Volume IX - Issue VIII - August 2007

Editor's Perspective



David Pells


Welcome to the August
issue of PM World Today

Welcome to the August issue of PM World Today.  The Editor’s Perspective on the Current Issue provides a short overview of the articles and contributions included in the current edition.  It is also intended to provide some perspective on why the articles should be of interest or why they are included in the first place.  Whether this is read before or after the articles, we hope it is useful.  This edition of PM World Today has more content than ever before, and includes a number of articles and papers in both English and Spanish.  This issue is also more global, containing reports and papers submitted by authors and correspondents in 15 countries. 

This month’s Editorial is entitled “The Seven Natural Phases of a Project Management Career.” This is my attempt to describe what I consider a natural sequence of activities and phases in a professional career.  Based on my own experiences and perspectives, this article is intended to provide younger professionals with some ideas for mapping out their professional lives.  Hopefully it will be useful to some.  Please read the editorial, then let me know your reaction in a Letter to the Editor.

Two Letters to the Editor are included this month.  Eric Jenett, PMI founder and Fellow in Houston, in his email “On the Subject of ‘is Project Management ready for Prime Time’,”, suggests contacting leading publications to promote more coverage of PM.  Mr. Patrick Weaver in Melbourne, “On the subject of the College of Complex Project Management”, questions the need for an entirely new College or standard for Complex PM, as being promoted by some in Australia.

Three Viewpoints articles are included this month.  Ed Naughton in Dublin has contributed an important article on the subject of “Project Management – A Key Contributor to National Competitiveness”.  As Ed begins his paper, “Project management as a management discipline underpins much economic activity - it has become an essential reality for business and government.”  I agree with him wholeheartedly, and suggest that governmental leaders worldwide read this article.  Alfonso Bucero in Madrid has contributed an article on the subject of “From Technical Expert to Project Manager”.  Alfonso argues that “Some technical experts are promoted to project manager’s position without considering if they are prepared for that or if they want to be in that position.”  He discusses this problem and suggests some solutions. Alfonso’s article is provided in both English and Spanish.  Paul Giammalvo in Jakarta responded to my July editorial with a viewpoints article entitled “PM is not so advanced as many think.”  Based on the project problems and failures that emerge on a daily basis, Paul suggests (rightly) that we still have a long way to go.

Featured Papers are serious professional contributions to the PM literature; this month four serious papers are included.  In the first one, Mark Kozak-Holland concludes his series on the subject of “Churchill the Project Manager” with Part 12. This article is based on his book of the same title in the award winning ‘Lessons from History’ series published by Multimedia Publications in Canada.  As usual, Mark draws some interesting lessons for today’s project managers.  Kathleen Hass of Management Concept returns with Part 2 of 2 of her paper entitled “Introducing the Project Complexity Model – A New Approach to Diagnosing and Managing Projects.”  This is a well written paper and should be useful to many project managers with complex IT projects.

Professor Ali Jaafari of the Asia Pacific International College (APIC) in Australia contributed another Feature Paper entitled “Competencies Changing Corporation Fortunes”.   In this paper, professor Jaafari discusses the importance of project management competencies and a “Project-based Management Competency Chart” developed over the last eight years in Australia.  According to Ali, this is the most comprehensive PM competency chart in the world.  The fourth Feature Paper this month is from Mr. Kunal Verma from Bangalore, India on the subject of “Project Management Challenges and Best Practices for Enterprise Packaged Applications”.  The paper is intended to help project and program managers understand some of the challenges surrounding the implementation of packaged enterprise IT solutions.  The industry background information in this paper is especially interesting.

