PMI North India Chapter
Collaborating Project Management for High Performance Business Insight
Networking, a channel to build relationships…
Project Management –Rec. QM…P2 The Blind Men and the Projects…P5 Managing complex Projects in Matrix…P6 Scheduling Triggers: Constraint…P7 Latest Trend of Technology in BPO…P9 Fool Proof Earned Value Analysis…P13 Attrition and Role and Responsibility…P16 Successful Project Outcome…P20 Project Management in a Lean Way…P21 Project Leadership: A way to…P25 Latest Technology Trends and…P29 Upcoming Events…P33 Past Events…P35 Team Editorial…P36
From the Editor’s Desk Editorial team once again takes pride to release the 6th Edition of SYNERGY on schedule i.e. 23rd September’2012. Theme for this edition is networking which is most vital in building a community where everyone can share and leverage upon each other’s expertise. I must say it is our pleasure to be part of such a great community which comprises of members who all are treasure of knowledge. Join the community to be part of great Treasure Hunt and achieve multifold career growth by acquiring the slice of this treasure of knowledge. With this edition, SYNERGY clearly depicts that its fame is not only limited to periphery of North India but it has acceptance all over India as well as globally. We are getting articles from members based out of different metros of India. People are coming forward and eager to share their piece of knowledge acquired through their experience within PM fraternity. SYNERGY is not released by professionals into publication industry, it is all the hard work and creativity of professionals belongs to this great PM fraternity. Editorial Team is squeezing their time out of professional and personal commitments to collate all knowledge and present to its members. We always look forward to your critical reviews that will help SYNERGY to be one of top e-Magazine globally. Regards Piyush Govil PMP® Vice –President – Communications PMI North India Chapter 1
Project Management – Recommendations on Quality Management By Nidhi Saini PMP® Quality Management plays a vital role in the software development cycle. Quality Management also works toward incorporating a knowledge base of best practices, selecting tools to manage the various aspects of quality, monitoring status, and verifying and evaluating current methods, procedures and tools with the aim of continuous improvement. If there is a lack of quality processes and reviews implemented in a project, then there will be no accurate status on the project metrics. There has to be a strong focus on the adoption of quality processes and compliance. The following recommendations are proposed to achieve the same: Quality Gates Defect Management Quality Compliance Reviews
Short Snippets on Project Management best practices across industries… A Quality Review Board comprising of Business Analyst, Project Manager, Test Manager, and Build & Release Manager will be responsible for creating the Acceptance / Exit Criteria for each of the Quality Gates, and these criteria will be verified during the Quality Gate Review for that particular phase. The quality gates can be established for each phase (viz., Requirements, Design, Development, and Testing) in the Software Development Life Cycle. formal checklists of deliverable, with indication of the state of completion, are used throughout the life cycle of the project; these checklists are reviewed and updated from time to time by the Board mentioned above; formal sign-off and acceptance occurs at each Gate; any activities on the Gate cannot proceed without sign-off of the previous Gate ; the assessment of quality and integrity takes place during Quality Gate Reviews; Information is assured to be communicated to the correct stakeholders (i.e., development to deployment, etc.). The advantages include the following.
Quality gates are acceptance criteria reviews that can be used throughout the project. It can be seen as a set of predefined quality criteria that a software development project must meet in order to proceed from one stage of its lifecycle to the next.
Minimizing project risk through phase-by-phase checklists. Enabling project managers to continuously communicate the process and build quality directly into the project. Reducing development cycle time—getting it done right the first time. These reviews prompt the project team to evaluate technical progress, specifications, and project milestones. These reviews can also be applied to measure the project cost and schedule performance, and to provide checkpoints to enable the base lining of key project information. Quality Gate Review also helps in triggering early warning, and hence, appropriate actions would be taken to proceed in the project execution.
The following table shows Quality Gates for each of the phases in the project, along with the criteria, measurement criteria, and the team responsible for Quality Gate review: Phase
Requirement completion checkpoint
Analysis & Design
Design completion checkpoint
Quality Gate (QG) Criteria Requirements (Use Cases, Business Rules, etc.) well defined, documented, and signed off by customers High Level Design (HLD) is completed for the planned scope, reviewed and approved by Domain Architect Low Level Design (LLD) is completed
Development completion checkpoint
Coding is completed Unit Testing is completed and Unit Test Reports are available. Unit Testing pass % is within agreed limits Functional Test execution is completed.
Test completion checkpoint
No. of Severity 1, Severity 2 defects in an open state No. of Severity 3, Severity 4 defects in an open state
Defect Management It is a good practice to do the analysis and categorization of defects. This can be done based on “Category” or “Severity” or “Detection Stage”, etc. One example of the analysis of defects is by “Category”, and the defects can be categorized as “Requirements Defects”, “Code Defects”, “Design Defects”, etc. A defect can arise out of user error, data error, compile / build/ assembly error, and test case error. This analysis would be done by the development team along with the test lead on monthly/quarterly basis. This analysis will trigger preventive actions, which need to be taken by the teams, to minimize/avoid the occurrence of such defects in future.
Measurement of QG Criteria
QG Reviewed by
Requirements are approved
Quality Assurance Team, Project Manager, and Business Analyst
High Level Design (HLD) is approved
Quality Assurance team, Project Manager, and Technical Architect
Low Level Design (LLD) is approved Quality Assurance team, Project Manager, and Technical Architect
Unit Testing pass % Eg. UT Pass % should be minimum – 95% Test Pass % Eg. Pass % should be minimum 95%. Eg. Sev1 – 0 Sev2 – 0
Quality Assurance team, Project Manager, and Test Manager
Eg. Sev3 – 10 Sev4 – 30
Some of the preventive measures, which can be taken, based on the analysis of defects are mentioned below: S. No.
Category of defects
Preventive Measures Requirements walkthrough with all the stakeholders (Business Analysts, Developers, Testers, etc.) for better understanding. a. Code reviews to be mandated,
without which the code will not be promoted for Build & Integration. b. Ensure that all the team members are following coding standards. Mandatory design review & approval by Domain architect.
Benefits of these preventive measures in Defect Management are: The number of defects can be minimized by taking actions to prevent similar defects in future. It will reduce the effort needed to fix defects which in turn will help increase the productivity of the development team.
In addition, it is recommended and suggested to have a Defect Prediction Model for the project, which can help the team to predict the number of defects to be fixed in the upcoming releases/weeks/months.
Quality Compliance Reviews Quality Compliance reviews help a project achieve the quality goals set in the Project Quality Plan. The Project Quality Analyst (PQA) will be responsible for performing the internal process and product compliance review at defined intervals based on the project milestones to meet the quality goals.
This model can be built using the following data: Code Size (Lines of Code) The number of use cases / Business rules already implemented History/data of defects reported in the system (category, severity) The number of use cases / Business rules to be implemented (future)
A PQA will establish quality processes and will ensure compliance to the process through Inspections and Audits; identify the project metrics, define the control limits for the metrics, and track these metrics on a regular basis; initiate and facilitate the Root Cause Analysis for the non-conformances against the standards, plans, and processes; identify corrective, preventive actions for process non-conformances, and track them to closure; create process asset libraries, which can be used by the project team; publish Quality Compliance Dashboard to the Management on monthly basis.
The Defect Prediction Model will help in the following ways: It plans the efforts needed for fixing the defects and schedule for fixing these defects, Work can also be prioritized based on the defects or real development work. This model in turn helps the Project management team in better planning, meeting the schedule of the project.
Reference: Quality management across the product and application life cycle http://public.dhe.ibm.com/common/ssi/ecm/en/rab14055usen/ RAB14055USEN.PDF
Nidhi Saini currently associated with IBM as Program Manager. She has industry experience of more than 12 years in complex custom application development for multinational clients. She has worked on several large scale multimillion dollar projects both as Offshore Account Manager and in direct interaction with end customer as Onsite Program Manager. She has been in consulting role for US CXO level profiles and she is Certified PMP by PMI, USA; ITIL Service Manager
“The successful networkers I know, the ones receiving tons of referrals and feeling truly happy about themselves, continually put the other person’s needs ahead of their own.” -Bob Burg
The Blind Men and the Projects Modified by Aparna Ganesh PMPÂŽ With due apologies to John Godfrey Saxe (1816-1887), the Six men, and of course, the Indian Elephant
It was four men of knowledge, to managing much inclined, Who went to (re)view the Project (Though all of them were blind), That each by observation Might satisfy his mind. The First approached the project, And happening to fall Against his broad and sturdy side, At once began to bawl: "God bless me! but the Project Is solid like a WALL! Why do you at all need a conference call? " The Second, feeling of the desk, Cried, "Ho, what have we here, So very round and smooth and sharp? To me 'tis mighty clear This wonder of a project Is very much at a peak! So, dear men, first applaud yourselves, and then letâ€™s speak!!" The Third approached the specimen, And happening to take The squirming trend (chart) within his hands, Thus boldly up and spake: "I see," quoth he, "the Project Is very like a SNAKE! Ah! Better an antidote with thou you take!"
