Volume IX - Issue VIII - August 2007

Featured Papers


Churchill’s Choices of What to Do (designs a solution)
Churchill the Agile Project Manager - Part 12

By Mark Kozak-Holland

Most people are very familiar with Winston Churchill but may not be familiar with his “agile” approach to project management and his skills as a PM in the summer of 1940. Part 11 looked at how Churchill set up a Governance Framework to transform the U.K. This article discusses the tactical choices he made to meet the short term objectives of his project, and the initial designs of the solution.

In 1940 emerging technology had mechanized warfare (Part 4) and agility was the new mode of operation for the military where armies could move very rapidly. With a successful combination of highly coordinated forces on sea, land, and air the invasion of Denmark and Norway in April 1940 perfectly demonstrated agility in action. Mobile troops quickly traversed roads that were thought impossible. The Battle of Flanders in May 1940 saw armored columns cover 40 to 50 miles per day. In the air aircraft flew multiple sorties striking 4 to 5 times a day, and it was not single dogfights anymore but squadron fought squadron. Fighters protected large fleets of bombers. Blitzkrieg came as a surprise to the British military who in May 1940 had fought in France with a First World War mind set. They still relied on immovable trenches, and fortified defenses that were rapidly overrun and surrounded by mobile forces.

In today’s world the term agility has become extremely important in business projects and organizations. Agility in operation or organization can include the ability:

  1. To capitalize on emerging new technologies and product development

  2. To exploit openings or new business opportunities

  3. To put customers at the center of a project

  4. To create adaptive teams that respond quickly to change

Today organizations through agile thinking, leadership, and projects can introduce this kind of agility only with a flexible infrastructure.

Read complete paper in English

Read earlier papers in this series.


About the Author:

Mark Kozak-Holland

Mark Kozak-Holland’s latest book in the Lessons-From-History series is titled “Project Lessons from the Great Escape (Luft III)” books-LFH.html. It draws parallels from this event in World War II to today's business challenges. Mark is a Senior Business Architect with HP Services and regularly writes and speaks on the subject of emerging technologies and lessons that can be learned from historical projects. He can be contacted via his Web site at www.lessons-from-history.com or via email to . For more information on the Great Escape Memorial Foundation see www.thegreatescapememorialproject.com




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Introducing the Project Complexity Model -
A New Approach to Diagnosing and Managing Projects

(Part 2 of 2)

By Kathleen B. Hass, PMP

(Editor’s note: this paper prepared exclusively for PM World Today, submitted by Trade Press Services.)

The Project Complexity Model is a new model for evaluating project size, complexity and risk, determining the project’s specific dimensions of complexity and then applying complexity management strategies accordingly. Part 1 of this article addressed the diagnosis of projects according to profile and complexity dimensions, as well as Step 1 of the application of complexity thinking to manage projects – the selection of the appropriate project cycle to use based on the project profile. Part 2 of the article discusses Steps 2 and 3 of the application of complexity thinking to manage projects. In Step 2, the project team selects appropriate management techniques based on the complexity dimensions, and in Step 3, the project team assigns project managers and business analysts based on the project profile.

Read complete paper in English


About the Author:

Kathleen B. Haas, PMP

Kathleen Hass, PMP, is the Project Management and Business Analysis Practice Leader for Management Concepts, Inc. and has more than 25 years of experience in project management, including project office creation and management, business process re-engineering, organizational development, software development, technology deployment, project management training, mentoring and team building. For more than a quarter of a century, Management Concepts, Inc. has provided quality training and performance improvement solutions for the mind at work. For further information, please call or visit the company website at www.managementconcepts.com.



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Competencies Changing Corporation Fortunes

By Professor A. Jaafari, ME, MSc, PhD, CPEng, FIEA

The United States Department of Health and Human Services defines competency as: “a set of behaviors that encompass skills, knowledge, abilities, and personal attributes that, taken together, are critical to successful work accomplishment.” This definition implies that competency is a personal quality and a set of behavioural characteristic individual to the person not part of an organisational inventory. Competencies manifest themselves in the context of performing tasks otherwise they are invisible and difficult to assess and improve. Of course exhibited performance on a specific task is a function of the relevant persons’ competencies, context, information resources and other organisational factors. 

