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Global Jobs Report 2015

In the year ahead, some nations economic

forecasts look sunnier than others. For all,
the need for project talent is clear.
By Novid Parsi



Healthy ROI

With stakes highand public doubts even

higherone project team rallies for a cause.
By Gretchen Kalwinski


If Only Id Known

Over their careers, seasoned project practitioners gain hard-won insight. Now theyre
passing it on. We asked eight experienced
project practitioners, When you were starting out, what do you wish you had known?
By Jake Malooley



Charting the Course

In a time of turmoil, the Central Bank

of the Dominican Republic looked to its
project management office to help
stabilize the economy.
By Tegan Jones


When Agile Meets Auditor

The demands of a regulated environment

shouldnt scare project teams away
from agile.
By Donovan Burba


PMN0115 A-Front.indd 1




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6 Banking on Digitization

U.S. and European banks try to

meet demand for projects

bringing front and back offices

into the 21st century.

7 Turn on a Dime

Strong executive support and
governance drive next-gen
banking projects.
8 Ticket to Ride

Experts call for large-scale
projects to cure the chronic
overcrowding in London,
Englands train system.


9 Mexicos Superpower Status

Automakers have launched
billion-dollar plant projects to
meet growing demand in North

10 Letting Go of GMO

As the U.S. appetite for nonGMO foods grows, product
teams race to keep it sated.
11 Heal Thyself

The U.S. government launches
an ambitious program to help
veterans get medical relief
through tiny chips.




12 Water Waves

A new water-use modeling
tool could be a boon for future
infrastructure projects.

20 Career Q&A

Foundational Strength

By Lindsay Scott

16 Inside Track

Staying the PMO Course
Linda Honour, project
management office (PMO) lead,
technology and operations unit,
Allstate, Northbrook, Illinois,
18 Project Toolkit

The Mentor Advantage
22 In the Trenches

Delivering Bad News

By Meredith Zehnder, PMP
26 In the Trenches

Crisis Mode

By Joan Landry, PMP
70 In the Trenches

Meeting with a Mission

By Antoine Gerschel and
Lawrence Polsky

12 1 Challenge, 3 Projects

Up, up and away
14 Metrics

Electronic health records are

rapidly becoming the

new norm.



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24 The Portfolio Track

A Winding Road
By Teresa (Terri) Knudson,
25 Innovation Center

The Power of Vuj D

By Kareem Shaker,


68 Marketplace

Business analysis for

71 Directory of Services
Project management
72 Closing Credit

Baltimores modernized

water wheel




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Banking on
The future of banking is digital. Yet despite the rapidly growing demand for online products and services, many U.S. and European retail banks have struggled
to fund the projects necessary to modernize all front- and back-office operations.
Its not just about digitizing loan applications to speed up the approval process.
Transitioning from legacy systems at individual bank branches to one digital
system spanning the entire organization has proven especially difficult.
Across Europe, banks have digitized only 20 to 40 percent of their processes,
focusing mostly on basic customer transactions, according
to McKinsey. Ninety percent of European banks invest less
than 0.5 percent of annual spending on digital projects.
U.S. banks are even further behind, says Mike Baxter,
head, Americas financial services practice, Bain & Co., New
York, New York, USA. Asian banks are the furthest ahead,
followed by European banks, and the U.S. banks have been
the slowest to adapt, says Mr. Baxter. He attributes the slow
rate of digitization to factors including the recent financial
crisis, mergers and acquisitions across the industry, and
fears about the cost and complexity of projects.
Funding for digitization projects at retail banks is often
crowded out by back-office technology operations, which
account for roughly 45 percent of banks IT spending,
according to Bain. Banks that have recently grown through
a merger or acquisition, for example, must execute costly
projects to integrate new brick-and-mortar assets into the
existing technology infrastructure. Thats an expensive process, Mr. Baxter says.
Worldwide, just 5 percent to 10 percent of banks IT
spending is focused on deploying technology projects
Mike Baxter, Bain & Co.,
New York, New York, USA designed to change the way customers interact with their
bank. If banks want to stay relevant, thats got to change,
says Mr. Baxter: In the banks that are most advanced on
digital, the balance of IT resource allocation is radically shifting.
For example, Royal Bank of Scotland last June announced 1 billion in
digital technology investments in response to research forecasting that

banks are
the furthest
followed by
banks, and
the U.S.
banks have
been the
slowest to



Portion of worldwide bank IT spending

focused on customer-facing projects

Portion of processes European
banks have digitized


Of all retail transactions will be

conducted via mobile device by 2017
Sources: McKinsey, Bain & Co., Royal Bank of Scotland


Capital Ones 360 Cafe in
San Francisco, California, USA

When Capital One was planning its R&D lab to
support innovative banking projects, the organization wanted a place where end users would
literally have a place at the table.
A two-story caf was built in San Francisco,
California, USA to act as a testing ground for
the projects in progress. The caf is where
stakeholders test-drive early versions of their
apps. The teams then incorporate feedback into
later iterations of the project plan.
We built a little prototype that we affectionately called Rewardly, in the lab and tested
it out, senior director of technology innovation
Joshua Greenough told Fast Company. It really
brings that customer to the forefront of the
pilots and the incubation of
the innovation that were
By bringing an early version to stakeholders, project
teams are able to adapt
and iterate swiftly. Just as
important as that direct line
to the end user is a clear
governance structure and
a strong connection to the
top, said Skip Potter, Capital
Ones vice president of engineering.
Mr. Potter, the chief innovation officer and
the COO meet monthly. When you have that
level of commitment at a senior level, going I
want to see what is going well, I want to see
what you are delivering, thats pretty awesome. M. Wright

By bringing an
early version to
project teams
are able to
adapt and
iterate swiftly.



Each morning, about 90,000
passengers pass through
Victoria Tube Station, one
of the busiest yet smallest
train stations in London,
England. Infrastructure
projects spanning more than
10 years and 700 million
have helped enlarge ticket
halls and redirect passenger
tunnels. But transit sector
experts warn more projects
are sorely neededand fast.
British rail operator Network
Rail estimates that by 2031
the capacity shortfall at one
station alone is likely to be
the equivalent of leaving 20
trainloads of people stranded
per hour.
Many people just wont
be able to get into or onto
many of our transport networks at peak times unless
new infrastructure projects
are green-lit soon, the citys
transport commissioner, Sir
Peter Hendy, told The Guardian. When Crossrail opens,
within months it will be full;
the population will go on
towards 10 million and youll
soon need Crossrail 2. You
wont be able to do without
it. In central London, the
overcrowding will grow to be
The Crossrail projectone
potential salve to the surging
crowdsis a 14.8 billion,
73-mile (117-kilometer)
railway line currently under
construction to create a new
east-west route across the
metropolitan area.
M. Wright

50 percent of all retail

transactions will be conducted via mobile devices
by 2017. Projects include
developing mobile apps,
abolishing data silos to provide a single view of each
customer, upgrading the
banks ATM network and
launching in-branch Wi-Fi
to support personal devices.

All-Digital Competition
Meanwhile, new all-digital
organizations dont have
to spend money on bringing legacy infrastructure
into the 21st century. New
The Royal Bank of Scotland
banks by definition dont
will invest 1 billion in digital
have legacy systems, so
technology projects.
we can work with all the
best-of-breed software currently available, says Keith
Aird, head of information
security, Atom, Durham,
England. A lot of the large banks have mainframe systems and multiple
platforms that make it difficult and very expensive to do any new projects.
Set to become the U.K.s first online-only bank in 2015, Atom relies
entirely on software-as-a-service, or cloud-based, solutions. That has
dramatically lowered Atoms cost of entry to the market, which in turn
allows it to develop cutting-edge customer interfaces that use biometrics
for face and voice recognition. The security of a cloud-based banking
system doesnt concern the new organization. There are many layers of
authorization and protection, Mr. Aird says. In at least one way, Atom
will be more secure than a brick-and-mortar bank branch: Nothing can
be walked away with.
Thats not to say all-digital banks face no project risks, says Edward
Twiddy, chief operating and innovation officer, Atom. They have to prove
themselves to customers and regulators with flawless interfaces and rigorous security. To that end, Atom works closely with its technology suppliers to ensure everyone is committed to meeting the quality and security
goals of each project, as well as all regulatory requirements.
Good project management is fundamental to this process, Mr. Twiddy
says. That includes good governance to ensure all projects are running
smoothly in tandem. Weve got to get the customer experience correct,
while keeping regulators happy and maintaining respect for the data.


Weve got
to get the
correct, while
happy and
respect for
the data.
Edward Twiddy, Atom,
Durham, England


With U.S. and Canadian vehicle sales
heating up, Mexicos automobile industry
is shifting into overdrive. As the exportoriented sector produces record numbers
of carsmore than 3 million units in 2014
and more than 4 million expected by 2016,
according to PwCmany of the worlds
major automakers are launching projects
to meet demand.
Mexicos growth is tied closely to the
large and stable demand environment of
the United States and Canada, says Bill
Rinna, senior manager of North American
forecasts, LMC Automotive, Troy, Michigan,
USA. This lends to the attractiveness of
manufacturers establishing a base there.
Last year BMW, Kia, Volkswagens Audi
subsidiary and a Renault-Nissan Alliance/
Daimler AG joint venture announced
projects to construct new facilities, each
with a budget of at least US$1 billion. The
Renault-Nissan/Daimler US$1.4 billion
project will produce 300,000 Infiniti and
Mercedes-Benz cars annually by 2021.
Those four new projects follow auto
plants recently constructed by Honda,
Mazda and Nissan, which together had a
US$4 billion price tag.

Nissans third
plant in Mexico
opened in 2013.

Mexico has become a superpower in cars, Eugenio Madero,

CEO of Sanluis Rassini North
America, a Mexican supplier of car
parts, told Forbes.
Audis cars need a high-quality
plant, says Francisco Javier Valadez
Ortega of Audi Mexico, Puebla,
Mexico. The new plant in San Jos
Chiapa will be the most modern
and environmentally conscious
installation of the Audi world.
Scheduled to open in 2016, the US$1.3 billion facility will implement state-of-the-art
technologies to maximize efficiency while
minimizing energy consumption, Mr. Valadez says. Its paint shop, for example, will
be pollutant neutral and will reduce water
Securing enough engineering talent for
plant projects is a challenge, however. Like
many other countries, Mexico has a shortage of highly skilled engineers, Mr. Rinna
says. Mexican states, schools and companies are meeting the challenge by investing in the training of engineers, says Luis
Lozano, Mexico City-based lead automotive
partner, PwC, a PMI Global Executive Coun-

cil member. Audi is addressing the talent

challenge with an in-house training program
that combines vocational education with
apprenticeships. Both the state government
of Puebla and the Technological University
of Puebla partnered with the German organization to help build its training facility,
which opened in October 2014.
The goal isnt just to ensure enough talent for construction projects and then normal plant operations. With highly skilled
engineers in place going forward, auto
manufacturers plan to steer R&D projects
toward their new Mexican facilities. More
companies are investing in R&D projects in
Mexico, Mr. Lozano says. R&D will be one
of the priorities. Novid Parsi

For older retail banks with brick-and-mortar branches, transitioning to the digital future will be far
more difficult. The vast majority has begun creating a digital customer experience, allowing accounts to be
accessed online and through mobile devices. But the transition is slow-going because bigger digitization
projects to overhaul core infrastructure tend to have a lot of risks and a long projected return on investment.

Expensive, Multiyear Projects

For example, one of the first projects most traditional banks need to complete is replacing outdated batch
processing systems (which manage transactions in daily batches) with a real-time digital system. They also
need to replace the core data management engine and integrate disparate on-premise data systems in order
to create a single view of customers. This involves a vast program of projects to upgrade back-office systems and roll out new digital tools and interfaces, while simultaneously phasing out branch operations and
decommissioning legacy systems to cut costs and reallocate resources.
If banks dont upgrade, they will eventually lose customers and volume. But the new technology itself
wont generate new business.
The benefits of these projects are about avoiding downside, avoiding a loss of customers, especially younger
ones, and building customers affinity, Mr. Baxter says. Thats a difficult business case to make to a board of
directors who expect executives to meet quarterly earnings goals.
Yet theres no getting around the fact that the transition to digital banking will require expensive, multiyear projects. They are worth it, says Mr. Baxter: If banks are willing to rebuild their business through
the smart use of digital technologies, they will emerge even stronger. Sarah Fister Gale

If banks are
willing to
rebuild their
through the
smart use
of digital
they will
emerge even
Mike Baxter


Letting Go of GMO
The U.S. appetite for food free of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) has
gone from a growing fad to a trend. Sales of non-GMO-labeled products grew
28 percent in 2013 to about US$3 billion, according to market research firm
Nielsen. The project teams tasked with shepherding these products to market
must negotiate a tricky, time-consuming process of securingand verifying
the right ingredients.
Currently, 64 countries, including Australia, China and the entire European
Union, require GMO labeling. While the United States is not one of them, that
could soon change.
As U.S. consumers have become increasingly concerned about the rising
number of genetically modified ingredients in their foods, both government
and industry have taken noticeand taken action. The state of Vermont
passed a mandatory GMO-labeling law in April, and major food companies,
including Ben & Jerrys and General Mills, have launched projects to reformulate products to be GMO-free.
We felt like this was something Ben & Jerrys ought to be a leader on, Chris
Miller, Ben & Jerrys activism manager, told the Burlington Free Press.
When Whole Foods, the leading U.S. retailer of natural and organic foods,
declared it would require all GMO-containing products to be labeled as of 2018,
it marked a tipping point for many food manufacturers.
Thats when we decided that we were going to make all of our products
GMO-free, says Daniel Nicholson, CEO of NadaMoo, a coconut milk ice
cream manufacturer based in Austin, Texas, USA. Whole Foods is a trailblazer in the grocery industry, and it dictates future trends.
Food distributors believe that, of all product claims over the next three

years, non-GMO has the highest

potential for growth, according to
the 2014 State of the Specialty Food
Industry report.