The Fourth reached out an eager hand, And felt about the schedules "What most this wondrous beast is like Is mighty plain," he rules: "'Tis clear enough the project Is spread like a TREE! So, bill the client hard and go on an expanding spree!"
And so these men of knowledge Disputed loud and long, Each in his own opinion Exceeding stiff and strong, Though each was partly in the right, And all were in the wrong! And so, oft in meetings, The participants convene, To Rail on in utter ignorance of what each other mean, And prate about a Project Not one of them has seen! About Author
Aparna Ganesh has 13 years of rich and diverse experience in Quality management, Project Management and Quality consulting. Starting her career with Tata Consultancy Services, as a Project Manager, moved on to Quality Consulting and got CSQA certified. She has implemented TL9000 and CMMi practices Quality Manager for complete Networks Business in Sasken Communications Technologies. That was the first TL9000 implementation on a PAN India basis. A certified PMP, and a Green Belt Holder, she is passionate in Six Sigma philosophy, and believes in data and statistical analysis for business process improvements. As Quality Manager for Customer Operations in Nokia Siemens Networks, she has been leading Customer Delight Initiatives through insight driven improvements in quality of Products and Services. She is an avid quizzer and a singer.
Managing Complex Projects in the Matrix Organization By Abhinav PMP® A Project Manager (PM) requires certain essential set of skills in the case of Complex Capital Intensive projects, which is modeled on the matrix form of organization and involves a large number of stakeholders. The matrix organizational set-up causes the local priorities set in and each functional department fighting for their cause instead of completing the project on time. It’s like nobody knowing after all whose baby the project is and everybody waits for others to make move to resolve the issues. A quick look at the delayed projects indicates “failure in resolving associated issues” as the prime reason. Delay in timely resolution of the issues consumes a large chunk of project buffer time. Too many decision makers at the top are mainly responsible for delayed decisions. The waiting game played in the matrix organization causes the projected IRR (Internal Rate of Return) during the planning stage go haywire. Unforeseen requirements are a regular feature in a complex project, where the project scope often undergoes repeated changes resulting in changes in engineering and related resources. The three major constraints in such project execution are: uncertainties, limited resources, project complexity A Project Manager, heading the complex projects, is almost clueless about the ground realities. He is presented with a rosy picture during the major part of the project on the computer screen by the PMC (Project Management Consultant) in order to buy time. A Project Manager is swayed away by the theme “Everything is okay and under control”. He often takes sub-optimal decisions due to the lack of knowledge and in-depth analysis of the situation which results in cascading effects on the health of the project. It becomes evident that a Project Manager requires certain leadership skills which can save the day for such complex projects.
Project Managers almost have difficulty getting people to co-operate and perform in a matrix organization; therefore, it is extremely necessary that the Project Manager must be able to "Marshall and Rally the troops" when things get tough. They must promote team spirit and assist others in navigating complex issues. Part of the leadership skill is the ability to make sound decisions. The Project Manager must be able to obtain data from converging areas and filter the appropriate information to formulate a solution approach. “We mean business” attitude is required , otherwise in such complex projects as Known– Unknowns and Unknown–Unknowns are the order of the day, which will eat away the contingency and management reserves for the project with point of no return. Conflicts among various stakeholders and their nonresolution always derail the projects and it is mostly seen during the execution stage on the daily basis in complex projects. So boundary Management is another mandatory leadership skill to keep all the stakeholders in loop to ward-off any future problems.
Some of the best suited approaches required toward conflict resolution are given below For interpersonal conflict---use compromise strategy between PM and project sponsor, and collaboration strategy between PM and department managers. For task-based conflict---use competing strategy when stakeholders have less power/influence and compromise or collaboration strategy when stakeholders have fair power/influence. For process-based conflict--- use competing or collaboration strategy to find a workable solution to get the sequencing of process right.
Common Wealth Games 2010, which suffered from project overruns and wide spread corruptions charges, is an example of leadership failure, whereas DMRC (Delhi Metro Rail Corporation) is an example, wherein Project Manager---Mr E Sreedharan---has shown certain essential leadership skills, which is necessary for the success of a complex project. In a nut shell, the Project Managers should have the following major essential skill sets for managing the capital intensive complex projects: Act as a champion and catalyst for the project Able to resolve conflicts Able to anticipate/visualize problems or risks, confront them, provide alternatives and contigency plan
Able to switch from being a specialist to being a generalist Able to facilitate, delegate, and most importantly accommodate Should have strategic and analytical thinking skills--constantly looking for an opportunity to improve upon the benchmarks Apart from having technical skills, should have commercial knowledge as procurement covers 80% of the project cost, and project time is linked with timely delivery of critical equipments. Most importantly, should have human touch to handle huge manpower involved in such projects to get the best out of everybody. The idea here is to explain that Project Managers with proactive and problem solving attitude can work wonders for the project while an ineffective Project Manager can spell doom for the project.
About Author Abhinav is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP), currently associated with Indian oil Corporations Ltd as Materials Manager (Projects). He has over 14 years of working experience, mostly involved in Procurement activities of IOCL-Mega Projects. He is a graduate in Mechanical Engineering from Bihar College of Engineering, Patna and done his Masters in Production Engineering from IIT, Delhi. He has also done a General management course from IIM, Indore. He has won the Gold Trophy in Hybrid Certificate Program on Project Management conducted by IOCL in association with U21Global, Singapore Views articulated in an article by author are based on his Project Procurement Experience.
Scheduling Triggers: Constraints may create negative slack on tasks By Sai Prasad PMP® The application of constraints is an important aspect to be considered while preparing a schedule. In Microsoft Project, date constraints give the flexibility to start/and finish earlier and/later than a given date, but it might make the schedule unrealistic.
For instance, the below plan is scheduled from the project start date, Mon 12-01-09, with two tasks: Finalize requirements (2 days) and Build prototype (2 days). These tasks are scheduled one after the other.
If the prototype needs to be delivered by Wed 12-01-11, we change the above schedule to have constraint Finish No Later Than on Wed 12-01-11 for the Build Prototype task.
As the schedule is planned from the project start date, Project 2010 pops up the Planning Wizard warning us about a scheduling conflict either now or later. In this case, due to this constraint, Build prototype must start before Finalize requirement finishes, resulting in a negative slack.
To avoid negative slack, we can either set no constraint or set a Finish No Earlier Than constraint. Alternatively, we could also overlap these tasks. When we proceed with Finish No Later than constraint, the schedule becomes unrealistic.
Project 2010 has an option to ignore constraints that create negative slack which helps us comparing whether the plan is realistic. In Project 2010, clear Tasks will always honor their constraint date checkbox in Options dialog.
After clearing the checkbox, the tasks are rescheduled as below. Calendar alert in the Indicator column recommends tasks that require an immediate action.
Constraints are good but do not over use them. Remember, the less the number of constraints, the more the flexibility and the more valuable is the schedule.
Sai Prasad, winner of Global Trainer of the Year award, has been with Cognizant from the year 2001. With
his rich project experience and passion for teaching, he has conducted 7000+ hours of trainings in technical and project management topics. He is the editor of the PM book “Forecast scheduling with Project 2010”. He is a Microsoft Certified Trainer, Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist, PMI-certified Scheduling Professional (PMI-SPSM) and Project Management Professional (PMP®).
Latest trend of technology in BPO industry and the importance of Project Management By Koyelia Ghosh Roy PMP® Outsourcing industry has matured from just a low cost, revenue churning sector to a high-tech, innovation-driven, cost-effective centers of excellence, particularly in the high-growth markets of Asia Pacific. Now-a-days, BPO industries not only provide the man power but also an array of innovative technology-driven products to enhance the process as a whole. The new market forces and the complementing technologies are going to affect the way buyers of services look at the offerings. This will also drive the solutions that the BPO service providers sell to clients.
According to the Gartner report, there are five key technological changes that will drive the business growth of BPOs today. These are: The Cloud, Hyper digitization, Intelligence Technology, Security and Privacy, and Context Aware Computing.
Cloud Gartner defines cloud computing as "a style of computing where scalable and elastic IT-enabled capabilities are provided 'as a service' to external customers using Internet technologies”.
The IT Cloud typically involves the online provision of dynamically scalable and often virtualized information technology resources, such as common business applications with software and data stored on hosted servers. As opposed to the traditional model in which every company has its own IT infrastructure and application packages, the Cloud Computing model provides a multi-client provision of IT infrastructure and applications. By addressing the concerns and ensuring the sufficient data protection, providers could change the client’s perspectives. In addition, offering services at different price points might move clients to rethink their paradigms.
