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domingo, 21 de abril de 2013

ISO 21500 - A revolution for the PM world??

A few weeks ago I attended a seminar in Madrid about the changes in PMBOK version 5 compared to the previous version 4, and during the seminar, it was mentioned the key role that the ISO 21500 is expected to have in the near future in the project management world. In order to get a deeper knowledge of what is the ISO 21500 about and which one are the changes that it could bring to the project management world, I have attended some other specifics seminars about this topic and here I collect some notes and my conclusion.

First of all, what is ISO 21500?

ISO 21500:2012 provides guidance for project management and can be used by any type of organization, including public, private or community organizations, and for any type of project, irrespective of complexity, size or duration.

Its main goal is to provide project management best practices in order to increase the efficiency and maximize the return of investments made by the companies, which means that the focus of this Standard are the companies, and not the project managers, a significant different to the PMBOK for example.

It is quite remarkable that although there are already some Standards for Risk Management (ISO 31000) and for Quality Management (ISO 10006), this is the first Standard covering all the Project Management areas.

As of now, this Standard cannot be used for certification purposes. In the near future (around June 2013) it will be available for the certification of individual projects and the certification of portfolios and programs, but it will not available for the certification of companies.

New opportunities that could arise due to the ISO 21500

These are some of the possible new opportunities that may come due to the introduction of the ISO 21500.

  • Higher recognition of the project management value for the organizations, as a way to maximize the return of investments made by the companies. This could bring as well a higher recognition of the value of the Project Managers as key elements for the success of the projects.

  • The companies could start a transformation into “project oriented" companies once acknowledged the benefits of the project management excellence. As well, this could mean more and better rewarded job opportunities for the project managers.

  • It could be possible that in order to be able to bid for a contract, the companies will have to be compliant with the ISO 21500 which it means that there will be a lot of new opportunities in the market for implementing ISO 21500 in the companies. 

  • This ISO would help to have an universal "language" that would be used in the relationships between customers and providers. This would allow to the companies to have less entry barriers into other markets in the world.

  • As the projects will be able to be certificated by this Standard, new job opportunities as ISO 21500 certifiers will be available.

As main conclusion, this new Standard could mean a revolution in the project management world and in the companies, establishing a change in the ways of working towards achieving the company goals, and a change in the relationships between the companies, meaning for the project managers a higher recognition and rewards, and the creation of thousands of new job opportunities.

Hopefully the ISO will be widely implemented and accepted and all these things will happen! Let´s see!!

viernes, 5 de abril de 2013

Metrics visibility to the project team members

Today going through the posts of the people/organizations I follow in Twitter I have found one from Harvard Business Review titled "Project Managers should share their stress". Inmediately it has caught my attention and I have clicked it for reading it.

The article is based on the assumption that the project managers use to hide the information to the rest of the team members, keeping all the metrics for them and the sponsors, creating this an additional stress to us, PMs, as we feel we are the only one responsibles for the results. The suggestion in the article is to have weekly meetings with all the members of the team in order to show them the percentage of work completed and detailed financial information of the project.

From my point of view, this should be a common practice in all the project oriented companies. It is one of the basic points if we want  the team members to feel that they are not only just resources in an spreadsheet or a timeplan, if not that they are key for the success of the project. Moreover, apart from these metrics, we should present to the team members the big picture and how the project you are managing fits in the strategy of the company. In this way, the people working on the project will be able to realize the importance of the tasks they are performing and increase their accountability.

Not only progress and financial status should be visible to them, I use to share as well information like customer perception and satisfaction, steering management action points, sponsors feedback on the status of the project, escalations received, and so on. Basically all the information that will help them to feel more accountable.

A tool very helpful for sharing information are the project sharepoints. From my experience, when a sharepoint is implemented for first time in a project, the only ones who accesses it and shares information is the project manager. It takes sometime till the project team members start to check it on a regular basis. And more time, for making them to upload and share information on it, but at the end is proven to be worthy the time invested in "selling" to them the tool, mostly if the project team members are distributed in different locations and countries and it boosts the communication between all of us.