PM Network

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Stephanie Schmid, PMP, ADP, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA





Leaders for a New Age 28 The era of chaos has begun. Organizations need project leaders who are fast, informed and decisive. But who will answer the call?

30 Time to Transform

A volatile business environment demands a new breed of project leaders. By Kate Rockwood

36 No Time to Lose

How project professionals can raise their leadership game. By Kate Rockwood

40 Great Expectations

A CIO with more than 15 years of project and program management experience explains how project managers can kick it into high gear.

40 Out of the Abyss

Luiz Andre Dias, PMP, PgMP, tells how leaders sharpen the skills they need over time and through experience—including failures.


Don’t Look Down 48 Skyscraper project teams sidestep risks to reach dizzying new heights. By Sarah Fister Gale

Home Control 56 Rapid sprints and careful collaboration keep smart home projects on pace. By Matt Alderton

Chernobyl Recovered 62 The reactor that caused the world’s worst nuclear disaster had to be enclosed. But project teams had to stay safe and on the same page. By Novid Parsi






It’s Alive A very green building in China takes a new approach to fighting air pollution.


The Kingdom and the PMO Saudi Arabia stands up a new national project management office.


Buried Treasure Digging for diamonds is tougher than ever.


Wanted: Tons of Talent The demand for project professionals will surge in the coming decade.


Off-Color Approach In Brazil, it’s time to paint the town to cover unwanted street art .

10 Renovation du Jour Restaurant makeovers come with a side order of risk.




11 Time Out Why U.K. workers are taking a break. 12 Get Ready for Autopilot Widespread automation is just around the corner. 14 The Real Thing High-tech projects aim to ensure art forgeries can’t blend in. 16 Metrics Recruiting for Equality

VOICES 18 Inside Track: Firm and Flexible Carlos Brenes Mena, PMP, partner and project management regional director, GCI Ingeniería, San José, Costa Rica

JUNE 2017 PAGE 2



20 Project Toolkit Celebrate Good Times 22 Career Q&A The Next Level By Lindsay Scott 24 Deliver IT Outsourcing and Agile? No Problem By Priya Patra, PMP 25 Strategy Session Change of Course By Andrew Robinson, PMP GETTING IT DONE: Project Management in Action 26 Heal Thyself By Genesh Chariyil, PMI-RMP, PMP


ETC. 68 PMI Store A guide to program management 72 Closing Thoughts Paul Ajayi, PMI-RMP, PMP

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There are green building projects, and then there’s China’s Nanjing Vertical Forest. The project aims to improve air quality by covering the facades of a pair of towers with thousands of plants, shrubs and trees. All that greenery is expected to absorb 25 tons of carbon dioxide a year and generate about 60 kilograms (132 pounds) of oxygen per day. Project challenges include picking the right plants for the climate. But the team can learn from other vertical forests designed by architect Stefano Boeri. A project team in Milan,

Italy, for instance, had to select species of trees able to withstand the wind when planted in high-level balconies. They also had to choose soil that wouldn’t weigh down a balcony while still providing stability for a tree. The Nanjing project will deliver more than just environmental benefits. Standing 200 meters (656 feet) high, the taller tower will contain office space, a museum, an architecture school and a private club on the rooftop. The other tower, 108 meters (354 feet) high, will be a hotel.




Rough diamonds at De Beers.

The Kingdom and the PMO Saudi Arabia is tightening its belt. With oil revenues down, the government is looking to reduce a budget deficit by potentially canceling infrastructure and economic development projects valued at more than US$20 billion. Cancellations aren’t the only option on the table to save money, though. The kingdom is also stepping up its project management game by setting up a new National Project Management Organization (NPMO). Also known as “Mashroat,” the NPMO will help Saudi government bodies create their own project management offices to reduce inefficiencies and better manage large-scale complex projects—including many tied to the country’s Vision 2030 plan aiming to diversify the economy away from the oil industry. In 2015, to prevent wasteful spending, the government halted all major new contract awards until the new national PMO was in place. Even projects that had been approved, such as new metro projects in Mecca and Jeddah, could not advance to the contracting phase. The U.S.-based engineering, procurement and construction firm Bechtel is now setting up the NPMO, which it will then operate. “Bechtel will mobilize experts from across the company to develop world-class systems and processes for the NPMO and to share these new tools across all Saudi government ministries and entities,” Bechtel program director Georges Chahine said in a press release. With per-barrel crude oil prices still well below the peak of 10 years ago, the pressure is on to find efficiencies. “[T]he government has to rationalize spending because of the drop in oil revenues,” John Sfakianakis, director of economic research at the Gulf Research Center, told Bloomberg. —Jessica Boden The Riyadh Financial District under construction in 2015



“You could have a 30 percent chance of success and it could still be worth doing.”

Buried Treasure It turns out diamonds might not be forever. The global supply of rough (unpolished) diamonds is forecast to drop in value terms by 1 to 2 percent annually through 2030, according to Bain & Co., as demand for the prized gems grows by 2 to 5 percent each year. With easy pickings gone and aging mines closing, mining companies must spend more on projects to locate and tap deposits—and be willing to walk away when risks outweigh rewards. For example, after spending US$120 million over six years, global mining giant Rio Tinto last year abandoned a US$330 million project in India in light of environmental concerns, including the potential impact on tiger habitats. Mining organizations are looking for ways to speed up ROI as they target new diamond fields. For its portfolio of exploration projects in Canada, South Africa and Botswana, De Beers teams are leveraging new technologies—including superconducting quantum interference devices (SQUID) that can indicate the presence of dia-

After spending

US$120 million over six years,

global mining giant Rio Tinto last year abandoned a US$330 million project in India in light of environmental concerns.

—Danie Pretorius, Master Drilling, Fochville, South Africa

mond deposits 1,000 feet (305 meters) below the earth’s surface. The organization plans to also implement artificial intelligence software and complex algorithms to quickly review masses of data and mineral sampling results. The SQUID technology can deliver big benefits, Beth Taylor, senior technical assistant to the head of De Beers Group Exploration, told Mining Magazine in April. “The technology will … make the search for diamonds much less expensive as we can use the survey results to focus on the most promising areas, reducing the need for drilling.” At De Beers and other mining organizations, projects to develop new technologies often involve external collaborations. Petra Diamonds has been working with Master Drilling since 2014 on a pilot project in Cullinan, South Africa to develop and test horizontal raise-boring technology. The organizations say the technique allows drills to advance through ore-bearing rock at about 4 meters (13 feet) a day, twice the pace of conventional drill and

blasting methods. The technology requires fewer miners than traditional approaches, and drilling can proceed around the clock. Executing the pilot project at Petra’s Cullinan mine required some improvisation and agility. Months into the test, the drill bit became stuck in rocks, forcing the team to drill a second tunnel to retrieve the drilling rods. The project finally wrapped up in February, and Petra is now in negotiations with Master Drilling to use the technology at the Cullinan mine beyond the pilot area. All innovation projects by definition involve balancing risk and reward, says Master Drilling CEO Danie Pretorius, Fochville, South Africa. But the risk-reward split doesn’t need to be 50-50 for a project to be worthwhile. “You could have a 30 percent chance of success and it could still be worth doing,” Mr. Pretorius says. “We consider ourselves a technology company, and that requires innovation.” —Sara Bongiorni

Approximate number of software engineers the Japanese prefecture of Mie will hire this year from Bengaluru, India to help execute IT projects—and solve Japan’s tech talent shortage. Source: Business Standard



theEdge Wanted: Tons of Talent The global demand for project talent will surge in the coming decade. Any potential talent gap will be a liability for organizations looking to implement strategic initiatives.


22 million

The approximate number of new project management jobs to be created between 2017 and 2027


The projected growth rate of the project management-oriented labor force in project-oriented industries through 2027


Growth rate of project management job openings in the U.S. projected through 2027—compared to 6.5% for all occupations

HOT SPOTS The greatest job growth in project management through 2027 is expected in a handful of sectors across the 11 countries analyzed. Projected new positions: More than 9.7 million




Manufacturing and construction

Nearly 5.5 million Information services and publishing

More than 4.6 million Finance and insurance


More than 1.7 million Management and professional services

China’s and India’s share of project-oriented employment by 2027


US$5.6 trillion

The contributions to GDP from project management-oriented industries* between 2017 and 2027 *Industries that rely heavily on project management in the 11 countries surveyed

Almost US$208 billion

Amount at risk if organizations don’t fill the project management talent gap

Off-Color Approach As part of a municipal initiative in São Paulo, Brazil called Cidade Linda (Beautiful City), a project team painted over street art early this year. Stakeholder opposition arose right away: Residents who said the art made the city special have protested one of the project’s sponsors, Mayor João Doria, online and in street demonstrations. In response, Mr. Doria has promised to create an open-air street art museum to showcase local artists’ work.

Source: Project Management Job Growth and Talent Gap 2017–2027, PMI, 2017. All figures drawn from analysis of 11 countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, India, Japan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States.






Time Out

Renovation du Jour Menus aren’t the only things changing at restau-

Taco Bell unveiled four new store models, with plans for

2,000 redesigned

locations in the next five years.

rants around the world. In the hypercompetitive dining industry, even the most celebrated restaurants feel pressure to constantly reinvent their spaces to ensure their reputations don’t go stale. The French Laundry in Yountville, California, USA, which once ranked as the world’s best restaurant, completed a US$10 million, four-year renovation in March. The project demolished six buildings and placed large windows between the dining area and an expanded kitchen so guests can watch chefs in action. The upgraded space now includes a 16,000-bottle-capacity wine cellar, a 2,120-squarefoot (197-square-meter) annex and 9,000 square feet (836 square meters) of landscape design. The upgrade wasn’t prompted by a sense of competition, but rather the restaurant’s commitment to staying at the cutting edge, general manager Michael Minnillo told the San Francisco Chronicle in February. “We’re constantly changing everything

U.K. project professionals are stepping away from the workforce for a variety of reasons.

every day. I tell the team all the time, we’re trailblazers. We have to do it for the profession.” The competition is just as fierce among global fast-food chains. For instance, Taco Bell unveiled four new store models in Southern California, USA in 2016, with plans for 2,000 redesigned locations in the next five years.

A majority of U.K. project professionals who have taken a career break say it didn’t hurt their work prospects in the long run.

Risk Reduction Recipe

25% of women have taken a career break

Was it worth it?

32% Earned a break 29% Travel 21% Education/self-development

Percentage who felt their career break had a long-term...

15% Child care 12% Family sickness How long?

51% 6 months or less 31% 7 to 12 months 14% 1 to 2 years 4% 2 to 5 years


positive impact


negative impact

Source: Project Management Benchmark Report, Arras People, 2017

“We’re constantly changing everything every day. We have to do it for the profession.” —Michael Minnillo, French Laundry, Yountville, California, USA


of men have taken a career break

Top five reasons for time off:

But risks abound for restaurant revamp projects. Poor ROI calculations can be devastating: It can take years for restaurants to earn back big upfront costs—at which point it might be time to revamp all over again. Plus, with margins already tight, every day closed equals lost revenue. So project leaders must align any closures to the amount of financial reserves owners have on hand to weather losses during a renovation. Some restaurants mitigate lost revenues by keeping the kitchen open for carryout or delivery

The dining room at Eleven Madison Park in New York, New York, USA



orders during the project. The owners of Eleven Madison Park in New York, New York, USA have a different mitigation strategy for a three-month renovation that started this month. They timed the project so the restaurant would be closed while many customers are out of town—and they opened a pop-up restaurant in East Hampton (in eastern Long Island, New York), where many of those people will be vacationing. While keeping customers happy and aware of changes during a renovation is important, restaurants should not neglect another major stakeholder on these projects: landlords. Many restaurants rent their spaces, so project managers

must inform the property owner of any renovation plan, says Rui Barbosa, founder and managing director, KPM Project Management, Macau. When Mr. Barbosa’s firm managed a US$125,000 restaurant renovation in a casino resort last year, the project was delayed for several months until the landlord’s team finished one of its own inhouse projects and was able to approve KPM’s restaurant design. The project was completed in May 2017. Because landlords need to sign off on changes, “all the planning involving the contractors needs to start much earlier than usual,” Mr. Barbosa says. —Ambreen Ali



theEdge Get Ready for Autopilot

Robots don’t rule the world just yet. But organizations will soon be launching a stream of projects to automate a wide array of activities.