A primary driver is the one who eliminates buyers’ up-front costs and decreases their total cost of ownership. This is especially attractive coming on the heels of an economic recession and IT budgets constrained mostly to maintenance activities. Companies can immediately transit to new applications and services. Other drivers include the cloud’s ability to reduce a buyer’s footprint in legacy systems; increase flexibility for companies facing a major software upgrade or changing their software; shift from CAPEX to operating expenses (OPEX) if a company moves new business units or startups or mergers/acquisition activities to the cloud;
Piyush Govil PMP®
Fun with Cloud Computing
My teams are always floating in Clouds for best support and security available 24X7 and our Data Craft always ready to deploy your data on Clouds. Customer
For example, services delivered by a multi-client team working across support functions could be offered at a lower price than service delivery from a dedicated client account team. It will materially increase the scope, speed, and effectiveness of the work the provider performs and will create an immense opportunity to optimize the customer’s working capital.
handle competitive pressures, especially in the mid-market. Small- and mid-sized businesses are currently adopting SaaS and cloud-based services faster than larger enterprises, as they enable supporting the business when it is growing and cutting back when necessary; and support globalization efforts without having to deal with associated infrastructure issues.
Cloud technologies enable a multi-tenant service model. First of all, it increases the business agility. They encompass infrastructure, platforms, applications, and BPO services---and this `‘IT-as-aservice’’ model may create a whole new wave of outsourcing. 10
Some of the types of cloud-related services that outsourcers typically provide are as follows. Consulting around integrating enterprise IT with private and public clouds to create a hybrid environment. Implementing and managing private clouds to consolidate and optimize infrastructure. Migrating enterprise applications to the cloud and the related testing, certification, and governance for risk and compliance. Developing custom applications for the emerging cloud software platforms. Developing new applications that integrate collaboration, communication, and cloud platforms.
Hyper-Digitization Hyper-digitization is the accelerating manifestation of the impact of IT. Digitization describes the parts of the economy in which the “product” or “service” is content, that is, entirely or almost entirely digital. One key trend in this is social computing and social media. Hyper-digitization, such as instant messaging, online conferencing, and products like Microsoft® Lync has made communications, including hosting multi-user conference, possible from the personal laptop of an employee. This has revolutionized the communication process, even enabling sharing of a huge amount of data in seconds. Social media such as Facebook and Twitter are affecting the current way of computing, communication, and commerce. It is expected that in the next phase, social computing would be taken into account when designing the business solutions.
Intelligence technology In the new growth era, the business intelligence, analytics, and smart solutions that can recognize business patterns and create new focus will be the order of the day. The service providers now need to bring together the technology expertise with process expertise to create service offerings. Solutions have to be sold as a tool that can translate and transform the business for the client and not in silos or as lower cost arbitrage. New IT-related initiatives that do not fit within this framework will be increasingly less attractive to enterprises that are not interested in “more IT for IT's sake,' but are more focused on 'IT for the business' sake”.
Security and Privacy With the advent of cloud and hyper-digitization, the need for security and privacy of data has become all the more important as it will have serious implications on the revenue and brand image of the organization, besides market credibility being at stake. Security and Data Privacy have been recognized as business enablers in today’s landscape. It is essential for the outsourcing industry to demonstrate that it is able to embrace data security and privacy governance processes that are required as a minimum baseline for providing outsourcing services in a high trust mode. There has been an increased level of maturity in the area of privacy as a significant number of BPOs and ITOs have reported the presence of a dedicated privacy function.
Context Aware Computing Context-aware computing is about organization’s leveraging information related to the end users to improve the quality of interactions. The idea is to make services more convenient and easy to use. Context-aware computing is a game-changing opportunity, as momentum is building with these technologies maturing and strategies in specific industries taking shape. With the proliferation of instrumentation, metering, and wireless technologies, all of these have a significant role to play in providing context that can lead to automating business processes and improving productivity. It is also important to fully understand the impact that the increased amount of contextual data will have on the IT environment and applications, as well as the implications for back-end infrastructure. Being built in on mobility, there are many parameters to consider: location, customer relationship management, analytics, and database strategy, to name a few. There is an emergence of a new level of services and solutions that take into account different media including data, text, graphics, audio, and video to create a very specific customized solution, that is, in context of the user. Context Aware Computing while linear in its impact on IT will have profound impact on organizations, on the way business is done today. 11
Value Proposition of Project Management in this paradigm shift Project Management principles are critical to many third generation outsourcing strategists to reap benefits by enhancing the service delivery and functions. With the BPO market being dynamic and currently in flux, there are six trends where Project Management can help organizations to maintain the pace.
Increase of expenditures in BPO With Accenture estimating mainstream BPO expenditures would be topping $300 billion by 2012, it is essential that the cost management is efficient. Project management tools and techniques for cost estimation and planning are the key areas under focus and provide expert management suggestions to control them.
Emergence of Supplier Consolidation Due to the slowdown in the recent economic market, there would be market exits, mergers, acquisitions, and ascent of new vendors that would rearrange landscape of the BPO industry in India. Under such a scenario, holistic project integration management capabilities should be proactively used to establish the niche. From scoping to planning, each step can be enhanced by implementing the project management principles.
Advent of Bundled Outsourcing Model There have been instances wherein big BPO players are merging ITO and BPO into one seamless enterprise-wide solution, meaning all the departments from IT to HR will deal with the same vendor. With the bundled or consolidated model, project procurement management plays a pivotal role in spelling the success of this trend. From Contract negotiation to managing deliverables, all of the tasks can be effectively closely monitored and controlled through project management initiatives.
Proving to be Smarter It is estimated that the convergence of process, technology, and business intelligence/analytics may produce exponential savings in the near future. As such projects are highly complex, all the nine knowledge areas of project management discipline, from project integration management to project procurement management, form an integral part in the success of such innovative projects.
More focus on Business Outcome than Cost Initially, both ITO and BPO were driven by cost reductions, price, and labor arbitrage. However, with the increase in competition and awareness, it has become more important to establish the business outcomes created by an effective ITO/BPO program. It is necessary to gauge the business outcome upfront so as to deliver the best. Organizations initiate and execute projects at an everincreasing rate in order to achieve their strategic intentions. Many of these, however, find it difficult to measure the contribution that these projects make toward the realization of the organizational vision. Project Management principles provide the organization with a framework that can be used to derive projects from the organizational vision and strategies, thereby ensuring continuous alignment. Besides quantitative research methods, participatory action research in the field of project management has added a new dimension to management techniques.
â€œThe currency of real networking is not greed but generosity.â€? -Keith Ferrazzi
The Governance Factor The governance factor refers to the activities that are necessary to manage a customer/supplier relationship, including the management of service level agreements, performance reporting, billing, and issue resolution. BPO governance is about making decisions and assigning accountability for agreed outcomes; it comprises a set of processes and structures that are designed to address top management concerns such as service performance etc. Project Management tools and techniques provide for objective sizing, cost estimation, and ongoing independent monitoring that encourages problem solving on both the client’s and supplier’s end. Project Management principles would enable organizations to complete more projects on time, to scope, and within budget; to identify and successfully implement more cost-saving initiatives; enhance organizational flexibility and agility; improve teamwork and co-worker collegiality; improve customer satisfaction ratings develop healthier sense of organizational urgency improve employee engagement scores; increase sales; and enhance employee’s respect for due dates and personal accountability.
References---Certain information has been inferred from Outsourcing Center, BPO Watch India and Near shore Americas.
Koyelia Ghosh Roy PMP® CSBA®, an accomplished Business Analyst, is having nine years of experience, especially in Health Insurance. She is certified PMP, CSBA and ISTQB Professional. She has also successfully achieved LOMA certification and Licentiate from the Insurance Institute of India. She is currently working as Business Analyst with EXL Services Pvt. Ltd. Her role not only comprises of software business analysis for various kinds of project, ranging from process automation to building business intelligence platform, I am also involved in project management activities, working closely with the project manager.
Fool proofing Earned Value Analysis By Shashank Neppalli As a tool to control cost over-run, Earned Value Management (EVM) has very few equals. But, EVM was created for projects where activity wise cost budgeting were not a difficult proposition. Many books explaining EVM fail to mention about the need for its customization for use in certain projects. This research paper explores situations where EVM need to be applied after modifying it appropriately.
Purpose and Research Methodology The author carried out an exhaustive theoretical research on Earned value during the analysis of a project with significant time as well as cost over-run because the SPI was unity at Project completion despite there being a delay. This triggered an online research wherein works of Mr. Joseph Lukas, Mr. Walt Lipke and Mr. Kym Henderson were studied.
