Richard Newton wears many hats. Included amongst these are his work as a consultant, author, blogger, change leader, company director, and program manager. His most well known project management book is The Project Manager: Mastering the Art of Delivery. He is also the author of the best-selling Dream It, Do It, Live It which applies project management principles to achieving personal dreams.
Waiting at the luggage carousel in late 1999 in Kathmandu, two bags quickly arrived. The third, with all of my son’s stuff in it, never did. Finding ourselves in Kathmandu for 36 hours, with a 12 year old with no clean clothes when about to fly on to Paro in Bhutan was a bit of a problem.
About 18 months ago I was routed on a flight via Rome. This was slightly bizarre and quite irritating as there was then an 8 hour wait for my connecting flight. It wasn’t a cheap flight, but I looked for a positive solution. No matter I thought. I will take the opportunity to go into Rome for a few hours, have lunch and then come back for my flight. It seemed a great plan.
Change management literature is full of advice about the importance of clear objectives. Clarity is always recommended: why are you changing, what do you want to achieve, what will it be like when the change is complete? Business language is replete with associated terminology: objectives, goals, outcomes and visions.
The first question surrounding any new project management book should be – why? There are thousands and thousands of project management books, and amongst those thousands there are quite a few that are very good. We all have our favourites.
Reporting is a central part of project delivery. There is a variety of reports to produce: status reports, budget updates, steering committee packs and so on. Reporting can take up a significant proportion of project resources, and is often a point of dissatisfaction for project managers, project sponsors and other stakeholders.
All business projects result in an outcome in the form of a change. In business it is important to be able to measure these outcomes. How should you approach this? The following article is extracted from a book I wrote recently, The Financial Times Briefing: Change Management, and provides some thoughts on measuring change.
One of the ongoing frustrations for anyone running a project management team in a business is being asked to deliver activities which should not be considered as projects. This is particularly common when project managers or project management teams have a good reputation in a business.
A common point of tension for many organisations is the way strategy converts into projects. (I am assuming there is a meaningful strategy. This is obviously not true everywhere, but that is a whole different sort of problem which is not covered in this article).
Dealing with change in organisations is well recognised as a significant and ongoing issue. Change comes in many forms – from re-organisations, through all sorts of adaptations resulting from contextual and environmental pressures, as well as changes arising from opportunities that organisations identify.
When I started working, somewhat over 25 years ago, outsourcing and offshoring was in its infancy. Now it is a central factor in organisational design – and in projects.