self Assessment Tool. Like our PPM Management Complexity Tool, it is easy to use, and works on multiple devices, including cell phones and tablets. It does not store your results, but you can print them if you have a way to do so. See our PM-SAT introduction page, try it out, and let us know what you think!

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5. Call for Papers, 28th IPMA World Congress, Rotterdam, NL. Due 15 January
131129-pmwj17-28th-ipma-img Rotterdam, Netherlands –– The Call for Papers for the 28th IPMA World Congress on Project Management to be held in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, is underway.  The 28th IPMA World Congress, with the theme “Innovation Through Dialogue,” will be held from 29 September to 1 October 2014 at the World Trade Center in the City of Rotterdam. Information can be found at http://www.ipma2014.com/

IPMA Netherlands invites you to become a part of the leading world conference on project, program and portfolio management by submitting an inspiring academic or best practices paper. The Call for Presentations closes on January 15th, 2014.

The Academic and Research streams will have main theme: Human factors in Project Management – The role, influence and understanding of ‘human factors’ within project, program and portfolio management will be the focus of the Academic and Research streams. Contributors are encouraged to consider the following sub-themes (along with related factors) in their submissions: Attitude, Acceptance, Commitment, Credibility, Creativity, Ethics, Leadership, Nurture, Personal Development, Trust, Well-being, Willingness. Proposals must be according to guidelines at http://www.ipma2014.com/call-for-papers-academic/.

The Professional “Best Practices” streams will be around the conference theme of “Innovation through Dialogue” – In order to establish a comprehensive, high quality program, they are looking for the latest experiences and insights about Innovating the world through dialogue. The best practices stream will focus on the dialogue within projects, dialogue between projects (portfolios), dialogue over time (programs) and dialogue outside projects, with project-owners, users and stakeholders. And of course the dialogue between the business and academic world. These themes should be focused on such industries as:

Best practice proposals must be according to guidelines at http://www.ipma2014.com/call-for-papers-best-practices/

The 28th IPMA World Congress in Rotterdam is being organized by IPMA Netherlands (IPMA-NL), the acclaimed center of expertise for project management in the Netherlands. IPMA-NL has currently 2.300 members and certifies over 2.000 project managers each year. The primary goals of IPMA-NL are: Continuous improvement of the quality of project execution by optimizing the success of all Dutch projects and realizing the essence of excellent project management for the Dutch economy and employment.  More information at www.ipma-nl.nl. The President of IPMA-NL is Mr. Joop Schefferlie. Visit the 2014 congress website at http://www.ipma2014.com/.

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6. Unlocking a Project Team's High-Performance Potential Using Cognitive Readiness; Archibald, et al
With the subtitle: A Research Study Report and Call to Action, this 45 page report by Russell D. Archibald, Ivano Di Filippo, Daniele Di Filippo and Shane C. Archibald has the potential to transform the way we look at behavioral (interpersonal) skills. Russ is a dear friend, and one of the most prolific contributors to the practice of project and program management around the World.

In an email introducing the paper, he proclaims it to be "a Breakthrough in Project Team Performance." We agree, and with his co-authors, two handsome young Italians and his gifted grandson Shane, he has put together a compelling team to drive his latest project. We especially ask our readers to study and respond to the final section of the paper, "Call for Action." Thank you Russ!

Cognitive Readiness in Project Teams: The important concept of Cognitive Readiness in project teams is presented in this report and discussed as a new element to be considered in managing projects, with the objective of achieving greater project success through high team performance. Projects only become alive and real when people are assigned to the project team, starting with the project manager, and projects exist within a field of project stakeholders. Thus, human behavior within and across these two groups (project teams and stakeholders) directly affects every project throughout its life cycle.

Applying the knowledge of human behavior provided to us by the advances in cognitive psychology enables project managers to build high-performance teams through perception, observation, appraisal, measurement, management, and improvement of project team members’ and stakeholders’ behavior, leading to greater project success. The need for high-performance, cognitive-ready teams is greater for innovative and transformative projects and programs than for commercial, delivery projects, although both of these types can benefit substantially when high performance of their teams is achieved.

The Objective of this Report is to create a greater awareness and understanding throughout the global project, program, and portfolio management communities of the importance of, and potential benefits from, applying cognitive psychology advances to project teams. We believe the approach described here will produce high-performance project teams and substantial benefits derived from greater project success and delivery of greater business value. Much work remains to be accomplished to translate the approach we describe here into procedures and methods ready to be applied in the field.

