#PMFlashBlog Project management around the world – UK public sector

#PMFlashBlog Project management around the world – UK public sector

Project management in the UK public sector has changed in response to the austerity agenda.  The need to maintain service quality and breadth while reducing expenditure has led to reduced headcount alongside increased efficiencies.  With no sign of any change of direction, organisations are planning for continued public sector contraction up to 2020. Reduced headcount and a continued need to deliver complex services at high quality, while simultaneously managing unprecedented levels of change is no mean feat.  Public sector PM’s are managing more projects concurrently than before, which means that they’ve needed to streamline their own processes.  They don’t have time to produce copious amounts of documentation.  While echoes of Prince 2 can still be detected, Prince 2 document bloat has gone out of the window.  Written records focus on the fundamentals – tasks, risks, issues, decisions – much of the other stuff is superfluous.    Those PM’s that were paralysed by analysis have fallen by the wayside – austerity requires swift and pragmatic decision makers.  In a Darwinian struggle, only those that have consistently and efficiently delivered results have survived.  Other qualifications such as the PMP haven’t really got a foothold, which is likely to be a consequence of reduced training budgets and the continued ‘early to market’ advantage that Prince 2 holds.  The APM is the dominant CPD body in the UK, and their Registered Project Professional qualification is slowly beginning to register on the public sector radar. The need for rapid project delivery under stressful conditions means that PMs have had to up their game with respect to interpersonal skills.  PMs must concisely communicate the right information, at the right time.  Stakeholders don’t have the time to wade through lengthy communications, and if you fail to consult them at the appropriate time, there’s no chance of backtracking or delaying the project to let them catch up.  Comms must be right first time.  PMs must also be capable of developing rapport with colleagues, and fostering team spirit.  This is not easy when everyone around the table knows that the transformation project will lead to redundancies. UK public sector PMs have had to become more customer focused.  Commissioning approaches have led to the fragmentation of the sector, with large local authorities, health trusts and government departments deploying a combination of outsourcing, mutualisation shared sevices techniques to achieve efficiencies.  Consequently PMs find themselves being commissioned to work for departments now sitting outside of the commissioning hub.  This leads to a more robust approach to recharging, and so the cost of project management is more transparent than before.  In turn, this means that project managers must clearly demonstrate value for money, and ensure that they impress those commissioning them in order to obtain repeat business. Fragmentation of the sector has also led to the need for smarter approaches to collaborative working.  With more geographically dispersed partnerships being created, PMs need to manage teams across a wider area.  This has led to increased use of video/tele conferencing and file sharing platforms.  The lack of face to face opportunities is another driver for the sharpening of PM communication skills. In summary, austerity has meant that UK public sector PMs have had to up their game.  The increased challenge can create extra stress as well as increased reward and opportunities for PM’s that are up for it.

Read More

Become a better communicator with DISC profiling

Become a better communicator with DISC profiling

Projects are really all about people. But unfortunately many project managers aren’t trained in how to understand human behavior and how to adjust their communication style accordingly. DiSC® is a personal assessment tool which provides a simple way of explaining human behavior and which can help us to better get along with others – including our stakeholders and team members. DiSC® is based on two basic observations about how people normally behave. The first is that some people are more outgoing and assertive, while others are more reserved and slow paced. The second observation is that some people are more detail and task-oriented, while others are more big-picture and people-oriented.

Read More

Overcoming Resistance to Change

Overcoming Resistance to Change

Resistance to change is an interesting phenomenon, which is often quoted as a major reason why projects and change programs don’t deliver the results they set out to. At its core, resistance to change is a label we apply to people who seem unwilling to accept change. But for the most part, it isn’t the change itself that people resist. They resist because they believe they will lose something of value or because they fear they will not be able to adapt to the new ways. Understanding people’s emotions play a key role in addressing resistance.  Image courtesy of RSuite CMS Whereas junior project managers may not be so aware of the emotional side of change, project leaders understand the importance of listening to people and ensuring that their needs are being met. Instead of exclusively dealing with tasks, activities and processes they delve into deeper layers and consider the psychological aspects. They draw people in, address their concerns and anxieties and demonstrate what is in it for each person.

Read More

¿Como dá valor la Administración de Proyectos Empresariales?

¿Como dá valor la Administración de Proyectos Empresariales?

A través de las redes, llega ahora un artículo de Mike Gorsage , “El valor de Enterprise Project Management” en la página de inc.com . Mike inicia recordando que la regla de oro de un carpintero es “medir dos veces y cortar una vez”. Esa misma regla se aplica a la implementación y gestión de proyectos o programas empresariales: hay que revizar el trabajo para comprender todos los aspectos del proyecto antes de que inicie. Hoy en día, casi cualquier ejecutivo tiene historias de frustración con respecto a los proyectos que salieron mal. Debido a la naturaleza desafiante de la Administración de múltiples proyectos, determinar el éxito y alinear los costos con los objetivos, no es ninguna sorpresa que las historias de éxito sólidas sean pocas. Muchas empresas mejoran sus probabilidades mediante la implementación de una Oficina de Adminis tración de Proyectos Empresariales (EPMO). Ya se trate de una fusión, integración, separación o algún otro gran proyecto, los ejecutivos de clase C (ejecutivos de más alto nivel de una empresa, con la mayor responsabilidad para llevar adelante a la empresa) emplean EPMOs para ayudar a manejar los principales programas.

Read More

¿Como dá valor la Adminsitración de Proyectos Empresariales?

¿Como dá valor la Adminsitración de Proyectos Empresariales?

A través de las redes, llega ahora un artículo de Mike Gorsage , “El valor de Enterprise Project Management” en la página de inc.com . Mike inicia recordando que la regla de oro de un carpintero es “medir dos veces y cortar una vez”. Esa misma regla se aplica a la implementación y gestión de proyectos o programas empresariales: hay que revizar el trabajo para comprender todos los aspectos del proyecto antes de que inicie. Hoy en día, casi cualquier ejecutivo tiene historias de frustración con respecto a los proyectos que salieron mal. Debido a la naturaleza desafiante de la Adminsitración de múltiples proyectos, determinar el éxito y alinear los costos con los objetivos, no es ninguna sorpresa que las historias de éxito sólidas sean pocas. Muchas empresas mejoran sus probabilidades mediante la implementación de una Oficina de Adminsitración de Proyectos Empresariales (EPMO). Ya se trate de una fusión, integración, separación o algún otro gran proyecto, los ejecutivos de clase C (ejecutivos de más alto nivel de una empresa, con la mayor responsabilidad para llevar adelante a la empresa) emplean EPMOs para ayudar a manejar los principales programas

Read More