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PMNetwork ®

JULY 2015 VOLUME 29, NUMBER 7

AFRICA

CONNECTS

PURSUING AN ADVANCED DEGREE PAGE 40 BEWARE OF ZOMBIE RISKS! PAGE 25 BIOMEDICAL BREAKTHROUGH PROJECTS PAGE 12

MAKING PROJECT MANAGEMENT INDISPENSABLE FOR BUSINESS RESULTS.®

TELECOM PROJECTS FUEL SUB-SAHARAN GROWTH

PAGE 30

PAGE 12 MAKING PROJECT MANAGEMENT INDISPENSABLE FOR BUSINESS RESULTS.® TELECOM PROJECTS FUEL SUB-SAHARAN GROWTH PAGE 30
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PHOTO BY CARLO RICCI

Features

30 A Continent Connects Rapidly expanding IT and communications projects across sub-Saharan Africa are fueling
30
A Continent Connects
Rapidly expanding IT and
communications projects across
sub-Saharan Africa are fueling
broader economic growth.
By Steve Hendershot
40
Back to School
To get the most from a graduate
degree, project professionals
must know how to pick the
right program.
By Donovan Burba
48
Trend or Foe?
Project managers must
understand the organization’s
strategy to know when to follow
a trend—and when to walk away.
By Amy Merrick
54
Eiffel Power
A project adds wind turbines
to an iconic French landmark—
without obstructing a world-
famous view.
By Sarah Protzman Howlett
60
The Proactive Portfolio
With the speed of change
accelerating, organizations
must build innovation into the
portfolio or risk falling behind.
By Matt Alderton

30

Sahar Kanani, PMP, Telus, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

40

JULY 2015

|

VOLUME 29, NUMBER 7

48

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Also

JULY 2015

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VOLUME 29, NUMBER 7

THE EDGE

PMNetwork ®

MAKING PROJECT MANAGEMENT INDISPENSABLE FOR BUSINESS RESULTS. ®

6

Pedal Power Municipalities collaborate on projects to provide cycle- friendly options for commuters.

8

Blast From the Past

A

museum’s project team

is

tasked with reassembling a

200-foot-tall rocket.

10

Need for Speed Careful testing and team expertise keep broadband network projects in the fast lane.

11

Without a Net Brazil’s economy is winded— and this time the country’s government isn’t breathing life into its project landscape.

12

1 Challenge, 3 Projects Building better bodies

14

Extra Sensory Perception Grid sensor projects give electric utility companies valuable answers.

14

Rooted in Technology

A

project in an urban park

helps chart climate change.

16

Metrics To get ahead of the trend, automakers around the world are launching connectivity projects.

VOICES

18

Inside Track Setting the Standards Melissa Starinsky, chancellor,

Veterans Affairs Acquisition

Academy, U.S. Department

of Veterans Affairs, Frederick, Maryland, USA

20

Project Toolkit

Young Leaders

ALSO IN THIS ISSUE

25

In the Trenches Zombie Risks By Rex M. Holmlin, PMP

68

Marketplace Managing rapid change as well as government projects

26

In the Trenches Lessons Learned By Suresh Gopalakrishnan, PMP

71

Directory of Services Project management resources

28

In the Trenches

Mobile Plan By John Pitchko, PMP

72

Closing Credit South America’s tallest

COLUMNISTS

tower helps biologists monitor the world’s largest rain forest.

22

Innovation Center Framing Innovation By Kareem Shaker, PMI-RMP,

PMP

24

The Agile Project Manager

Agile Compliance By Jesse Fewell, CST, PMI-ACP, PMP, Contributing Editor

29

The Portfolio Track Looking Back to Move Forward By Teresa (Terri) Knudson, PMP, PgMP

Back to Move Forward By Teresa (Terri) Knudson, PMP, PgMP DOWNLOAD THE PM NETWORK APP and

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theEd

Pedal Power

Cyclists are taking to city streets, and the cities are responding. In Copenhagen, Denmark, a global leader of cycling infrastructure, half of residents commute to work by bike. At just 6.1 percent, the city of Port- land, Oregon has the highest cycle commuting rate in the United States. While this number is small in comparison, the country’s bicycle culture is blooming. The number of bike commuters jumped roughly 60 percent between 2000 and 2012, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The growing popularity of two-wheelers, fueled partly by city-backed bike-sharing programs, has inspired a spate of bicycle-friendly initiatives on both sides of the Atlantic. But from passionate stakeholders to regulatory red tape, bike-focused projects in any location face similar bumps in the road.