Managing the Non-GMO

Food Chain
For the project teams overseeing non-GMO products, its not as
simple as substituting one ingredient
for another. Even if a product recipe
remains exactly the same, ensuring
every ingredient is GMO-free means organizations
in some cases have to find entirely new suppliers
and logistics providers. To achieve non-GMO and
fair trade standards for Ben & Jerrys products, for
example, its team had to find new sources for 110
That can create havoc in the product development process, affecting the costs, schedules and
risks involved in bringing a non-GMO-labeled
product to market.
In response to retailer and consumer requests,
Springfield Creamery decided four years ago to
have its products certified by the Non-GMO


8 %

Global sales of non-GMO foods



of U.S. residents
used non-GMO
products in 2012


of U.S. residents
used non-GMO
products in 2013


of packaged foods use GMO ingredients

20,000 products

have been certified as non-GMO since 2010

New non-GMO
products in
the U.S. in:







Percentage of
global food and
beverage sales


Sources: Natural Marketing Institute, The Organic & Non-GMO Report, Packaged Facts, The Wall Street Journal, NPR

Containing the Situation

After the verification procedure, companies
such as NadaMoo and Springfield Creamery
that choose to use the Non-GMO Project
Verified seal then have to redesign their packaging and labels to reflect their products new
status. Keeping up with the container changes
is one of the biggest challenges, Ms. Kesey
Thompson says.
Products bearing the
Most of Springfield Creamerys products
Non-GMO Project
bulk purchasing of containers, so shes
Verified seal
loath to throw them away to introduce a new
label. Plus, her design vendor and her printed
container supplier require an average of eight
weeks to create and print any new art. Its a
Project, a U.S. not-for-profit organization. Conjuggling act, she says. To manage the shift,
sumer interest in transparency around what they
the change initiative includes a substantial
are eating has been steadily growing, says Sheryl
transition period: The organization is putting
Kesey Thompson, co-owner, Springfield Creamery,
non-GMO stickers on some existing
Eugene, Oregon, USA.
packaging and transitioning containHowever, it took three years for Ms.
ers as the backlog runs out.
Kesey Thompsons source of milk to
NadaMoo, which faces a similar
become Non-GMO Project Verified.
container dilemma, is working with
That verification is a critical part of the
retailers to post informational signs
process, she says. For products to carry
near its products to let conthe non-GMO label, suppliers must verify
sumers know about the nonthe non-GMO status of each ingredient.
GMO status, even if the labels
That meant Springfields organic milk
dont yet show it. It lessens
supplier had to document and verify that
our costs and waste while still
the grains grown at all of its dairy farms
allowing us to market our
are GMO-free and not at risk for crossnon-GMO status, Mr. Nichcontamination from adjoining farms, and
olson says.
that the dairy cows arent consuming any
As consumers and retailers
increasingly demand GMO
You have to chase every ingredient
labeling, food manufacturers
back to its original source to ensure its all
Sheryl Kesey Thompson,
wont have the luxury of takGMO-free, Ms. Kesey Thompson says.
Springfield Creamery,
Eugene, Oregon, USA
ing three years to transition
After documenting the GMO-free
their products. Their teams
status of each ingredient, Springfield
will have to leverage lessons learned from
Creamerys team submitted all of its data to the
organizations that have successfully navigated
Non-GMO Project, which has been certifying
the non-GMO journey. To cut costs and risks,
products as non-GMO since 2010.
Mr. Melton advises them to start early and
The process requires meticulous management of
keep meticulous records.
administration and dataand a lot of time. It took
Maintain files on every vendor, and specifiNadaMoos team eight months to verify the ingrecation sheets for every ingredient, and be predients in seven of its coconut milk-based ice cream
pared to be patient, he says. This process is a
flavors. Its a paperwork nightmare, says Tommy
lot of time and paperwork. Sarah Fister Gale
Melton, NadaMoos production manager.

interest in
around what
they are
eating has
been steadily

The U.S. Defense Advanced
Research Projects Agency
(DARPA) is pushing wearable
technology into a new frontier:
Its announced the launch of
a five-year, US$78.9 million
research program to develop
new, minimally invasive neurotechnologies that will increase
the ability of the body and
brain to induce healing.
Electrical Prescriptions,
or ElectRx, as the program is
known, could create new computer chips that help regulate
the nervous systems of U.S.
troops and veteransminimizing the impacts of conditions
including post-traumatic stress
and arthritis.
Instead of relying only
on medication, we envision
a closed-loop system that
would work in concept like a
tiny, intelligent pacemaker,
program manager Doug Weber,
PhD, told The Washington
Post. It would continually
assess conditions and provide
stimulus patterns tailored to
help maintain healthy organ
function, helping patients get
healthy and stay healthy using
their bodys own systems.
Before the program can
accomplish its big ambitions,
though, it has to develop
project deliverables capable of
being itty-bitty: Most implantable devices in use today are
about the size of a deck of
cards and require surgical implantation. DARPA has tasked
the program with developing
ultraminiaturized devices
that could be inserted through
needle injection. M. Wright








From delayed flights to long-lost luggage, consumer satisfaction with air travel is experiencing some
turbulence: The U.S. Department of Transportation received more than 1,000 complaints in just one
month in 2014. Yet airlines are looking to rebound by launching savvy projects to better the travel
experience. Who says the golden age of air travel is over?


Standing By
For England-based Virgin Atlantic, Google Glass
provided the possibility of radically personalized
customer service. In February, the organization
launched a pilot project to test the theory. It equipped
customer service agents in the Upper Class Wing in
London Heathrow Airport with Google Glass headsets
to check in passengers and access flight and destination information.
We decided running the trial in this area would
allow us to learn the most about wearable technolA Virgin Atlantic customer
ogy and also allow us to gauge the reaction of our
service agent wears a
customers firsthand, says Tim Graham, technology
Google Glass headset.
innovation and development manager in Crawley,
England. The two-month pilot, which ended in March,
generated valuable lessons learned, including project modifications to account for poor 3G
connectivity and the low battery life of the headsets.
With the successful pilot complete, Virgin is now considering extending the service, and its
reachsuch as tracking customers culinary preferences in future trials.


Project managers in
sanitation, transportation, energy and
irrigation, take note.
The Inter-American
Development Bank and
PepsiCo have partnered on a productdevelopment project
to help communities
and organizations
better understand
how proposed projects
could affect freshwater
The resulting
data-management and
modeling tool, called
Hydro-BID, allows
project practitioners
and planners to generate water availability
projections based on
variables ranging from
population to rainfall
to land-use scenarios.
As it worked to
develop the tool, the
project team incorporated extensive data
sets, hydrologic modeling, simulation systems
and a comprehensive
navigation feature. Yet
the open-source water
modeling system runs
like an app, making it
flexible and intuitive
for the end user. Pilot
projects to test the
tool are underway in
Argentina, Brazil, Haiti
and Peru. M. Wright

An illustration of a
message provided by
American Airlines
iBeacon technology


You Are Here

Receiving flight updates by text message is nothing new for modern travelers,
but American Airlines wanted to take the experience to the next level. The airline
partnered with SITA, an air transport IT and communications company, to test
iBeacon technology.
The pilot project, launched in June, allows travelers to download a smartphone
app that pushes information about everything from boarding times to gate directions to insider tips on the nearest lounge. The geo-targeted app delivers communication thats more precise and more effective than standard airline messages.
Yet launching the project required taking into consideration the high security
and regulations of major airports. For this, the project team drew upon SITAs lessons learned from past projects. There were some technical and logistical challenges with this trial, but nothing more than you would expect when introducing
such new technology into a secure area like an airport, says Kevin OSullivan,
lead engineer at SITA Lab, Brighton, England.
To gauge the projects successand the possibility of a future rollout across
multiple airportsthe project team is currently tracking metrics such as the number of downloads, the level of interactivity and feedback from passenger surveys.

The project can help us understand what products and services in the
lounge are popular, how people use the space and their general sentiment
toward Qantas in an organic way. That understanding informs future
decision-making about how we design and manage our lounges.
Jo Boundy, Qantas Airways, Sydney, Australia

Message Received
Consumers with a complaint might send a social media message
directly to an organizations Twitter handle. But travelers who are
enjoying themselves are more likely to broadcast a chipper message
to their social networkmaking that positive feedback more difficult
to capture and analyze.
lounge in
Hong Kong
To help solve that paradox, Australia-based Qantas Airways
partnered with Local Measure on a pilot project to track social media
messages generated in the airport lounges.
The project can help us understand what products and services
in the lounge are popular, how people use the space and their general sentiment toward Qantas in an organic way,
says Jo Boundy, Sydney, Australia-based head of digital and entertainment at the airline. That understanding informs future decision-making about how we design and manage our lounges.
Because of the large volume of data being collected and analyzed, a key project challenge is ensuring the information is shared with relevant parties consistently. In addition to the team members in the Qantas head office who
manage social media channels, the project team built a mobile app to make the data more accessible. That allows
on-site staff to handle pressing feedback as its generated.
The pilot project, which began in July 2013, has sparked projects this year to launch similar services in all premium
Qantas lounges, from Hong Kong to Los Angeles, California, USA. Rekha Radhakrishnan




Electronic health records are rapidly becoming the new norm
around the globewith IT development projects racing to
meet that growing demand. By Emma Haak







Expected value of the

global electronic health
record (EHR) market by
the end of 2015, up from
US$18.8 billion in 2012






Compounded annual growth rate of the global

EHR market from 2012 through 2015
















Percentage of healthcare providers with

at least a basic EHR system in place in 2013, the lowest
adoption rate among U.S. states



Percentage of
hospitals with at least
a basic EHR system in
place in 2013

Projected value of the EHR market

through 2015, representing a 7.1
percent annual growth rate since 2012


Increase in the portion

of hospitals using an
EHR system between
2008 and 2013



Number of healthcare providers

connected to a statewide electronic health information
exchange launched in 2014

US$515 million

Amount federal government has given state hospitals

and healthcare providers to accelerate adoption of EHRs

Increase in the portion of

office-based physicians
using an EHR system
between 2001 and 2013




Number of hospitals connected to the citys InterSystems

TrakCare EHR system covering 4,400 beds and 61 health centers,
diagnostic laboratories, pharmacies and walk-in clinics

2.5 million

Number of city
residents given smart cards containing their healthcare system
ID and personal electronic patient record data

R$100 million

Projected annual savings

once the EHR project is complete and the system is completely operational

US$400 million

Projected value of the EHR market in Brazil through 2015


Projected annual growth

rate of the EHR market
from 2012 through 2015

US$1.4 billion
Projected value of EHR market
by the end of 2015


Year by which a nationwide electronic

health network covering all health
facilities is slated to be completed


Portion of hospitals, clinics and pharmacies

using digitized medical receipts to share
patient information

Sources: Accenture, Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, InterSystems, EHR Intelligence





Staying the PMO Course

Linda Honour,
project management office (PMO)
lead, technology
and operations
unit, Allstate,
Illinois, USA


To describe the scale and breadth of projects

within Allstates technology and operations unit,
Linda Honour uses one word: huge.
At Allstate, one of the largest insurance companies in North America, the technology and operations unit each year invests between US$350 million
and US$450 million in 2,400 initiatives. Project budgets range from US$30,000 to US$30 million.
Yet despite its vast array of projects, the unit had
no central office to oversee themuntil three years
ago, when the unit created a PMO and tapped Ms.
Honour to lead it. With about 450 team members,
the PMO aims to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and consistency of project delivery.


It has another goal as well, Ms. Honour says:

become a world-class PMO.

How did you go about creating the PMO?

We spent the first six months developing a
three-year plan. 2012 was the year of rationalization. Prior to the creation of the PMO, the units
project managers were decentralized across the
unit. We pulled all the project managers into
the PMO. And we came up with four key objectives: First, establish portfolio transparency and
a single, independent view of project health.
Second, get the right people with the right skills
to do the right work. Third, develop common

Our project managers were like journalists,

documenting and responding to events as they occurred.
Were trying to shift that so they become owners
proactively changing the course of projects as needed.
methodologies and tools. Fourth, optimize our
cost structure.
2013 was all about standardization across
people, process and technology. We developed
consistent job descriptions for our project managers that were anchored in industry standards.
We created standard templates and processes.
We simplified our technology. And we retrained
everybody on our new processes.
This year has been all about optimization. Yes,
we now have standard ways of doing things, but
how can we better optimize our workforce?

Youre describing a massive change for

the organization and its talent. Was
there any resistance to it?
I wish I could tell you that all of the resistance is
behind us, but its not. We had a lot of resistance
from multiple constituents. We had some internal
resistance from project managers because they
had been pulled out of an old organization they
supported and put into a new organization.

How have you addressed that

Unwavering support from our CIO, Suren Gupta,
has been crucial for managing this change.
Persistence was another thing: we stayed the
course. But it isnt over yet.

How do you communicate the benefits

of the PMO to your team?
Within the PMO we have a number of communications vehicles. We have town hall meetings
every other month. We do open-mic sessions,

which are calls with the leadership team where our

folks can ask questions on any topic. We produce
a newsletter. I also do what we call coffee talksad
hoc meetings with a cross section of the team just
to answer their questions and concerns.

What did you find your project

managers needed that the training
sought to provide?
When we started, all the project managers lived in
different delivery organizations, and each organization had its own way of doing things. We had to
take all these disparate ways of doing things and
land on the way. And we needed to retrain people on content and mechanics as well as some of
the more entrepreneurial pieces, like how to better
leverage judgment in stakeholder management.

