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sábado, 26 de noviembre de 2011

Relationship between Project Risk Management & IT Project Success

Today I have filled out a survey conducted by Christopher D´Souza from the University of Phoenix titled "Examining the Relationship between Project Risk Management and IT Project Success"

Background of the study:

Every year, organizations worldwide make significant investments in IT.  Given that organizations engage in multiple corporate initiatives, diverse partnerships and alliances, complex business transactions, advancing technology environments; managing and delivering successful IT projects can be challenging.  Many IT projects continue to fail and do not meet schedule or budget requirements. Risks have been mainly associated with IT projects; therefore, managing risk in an attempt to neutralize or decrease the effect of risk has become essential to IT project success. The high rate of challenged IT projects warrants the need to explore the relationship between project risk management and IT project success.

While filling it out, it has made think about how do we manage risk in the company I work for, and the involvement of the senior management on it. In my company we believe we have an strong project management orientation, but after filling out the survey I have seen that we are not as strong as we think we are.

In all these years I have never received an specific risk management training, the sponsors of the projects hate the word "risk" as they know that the risk exposure will mean that extra budget is required for the projects, and the senior management is focused only on the final margin of the projects. Moreover, even if the risk analysis should be done by all the team members, at the end, the only one that feels accountable for it and the only one that is worried about identifying risks, is the project mamager.

I am very interested in getting the results of this survey in order to know if the risk management area is weak in most of the companies in the world, or only in the ones I have worked for...

jueves, 24 de noviembre de 2011

Collaboration sites for projects

This week I have read that it has been launched a new site for collaboration:

Collaboration sites are key in projects where the resources are distributed in different locations. Moreover, it gives a unique access point to all the project documentation, status, news and so on. But in my experience, when i check the statistics of the one we use in my company (Ericoll) is frustrating to see that nobody checks it!!!

Still we have the old culture of sending all reports and information by email and this is collapsing the mail servers and our mail inbox. In my case, it has overloaded even my hard drive. Since last week I have no space available in my hard drive and I have to be continously moving folders to an external one. But while i am doing it, i keep getting heavy ppt of the projects, i have to still keep sending all reports to everybody by email, and i get hundreds of emails requesting information that is available in the collaboration site!!

It is a bit frustrating that the effort of publishing all the information in the site is worthles but I keep doing it cause I hope that one day our mentality of using email for everything will change, and we will start using only the collaboration sites for exchanging the information of the projects.

martes, 15 de noviembre de 2011

Links between Six Sigma and PMBOK

In my previous post I gave some basic concepts about what is Six Sigma. In this one I will try to show the link between Six Sigma and PMBOK.

Six Sigma is a process improvement and design methodology and PMBOK is a process management methodology. This makes Six Sigma to be an integral part of PMBOK. In fact, if we check the PMBOK guide, we will find references to Six Sigma in the Project Quality Management Knowledge Area chapter. And the same happens the other way around. If we check the Six Sigma Black Belt Curriculum and Body of Knowledge in the DMAIC methodology (Design, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control), as part of the Design we have the following elements: "Project Management, Project Definition, Project Charter, Chartering a team, Defining Roles and Responsabilities,.."

As conclusion, both complement each other, and due to this, for the PMs it is good to have some knowledge about Six Sigma.

sábado, 12 de noviembre de 2011

Basic Six Sigma concepts

Nowadays, due to the worlwide economic crisis, many of the ongoing projects are related to processes optimization with the goal of reducing costs in the organizations as consequence of the increase in their internal efficiency. Due to this, for a PM, it is highly recommended to have knowledge on ETOM, ITIL, Six Sigma, BPM, just for mentioning some methodologies and frameworks.

In this post I will give some basic concepts about Six Sigma.

First, what is Six Sigma? Six Sigma is a methodology based on statistics which goal is to reduce process output variation. The variation can come due to two reasons:

 - Common cause
 - Special cause

A way to determine if a cause is common or special is using control charts. Once decided which causes are common and which ones are special, then we have to focus on the common ones and make fundamental process changes in order to avoid output variations.

Six Sigma as a measurement standard comes from the times of Gauss, but it started to be known as Six Sigma and spread its popularity once it was implemented by Motorola in the mid-80s, when they decided that the traditional quality levels (measuring defects in thousands of opportunities) didn´t provide enough granularity and instead they wanted to measure the defects per million opportunities.

Since then, many hundreds of companies have adopted Six Sigma as a way of doing business. In fact, Six Sigma is not just a quality system, it is a vision, a philosophy, a metric, a goal, a methodolody....

For getting some more basic insigts about Six Sigma, please check the webinar: "Lean Six Sigma concepts  every manager should be using" that is in the IIL International project management event that I mentioned in one of my first posts.

miércoles, 9 de noviembre de 2011

Going from Good to Great as project managers

Yesterday it took place a webinar in the Leadership in Project Management Community of Practice titled: "Going from Good to Great as project managers" presented by Connie Plowman.

The webinar was based on the content of the book "Good to Great" written by Jim Collins:

The message is that Good is Enemy of Great in the sense that outstanding organizations need the best people, not just those who are good enough.

These are the three pillars from moving to Great:

 - Disciplined people
 - Disciplined thought
 - Disciplined action

domingo, 6 de noviembre de 2011

In ONE word, describe a project manager

Checking the discussions in the PMI Career Central linkedin group, I have found one that  has catched my attention: "In ONE word, describe a project manager".

At this moment there are 148 answers. This is a number that can provide good statistics about what are the adjectives most used to describe a project manager by a project manager (I think most of the people answering the survey are PMs).

The words more used are....:

- Communicator
- Facilitator
- Leader

In my opinion all the words mentioned in the survey are correct, cause a project manager needs to have many skills in order to perform his job successfully. The ones most voted are for me as well the most important ones for a PM but as they are not the only ones needed, the word i have written in linkedin is:


jueves, 3 de noviembre de 2011

ITIL and the business: What the 2011 brings to the table

As mentioned in one of my previous posts, from today and for 3 months, under the scope of the international project management day, we will have in IIL all the presentations exposed today.

Today i have attended the one called: "ITIL and the business: What the 2011 brings to the table"

It starts with a brief explanation of what is ITIL and its evolution for putting the focus after it to the improvements included in the 2011 edition in relation to the allignment between IT and the Business based on the Business Relationship Management Process.

Today is the international project management day

Today is International Project Management Day!  Founded by Frank Saladis, the goal of  IPM Day is “Worldwide recognition of the many project managers and project teams in every industry including non profit organizations and health care who contribute their time, energy, creativity, innovation, and countless hours to deliver products, services, facilities, and provide emergency and disaster recovery services in every city and community around the world.”.

More information on IPM day can be found here:

miércoles, 2 de noviembre de 2011

PMI family of credentials

Today I have attended a PMI webinar called "PMI Family of credentials". The goal of the webinar was to provide a high overview of the different credentials provided by PMI that are:

 - CAPM - Certified Associate in Project Management
 - PMI-SP - PMI Scheduling Professional
 - PMI-RMP - PMI Risk Management Professional
 - PMP - Project Management Professional
 - PgMP - Program Management Professional

A summary of the requirements for each of them can be found in the following picture.