Line of Sight

The team in charge of Portland’s US$134.6 million Tilikum Crossing bridge, for instance, worried that the car-free structure’s design would not be approved by the local government. As part of a US$1.49 billion light-rail program, the 1,720-foot (524-meter) bridge will carry only light-rail trains, buses, streetcars, pedestrians and cyclists. When it opens in September 2015, Tilikum Crossing

will be the largest car- free transit bridge in the United States. From the start, the high-profile project generated a great deal of interest from permit- granting agencies and potential users. “As the

first new bridge in our downtown core in 40 years, it had a lot of public interest,” says Robert Barnard, project director, Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Project, Portland. The project team determined it had to mitigate the risk that its design would not be approved. It commissioned a bridge-design study and formed a stakeholder group headed by a former Portland mayor. This group gathered public consensus on the design before engineers starting working on it.

Portland’s

US$134.6 million Tilikum Crossing bridge will carry only light- rail trains, buses, streetcars, pedestrians and cyclists.

Tilikum Crossing bridge under construction in Portland, Oregon, USA

PHOTO COURTESY OF PORTLAND’S TRIMET

ge

ge “In a design-build environment, every day of delay is a lot of money. We wanted

“In a design-build environment, every day of delay is a lot of money. We wanted to move the approval risk out of that process.”

—Robert Barnard, Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Project, Portland, Oregon, USA

500 kilometers

(311 miles) The total distance for 28 planned cycling superhighways in Copenhagen, Denmark

8,000

Number of bicyclists projected to use Tilikum Crossing bridge daily

60%

The increase in U.S. bike commuters between 2000 and 2012

theEdge

BLAST FROM THE PAST

The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force (USAF) has be- gun restoring a rocket that’s taller than its building. The museum, in Dayton, Ohio, USA, will restore and display a 200-foot-tall Titan 4B rocket vehicle. The res- toration project, the largest the museum has undertaken, involves finding experts familiar with Titan 4B, cata- loguing the rocket’s parts in an airport hangar, moving them to the museum and then reassembling them. “One of the biggest chal- lenges for our staff is going to be figuring out how to as- semble and display [the Titan 4B] horizontally because it is too tall to stand up inside the gallery,” Greg Hassler, a supervisor in the restoration division, told the Dayton Busi- ness Journal. In conjunction with the restoration, the museum is adding a US$35.4 million building that will house a new space gallery to open in 2016. The Titan 4B was used from 1997 to 2005 to launch satellites, as well as the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft that is still studying Saturn. The museum undertook the restoration project to showcase the Air Force’s role in space missions. “The Titan 4B and the exhibit space around it will be crucial for telling the USAF space story,” Doug Lantry, PhD, project manager for the new space gallery, told the Dayton Busi- ness Journal. —Imani Mixon

“Before we started the preliminary engineering, we had the roadmap of what we were going to build,” Mr. Barnard says. “In a design-build environment, every day of delay is a lot of money. We wanted to move the approval risk out of that process.” To meet cost, design and engineering requirements, the team settled on a cable-stayed bridge design. High in the middle and low at the ends, the design would

accommodate the Willamette River’s heavy marine traffic. In addi- tion, a travel-demand model showed that the intended 12-foot (3.7-meter) width of the bicycle-pedestrian paths would have to be increased to 14 feet (4.3 meters) to accommodate the projected daily use of 8,000 bicyclists and 3,000 pedestrians. Construction began in December 2010 and ended exactly four years later, on time and on budget, Mr. Barnard says. The bridge will open in September, once the light-rail, bus and streetcar operators have completed an extensive training program.

operators have completed an extensive training program. The project team “is bringing all the stakeholders to
operators have completed an extensive training program. The project team “is bringing all the stakeholders to

The project team “is bringing all the stakeholders to the table to facilitate project coordination and implementation among the multiple jurisdictions and transportation agencies.”