PM Tips & Techniques papers provide an opportunity for project management consultants, experts, trainers and vendors to contribute to the PM World Today eJournal, with helpful and practical suggestions.  We offer four such papers in this issue.  In his paper “Improve project success with better scope management,” Avneet Mathur presents some fresh perspective on an age old PM problem.  Perhaps this is worth revisiting more often as more economies and industries incorporate new technologies.  Mr. Tim Bergmann’s article entitled “The Seven Deadly Project Sins: Part 1 – Elitism” is the first in a series in which he discusses problems we often create for ourselves as project managers.  Drawing a tongue-in-cheek parallel with a Christian euphemism (which may in itself be dangerous), Mr. Bergmann delivers some good advice for all PM professionals.  I look forward to his next installments.  Brian Irwin has provided an interesting paper on the subject of “Virtual Teaming Soft Skills Relevant to all Projects.”  With an emphasis on communications, his advice is especially relevant to virtual project teams and managers of cross-cultural initiatives.  We have included the latest (July) article by Michelle LaBrosse, head of Cheetah Learning, an article entitled “Managing Team Fireworks”, distributed through Cheetah’s “Know How Network”.  With her engaging and entertaining style, Michelle provides guidance on managing conflicts, energy and direction on project teams.

Our Feature Interview this month is with Mr. Luis Alfredo Chepote, well known Peruvian project manager and entrepreneur, provided by our International Correspondent in Lima, Mr. José Machicao.  In answering a set of questions, Mr. Chepote and Mr. Machicao shed important light on the state of the project management professional world in Peru.  Mr. Chepote has won awards for some of his projects, several of which have been of national importance.  As Mr. Chepote testifies, professional project management has played an important role in these successes.

We are happy to include a Student Paper this month, a contribution by Mr. John Tiso who is a Cisco employee in Massachusetts and a graduate student at Harvard University.  Mr. Tiso’s paper, entitled “Houston, we have a problem! The Use of KT Processes in Effective Project Management”, reviews the applicability of “rational processes” pioneered by Charles Kepner and Benjamin Tregoe at the Rand Corporation in the 1950s.  Kepner & Tregoe (KT) went on to form a very successful training company in the United States, that has offered project management courses for decades.  This paper helps put that training and some of their principles in perspective.  As Mr. Tiso points out, “a key function of the KT rational processes is that they facilitate the removal of emotion in management decisions.”  For this reason alone, this paper is worth studying.

Eleven Regional Reports are included this month from our international correspondents in Argentina, Ecuador, France, Greece, India, Nigeria, Peru, Spain, Switzerland, the UAE and the USA. 

Our correspondent in Argentina, Ana Maria Rodriguez, has provided an article in both English and Spanish languages on the subject of “What to read about Project Management in Spanish?”  Ana Maria’s article addresses a serious problem in Latin America, the shortage of project management articles, books and reports in the Spanish language.  She provides some suggestions, but more importantly raises this important issue.

Dr. O. Chima Okereke, International Correspondent for Nigeria, has provided a monthly report based on some of the issues he is dealing with after returning to Port Harcourt after three months in the UK.  In his report on “Current developments affecting project management in Nigeria”, Chima discusses power, internet and communications issues facing anyone working in Nigeria today.  He also mentions an upcoming Chamber of Commerce meeting and the Niger Delta Master Plan, evidence that progress is being made in his country. 

The regional report from France by Thibaut Goupil also offers some perspective on local conditions, in that case, the recent presidential elections.  Thibaut correlates project management with politics in “Politics, Projects and Programs”, an interesting look at “Managing a project: winning the presidential election” and “Managing a programme – presiding France.”  Good idea – if societies are project-oriented, then the leaders must be program managers!

In his regional report from Greece, Theofanis Giotis reports that “Project Management is exploding in Greece!”  According to Theofanis, there is a new Greek Project Management Standard that companies must comply with by January 2009.  A Greek Project Management Congress is being organized in Athens for November 2007.  The PMI Greek Chapter is conducting monthly events, with a major Quality in PM event recently very successful.  And RMC Project Management has expanded from the USA into Greece with the signing of a representative agreement with ITEC.  It seems to be a busy time for PM professionals in Greece.

In his first report as an International Correspondent in Switzerland, Alexander Matthey has provided an interesting article entitled “Project Management becomes more and more bullish in the country of banks – Switzerland!”  He provides preliminary information about a major project management event to be held in Vienna, Austria, with sponsorship of PMI chapters in Austria, Germany and Switzerland.   He also describes the RMC Project Management expansion into Switzerland through a teaming arrangement with 3PM Experts Sàrl.  We look forward to more news and developments from Alexander in the future.