In addition to training current team

members, how do you ensure you
recruit the right new talent?
Aside from process and tools, a great project manager needs skills like judgment, risk management,
learning agility, stakeholder managementthings
that are more difficult to teach. We revamped all
our hiring practices and focused on identifying
people with these skills.

How do you identify those people?

We ask questions that get people to talk about
circumstances where they had to apply judgment,
for example. Or if they were put in a new situation,
what did they do to come up to speed quickly?
Continued on next page



VOICES Project Toolkit

Continued from previous page

And weve used a consistent set of interviewers, a
core team that sees a lot of different people.

What benefits has the PMO realized for

One of the biggest benefits has been transparency.
When project managers reported in different delivery areas, there was no view of all the work the unit
was doing. Now we can report to our CIO
and chief business partners how many
projects are in place every week. We can
tell them the status of the portfolio, what
Best professional
percent of the portfolio is currently rated
advice youve ever
green, yellow and red. We can see where
there might be major issues that need to
Think big and act
be addressed. We also have introduced a
small. You need to
health check, which is like a midcourse
keep the broader
correction for big work. The bottom line:
context in mind while
Weve improved the efficiency and effecacting quickly to reach
tiveness of our delivery.
long-term objectives.

Small Talk

The one skill every

project manager
should have?
Being able to forecast,
and take action today.
Your dream travel
St. John in the U.S.
Virgin Islands.
There are the most
amazing vistas.
Favorite thing to do
in your spare time?
Im a big walker. It
clears my mind.

How do you measure that

We use traditional on-time, on-budget measures. On-time delivery has
increased 11 percent and on-budget has
improved by 15 percent compared to
pre-PMO. In terms of resource efficiencieshow many hours a project manager managesweve seen a 25 percent
improvement there.

Whats the most important

lesson youve learned from
implementing the PMO?

Well, its not for the faint of heart. Driving change in a large organization is
always much harder than you think. It took a good
18, 24 months before we started seeing real signs
of change. Youve got to persevere and keep hoping
things will pay off, because they do. PM



Whether youre an aspiring or seasoned practitioner, having a mentor can
provide support by teaching, troubleshooting or helping take your career to
the next level. We asked practitioners:

What has a mentor given

you to support your career?
A Lasting Connection

Having a mentor is a great way to increase

your competence and your understanding
of your strengths and weaknesses, which is
of course beneficial for your career.
Ive been lucky enough to have a mentor who
has pushed me into trying new roles and projects,
which have helped me grow tremendously. With
every push, my mentor reminds me, You can do
this. Whatever you need to know you will learn
along the way.
In the beginning, we met more frequently and
had time to discuss whatever I brought up. Later,
my mentor got a new job in another part of the
country and then in another country. We did not
let that stop us. We continue meeting by phone or
video chat instead. Now we only talk quarterly, but
it is still valuable.
Annika Rosendahl, senior project manager, Ericsson,
Madrid, Spain

Shared Tools
Earlier in my career, I was mentored
by a highly experienced senior project
manager who had a PhD in the subject
matter. He helped me formulate my communication plan, become organized and really implement
a work breakdown structure. It was a great benefit

and helped me network with other project

managers who had delivered similar
projects. That boosted my confidence.
The project was completed to everyones satisfaction, with the CIO personally
congratulating me. I felt a real sense of
achievement and career satisfaction. Without the support of my mentor, I couldnt
have risen to the challenge.
Duraideivamani Sankararajan, PMP, program
manager, IBM India Private Ltd., Bengaluru, India

Teachable Moments

to be able to repurpose tools used by a seasoned

project manager, to learn what works and what
doesnt. Its very helpful to not only share tools,
but also share tips for overcoming issues drawn
from the senior project managers experience. Im
still in contact with him today.
Joan Marenda, PMP, infrastructure project manager,
Lochbridge, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

Vote of Confidence
Sometimes, no book or manual can
guide you in resolving a crisis. But if you
can confidently reach out to your mentor, he or she can help guide you.
I am fortunate to have a mentor who, if he isnt
sure how to resolve my issue himself, turns to his
peers for expertise. I once got an opportunity to
take on a complex project to replace an existing
system with a modern one for a South American
customer. A major challenge was the language
barrier because most of the customer team spoke
only Spanish. A lot of time would have to be
invested in translation, with the success of the
project depending on it. I wasnt sure whether
to take the project on or pass on it. My mentor
encouraged me to take on this assignment with
confidence. Throughout the project, he guided me

Sometimes when you ask mentors questions or offer opinions,

it triggers them to rethink their
approach, and it can perhaps help them
out in a certain way. Thats value for them,
but its also valuable for you, as your mentor will likely want to meet with you more
frequently and youll get the satisfaction of
seeing your input influence a senior practitioner. In that way, the more you give in mentorship the more youll receive. It becomes a win-win
Elizette Moral, PMP, digital media project manager,
Telemundo Media (a division of NBCUniversal), Miami,
Florida, USA

New Paths
During my last university years, I started
to work for an electronics
engineering company with a mentor. It
was his point of view and opinion that put me on
the project manager path.
Although I didnt face any big issues
when dealing with the very technical tasks,
Mentor in Action
he very quickly noticed some projectLooking for your own mentor?
oriented characteristics in my work. After
Need advice for managing your
some talks and very assertive orientation,
mentee? Visit Career Central
I decided to invest in it by taking courses
at for more on building
related to project management, investing in
mentor relationships, plus tips
some practical tools and methodologies and
and tricks for the next steps of
your project management career.
getting an MBA in project management.
I feel very grateful for the mentorship,
which encouraged me to take the first step
toward the project management world.
Thiago Presser, MBA, project manager and project team
coordinator, NextSoft, So Paulo, Brazil




From taking a first career step
to fortifying a skill set, stability
starts with a strong foundation.


Q: Im trying to get into my first project management role, and Im not sure where to start.
Should I consider working for free at first?
A: Getting your first break in a formal project
management position can be tough, especially if
you are entering the employment market for the
first time. Project management, as you have
probably realized, sees experience as king. So how
do you gain experience in the first place?
The mistake many people make when looking
to get their first break in project management is
assuming that their first role will be as a project
manager. If you speak to project managers, you will
quickly realize that 99.9 percent of them worked
in different positions before actually becoming a
project manager.
It is crucial to understand what employers mean
when they talk about experience. There are two
types of experiences you should be interested in
gaining: experience associated with the industry
sector or area of business you are interested in and
experience associated with the delivery of projects.
For example, if you are interested in working as
a project manager in an investment bank, understanding how that sector works is going to be beneficial to your future career plans. You will want to
know how that business operates, what the culture
is like, what expectations it has of its project managers and, more important, what the expectations
of a project manager typically are.
For an entry-level post, you should concentrate
on positions that will expose you to experiences
that will build great project management skills.
Coordinators, analysts, planners and controllers



are great entry-level roles in areas of finance, legal,

compliance, strategy and planning.
You could volunteer in the charity sector, but
it may not be a realistic prospect, especially if you
incurred debts while studying. Private sector organizations also offer unpaid internships. Again, this should
offer good practical experience, yet it is unpaid.
My advice is, dont look for quick-fix unpaid
positions unless they really do offer you the opportunity of a first step on a career ladder. Rather,
concentrate on finding an entry-level job that will
give you great workplace experience. Personally,
I think no one should work for free in a profitdriven organization. I think entry-level employees
should be rewarded for their work if it is of real
value to the organization.
Q: I feel overworked and stressed, and my
work/life balance is nonexistent. What do I
need to do to start changing this?
A: Work/life balance is a struggle for many practitioners. With increased pressures to deliver and
expectations of doing more with less, project managers are no strangers to feeling overworked and
even burned out. So, it is good that you recognize
that something has to change.
This is a time for reflection. As difficult as it might
seem to spend time on this right now, without
understanding where your balance is compared with
where you would like it to be, it is going to be harder

to start making some changes. I would suggest four

initial areas to start thinking about changing.
The first is your self-management style. Take
an objective look at how you manage things on a
day-to-day basis. Are you constantly in adrenaline
mode, responding to project fires on a daily basis?
These recurring and ongoing problems, which
require your attention all the time, mean stress
and anxiety in the long run. Would you describe
yourself as a hero project manager? Its a difficult
concept to attribute to oneself, but you could actually be the reason for the fires in the first place,
enjoying the attention that being the fixer brings.
Your stress levels could also be the product of
people in and around the project: a demanding
stakeholder or unproductive team member who
requires extra attention. Maybe the milestones are
unrealistic, or you just feel out of your depth on
this particular project.
Making time to think through what is happening right now in your workperhaps talking it
through with a family member or friendwill help
you to start seeing the situation a little clearer.
The second area to consider is delegating. This
is a skill that project managers find notoriously
difficult to master. After all, arent good project
managers all about control? Find the areas of your
day-to-day role where some of the work can be
handed off. This can mean shifting tasks to the
project management office, members of your proj-

ect team or another project manager with time

available. Dont be afraid to ask peers; this is just
another resource management requirement on a
busy project and no reflection on your ability to
manage your work.
The third area is your work outputs. Ask yourself, Is my work good enough? What is more
important: that the job gets done or that it gets
done perfectly? To gain a healthier balance in your
life right now there will need to be a trade-off, and
learning to let go will help you get there.
Finally, just say no. If work is already feeling
overloaded, dont add further weight to your
shoulders by taking on any extra organizational
or personal responsibilities. The trick to saying no
is to keep it simple without getting into the whys
and wherefores. Dont buy the flattery as someone
tries to persuade you differently.
Make a change in your work by doing so in small,
manageable steps. Take it easy on yourself until you
manage to find the right equilibrium again.
Q: I work for a nongovernmental organization (NGO), and Im a member of PMI.
Could you point me toward any development
resources I could use specifically in this sector?
A: I know the importance of good project
management in NGOs and how some elements
of project delivery can differ from other sectors.
You may already be aware of the PMI Educational
Foundation and the specific resources there for
NGOs and other not-for-profit organizations. Plus,
development programs and credentials like the
Project Management Professional (PMP) certification look at both the technical and behavioral sides
of project management, which is also of benefit. PM

Your Career
Dont travel down
your career path
alone. Find advice
and direction here.
Send job questions
to pmnetwork@

Lindsay Scott is the director of program and

project management recruitment at Arras
People in London, England.



VOICES In the Trenches

Bad News
When and how to tell a client about
internal problems on the project.
By Meredith Zehnder, PMP
Every project manager I know has been asked this
question, either by an internal or external client.
Many things can go wrong behind the scenes of
a project, and usually its best to keep them behind
the scenes. Your client doesnt need to know you
dont like your co-worker or that one member of
your team is notoriously late. Unearthing every
internal issue can easily cause a rocky client
relationshipand project.
Sometimes, however, internal issues should be
shared. Heres advice on whenand howto do it.

Someone on the project team just quit.

If a client-facing member of the team is leaving,
your client is going to notice.
A few years ago, I was managing a project for a
large customer. The entire team was dedicated to this
project because the client wanted consistency. When
one of the key players announced she was resigning,
the account manager and I decided to identify a suitable replacement and form a transition plan before
notifying the client. We didnt have a lot of time and
worked in a frenzy to make it happen, but to the
client it was a successful, well-organized transition
that created very little disruption.
The client didnt need exposure to our frenzy,
and neither does yours. Nobody wants to hear,
Were figuring it out. A focused plan will
maintain the clients confidence in the team and
your organization.
Be sure to let the client know about outbound



team members as soon as possible, but make sure

you have a plan in place when you do. Say that
while youre sorry to see him or her go, youre
confident the replacement is ready to pick up
where he or she left off. Explain the transition plan
and move forward as though the replacement was
always there. Try to minimize the number of times
you tell the replacement, I know youre still
getting up to speed on this in front of the client.
That, too, will instill doubt.

and walk the client through it. This will demonstrate you are behaving proactively and are able to
recognize and mitigate risk.
If you have a more collaborative client, you can
go into the conversation with some suggestions for
how you would like to handle this moving forward.
It will allow you to openly work on mitigating the
risk by coming up with an alternative, and the client will feel more comfortable by having a voice in
how the issue is handled.

Youre most likely going to miss a deadline.

The project was over budget before it started.

We all play a game of chicken in this area from

time to time. Theres a point when the deadline is
at risk that you may say to yourself, This is either
going to work out perfectly or be a complete
disaster. Thats usually the right moment to let
the client in on the potential issue.
I once wrestled with another project manager
for a highly sought-after resource. We found a
compromise in which the resources time on-site
with my client would be cut in half and the delivery
of his solution would most likely be a few days late.
The resource promised me he could still deliver
the solution on time. I knew that might not happen, but I didnt mention my fears to the client.
I had to deliver the news that the resources time
on-site was going to be cut and didnt want to
risk further upset by mentioning the risk of the
missed deadline. In the meantime, I worked out
an alternative plan to minimize impact. When my
resource did, in fact, miss the deadline, I presented
the alternative.
I was immediately met with the dreaded question,
When did you realize we were at risk? Then the
follow-up question, Why didnt you tell me sooner?
The client didnt care nearly as much about the
missed deadline as he did about the lack of communication. He felt left in the dark, and his suspicions plagued the rest of the project. Who could
blame him?
The lesson: When a deadline is at risk, communicate it to your client. Develop an alternative plan

Another common problem faced by project managers today is being handed a project that wasnt
budgeted appropriately. This is a tough position
that, unfortunately, is sometimes left for the project manager to handle. In this case, bring it up as
soon as possible, but have your thoughts very well
organized. Convey the issues to the client (preferably in a private phone call rather than a group
setting, like a kickoff call) with an explanation of
what you believe is not accounted for in the current scope and budget of the project, and how you
would like to handle it (one suggestion would be to
go through a formal reconciliation process).