The need to shift to a competency-based management is self evident. According to McKinsey “the rate at which companies lose their leadership positions doubled from the mid-'70s to the mid-'90s” [The McKinsey Quarterly, 25 January 2005, members’ edition] There is thus evidence that sluggish organisations managed along the traditional norms can stagnate or even disappear from the market scene unless they turn themselves into dynamic well performing businesses which requires professionalisation of their managerial rank and file.

According to Lyle Spencer (1997) the economic value associated with competency development of key managers is very convincing. Turning a sluggish poor performing organisation into a dynamic organisation is not an easy task; it requires adopting an appropriate global role family model, assessing and locating competency gaps of the respective managers (from senior managers down to middle managers, line managers, project managers and junior managers). Depending on the role played now or earmarked for the future (when junior managers are groomed for assuming greater responsibility), each manager needs to possess an appropriate blend of competencies. In most cases this can only be achieved if the manager is put through a tailored program of learning and development that specially addresses the missing competencies. This takes time, effort and considerable perseverance on the part of the candidate to bear fruit.

Read complete paper in English


About the Author:

Ali Jaafari
Ali Jaafari, ME, MSc, PhD, CPEng, FIEA

Professor Ali Jaafari is the current President of Asia Pacific International College (APIC), a newly-founded and formally accredited Australian Higher Education Institution devoted to professional and systemic development of managers as well as professionalisation of project-based business units. APIC offers innovative programs in business and project management. He is an Honorary Professor of Project Management at the University of Sydney and has had a long and distinguished academic and industrial track record in Australia and overseas, including more than 20 years of academic service at the University of Sydney. He has acted as a consultant to industry and governments worldwide. Professor Jaafari has authored more than 170 publications and has conducted courses and seminars for over 3,000 executives, managers and professionals in Australia, Asia and Europe. His current research aims at understanding the complexity theory and its impacts on the discipline of management in general and project and program management in particular. APIC is a leading academic institution in terms of the underpinning educational theories and transformative approach to learning and development. APIC’s educational programs are supported by many tools including PH-Check that facilitate the application of the complexity theory to project and program management.




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Project Management Challenges and Best Practices
for Enterprise Packaged Applications

By Kunal Verma, PMP


The paper is intended to help the project managers and program managers understand the project management challenges around enterprise packaged applications (EPA) and the best practices adopted to ensure the successful implementation.

Worldwide IT spending is expected to reach $1,244 billion in 2007 of which the Packaged Software spending is $262.5 Billion (Source: IDC’s Worldwide Black Book Query Tool). With organizations putting more and more stakes on their IT spending, focus on successful project implementations has increased tremendously.

More than 50% of the IT implementation projects fail to achieve the objectives for which the project had started and the poor project management is a major cause for project failure. The organizations which have a higher project’s success rate also follow good project management processes.  (Source: KPMG Global IT Project Management Survey 2005, 2006 Forrester Research and CHAOS report 2004).

Project failures directly impact the customers by lowering the customer satisfaction and the competitors get the competitive advantage. A collective and systematic project management approach is required to substantially increase the project’s success rate and help to minimize the loss of benefits. (Source: KPMG Global IT Project Management Survey 2005)


Read complete paper in English



About the Author:

Kunal Verma


Kunal Verma

Kunal Verma, PMP, is presently a Project Manager in the Enterprise Solutions Practice of INFOSYS TECHNOLOGIES LTD. He has over 7 years of experience in the IT industry and has focused on packaged applications for the last 4 years. During this time Kunal and his team have been involved in several consulting, roadmap definition for the enterprise, pre-sales, project management and project implementations, mainly on SAP products. Kunal has worked extensively in SAP CRM product development and SAP implementations for Automotive, Hospitality, High Tech and CPG Industries. Kunal has received awards for delivering projects and programs on-time, within-budget and with high customer satisfaction. Kunal started his journey in the packaged space from SAP Labs India where he worked on SAP CRM product development. Prior to working in packaged applications, he was involved in custom application development in the Financial Domain. Kunal holds a Bachelors Degree in Technology from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) – Kanpur. Kunal can be contacted at or e-mail: .



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