Project Governance and Controls Symposium – Program

PCGS BackThe full program for the PGCS in Canberra on the 6th and 7th May has been released: Download the PDF to see the full lineup of local and international speakers

The Symposium’s location is  Lecture Theatre South (Building 30) we have the foyer and the use of 3 lecture theatre’s  LT1,  LT4  and LT45.  On-site parking is free, use car park 91 and walk down it will take about 5 minutes, the cadets are on leave so car parks are available.  Download the UNSW / ADFA Map.

At $820, the symposium represents fantastic value for a two day event.  Can you afford to miss this outstanding line up?

To find out more and register visit the Symposium website at: http://www.pgcsymposium.com

Defining Governance – What the Words Mean

Origins

Governance is the act of governing. Originally the province of ‘rulers’ over the last century or so, as power and authority has devolved to various types of organisation, and the influence of organisations within society has grown, the concept of governance has become increasingly important to the people entrusted with leading these organisations and to the stakeholders who own or intact with the organisation, corporation or department.

At the most basic level:

  • To govern is to rule with authority…; to direct and control the actions and affairs of others… and
  • Governance is the controlling, directing or regulating influence.

Therefore organisational governance can be defined as the system by which organisations are directed and controlled. It involves a set of relationships between an organisation’s management, its board, its shareholders and other stakeholders and provides the structure through which the objectives of the organisation are set, and the means of attaining those objectives and monitoring performance.

Project, program and portfolio (PPP) governance
PPP Governance is a sub-set of and integral to organisational governance. Using the two most common definitions of ‘corporate governance’ (corporations being one form of organisation) it is possible to drill down to a meaningful definition of PPP governance as follows:

Definition

The original definitions

1. Sir Adrian Cadbury (1992):
Corporate governance is the system by which companies are directed and controlled. Boards of directors are responsible for the governance of their companies. The shareholders’ role in governance is to appoint the directors and the auditors and to satisfy themselves that an appropriate governance structure is in place. The responsibilities of the board include setting the company’s strategic aims, providing the leadership to put them into effect, supervising the management of the business and reporting to shareholders on their stewardship.

2. OECD (2004 p.11):
Corporate governance involves a set of relationships between a company’s management, its board, its shareholders and other stakeholders. Corporate governance also provides the structure through which the objectives of the company are set, and the means of attaining those objectives and monitoring performance are determined. Good corporate governance should provide proper incentives for the board and management to pursue objectives that are in the interests of the company and its shareholders and should facilitate effective monitoring.

Converting the definitions to PPP governance:

3. Cadbury adapted to PPP governance:
PPP governance is the system by which an organisation directs and controls those aspects of its work that will be accomplished through the performance of projects or programs. Boards of directors (or their equivalent) are responsible for the governance of their organisation and for satisfying themselves that an appropriate PPP governance structure is in place. This includes understanding the organization’s strategic aims, providing the leadership to put them into effect, supervising the management of PPP and overseeing the stewardship of the resources used in PPP.

4. OECD adapted to PPP governance:
PPP governance involves a set of relationships between an organization’s board (or its equivalent), its executive management, its PPP management and other stakeholders. PPP governance also provides the structure through which the objectives of the organisation are refined, and the means of attaining those objectives and monitoring performance. Good PPP governance should provide proper incentives for management to pursue objectives that are in the interests of the organisation and its owners and should facilitate effective monitoring.

Distilling the essence of the definitions:

5. Combined elements of the adapted definitions:

  1. PPP governance is the system by which an organisation directs and controls those aspects of its work that will be accomplished through the performance of projects or programs. It involves a set of relationships between the organization’s board (or its equivalent), its executive management, its PPP management and other stakeholders.
  2. The board of directors (or their equivalent) are responsible for the governance of the organisation and for satisfying themselves that an appropriate PPP governance structure is in place.
  3. PPP governance provides the structure through which the strategic objectives of the organisation are refined and the means of attaining those objectives are implemented.
  4. PPP governance also includes understanding the organization’s strategic aims, providing the leadership to put them into effect, supervising the management of PPP, overseeing the stewardship of the resources used in PPP and monitoring performance.
  5. Good PPP governance should provide proper incentives for management to pursue objectives that are in the interests of the organisation and its owners and should facilitate effective monitoring.

6. Key components of the definitions:

  1. Creating the PPP management system including Portfolios / program / project management systems.
  2. Surveillance (PMOs etc., + accountability).
  3. Organisational support (HR, Finance, etc).
  4. Alignment with strategy to create value (primarily portfolio responsibility).
  5. Stewardship = the assignment and acceptance of responsibility for overseeing and protecting something considered worth caring for and preserving by shepherding and safeguarding the valuables of others (ie, the resources assigned by the organisation for use in PPP).
  6. Stakeholders and sustainability.

7. To derive a working PPP definition:

PPP Governance is the creation and implementation of the framework and principles by which the organization’s PPP activities are directed, supported, monitored and controlled.