There is
one critical
element to
delivering bad
news: Bring
the client
not problems.

There is one critical element to delivering bad

news: Bring the client solutions, not problems. If
you come to the table with bad news, the situation will usually quickly diffuse itself the moment
you start discussing the solution to the problem.
As a project manager, your client expects you to
call out issues and risks. Its where the real value
of a project manager lies. Communicating appropriate issues that affect your client in a timely
manner will protect your client relationship and
your integrity as a project manager, and most
important, will help make for a successful project
and a happy client. PM
Meredith Zehnder, PMP, is a senior project
manager at Lyons Consulting Group, Chicago,
Illinois, USA.




Perfecting portfolio management
is a journey, not a destination.


As I look back on the years I

have been involved in project
and portfolio management and
then look ahead, I realize I am on a journey full of
twists and turns. The lyrics from a classic Hollies
song come to mind: The road is long, with many a
winding turn.
This phrase aptly fits the odyssey Ive been on,
and I assume it fits many of yours as well. When
beginning in portfolio management, we were full of
energy, ideas and enthusiasm for what lay ahead.
Our quest began with leadership engagement,
kickoff events and people wanting to learn what
portfolio management was all about. We started
down this road by putting in place the fundamentalsa common project inventory, a standardized
charter for obtaining critical project information,
and status reports and dashboardsthat gained
immediate attention and value.


As our journey continued, however, the road
wasnt as paved or well-lit as in the beginning.
While having an idea of our final destination is
critical, we learned the entire journey cannot be
planned out in exact detail, as there are so many
factors that can influence how we get there. We
also learned to be cautious of detours, delays and
sometimes dead ends by using various resources to
support and guide us.
An obvious and easily accessible resource has
been PMI, with its proven, expert-developed methodologies, processes, tools and certifications that
are utilized as a common roadmap by organizations worldwide. PMI has also provided the necessary maps and frameworks to guide us through



each region of our journeyintegration, time, cost,

risk and others.

Other resources in our travels have been organizations that willingly shared their expertise and
checked in occasionally to make sure we were still
heading in the right direction. These may be businesses that we contract with for services, but very
often this same expertise can be found through
webinars, books, white papers and conversations.
Ive found great value in all of these, as they offer
the experience of many other organizations, often
have research to support their conclusions and the
authors demonstrate a passion for assisting others
in their journey.
Ive learned that the most important partner in
this journey hasnt necessarily been our executive
leadership or external consulting partners. While
both are valuable, the most important partners
are those who share their experiences, ideas, education, time and energy on a regular basisthe
project managers and team members at the core
of what the organization aims to accomplish.
These people have been the true partners that I
have come to rely on to inspire and challenge me.
Theyre with me every step along the way with
encouragement, support and appreciation. PM

Teresa (Terri) Knudson, PMP, PgMP, is the director

of the enterprise portfolio management office at
the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA. She
can be reached at



Take a fresh look at old
policies and methods.


French novelist Marcel Proust wrote, The real

act of discovery consists not in finding new lands
but in seeing with new eyes. Some people call
this vuj d: the feeling of experiencing something
commonplace as if it were the first time. As project
managers, we sometimes fall into the trap of
relying on the familiar, everyday routine and
approach the same problems in the same ways. Its
important to understand human nature in order to
harness the power of vuj d and look at the same,
familiar policies in a new light.


We are blind to what we dont allow ourselves to
see. For example, in the book The Invisible Gorilla
by Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons, a
number of people were asked to watch a video
of two basketball teams bouncing balls back and
forth. Viewers were asked to count the number of
bounces by one team, and though most viewers
counted correctly, most did not notice the person
in a gorilla costume moving from one side of the
screen to the other.
By giving your utmost attention to one detail
rather than any other details, you wont see the
unexpected events. The same holds true with
project management. Being laser-focused on one
problem in a project could mean completely missing another problem.


We tend to accept convention and dont often
challenge the norm. But unless we ask the right
questions, we wont be able to come up with
creative answers to problems.
If youve ever wondered why your organization
follows a procedure that doesnt make sense, look

at this experiment conducted by Gary Hamel in his

book Competing for the Future. Four monkeys live
in a cage. Inside the cage is a ladder with a bunch
of bananas at the top. Every time one monkey tries
to eat bananas, the monkeys are showered by cold
water. When the monkeys learn the pattern, they
prevent any monkey from climbing the ladder.
One monkey is replaced with a new one. The
new monkeynot knowing about the cold-water
spraytries to get bananas and is stopped. This
continues, and eventually all of the monkeys are
replaced, and they all prevent each other from
climbing the ladder without knowing the reason
behind it.
Sometimes its worth questioning why we accept
the way things are, when an innovative solution
may be just out of the normal reach.


Now that you know the possible pitfalls, project
practitioners can use many techniques to practice vuj d: critical thinking, 5W1H (who, what,
where, when, why and how), 5-Whys (questioning the subject problem five times to identify root
causes), challenging assumptions, brainstorming,
process re-engineering
(simplifying underlying
steps to boost efficiency
of procedures) and flipping preconceived ideas.
Think about how you,
as a practitioner, might
look at projects through
a singular scope. Allocate some time to
contemplate policies
and procedures from all
sides. Practicing vuj d
may help you find innovative solutions to project
problems. PM
Kareem Shaker, PMI-RMP, PMP, is a senior manager, project and enterprise risk at Dubai World,
Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Follow him on Twitter at @kareemshaker.



VOICES In the Trenches

Crisis Mode
How preparation and innovative thinking can save projects during an emergency.
By Joan Landry, PMP
ABBOTTS CRISIS MANAGEMENT TEAM monitored Typhoon Haiyan in 2013 just as we had any
other hurricane or typhoon. We followed its intensity and path. We reached out to our employees in
the Philippines to ensure everyone was prepared.
The country is hit by many typhoons each year;
people seemed ready.
But then the storm, known locally as Yolanda,
intensified as it bore down on the Luzon region.
Although the area was prepared for a typhoon,
no one was prepared for the Category 5 super
typhoon and the devastation it brought.
As a project manager, what can you do to prepare for crisis events?
First, use your professional planning and risk
management skills to help prepare yourself and
your family for a possible crisis. Many government
websites provide guidelines; in the United States, is an excellent resource. Common
elements of preparation include:
An emergency kit (three days of food, water and
other emergency supplies)
A family communication plan (contact information, where to assemble if you cannot reach each
other by phone or text)
Second, you need to consider risk and contingencies for your
project plan. If
Typhoon Haiyan, which devastated parts of the Philippines in 2013,
a risk to project
was one of the biggest typhoons to ever hit land.
activity has a
high likelihood of
occurring and a
high impact if it
does occur, you
may want to look
at contingency
planning for that

In the
After a devastat-



ing natural disaster or other crisis, it might seem

unfathomable to focus on work. Yet recovery
efforts start with identifying and prioritizing
projects. Once you know you and your family are
safe, check in with your team members to find
out if they are okay. Has anyone in their family
been affected?
Now look at the damage. How has your project been impacted? Are these areas that have
been previously identified as high-risk? Do you
have contingency plans already in place? What
are the options? How can your team recover
quickly? What does your team need to do temporarily? What permanent change is needed to
the project?
Allow your team to come up with creative solutions to solve these problems. After Superstorm
Sandy struck the northeastern United States in
2012, Abbott technical support staff needed to
visit hospitals in Manhattan, New York, to service
equipment. There was just one problem: Most of
the gas stations in the area were unable to pump
gas because they had no electricity. The technical
staff could not drive into the city, and public transportation was unavailable.
We seemed out of options until a member of
the team had a clever idea: rental cars. Rental cars
come with a full tank of gas, and there were a
lot of them available. Once the fuel tank got low,
team members could bring the car back and rent
a different one. This allowed our technical staff to
bridge the gap until power was restoredalmost
two weeks later.
As for our workers in the Philippines, we were
happy to learn thatdue to prior planning, quick
decision-making and luckall employees in the
impacted region were safely evacuated. PM

Joan Landry, PMP, is program manager of crisis

management and global business continuity at
Abbott Laboratories, Abbott Park, Illinois, USA.

Knowledge is Power.
Build your knowledge and prepare for CAPM success.

Studying for the CAPM exam? Boost your knowledge (and your confidence)
with PMI eLearning courses to prepare you:
CAPM Edge: Your Guide to Mastering the Certified Associate in
Project Management Exam
Essentials of Project Management
Fundamentals of Project Management
CAPM Practice Test: 385 Questions to prepare for success

Choose the style thats right for you, and learn on your
schedule. Get the knowledge you need to succeed direct from PMI and see where the CAPM takes you.

Learn on your schedule anywhere, anytime.

All you need is an internet connection

Learn more or register at

2013 Project Management Institute, Inc. All Rights Reserved. PMI, CAPM and the PMI logo are registered marks of Project Management Institute, Inc. PRA-410-2013




In the year ahead, some nations economic

forecasts look sunnier than others. For all,
the need for project talent is clear.

hile national economies will fluctuate

in the year aheadsome expanding,
others contractingthey will share one
constant: a strong demand for project managers.
Project management will continue a decade-long
trajectory of growth. From 2010 to 2020, as the
profession grows by over US$6.6 trillion, the global
economy is seeing 15.7 million new project management roles created in seven project-intensive
industries, according to PMIs 2013 Project Management Talent Gap Report.
Still, some countries have greater project practitioner demands than others. PMIs 2013 Project
Management Talent Gap Report shows that in 10
countries with established or quickly developing
project-intensive industries, project management
roles are expected to increase by over 13.4 million
between 2010 and 2020, numbering more than
41.5 million by 2020.
As the need for project managers expands, so
must practitioners skills and knowledge of global
standards. Their organizations will benefit, as will
the project managers themselves.
Here is the career outlook in the eight countries
with the biggest need for project management skills.




Slow But Steady

This commodity-rich country, dodging the worst of the global economic
recession, enjoyed a mining boom over the past decade, fueled largely by ChiEconomic
nese demand. However, as Chinas need for minerals tapered off, projects in
Australias mining sector, which accounts for about 8 percent of the countrys
2015 GDP Growth
GDP, have slowed.
Forecast: 2.9%
Still, things arent standing still. Despite a cooling of the mining and
Median Project
construction sector, this is still the dominant area for project managers in
Practitioner Salary:
Australia, says Dave Wright, PMP, managing director, QVC Solutions, BrisUS$134,658
bane, Australia.
Sectors to Watch:
That dominance is reflected in reimbursement. Australian project manMining, energy
agers in the resources industry have a higher average salary than project
managers in any other industry. Thats particularly noteworthy given that the
median salary for project practitioners is higher here than any other country, according to PMIs Project
Management Salary SurveyEighth Edition.
While mining cools slightly, other industries, including energy and agriculture, are heating up,
according to a 2014 Deloitte report. There are also growth opportunities for sectors like IT that play
supporting roles to mining and other industries.
For practitioners eager to secure these jobs, Mr. Wright emphasizes the importance of the Project
Management Professional (PMP) credential. The mining and construction sectors typically use A
Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide), so certification through PMI
will provide a competitive advantage, he says.



What is your top career

goal for 2015?

I have realized with the

skills and competencies
learned, a capable project manager can do just
about anything! I have
decided its time to grow,
and I am starting my
own business. I am buying a management consulting franchise. One of
its core competencies
is project management
skills, as its about implementing its findings, not
just consulting. It builds
on my existing competences and develops new
areas. I am really excited
about it, so my goal is
to build a great business
(and, yes, the success
criteria will be specific
and measurable!).
Kent, PMP,
Moss Vale,



An oil platform off the coast

of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil



What is your top career

goal for 2015?

To continue to deliver
world-class construction management
services to Dallas Water
Utilities and other clients while expanding to
new clients. In order to
deliver world-class construction management
services, I need the best
people, and to attract
the best people I need
to have the best projects and environment
for them to work in. Ill
have a simple plan with
metrics and milestones
to keep me and the
team focused while
delivering results.
construction manager,
CH2M HILL, a PMI Global
Executive Council member,
Dallas, Texas, USA



Speed Bumps Ahead

Brazils economy has hit a rough patch: It officially entered a recession in
August 2014, after two consecutive quarters of falling outputs. While many
analysts were predicting growth of 3 percent in 2015 a year ago, those estiOutlook:
mates have been scaled back.
2015 GDP Growth
Yet the countrys unemployment rate has decreased to near record lows,
Forecast: 2.2%
from more than 13 percent in 2003 to around 5 percent in 2014. To set
Median Project
themselves apart, project managers in Brazil should continuously invest in
Practitioner Salary:
training, gain experience and develop their soft skills, says Joo Gama Neto,
PMI-ACP, PMP, professor of project management, INPG Business School,
Sectors to Watch:
IT, financial services,
So Paulo, Brazil.
Despite the current slowdown, the Brazilian government sees smoother
sailing ahead, with the economy bolstered by slowing inflation and credit
expansion, plus a recovery in mining and oil output. IT, financial services,
telecommunications, construction and the government are among the largest users of project management, Mr. Gama says.
I believe that 2015 will be better than 2014, and we will have an increase in job opportunities in the
second half, he says.



