Archive for December, 2007

A Definition of Terms

Posted by Peter on Dec 31 2007 | Definitions

During regular searching around the internet, I’ve noticed some confusion over the exact definition of many terms that we use when communicating with people - particularly when senior management or corporations get involved.

So in an attempt to ’set the record straight’ and be ‘proactive’ I present here some definitions and explanation of some of the more frequently used (and abused) management terms and buzzwords for your enlightenment, comment and enjoyment, starting with ‘A’:

‘Acronym’

(a) A phrase formed with the initial letters of other words, used as an abbreviation.

(b) Indecipherable terms to those not ‘in the know’, causing the reader to have feelings of alienation and stupidity.

Here’s an example from a Case Study in Stakeholder Management. Really:

“Although the TEMP and the ILSP could be taken to the IPR in draft format, it was necessary that the ROC… be approved”.

Are we all clear on that?

‘Action Items’

(a) Items on a meeting agenda that need to be done by somebody.

(b) Issues that nobody wanted to take responsibility for from the last meeting, and will therefore be postponed until the next meeting.

‘ASAP’

(a) As Soon As Possible.

(b) Stop everything else that you’re doing and deal with this right now; even though I know that there will be some delays. This allows me to blame you for not getting the task done ‘ASAP’. And even if you actually manage to do the task really quickly, I’ll still be unhappy as I needed it sooner.

‘At the end of the day’

No, not 5.30pm.

(a) The final analysis.

(b) A nice sounding management phrase typically uttered as a conclusion to a nonsensical corporate policy or decision (”… at the end of the day we’ll all be better off, as the bottom line will improve”).

‘Avoidance’

(a) A risk-management strategy.

(b) A survival strategy when the boss is looking for someone to give an Action-Item to. Typically involves mingling in large groups, using emergency exits, or even running away.

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Airlines managing in-flight mobile phone usage with their Project Stakeholders

Posted by Peter on Dec 18 2007 | Case Studies

Mobile_phones

Yes, it’s coming soon to an airline near you. The technology now exists to allow mobile phone calls to be made from aircraft during flight.

The extension of mobile phone coverage to aircraft is a radical and welcome change. Planes are one of the few remaining places where where mobile phones don’t work, or where there use is prohibited. Allowing their use will undoubtedly delight many people, and upset others.

The telecoms industry has a long history of introducing new equipment and services without much thought for their social impact. In a rare example of companies seeking to manage the expectations of their stakeholders, some airlines are now starting to experiment with this new service, and are seeking the feedback of customers by survey. Only a few aircraft will be fitted at first, and phone-usage will initially be limited to text and email with stakeholder feedback on the appropriate etiquette.

Train_headrest

Some railway operators have already experimented with mobile phone usage. When they later discovered that some passengers were vehemently against it, they responded by designating certain carriages as “quiet zones”. This will not be so easy in aircraft, with a single cabin and a few curtains.

The airlines should be congratulated on their use of stakeholder management when attempting to introduce such a radical new service. We will be watching to see how this new service is managed.

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A Simple 6-Step Project Stakeholder Management Framework

Posted by Peter on Dec 05 2007 | Tools and Techniques

Project Stakeholder Management focuses on the human dynamics of a project environment: managing relationships and communications. This essential process can help to ensure that your projects succeed where others fail.

We will present here a simple step-by-step process to help Project Managers cope with the demands of managing all the varied project stakeholders, named the ‘ice-cube’ model (because we have 6 steps like the 6 sides of a cube, and we name the steps I-C-E, I-C-E).

ICE-CUBE

Here are the steps:

1. IDENTIFY the project stakeholders, by asking yourself:

  • Who will be affected by the project or its deliverable?
  • Who will get the responsibility of supporting the product once the project is over?
  • Any external contractors or suppliers?
  • Any government or regulatory requirements?

2. CLASSIFY and group the stakeholders by Interest and Influence

3. Gain an understanding, and manage, their EXPECTATIONS

4. INFLUENCE the stakeholders, by educating them about the benefits of your project

5. COMMUNICATE and get everyone involved as soon as possible

6. EVALUATE to check that your strategy is working, and also check for any changes in stakeholder groups

The process is discussed fully in the Article, available in the download section of this website.

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SPMI Annual Symposium a great success

Posted by Peter on Dec 03 2007 | Events

The Annual Symposium of the Project Management Institute (PMI®) Singapore Chapter was held at Suntec International Convention & Exhibition Centre on 22 November 2007 and was a great success, with over 230 project managers and project team members attending.

Audience

Here is a summary showing how many of the speakers covered elements of Project Stakeholder Management in their presentations:

Keynote speaker Foong Sew Bun of IBM (Project Management 2.0) mentioned that management involved ‘people skills’ and a knowledge of social science.

Scott Celley of Merrill Lynch (”Career progression, project, program and general management“) pointed out the value of communications and reporting among project stakeholders, and that ‘great Project Managers manage risk and stakeholder communications and politics, whilst always acting ethically’.

Mohan Krishnan of HP (”PM - key to implementation success“) noted that Project Management was the key to implementation success, and that we needed to achieve results through people and improve customer satisfaction.

Other speakers included:

KC Chan (”The 21st Century holistic PM“) - Building blocks of training and people

Lakshika Hettiarachchi (”PM’s - strong candidates for leadership?“) - Manager vs Leader, Personality Profiling, Stakeholder identification and communication being critical success factors in any project.

Chen Bin (”Leading complex virtual project teams“) - reminded us of the need to manage time-differences, and that we must sharpen our interpersonal skills.

Henry Lie (”Don’t just be a PM, be a leader“) - looked at the Lewis model and people skills.

Lalit Mohan (”Project execution practice“) - examined the project team organisation, managing the influence and interests of stakeholders and clients, and communications.

Anand Rao (”Global macro-management, local micro-management“) - showed a definition of stakeholders in a global program, and conflicts & resolution.

Roque Peralta (”Implementing project office for corporate governance“) - provided a methodology for managing project stakeholders, including meetings and explanations, and client management.

Suhwe Lee (”Transformation of personal leadership in global PM“) - mentioned that strong leadership is an asset when running global projects.

William Loh (”NLB’s project-centric approach in managing excellence“) - pointed out his experience of cross-functional project teams and collaboration.

Peter Gilliland discussing Project Stakeholder Management

Peter Gilliland of our very own ProjectStakeholder.com (”What you NEED to know about Project Stakeholder Management“) - presented the simple 6-step ‘ice-cube’ process for effectively managing the expectations of project stakeholders, with the closing phrase that “Good PM’s use stakeholder management to to gain support from others, ensuring their projects succeed where others fail”.

We look forward to the 2008 Annual Symposium.

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