Occupations susceptible to full automation today



Occupations susceptible to at least partial automation

These three realms have the highest potential to be automated (percentages represent how much time is spent on activities that can be automated):

81% Predictable physical activities

69% Data processing

64% Data collecting

Jobs associated with those activities represent 51% of all activities in the U.S. economy—or nearly US$2.7 trillion in wages.






The benefits of automation will be

3 times implementation costs.

32% of gains will come from improved performance.

68% of the gains will come from labor substitution.

60-80% Estimated savings from space productivity—due to the ability to maintain smaller inventories and stores

65% reduction in staffing hours for grocery stores in particular


5 sectors with highest automation potential in the U.S.:

Accommodation and food service

Retail organizations in particular could see benefits from automation projects.


Transportation and warehousing

Amazon’s automated grocery store pilot project, slated for completion in 2017, illustrates the potential power of automation. How it works: The store scans shoppers’ smartphones at the entrance. Sensors note which products shoppers choose. All items are automatically paid for through an Amazon account when a shopper leaves the store.

Challenge: The project team delayed the store’s opening after having trouble tracking sales if more than 20 people were shopping.

53% Retail

Sources: A Future That Works: Automation, Employment and Productivity, McKinsey, 2017; Amazon; Wall Street Journal





theEdge Workers hang a Paul Gauguin work at Sotheby’s. Below, Unknown Man, once thought to be by Dutch artist Frans Hals, has been declared a forgery.

The Real Thing A high-stakes game of cat-and-mouse has the art

The art market was worth

US$45 billion in 2016. Source: TEFAF Art Market Report 2017


world scrambling. Last October, Sotheby’s realized a painting it had sold years earlier for £8.4 million was a fake. It wasn’t the first prestigious organization to fall victim to fraud: Knoedler and Co., once one of the oldest art dealers in the U.S., closed its doors in 2011 after selling more than 30 forged works for over US$60 million. Some experts believe that between 30 percent and 50 percent of the art market is fake—exact estimates are difficult, says Colette Loll, founder and director of Art Fraud Insights LLC, Washington, D.C., USA. One thing that is for sure: Major money is at stake. The art market was worth US$45 billion in 2016, according to the global TEFAF Art Market Report 2017. The fraud epidemic will likely worsen as more art sales move online. The anonymity of the internet coupled with a lack of regulation could create


a crucible for illegal activity, Ms. Loll says. “It’s the perfect storm for fraud.” The only path forward, then, is countering the counterfeiters.

Painted Into a Corner Ms. Loll’s company, Art Fraud Insights, which works with everyone from artists and estates to dealers and collectors, exposes fraud through forensic analyses and online sleuthing. In April, a team completed a project to develop software

that can identify fraudulent artwork online. Art Fraud Insights is now using the platform, Art and Artistic Legacy Protection, on behalf of artists and estates to infiltrate and monitor private online groups and auctions where fake art is being sold and to gather intelligence on key players dealing fake art, she says. (While a fake is commonly used to refer to an exact duplicate of an existing work, a forgery replicates a famous painter’s style without copying a specific work of art.) One of the project’s biggest challenges revolved around creating a data delivery process that clients, who are often pressed for time and sometimes have limited technical skills, could understand, says Nikhil Grover, director of operations, Strategic IP Information, New Delhi, India. The company developed the software for Art Fraud Insights. “The user interface and process needed to be seamless and easy enough for them to use and give us feedback. Otherwise it would overwhelm them rather than provide actionable insights,” Mr. Grover says. “So we worked closely with some prominent artists in the beta phase to build their feedback into the system.” Deloitte Luxembourg is also leveraging technology to help prevent fraud. It completed a blockchain proof of concept project last year that tracks a piece of artwork’s journey through time. The blockchain’s distributed ledger proves the art’s full transaction history in a secure environment accessible to every owner.

Certifiable MyTemplArt, an organization based in Verona, Italy, is taking a different approach to artwork

authentication: It’s building a QR code-based system that can back up owners’ claims of authenticity. Once a piece of art has been verified by a separate organization (e.g., a museum or artist’s estate), MyTemplArt creates a digital certificate of authenticity with a QR code and registers that code in a secure database, along with information identifying the piece’s owner. A person wanting to prove ownership and authenticity can scan the QR code with the MyTemplArt app to generate a confirmation message from the database, verifying registration. The project to develop this system started when Gianni Pasquetto, an art collector, discovered that several pieces in his portfolio were fake. The general manager of an enterprise resource planning software company, he immediately started imagining a database solution to the art world’s fraud problem. In 2013, Mr. Pasquetto founded MyTemplArt and launched the project to develop the database that could store and secure key documents and data that prove ownership history. After five prototypes, the company completed the first version of the software in 2015; QR code functionality rolled out in May 2016. The biggest obstacle the project team faced was communicating art-specific characteristics to the software company brought in to build the system, says Carel Colijn, commercial and technical director, MyTemplArt, Lausanne, Switzerland. For instance, developers naturally thought in terms of bandwidth when determining how images should be used. They preferred to work with thumbnails (small images) that load quickly for users. But when the goal is proving the authenticity of art, high-resolution photos allowing users to see details are a must-have—even if building that functionality means the project falls behind schedule. “The software company did not set that requirement, and they built the wrong competency in the software for it,” Mr. Colijn says. “It’s the classic conflict you have between those writing the technical specification and those doing the programming. You have to make them talk to each other to get the results that you want in an efficient way.” —Tegan Jones

The anonymity of the internet coupled with a lack of regulation could create “the perfect storm for fraud.” —Colette Loll, Art Fraud Insights LLC, Washington, D.C., USA



METRICS Recruiting for Equality


Gender parity remains elusive. But organizations around the globe are working to close the professional divide. By Tegan Jones

About half of all employers:


1 in 5 women have personally experienced gender

The five countries closest to achieving gender equality are*:

discrimination when applying or interviewing for a job.



85 80


58% of all employers and









*100 percent would equal full gender equality. The World Economic Forum (WEF)’s Global Gender Gap Index considers four main categories: economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment.

Projected number of years until gender gap is closed:



of organizations increased levels of female applicants.

have aligned their diversity strategy to their recruitment strategy.


increased levels of external female leadership appointments.


identification platforms that let recruiters search for, identify and communicate with diverse talent


are exploring the introduction of a formal program

4% don’t know

Middle East and North Africa: 129



increased levels of female experienced hires.

The top tech solutions organizations use to attract more female and minority job applicants:




increased levels of female graduate hires.


of organizations have a formal program

Latin America: 72 Sub-Saharan Africa: 79

*The WEF’s Global Gender Gap Report covers 107 countries.

Review role descriptions to ensure use of inclusive language

Formal career returner programs offer women who have been out of the workforce for years a temporary role that could lead to a permanent job.




1. Diverse talent

South Asia: 46

North America: 158

Train recruitment professionals to focus more on inclusive recruitment efforts

*Large organizations have more than 10,000 employees.


East Asia and the Pacific: 146


who have adopted diversity practices have seen a positive impact on recruitment efforts. Of those:


Entire world*

Ensure diversity in the interviewers

71% of employers

78% of large* organizations are actively trying to recruit more women.

80% of organizations



Eastern Europe and Central Asia: 149

don’t have a formal program

2. Software to assess if job postings use biased language and/or to create job postings with neutral language 3. Audition platforms

that allow organizations to select candidates based solely on their performance when presented with challenges

Source: Winning the Fight for Female Talent, PwC, March 2017; Global Gender Gap Report, World Economic Forum, 2016




The challenge for me is to have a standardized framework based on good project management practices, while at the same time being flexible enough to adapt.


cuss our project data. We have indicators to demonstrate whether our projects are complying with scope, budget, schedule and our clients’ requirements. If I see we’ll have idle resources, I let my partners know so we can focus more aggressively on getting more projects. Or if I foresee workload peaks, we adjust the schedules, subcontract work or acquire more in-house resources. So we’re leveraging data to make decisions and adapt.


Firm and Flexible Carlos Brenes Mena, PMP, partner and project management regional director, GCI Ingeniería, San José, Costa Rica



ven if they share a language, stakeholders from different countries tend to bring distinct habits to the same project. Standardizing delivery practices—while customizing communications—can help to bridge such differences. Carlos Brenes Mena has established those practices at GCI Ingeniería, which provides engineering and project management services for construction projects, primarily in Central America and the Caribbean. He oversees 10 project managers and a portfolio of projects with budgets totaling about US$150 million at the company, which he co-founded 12 years ago. He has a master’s degree in project management from the University for International Cooperation in San José,


Costa Rica, where he has taught project management for over a decade. What does your role involve? I play two roles, actually: I oversee our project managers, and I monitor the portfolio. Across all our business units—for example, civil engineering, structural engineering and 3-D modeling—I track our portfolio’s projects and monitor the workload. Our online system lets me see how our resource hours are being distributed across projects and whether they’re within our acceptable thresholds. You’re also part of the executive team. How does your project oversight inform C-suite decisions? The executive team meets every two weeks to dis-

What project management processes have you established, and how have they evolved since you co-founded the organization? A few years after launching the company, we implemented a quality management system, which is based on the International Organization for Standardization’s 9001 standard. We have written procedures and instructions and, most importantly, document everything we do. Built into the quality management system are PMI good practices related to each part of the project life cycle, as well as industry-specific best practices, like certain approaches to cost estimating and scheduling. We’re now in the process of ramping up our building information modeling (BIM) practices, which we’ve found improves our project management capabilities. We’re implementing 4-D and 5-D BIM to link designs with project schedules and costs, respectively. When a project involves stakeholders from different countries, how does that complicate execution? Here’s an example. Last year, a developer from Ecuador hired us to design a US$20 million, 15-story condominium building here in Costa Rica. The first thing we did was create matrices identifying the developer’s most important stakeholders and listing them by their level of power and level of interest in the project. Because their expectations for the project were based on experiences in Ecuador, we had

to carefully manage those expectations. The costs, construction methods, design standards and even construction drawings are all different in Costa Rica. How did cultural differences affect the stakeholder management? We often had to address cultural and language differences to make sure we understood each other. Yes, Costa Rica and Ecuador are both in Latin America, but we each have our own cultures and ways of doing things. You’d think engineers who speak Spanish would understand each other, but sometimes we didn’t. The technical names for many things differ. For example, the word we use for “plaster” in Costa Rica is completely different from the word they use in Ecuador. These kinds of differences informed our communications plan. After every conversation we had with the client, even video calls, we documented it and then emailed the document to the client. This ensured our understanding—for instance, of orders or requests—aligned with theirs. What are the primary challenges you encounter? In our industry, the environment is very volatile. An election year might affect the economy, so organizations like ours might have to compete for fewer projects. As the market gets more competitive, we have to respond quickly to our clients and manage their changes without changing our fees. So the challenge for me is to have a standardized framework based on good project management practices, while at the same time being flexible enough to adapt. How do you strike that balance? Very carefully. There’s no recipe—it’s done on a case-by-case basis. The most important thing is being aware of this challenge and recognizing its critical importance for the business. And you have to have the interpersonal skills to manage both external client expectations and internal resources. PM

Small Talk What one skill should every project manager have? Interpersonal skills. Projects are done by people, so you must be able to communicate, lead and manage conflict. What’s the best professional advice you’ve received? The president of the first company I worked for once told me, “Be confident and be concise.” What’s your favorite leisure activity? Martial arts. I’m a black belt in karate. It’s good exercise, and it’s good for stress. You learn to defend yourself, but you also learn to be a better person—to become more disciplined and to trust your abilities.





Celebrate Good Times We asked the project management community: How do you celebrate project success? NONSTOP RECOGNITION


At my organization, we celebrate project successes in many different ways throughout the implementation life cycle. We recognize successful projects often involve incremental accomplishments through collaborative effort. So it’s important to reward success as it occurs and promote ongoing camaraderie. For instance, during design and test sessions, holding dinners for our implementation and client teams builds rapport. At the conclusion of a successful project, rewards and recognitions such as gift cards, promotional gifts and inclusion in our newsletter are leveraged to acknowledge our team members. Celebrating success leads to associate satisfaction and builds team confidence.”

Celebrating project success ensures all team members know their work is valued and that we’ve touched our customers’ lives. The first way I celebrate is to thank all team members for the effort they put into the project. But that’s just a start. Sometimes we get together to eat a cake or have a barbecue and some beers— especially if project delivery was a bit stressful. And taking a project team selfie has become an enjoyable must-have.”