Brief Outline Earned Value Management (EVM) uniquely connects cost, schedule, and scope parameters thereby allowing for the creation of a unified metrics for reporting. It gives Project Managers the ability to express the cost and technical (scope related) progress of their project easily to all key stakeholders. Cost is the unit of its measure.
The author realized that EVM analysis became difficult when there is a scope change, rate escalation, or in projects where the output is not discrete but exclusively based on level of effort. Other practical issues faced during EVM implementation are tracking costs at lower level, especially when task completion is measured using a binary system. A project governance system which is silent on cost collection system, EVM related project team roles and responsibilities, and data sharing is sure to upset the EVM analyst’s effort in forecasting the future outcome. Also of significant consequence, is the inaccuracy of the plans, the mismatch between progress and corresponding work elements as per plan and nonintegration of the plan with the WBS to enable tracking of the budgeted cost values. Above all, EVM analysis fails to yield fruitful results while analyzing cost and time over-runs
Paper EVM can be marketed as a wonderful project management tool only after few of its inherent weaknesses are addressed. This is what I term as “fool-proofing EVM”. Possible on EVM Before the drawbacks, it is important to list them down asimpact well as trace their sources. S. addressing No. Drawbacks Source of drawback analysis result 1
Cannot track effectively if scope/ cost parameters change
If they are altered to accommodate the change, then it might become difficult to reflect the original delay.
PV, EV and AC values depend on the baseline cost / schedule / scope parameters.
Difficulty in tracking costs at lower levels, especially when progress is measured in 0/100 system and not incrementally.
Inaccurate capturing of EVM metrics and thus, inaccurate reporting.
Cost calculations for intermediate stages of progress are difficult.
Lack of information on progress or cost budget.
Inability to generate reports on time.
Poor project governance
Plan related – Inaccuracy of baseline plan or non-congruency between planned and actual work under progress
Inaccurate inferences being drawn.
Miscommunication / Quality control failure resulting in mismatch between underlying data elements between PV and EV.
Inability to report schedule progress towards project end
Inaccurate reports that cause confusion to the uninitiated reader.
Design of EVM analysis
In cases where there is a scope revision, the EVM analyst must freeze his analysis on the progress until the revision date and make a note of the reasons for variance, if any. The date until which the old baseline was valid and on which the analysis was frozen shall be called the cut-off date. Then, post re-baseline efforts, the analyst must create a new PV / EV/ AC chart but start plotting PV curve at 0 duration from that point on Y-axis, which represents the PV of the cut-off date. The revised planned value curve may be plotted from that point. Similarly, EV / AC also must be plotted on Y-axis on 0-date and the progress may be tracked from that point, instead of the origin. 14
When there is a rate revision but no quantity variation, the case becomes simplified. The analyst can choose to continue with the previous chart, after making corrections to the EV / AC data supplied to him. He must apply a suitable correction factor to bring parity between the base-rates considered while computing the Earned Value Metrics. Where the cost calculations for incremental progress are difficult to compute, the author recommends all measurements to be made with reference to a rolled up activity whose progress and costs can be easily quantified. In such cases, micro-planning techniques prove counterproductive.
incorporated in the EVM reports to achieve greater clarity. The technique espoused by the duo to resolve the problem of the EVM schedule indicators is Earned Schedule (ES). The ES idea is simple: identify the time at which the amount of earned value (EV) accrued should have been earned. By determining this time, time-based indicators can be formed to provide schedule variance and performance efficiency management information. It explains an illustrative way (graphical method) to arrive at the Earned Schedule value.
Establishment of a formal EVM team with clearly assigned roles and responsibilities and formalized data transfer agreements between various agencies will go a long way in eliminating problems related to data nonavailability. It will also address quality control issues as it will afford better control over EVM work. EVM implementation, being a top-down approach, the presence of a formal governance body will give the needed push it needs to gain acceptance as a Project Management Tool.
Projecting the cumulative EV onto the PV curve (i.e., the Performance Measurement Baseline), determines the position where planned value (PV) equals the EV accrued. This intersection point identifies the time that amount of EV should have been earned in accordance with the schedule. The vertical line from the point on the PMB to the time axis determines the “earned” portion of the schedule. The duration from the beginning of the project to the intersection of the time axis is the amount of earned schedule (ES).
EVM schedule indicators are, contrary to expectation, reported in units of cost rather than time. They fail for projects executing beyond the planned completion date which mandates the analysis of both cost as well as schedule reports separately, defeating the purpose of EVM. One way to maneuver around this is to adopt Earned Schedule, as proposed by Walt Lipke and Kym Henderson. Their method proposes an additional metric, called Earned Schedule, which must be
With ES determined, time based indicators can be formed. It is now possible to compare where the project is time-wise with where it should be in accordance with the PMB. “Actual time,” denoted AT, is the duration at which the EV accrued is recorded. The time-based indicators are easily formulated from the two measures, ES and AT. Schedule Variance becomes SV (t) = ES - AT, and Schedule Performance Index is SPI (t) = ES / AT.
Adopting these measures in totality, addresses all major concerns that arise while implementing EVM will help us fool-proof Earned Value Management Analysis.
Shashank Neppalli is a Project Management Professional with demonstrated ability to plan and control, complex engineering projects. In addition to Planning & Monitoring, he possesses in-depth knowledge of Material Management, Contracts Administration, Risk Analysis (Project as well as Credit Risk). He is fond of swimming, trail running and scrambling.
Attrition and the Role and Responsibility of Management By Pooja Gandhi PMP®
Best Practices – People Management *“People leave managers not companies...” – This has become like a proverb in the industry now. But what action are we talking for this? Do we really accept this statement completely? Or we accept it partially? Or we don’t buy it at all? Let’s dig out more and see if we, as Project Managers or Program Managers or Directors, can make a difference. Attrition - Hard Truths
Why control Attrition? The average costs of replacing today's non-performing work force are eating away at the profitability of even the healthiest organizations. Even if the bottom line remains intact, the loss of just a handful of key employees who have a special expertise or who maintain valued customer relationships can shake an organization to its roots. The alternative is UNACCEPTABLE. . Changing Times - Then and Now
work hard be loyal give their all In return, they would have:
a job for life a home away from home regular salary increases a good chance for a promotion
Reduced Productivity from the departing employee during his job search (sometimes called “short-timer’s disease) Departed employee attempts to woo his or her past customers to his or her new employer Negative impact on the customer As a family
I welcome you for
joining and part of
would like you
to remain self
As a policy we only do
happy, to help
when people leave us.
us achieve 0% attrition.
Piyush Govil PMP®
Retaining top talent was less of an issue in the past, but the shifting tides of the unspoken employee/employer contract have created new currents in the workplace. The old contract asked employees to:
1. Unseen Costs of Attrition
Apart from the productivity loss due to a vacant position, hiring and training a new candidate, unseen cost of Attrition are:
The new contract is substantially different. It states that employees must now work harder, do their jobs and also the jobs of their former co‐workers who were "right‐sized." In return, job security is extinct, promotions are scanty, salary increases are modest at best, and the constant uncertainty of change is almost guaranteed. Is it any wonder that employee loyalty is on the demise and talented individual contributors and manager’s feel less bonded to their organizations?