I started as a mechanical
design engineer in the oil
industry in Saudi Arabia.
After I came to Ambitech Engineering as a
project engineer in 2007, I started to lay the
groundwork to become a project manager.
Its a big leap because project managers
often have to lead multicultural teams and
are on the hook for successes and failures.
I worked to earn the respect of my
co-workers and manager. I took on more
responsibility and expanded my project
management knowledge base by reading
and by attending PMI seminars. I reached
out to other practitioners in the sector and
learned from them.
I also made myself more useful to the
company, going beyond managing the
triple constraints to improve team dynamics and workflow processes. We handled
oil-refinery shutdown projects in the range
of US$100 million, and brought costs
down by using shared resources and doing
some tasks in parallel that traditionally
were done one after the other.
I was fortunate to have a good mentor,
a vice president at the company. I let him
know what my limits were and he was able
to guide me with technical experience as
well as soft skills, like dealing with clients
and work-related stress.
In 2011, I made the formal leap from
project engineer to project manager, which
came with a salary hike. Now Im leading
teams and handling projects that range
from US$1 million to US$100 million.
I also got the PMP credential, which
shows you take project management
seriously. It provided a strong foundation,
helping me extend my knowledge and
delve deeper into the discipline.
In your career, things dont just happen.
You have to look for opportunities, strategize and then work hard to achieve them.
Imtiaz Javed, PMP, project manager,
Ambitech Engineering, Chicago, Illinois, USA




A Slowed Expansion
With about 8.1 million practitioner roles opening through 2020, China
is home to a greater expansion in project management than any other
country. Project management employment in China will increase by more
than 33 percent, according to PMIs 2013 Project Management Talent
2015 GDP Growth
Gap Report.
Forecast: 7.3%
While Chinas economic growth is expected to dip from 7.4 percent in 2014
Median Project
to 7.3 percent in 2015, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operPractitioner Salary:
ation and Development (OECD), the countrys labor market remains strong.
The demand for project managers must be filled with skilled practitioSector to Watch:
ners, says Richard Gelders, PMP, co-founder and managing director, KMR
Oriental Group, Shanghai, China. There are many job opportunities for
project managers in China and not enough qualified project managers to
fulfill the demand, he says. Many companies are growing and developing
fast, and most industries need project managers.
Manufacturing (such as the automotive industry) and digital commerce have a particularly high
demand, he says.
Project management in China has greatly matured, Mr. Gelders notes. I feel positive about the
changes in project management in China, he says. A lot of companies have recognized project management as a key skill. More will follow.



What is your top career

goal for 2015?
In 2015, I would like to
be able to be engaged
as a strategy manager in a small/medium
company. For me, this
would represent the
better way to serve an
organization, taking advantage of and finalizing
more than 20 years of
activities in the project
and portfolio management field.
Management for
business, Reggio
Emilia, Italy

An automobile factory
welding assembly line
in China





Infosys headquarters in Bengaluru, India

Help Wanted

India is close on Chinas heels in terms of greatest need

for project managers. With about 4 million project
management roles created in India this decade, employ2015 GDP Growth
ment for these practitioners will increase a whopping
Forecast: 5.9%
60 percent by 2020, according to PMIs 2013 Project
Median Project
Management Talent Gap Report.
Practitioner Salary:
Overall, India saw a 34 percent spike in the number
of people employed from 2005 to 2013. It now has
Sectors to Watch: IT,
the strongest hiring intentions globally, according to
construction, healthManpowerGroup.
care, oil and gas
In 2015, Indias economic growth should
approach 6 percent, the OECD predicts. From 2011
to 2020, it will average around 9.2 percent, according to Dun & Bradstreet.
That surge will be spurred by the massive infrastructure investments of the
new government, which the worlds largest democratic nation voted into
power last year.
The new government is planning to devote more resources to IT and infrastructure projects, says Nilanjan Chanda, PMP, senior delivery manager, RS
Software, Calcutta, India. Project and program managers are required to bring
efficiency in government projects that may be under public scrutiny.
To take advantage, job seekers must have the right skills. Over three in five
Indian employers report difficulty filling jobs, ManpowerGroup reports.
Because technology constantly evolves, project managers need to demonstrate an
aptitude with agile approaches and the latest technology, Mr. Chanda says. This is
the major challenge IT project managers face around getting hired and promoted.
In addition to the countrys ever-strong IT sector, Indias top hiring industries
include project-rich sectors like healthcare, and oil and gas.

Ive worked in hospitals in India

and abroadin administration, IT,
business analysis. When I started
my PhD research in hospital administration and
healthcare, I found many hospitals in India where
PMI standards were not used. I realized that in the
healthcare industry here, projects often dont finish
on time or meet their objectives.
I began working as the lead on a project implementing software in 17 Indian hospitals and saw a
lot of management chaos.
At that moment I couldve gone into either
project management or product development. I decided the healthcare industry in India needed more
project management. So I got a proper education
in project management techniques and the PMP
When I became certified, I asked for a salary
hike, and was asked to prove the certification
benefits. So I picked up a small software-implementation project at a hospital, and delivered
it on time and on scope. Because of that, I got a
significant salary increaseand was promoted to
senior project manager. I was given more projects
and delivered them with relative ease, because the
way I was working was more streamlined.
Recently, I oversaw a project at a hospital that
sees about 1,000 patients a day. We implemented
its information system on time and per expectations. Presently I handle the software rollouts in
three hospitals in India.
My colleagues notice the way my plans are
more respected by management now, so they get
motivated to get their own certifications. I encourage them to get a credential like the Certified
Associate in Project Management (CAPM) and,
as they move up the ladder, to get the PMP, the
Program Management Professional (PgMP), or the
Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP), and
specialize in fields like risk management.
But we must not just get certified. We must
follow the principles. Project
managers must inculcate
project management practices
in their own organizations.
Ranjeeta Basra Korgaonkar,
PMP, senior project manager,
HealthFore, New Delhi, India






Latin Americas second-largest economy will be strengthened by ongoing

economic reformsespecially in the energy and telecommunications sectors,
according to the International Monetary Fund. Project practitioners should
reap the rewards.
With the reforms and their implementation over the next year, there will be
an explosion in the need for project managers in the energy and telecommunications sectors, says Francisco Herrera, PMP, program manager, Coppel SA de CV,
Culiacn, Mexico. This will lead to new infrastructure projects that will result in
exponential growth for project management positions, Mr. Herrera adds.
That demand follows a maturing project management landscape. More


What is your top career

goal for 2015?

Skyscrapers line Paseo de la Reforma street

in Mexico City, Mexico.

Obtaining the PMI Agile

Certified Practitioner (PMIACP) or another certification in agile/Scrum tops my
list. This formal training and
certification will provide
greater opportunities for
managing my teams and
projects and grow the daily
interaction with the client.
Our clients want to see
proof of experience and
certifications to back it up.
division of Pharma-Bio Serv,
Dorado, Puerto Rico, USA


After a decade of sustained growth, Africas most populous nation boasts the continents largest
GDP, thanks in part to its increasingly diversified economy.
NigeriaAfricas biggest oil producerwill continue to grow as it repairs major oil pipelines
and expands production in non-oil sectors, according to the International Monetary Fund. The
key non-oil sectors are agriculture, which employs about 70 percent of the labor force, IT, trade
and services.



organizations recognize that project management is

necessary to achieve business results, he says. The
better prepared will have the best promotions, positions and salaries.
2015 GDP Growth
Forecast: 4.1%
Increased responsibility is reflected in salaries. In Mexico,
a project manager who oversees an initiative with
Median Project
Practitioner Salary:
more than 20 team members makes 29 percent more
than one with fewer than five team members. Moreover,
Sectors to Watch:
a project manager overseeing a project with a budget
Energy, transportation,
greater than US$10 million makes 64 percent more than
one with a project under US$100,000, according to PMIs
2013 Salary Survey.
There should be plenty of opportunities for practitioners to take advantage of those statistics. Last year, the Mexican government launched
a US$590 billion infrastructure plan that includes 743 projects in sectors such as
energy, communications and transportation.



What is your top career

goal for 2015?
My top career goal for
2015 is to strengthen
my portfolio management skills and develop
a portfolio management
strategy that enables my
team to deliver value to
the business and our customers faster. I want to
strengthen relationships
with key stakeholders
and team members and
implement tried-and-true
best practices that enable
our talented resources to
work smarter and deliver
more with less. I want to

With many projects launching, the country needs project managers with strong planning skills, says Deji West, finance director,
Afren, Lagos, Nigeria.
For project practitioners looking for work in Nigeria, Mr. West
2015 GDP Growth
the outlook is positive, adding that theres a clear way to
Forecast: 6.5%
get ahead: attaining the PMP credential. The research backs him
Median Project Practitioup: Nigerian project practitioners with the PMP credential earn
ner Salary: US$35,707
about 22 percent more than others, according to PMIs 2013 SalSectors to Watch: Oil, IT,
ary Survey.
While Mr. West finds that the Nigerian government would
benefit from a greater use of project management standards
and practices, multinational organizations have embraced project management and use it constantly, he says. This is creating a better experience base in Nigeria.

develop a portfolio that

other IT organizations in
the transit industry recognize as the model.
manager, Regional
Transportation District,
Denver, Colorado, USA




I joined the R&D project
management team of Lucent
Technologies in the Netherlands in 1996, working on software
development projects. My first project was
an on-time delivery.
Around 2000, Lucent was having trouble.
They had about 250 project managers, but
there were layoffs. By 2007, only about 30
were leftI was one of them.
I was doing sales projects, which were
profitable, but our sales were going down.
Still, I felt if I got fired I could find another
job because I was confident in my capabilitiesand the PMP credential gave me
Because of the economy, people thought,
I should stay where I have a job. But I
thought, I can wait until someone else
changes my environment, or I can change my
own environment. That is what I did at the
end of 2007 when I left Lucent.
I wanted to do something different, and
Telstra, the telecom operator in Australia,
asked me to join them as a project director
overseeing a major transition of their network.
I signed the contract, and planned to move
my wife and three children to Australia. But
in January 2008, the Australian regulator
decided not to allow Telstra to continue its
project, so we changed our plans again.

The U.K. economy has been speeding up since
2012and looks to keep up the pace in 2015,
according to PwC. Last year, not only did the
U.K. unemployment rate hit its lowest level in
2015 GDP Growth
six years, but the rate of employment equaled
Forecast: 2.7%
the record set in 2005.
Median Project
Thats good news for project practitioners
Practitioner Salary:
in the United Kingdom, which is seeing a
demand for almost 1 million project managers
Sectors to Watch: IT,
through 2020.
The tech industry has been a particular beneficiary of the economic upswing, KPMG reports.
More than two-fifths of all U.K. tech companies plan to hire by mid-2015.
Project managers will need to handle the changes typical of the tech industry.
Change management skills are being asked for more and more, says Paul Yeomans, managing director, Manifestly Important, York, England. Project managers who are strong in this area will be well placed to advance. The construction
sector also will see an expanding need for project managers, he adds.
The outlook is positive, with the jobs picture for project managers continuing
to improve in line with the economic recovery, Mr. Yeomans says.
However, that also comes with an uptick in job competition, which Mr. Yeomans sees as the main challenge for job seekers. It is becoming increasingly
important for individuals to differentiate themselves with extra knowledge, skills
and qualifications, he says.

Fortunately, Canon Europe asked me to join

their IT group to run several major infrastructure projects. I stayed in the Netherlands and
joined Canon in February 2008. In my current
role, I oversee a lot of interesting, difficult
projects, like the integration of multinational
printing company Oc with Canon. In your
career, you have to take
some risks.
Stefan Willard,
PMP, ICT portfolio
manager, Canon Europa
NV, Amstelveen, the



A man waits for a train

in London, England.

Outside the New York Stock

Exchange on Wall Street, in New
York, New York, USA


Firmer Ground
After an unsteady recovery from the global recession, the worlds largest economy now stands on firmer ground. The United States should see
growth of about 3 percent in 2015 and 2016which would be its fastest
within the past decade, according to the International Monetary Fund.
2015 GDP Growth
Project managers are feeling that growth spurt, too. The U.S. demand
Forecast: 3.5%
for project practitioners is expanding by more than 12 percent, resulting in
Median Project
almost 6.2 million jobs in 2020, according to PMIs 2013 Talent Gap Report.
Practitioner Salary:
In 2014, U.S. employment levels finally approached their pre-recession
highs, according to a Deloitte report. Employers now intend to hire at their
Sectors to Watch: Finance,
construction, healthcare
strongest rate in over six years, ManpowerGroup reports. Between 2012 and
2022, U.S. employment should increase by almost 11 percent, with healthcare
accounting for almost one-third of new jobsmore than any other sector.
Project managers in the United Stateswhose median salary ranks third in the world after Australia and
Switzerlandwill benefit from a hiring push in project-rich sectors.
As companies look to gain efficiencies and improve their bottom line, the awareness of project management as a valuable skill and the demand for skilled project managers have definitely increased in the United
States, says Ruth Stevens, PMP, director, Grant Thornton LLP, New York, New York, USA. Ms. Stevens
says she has noticed an increasing number of job listings indicating that a PMP credential is either a definite plus or required.
In addition to healthcare, Ms. Stevens says, financial services and insurance are among the largest, most
visible sectors with a project manager demand. With construction jobs up to 6 million in June 2014 (up
from 5.4 million in January 2011), that sector is also in need: A January 2014 survey of Associated General
Contractors of America members shows that almost half (48 percent) were having trouble filling project
manager/supervisor roles. PM



What is your top career

goal for 2015?
I cannot single out just
one goal, as I have both
volunteer and professional objectives that
matter a lot to me due
to their broad impact.
However, it so happens
that both share a number
of key characteristics, with
enhanced collaboration
and social media aspects
at the core.
PMP, senior
Ministry for Primary
Industries and the Ministry
of Business, Innovation and
Employment, Wellington,
New Zealand



From left, James Wadleigh, interim CEO of

Access Health Connecticut; Kevin Counihan,
former CEO of AHCT; James Few, PMP, KPMG
program manager; Newton Wong, PMP, Deloitte
project manager; and Peter B. Nichol, PMP,
interim CIO of AHCT



2014 PMI

of the



With stakes highand

public doubts even
higherone project
team rallies for a cause.



he U.S. Affordable Care Acts mandate is simple: provide access to health insurance to uninsured residents. But delivering on the legislations promise proved
incredibly complex.
Only 16 states and Washington, D.C., opted to build online healthcare marketplaces, rather than use the federal exchange. The Access Health Connecticut
(AHCT) team did more than just meet that challenge. Despite an immovable
deadline, fluctuating requirements and a radically compressed schedule, the
project team exceeded federal enrollment goals and became a model for future
projects across the United States.