—Yolonda Swain, PMP, implementation engagement leader, ADP, Atlanta, Georgia, USA



—Jesus Vazquez, PMP, retail systems manager, GNC Mexico, Monterrey, Mexico


Our team shares drinks after a successful sprint demo. But we also celebrate with a meal the following week where we

can run ‘lunch and learn’ sessions. We found that engagement was at its peak during sprint demos, as the team enjoyed showing the business what they had learned, achieved and improved on the product. By extending this to lunch and learn sessions, software engineers especially can share what they’ve learned with other development teams in the business. This allows them to present on a more technical level and gather helpful technical feedback. We found that these celebratory gatherings really motivate the team to proudly show off their achievements while gaining valuable insight for the next sprint. And we’re all rewarded with a little bit of fun.”

For instance, during a very difficult and complex three-phase project last year, I decided to take the team paragliding to celebrate the completion of the first phase. I wanted to show them they could do something that might scare them—if we gather our courage. Eventually, we all flew independently. The next six months of the project were tough, but the confidence and positive attitude we built from paragliding helped us deliver the project successfully—in time and on budget with better quality than expected.”

—Christie Plumb, software project manager, Ticketmaster, London, England



Celebration is pivotal for acknowledging the team efforts and commitment that contributed to the project—even if it wasn’t a complete success—because it contributes to maturity. The most fruitful celebration strategy I have experienced is an informal half-day outdoor team activity followed by lunch or dinner. The activity focuses on areas that I think can be improved to ensure better project outcomes in the future.

—Muhammad Altaf, PMP, senior manager, insights and data, Capgemini, Melbourne, Australia

When our team reaches a major milestone, I bake a cake and then draw little pictures with colored icing specific to the milestone. My art skills are primary-school level at best, so the team looks forward to seeing what I come up with. We’ll usually eat the cake during lunch or ahead of a happy hour gathering. It helps us celebrate the progress and align on what’s next. We lay out clear goals on what needs to be done before I bake the next delicious cake.” —Jason Orloske, PMP, project manager, Aldevron, Fargo, North Dakota, USA

Rewarding Experience How do you celebrate project milestones to build team unity? Share your best advice on the PMI Project, Program and Portfolio Management LinkedIn Group.

Better Together Workplace engagement improves production. But an overwhelming majority of the world’s employees see a need to build more team unity.

147% Rate by which companies with highly engaged workforces outperform their peers (in earnings per share). 48% of U.S. employees say management’s recognition of job performance is very important to job satisfaction.

Bonding Breakdown How employees rate their workplace engagement level: Actively disengaged


14% 22% 25%

Moderately engaged

40% Highly engaged

Sources: Gallup; Society for Human Resource Management; 2016 Trends in Global Employee Engagement, Aon Hewitt





The Next Level

network first—after all, the people in those networks know what you can deliver. And given that the role you’re seeking enters the realm of business development, and even lead generation, you need to carefully craft an elevator pitch for hooking your first piece of coaching business.

Sometimes the next career step isn’t so obvious. Also: how to become an agile coach. By Lindsay Scott

For project managers, an obvious area is to deepen understanding of the bigger picture—the organizational and industry context in which your projects reside.



fter over 20 years managing people and projects in operational roles, I’m pursuing Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification. What position should I target? I have enough experience to be above “project coordinator” and “project manager I” levels, but am not sure where that puts me. Your experience to date will be seen by hirers as informal project management. And your current lack of PMP® certification also will put you at a disadvantage in the competition for project manager roles demanding years of experience. But not all is lost. The first thing you need to do is gain formal project management experience (as well as the PMP certification). If that means taking a project manager I level role first, do that, even if you feel overqualified. Get your foot in the door and start doing a great job. Also, be sure to build on your current experience. You might not want to pursue a project manager role in a similar environment to the one you’re working in now, but your experience in the industry most likely will be the thing that opens the door to a new opportunity. Hirers are looking for formal project management and specific industry experience—without the former, I recommend leveraging your industry experience. Finally, keep in mind that some opportunities aren’t what they seem at first glance. A job posting might have a title like “project coordinator,” but the organization really might be seeking a project manager, or vice versa. Sometimes you have to just dive in—don’t let anything hold you back. The best thing you can do is get out there, interview wherever you can and seek opportunities to learn which roles are suited to you as you advance toward becoming PMP-certified.


I have experience with scrum, Kanban and XP and am looking to become an agile coach. My goal is to coach project managers, CEOs and others on things like putting agile principles into practice with clients. How should I begin this journey? A first step to consider would be obtaining an agile coaching-oriented certification from an organization like the Agile Coaching Institute. But given the current debate over whether agile coaches

should gain certification in general coaching practices (rather than just agile coaching) to add credibility and stand out from the competition, you might want to consider that kind of formal training as well. In terms of skills, working in the coaching role you describe involves four major areas—teaching, mentoring, facilitation and professional coaching. To be taken seriously, you should be able to demonstrate that you’ve done some coaching before and have experienced various agile approaches in a diversity of organizations—because you may want your coaching business to be active in various industries. Also, being an agile coach in a “topdown” role at the enterprise level requires more than just a technical understanding of agile—it requires expertise around organization design, change management and cultural change. Once you have more training under your belt, the next step is to find that all-important first opportunity. It can be difficult when pursuing a new role, so you should be looking to your own

I’m a project manager thinking about my development for the coming year. How should I tackle the “strategic and business management” side of the PMI Talent Triangle®? Strategic and business management skills are all about you helping the business succeed—so think about any kind of development that will help you achieve that. For project managers, an obvious area is to deepen understanding of the bigger picture— the organizational and industry context in which your projects reside. Try reading some of the many reports PMI has published that highlight the links between an organization’s strategic objectives and programs and projects. Strategy management and execution, and portfolio management, for example, are areas worth exploring. You also can choose to focus on areas closely related to your day job of managing projects—look at benefits management, change management and business analysis. PMI also recommends areas such as competitive analysis, market awareness, trend analysis, and business models and structures. All of these subjects can bring a different perspective or set of tools to help you deliver projects more strategically. Then there are knowledge areas that you might not think of as strategic and business management skills—things like design thinking, data analytics and psychology. Also, many project professionals consider earning an MBA because of the degree’s strategic and business management focus. If you want your career to involve managing increasingly complex projects—or program or portfolio management—you can’t afford to overlook bigger-picture knowledge and skills. PM

CONSIDER YOUR CAREER Don’t travel down your career path alone. Find advice and direction here. Send job questions to pmnetwork@

Lindsay Scott is the director of program and project management recruitment at Arras People in London, England.






ing involved end users—payment collectors and data entry operators, for example.


Outsourcing and Agile? No Problem

Close collaboration and communication can overcome the challenges of distributed teams. By Priya Patra, PMP

I Agile approaches can help team members collaborate to deliver value in regular increments.


am an agile evangelist. I believe that by focusing on individuals over processes, agile approaches help to deliver more value to the customer. But some insist agile is a bad fit in an outsourcing environment, where multiple teams from different organizations work together—often in different time zones. According to VersionOne’s 11th Annual State of Agile Report, released this year, 51 percent of respondents who outsource software development projects use agile practices for them. For the others, agile can also work well in outsourced projects—I’ve seen it up close. Here’s how.

THE PLAYERS I was tasked with managing a 25-member team, spread across North America, Europe and Asia, working on an offshored project to build an account receivables platform. Three organizations were involved: the large multinational company that outsourced the project; the service provider handling design, code construction, testing and deployment; and the quality assurance (QA) contractor hired by the provider. And of course, test-


Partnerships can be built online, but traveling to the customer’s location strengthens the customerprovider relationship. As the development service provider, we traveled to the customer’s location to learn about the client’s business philosophy, company culture and goals. That helped us to view the project as more than just a task. The same held true for the QA service provider: We placed one test analyst on-site with the customer for two weeks to see the platform in use and understand the end user’s pain areas. But most of the time the team was spread across continents. Given that face-to-face communication is one of agile’s core values, we obliged stakeholders to be available for collaboration at least 30 minutes per day (we used scrum), via phone and videoconference calls and instant messaging. A product owner representative was embedded within the development and QA teams to facilitate delivery, and we conducted sprint retrospectives on videoconferences to keep everyone on the same page. The entire team evolved from a “throw over the wall” mentality to a constant monitoring and guidance approach. Trust and transparency were essential. To ensure there was continuous, parallel and independent verification, we completed on-site visits to the service provider’s location.

THE PAYOFF After two months and four sprints, we launched our first minimum viable product 10 percent under budget; end users were satisfied. One year later, the team is implementing the platform in four of the customer’s lines of business. With outsourced (and especially offshored) projects, the biggest challenge is getting all parties focused on a single goal. Agile approaches can help team members collaborate to deliver value in regular increments. But everyone must commit to the approach from day one. PM

Priya Patra, PMP, is a regular contributor to and a program manager in the IT sector who lives in Mumbai, India.


Change of Course

Project managers must prove their strategic value to ease C-suite concerns. By Andrew Robinson, PMP


fellow executive recently told me he was renaming his project managers “delivery managers.” The reason was not positive: He believes the change is needed to remind these employees of their purpose. I knew what he meant. I’m no alarmist, but I think a course correction is needed to reinvigorate project managers’ sense of purpose—which is to accomplish great tasks through systemic thinking and processes, rather than just provide reports and statistics on performance. Here are two things I’ve heard lately from people working in commercial industries and in the U.S. government contract market: n Some project management certifications may no longer necessarily signify a capable project manager. n The profession needs to decide if a project manager is responsible for delivering a project (and executing the strategy behind that project) or reporting on the delivery of a project.

WHAT’S NEEDED So how can the project management profession evolve? A starting point would be to view certifications as just a starting point. At my organization, which lives and dies by its project delivery capabilities, I look for the following: Tenacious critical thinkers. They never lose sight of the problem that needs to be solved—and ensure that requirements lead to the correct solution. Scope masters. Project managers must be able to see the big picture, be comfortable altering a scope to maximize chances of success and be willing to own the promised scope. Delivery leaders. Project managers who can drive a team to a solution rather than just manage a schedule.

These qualities require: A flexible outlook. Software implementations, for example, often necessitate hybrid frameworks consisting of various delivery methodologies. Project managers should be prepared to adjust accordingly. Superb communication. Project managers should communicate issues to business sponsors and know how to execute change management plans. Aggressive risk management. The ability to recognize and then lead the mitigation of project risks is a must-have. Executives need to be able to point to a person or office that can and will get the job done. Project managers and project management offices must define their roles and responsibilities clearly so no one is left guessing. Their goal should be to leave no opportunity for a colleague to doubt that project management capabilities are the way to translate strategy into performance. PM

The ability to recognize and then lead the mitigation of project risks is a must-have.

Andrew Robinson, PMP, is president of RG in Alexandria, Virginia, USA. He has worked in management consulting for over 25 years and can be reached at



Getting It Done


Heal Thyself

When stress builds, ask yourself: Is it caused by something you can control? By Genesh Chariyil, PMI-RMP, PMP

Share Your Thoughts No one knows project management better than you, the practitioners “Getting It Done.” So every month, PM Network shares your expertise on everything from sustainability to talent management, and all project topics in between. If you’re interested in contributing, email pmnetwork@



s project managers, our job often is to absorb the worries of others: our teams, customers, sponsors and other stakeholders. But what about our own stress? When intense demands stack up, a project manager’s own coping abilities should be managed like other risks. I have found two ways of dealing with stress, depending on the situation. One is to adopt minddiverting techniques. The other is to acknowledge the pressures up front, then take proactive measures to deal with them.

DISTRACTION THERAPY Having a dedicated distraction once helped me cope with a stressful delay on a high-profile project, when new technology being implemented at a plant failed to work properly and the sponsor pressured me for a quick resolution. There was little I could do to move the project toward completion beyond pushing subject matter experts to fix the issue. The stress followed me home. My family began to notice a change in my behavior. I got upset easily and slept poorly. Eventually, I under-


stood that worrying about the project at home was not productive. So I built a garage to divert my mind. I taught myself how to do all the electrical, siding, insulation and drywall. Soon after, my appetite, sleep and peace of mind improved greatly. Having a major task away from my job meant I had no time to fret about work issues that I couldn’t control. I noticed improvements at work, too. I achieved more clarity, which helped me to easily face the project challenges. Of course, you don’t have to tackle a large project like I did. A new hobby or social activity can provide a healthy distraction, too. What’s important is that you escape a loop of negative thinking or self-recrimination.


When intense demands stack up, a project manager’s own coping abilities should be managed like other risks.

