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@scottmiddleton Scott Middleton Scott is the CEO and founder of Terem, Australia’s leading tech product development firm. The agile movement revolutionised the way technology companies operated and was a key driving force behind successes like Google, Facebook, and Airbnb. But, two decades after it started, the movement is now dead with the final blow dealt by McKinsey recently promoting an “agile transformation office”. Agile was originally proposed as a way of managing work and organising teams that develop software. It emphasizes customer collaboration over contract negotiation, individuals over processes, responsiveness to change over following ...
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Project management may have been around since the beginning of civilisation, but it was not until the 1950s that it began to mature as a recognised field of study. (1) Despite this, it could be argued that the first concerted effort to advance the field as a stand-alone professional discipline occurred in 1996 when the Project Management Institute (PMI) published their first edition of ‘A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge’ or PMBOK ® Guide, for short, where they captured a set of principles, processes, tools and techniques to guide project managers through the successful planning and execution of projects. This essay aims to critically analyse ...
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Microsoft Teams in Project Management I recently began managing single-sign-on federation (SSO) projects for a large government department. I was told this would be an easy sideline to my main job and I could expect one or two of these projects per month. It sounded easy so I agreed. (yes, I can see the knowing smiles from those with experience) My first step was discovery. How many SSO projects did we have? It turned out we did not only have one or two underway. We had 14. Suddenly my sideline task of keeping a couple of SSO projects on schedule each month blew out into something that could easily take up all my time. I had to come up with a way of communicating ...
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This article was written by Adrian Dooley, the creator and lead author of the Praxis Framework . If I asked you “What apple should I buy?”, your answer would depend on the context. Am I in the process of assembling the ingredients for a pie or setting up my home office? Words have many different meanings depending upon the context. One of the most problematic words in the field of project management is ‘Methodology’. While it doesn’t have multiple meanings in the dictionary it is certainly interpreted in many, often misleading, ways. The phrase ‘Project Management Methodology’ is a very popular Google search and delivers many comparison articles that ...
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I’ve often considered the following two statements to be true: If you want something done, ask a busy person If you can’t get your work done within regular hours, you either lack support or capability Recently, I’ve found that this view of the world is not so cut and dried, and it’s based on a combination of personal and work-related factors. Everyone’s busy and chasing for time. Our lives, enabled by technology, are faster than ever. We’re more connected than ever thought possible thirty years ago. Today, as we have everything at our fingertips, it makes it difficult to stop and consider if the quantum of available information actually equates to ...
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With around 16% of projects falling into the domain of ‘business transformation and improvement’, how are we as project managers able to influence change, particularly in complex environments? For much of my career, I have worked on and around initiatives intended to bring about large-scale change and while the projects, programs and industries have varied, many of the challenges and success factors have shared some common threads. I do not claim to be an expert in change or transformation, nor does this article hope to have all the answers to the question posed but I will attempt to share some of the observations (good and bad) that I have made along the ...
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How many organisations have you seen that do not manage risk well, especially project risk? Most organisations have a corporate risk management framework, but this tends to be targeted at controlling executive level risks. And where safety is involved, they can be great at handling the operational risks. Unfortunately, when it comes to projects, people tend to be poor at evaluating risk. Part of this is down to our brains not being good at probabilities and reacting intuitively when presented with risks. Because of this, risk management tends to play a supporting role in projects, which is a concern as risk management is why project management exists. ...
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This article was written by Andrew Whiteley, Julien Pollack and Petr Matous from the School of Project Management at the University of Sydney. Agility in project management is all the buzz. Manuals of commercially developed Agile method use a plethora of terms to describe agile tools, techniques, with different words for often identical concepts. But where did agility actually come from? Our systematic review of literature just published in the Journal of Modern Project Management highlights that agility in projects started a long time before the Agile Manifesto. Attempts to build project agility have evolved for decades. For example, the evolution of ...
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What is Enterprise Architecture? As per the Gartner glossary, Enterprise Architecture (EA) is: "A discipline for proactively and holistically leading enterprise responses to disruptive forces by identifying and analysing the execution of change toward desired business vision and outcomes. EA delivers value by presenting business and IT leaders with signature-ready recommendations for adjusting policies and projects to achieve targeted business outcomes that capitalize on relevant business disruptions." While CIO Australia defines it as: "The practice of analysing, designing, planning and implementing enterprise analysis to successfully execute on ...
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As we look to 2021 and beyond, there is growing expectation that information is available instantaneously and status updates should be near real-time. With more tools at our disposal and this growing expectation for speed and agility, project managers are facing more pressure to make rapid decisions, even when the available information is based on incomplete data or a lot of assumptions. The pressure from senior stakeholders to “get it right” has placed decision making skills squarely under the spotlight. We’ve all seen examples of a single poor decision that can have very high costs and may even be the difference between success and failure for your project ...