—Kevin Kokes, North Central Texas Council of Governments, Arlington, Texas, USA

Right of Way

In the area surrounding Dallas-Fort Worth in Texas, USA, mul- tiple municipalities have come together to build a better bike path. The Fort Worth to Dallas Regional Trail project will connect 64 miles (103 kilometers) of trails to link Dallas and Fort Worth, as well as three suburbs between the two cities. It’s part of the Regional Veloweb program, 1,728 miles (2,781 kilometers) of off- street paths intended for cyclists, pedestrians and other nonmotor- ized transportation. “The Regional Veloweb connects communities to housing, employ- ment and entertainment in the region,” says Kevin Kokes, senior trans-

The Continental Bridge in Dallas leads to the Trinity Skyline Trail. PHOTO BY DICK DAVIS
The Continental Bridge in Dallas
leads to the Trinity Skyline Trail.
PHOTO BY DICK DAVIS VIA FLICKR

portation planner for project sponsor North Central Texas Council of Governments in Arlington. To make those connections, however, the proj- ect team will have to fill in gaps in the path where it approaches city borders, crosses multiple juris- dictions or involves other stakeholders, such as rail companies. Through regular stakeholder meetings and conference calls, the project team “is bringing all the stakeholders to the table to facilitate proj- ect coordination and implementation among the multiple jurisdictions and transportation agencies,” Mr. Kokes says. For instance, one path gap was near an active rail line. So the team brought city representatives and transportation experts together to discuss a variety of path location options, such as in the rail right of way, in a nearby parallel street or else- where. The team ultimately determined the path could be built within the rail right of way.

Share the Road

Even the cycling-centric city of Copenhagen has found ways to improve its car-free infrastructure. “When distances are longer than 5 kilometers [3.1 miles], only 30 percent of all commuter journeys are made by bike,” says Tine Brandt, project manager, Secretariat of Cycle Superhighways, Copenhagen. To bump up that percentage, the city, in part- nership with more than 20 surrounding munici- palities, plans to build 28 cycle superhighways that will total roughly 500 kilometers (311 miles) in length. “We want people to perceive these routes as a serious alternative to cars, buses and trains,” Ms. Brandt says. Launched in 2009, the project has completed the first two superhighways, with nine more scheduled for completion by 2018. The remaining routes will be finished within the next decade. The first super- highway led to an 18 percent increase in the num- ber of people in the town who bicycled to work. “Securing cooperation among municipalities with different priorities and political agendas can be a challenge,” Ms. Brandt says of the Copenha- gen initiative. Like the Dallas-Fort Worth project, it crosses city borders. The cities involved all con- tribute to the program’s budget. To ensure “close cooperation among the munici- palities,” she says, the project team didn’t just look

PAVING THE WAY

 
   

Bike-centric projects in the works:

BIKE GARAGES Location: Amsterdam, the

routes, including five cycle high-

Netherlands Budget: To be determined Timeline: 2017-2030 Scope: More than 25,000 new bicycle parking spots in three garages—one underwater and two on floating islands

THE LOOP LINK Location: Chicago, Illinois, USA Budget: US$31.8 million Timeline: 2015-2016 Scope: Separate lanes for bicycle, bus and regular traffic on several downtown streets, improving bi- cycle travel and making travel 25 percent faster for bus commuters

CYCLE SUPERHIGHWAYS Location: London, England Budget: £160 million Timeline: 2015-2016 Scope: A 3-mile (5-kilometer) north-south route and an 18-mile (29-kilometer) east-west route fully segregated from vehicle traffic

PLAN VÉLO Location: Paris, France Budget: €150 million Timeline: 2015-2020 Scope: Doubling the city’s bike lanes by adding 80 kilometers (50 miles) of new and improved

ways protected from car traffic by barriers

TILIKUM CROSSING Location: Portland, Oregon, USA Budget: US$134.6 million Timeline: 2010-2015 Scope: The design and construc- tion of the United States’ longest car-free bridge. The 1,720-foot (524-meter) structure will carry only light-rail trains, buses, street- cars, pedestrians and cyclists.

FORT WORTH TO DALLAS REGIONAL TRAIL Location: Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, USA Budget: Unknown Timeline: 2014-2020 Scope: Build and connect 64 miles (103 kilometers) of trails that will link Dallas, Fort Worth and three suburbs.

CYCLE SUPERHIGHWAYS Location: Copenhagen, Denmark Budget: DKK413 million- DKK875 million Timeline: 2009-2018 for the first 11 superhighways Scope: More than 20 neighbor- ing municipalities plan to build 28 cycle superhighways total- ing roughly 500 kilometers (311 miles) in length.

to Copenhagen to call the shots. Instead, the munic- ipalities jointly developed and adopted a common strategy and plan. The team also created a secre- tariat as a neutral body to oversee execution. “If Copenhagen municipality had made the concept on its own and just presented it to the other municipalities, it wouldn’t have worked as well,” Maria Streuli, who led the project during its concept and first development phase, told CityLab. —Novid Parsi

theEdge

NEED FOR SPEED

Global Internet bandwidth demand will increase an average of

21

percent

each year

through

2018.