Getting ahead of work-related stress is another valuable coping mechanism. Later in my career, I managed a project that had to occur during a brief plant shutdown. Just weeks before the shutdown, the sponsor decided to expand the scope of the project. This time, I knew a big challenge lay ahead, so I was able to take steps to mitigate stress. I immediately shared concerns with my stakeholders. I sought and received permission to make independent decisions on contractor, procurement and internal resource selections. I arranged for critical resources and experts to be on-site during execution to ensure we stayed on schedule. I also communicated with stakeholders daily rather than weekly. As a result, we completed the project ahead of schedule, within budget—and without high anxiety. Stress is always going to pop up in projects. But learning to cope with it ensures projects and project managers will be ready to meet all challenges. PM


Genesh Chariyil, PMI-RMP, PMP, is a project manager at Nova Chemicals, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.




The era of chaos has begun. Organizations need project leaders who are fast, informed and decisive. But who will answer the call?



Leaders for a New Age

TIME TO A volatile business environment demands a new breed of project leaders.



ome leadership qualities are timeless: integrity, passion, vision. Others are not. Henry Ford’s hands-on, autocratic approach worked more than a century ago, but today’s successful CEOs don’t just give marching orders. They build consensus around the right strategy, inspiring rather than simply commanding. And they know how to pivot when faced with new threats. As the pace of change accelerates, project managers must be ready to pivot, too. Project success isn’t just about scope, time and cost anymore. It’s about delivering value to the organization—by inspiring team members, solving problems on the fly and



Stephanie Schmid, PMP, director, implementation project management office, ADP, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA JUNE 2017 PM NETWORK


Leaders for a New Age

Gender Gap

Breakdown of senior executive roles around the world:

76% Men 24% Women


of businesses have no women in senior management.

Source: Grant Thornton International Business Report, Grant Thornton, 2016

6 Habits of Bold Leaders When Deloitte surveyed 600 U.S. executives for its 2016 Business Confidence Report, respondents were in near-unanimous agreement on one point: Bold leaders build breakthrough performance. Yet most respondents worried that companies aren’t doing enough to cultivate bold leadership skills among rising leaders—and the “leadership deficit” will likely worsen in the future, according to the report. These are the traits that set bold leaders apart, according to Deloitte:

“Gone are the days when guidance was just handed down for project leaders to execute against.” —Joel Verinder, PMP, HMS, Irving, Texas, USA

securing stakeholder support. The ability to keep projects aligned to strategic goals—and speak up when the business case goes south—has emerged as another essential skill. Executives want project managers to be technically savvy. But they also want them to step up to become leaders. According to PMI’s 2017 Pulse of the Profession® report, 73 percent of execs say it’s a somewhat or very high priority to develop talent with the necessary leadership skills for the management of projects. (Seventy percent similarly prioritized the development of technical project management skills.) Joel Verinder, PMP, senior director of application development at the healthcare management company HMS in Irving, Texas, USA, has seen the project manager role evolve dramatically across his career. When he started working as a project manager 14 years ago, at a previous organization, his role was largely limited to managing the triple constraint



of schedule, budget and scope. “It took us some time to prove the value of project management before we were given more strategic responsibilities,” he says. “Eventually we were included in higher-level conversations and given the chance to drive more high-visibility and risky efforts.” Today, more organizations are looking for project managers to lead from day one. Many CEOs have grown accustomed to navigating uncertainty and are increasingly focused on seizing opportunities created by unpredictable circumstances, according to the 2017 PwC CEO Survey. But flourishing in a volatile business environment requires the seamless integration of strategy and execution. A recent Strategy& global survey of executives found that just 8 percent of top leaders are considered very effective at both execution and strategy creation. That’s why organizations are looking for project, program and portfolio leaders who can skillfully execute an initiative—and also seize new strategic advantages. At HMS, where Mr. Verinder oversees the organization’s IT product portfolio, there’s no question that strategy and disruption are front and center in his role. “A big piece of my job is partnering with my business counterpart to develop strategy for product lines: Where are we going next? Where’s the creative revenue potential? What’s the cost-benefit analysis of pursuing this avenue versus that idea?” At his division’s all-day strategy meeting in February, Mr. Verinder weighed in on everything from which products should be in the pipeline to industry and competitive updates that might help guide the team’s long-term product strategy. “Gone are the

1 2 3

Setting ambitious goals: This was the most common leadership trait identified. Inviting feedback from colleagues at all levels: Bold leaders take a 360-degree approach to feedback. Innovating: They look for new and better ways of doing things.


Proposing ideas their companies might consider controversial. They know it’s necessary to push the envelope.


Taking risks: This is the least common leadership trait regularly practiced by survey respondents.


days when guidance was just handed down for project leaders to execute against,” he says.


Building strong teams and empowering them to succeed: Project and program managers who deftly manage teams likely already have this skill.

banking, construction to education—companies must be more open to radical reinvention if they want to stay relevant. Netflix, founded 20 years ago, already has morphed its strategy multiple times. The company that started out renting DVD movies to customers by mail now competes with television networks as a content creation company. General Motors still manufactures automobiles, but it’s doubling down on projects to develop autonomous driving vehicles and launch car-sharing networks.

Forward-facing project leaders are now accustomed to looking far beyond the end of their current project schedule or the calendar year. They’re trying to size up what the future might hold for their industry and organization decades down the line. “Doing projects in the fourth industrial revolution requires a different mindset,” says Shakespeare Hadebe, PMP, project director, Transnet, Johannesburg, South Africa. This revolution, which blurs the lines between the physical, digital and biological realms, has been in motion for decades, according to the World Economic Forum. With digitalization dis—Shakespeare Hadebe, PMP, Transnet, Johannesburg, South Africa rupting every sector—from retail to

“Doing projects in the fourth industrial revolution requires a different mindset.”



Leaders for a New Age

Red Flags

Three signs your leadership style is stuck in the Stone Age, according to Shakespeare Hadebe, PMP, project director, Transnet, Johannesburg, South Africa. You bristle when challenged: If agility and innovation are the new table stakes, you don’t want team members who blindly follow orders. “It’s absolutely important to allow your team to bring up their ideas and persuade you past your own thoughts,” he says.

You think leadership is a static skill set: If you completed a leadership course 10 years ago, that doesn’t mean you’re set for life. “I’m always working to deepen my understanding of the business and strategic skills to improve my leadership dexterity,” says Mr. Hadebe. While he has completed courses, he still meets regularly with a mentor.

“Today, no business can afford to remain stagnant because it could cost organizations revenue or cause market share vulnerability.” —Stephanie Schmid, PMP

You equate hesitation with lack of engagement: Too often, project leaders get frustrated when a bold new initiative isn’t immediately embraced, he says. But you want your team to be as rigorous and analytical as always—no matter how excited you might be by a new project or goal.

At Transnet, a freight logistics company, Mr. Hadebe says he manages projects from an “incubator” perspective. “As project leaders, we must ask: What strategic initiatives will enable the organization to identify new revenue streams or create new business development?” Because these new initiatives may carry a high risk load—new technologies, new processes, new markets—“project managers must be more agile and adaptable than ever before,” he says. That means even default project processes are falling under scrutiny. “Historically, IT environments could be frozen for a period of time during a project” to prevent rollout of other products or updates, says Stephanie Schmid, PMP, director, implementation project management office, ADP, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. “Today, no business can afford to remain stagnant because it could cost organizations revenue or cause market share vulnerability.” And while old-school project managers might



Out of the Box


of executives believe their organizations are adequate or excellent at identifying and promoting diverse leaders.

“If they start to flounder, you can step in before things go awry,” he says. “But leaders know they shouldn’t be in direct control of every aspect of every project task.”


have focused on presenting updates and results to senior stakeholders, modern leaders understand their role has shifted from presenter to partner. “A tactical project manager can be successful at driving the team to meet deadlines with quality, but a strategic project manager raises that skill set to the next level by implementing the company’s vision into the team mindset,” Ms. Schmid says. The accelerated pace of change doesn’t mean less rigorous project planning, but it does require more agility. Project managers who think they can stay current on news and trends while also micromanaging every task will be in for a rude awakening. “In today’s business environment, we need different kinds of thinkers and perspectives on our teams,” Mr. Verinder says. Empowering team members with clear expectations and giving them the freedom to perform is the best way to guarantee the team delivers—but not at the expense of individual ideas and work styles.

Sometimes the initiatives that require the most leadership aren’t the ones that make it across the finish line—but the ones that need to be halted. In January, a division of Alphabet (Google’s parent company) announced it had shut down Project Titan, which aimed to produce solar-powered drones to provide internet access to remote areas. The project hadn’t veered wildly off schedule, scope or budget, but it no longer made sense for the company when it was compared with another project in the portfolio. Project Loon is developing high-altitude balloons to provide internet access to similar places more cost-effectively. So the Titan team was disbanded and reassigned. Pulling the plug on a project or program that’s hitting its milestones without issue might seem imprudent to a tactical project practitioner. But as strategic project leaders, “we always have to take an objective view and be open and honest,” says Rosemarie Santos, PMP, senior project manager, Cubic Transportation Systems, Sydney, Australia. “Sometimes, when a project is no longer relevant and a sponsor continues to insist on it, you have to really lean into difficult conversations.”

Source: 2017 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends

As an example, she points to a project she worked on a few years ago to implement a merchant web payment portal at a large organization. “It was intended to be a state-of-the-art solution for retail customers,” Ms. Santos says. But the organization’s vendor, hired to deliver a suite of software, hadn’t started developing the product when she came on board. Though an internal point of pride, the woefully delayed project seemed to make less and less strategic sense as time went on. So she suggested that “the solution be revisited and the business case updated,” she says. After scrutinizing gaps in the proposed solution, the delay with the vendor schedule and the updated business case, internal stakeholders decided to put the project on hold. Shrewd and strategic risk assessment isn’t only about avoiding pitfalls, however. “Too often, project managers focus on risk avoidance instead of magnifying the opportunities risks present,” Ms. Schmid says. “By definition, risks include opportunities to exploit.” But project, program and portfolio managers can’t seize opportunities in a vacuum, she says. They must keep their business acumen on point, their teams empowered and their conversations with decision makers focused. The best project leaders will strike the right balance of rigor and flexibility, Ms. Santos says. Project leaders must view the knowledge and frameworks offered in A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) as an important starting point, rather than the whole map—which these days is harder and harder to see in full. “We must be nimble enough to flex the core methodology to adapt to dynamic business conditions,” she says. PM

What’s the best leadership advice you’ve ever received?

“Be a people developer— and don’t be afraid to hire someone smarter than you. Leadership is about hiring, inspiring and mentoring the team so there’s someone next in line who can lead, even in your absence.” —Venkatraman Lakshminarayanan, PMI-ACP, PMI-RMP, PMP, associate director, projects, Cognizant Digital Business, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

“When things go sideways, don’t throw the blame on your team. Defend your people in front of the other chiefs. Team members will fight for you if you fight for them.” —Antoni Llevat, PMP, CIO, SB Group, Barcelona, Spain



Leaders for a New Age

Empowering Others Employees say effective leaders must flex their people skills and show empathy. Attributes that employees find most important are:

88% 85


86% 84%


Truly listens to employees

Shows sincere appreciation

Values employee contributions

Admits mistakes

81% Encourages employees to share ideas

Source: Dale Carnegie Training Global Leadership Study USA, 2016

B How project professionals can raise their leadership game. BY KATE ROCKWOOD



y now, project, program and portfolio managers should have gotten the message: They need to be as well-versed in leadership skills as they are in technical skills. And not just classic leadership skills like communication, problem-solving and team building. Additionally, more and more project leaders are expected to have strong strategic and business management skills to keep initiatives on track, delivering value. Mastering all these areas can seem like an insurmountable task. The first step to making progress on leadership goals is simple: Make it a priority, says Grant Moore, PMP, senior program manager, Dark Fibre Africa, Cape Town, South Africa. Day-to-day project demands could easily consume project managers’ entire focus at Mr. Moore’s organization. To help his team of project managers, service delivery managers and coordinators carve out time for building leadership skills, he encourages them at six-month performance reviews to set development goals

and identify the classes and workshops that can get them there. “I make it clear: If you can give me a write-up on why you want to learn this and how this will benefit your role, we will try to make it happen,” Mr. Moore says. “I expect more from these project managers and the rest of my team every year, and they expect more from themselves.” Examples of professional development his project managers have recently pursued include communication courses and public speaking workshops. After more than a decade of overseeing projects, Marc Burlereaux, PMI-RMP, PMP, PgMP, business unit manager, ITSS, Geneva, Switzerland, pushed himself to pursue additional certifications that would deepen his —Grant Moore, PMP, Dark Fibre leadership skill set. He earned his Africa, Cape Town, South Africa Program Management Professional (PgMP)® certification in 2008. “I wanted to focus more on delivering benefits aligned with strategic objectives and better understand how to ensure Stephanie Schmid, PMP, director, implementation benefits realization,” he says.