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Starting with a big thanks First I'd like to acknowledge my colleague Scott Howe for his guidance on this important distinction - as someone who has led internationally, and in battle his views on this are rock solid. Thanks Scott, it was a powerful insight and triggered this thinking! Out of the blue the client said "we want leadership, not command and control" During a recent client briefing I heard someone use the phrase 'command and control' to mean management - and implied a directive (and perhaps dictatorial) way of running a project. Naturally they didn't want that, who would? The issue is that they took command to mean the opposite of leadership ...
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It’s time to celebrate and recognise everything the project management community has achieved in 2020. After all this has been a year like no other, with unprecedented challenges faced by project managers and their teams. What is International Project Management Day? International Project Management Day, otherwise known as IPM Day falls on the first Thursday in November each year. In 2020 it will be celebrated on 5 November. The day is designed to encourage organisations to host an event, which recognises and demonstrates appreciation for the achievements of project managers. As stated on the International Project Management Day website, the goal ...
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As most project team members are working from home, project managers need to improve their internal communications. Utilisation of communication tools like Zoom, Teams, etc. can help, but providing a digital workplace platform to the team is a more effective solution. This article describes the steps for a rapid and successful digital workplace deployment. Questions are asked by a Project Manager willing to implement a digital workplace and answered by a Digital Workplace consultant. Q1: I have noticed a bit of a disconnect between my team members due to some of them having to work from home. I want to implement a digital workplace. What should I do? ...
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https://www.pharmacydaily.com.au/news/use-pharmacy-to-boost-vax-access/91909 25 Sept 2020. World Pharmacist Day, I am saying big thank you to all pharmacy workforce & pharmacists that we do every day to keep all Aussie safe and healthy every day. In Pharmacy daily our work for provideing free flu vaccine to more than 1000 people during COVID period from TWCM Cumberland pharmacy in Adelaide is highlighted in today's newsletter
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During Covid-19 many of us have faced some of the biggest changes to life as we know it. Pleasingly, not all of these were bad! For me, living and working in Regional Australia, I found that the impacts of working from home removed the distance between my teams and me. It provided an opportunity for my non-regional based colleagues to understand the different ways of working when not located in the "head office" and adjust. I was able to catch up with my geographically dispersed team in a way we had never before. By using MS Teams we could chat as a whole team on a more regular basis, but more than that, I could see them and chat (messages) with them as ...
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One of the challenges in project governance is making difficult decisions, where what ought to be said or done is very different to what's acceptable. Your gut tells you one thing, your head another. If you've ever been under pressure to behave on a project in a way that makes you uncomfortable, I'd like to hear from you. I'm researching how power influences behaviour in projects as part of my PhD at BehaviourWorks, Monash University. To capture your experience there's a link below to a comprehensive survey. As a small thank you, there's free personality feedback on completion. It's governed by Monash Ethics, so all data is anonymised on entry, securely held ...
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As part of my PhD, I am studying the Career Resilience of Project Managers. Career Resilience is the capacity to keep calm and carry on towards reaching our career goals which is extremely important amidst the current COVID-19 climate that we are all experiencing. If you can please take some time to complete my 15 minute survey- found in the link below that would be much appreciated and will assist in informing my PhD findings. Your responses will remain anonymous and please do not forget to press 'Submit' at the end of the survey. https://rmit.au1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_3F4X18RYB9GNCpn Career Resilience of Project Managers Thanks in advance ...
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Merging projects

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Received this question from one of my ex-students the other day - interested to hear other's thoughts on incidence and what advice is out there. Question: As a project manager in a software company, some things have happened which makes me confused. We have two projects to add two different functions to a system. Because they are established based on the same project, they have something in common. Now, the two projects are ongoing with the project phases. One project just passed the I nitiation and the other is in Planning. The boss said that since the two projects were similar, we would combine them into one project so that we would only have to submit ...
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Right now, I think it is fair to say that many of us feel like we are standing on the edge of a very tall building, looking down and hoping that we have managed the risks that we face. Over the past 30 years I have seen many Project Managers choose the ‘Hope for the Best’ approach to risk then spend much of their time hoping that problems that impact their projects do not occur. Many take false comfort in the fact they have spent a few hours (or maybe less) recording risks in a register and passing it on to other people; which is in some way of thinking that a risk shared is a risk halved. Many Risk Registers I have reviewed do not even adequately describe ...
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Project Managers are called upon to identify and manage risk. It goes with the job. The procurement process within a project may also require Project Managers to manage and assess risks, with publically funded projects presenting very interesting risks. While probity is not an exciting topic, it is a very important one and should be considered when undertaking any procurement process. Government agencies and departments are having to increase their interaction in a significantly more challenging environment and having to perhaps work with the private sector in differing capacities than previously. The Government has an obligation to ensure its procurement ...
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