The aim of this book is to provide a stakeholder-centred analysis of projects, and to explain which stakeholder identification, analysis, communication and engagement models are most relevant to different types of projects.
Using case studies from around the world, it illustrates what goes wrong when stakeholders are not engaged successfully, and what lessons we can learn from these examples.
The book is aimed at project professionals who find themselves involved in managing projects with stakeholders (so that’s just about all of them then!).
This book recommends that project practitioners should consciously view projects through multiple “lenses” or “filters” to gain different perspectives. This approach directs attention to project aspects that might not otherwise be considered, which will affect the action taken, and hence the results obtained.
Considerable repetition of the principles and case study content (mainly to make it easier to use for reference), and overlap between the images caused me to have several déjà vu moments in reading it straight through, but the approach should be useful to PMs (on projects and programmes) and PMOs (to challenge PMs on their view of projects, and to think about portfolios) at all career stages. Continue reading “Images of Projects (Book Review)”
by Melanie Franklin, IT Governance Publishing, Ely, 152 pages, £24.95 RRP (review copy provided free of charge by the author)
Pragmatic PMO Rating: ****
This book is intended as a practical guide to understanding and managing change that will benefit your business. It covers the differences between change management and project management, and how to integrate the two.
The stated aim of this book is to show the reader how to create and maintain a business-driven PMO, because PMOs that are driven by the needs of the business succeed, whereas PMOs that are driven by other motivations fail.
I recently saw a great example of spontaneous teamwork. I was making my way up one of those very long escalators you find in London tube stations. Some way above me and ahead of me, a woman took off her hat and put her hand on the moving hand rail, but without realising it let go of her hat. The hat slid quickly down the steeply sloping polished surface next to the hand rail. It slid past several people but a man about ten rows behind the woman caught the hat. The hat was then passed forwards by various people and within little more than ten seconds was returned to the delighted and grateful woman, who until then had not even realised it was lost.
This book aims to improve Project Managers’ understanding of their projects’ stakeholders, and in doing so to improve the quality of engagement and hence project outcomes.
It starts by stating the obvious (but easily forgotten) truth that project stakeholders are all human beings (hmmm, not sure if I can say that applies to all the stakeholders I’ve dealt with…) with all the emotions, personal agendas, hopes and fears that entails. It crucially points out that they may not care about or really support the project (even if they say they do), and that behind the scenes they may even be working really hard to ensure it fails.
At a recent PMO FlashMob event, I got chatting with a few FlashMobbers about what can be done with the Lessons identified in project closure reports. There were split opinions in the group:
Some thought that Lessons are usually specific to the Project concerned, and are only useful in later stages of the same project, or in running future projects that are very similar to the one from which the Lessons were learned;
Others (including me) thought that it is possible to extract more generic learning from at least some Lessons that can be implemented across many projects (even those that are different from the project that identified the Lesson), perhaps by adding or making a small change to a checklist, template, approach, BAU process or corporate PM methodology, or by including the Lesson in PM training or coaching.
Following on from my post on watermelon reporting, I wanted to share another, related, phenomenon with you – “green side up” reporting. This describes the phenomenon where the health of programmes and portfolios is reported more favourably the higher up the organisation the reports are circulated; that is to say that in the project world everything looks green when viewed from above.