“Being a strategic project leader means constantly researching things and staying current on industry news.”

PMO, ADP, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.



Leaders for a New Age

Yet project leaders agree that formal courses and training are just one arrow in a practitioner’s quiver. “Leadership development must also come from field training,” says Grace Willis, PMP, agile coach, Accenture Technology, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA. To make that field training practical, Mr. Moore rotates which team member leads the program team’s weekly meeting. That doesn’t mean simply running through escalated issues, either—it’s an opportunity to discuss industry changes and challenges. “They look at tech topics that are new in the market and lead a discussion about that, and look at learning topics and research that might be relevant to the industry we work in,” he says. “Especially in

the telecom industry, which is changing on a weekly basis, being a strategic project leader means constantly researching things and staying current on industry news.” That focus on the business landscape might seem like a departure from how past generations viewed project leadership, but Mr. Burlereaux sees it as an evolution. “Project managers today must have the skill set to understand the business benefits and the organizational strategy, but skills like communication, empathy and problem-solving are all still integral to project leadership,” he says. And strong project managers know how and when to turn to the right skills to get the job done. PM

“Know your weaknesses. Remember your team doesn’t work for you—you work for them. Listen to your team and show them how to grow.” —Brian Alvarez, PMP, IT implementation manager, PeopleScout, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Stop That!

Sometimes the biggest impediments to being a strategic leader are one’s own bad habits. Grace Willis, PMP, agile coach, Accenture Technology, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA, highlights four obstacles to great leadership.


Trying to shoulder it all: “There’s a real risk in expecting the project manager to be the alpha and omega on a project,” she says. Sure, strategic project leaders have both an active hand in the risk register and a deep understanding of the business case. But there’s still a real need for project sponsor support and subject matter experts.



Obsessing over authority: “A project manager who acts like an authoritarian figure is just as dangerous as being too passive,” she says. “Project leadership today involves the ability to empower others.” She points out that setting team members up for success and supporting their growth builds better project buy-in and ownership of deliverables. That will translate to a greater sense of accountability and participation than trying to reign with an iron fist.



Operating in a bubble: If no one beyond the team or department knows about the initiative at hand, project managers should secondguess how tied in to the organizational strategy this project really is, she says. Being a true leader means raising the red flag if an isolated project seems to be a strategic outlier.


Seeking support at the last minute: Project leaders should identify departmental dependencies and collaborate and communicate across the organization from the start—not only in a time of crisis. “If you come at the 11th hour asking people to remove an obstacle or provide support, you could compromise the whole project,” she says.

Set Your Course

What’s the best leadership advice you’ve ever received?

“Always think of the broader picture— how your decisions impact customers, the ordinary person on the street and the country as a whole. If there’s no ripple effect of benefits to them, then we’re on a well-paved path leading to nowhere.”

Don’t wait for the perfect mentor or a formal mentoring program to emerge. There are other ways to find the right personalized support to boost leadership skills.


he value of mentorship is wellestablished. But many employees either don’t have a mentor or are less than happy with their organization’s formal mentoring programs. Feedback collected by InHerSight from more than 150,000 female professionals across 28,000 organizations found that, as of February, employees ranked their satisfaction with mentorship programs dead last on a list of 14 fixed metrics (including things like salary and management opportunities). And Deloitte’s 2016 Millennial Survey found that just 61 percent of millennials have a mentor. About the same percentage of employees in this generation feel their leadership skills are not being fully developed. In some countries, such as Brazil, Singapore and Thailand, the latter figure exceeds 70 percent. Younger project managers might not have the time or capacity to advocate for creating or improving a formal mentoring program at their organization, but that doesn’t mean all hope is lost for those seeking to strengthen their leadership skills. More informal professional development approaches have emerged. Mastermind groups: These peer groups meet regularly to workshop professional challenges and hold one another accountable on development goals. In this style of peer-to-peer

mentoring, looping in more senior project professionals is less important than having a mix of perspectives weigh in. Personal board of directors: The main distinction between finding a mentor and having an informal board to bounce ideas off is that there’s less pressure to find one person who represents the ideal future career path, according to Dorie Clark, an adjunct business professor at Duke University and author of Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future. A personal board could comprise current colleagues (both junior or senior), a former co-worker and even a past professor— anyone who might have relevant leadership wisdom and skills to share. Micro-mentoring: Given the ubiquity of social media—as well as millennials’ more casual attitudes toward career advice—members of this generation sometimes seek out micro-mentors. Rather than scheduling regular meetings or phone calls with one mentor (or members of a personal board), people use this ad hoc approach to tackle specific problems. It might involve a flurry of focused interactions with one experienced project pro around a single challenge—such as inspiring a team to think more strategically or convincing a sponsor a project’s business case is flawed.

—Leabetswe Bomvana, divisional director, strategic project management office, Liberty Group South Africa, Johannesburg, South Africa



Leaders for a New Age

ganization wants to be in five years’ time and then help determine what projects it needs to get there. Great project managers don’t just run a project—they influence whether projects are even launched.

A CIO with more than 15 years of project and program management experience explains how project managers can kick it into high gear.


harlotta Brile’s career has taken her through some of the world’s largest organizations: Boeing, Volvo, Statoil, Lufthansa and Capgemini. Now CIO of Skanem in Stavanger, Norway, one of the world’s major label producers, Ms. Brile serves clients ranging from the Kraft Heinz Co. to Exxon Mobil. She brings a global perspective and years of project and program management experience to her oversight of the IT professionals who support Skanem’s employees at 13 production sites around the world. From where she sits, Ms. Brile sees changing demands on project professionals—and, in some cases, skills deficits. How are the expectations placed on project leaders changing? Organizations all over the world are becoming more cost-conscious. They want more for their money. And decision makers are reading more and more about benefits realization. They’re more aware that it needs to happen. This mindset puts more demand on project leaders to make sure they don’t just execute a project but also ensure it delivers targeted benefits. What skills do project managers need to accomplish that? Good project managers have mastered the basics— setting up the project plan, allocating resources, managing the triple constraint. But that’s not enough. Great project managers understand what the business needs and what defines success for the customer in the long run. They look at the big picture and see where an or-


So how can project managers go from good to great? Learn from experiences and failures. Analyze mistakes— and we all make mistakes in our careers—and turn insights into action going forward. I also recommend networking to sharpen skills and boost knowledge. Yes, networking is a worn-out word. But it’s more than going to professional gatherings a few times a year or pursuing a new position. It should also be about, for example, sending a message to a contact via LinkedIn to ask for advice on a project. We’re not fully leveraging our professional networks in terms of knowledge sharing.


Learn from experiences and failures. Analyze mistakes—and we all make mistakes in our careers—and turn insights into action going forward. —Charlotta Brile

How do you and other executives at Skanem set expectations for your project managers? We share knowledge with our project managers through something we call the Skanem Academy. We train them on our way of leading projects, along with global best practices and PMI standards. We teach processes, templates, checklists and guidelines. And we continuously update the academy with knowledge from our employees. In this way, for example, project leaders’ change management expertise is pushed throughout the organization. What deficit do you most often see in project professionals’ skill sets? Many project managers, and not just junior ones, are overly reliant on the theory of project management. They need to be better at adapting frameworks learned through certifications and project management institutions to live situations. Here’s one way to bridge this gap: Talk with project owners. Develop relationships with them to figure out what they really want. Many certification programs talk about communications management, but there’s a difference between being good at delivering a message during a presentation and delivering the message during the entire project. PM



Leaders for a New Age

Shoulders of Giants

Step Right Up

What does it mean to lead? How do great leaders think? Some of the world’s most influential people sound off about what it takes to take charge.

Top 21st-century leaders share a core skill set. Organizations know what to look for—but it can be challenging to find.



The top three skills good leaders need, according to senior business professionals:

Organizations are looking to improve their leadership development programs—and there’s plenty of work to do.

89% of executives see strengthening and re-engineering organizational leadership as a priority. 35%




Inspirational vision

Ability to delegate

Four leadership capabilities are considered very important to more than two-thirds of senior managers:

90% of companies have some type of leadership development program.

But few are satisfied with their performance.

77% Demonstrating integrity

7% Best in Class

75% Managing complexity

47% Aspiring

70% Inspiring engagement

31% Inconsistent 12% Underperforming

70% Acting strategically ONE BIG PROBLEM



Millennials now have a workforce plurality, but they’re not necessarily ready to lead.

Organizations struggle to find leaders who have multiple capabilities. of CEOs believe it is somewhat difficult or very difficult to recruit people with leadership skills.

63% of millennials say their leadership skills are not being fully developed.


What motivates people to take on leadership roles?

37% Ability to drive business strategy and effect change 32% Recognition of ability and professional performance 28% Ability to empower others 23% Desire to contribute to the local community


of organizations have accelerated leadership programs for millennials.

Sources: Grant Thornton International Business Report, 2016; The State of Leadership Development, Harvard Business Publishing, 2016; Strategy+Business, 2016; 20th CEO Survey, PwC, 2017; Global Human Capital Trends, Deloitte, 2016; Millennial Survey, Deloitte, 2016



“If you don’t believe you are the best, then you will never achieve all that you are capable of.” —Cristiano Ronaldo, professional football star

“The world needs new leadership. This new leadership is not about one person. It is not about one single country. It’s about working together to solve problems.” —Jack Ma, founder and executive chairman, Alibaba Group

“I try to surround myself with people who really know what they’re doing and give them the freedom to do it.” —Oprah Winfrey, media mogul

“People with rigid ideas and lack of creativity have nowhere to go. Nor do … those who are blindly selfish in their ambition to reach success. Such behavior is a toxic combo that lays waste to valuable resources and time.” —Li Ka-shing, chairman, CK Hutchison Holdings

“I tell myself almost every morning and every night that I still have the energy to learn, to listen and then to design and define.” —Sri Mulyani Indrawati, former managing director, World Ban

“Leaders must have vision, creativity and the ability to influence others to follow and support them into uncharted and often risky territory.” —Richard Branson, founder, Virgin Group

“Success is always a team effort. It’s okay to admit what you don’t know. It’s okay to ask for help. It’s more than okay to listen to the people you lead. In fact, it’s essential.” —Mary Barra, chairman and CEO, General Motors

Quotes compiled from LinkedIn; Fast Company; Li Ka-shing Foundation; GQ and The Jakarta Post



Leaders for a New Age



uring the past two decades, Luiz Andre Dias, PMP, PgMP, has risen through the project ranks. A onetime project manager, program manager and project management office (PMO) director, Mr. Dias was director of operations at Ericsson in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, until March. He is emphatic that leaders aren’t born with the skills they need; they sharpen them over time and through experience—including their failures. When I first started as a project manager in the 1990s, the focus was much more on getting the project done. You learned to motivate and manage your team, to prioritize, to know when to escalate a problem. There wasn’t as much emphasis then on a strategic mindset or business acumen. Leadership didn’t typically extend beyond the project to the bigger picture.



What’s the best leadership advice you’ve ever received?