The Philosophy has changed to “Reducing Attrition” to “Managing Attrition”
Organization is like a family! We believe in you 2. Reasons of Staying are not the same as the Reasons of Leaving
Traditional exit interviews just scratch the surface of the cause for attrition. They inevitably fail to differentiate between factors that make the new job attractive to the departing employee, versus the reasons why the employee was prompted to consider leaving his or her current job in the first place. They may have started the job-search due to absence of professional development opportunities but may report “better compensation” as one of the main reasons for leaving. The result is misdiagnosis and improper prescriptions. 16
3. Manager - Paramount but Underplayed Role
Studies have shown that managers attribute attrition to external organizational factors like ‘Compensation’, ’Rigid Policies’, failing to take any personal responsibility. However, it has been found that a large number of factors contributing to employee retention are within manager’s periphery of influence. Managers need more guidance than earlier as his span of control has been widening and the number of times the manager “touches” the employee is less frequent. “Touch” here implies influence employee motivation and commitment 4. Prevention is better than Cure
The loss of key employees may prove to be huge loss. Importance should be laid to not just tracking overall attrition ratios, but also the level of performers who are leaving. As per studies, an average manager thinks about retaining the employee, when he or she receives the resignation. On top of that, most managers try to convince the resigned employees that they are making mistakes. This leads to more resistance in the employee. In rare situations, when the manager convinces him to stay, he or she may leave within six to nine months anyway (if no preventive steps are further taken). Treating retention as an on‐going priority enables the manager to focus on proactive measures to sustain long term employee commitment, rather than on reactive attempts to reverse surprise resignations. Retention – On-Going Process
this, organization’s recruiting system and processes also impact retention ratios. a. Tracking – Measuring and Accountability Retention should be a proactive and on-going process. Proper measurement criteria should be defined so that the right actions can be taken. Accountability plays an important role to make it a success. It can be categorized as a “Manager Issue” or a “HR Issue”. It can take a new perspective only when it becomes one of their business goals. Top talented employees recognize that they represent a critical and valued organizational asset. When their loyalty deteriorates, their tendency to switch organization increases; Best Practices: Case Study Having discussed about the key facts about attrition, I would like to share some of the Best Practices introduced in my group at the Management level, since past more than 1 year, as a pro-active step towards employee engagement and controlling attrition rate. Key focus areas are: Information Sharing Participation in Planning and Execution Role planning, assistance in career growth & concern handling Focus on Innovation & Initiatives Fun @Work
As per research and studies, the three pillars required to achieve world class retention are: b. Managers Manager plays a significant role in influencing the employee’s commitment level and retention. These retention practices are not a standard menu; instead they represent the manager’s actual behavior on the job and the climate they create around. While enlightened leaders balance the needs of the organization with the needs of the employee, the truth is that these leaders are rare. Though managers play a very crucial role in retention, they do not control all of the factors that can affect attrition. Therefore, the second component represents the organization's responsibility in the retention equation. c. Organization Retention Systems The major components are pay-scales, opportunities for employee growth, good and transparent policies, effective top to bottom communication etc. Apart from
Before these practices were introduced, all the managers were imparted special trainings in People Management aspects. These practices are now part of our processes.
1-O-1 Meetings Frequency – Monthly (For a year), Now reduced to 2 Times a Quarter Duration – 30 minutes to 1 hour Tracking – All 1-O-1 sheets are reviewed by Group Owner and Group Lead Every Group Owner, Program Manager and Project Manager conducts monthly 1-O-1 meetings with each of their line reportees and documents the minutes of the meeting in a defined format. The objectives are manifold as follows: To listen and understand employees concerns and their addressal To understand employees professional expectations and aspirations To suggest him steps and provide them opportunities for his career growth and tracking the same To help him understand his scope of improvement and to appreciate his improvements and achievements. Skip Level Meetings Frequency – Quarterly Duration – 1.5 hours to 2 hours Tracking – All skip level sheets are discussed in Management Meetings Group Every Group Owner conducts a Skip Level Meeting for all the teams with him in small groups of 10-15 people. He may also conduct 1-O-1 skip level meeting, if required. The objective is to unfold and bring up concerns that remain un-addressed in a 1-O-1 meeting with the Line Manager. Sometimes, the groups are formed with employees from different teams. The Group Owner ensures that the environment is comfortable and people speak their mind and heart. Quarterly Role Planning Meeting Based upon the inputs received through 1-O-1 meetings and skip level meetings, current roles and responsibilities, strengths and weaknesses, concerns and aspirations of each employee in the group is discussed. Steps to ensure resolution are discussed and tracked till closure. Program Manager Weekly Team Meeting Program Manager conducts weekly team meeting in which he informs the any company or group level update, status of the project, ensure teams participation in risks and issues discussion, shares appreciation etc. This ensures that there is an open communication channel between the team and the Program Manager and Program Manager is aware of all the minute things of the project and the team.
Celebrations and Appreciations Appreciations can be in any form like Customer Feedback, High Ownership, Technical Acumen, Solving critical issue, Mentoring, Individual Excellence, Innovative Thinking, Customer Value Creation, Support, Best Practice Implementation, Best Practice Suggestion, Good contribution to CoDe, Initiative etc. Recognition and appreciations are also tracked for each team on monthly basis. Quarterly Meet - Group Lead addressal and Fun Events Apart from the above monthly celebrations, a quarterly event is organized for all the teams in the group in which the Group Lead addresses the team and various fun events, games are organized. In this event, apart from prizes, technical awards are presented. In the last 1 year, 2 events were conducted within office premises and 2 events were conducted outside. Team enjoys such events and connects to people outside their project team. This helps in building team cohesiveness. The positive impacts of the above practices include:
Reduction of dis-satisfaction among the employees Team feels more connected to the Management Establishment of a formal communication channel/medium and information flow in both the directions Resolution of problems under management’s control Proper escalation of problems to the other support groups, as applicable
“Let’s be pro-active than Reactive”; “Let’s own it” and “Let’s manage it rather than accepting it”
Pooja Gandhi PMP is currently associated with Aricent as Senior Engineering Project Manager/Program Manager with 12+ years of industry experience in the field of Telecom Software including wireless technologies like 2G, 3G etc for Tier-1 OEMs like NSN. She is in management role since past 5+ years in the capacity of Project Management and Program Management. Currently handling projects in various domains like Location Based Solutions, Platform Development, IMS and Optical Transport Networks” Reference:: *Source: CMI (Chartered Management Institute) Survey November 2009; CIPD Resourcing and Talent Planning. Annual survey report 2010; CIPD Employee Outlook. Year Review Summer 2010 References for Research and Study- The Challenge of Retaining Top Talent: The Workforce Attrition Crisis By B. Lynn Ware, Ph.D., and Bruce Fern
Successful Project Outcome with Prudent Feasibility Study By Kanav Chauhan
One of the crucial segments of the project life cycle is feasibility study which is undertaken by all types of businesses, teams or projects in one form or the other. The better the feasibility study lesser the chances of failure of the project. It is like laying the foundation stone of the building. Better the foundation laid, better the strength and shape you can give to your project.
Objective- Key Components- Benefits of Feasibility Study
The objective of the feasibility study is the identification of one or more solutions that meets the specified business needs. When there is uncertainty about the desired outcome being delivered by the proposed solution, some clarifications can definitely be achieved by conducting the proper and systematic feasibility study. Main criteria to judge the feasibility are the cost required and the value to be attained at each stage of the project in order to move ahead with the project.
Key Areas for Questioning ‘TELOS’ The approach which contains key attributes as-
What are the possible target markets for the proposed product of project Who are the competitors in this market and how good they are established How will the our product differentiate from those of its competitors Which are the areas where feasibility has to concentrate knowing the SWOT analysis Where are the results leading us to
Various stages of feasibility study Conceptual stage is the initial stage when the study of what the client expects with regards to the system implementation is carried out.
Elaboration stage is the one where the designing of the system based on the outcome of the analysis of the initial study is done.
Construction Stage is defining the requirements of the system iteratively on the basis of the development.
Implementation Stage is the stage since the agreement was made with the client in the initial stages of the study so the finally the proposed solution is implemented in the client location.
The feasibility study should very clearly and strongly support its recommendations The report submitted should have very clear explanation of the result achieved The recommendations that it wants to provide should be easily understood and should be in line with the objective of feasibility study An important tool for the client towards fast decision making process
Kanav Chauhan currently working as Associate Consultant with TCS, she has done MBA in operations stream and has total 14yr + experience. Core area of expertise is Telecom and has worked on the Greenfield projects in Telecom infrastructure domain. Earlier experience involves working with Reliance Communication ,UTstarcom (AN US based OEM for Telecom)and ISPs .Have managed clients like TATA , Bharti Airtel ,Bhutan Telecom ,Sri Lanka Telecom ,Nokia Siemens Networks etc .Her core strength is strong communication management and the team handling .
She is fond of reading and wants to do doctorate in Management. Other hobbies are exploring the new places, meeting new people and have a dream to go on world tour.
Project Management in a LEAN Way By Visukumar Gopal PMP® LEAN is a Strategy, Philosophy, and Leadership Approach for operating in a Superior Way. LEAN thinking is a powerful methodology that can help to maximize the Real Value. LEAN Principles and Tools are very much applicable in the Project Management Process. Many tools of LEAN can be used and Principles can be followed as part of Project Management Profession.
Constancy of Purpose
Respect for People
Pursuit of Perfection
The following three Principles are foundation of any projects to start in a LEAN way: Constancy of Purpose - Any project which we want to do should have a Constancy of Purpose. During initiation, we need to set the mindset of all the project stakeholders to complete the project successfully, and expectations need to be set and all should agree to go in a Unified Direction.
EXECUTION During Execution phase, project team delivering as per the Customer Expectation.