This report consists of these nine sections:
1. Introduction: Linking cognitive psychology with project management.
2. Cognitive Readiness and High-Performance Project Teams: What cognitive readiness is and why it helps to create high-performance project teams.
3.  Appraising and Developing the Cognitive Readiness of Individuals and Project Teams: How to apply this concept on a practical basis.
4. Cognitive Constraints and Cognitive Enablers: What these are and how they are used.
5.  Delivering Business Value: The benefits of cognitive readiness in project teams.
6. The Dimensions for Determining Project Success: How team cognitive readiness adds to the traditional measures of project success.
7. Enhance the Team, Enhance Yourself: Be “Cognitive”! Put these ideas into practice to develop your soft skills.
8. Conclusions: The main inferences and deductions that can be drawn from the information presented are contained in nine conclusions.
9. Call to Action: An appeal is presented to practitioners, professional and industry associations, governmental agencies, and universities to initiate actions to apply, investigate and further develop the concepts of cognitive readiness in project, program, and portfolio teams.

We hope that you will take the time to read this report and seriously consider which of these actions listed in Section 9 you are in a position to initiate, in order to bring these potential benefits to our world of project, program, and portfolio management. We will appreciate having your reactions to our report, as well as any comments you may have on any aspect of its content and our recommendations. Any experiences, papers, books or case studies on this important topic that you can provide or reference for us will be greatly appreciated.

We invite you to download and read Unlocking a Project Team's High-Performance Potential Using Cognitive Readiness: A Research Study Report and Call to Action.

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7. Useful PM News From the PM World Journal
The News items below are from the November and December issues of PM World Journal, our Media Partner.

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8. Book Review by James R. Brady: Managing Business Analysis Services, by Barbara Davis.
The book's subtitle is: A Framework for Sustainable Projects and Corporate Strategy Success.


Target Audience:
As an analyst, consultant, educator, and business owner, Ms Davis has been very active in the development and growth of the “Business Analyst” (BA) profession. Her book reflects a concern that there is more positive publicity being disseminated on the quality of BA activities, training, and professional certification schemes than is justified by the actual operational impact. In spite of the establishment of the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) and the issuance of a BA Body of Knowledge (BOK), she suggests that a standardized set of professional best practices for the BA field is still lacking:

“Over the years, I have worked with, mentored, trained, managed, and interviewed hundreds of business analysts. What I am about to say may shock you: Approximately 99% of the analysts that I have worked with and assessed are missing some of the most critical steps in requirements. Nevertheless, do not blame the analysts. They are missing these steps because business analysis is still a collective practice, and not a formal profession with standardized  tasks, metrics and tools. Many analysts are simply borrowing tasks, tools, and techniques from other development areas...” (page 15) See the full review.

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9. IPMA-USA Requests Your Participation In a Doctoral Survey
We carefully screen the many requests we receive for posting surveys. Although we support those who are completing their Masters or Doctoral studies, the requests to complete surveys can be overwhelming. Today are requesting that you consider completing the Research Project Survey for Kurt Harris, an IPMA-USA Life Member. Kurt is an advanced consultant who has gone back to school (at SKEMA, in France) to pursue his Doctorate. His topic involves the use of private, public or not-for-profit consortiums, who work together to complete a project. His study area involves the impact of interpersonal skills in these consortium-driven projects. If you have at least a year's experience in such a project, please consider spending an estimated 20 minuites on this survey.

From Kurt: I thank you for taking the time to participate in my research efforts on "The Influence of Interpersonal Relationships on Repeat Business in a Consortium Environment" where a consortium is a temporary contractual relationship of two or more business entities (firms, organizations or both), formed for the purpose of executing, jointly and severally, a specific contract for the supply of goods and/or services. My aim is to collect information from a survey of large, medium, small (including SBA categories) firms as well as organizations such as higher education institutions as well as both domestic and foreign firms. I am reaching out to project, program managers, and firm and organizational leadership. The survey is designed to take 20 minutes or less to complete.  For your convenience, the survey is on-line and can be accessed by clicking on the link at the bottom of this invitation. Your input will be non-attribution.

I hope to come up with findings that could be used by firms to improve their ability to obtain repeat business through improved interpersonal relationships. I realize that there are a lot of other factors that may contribute to success in repeat business, but I am focusing on interpersonal relationships at this point. Additionally I ask readers to also forward the survey to others in your network and organization so that I might be able to collect the broadest spectrum of input.

I would be grateful if you could complete the survey and consent form as soon as possible, with a target date of 14 December 2013 or sooner will be greatly appreciated.  Please accept my personal and sincere thanks and appreciation, in advance, for your support. 