“Do the right job, the right way, when required. Your team will follow you not because they have to, but because they trust you.” —Daniel Levine, PMP, senior program manager, enterprise operations, BlackBerry, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada

Leaders aren’t born with the skills they need; they sharpen them over time and through experience— including their failures. —Luiz Andre Dias, PMP, PgMP

“Leaders trust without controlling. They unleash the energy and intelligence of others. They listen more, talk less, empower team members and provide an ethical decision framework.” —Daniela Chiricioaia, PMI-ACP, PMP, senior project manager, SIVECO Romania, Bucharest, Romania



Leaders for a New Age

Change Makers

“Best in class” leadership development programs (defined as having little to improve) are more likely to impact organizational performance than “aspirational” programs (defined as being excellent in some areas and requiring improvements in others).


more likely to significantly impact a company’s financial success


more likely to report a major impact on competitive performance

Source: The State of Leadership Development, Harvard Business Publishing, 2016

The biggest challenge for many people I see is a natural tendency to erase failure from their memories. The truth is, even with hard work and the best intentions, sometimes we fail. —Luiz Andre Dias, PMP, PgMP



But as the amount of responsibility I had increased, I realized I had to concentrate more on the benefits the project would deliver—rather than just delivery. When I was promoted from project to program manager at Ericsson in 2000, I jumped from managing 15 people on one or two project teams to overseeing as many as 500 people engaged in the telecommunications program. I had to think beyond the deployment of any one project. That was a learning curve for me. So I found a mentor within the organization. I was careful to choose someone who wasn’t directly involved in any of my projects. I actually had two mentors as I worked my way from program manager to project executive to the PMO. The first person was cut and dry in his approach—very analytical. The other person was much more focused on the human element, on asking people nuanced questions. I’m very lucky I saw those different leadership styles up close, because it allowed me to take what I wanted from both and find my own style—to know how to be soft when I need to be and how to be blunt when I need to be. I know some people struggle with having hard conversations. I’m grateful that I’ve never had a problem being straightforward or sharing my opinions, whether I’m facing my boss or a customer. It has helped that my roles were very customer-facing, and so I saw firsthand how extremely important a sense of trust was. The customer didn’t expect us only to hit scope, schedule and budget—we had to deliver strategic value. More than once, I had to have

What’s the best leadership advice you’ve ever received?

“Everyone has their own reason for work. You have to find the way to motivate people individually and as a team.”

You can’t strengthen your weak spots until you know where they are.

—James McKim, PMP, operations, strategy and project management office lead, technical learning solutions, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Goffstown, New Hampshire, USA

“A leader is only as strong as their team. Elevate team members and their capabilities, and you all rise together.”

—Luiz Andre Dias, PMP, PgMP

—Karen Chovan, PMP, principal, Enviro Integration Strategies, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

“You can’t manage everyone the same way. Each person is different—so manage them accordingly to get the best work out of each person.” —Matt McFadden, global strategist, Samsung, Seoul, South Korea

a hard conversation in which I recommended shelving or postponing a project that no longer made strategic sense. From the point of view of that one project, it wasn’t so beneficial to our company. But from the long-term view of the customer relationship, making a difficult recommendation like that was really beneficial.

LEARN FROM FAILURE As a director at Ericsson with global responsibilities, I devote time to coaching people, to helping them develop. The demand for leadership skills is stronger than ever. Today, there’s a greater emphasis on bigpicture thinking, even at the project manager level. The biggest challenge for many people I see is a natural tendency to erase failure from their

memories. The truth is, even with hard work and the best intentions, sometimes we fail. But one thing that’s improved me most as a leader is facing a failure head-on. When the emotions and regret and anguish have cooled, I try to sit down and figure out what I could have done differently, what I can learn from the failure. If you can do a good analysis, you can improve. But if you push bad outcomes from your mind as soon as the project is over, you’ll be stuck repeating the same mistakes. During an annual performance review, it’s natural to want to note only the spectacular stuff. But for your own sake, do a personal leadership review as well, and don’t be afraid to focus on the failures. You can’t strengthen your weak spots until you know where they are. PM



Skyline over Shanghai, China


Look Skyscraper project teams sidestep risks to reach dizzying new heights. BY SARAH FISTER GALE 48




Jeddah Tower, under construction in Saudi Arabia

n a world where bigger is always better, skyscraper projects are all the rage. In 2016, a record 128 skyscraper projects were completed around the world, with up to 150 more scheduled for 2017, according to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. And the world’s tallest building, the 828-meter (2,717-foot) Burj Khalifa in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), will soon be overshadowed by the Jeddah Tower in Saudi Arabia—the first skyscraper to reach 1 kilometer (3,281 feet)—when it’s completed in 2022. But the extremes don’t end there. The proposed Sky Mile Tower in Tokyo, Japan would dwarf both buildings with its 5,577-foot (1,700meter) design, while another company dreams of building a U-shaped skyscraper in New York, New York, USA that—from end to end—would stretch 4,000 feet (1,219 meters). “There is no limit,” says Jerry Bianco, senior vice president and operations director for Lendlease in New York, New York, USA, where he has been building skyscrapers for 16 years. He



has watched projects get taller, with developers often now negotiating to acquire “air space” so they can cantilever the new building over neighboring buildings to get more square footage out of limited urban footprints. But as these projects pierce the clouds, designers and project teams face a host of new risks, from safely moving hundreds of workers up and down the structure every day to trucking thousands of pounds of materials into tight job sites—all without annoying neighbors or clogging narrow streets in crowded urban areas. “There are a lot of restrictions and a lot of risks that all need to be carefully planned and managed,” Mr. Bianco says. “On skyscraper projects we are focused on the safety of personnel and the speed of moving them and materials.”

and problem-solving. “It’s a constant logistics puzzle,” says Patrick Murray, vice president and construction executive, Turner Construction Co., New York, New York, USA. Project managers must work with designers, engineers and dozens of suppliers and contractors to build these metal mountains as quickly as possible. And if any stakeholders fail to deliver their piece of the project, from material shipments to on-site labor, it can have a cascading impact on the entire plan. “You have to start planning years ahead to identify and address all of the risks you will face,” Mr. Murray says. “That way all contractors know the plan up front and can factor it into their costs and schedule.” Once contracts are awarded, Mr. Murray meets with contractors to go over their respective logistics execution strategies. Those conversations focus on safety constraints, loading strategies and determining how to sequence the different trade specialists throughout construction. “The best way to describe the sequence, schedule and logistics of a tall vertical building is creating a ‘parade of trades,’” he says. “Each trade group relies on and expects preceding work to be completed on time and to the expected level to allow its work to be completed in a predictable and efficient manner.” And once construction is underway,


“[W]e are focused on the safety of personnel and the speed of moving them and materials.”

The quest to go higher is forcing designers—and project managers—to get creative with planning

—Jerry Bianco, Lendlease, New York, New York, USA



Sky’s the Limit

The skyscraper projects aiming to break records around the world. SKY MILE TOWER Height: 5,577 feet (1,700 meters) Location: Tokyo, Japan Budget: None yet reported If built, this proposed skyscraper would be nearly twice the height of the Burj Khalifa. The residential tower would feature incremental tapers and vertical slots in the structure to mitigate the impact of the wind. The design also incorporates an articulated facade that facilitates the harvest and storage of cloud water, which would lower the time and cost of pumping water from the ground. No construction date has been proposed.


“Whatever you can do to reduce the number of workers and materials on site will speed construction and reduce risks.” —George Argryou, Hickory Group, Melbourne, Australia

Mr. Murray uses a project planning system to outline and communicate the actions different contractors need to complete the project to move forward. These plans are distributed during weekly meetings and daily huddles, he says. “By constantly communicating, we address any issues and can avoid rework and delays.” Proactive logistical planning also helps project managers identify opportunities to innovate, says George Argryou, managing director of Hickory Group, an integrated construction company in Melbourne, Australia. An emphasis on transporting workers and materials as quickly as possible has led to next-gen advancements in construction tech, such as super-fast elevators with fiberglass cables that are stronger and lighter than steel. These systems require less power and can rise higher than steel cable designs. The industry has also seen precast construction innovations that have helped speed up the construction process. For example, Hickory’s building technology system integrates the core, shear walls, bathrooms and facade of a building into a single prefabricated structure built off-site at the same time as other on-site work. This approach slashes the number of tradespeople working on-site and reduces the number of truck deliveries and crane time. The result: faster, safer and higher-quality construction with no impact to the budget and no changes to the original design. Mr. Argryou estimates that a typical tower project with 900-square-meter (9,688-square-foot) floor plates would use about 60 workers on the core structure and facade, building one floor per week. With the prefabricated approach, his project team needs just 20 workers—and they can construct up to two floors a week. “This prefab process reduces 60 percent of the labor on-site,” Mr. Argryou says. “Whatever you can do to reduce the number of workers and materials on-site will speed construction and reduce risks.”

FROM ALL ANGLES Peter Weismantle, director of super-tall building technology, Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architects,



LAKHTA CENTER Height: 462 meters (1,516 feet) Location: St. Petersburg, Russia Budget: US$2.5 billion Commissioned by Russian natural gas company Gazprom, the Lakhta Center will be the tallest building in Russia and Europe when it’s completed in 2018. In 2015, the project team set a Guinness World Record for the largest continuous concrete pour—19,624 cubic meters (693,000 cubic feet) over 49 hours— which helped keep the project on schedule.

Height: 632 meters (2,073 feet) Location: Shanghai, China Budget: US$2.4 billion China’s tallest building and the third super-tall tower in Shanghai’s skyline was completed last year. The building has been rated LEED Platinum, making it one of the greenest super-tall buildings in the world. Its many sustainable attributes include 200 rooftop wind turbines that generate 10 percent of the building’s electricity, a rainwater capture system, wastewater recycling and 24 sky gardens. The twisting design helped to reduce the impact of wind and the amount of steel needed, saving an estimated US$58 million in material costs.

JEDDAH TOWER SUZHOU ZHONGNAN CENTER Height: 729 meters (2,392 feet) Location: Suzhou, China Budget: US$4.4 billion This mixed-use tower would be the first supertall building in Suzhou. The design of the 137-story building features a network of columns and outriggers attached to the concrete core to form a flexible frame that can stand up to high winds. Launched in 2014 and scheduled for completion by 2021, construction is on hold because of financial difficulties.

Height: 1 kilometer (3,281 feet) Location: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia Budget: US$1.2 billion Launched in 2013, the slender tower is expected to be the world’s tallest by the time the project is slated to close in 2022. Each side of the triangle-shaped building will provide a dedicated entrance for its three primary functions: office, hotel and residential.

BIG BEND SKYSCRAPER Height: 4,000 feet (1,219 meters) in overall length Location: New York, New York, USA Budget: None yet reported Designer Oiio Studio has a unique twist to create the world’s longest building: Erect twin towers that are joined by a curved top. The concept would result in a single building that—at its peak—would be roughly 717 feet shorter than the Burj Khalifa. But total from end to end, it would qualify as the world’s longest. There’s no telling when—or if—the tower will be built.



Remember the Titans

The claim to tallest building fame is fleeting. Here’s how the world’s highest-rising structures have stacked up over time.

1880 Cologne Cathedral Cologne, Germany 516 feet (157 meters)

1890 Ulm Minster Ulm, Germany 530 feet (162 meters)

1909 Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower New York, New York, USA 700 feet (213 meters)

Chicago, Illinois, USA, is one of the lead designers for both the Burj Khalifa in UAE and the Jeddah Tower in Saudi Arabia—and he applied many lessons learned from the first project to the second. Most notably, Burj Khalifa used a tapered design to make the building narrower and more resistant to wind as it rose. However, the design featured tiers that stepped back at each level, which were difficult and time-consuming to construct. The disruption caused by the tiered design resulted in months of delay as the team changed out rigging systems and concrete formwork, Mr. Weismantle says. So for the Jeddah Tower, his team applied a design with a smooth incline that doesn’t require the extra steel and concrete steps. “On Jeddah Tower, the reinforced concrete structure is very simple, with a vertical triangular core, vertical bearing fin walls, vertical corridor

“Simply extrapolating ground wind speed data is not adequate when you get above about 600 meters.” —Brian Jack, Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architects, Chicago, Illinois, USA



1913 Woolworth Building New York, New York, USA 792 feet (241 meters)

1931 Empire State Building New York, New York, USA 1,250 feet (381 meters)

shear walls, sloped but continuous end walls and flat slab floors,” he says. “We saved a lot of time in construction without affecting the design goals.” The design team has also worked closely with the client, local authorities and contractor to find other opportunities to improve efficiency and safety, says Brian Jack, director and project manager on the Jeddah Tower project for Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architects, Chicago, Illinois, USA. For example, the tower has a cantilevered skydeck on the 167th floor that the contractor could use as a crane platform during construction. “We conferred with the contractor to understand temporary superimposed construction loads, and our structural engineer provided supplemental analysis to confirm the skydeck could be used in this fashion,” Mr. Jack says. “This is an excellent example of the beneficial collaboration between the design team and the contractor on large and complex projects.”