Respect for People – It allows bringing full potential of the team members throughout the project duration. Even small ideas need to be explored in non-critical environment, which helps people to build the level of confidence. Pursuit of Perfection – It helps to refine the deliverables more and more accurately and meet the requirements to full extent and beyond the expectations also. From the implementation point-of-view, the following practices can be followed: PLANNING
Voice of Customer (VoC) VoC gives and explains the business process and expectations of customers very clearly. Most of the time, VoC is interpreted so as to get the feedback from the customer. If we follow the Proactive Behavior while listening to the customer, then his requirements become crystal clear to us. While working in a project with multivendors/function teams, we need to understand their challenges and constraints by getting into their shoes. System Thinking This System Thinking helps us avoid unnecessary communication like heated arguments and reduce the waste of utilizing the communication sources such as email and telephone. Once the perspective about the requirements and functions of the stakeholders are understood, it helps us to deliver the project deliverables with Quality at the Source during the execution phase of the project.
Piyush Govil PMP®
New initiatives should be given a room to seize the opportunity to make a difference in project deliverables. Proactive Behavior helps in planning things in an effective way and helps both project team and individual’s commitment to deliver in a welldisciplined way.
LEAN is not for fixing People; it is more helpful to fix the Process and influence the Behavioral Always Change.
CONTROL During the Control phase, if we observe how things are moving within the project, which depends upon the progress, we can set the work to flow and customers can pull the value from the next upstream activity. This stabilized Flow/Pull mechanism helps in an easy way to control and monitor the project.
-Voice of Customer -System Thinking
CLOSE In the Close phase, we can see the Culture Change along with Lessons Learned. The strong foundation in the Initiation phase, Behavior change in the planning phase, Perspective clearance in the execution phase, Flow /Pull mechanism in the control phase help us to build a culture change during the close phase of the projects. Culture is the cap stone of the LEAN principles pyramid.
Some of the LEAN Tools that can be used are as follows: PLANNING/ESTIMATION
There are two types of Heijunka:
LEAN tools such as Pareto, Cause and Effect analysis have already been used in the Project Management practice. There are a few other LEAN tools which can be used in the effective Project Management.
Leveling of production by the number of tasks Leveling of production by task severity/customer’s need Close Kaizen
TAKT Time is the one that helps the project manager during the planning phase of the project to identify the available time for production per day to meet the customer demand.
Control Kanban Kaizen
While doing estimation, we calculate the hours of effort of a person to complete the project. This tool helps us to calculate tiny task deliverables on time, which can be attributed to effort calculation:
Execution Heijunka PokaYoke Kaizen
Available time for production per day
Planning/Estimation TAKT Time
TAKT Time = Customer demand in that time
EXECUTION Heijunka: This tool is more useful in load balancing during the execution phase of the project. It actually helps in leveling of task flow and delivers as per the customer’s demand in small batches to result in optimum resource utilization.
PokaYoke: is more useful in doing execution. While developing and producing the deliverables; simple, failsafe methods which prevent mistakes from being made or from becoming defects known as PokaYoke.
It helps in the following three ways:
CLOSE Kaizen tool can be used in the execution, control, and close phases of the most project types, because Kaizen means continuous improvement. As per the LEAN principle, pursuit of perfection drives to the Kaizen event. Whenever required, a small group of people gather and brainstorm in a structured approach on possible improvements. This tool helps us to take ideas to innovation.
Eliminate the cause of an error at the source. Detects an error being made/developed/produced. Detects an error soon after it has been made/developed/produced, before it reaches the next operation/level. CONTROL During the control phase of the project, Kanban can be used to monitor the task completion. This signal system helps us to perform priority-wise task allocation. Different systems can be used for this signaling mechanism, which is an effective way of monitoring in the control phase.
Marrying LEAN Principles & Tools along with project management will increase the project success rate and will also improve the efficiency, productivity, and on time completion of the project. LEAN and Project Management have their own tools and techniques, which can be collaborated and effectively implemented for Project Organization’s improved performance.
Visukumar Gopal is a Versatile Practitioner, Energetic Coach, Corporate Trainer and Public Speaker, who is passionate about transforming individuals, teams and organizations into improving their Process, Project management, Operation practices and Delivering Business value. He has over 17+ years of professional experience in IT and Non-IT. He is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP), LEAN Six Sigma. He served with MNCs like CITIBANK, GE, and DATA ACCESS and currently with SYNTEL - CEO’s Office as Practice Manager and leading strategic initiatives.
Special thanks to Innodata Inc Team for volunteering their valuable time to leverage their expertise in Proof Reading! Ms. Shipra Pokhriyal (Chief Copy Editor- STM) Mr. Sandeep Kumar Bacheti (Group Manager- Editorial)
Thanks to Nitin N Singh to facilitate this task. 24
Project Leadership: A Way to Become a Program or Portfolio Manager By Ajaibir Singh PMPÂŽ It is always easier to stick with the status quo and manage projects as they have been managed before--utilizing old techniques that everyone is expected to use. However, it may not be beneficial for the longterm growth of the organization. It is much more challenging to step out into a new arena and change the way people think about teams and projects. For a project manager, this could mean taking accountability as a responsible team and moving forward as if the project is going to be rewarded. The advantage to use a new paradigm is that organizations can change overnight if there is enough passion to move forward. In the past, project management was seen not as a proactive approach, but as a restrictive one, because of the antiquated management techniques that were being used. However, if we create highly effective teams and develop proactive projects, then it will not only change our industry, but also our values to an organization: we will go from being an added expense to being a competitive necessity. When we discuss project management and project leadership, the first question that arises is: are we talking about the same thing? The answer is no, we are not. The term management came on its own during the industrial revolution. This was a period during which the thinking of the entire population underwent a fundamental change. The work environment moved from consisting of a small group of people (usually a family) working in a subsistent process to that of a large group of people whose work was overseen by an organization. The organization needed to develop tools and techniques to get the work done economically, efficiently, and as quickly as possible, and the response to this need was the creation of the management techniques that we still use today. These techniques revolve around measuring productivity and motivating individuals to produce more in a short period of time. However, the motivation techniques used today are very different than those originally used during the industrial revolution, and there are far more standards and requirements to be adhered to than in the past.
As organizations become leaner, project managers are asked to manage their projects in a more dynamic way. A project manager must be passionate and involved enough to inspire the entire team to get behind the endeavor and work to its final, successful conclusion. While working through this process, he or she must manage internal and external stakeholders, finances, quality customer service, and the risk and implications thereof. In many ways, a large project can be like a small business. It can redefine markets and change the course of business on a regular basis. This entrepreneurial role requires the project manager to move out of dealing with the standard forms and documents and into a larger world of running the equivalent of a small company. Within the larger organizational structures, this is nothing new. Several project managers run projects the size of Fortune 500 companies. The difference is that these project managers do not use management techniques but rely more on leadership. This is because, the projects are so large that they cannot deal with all of the workers on an individual basis and require a leadership role to control and execute a project of this size. One of the reasons that the term management is still used is because â€œleadershipâ€? is difficult to define and evaluate. Developing leadership takes time and energy and is very difficult to quantify, especially over the short run. Management techniques are designed to be easy to quantify and direct, and are therefore easy to manage. If an individual truly wishes to be a project leader, it is a long road which requires a tremendous amount of learning by practice and is a process that is very difficult to document. The Qualities of Leadership The most rudimentary distinction between leadership and management is that a manager is given a series of tasks that he or she must get done by working with other people. On the other hand, a leader has a vision and must achieve that vision by working through other people and bringing them on board with that process. When bringing these individuals on board, the leader recognizes that each individual will either have an interest or lack of interest in 25
supporting this vision, and part of this leader’s requirement is to move all of those individuals from the uninterested to the more interested or active processes. Leadership is a quality hard to measure. There are hundreds of books claiming to be able to describe exactly what leadership is and tell how to embody leadership qualities. I do not believe that the essence of real leadership can be captured in a book. However, if pressed to define leadership, I would say that a leader is an individual who inspires, cajoles, encourages, threatens, cheerleads, and serves a group of people to get a specific task or series of tasks done. The difference is that in the end, the group would feel that they “did it themselves” rather than that they were led.
Vision Without vision, the end is never in sight. Without a clear understanding of where to go, a project leader is like a ship without a compass. As a project leader, it is important not only to be able to see the end place, but also to understand why this project is important---tying back to the corporate strategies and being able to describe this vision to the entire team. Making sure that the project is on time and moving in the right direction becomes one of the things that the project leader does almost unconsciously to inspire the team. If the project leader is unsure of the vision or it is unclear, the project team will recognize that and may react poorly.