Best regards, Kurt Harris; PhD Candidate
The Survey Link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Kurt_Survey
The Consent Form

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10. IPMA-USA and IPMA Items of Interest

A. Job Postings, Houston Texas
Strategic Planning Department Manager
Project Manager, Flood Control District

B. See the IPMA Young Crew November Newsletter!
IPMA Young Crew is the organization for university students and young project managers, to age 35. IPMA-USA's Edward Logan was IPMA's Young Project Manager of the Year for 2008-2009, and we are interested in re-starting our Young Crew program. See the latest Young Crew Newsletter here!

C. Join the IPMA Expert Seminar, Zurich 13 Feb. 2014
Thursday 13th February 2014 morning to Friday 14th February 2014 evening we invite you to join the IPMA Expert Seminar. You will refresh and develop your competence in PP&P Roles and Responsibilities, Intercultural Project Management, Service Contracts and Managing Projects in the New Societies, with the International Participants.

Learn more, and register now on the event website: www.ipma-expertseminar.com

D. Plan now to attend the IPMA Advanced Courses, in Copenhagen, Denmark, March 2014
Who should attend?
For project executives, senior project managers and consultants – and for preparation for IPMA® Certification Levels B and A

What is it? Seven parallel courses taking place 6-8 March 2014 in Denmark.
Find out more about the IPMA Advanced Courses at thhe IPMA website. The courses are:

Member Discount: Members of IPMA Member Associations save 150 Euro when registering. For information about the fee in your country, please look at page 11 in the linked PDF-file.

We think you will find the courses to be engaging and relevant. In addition to the PDF file, learn more about IPMA Advanced Courses at the official website: www.ipmacourse.com or a combination of all of the suggestions.

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11. Featuring Tim Herd in Our Series on Leadership
Leadership Learning Logo
Now that most organizations and PM practitioners have figured out that the so-called "Soft Side" is key to project success, what are we doing about it? In addition to practicing those skills, we feature Tim Herd, who shares his perspectives on Leadership.

Shutting down the problem factory
Come to Crazy Ernie’s Discount Problem Emporium of Total Workplace Madness!
Need mountains from mole hills? We’ll custom build on your lot or ours! How about random reasons why something can’t be done? We’ve got dumpsterfuls—for immediate delivery! Looking for Blame? We ship blame to anyone anywhere anytime! Pyrotechnics? We invented Blowing Your Top! And don’t forget to ask about our weekly specials on Excuses—poor, run-of-the-mill, custom, good, or ironclad—we’ve got them all!

I have a friend who’s held quite a few jobs in his career. Each new position starts off with such promise! His supervisors appreciate what he has to offer and respect his opinions. He’s all smiles: everything is finally going his way. But soon, and inevitably, his grin becomes forced as he is slighted in some way. His job responsibilities change. His boss no longer pays him the same amount of attention. Perhaps another person is hired and he wasn’t promoted. His grin grows into a growl as he gripes about the stuff he’s got to do. He becomes highly suspicious of others’ motives. He begins blaming other people for real and perceived wrongs. Soon he’s looking for a new job where things will be different—next time! ... More

Ascending the levels of leadership
The neighborhood playground where I grew up contained a popular multilevel merry-go-round. Mounted above its rotating platform were two higher levels of successively smaller diameter. The wildest ride was always found on the crowded, lowest level where centrifugal force could fling you out on the grass where your head could continue to spin. Climbing to the second level where it was less crowded, but where you could grasp the rail, offered an easier go-around.

On the third level, where there were even fewer riders, it took only one hand to anchor your soul to the earth while turning in a smaller orbit. But the pinnacle of derring-do was in achieving the flat post-top of the merry-go-round, where there was room for only one to stand, unassisted by any device save your own guts, and pivot seven feet in air. (By today’s safety standards, it was a veritable spinning factory of kid-tested hard knocks—it’s truly a wonder that so many of us survived such childhoods!)

In his excellent book, 5 Levels of Leadership, John Maxwell describes the advantages and challenges of each level, as well as the beliefs and behaviors that enable the ascendant professional to continue the climb to the pinnacle position. But as that old wooden whirler illustrates, those who strive to rise through the various levels of organizational leadership must contend with the particular challenges of each successive level to attain the top spot ... More

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IPMA-USA is the American Society for the Advancement of Project Management. We are a not-for-profit organization, volunteers who are dedicated to improving Performance Competence in Project and Program Management. See our past newsletters at our website.

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