From the beginning, the AHCT project faced formidable obstacles: Though the
team was formed in mid-2012, it didnt receive federal approval to start work
until December 2012. Despite that six-month delay, the federally mandated
deadline remained fixed at 1 October 2013.
If you look at similar projects in the public sector, theyre all taking three
years, says Jim Wadleigh, interim AHCT CEO, in Hartford, Connecticut, USA.
Instead, AHCT had just 10 months to deliver.
I met with our federal regulators, recalls Kevin Counihan, CEO of AHCT
during the project and now CEO of, the federal governments
healthcare marketplace. They heard all my plans,
and they said, Thats so exciting, but we just want
you to know we frankly dont think youre going to
make it.
The doubts could be forgiven, given the work
that lay ahead: The health exchange had to allow
Connecticuts roughly 365,000 uninsured residents
to compare and purchase health insurance plans.
Beyond state residents, the project had dozens of
Jim Wadleigh
state and federal stakeholder groups, ranging from
the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to Connecticuts Department of Revenue Services, Department of Motor
Vehicles and Department of Public Health.
We had consumers, we had the federal government, we had state agencies,

If you look at
similar projects
in the public
sector, theyre
all taking three



Project Lifeline

we had our state government, we had insurance carriersall were individual players, Mr. Wadleigh says.
Each one needed individual communications to make
sure they understood the progress.


July 2012: Kevin Counihan joins AHCT as CEO and is

given one month to assemble a project team.
October 2012: Onboarding begins for Deloitte, the
new systems integrator.
November 2012: Realizing one part of the schedule has fallen two weeks behind, AHCT leadership
establishes a path for monitoring baseline dates for
hardware and software builds. The PMO ensures
status transparency by requiring new weekly Top 5
reports from vendors.
December 2012: Connecticut receives federal approval to move forward with its state exchange.
January-February 2013: Review of legacy systems
between AHCT IT leadership and Deloitte IT leadership begins. Requirements are completed and scope
is reduced by 30 percent.

n 1 March 2013: AHCT announces that any changes

To streamline and strengthen its approach, the team
after this date will be deferred until after launch.
decided early on to take a page from the private-sector
n May 2013: IT leadership establishes twice-a-week
playbook. Everything that wasnt our core strength
meetings to verify critical path progress for infrasetting up call centers, scanning paper applications,
structure buildout.
printing, developmentgot outsourced, says Mr.
n June 2013: Internal users begin navigating the site to
Wadleigh. KPMG was engaged as the technical advisor,
compare and validate health plan benefits.
and Deloitte served as the system integrator.
The project leaders also established an integrated
n July 2013: Development is complete and waves of
project management office (PMO) to manage the
testing begin.
requirements analysis and stakeholder issues. That
n August 2013: Incident response system is deployed
decision quickly paid off. In early November, the team
to track IT issues.
realized one part of the schedule had fallen two weeks
n September 2013: Twice-daily calls between stakebehind, and immediately established a critical path
holder groups are initiated to ensure progress.
to monitor crucial activities being executed by both
n Mid-September 2013: New security challenges crop
vendors and AHCT units.
up, with the vendor projecting a six-week fix. The
Looking to prevent the project from being derailed
team resolves the issue in half that time.
going forward, the team strengthened communication
n 29 September 2013: Regulatory oversight agency
through a new weekly one-page report vendors and
rules that consumer information posts must be
internal groups had to deliver to the PMO: the Top
added to application pages.
5. With the goal of ensuring transparency of status,
n 1 October 2013: Exchange website launches without
the report covered the top five biggest risks, depena single IT glitch.
dencies, accomplishments and priorities for the coming week. During weekly meetings, each stakeholder
group was represented, with problems presented and
solutions worked through.
The environment was like three-dimensional speed chess with a slew of factors coming at you, from legislators, policy people, the press, brokers, consumers, advocacy communities or insurance companies, Mr. Counihan says.



We had consumers, we had the federal go

carriersall were individual players. Each o

At the federal and state level, executive sponsor Lt. Gov. Nancy Wymans role
was absolutely critical, says Peter B. Nichol, PMP, interim CIO. She shepherded some key things through for us at pivotal times, he says.
She showed support for us in the eyes of the federal regulators, says Mr.
Counihan. She was the first lieutenant governor to
visit the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services during our final design review meeting. It sent
a very strong message.
Yet the project wasnt just tasked with building
and launching an exchangeit also had to ensure
that the uninsured would be able to use the site.
Realizing that a one-size-fits-all approach to reaching myriad end users wouldnt work, the project team
set aside US$19 million to fund stakeholder outreach
efforts. Newspaper, radio, billboard and TV advertising
was supplemented with targeted campaigns to reach
Spanish speakers, small businesses and young adults. Team members canvassed
Connecticut beaches, supermarkets, festivals and music concerts. As the project
live date approached, senior leaders went into communities on a weekly basis. We

I met with our federal

regulators. They heard all
my plans, and they said,
Thats so exciting, but we
just want you to know we
frankly dont think youre
going to make it.
Kevin Counihan




Jim Wadleigh

vernment, we had state agencies, we had our state government, we had insurance
ne needed individual communications to make sure they understood the progress.

called them health chats, says Mr. Wadleigh. Many constituents showed up to ask
questions, and we were able to answer a lot of their concerns.

Requirements gathering may be an early step for most project teams, but for
AHCT it was an ongoing issue: Project work began before all of the federal
requirements were locked down. With the scope constantly in flux, project
leaders decided in December that theyd have to make some hard decisions to
separate the must-haves from the nice-to-haves.
They identified 19 core business functions that had to be addressed by
launch. If it didnt fall within one of those 19 functions, we didnt focus on it,
Mr. Nichol says. In the end, in February they reduced the scope by 30 percent,
delaying or eliminating features such as mobile device support and advanced
reporting capabilities.
Rather than discourage the team, the scope reduction fueled its focus, says
Mr. Wadleigh. We knew the date could not move, so wed have to make some
hard decisions around scope along the way. But that immovable date helped us
quantify what was the most critical item to deliver in the project.
In April, team leaders made the tough decision to tell the federal govern-



ment that change requests made after 1 March

would not be in place for the 1 October launch.
Additional requests were made, but the team
continued to defer them to keep the deadline in
the realm of possibility.
The streamlined approach meant the team
was able to attack issues as they appeared
and appear they did. In mid-September, the
team members learned of serious security issues
around the volume of users the site could support. The vendor estimated six weeks would be
needed to resolve the issue, though launch was
only three weeks away. Project leaders called an
emergency meeting to figure out how to fasttrack the schedule fix and meet the 1 October
deadline without causing performance issues.
Once that fix was behind them, the team
barely had time to catch its breath before the
next project emergency arose. We had to make
a fairly significant course change two days before
our launch, says Mr. Counihan. A regulatory
oversight agency ruled that we needed to include
a consumer informabudget
and on
tion post on several
pages of the application
to remind enrollees to
make sure their doctor is
in the network. The ruling came in at 4:30 on a Sunday
The team rallied to meet the crushing deadline, pulling
an all-nighter to right the issue. A dozen pizzas and six
cases of red wine at 10 oclock helped productivity, says
Mr. Counihan.
Peter B. Nichol
On the launch day, the team gathered at 9 a.m. to
witness the completed project go live.
The launch was just totally awesome, Mr. Nichol says. We were in a
room and started to scream and cheer. It was pretty emotional.

I think that in
the next 50 years,
there is probably
not going to be
another project
that has this much
social change.





IT glitches or


It was also successful: The project came in 5 percent under budget and on
schedule. When the site went live, there were zero IT glitches or stakeholder
uproars. And, as of March 2014, more than 200,000 residents signed up, exceeding federal enrollment targets by a whopping 245 percent.
I think that in the next 50 years, there is probably not going to be another
project that has this much social change, says Mr. Nichol.
The amount of work involved in actually implementing and communicating
this type of change in such a short period of time is unprecedented, says Mr.
Counihan. This shows what a highly focused and disciplined group of people
can do with an unrealistic time frame. It can succeed. PM

signed up,
as of March


Check out behind-the-scenes
videos of this years PMI Project
of the Year finalists on PMIs
YouTube channel.





Over their careers,

seasoned project
practitioners gain
hard-won insight.
Now theyre passing
it on. We asked eight
experienced project
When you were
starting out, what
do you wish you
had known?


Out of Scope Doesnt Mean Out of Mind.

Samer Kabbara, PMP,

project manager, Davidson
Consulting, Paris, France,
has been a practitioner for
seven years.

On my first couple projects, I

spent a considerable amount of
time defining scope statement and
acceptance criteria without paying attention to project exclusions. Over time I realized that, as important as it is to identify
what is in the project, project managers
should also ensure that all items not within
the project boundariesthose things that
may otherwise cause confusion by not
being explicitly statedare described.
Once, when I was working on a software integration project for a telecom
operator, the acceptance criterion was
stable performance without any regression
with regard to standard key performance
indicators. The project team and I believed
there was no need for drive testing [measuring the capacity, coverage and overall

performance of a network]. During the

execution phase, the customer asked for
drive test results, which we didnt have.
Failing to list this item as out of scope
caused conflict. We ended up running
these tests and incurring unforeseen costs.
Things that seem out of scope for the
project manager may not be for the customer or end users. If it is not listed and
shared at an early stage of the project,
it might cost the project manager a lot
of trouble during project execution, by
having to deal either with change management or with unsatisfied end users
or customers. I had to learn this on my
own, but I wish someone had told me to
pay more attention to scope exclusions.
They help you avoid difficult times and
ensure a stakeholders satisfaction.



Things Can Go
Wrongand Will.
My younger self would have definitely benefited from putting more
effort into risk management. When
starting an exciting project, it can be difficult to focus on all the things that could go
wrong when youre wanting everything to
go right. Being overconfident that nothing
bad will happen can make you suffer later.
On the flip side, having a risk register
ready can help you focus on keeping the
project moving in the face of adversity,
rather than difficulties forcing you into
reactive mode. I wish I had had a risk register at the ready on some of my first jobs,
as I remember spending lots of energy and
tears saving some of those projects from
the sudden absence of team members. It
was effort and emotion that could have
been better spent.

Jan Mandrup, PMI-RMP, PMP, senior

certified project manager, IBM Asia
Pacific, a PMI Global Executive Council
member, Sydney, Australia, has been a
practitioner for 13 years.



When starting an
exciting project, it can
be difficult to focus on
all the things that could
go wrong when youre
wanting everything to go
right. Being overconfident
that nothing bad will
happen can make you
suffer later.
Jan Mandrup, PMI-RMP, PMP

Speak a Common Language.

Better Yet, Write It Down.

John Colburn, PMP,

senior project manager of
technology and central infrastructure, Morningstar
Inc., Chicago, Illinois, USA,
has been a practitioner for
five years.

When starting out as a project

manager, I wish I had had a better
appreciation for the seemingly mundane foundational items when initiating a
project. Their value is not immediate, but
they can really save and stabilize a project
in full swing. For instance, the importance
of a glossary to capture the verbiage and
agreed definitions used throughout the
life cycle should not be underestimated.
A glossary documents a common understanding, creates a reference point and
establishes a level of accountability as tasks
and milestones are created, coordinated
and reported. Stakeholders will often give
you different definitions at different times.
When definitions are assumed, it increases
the risk of a misunderstanding and unrealistic expectations.

If You Cant Communicate, You Cant Manage.

Simonas Galarreta, PMP,

service manager, Global
Point Chile, Santiago,
Chile, has been a practitioner for nearly 17 years.

When I started out nearly

17 years ago, I wish I
wouldve known that communication is the key player on
any project. You must keep every
project participant informed of
whats going on and where you are
on the project plan. How you communicate is more important than
almost any relevant project indicators. Yes, its important to raise
and track risksvery important
indeed. But if you dont know how
to communicate those risks appropriately, its very likely your project
could end up stalled or in crisis.
Learning precisely how to deal with
every level of an organization, from

the programmer to the C-suite, is

something that studying in theory
only helps you with so much. Mastering it in the real world is something different.
Dont be frustrated by early
setbacks; mastery comes with practice. You must learn to trust people
and mentor them to see every
project as a team goal. The more
involvement your team members
meaning the outsourcing company,
the customer, the IT people, everyonehave on the project from the
beginning, the more success youll
see. No individual effort, no matter
how great, can make up for a group
that is not working as a team.



Managing Teams Is Partly

Science. Its Mostly Art.
A critical piece of wisdom I wish I had known early on
in my project management career is the 80/20 rule. What
that means when managing projects is that 80 percent of
the effects come from 20 percent of the causes.
But the rule also applies in another way: 80 percent of project
leadership is art, and the remainder is science. The 20 percent recognizes the critical need to effectively plan the project, manage tasks,
and ensure you are meeting the time, scope and funding requirements of the project. The art in project management is the ability to
effectively manage peoplethe soft side of the project. That includes
creating a cohesive project team, managing emotion, and ensuring
that you fully understand and address the voice of the customer.
The greatest setback a project can have isnt resource or funding constraints, unrealistic deadlines or poor project sponsorship;
it is the project managers inability to effectively understand and
manage the team. Within a self-directed project team environment, team members feel empowered to make decisions as
well as to resolve conflicts and problem-solve. The benefits of a
project team resolving its own challenges are far more impactful.
Once project team members understand the importance of the
project, a sense of shared responsibility and cohesion begins to
form. The team will inherently rely on this sense of unified purpose to weather a projects successes and failures.