This is a very different leadership style than what is practiced in most organizations, but it is exceedingly useful in guiding project teams to achieve their ultimate effectiveness. It takes the emphasis off the project leader and shifts it to the project team. When a project manager is able to serve his or her team, then he or she will lead that team much better. This takes most leadership ideas and turns them around. This is a leader who is down in the trenches as well as out in front, with his or her team working through the problems, inspiring them as they go, and pushing the credit down to them instead of expecting to get all the kudos. Although this article argues that the emphasis needs to be shifted from the individual project leader to the team, it is important to recognize that the project leader must fulfill several prerequisites before he or she is able to provide good leadership and focus on the team. Although there are certainly many other prerequisites, the following are vital as a starting point: • Vision • Mission • Values • Trust • Teamwork • Expectations
Mission Mission is the framework onto which leaders build the team. There is a distinct difference between vision and mission. Vision is the intellectual understanding of the endpoint and includes the “where” and the “what” of what needs to be done. The mission is the tactical process that has been agreed upon by the group. A good project leader understands that these need to be agreed upon ahead of time and checked 26
back on throughout the project, giving stability to the organization. Creating an agreed-upon standard process and then following the standard process throughout the entire project gives the team a great deal of stability and allows them to feel comfortable during a possibly uncomfortable process. It also reassures them that even though things may be changing, there are certain tried and true areas that remain the same.
Trust Trust is the key to true teamwork. Once a project manager understands what the final goal is, he or she has developed a mission to achieve that goal, and has aligned himself or herself well with his or her values. He or she must build and then retain the trust of the team. This trust cannot simply be given, it must be earned and developed over time. It does not take long for most team members to decide whether or how much they trust the leader. Trust is a relatively simple concept to deal with, but it can be lost so quickly that a project leader must guard against its loss at every stage of the project. Once the project team has lost trust, it is doubly difficult to get it back, and substantial amounts of time, effort, and resources will be lost through in-fighting and power issues because of this breach of trust. Passion Without passion, all the rest is lost.
Values Values serve as the map that leaders follow. If a project leaderâ€™s values revolve around getting ahead at all costs and using the team to increase his or her own power or influence, he or she may succeed for a short period. A good set of values focused correctly can be one of the project leaderâ€™s most powerful tools. This is not necessarily something that can be defined and taught; it has to be an internal understanding within the individual himself or herself. However, this does not mean that one has to be born with this internal understanding realizing that sooner or later the team will recognize the values of their leader can be a powerful incentive for change within that leader--especially in those individuals who truly want to lead.
No true leader can succeed without passion. Many people can manage teams and get things done, but without a true passion for whatever activity you are in, leadership seldom happens. An individual can have good values, a spectacular dream, and a plan for getting it done, but without the passion to carry it through, it may sit on the shelf as an unrealized idea. Passion is the fuel that moves a leader forward. Many individuals who meet leaders for the first time are astounded at the energy and determination that these individuals have for their specific cause. Passion is the fuel and removes the barriers from the project. Most project leaders recognize that creating passion about an ordinary project can be difficult. To accomplish this, most project leaders do not focus on
An asset of knowledge can be grown multifold with your true Networking skills. -
Piyush Govil PMPÂŽ
the project itself, but become passionate about the process as well as about the individuals doing the work. The project leader shows that he or she is interested not only in the individual team members and their abilities but also in how to help them do their jobs better as well as in how they can all work better together as a team. Once this kind of passion gets ignited, work becomes more fun and teams have a tendency to build into higher performing organizations than expected.
A true team should understand not only its own jobs, but also that it is committed to and has a sense of accountability for the entire organization. The team members should support each other, working together proactively to achieve the expected goals. Most team members can work together but do not have the commitment or trust necessary to truly work as a team. The goal should be to create a collaborative process that brings about results. For the project leader, it is vital to understand the difference between a group of people simply working together and a truly unified team. Most project managers have not experienced true teamwork.
Team Work “Teamwork” is a misused term.
Once they have gained that experience, they are able to recognized and encourage that teamwork relatively quickly the next time. A project leader recognizes that each individual person has his or her own motivating factors. Each one of those factors gives some potential advantage to the project. Utilizing those individuals in a team dynamic can make even the most difficult project seem relatively straightforward and quite enjoyable.
Teamwork is one of the most overused words in the business vocabulary. As industries are becoming more competitive and the Internet as well as electronic media are creating a “flat world” for all organizations, it becomes harder and harder to find strategic differentiators between them. Although many organizations will promote ideas about developing better teamwork, in reality, superior teamwork is a strategic advantage for an organization. However, most organizations do not invest the time and effort needed to develop this teamwork.
A team can get a tremendous amount of work done if the project leader understands how to develop and build teams and then point them in the direction that they need to go. Expectations A tool to create greatness Finally, a project leader must understand that what expectations he or she has, which will be achieved in the long run. So as a project leader, whether you
Networking is the media, to leverage and share your expertise within the community. -
Piyush Govil PMP® -
expect your team to work in a secure manner or you expect your team not to get the job done, chances are that they will! However, if a project leader makes a positive public statement about their team but then makes a negative (but true) statement to someone else, the stronger of the two beliefs has a tendency to win out in the end. Conclusion
In conclusion, project managers need to start looking at themselves as leaders of high-performing teams and expecting team members to become high-performing individuals.
However, this expectation alone is not enough to create superior teamwork. Outstanding performance cannot be mandated. This still requires an organization to recognize that teamwork takes time to develop and must be supported among individuals who are given time to work through communication, knowledge, and trust. Once this has been achieved, a high-performing team can be one of the more powerful ways of strategically outmaneuvering in an increasingly competitive environment. Once a project leader has developed a high-performing team, he must continue to keep that trust and utilize that team appropriately, developing a vision to help the team understand where it should be going, to reinforce the mission, and to inspire them with a passion to get the project done.
Reference: 1. Title: Project Leadership, Authors Timothy J. Kloppenborg, Arthur Shriberg, Jayashree Venkatraman (Publisher Management Concepts, 2003) 2. Moving from Project Management to Project Leadership: A Practical
Guide to Leading Groups (Industrial Innovation) by Camper Bull (Apr 29, 2010) About Author
Ajaibir Singh is working as Delivery Portfolio Manager in IBM India and has 20 years of experience . He has served as the catalyst for successful completion of Program, Project and Technical Services initiatives in the ITES /IT/Construction Industry, complimented by Project & Program Management Certification, BE, M.B.A Degree from F.M.S, Delhi University and certified Lead Auditor for ISO-27001.
Latest technology trends and effective Project Management By Brijesh Sharma PMPÂŽ
How Cloud computing will change the way we manage projects?
Every now and then, in every industry we have disruptive innovations which change the way we operate and manage our business model. Cell Phones destroyed the pager market, IPodâ€™s wiped out walkman, Digital camera made film cameras business unviable. 29
Organizations are looking out for these innovations so that they are not only ready to sustain their business but also to take advantage of these technologies and change the way they manage their business. What do we understand by “Cloud computing”? Cloud computing’s simplest example would be using any free email services on the internet- you don’t own any product; you don’t know where the servers of email services are located; you just use the email services over the internet. Cloud computing uses the same concept. There is no need to buy the servers, software licenses or expensive high tech hardware. You just need to have dummy computers and an internet connection to access the storage space and applications which is hosted by a cloud hosting company and you just pay for the services which you have subscribed to.
Technology was not fully available cloud computing Companies were not fully aware of using cloud computing and Companies considered cloud as risky in long term prospective unsure sustainability
to support benefits of proposition about its
Since the cloud concept is different from the way we have used technology till now, the way we manage technology and handle projects will also change drastically. Some of the benefits which can make cloud computing a destructive force are: 1. Reduction in Total cost of ownership Cloud computing dramatically affects your costing model GOD! Listen to my prayers, My job can only be saved, if I am able to collect some of my competitor’s data… who cares even if some of my critical data drains of…
Fun with Cloud Computing…
Piyush Govil PMP
Although the concept of cloud computing was there in industry for more than a decade but it was not until recently that cloud computing has become the buzz word in the industry. Some of the reasons could be
model, effectively reducing server installation cost and software and associated license cost as well as time required for server setup.
Lack of any major company providing end to end cloud solution
As shown in fig. b page 31, for organizations going for cloud computing, the TCO (total cost of ownership) which includes cost of servers & software, 30
installation and operating costs will reduce drastically in later phases as compared to cost of ownership of infrastructure.
Some concerns about adopting Cloud computing solutions are: 1. Data privacy issue Cloud computing uses shared service and space issue where one server is used for sharing service and storage space for multiple companies. This poses threat of theft of sensitive information for firms not only by other firms but also by hackers. 2. Loss to firms with existing IT systems
FIG b. Depiction of cost difference between cloud implementation and present technology implementation (Note: data is hypothetical used only to depict the concept) 2. More control to clients post deployment Since the application will be deployed on the cloud hosted by cloud solution providers, these companies would give more control to end customers in terms of expanding or reducing number of subscribers, up gradation of software and modification of application in terms of providing more features. 3. Energy savings Companies wonâ€™t be requiring server ownership resulting in reduction of number of servers which will help in reduction of energy consumption and to some extent release of greenhouse gases. 4. Ease of access of applications Employee can share and access data online from anywhere with internet connection and doesnâ€™t require development of any company specific platform. 5. Short lead time for setting up IT in an organization Organizations using cloud computing can quickly get into subscriber base contract with cloud service rendering companies and can also rapidly ramp up their subscriber base which reduces their lead time to market by considerable amount.