WIND TURBULENCE As skyscrapers reach new heights, developers and project managers must also consider the impact of high winds, both on the design and the safety of construction crews. “Safety is what drives innovation on these proj-

1973 Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) Chicago, Illinois, USA 1,451 feet (442 meters)

1998 Petronas Towers Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 1,483 feet (452 meters)

ects,” says Mr. Bianco. In recent years, his team started using a climbing formwork—a type of concrete mold for vertical structures that rises with the building. The formwork covers three to four floors, protecting workers from high winds and deadly falls, and can be jumped up a floor in advance of the next level of construction. “When we started using this, everyone said it would kill the schedule because it would take so long to move. But it actually improved productivity,” Mr. Bianco says. As a result, the site is safer and workers are more comfortable working on the edge of the floors, which means they can accommodate more workers and complete more tasks in the same space. The Jeddah Tower design incorporates features to mitigate the impact of high winds on the structure. One of the big challenges for this project was that no one had studied actual wind conditions at such extreme heights, says Mr. Jack. “Simply extrapolating ground wind speed data is not adequate when you get above about 600 meters [1,969 feet].” So the designers partnered with Rowan Williams Davies & Irwin, a Canadian wind engineering firm that used a wind tunnel, weather balloons and sophisticated computer models to predict the impact of wind loads on the structure up to 1,000 meters (3,281 feet). “The resulting data helped us design with confidence,”

2004 Taipei 101 Taipei, Taiwan 1,667 feet (508 meters)

Mr. Jack says. The tower’s shape features a broad tripod base that tapers to the top of the spire—and helped create dedicated entries for the building’s 2010 three primary functions: BURJ KHALIFA office, hotel and residenDubai, United Arab Emirates tial. “This basic geometry 2,717 feet (828 meters) is very stable and behaves extremely well under design window loads,” he says. The project managers on-site are still researching solutions that will keep workers safe—and reduce weather-related delays—in high-wind conditions. The team receives wind forecasts at 100-meter (328foot) intervals twice each day to chart weather patterns over the course of the year, says Peter Savoy, construction director for Mace, the global consultancy that is part of the joint venture managing the Jeddah Tower project, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The data indicates that high winds could lead to 35 percent downtime on cranes and hoists during construction in certain zones—particularly from 300 meters (984 feet) to 750 meters (2,461 feet). This would have a huge impact on delivery. To reduce downtime, Mr. Savoy and his team have looked into making changes for how materials and objects are lifted to the top of the building. For instance, large prefabricated steel cages can act like a sail in windy conditions and soon become unsafe to lift. Lifting smaller bundles means his teams can keep the work face open and keep production going smoothly. “Being a project manager on a super-tall building project can be extremely intense and a lot more technical than a traditional building,” he says. “But it is a fantastic experience, and I feel lucky to be part of this project and the immense challenges it brings.” PM

“Being a project manager on a supertall building project can be extremely intense and a lot more technical than a traditional building.” —Peter Savoy, Mace, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia



Rapid sprints and careful collaboration keep smart home projects on pace. BY MATT ALDERTON ILLUSTRATION BY BEN THE ILLUSTRATOR





mart homes promise to free their owners from monotonous tasks. Today, connected devices can clean floors, order groceries and maintain optimal temperatures—and soon they’ll be able to do so much more. With operating systems like Amazon’s Alexa emerging as hubs that could unify the Internet of Things (IoT), By 2022 the value of third-party developers the global smart home and device makers are market will reach ramping up the competition to create connected devices that are controlled with voice commands. According to Gartner, 8.4 billion of these devices will be in use in 2017, up 31 percent over 2016. And by 2022 the value of the global smart home market will reach US$53.5 billion—more than double today’s figure, according to Zion Market Research. Project managers tasked with shepherding smart home products from conception to consumption

US$53.5 billion

“It feels like paving the road at 100 miles per hour. There’s a lot of pressure to launch, integrate and announce new products.” —Marco van den Bosch, PhD, PMP, Philips Lighting, Eindhoven, the Netherlands



must stay on their toes as they navigate this shifting landscape. Ever-changing requirements, compressed schedules and a growing cadre of external stakeholders call for close—and constant—attention to detail. “Business requirements, budgets and customer expectations are only some of the areas that are always in a state of flux,” says Tanya Sinha, PMP, program manager, engineering/R&D, Harman Connected Services, Gurgaon, India. “This heightens the need for good project managers.”

NEXT-GEN NEXUS Devices in a smart home system are interconnected, which means product development teams must often build to fit partner requirements. Effective collaboration with these stakeholders—from traditional home appliance manufacturers to high-tech voice-command newcomers—is a must-have on these tech projects, says Romain Paoli, a program manager at Netatmo, a maker of smart home products in Boulogne-Billancourt, France. “If you want to exist in the smart home space, you have to play nice with others and be open to interoperabilities,” he says. “You have to first understand what potential partners and other companies are providing, what are the strengths of their technology and products, and what is the best way to develop valuable interoperability with their products.”

Talent IQ Tested The growing appetite for connected devices is forcing companies to compete for project talent with valuable competencies, such as cloud engineering and mobile app development. Here are three ways organizations can attract team members with in-demand skills, says Tanya Sinha, PMP, program manager, engineering/R&D, Harman Connected Services, Gurgaon, India. Develop from within. Deploying small project teams to work on pilot projects helps organizations grow expertise internally and organically, while also accommodating steep learning curves. Share resources. Large organizations might be able to borrow experts from elsewhere in their company. For instance, an organization’s IT division can loan out its specialists to fill tech talent gaps—or help train others to expand the team’s knowledge base. Outsource. Assigning specialized tasks, such as security, to outside specialists makes sense when organizations don’t have limited or short-term technical needs.

For instance, Netatmo’s smart home thermostat is compatible with Apple’s HomeKit, a framework that allows users to control smart home accessories via iPhones or iPads. Achieving that integration requires project teams to interface with Apple early on to ensure their devices are compatible with Apple’s technology. “When your product goes through the Apple HomeKit certification process, you have to understand what that process is and take that into account in your schedule,” Mr. Paoli says. Close collaboration also helps smart home device makers anticipate and manage change. For projects involving the Philips Hue smart lighting system, for instance, a business development manager oversees relationships, and a system architect engages technical team members from partner organizations in order to streamline compatibility conversations, says Marco van den Bosch, PhD, PMP, program manager, Philips Hue, Philips Lighting, Eindhoven, the Netherlands. This process paid off last year, when Philips launched a 4.5-month project to allow Hue users to control their lights with Alexa voice commands. That meant the team had to ensure voice recognition compatibility. Dr. van den Bosch’s team had frequent calls with Amazon’s team, members of which visited the Philips Lighting team twice during the project to gain better knowledge about lighting, facilitate market discussions and build a strong project relationship. “There were frequent changes in insights and requirements,” he says. “When you start, you really don’t know what you’ll end up with, so you have to co-develop with your partners. We learned from them, and they learned from us—and that’s one of the things that did the trick.”

“Business requirements, budgets and customer expectations are only some of the areas that are always in a state of flux. This heightens the need for good project managers.” —Tanya Sinha, PMP, Harman Connected Services, Gurgaon, India



Embedding project team members with partners can also facilitate quick and clear communications when requirements shift abruptly, says Gordon Lui, PMI-ACP, PMP, senior program manager, Honeywell International, Melville, New York, USA. During a 15-month project last year to launch the company’s Lyric T5 smart thermostat—including a companion mobile app that had to be approved by Apple to appear in its app store—Mr. Lui’s team relocated some team members to Apple in Cupertino, California, USA. “Having people on-site working closely with Apple helped get the needed approval for our mobile application more quickly,” Mr. Lui says.

STRATEGIC SPEED Smart home technology is evolving at a rapid clip, which means

ROI often hinges on first-mover advantage. Embracing an agile approach, especially on software development projects, helps maximize speed and efficiency when timelines are tight, Ms. Sinha says. “Everything we do is new, and there’s no one to tell us how to do it,” Dr. van den Bosch adds. “For project managers and teams, it feels like paving the road at 100 miles per hour. There’s a lot of pressure to launch, integrate and announce new products.” Given this intense schedule pressure, Mr. Paoli

“If you want to exist in the smart home space, you have to play nice with others.” —Romain Paoli, Netatmo, BoulogneBillancourt, France

suggests project teams focus on achieving a minimally viable product. “The strong advantage we have as an IoT manufacturer is that our products have the built-in ability to be upgraded from the start,” he says. “It is better to go to market quickly with a qualitative and essential feature set and upgrade it later with new features, via software updates.” Agile can also help organizations better manage continual change, Mr. Lui says. When Honeywell International launched its first Lyric smart thermostat in 2014, it leveraged agile approaches—including sprints and daily scrums—in order to shorten the product development cycle. The company provided agile training for existing employees and hired new staff with agile experience to get everyone up to speed. “The message from the CEO is clear. He wants to transform Honeywell into a software company,” Mr. Lui says. “We have had to internally change our culture to be more technology-focused. It’s just a matter of getting people used to the new practices.”


“In the smart home sector, change is part of your daily job.” —Marco van den Bosch, PhD, PMP



Speed-to-market is key, but being first will only get a product so far. Project teams must also manage the user experience to deliver a device consumers can’t live without. Getting feedback from end consumers in the age of IoT and smart homes is essential to make sure highly touted products deliver what’s promised, Ms. Sinha says. At Netatmo, the typical smart home product development project includes internal testing with employees and external testing with trusted parties, including employees’ friends and family, industry partners and loyal customers the company knows well. Such feedback helps the project team fix bugs and refine requirements—while mitigating the risk that proprietary details could be leaked. And in the months immediately following a launch, Mr. Paoli’s teams analyze user feedback from product reviews, app store ratings and cus-

tomer support tickets to develop a list of desired product upgrades for future releases. Netatmo’s R&D staff spends approximately 70 percent of their time on current projects and 30 percent on maintaining and improving launched products, Mr. Paoli says. That means teams often must juggle projects at different stages to ensure over-the-air updates can be promptly executed for years after product launch. But some smart home product features must be flawless from the start—whether it’s protecting personal information or ensuring that the device accurately translates voice commands. That’s why project managers must review privacy requirements, then develop testing schedules that help the team identify flaws and ensure that products won’t create problems for users when they hit the market. For instance, there’s little wiggle room when it comes to cybersecurity. Early risk assessments can help teams identify and mitigate critical issues, but third-party security experts and researchers often continue the scrutiny after the product is launched. That means project teams must be ready to hustle when a vulnerability is discovered. For example, in 2016, researchers from Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science and Canada’s Dalhousie University discovered a security flaw that could have made Philips Hue smart bulbs vulnerable to hackers—a threat that could have allowed attackers to control the lighting from up to 350 meters (1,148 feet) away. The researchers notified Philips, which then patched the flaw with a security update. The urgent need for the fix required Dr. van den Bosch to lend team members from an active project to the update. To keep the project on schedule, he shifted certain activities to a later stage. “In the smart home sector, change is part of your daily job,” he says. “In order to deal with that, the most important thing is to have the right mindset. Change shouldn’t demotivate someone—the only way to succeed is to be agile and embrace it.” PM

“We have had to internally change our culture to be more technologyfocused.” —Gordon Lui, PMIACP, PMP, Honeywell International, Melville, New York, USA



Chernobyl Recovered The reactor that caused the world’s worst nuclear disaster had to be enclosed. But project teams had to stay safe and on the same page. BY NOVID PARSI





Construction of the first section of the shelter. Top right, the site in the aftermath of the reactor explosion in April 1986. Bottom right, the sarcophagus that sealed the reactor immediately after the accident.

“We were all adapting as we went along because nobody had ever done this type of project before.” —Oscar McNeil, Bechtel, Chernobyl, Ukraine

Burying the Past 1986: The Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident spreads radioactive contamination across Europe. leaning up the worst nuclear accident in history has taken more than 30 years—and a nonstop cluster of high-risk projects. But the final phases of remediation for the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine couldn’t proceed safely until the 10-year, US$1.6 billion New Safe Confinement project was completed. French construction consortium Novarka and a Bechtel project management unit (PMU) led a global project team that assembled and installed a massive arch to entomb the Chernobyl reactor and any toxic residuals. Installation was completed in November 2016, and final tests on the arch’s confinement system will be completed in November 2017. The structure covers a hastily built sarcophagus that sealed the reactor in 1986. The reactor’s explosion that year set off deadly radioactive contamination across Europe. “The sarcophagus was considered unstable, and there was the fear that at some point, due to normal deterioration, it could collapse,” says Oscar McNeil, managing director, PMU, Bechtel, Cher-



nobyl, Ukraine. “If that happened, there likely would be another radioactive release.” Bechtel’s PMU brought in 18 specialists, including project managers, engineers and safety personnel, all of whom worked closely with cleanup program sponsor European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to help the arch project team navigate technical and regulatory challenges to complete a unique design and assembly. For instance, to reduce radiation exposure to construction workers, the shelter was built in two halves and joined together at an assembly site 300 meters (984 feet) from the reactor. It was then elevated onto rails and slid into place over the reactor at a clip of 76 centimeters (30 inches) at a time, says Nicolas Caille, project director, Novarka, Chernobyl, Ukraine. The Novarka and Bechtel teams also had to collaborate with a global roster of top nuclear cleanup specialists while ensuring safety amid Chernobyl’s radioactive ashes. “The PMU worked with Novarka through all the very difficult issues,” Mr. McNeil says. “The contractors have to do the job correctly, but as the PMU, we have to make sure they’re successful. We were all adapting as we went along because nobody had ever done this type of project before.”