Andy Barnitz, PMP, PMO leadertalent acquisition, Allstate, Chicago, Illinois, USA, has been a practitioner for more
than 15 years.

The greatest setback

a project can have
isnt resource or
funding constraints,
unrealistic deadlines
or poor project
sponsorship; it is the
project managers
inability to effectively
understand and
manage the team.
Andy Barnitz, PMP



People Trump Pr

Tathagat Varma, PMP, VP

of strategic process innovations and human resources,
[24]7 Innovation Labs,
Bengaluru, India, has been a
practitioner for 17 years.

Early on in my career, I overrelied on process capability to

keep projects on track, rather
than working directly with the individuals in my teams to accomplish much
better results. I wish I had known then
that the best, most trusted teams tend
to self-organizeoften not because of
a great process imposed on them but
despite it. Processes are only as good
as the people practicing them. If you
hire collaborative people, the manager
should find a way to respect organic
team dynamics and reduce the process

Its Not Just What You

Say. Its How You Say It.

Diego Mota, PMP, Latin

American head of solution
and transformation, Atos
International, So Paulo,
Brazil, has been a practitioner for 15 years.

When studying project

management, we learn the
important technical aspects
of the jobbut there is little notion
about how those are practically
applied in the daily issues that arise
in the life cycle of a project. That
comes with experience, as does
effective communication, which is
always the crucial point, the fulcrum
of any project. The ability to deliver
the correct information to the

Throughout your
project management
career, you will need to
constantly sharpen your
communication skills in
order to succeed.
Diego Mota, PMP

red tape so that trust replaces contract
as the primary way to accomplish tasks.
Too often, managers see their title as
the ultimate acknowledgement of professional expertise, a view that could
lead to complacency, arrogance and
indifference to the fact that a manager
is primarily a figure who exists to serve
the teamnot the other way around.
To that end, a manager must practice
servant leadership to create efficiencies
for the team so that the team can focus
on its core objectives and become a
high-performing unit.

proper destination in a timely manner is a huge challenge in itself.

Throughout your project management career, you will need to
constantly sharpen your communication skills in order to succeed.
That is especially true because
managing projects means managing changes that impact different
stakeholders, who bring with them
their own interests and conflicts,
both professional and personal.

Theyre Called
for a Reason.
When I was starting out, I wish I had
known that stakeholder
management is crucial, and the
project manager should be dedicated to it. From the very beginning of any project, be aware of
Roberto L.C. Gattoni,
and take note of the stakeholdPMP, corporate PMO supervisor, Fiat/Chrysler Latin ers requirements, expectations,
impressions, perceptionsand
America, Belo Horizonte,
Brazil, has been a project
even those pesky unknown
manager for 17 years.
demands. These factors change
in intensity constantly along the
project life cycle. The continuous challenge for you as a proactive project manager is to know how to listen to the winds, so
to speakto notice breaking expectations, to detect the small
problems that can quickly turn into crises.
Be ready also to manage influential and powerful personalities that may have been left out of the agreements made during
the project. In my experience, even if the project manager is
an expert in communication management, its not enough to
entirely avoid setbacks. You just have to realize stakeholders are
human, with their own opinions, expectations and concerns.






the Course
In a time of turmoil, the Central Bank of the Dominican Republic looked to its project management office to help stabilize the economy.

From left: Joel Tejeda, deputy manager, monetary,

financial and exchange rate policies; Fabiola
Herrera, payments systems department director;
Eunice Duran, PMP, technical consultant for the
planning and budget department; and Luis Jos
Bourget, planning and budget department director

tability sets the stage for prosperity. Without reliable prices and a stable currency, a
countrys economy will be stunted by skittish investors and consumers. Even before
the recent global recession, the Dominican
Republics economy was mired in chaos. The
annual inflation rate soared as high as 49
percent. Interest rates on Central Bank of the
Dominican Republic (CBDR) bonds hit 35
percent. And the Dominican pesos exchange
rate fluctuated wildly, rarely to the benefit of the countrys consumers.
To fulfill its mission of delivering financial stability to businesses and the
countrys 10 million residents, the CBDR created a four-year strategic plan
in 2006. Chief among its goals: lower inflation and bolster the value of the
peso to protect Dominican consumers purchasing power.
But a plan is only as good as its execution. Convinced that the banks
performance hinged on choosing projects aligned to the strategy and then
executing them through standardized processes, CBDR leaders approved
the creation of a project management office (PMO).




Being nominated
is recognition
of the Central
Banks effort over
the last eight
years. This has
involved a lot of
people, a lot of
hard work and a
lot of discussion
internally. It
has involved
the whole
Joel Tejeda, on being named a
PMO of the Year finalist

First there was the plan. Then came the PMO, to guarantee the plan was
carried out, says Eunice Duran, PMP, PMO lead and technical consultant, planning and budget department, CBDR, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
After 60 years of doing things the same way, however, the hierarchical organization was resistant to change. When the PMO launched in January 2007
with control over the banks entire project portfolio, its first challenge was to
persuade each department to adopt standards that would allow the PMO to
systematize how it planned, executed and documented projects.
In very big and old organizations, departments tend to be like islands, says
Fabiola Herrera, director, payments systems department, CBDR. So the PMO
has had a hard time trying to make everybody understand that a project does
not belong to one specific department, but to the organization as a whole.
To secure stakeholder support throughout the bank, the PMO drew heavily
on practitioner expertise to research and recommend policies and regulations.
By 2010, Dominicans were seeing stable prices at the supermarket, investors
were buoyed by a lower interest rate and stronger peso, and the countrys
economy was on a growth trajectory.

Direction From the Top

Support for the PMO started at the top. The banks leadershipall the way up
to the governorknew that standardized project management processes were
necessary to execute the banks ambitious strategy to help achieve its main
goal: keep inflation low.



Once the top management is convinced that this is important, its easier
for the rest of the institution to absorb, says Joel Tejeda, deputy manager,
monetary, financial and exchange rate policies, CBDR.
With executive sponsorship secure, the PMO team began encouraging
adoption of project management practices across the organization. The banks
leadership was especially keen on having the PMO implement processes that
would help the CBDR identify problems early on, make necessary adjustments
and ensure projects were in sync with strategy.
By forging strong partnerships with project managers across the institution
and positioning them as best practice facilitators rather than auditors, the
PMO was able to change mindsand increase strategic alignmentacross
the banks departments, Mr. Tejeda says.
The most important way to know if the PMO has been successful is the rate
of compliance, he says. From 2006 to 2009, 57 percent of projects were not
related to the strategic plan. Now, only 11 percent of projects are not related.
Having the entire portfolio under the PMOs management has also allowed
the team to reduce redundancy, which has freed up resources to support projects that deliver greater value, Ms. Duran says.
Resources are scarce, she says. So the PMO has guided the whole institution in the way that it prioritizes, assigns and balances resources according to
the organizational strategy.
The PMOs robust management practices enable us to only implement
priority projects and execute them within the
approved constraints of scope, cost and schedule,
Ms. Duran says.
One high-profile example was a 2008-2011
project to integrate the real-time gross settlement systems of the Dominican Republic and five
neighboring nations. By increasing the speed at
which money and securities are transferred (or
settled) between banks, it promised to make the
regional economy more efficient.
While its partnersGuatemala, Costa Rica,
Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvadorwere
all on board, the PMO team knew that logistical complexities of working across borders could
prove difficult. To avoid delays, the PMO gave the
project consortium standardized processes that
streamlined communications and helped each
country move toward the shared goal. Defining the
Fabiola Herrera
projects objectives and then using the same forms,
reporting tools and success measures throughout
execution kept disparate teams on the same page, Ms. Herrera says.
The PMO helped by giving us standards, she says. It helped us speak the
same project language.

helped by
giving us
It helped us
speak the
same project

OPNMOs Evolution

2006: The Central Bank of the Dominican

Republic (CBDR) approves its 2006-2009
strategic plan and the creation of a project
management office (PMO).
2007: The PMO launches.
2008: The PMO team implements its
portfolio assessment methodology.
2009: The team finds that only 43 percent
of projects are related to the banks
strategic plan.
2010: The team begins tracking the PMOs
maturity using PMIs Organizational
Project Management Maturity Model
2011: The project management information system is deployed.
July 2013: The PMOs Plans and Project
Management procedures receive approval.
December 2013: An internal assessment
based on OPM3 finds the PMOs maturity
has increased dramatically.
2014: The team finds that 89 percent
of projects support the strategic plan
more than double the portion five
years earlier.

Wind in the Sails

With standardized processes in place and support for them growing, the
PMO began working to identify other ways it could improve the banks



We give the national financial system the stability it needs in

order to bring international investments here and improve the
way the banks work. The PMO is working for the greater good.
Fabiola Herrera

performance, says Luis Jos Bourget, director, planning and budget department, CBDR.
Two years after the PMO was founded, we started assessing our work and
looking for outside information regarding our performance, he says.
PMIs Organizational Project Management Maturity Model (OPM3) helped
identify and fill gaps in the PMOs processesand fueled even more progress.
Increasing our project management maturity has helped us achieve strategic objectives at the institution at a much faster pace, Mr. Bourget says.
Using OPM3, the PMO has uncovered new opportunities to improve its
performance year after year. An internal benchmark drawn from OPM3
showed the team significantly increased its maturity. And the improvement
process continues, Ms. Duran says.
Each year after the evaluation, we note the processes we lack, those that
would be useful and those we are ready to implement, she says.
Improving documentation has been a central part of the PMOs maturation.
The move not only helps the PMO team identify relationships among projects
and avoid redundancy within the portfolio, it also means teams arent doomed
to repeat history.
Prior to the PMO, important projects were executed without leaving a paper
trail, robbing future project teams of valuable lessons learned. Thats very sad,
from an institutional point of view, Mr. Bourget says.
With in-depth project recordkeeping now the norm, the
CBDR has improved project planning across the institution
and allowed the PMO to deliver better results.
With the project management methodology now in
place, we have full documentation for over 400 projects
that have been successful all along the way, Mr. Bourget
says. And we have lessons learned and experiences to
share with the community and with the future generations
of central bankers.

our project
has helped
us achieve
objectives at
the institution
at a much
faster pace.

The Next Horizon

Since its launch, the PMO has not only improved the
banks project performance, it has helped deliver macroeconomic stability during a period of global financial turLuis Jos Bourget
moil and evolve the Dominican Republics financial system.
Now a check can clear the next day, Ms. Herrera says.
Thats a huge achievement for a country where check-clearing used to take
two weeks.
Other CBDR projects have made it easier for people in rural areas to open
bank accounts. By supporting the departments that created a regulatory



First there
was the plan.
Then came
the PMO, to
the plan was
carried out.
Eunice Duran, PMP

framework for smaller, sub-agency banks, the PMO indirectly helped individuals who never had a savings account get access to financial services. Another
project the PMO helped with standardized accounts so that customers from
different banks can transfer money in real time. Taken together, these initiatives are advancing the countrys economy.
We give the national financial system the stability it needs in order to bring
international investments here and improve the way the banks work, Ms.
Herrera says. The PMO is working for the greater good.
The PMO also supports economic development by fostering a culture of
project management in both the public and private sector.
Here in the Dominican Republic, businesses are paying a lot more attention
to the project management specialization for their workers, Mr. Bourget says.
Team members have also shared project management experiences at
regional conferences and assessed the implementation of PMOs at other
financial institutions.
By fostering the project management community, were improving not just
the enterprises but society as a whole, he says. PM


Watch a video of this PMO,
as well as videos of other
finalists for the PMO of
the Year Award, at





The demands of a regulated environment shouldnt scare proje

PMN0115 D-Second Features.indd 60

12/19/14 4:03 PM



scare project teams away from agile. BY DONOVAN BURBA


PMN0115 D-Second Features.indd 61


12/19/14 4:03 PM

n a relatively
short span, agile
have gone from
the margins of
to decisively in
the mainstream.
But even within IT and software development,
theres one area in which agile still has to fight for
a foothold. Regulated industriesfinancial services,
pharmaceuticals, healthcare and the likehave
proven to be less receptive to agile, even as more
fields beyond IT take the plunge.
To be fair, regulated environments seem ill-suited
for agile at first glance. Its iterative approach seems
at odds with the rigorous validation, documentation
and assessment requirements that projects in such
industries must meet. Couple that with the increased
consequences of failurewhere a software failure
can crash not just a computer but an entire financial
networkand the reluctance to move away from the
waterfall model is understandable.
Agile methods are focused on delivering a
large amount of business value to the customer,
says Denise Canty, PMI-RMP, PMP, senior IT
project manager at Cenden Company, Washington, D.C., USA. Regulated industries are more
focused on safety first and may not be the best
candidates for agility.




respondents to VersionOnes State of

Agile survey credited implementing agile
for improvement in their ability to manage changing project priorities.