If a firm already has an IT system in place, then moving to cloud technology means transitioning from fixed cost structure to variable cost structure of fee per subscriber basis. This can be true for large firms having huge fixed technology assets
such as servers, intranet etc. and large number of employees subscribing to cloud services. 3. Slow response time The response time of application installed locally or on companyâ€™s private network will always be faster than applications installed on cloud. This might reduce the efficiency of their workforce. 4. Huge investment cost for some firm Cloud computing solution is based on internet connectivity from organization to cloud service provider. If firms have to transfer huge amount to data or information to/from cloud, then it will require large investment in setting up high speed internet connectivity preferably using optical cable increases cost for firms. 5. Less visibility of risks Cloud service providers are reluctant to share the information about the specification and location of their infrastructure. This increases the risks majorly in two cases, first being that the firm is not aware of the security features such as firewall, antivirus etc. applied to protect their critical data. Second, the backup plan in case of any nature or manmade calamity on the server hosting facility, will there be
6. Reluctant to adopt to new technology Cloud computing is still under testing mode when it comes to large scale implementation and hence firms are reluctant to rely on it as they are not sure whether these technologies will be sustainable in long term or not. 7. Project Development and Migration to client environment Companies can go for private clouds which are just such as public clouds (which we call cloud computing) but a private cloud can be accessed and used by only those organization which it was setup for. This may be a challenge as the migration of data from private cloud to another cloud could pose a risk as these clouds could have been developed and managed by different companies such as Amazon, Microsoft or Google with different underlying software and compatibility issues. Role of a project manager
Decision making role whether to adopt Cloud computing or not
Project managers should communicate the post project implementation benefits and cons to all stakeholders so that stakeholders are able to decide whether to adopt cloud computing and modify the scale and spending on cloud solution. d. More emphasis on Communication and Collaboration About 70-90% of project manager time is concentrated around communication with stakeholders. Managing virtual teams over different geographical on new cloud technology would be challenging. However, new tools will need to be specifically developed for report or dashboard generation depicting the team progress and thereby saving project managerâ€™s time on communication and providing more visibility to stakeholders on project progress. Opportunities for project manager
a. From implementer to selector The role of a project manager will change from implementer to selector of not only technology but also vendor of technology. Project manager will bridge the gap between the business and technology requirement for client he would be having utmost understanding of client business needs. Project manager can suggest the type of technology, scale of licenses and vendors for different phases of client business.
b. Understanding of quadruple constraint The biggest concern for companies implementing cloud solution is data privacy. Since in cloud computing, many organizations are sharing the software, services, memory space on license basis, there is possibility of theft of sensitive information which can be anything from financial information to launching of new product by competitor. It will become project manager responsibility to include risk management in triple constraint of scope, schedule and cost. Understanding, managing and communicating to stakeholders regarding various risks pertaining to cloud computing such as data privacy, security and up gradation will become a crucial part of project management activities.
a. Small to Mid size companies adopting Project Management
Many smaller companies, which were reluctant to go for project management due to cost constraint, will now take advantage of lower cost and will invest heavily in projects. Understanding the business needs, challenges and motivation behind implementation of projects for small size companies would be required by project manager.
b. Development of new technologies for Cloud At present companies are investing huge sums of capital in developing cloud technologies. Tools and techniques developed specially for managing projects on cloud would be required on large scale. Since Cloud technologies are still evolving, project managers can custom design these tools according to their needs which could later become industry standard.
c. Abundant resources but scarce Project Managers for Cloud With the slowdown of business growth, organizations are increasing their expenditure on new projects directed towards better visibility in their business, reorganizing of business and product portfolio to provide better control over cost. With other resources being available in abundance mostly contributed by slowdown in global economies, the demand for project managers is bound to increase which can provide more growth opportunities from them. .
Challenges for a project manager c. Understanding of underlying technologies nittygritty
Emphasis of understanding of underlying technology would increase which would be essential for identification of risks, challenges and opportunities in new environment of cloud computing. This would be required for devising strategy for handling of data privacy issue which is a major concern for companies while adopting cloud based solutions. d. Contract terms with Vendor in Cloud
a. Regulatory Compliance across business and countries Application on cloud can be accessed via internet from anywhere, so understanding the various regulatory measures of different countries would be essential for project managers before starting the project. For e.g. there can be few countries which would not allow public data especially related to finances such as pension, defense projects to be accessed by anyone on internet due to threat of cyber attack and leaking of sensitive information in wrong hands. b. Increase in project manager’s towards maintenance activities
With the increase in subscriber base per application, project manager’s involvement in maintenance of application would increase. As number of users would change dynamically, involvement of project manager in support activities would also be dynamic in nature that would pose challenge for time allocation to activities.
Presently, costing of most contracts is based on set of historical data or pre-determined factors such as number of users etc. As limited data is available for cloud, project managers would have to evaluate new factors when selecting and awarding contracts to vendors. Activities related to security, scalability and compatibility of application on cloud, formulation of contract terms including new pricing model and project scope would be required in great extent.
No Quiz In this edition due to no participation in last two editions. We shall introduce again based on member’s feedback and interest.
Upcoming Events: 1. An evening with IBM – 5th October;2012, Noida 2. PMI North India Chapter AGM – 6th October’2012 (kindly vote on survey for Chapter ByLaws by 5th of October’2012)
Conclusion For any technology to radically change the way we manage our projects, it’s availability along with project managers who knows how to use and take benefit of it is essential. Project managers should have understanding of pros and cons of cloud technologies, latest offering in cloud computing along with knowledge of core competencies of different cloud vendors so as to provide best possible solution to their clients. Special focus should be on risk management, cost benefit analysis and vendor management when it comes to managing projects in cloud environment. As Cloud technology is growing at a tremendous rate and would grow by three fold in next three to four years, there is an increasing need of project managers who can manage projects in these technologies. Are we ready for this change in project management?
Brijesh Sharma is pursuing MBA in Operations specialization at Symbiosis Institute Of Business Management, Pune.In 2012,I cleared two international certifications, Six Sigma Black Belt from ASQ (certification number : 12679) and Project Management Professional (PMP No. 1508554). I completed my Bachelor of Technology in computer science and engineering in 2007. I have 3.5 years of work exp. in Accenture and Infosys where I worked in projects in various domains such as manufacturing, FMCG, retail etc.I enjoying playing sports and watching documentaries.
September 1, 2012
Nearly 200 guests from industry, government, and former and present chapter members attended the session.
Seminar on Project Management - Structuring Projects to Ensure Success
PMI North India Chapter recently organized an event on project management for the MBA students and faculty members of Asia Pacific Institute of Management (AIM) in Delhi on 1 September. This was followed by a five-hour knowledge-sharing chapter event at AIM for chapter members and corporates on “Structuring Projects to Ensure Success”. The event was sponsored by AIM and was publicized in the institute’s corporate circle through mass mailing, roadside banners, posters, and media coverage.
The chapter program was inaugurated by Shri A.K. Shrivastava, chairman, AIM, along with PMI North India chapter president Mr. Manoj K Gupta. Institute director Dr. D. K Batra, Director AIM gave the welcome speech, followed by a detailed presentation on infrastructure and services at AIM by the institute’s dean, Prof. B. D. Singh. Mr. Gupta gave a presentation on North India Chapter, its mandate, an update on the chapter’s work in the past 2-3 years, new initiatives, and upcoming events. Speakers Mr. Deepak Mehtani, deputy director, UI Inc., Mr. Kumar Saurabh, senior manager, Samsung Engineering Ms. Shalini Lamba Independent Project Mgmt Consultant Mr. Asim Prasad Chief Manager, GAIL Ltd Mr. Chetan Mathur, Project Delivery Manager Nokia Siemens Prof. Vivek Kumar Professor of Operations Management AIM
Busy Registration Desk
Chapter Volunteers Ms. Mr. Ms. Mr. Mr.
Nidhi Sharda Jiji George Pooja Gandhi Prasoon Chaturvedi Naveen Singh
Lamp Lighting Ceremony Special Thanks Mr. Pritam Gautam – VP Technology, PMINIC Ms. Sarita Talwar – VP Membership, PMINIC Program Manager Mr. Piyush Govil – VP Communications, PMINIC
Packed Seminar Hall
High Tea & Networking 35
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