1997: Project sponsor European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the government of Ukraine enter into a framework agreement for the Shelter Implementation Plan, a program that includes the New Safe Confinement arch project. 2007: Design and construction contracts are awarded. 2011: French consortium Novarka begins construction of the arch. 2013: First section of arch is completed. November 2016: The arch slides into place over the reactor. November 2017: Testing of the arch’s climate system and membrane is scheduled to be completed.

STRUCTURE LIKE NO OTHER The teams had to cull knowledge from the world’s top experts during all phases of the project, particularly during the six-year window to build and install the shelter. For example, the team consulted with specialists to work around one long-term risk: corrosion, which could negate the shelter’s 100-year structural guarantee. To ensure the arch’s metal is rust-resistant, the team gathered feedback from scientists who provided lessons learned from a previous project that involved a smaller shell. The Chernobyl arch’s design ultimately included large desiccant dryers that generate up to 80,000 cubic meters (2.8 million cubic feet) of air per hour to ensure the humidity doesn’t exceed 40 percent. “Instead of protecting the structure against corrosion, we control the air so corrosion can’t start,” Mr. Caille says. Mr. Caille’s team also worked with French engineering consultants to develop an airtight membrane inside the shell that would seal off any contaminants. But the membrane had to be flexible enough to move with the shell if it were struck by tornadoes or other bad weather. The solution was to use a membrane similar to what the consultants

developed for the missile doors inside French military submarines, he says. But the primary project management challenge appeared in 2015, when Novarka realized the arch would need to be installed earlier than scheduled to allow enough time to complete all post-installation tasks, such as testing the arch’s climate system and membrane. But when Novarka pushed up the installation date to November 2016 instead of July 2017, it created a domino effect for all construction tasks. The arch end walls, for instance, couldn’t be installed until the arch was slid over the reactor. “That the end walls were ready on time reflects tremendous effort and creativity on the part of both the Ukrainian contractor and the PMU,” Mr. McNeil says. “This was an accomplishment that many felt was unachievable.” Bechtel helped the Ukrainian contractor find ways to save time. For example, instead of following a typical construction method that installs and then removes temporary forms to shape the poured concrete, the contractor purchased forms that could be left in place. This way the team didn’t have to wait for each section of poured concrete to cure. “It cost a little more, but in the long term it kept

Sizing Up The metal dome that covers the Chernobyl reactor is the world’s largest movable structure on land. Height: 108 meters (354 feet) Length: 162 meters (531 feet) Width: 257 meters (843 feet) Weight: 40,000 tons By comparison, the arch is: Taller than the Statue of Liberty


Big enough to enclose the entire Notre Dame cathedral of Paris




“There was a healthy amount of give and take throughout the project. … [W]e try to understand each other’s opinions and make the best decisions.”

Workers atop the shelter’s roof. Top right, the sarcophagus and turbine hall section. Bottom right, the shelter in place.

—Oscar McNeil


Oscar McNeil, managing director, Bechtel

Location: Chernobyl, Ukraine Experience: 42 years Other notable projects: 1. U.S. Embassy renovation to improve security and safety, Moscow, Russia. Mr. McNeil served as project manager. 2. Biological Threat Reduction Program, a U.S. government initiative to reduce the threat of biological weapons in the Republic of Georgia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan. Mr. McNeil served as program manager. Lesson learned: “When you’re doing a project that’s unprecedented, all parties have to know we’re all in this thing together and we all have to help each other out.”


the costs below what they would have been if we had delayed Novarka,” Mr. McNeil says. “About a third of the contract modification’s value was tied up in incentives, so the end-walls contractor had to make the accelerated date in order to get those incentives.”

WORLD OF HELP The project team went well beyond Ukraine’s borders to find contractors and other valuable specialists. In all, Novarka managed team members from 26 nations. “We have gone where the specialists are,” Mr. Caille says. For instance, Novarka worked with scaffolding experts from Portugal, crane specialists from the United States, ventilation experts from England and a German university that helped design the arch. Novarka also tapped 20 team members from Azerbaijan to help lift the arch into place, because of the country’s oil industry’s lifting expertise. The organization had up to 2,500 team members on the project at any one time—about 10,000 people throughout the entire life cycle. With so many team members in the mix, Mr. Caille made an adjustment early on to make sure


everyone would work together toward the same goal. At the project’s start, Novarka’s team had office locations in several countries. But Mr. Caille quickly realized a dispersed team made collaboration harder, so he co-located them in Ukraine. Financial incentives and the delivered promise of frequent relaxation breaks helped to lure workers— and maintain high performance. “Even though we all had telephones and videoconferencing, it was better to have everyone in the same place,” he says. Having a global team also led to regulatory flareups. EBRD stipulated that the project be built according to North American and European regulatory standards. But those standards can differ from the standards most familiar to the Ukrainian regulators in charge of ensuring EBRD’s requirements were met. “So we had to show the local regulators that what Novarka proposed actually meets a Western standard,” Mr. McNeil says. For example, Novarka’s fire protection system for the arch included thermal-imaging cameras that detect flames. Yet the cameras aren’t recognized as acceptable for fire detection by Ukrainian standards. Bechtel team members helped communicate to the regulators

that the cameras met EBRD’s demands—and the Novarka team added standard flame-detection sensors to satisfy the local regulators. “There was a healthy amount of give and take throughout the project,” Mr. McNeil says. “But we have worked well together and work hard to maintain cohesiveness. We sometimes have our differences, and in those cases we try to understand each other’s opinions and make the best decisions.”

PRESERVE AND PROTECT Keeping all team members safe from radiation was a constant priority. The team strictly followed protocols based on Ukrainian regulations and the power plant’s requirements to ensure workers’ exposure didn’t exceed standards agreed upon as part of the project planning. This was particularly crucial for the Ukrainian end-wall contractors who, unlike other team members, had to complete their work both inside and atop the sarcophagus. Each worker at that site wore protective gear, air filters and a radiation-measuring dosimeter that an electronic system checked twice a day. Bechtel received daily reports on the monitoring.

“If someone reached the dose limit, they had to leave the job and couldn’t come back to work,” Mr. McNeil says. Bechtel’s team also contracted a consortium of four Ukrainian organizations that provided medical services needed for keeping team members safe from too much radiation. For instance, the medical teams tested workers’ fecal samples for radionuclides and provided a machine that tested for radionuclides in workers’ lungs. But the project team’s safety concerns extended into the future. The new shell will contain the reactor for at least 100 years—protecting the public and shielding the reactor against tornadoes, earthquakes and temperature extremes that could release new contamination. It also will ensure other final stages of cleanup can continue—including dismantling the reactor through a remotely operated crane system inside the arch—with no threat of radiation leaks. “The project has averted a potentially significant environmental catastrophe,” Mr. McNeil says. “A wide region surrounding Chernobyl will be protected from a second release of radiation from the Chernobyl reactor.” PM

“Even though we all had telephones and videoconferencing, it was better to have everyone in the same place.” —Nicolas Caille, Novarka, Chernobyl, Ukraine



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Project Manager Competency Development Framework—Third Edition

The Practitioner’s Guide to Program Management

This Third Edition extends the previously developed framework both vertically to include program and portfolio managers, and horizontally to cover continued development for the roles of project, program and portfolio managers. It’s aligned with the PMBOK® Guide— Sixth Edition to be published later this year and other PMI standards. The book provides examples of evidence re-quired to demonstrate competence and addresses the need for career development along a continuum of expertise and experience. The PMCD Framework is designed so all participants in the project management process can assess their current level of project, program and portfolio management competence.


rograms serve as a crucial link between strategy and business results. Organizations implement them to achieve strategic goals. And though the practice of program management has evolved in lockstep with the project management profession, the root causes of program failure remain. In this step-by-step guide, Irene Didinsky, PMP, offers a standardized approach to program management by closing the knowledge gaps and variations that currently exist across organizations and industries. The Practitioner’s Guide to Program Management walks the reader through all the key components of effective program management. Using a case study example of an actual process improvement program, Ms. Didinsky discusses the qualities of excellence in program leadership, the importance of organizational strategy alignment throughout the program life cycle, how a program realizes benefits and how to manage conflicting stakeholder priorities. This comprehensive resource also includes a historical overview of the professionalization of the field, outlines the logistics of forming a program management community of practice and concludes with a glossary of terms. With this desktop manual in their hands, practitioners can expect to thrive.

Project Management Institute, 2017, ISBN: 9781628253689, paperback, 235 pages, $31.95 Member, $39.95 List Price


Project Management Institute

Irene Didinsky, MBA, PMP

Project Management Institute, 2017, ISBN: 9781628250916, paperback, 191 pages, $51.15 Member, $63.95 List Price

In this step-bystep guide, Irene Didinsky, PMP, offers a standardized approach to program management by closing the knowledge gaps and variations that currently exist across organizations and industries.

Arun Singhal and Puja Bhatt

Jamal Moustafaev, MBA, PMP

Paul Barshop

9 Habits of Project Leaders: Experience and Data-Driven Practical Advice in Project Execution

Project Portfolio Management in Theory and Practice: Thirty Case Studies from around the World

Capital Projects

This text is about transforming a good project manager into a great project leader by adding nine simple yet powerful habits to the project execution toolbox. By purposefully deploying and embracing each of the nine habits—supported by established business management principles— any project manager can learn to influence and win over the project team, executive management and customer. This book provides a path for project managers—who are essentially in the relationship business—to engage, energize and inspire their teams, and ultimately achieve their professional and project goals.

If questioned, most CEOs in the world would complain that there are a lot of ideas to implement, but, unfortunately, insufficient resources to accomplish them. This book provides a solution to this dilemma by supplying techniques to assess the value of projects, prioritize projects and decide which projects to implement and which to postpone. In addition, it describes various methods of balancing project portfolios and different strategic alignment models. The book provides 30 real-life project portfolio management case studies from various industries, including pharmaceutical, product development, financial, energy, telecommunications, not-for-profit and professional services.

A real-world framework for driving capital project success, this book provides an empirically based framework for capital project strategy and implementation, based on the histories of over 20,000 capital projects ranging from US$50,000 to US$40 billion. This solid framework is applicable to all types of capital investment projects large and small, in any sector. Readers will learn how to avoid the missteps that make capital projects fail, learn the specific practices that drive project success, understand what effective capital project management entails and discover real-world best practices that generate more value from capital.

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CRC Press, 2016, ISBN: 9781498769242, hardcover, 292 pages, $85.45 Member, $89.95 List Price

Wiley Publishing, 2016, ISBN: 9781119119210, hardcover, 224 pages, $38.00 Member, $40.00 List Price




Paul Ajayi, PMI-RMP, PMP Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada Title: Project manager Organization: Paradigm Consulting Group Inc. Industry: Information technology/consulting What three adjectives best describe you? Smart, pragmatic and goaloriented.

What advice do you have for new project managers? Acquire knowledge and experience, and get a career mentor.

What attracted you to project management? I enjoy fostering team engagement as well as building relationships and tangible value.

How would you describe your project management style? I encourage every member of my team to think of themselves as “one of the gang.” Without resources, there’s no project.

You ended a full-time consulting engagement at Bell MTS in April. What was the biggest project challenge? Keeping things simple. We needed to integrate various systems and applications to create a time-saving one-stop viewpoint for call center agents. Easier said than done. What’s your project management mantra? Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.

What’s a famous project you wish you could have worked on? Building the Great Wall of China or the Tower of Babel.

How do you relieve stress? Listening to inspirational messages and gospel music.

What’s the best book you’ve read recently? Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done by Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan.

n Know anyone who should be featured on this page? Email




What’s the best project management advice you’ve received? Strategy without execution is hallucination.

I encourage every member of my team to think of themselves as “one of the gang.” Without resources, there’s no project.