In a first report from Ecuador, Irwin José Franco writes on “Ecuador: Opportunities for Everyone!”  According to Irwin, “From professional people and gremial organizations, to public and private sectors, these all have the opportunity to take advantage of the benefits of this worldwide tendency for implementing best practices in Project Management.”  He provides some general environmental information, then discusses opportunities for enterprises, professionals, education providers, society at large, and anyone interested in professional project management.  It’s a great report and we welcome Irwin’s contribution this month.

Mounir Ajam in Dubai has provided an interesting report entitled “On the Emerging of a Professional Association for Project Management in the UAE.”  According to Mounir, “the long wait for a professional association advocating professional project management in the UAE might be coming to a close soon with the strong support of a leading organization.”  He discusses the efforts on behalf of local PM professionals to either form a PMI chapter or, as an alternative, a local national PM association.  Fortunately, it appears that they have the backing of local industry leaders, so the potential seems very positive, as it should be in such a dynamic country.

In his Regional Report from Spain, Alfonso Bucero in Madrid reports about a Bioclimatic demonstration project and a major software development project involving high level cooperation between Spain and Brazil.  His report is also in both English and Spanish languages. 

The Regional Report from Raju Rao in Chennai, India, on the subject of “Projects and Project Management in India,”  presents an overview of recent activities at PMI chapters in Chennai and Bangalore.  He also reports on a joint venture of Bharti Airtel and Ericcson for one of the world's largest network expansion projects, worth an estimated USD 2 billion. The state-of-the-art network will help Airtel offer world-class and cost-effective products and services to its customers, and help it expand into rural India.

José Machicao’s report from Lima, Peru is in the form of an interview with well-known local project manager and business leader, Luis Alfredo Chepote.  This is the first in a series of interviews planned by José, correspondent for PMForum and PM World Today in Peru. Through this first interview, insights into projects and project management in Peru are offered.  Mr. Chepote is an award winning project manager, with standards that others around the world can measure themselves against.  This is an important interview, provided in both English and Spanish languages.

Carol Dekkers, our roving International Correspondent based in Florida, has provided another report from her travels around the world of project management.  Her report is entitled “Update from Various Northern Hemisphere Corners – Amsterdam, Riga, San Diego”, presents some interesting and useful information about professional organizations and conferences that she has recently given keynote speeches at.  Those included the European Systems and Software Engineering Process Group (E-SEPG) conference in Amsterdam, the PROFES conference in Riga, Latvia, and the International Federation for Professional Speakers (IFFPS) seminar in San Diego

I want to welcome our newest International Editorial Advisor, Professor Roland Gareis, PhD, Dkfm, professor and head of the department of project management at the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration in Vienna, Austria.  He is also director of the Professional MBA Program “Project & Process Management” at the university and manager of the research program: Project orientation (international).  Former president and chair of the Projekt Management Austria organization, Roland has been active in IPMA and PMI for many years and is well known throughout the world as one of the foremost academic leaders in the field. Please read the article about his participation in PM Community News in this issue.

We also extend a warm welcome to Mr. Alexander Matthey, new International Correspondent in Switzerland, and Mr. Irwin Jose Franco, new International Correspondent in Ecuador.  These two dynamic project management leaders will be reporting the news and sending future reports from two important but dramatically different parts of the world.  Alexander will be reporting from the mountainous country of Switzerland in the center of Europe, where native languages include French and German.  Irwin is based in Guayaquil, the main seaport of Ecuador in South America where the main language is Spanish.  Their addition continues our process of diversification and globalization, two important trends that we expect to strengthen our ability and opportunities to connect the world of PM.  Please read the articles announcing their participation in the PM Community News section of this issue.

PMForum introduced an exciting new program last month, the PM Ambassadors™ Speakers Bureau, a major new service for project management leaders and sponsors of project management events around the world.  Through this new service, speakers can be provided for project management conferences, seminars, meetings and other events worldwide.  During July, two globally recognized project management leaders joined this program and were named PM Ambassadors: former PMI chair Louis Mercken in Belgium, and APM Fellow and current APM president Dr. Martin Barnes in the UK.  Please read about these professional leaders in the PM Community News section of this issue.  You can see more about this program at http://www.pmforum.org/ambassadors/ambassadors.htm.

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Good luck with your projects!
David L. Pells
Managing Editor
PM World Today






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