However, done correctly and under the right

circumstances, agile can both decrease project cost
and shorten schedule. A whopping 92 percent of
respondents to VersionOnes State of Agile survey
cited improvement in their ability to manage changing project priorities. In industries where regulations often change, the ability to better adapt can
mean the difference between project success and
scrapping the project. Agile also gives teams more
flexibility to tailor their verification and validation
tests to the actual product and adjust as neededa
critical concern in regulated industries.
Crucially, theres more transparency with burndown charts and agiles focus on velocity, says Bryan
Berthot, PMI-ACP, PMP, a San Diego, California,
USA-based IT systems development life cycle project manager at Verizon, a PMI Global Executive
Council member. In waterfall software development, theres a great fiction when using percent
complete to estimate task completion, because
youre often relying on happy path estimates from
developers, he says. In agile, the task is either done
or its not, and this is reflected in daily changes to
the burndown chart.
Reaping the benefits of agile requires balancing
its rapid iterations with the often extensive testing
and documentation inherent to regulated industries. It can also mean compromising with a hybrid

Agile methods are

focused on delivering
a large amount of
business value to the
customer. Regulated
industries are more focused on
safety first and may not be the
best candidates for agility.
Denise Canty, PMI-RMP, PMP, Cenden Company,
Washington, D.C., USA

approachand recognizing that sometimes waterfall really is the best way to go.


The first step to understanding how agile can help
organizations in regulated industries is knowing
the nature of those regulations. Though the word
implies rigidity and consistency, regulations are everchangingand agile lets project teams shift along
with them.
Marcus Glowasz, PMI-ACP, PMP, PgMP, senior
IT project manager at Credit Suisse, Zurich, Switzerland, manages anti-money-laundering initiatives
on which the requirements are largely driven by
auditors and regulators. The issues they raise rarely
come with much warning or time to get full sign-off
from stakeholders.
In that field, I have rarely experienced an implementation of the initial requirements, due to frequent scope changes, he says. A strict waterfall
method can therefore not be applied to such projects. Agile approaches ensure that deliveries can
adapt to regulatory deadlines that were unclear or
not known at the beginning of the project.
Project leaders can leverage those benefits to help
persuade stakeholders to shed the comfortable but
sometimes cumbersome scaffolding of traditional
approaches. To win over skeptics, Mr. Glowaszs



In waterfall software development, theres

a great fiction when using percent complete
to estimate task completion, because youre
often relying on happy path estimates
from developers. In agile, the task is either
done or its not, and this is reflected in daily
changes to the burndown chart.
Bryan Berthot, PMI-ACP, PMP, Verizon, San Diego, California, USA




team performs retrospectives on previous projects

and identifies where change requests caused overruns. That gives the client a quantifiable, real-life
look at agiles potential.
As with any significant change in processes or
approaches, starting small is a must. Mr. Berthot
adopted a staged approach when, in a previous position, he introduced agile to a healthcare
firm. He began with a small, sunk-cost projectin which money had already been spent and
couldnt be recoveredwhere the company could
learn about agile, then followed with a larger
US$100,000 software implementation project. Several lessons emerged from these efforts, including
the organizations risk threshold and the agile
project teams velocity.
One thing we learned was that this core team
seven internal IT staff memberscould do a good
job when they could focus on one project at a time,
he says. When they were split between two or three
projects, velocity on all projects slowed considerably. When we took these lessons learned from the
second project retrospective, the team was ready for
its real challenge.
The next project was a US$2.5 million software
implementation to replace legacy homegrown software with a commercial electronic medical record
(EMR) product. Because Mr. Berthots team had
established data on the teams velocity, the company was not overly aggressive in its time constraints; the EMR was successfully implemented
under its baseline budget.
Even the most enthusiastic agile evangelists recognize that there are some times when its simply
not the right choice. Several red flags signal the
potential for failure, says Ms. Canty. She identifies
four situations where waterfall may make more
sense and agile should be kept on the bench:
Inexperienced teams
Inadequately defined user requirements
Projects involving third-party vendors
Projects that use legacy systems where the code
is highly dependent on other code
And she notes that even projects that use agile
approaches should consider using more traditional

The View From

the Starting Line
Introducing agile approaches into a regulated environment is a
daunting prospect in part because of the unknowns that come
with the transition. Bruce Gilland, PMI-ACP, PMP, in Denver,
Colorado, USA, has gradually been integrating agile processes into
projects. Teams have started using sprints and iterative development on projects, and plans are in place to introduce other
aspects, such as daily stand-ups.
Even with years of experience in software development and the
PMI-ACP certification under his belt, Mr. Gilland faces a host of
unknowns that underscore the challenges of regulatory projects.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administrations regulations are designed
with waterfall in mind, he says, so adapting them to agile processes raises questions.
For example, if we bite off 20 requirements for a given iteration, do we need a new requirements document for those, or just
add to the existing one?
he says. Do we need a new
design document or just add
to the existing one? For testing, do we need a new test
plan? New protocols? New
Similar issues around
financial tracking and
gathering end-user feedback
will also have to be resolved
along the way. An upcoming Bruce Gilland, PMI-ACP, PMP, Denver,
Colorado, USA
software-heavy project will
give Mr. Gillands team the
opportunity to ramp up its
agile efforts, since its the
hardware aspects that still are implemented using waterfall. The
effort will not only help answer the aforementioned questions,
but may also convince curious stakeholders.
Several members of senior management are interested in
trying agile approaches, but theyre stuck in the mindset of having
full feature sets delivered by a predetermined date, often set by
marketing and without much input from the R&D team about
how long it will really take to create those features, he says. It
will take a few small successes with projects that implement more
agile features to make them comfortable with going full agile.

Several members of
senior management are
interested in trying agile
approaches, but theyre
stuck in the mindset
of having full feature
sets delivered by a
predetermined date.



methods at key times. Critical components of

software should be developed under more formal
software development methods, she says.


One of the biggest sticking points to agile adoption
in a regulated environment is the question of the
testing documentation required by auditors, says
Vasudeva Sharma Mallavajhala, PMP, associate
director of quality, Novartis Healthcare Pvt. Ltd.,
Hyderabad, India.
Its an obstacle that manifests itself in different
ways with different people. System developers think
that agile means no process and no documentation,
so when they are asked to prepare documentation
required for regulatory compliance, they think there
is no benefit for them, he says. Meanwhile, the
business people think agile cannot enable regulatory
compliance because it means no documentation.
The confusion comes from the misconception that
using agile approaches means throwing out all documentation. Ms. Canty notes that agile values working
software over comprehensive documentation, but
still leaves plenty of room for necessary paperwork.
Only create documentation that is requested by
a project stakeholder, she says. If its not asked for,
then dont create it.
Mr. Mallavajhala notes that while theres no way
to totally circumvent necessary documentation,
teams can meet requirements without bogging
down the process. These span:
n Including the completion of documentation as

part of Definition of Done for each user story

Including documentation as a task in the user
story life cycle
n Allowing documentation sign-off at the end
of releasebefore starting formal test executionso that any changes to requirements do
not have to go through a formal change management process
Also, teams dont need to spend time documenting tests and systems used only for internal purposes or incremental developments that wont be
reported to regulatory bodies.

The need for substantive (if not substantial) documentation likely precludes the use of nonhybrid
agile in regulated environments. Theres no getting
around the fact that traditional waterfall approaches
will have to be integrated into any iterative process.
For example, Mr. Mallavajhala knows his team
members will have to submit a certain amount
of documentation and receive formal approval of
plans, tests and systems throughout the project life
cycle. But that doesnt mean they sit around waiting for sign-off before moving to the next stage.
Instead, they update their regulatory documentation throughout the sprints, and get sign-off just
before the formal testing. This way, the method
avoids formal change management and approvals of specifications during development and thus
enables better productivity and turnaround time,
he says.

[In the anti-money-laundering field] I have rarely

experienced an implementation of the initial requirements,
due to frequent scope changes. A strict waterfall method can
therefore not be applied to such projects. Agile approaches
ensure that deliveries can adapt to regulatory deadlines that
were unclear or not known at the beginning of the project.
Marcus Glowasz, PMI-ACP, PMP, PgMP, Credit Suisse, Zurich, Switzerland




As a project
manager you
need to recruit
agile champions
among your senior
and key project
Ultimately, each
business unit that
has deliverables on
a project must be
operating on the
same cadence.
Bryan Berthot, PMI-ACP, PMP

Indeed, an agile-waterfall hybrid can address a

number of industry-specific issues that agile alone
may not. Differences in regulatory jurisdiction and
data availability can preclude remote teams from
performing efficient testing, requiring a more traditional testing model, says Mr. Glowasz. Fixed-price
contracts with third-party vendors are often incompatible with agile methods, he adds.
The best experience Ive had so far is with an
incremental waterfall method that incorporates
some of the most important agile concepts, such
as embracing change, while considering external
vendor constraints, he says.
Mr. Berthot warns that other business units
within the organizationsuch as regulatory,
purchasing, legal or medical affairscan hinder
the adoption of agile if they continue to work
in waterfall. In such cases, he says, products
finished with agile go unreleased while the rest

of the enterprise catches up. If this occurs in

your organization, as a project manager you need
to recruit agile champions among your senior
management and key project stakeholders, he
says. Ultimately, each business unit that has
deliverables on a project must be operating on
the same cadence.
An added benefit to a hybrid approach is that it
gives those skeptics a chance to dip their toe in the
agile pool before diving in, says Ms. Canty, and that
can mean both early buy-in and long-term success.
A change in culture is necessary in order to
embrace change, and we know that this does not
happen overnight, she says. And, she warns, as
more and more regulated industries adopt agile
processes and reap the benefits, those that lag
will increasingly be at a competitive disadvantage.
Companies that dont keep up and embrace agility
could be left behind. PM



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Project Management Institute

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collaboration and knowledge of working project managers and provides
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the essential tools to practice project management and deliver organizational results.
Project Management Institute, 2013, paperback, digital version is free for members, printed version: $49.50 Member, $65.95 Nonmember, 589 pages

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Analysis of the results shows that the experiences of respondents had several patterns
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The fourth edition

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ecent research shows that organizations continue to experience project issues associated
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are often cited as a leading cause of project failure in
PMIs Pulse of the Profession surveys.
Business Analysis for Practitioners: A Practice Guide
provides practical resources to tackle the project-related
issues associated with requirements and business analysisand addresses a critical need in the industry for
more guidance in this area.
The practice guide begins by describing business
analysis. It identifies the tasks performed, in addition to
the essential knowledge and skills needed to effectively
perform business analysis on programs and projects.
It breaks these tasks into five domains: needs assessment, planning, analysis, traceability, and monitoring
and evaluation. Within each of these domains, a series of
supporting tasks is defined and explored.
These concepts and skills are applicable to all programs and projects, whether they are focused on
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Due to the unique nature of organizations, there
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VOICES In the Trenches

Meeting With a Mission

How to hold well-run meetings that actually boost morale.
By Antoine Gerschel and Lawrence Polsky



nearly every team has complaints about meetings. But when youre managing projects, meetings are unavoidable.
We recently conducted a survey of 351 businesspeople that found
well-run meetings positively correlated to productive teams and happy
employees. So whats the key to happier, more productive meetings?
Often it is a simple matter of separating your meetings into three distinct
types and keeping the content focused
on that one type only. Mixing different
types invariably creates confusion and
frustration, makes meetings lose focus
and go overtime, and most important,
prevents you from getting the best
from your team members.
For instance, a personal check-in, a
discussion about a task at hand, a standard status meeting and a brainstorming meeting about improving a process
are each very different. They need different preparation, are associated with
very different emotions, and require a
different amount of time and discipline.
We recommend you separate your
meetings into the following three types:
n HHAY MeetingsThese are short
hello, how are you? meetings (seven
minutes or less) to check in with fellow project team members and see
how each person is doing.
n Queue MeetingsThese are the meetings to discuss specific issues
you have at hand, focused on key decisions that need to be made.
n Innovation MeetingsThis is time set aside to discuss ways to
improve strategy, teamwork, communication or other areas, and/or
develop new ideas or processes.

Nine Words: Meeting happiness results when

each get-together is effective, efficient and uplifting. When a topic for a different meeting comes
up, simply say, That is a good topic for our ____
meeting. Anyone in the meeting can do it.
Keep Score: Successful people like to experience
progress and know whats left to do in order to
succeed. You can leverage this to bring out the best
in your project team and make meetings a positive
time. The simplest and most powerful way to keep
score is with your ongoing action item list. As you
get things done, dont simply check them offtake
time to celebrate successes. Short moments of
congratulation and positive reflection feel good, are
fun and make the hard work feel worthwhile. Plus,
celebration boosts team spirit.
Check in Before You Check Out: High-performing teams take a few minutes to learn and improve.
Use the last three to five minutes for a quick how
did the meeting go? Heres a checklist to help your
team evaluate meetings:
Meeting Productivity:
n Were objectives met?
n Did we use our time well?
n Did everyone prepare appropriately?
n Were decisions made, with a good process?
n Do we have clear commitments and action items?
Meeting Happiness:
n Could and did everybody participate?
n Were people concise?
n Were achievement and progress acknowledged?
n Did we follow our rules of staying off devices
(laptop, phone, etc.)?

Project meetings can easily be bogged down by HHAY topics and

long discussions about how the organization ought to function. Having
a separation among these three types will keep your meetings on task,
without unnecessary interruptions, without going over time and without
participants losing engagement (and happiness).
The more you create meeting happiness, the less your project team
will dread meetings. Here are a few more keys to making sure your meetings are on track:

One note: None of these questions are for the

HHAY meetings. HHAY meetings are unscripted, no
agenda, no minutes, no debriefs. Short and sweet! PM


Antoine Gerschel and Lawrence Polsky

are managing partners at PeopleNRG.
com, in Princeton, New Jersey, USA.


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It looks sort of like a cross

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PROJECT: Inner Harbor Water Wheel
LOCATION: Baltimore, Maryland, USA
BUDGET: US$800,000
GOAL: make the Inner Harbor
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Baltimores Inner Harbor doesnt only host aquatic lifeits awash in empty bottles, bags
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To prevent waste from emptying into the harbor and then the ocean, the project team
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