Where:

  1. Framework = P + P + P management structures (see more on PDC).
  2. Principles = stewardship, sustainability, stakeholders, etc.
  3. Direction = alignment with strategic objectives, etc.
  4. Support = organisational systems, HR, finance, etc.
  5. Monitoring = surveillance, PMOs, etc (see more on surveillance).
  6. Control = tie back to organisational objectives.

Based on these definitions, in my next post the role of PPP Governance as a core component o organisational governance will be discussed.

For other posts on governance see: http://mosaicprojects.wordpress.com/category/governance/

For more Governance Papers see: http://www.mosaicprojects.com.au/PM-Knowledge_Index.html#OrgGov

Our Mad March sale is over

IMG_9605Our Mad March sale is finally over but our world-beating prices remain for 2014 with our guarantee to beat any comparable price by $50.

Our fully catered, 4 and 5 day classroom courses for PMP and CAPM  are $1397, no more to pay (GST included).  See: http://www.mosaicproject.com.au/

Prices for our Mentored Email™ self-paced distance learning courses for PMI-SP, CAPM and PMP depend on your location and your selected options.

  • PMP Mentored Email courses – available world-wide from $680: see more
  • CAPM Mentored Email courses – available world-wide from $600: see more
  • PMI-SP Mentored Email courses – available world-wide from $520: see more

 

New Articles posted to the Web

BeaverWe have been busy beavers updating the PM Knowledge Index on our website with White Papers and Articles.   Some of the more interesting uploaded during the last couple of weeks include:

And we continue to tweet a PMI style of exam question every day for PMP, CAPM and PMI-SP candidates: See today’s question and then click through for the answer and the Q&As from last week.

You are welcome to download and use the information under our Creative Commons licence

Core Traits of a Reliable Schedule

CIOB_BookThe recognition of the need for effective schedules is a strongly emerging trend.  There are a number of assessment tools described on our Scheduling home page, and the related White Paper focused on the DCMA 14-Point Assessment Metrics  highlights the value of a ‘good schedule’; as does the CIOB ‘Guide’ to managing time.   The Core Traits of a Reliable Schedule adds a practical protocol to these existing resources.

The Core Traits of a Reliable Schedule is aimed at codifying schedule best practices. The Authors have endeavoured to codify the essential elements of a reliable schedule into a comprehensive protocol. It organises established and emerging best practices for CPM and GPM schedules into 20 core traits.

  • ‘A’ Traits correspond to comprehensive schedules,
  • ‘B’ Traits correspond to credible schedules,
  • ‘C’ Traits correspond to well-constructed schedules, and
  • ‘D’ Traits correspond to controlled schedules.

The Core Traits of a Reliable Schedule ties the 20 best practices, to indicators of reliability, to the consequences of non-conformance, in a straightforward and practical way. A useful free synopsis can be downloaded from http://pmaconsultants.com/services/innovation/core-traits-of-a-reliable-schedule/  and if you like what you see, the full protocol is available for purchase.

Practical Project Politics

PMI expects project managers to be politically smart and recognises that the appropriate and skilful use of politics and power help the project manger be successful (PMBOK® Guide Appendix X3.7). But what is organisational politics?

no-politicsProject Managers tend to be ‘doers’ that like the action of delivering tangible results, things that have value. Most successful PMs are skilled at managing project sponsors or steering committees and their cross functional teams, and the best are good at navigating complex organizational structures.  But, project managers are usually not office politicians and are usually not very good at playing corporate politics.

They see ‘playing politics’ as an undignified form of behaviour where logic, discipline, transparency and loyalty are replaced by deceit, secrecy and subterfuge. And whilst this may be true of some ‘political operators’ everyone in corporate management is involved in organisation’s politics and the biggest mistake a project manager can make is to assume that organizational politics don’t exist.

Project Managers need to understand corporate politics so they can see the warning signs of danger, and can position themselves to survive in politically charged environments. Politics is normal and dealing with it is just another part of an overall stakeholder management strategy.

Organisational politics is neither good nor bad in itself, it simply how power gets worked out on a practical, day-to-day basis. ‘Politics is an influence process in organizations to achieve power to change the balance of power to accomplish your goals or purposes’ (Kakabadse and Parker Wiley 1984). Project Managers need power to do their job and need to use politics as one way of gaining that power. In other words, politics is about power, influence, and access, and about working with the system to get what you need; which is not necessarily a bad thing.

A good working definition of politics is: ‘the use of one’s individual or assigned powers within an organisation for the purpose of obtaining advantages beyond one’s legitimate authority. Those advantages may include access to tangible assets, or intangible benefits such as status or pseudo-authority that influences the behaviour or others’.

‘Good politics’ is about working with the system to achieve positive results and helping to meet or exceed your project’s objectives. It’s about maintaining relationships and getting results at the same time. This can be achieved by finding win-win solutions and working to achieve mature compromises.

‘Bad politics’ is when someone works the system to make themselves look good at the expense of others. Bad politicians are focused on winning at all costs and abusing power systems to impose their will on others. This usually result in win-lose situations that can be highly de-motivating, destructive and dangerous to all involved.

Some traits of political players you need to be wary of include:

  • Self Promoting: they take credit even when they have not earned it
  • Manage up: they buddy only with power brokers
  • Spread gossip and talk badly about others who are not present
  • Distance themselves from failure
  • Throw bombs into situations and then retreat into the shadows
  • Extract information and opinions, without sharing their own.

Some of the ways to counter these traits and position yourself for success include:

  • Consistently meeting and/or exceeding the expectations of your stakeholders. Delivering results brings you organisational credibility that is not easily negated by the words and actions of others. This is best achieved by proactive stakeholder management!
  • Learn the political landscape of your organization. Be aware of how politics are unfolding around you. Determine the political players in your organization. Observe their actions and tactics. Anticipate what they will do next. Identify the power blocks and alliances that exist. The more you know, the better you can determine the course of action that is best for you.
  • Actively manage your reputation. It’s ok to talk about your successes and to self-promote in a positive way. And, also promote your team and/or the people around you who helped with the success.
  • Do not let negative talk fester. If someone engages in negative talk about you, your team or your accomplishments confront them with facts – address it quickly.
  • Don’t take sides unnecessarily. Try not to become part of one of the existing power blocks, this often limits your options going forward. Instead keep your options open.
  • Create your own alliance with people who are aligned with your values and engage in ‘good’ politics. Recruit people into your circle of influence by offering them support, encouragement, information, input, feedback, resources and access to others in your network. Earn their trust and respect through positive deeds and actions. Building your network will take time but it is worth the effort
  • Don’t denigrate others. It’s easy to be trapped into a discussion where negative sentiments are being expressed about someone, even if you do not agree. Say, “I’m not comfortable talking about ‘Person X’ when they are not in the room. If you have an issue with them I suggest you talk about it with them directly.”
  • ‘Keep your friends close, your enemies closer’. Sun Tzu, the author of the Art of War, understood that you have to be able to think like your enemies if you want to defeat them. So don’t shut out those who practice “bad” politics – rather, engage them, try to understand their perspectives, and learn their patterns. The more you know about them, the better you can manage your relationship with them.
  • Remember, it’s not personal. Stay detached, don’t let your emotions dictate your actions, find support in your network, stay positive and, focus on delivering positive results.
  • Think and look for “Win-Win” solutions. Win-lose outcomes will create enemies.
  • Be true to your core values and principles. If a person or action does not fit within your core values you need to reconsider your path going forward.
  • Be trusting but expect betrayal. Pragmatic trust is the key to successful engagement, if you are not prepared to trust people, they will not trust you (see more on The Value of Trust).

Organisational politics can be an ugly game in organisations that are not well lead and governed, often played by those whose only objective is complete, selfish victory (for one effect of this see: Poor Governance creates complexity). To avoid project failure, we have to recognise those who engage in bad politics, protect ourselves and our teams from them, and steer clear of situations where we might violate our core values.

To succeed as project managers, we need to link good politics with good stakeholder analysis and  management and proactively use one’s individual or assigned powers within the organisation to obtain the support and resources needed to achieve your project’s objectives and ‘meet or exceed’ your stakeholder’s expectations. In reality, this is the only way you can succeed.

Project Governance and Controls Symposium – Canberra

PCGS BackThe outstanding line up of international and local speakers for the PGCS in Canberra on the 6th and 7th May is nearly complete: Confirmed speakers include:

Professor Michael O’Donnell, Head of the School of Business at the University of New South Wales.

Dr Tom Ioannous, Group Executive Director Performance Audit of ANAO

Mr Col Thorne, General Manager Land and Maritime at DMO

Ms. Karen Richey, Assistant Director for the Applied Research and Methods Team at the Government Accountability Office (GAO – USA).

Mr. Stephan Vandevoorde, head of the Airport Systems Division of Cofely Fabricom N.V./S.A. and a founding member and Director of the EVM Europe Association (www.evm-europe.eu)

Mr. Stephen Hayes, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the International Centre for Complex Project Management

Mr. Mark Phillips,  President of Standpipe Manager, Inc. a U.S. based consultancy delivering innovative program management services, who will be launching his new book.

And Christen Bergerud (Ecosys), Harold Petersen (UXC Consulting), Yvonne Butler (The Palladium Group), Raf Dua (Micro Planning International), Elissa Farrow (About Your Transition), Louise Hart (Author), with more to come…..

At $820, the symposium represents fantastic value for a two day event.  Can you afford to miss this outstanding line up of international and local speakers?

To find out more and register visit the Symposium website at: http://www.pgcsymposium.com