Source: Cisco

Global demand for streaming data is skyrocketing—and there’s no cap in sight. Fueled by the popularity of data-heavy web services such as video conferencing and interactive gaming, global Internet bandwidth demand will

increase an average of 21 percent each year through 2018, according to Cisco. To satisfy that demand, Internet service providers (ISPs) are launching xed-line broadband network build-out and upgrade proj- ects. Virgin Media in February announced a £3 billion e ort to upgrade the organization’s existing U.K. network to deliver faster speeds and more robust service to 4 million homes. Italy’s govern- ment earlier this year approved a €12 billion plan to build a nationwide ber-optic network to replace aging copper wires that o er slower Inter- net connections than ber. Fiber-optic networks are considered the gold standard for speed, reli- ability and ability to handle future demand. But that quality only comes with hard work. “Fiber rollouts are one of the most challenging and complex types of projects,” says Alex Ramoneda, PMP, assistant director, ber networks, Ooredoo, Doha, Qatar. His company delivers mobile and xed broadband Internet services across the Middle East, North Africa and South- east Asia.

Virgin Media is spending £3 billion to upgrade its existing U.K. network.
Virgin Media is spending
£3 billion to upgrade its
existing U.K. network.

may know some risks are com- ing based on previous project experience.” Testing the network’s sta- bility and average upload/ download speeds is another crucial part of any broadband project, she adds. Laboratory tests determine whether net- work engineers and IT systems can properly communicate with equipment, and end- to-end testing helps ensure a seamless customer experience. Sometimes Ms. Sherman pulls in additional networking and

regulatory experts during the testing phase to gain fresh per- spectives on a system’s quality and compliance. “It’s better to know what is the correct way to do something than to assume it and be proven wrong,” she says.

than to assume it and be proven wrong,” she says. “Fiber rollouts are one of the
than to assume it and be proven wrong,” she says. “Fiber rollouts are one of the

“Fiber rollouts are one of the most challenging and complex types of projects.”

—Alex Ramoneda, PMP, Ooredoo, Doha, Qatar

Good Input, Good Output

Broadband project plans must account for expan- sive geographies and vendors that specialize in unique technology areas. at’s why project managers must build teams with the right mix of expertise, says Paige Sherman, PMP, a Wash- ington, D.C., USA-based professional member of technical sta , Verizon, a PMI Global Execu- tive Council member. She makes every e ort to personally select the team members involved in her projects, looking for experts in areas such as speci c technologies, customer experience, testing and regulatory matters to reduce project risks. “It’s very important to have the right people ask- ing the right questions,” Ms. Sherman says. “ ey

Down to the Wire

Denise Klouda, a senior project manager in New York, New York, USA with IT services provider CSC Corp., a PMI Global Executive Council member,

works with ISPs as they install or upgrade broadband service for corporations. Her role often focuses on avoiding service disruptions during the changeover. As many as 100 engineer/application team members may be involved in testing as the change- over occurs, she says. “For something like that, everything must be planned precisely,” she says.

ere can be no last-minute adjustments.” Missed milestones can result in signi cant proj- ect cost increases as un nished tasks snowball—

PHOTO COURTESY OF VIRGIN MEDIA

and penalties are assessed. Syed Fahad Khalid, a Jakarta, Indonesia-based senior solution architect at Ericsson, a PMI Global Executive Council member, says telecommunications companies often take a “carrot and stick” approach with vendors to keep projects on time and within budget. For example, vendors working on a broadband project might be paid generously for on-time work. But if vendors don’t complete tasks by the deadline, they might have to nish the work at their own expense, says Mr. Fahad. By building incentives like these into project contracts, organizations can decrease downtime and keep their clients plugged in. “If the customer doesn’t notice the changeover, that’s a good result,” Mr. Fahad says. —Carol Wolf

Without a Net

good result,” Mr. Fahad says. —Carol Wolf Without a Net Brazil’s economy has hit another rough

Brazil’s economy has hit another rough patch—but this time, the country’s national government isn’t backing major projects to stimulate Latin America’s largest economy. To the contrary: It’s enacting austerity measures and reeling from a corruption scandal involving one of the country’s marquee projects. Embroiled in bribery allegations, Petrobras’ Abreu e Lima oil re nery in Ipojuca, Brazil opened in December three years late and more than US$15 billion over budget. e scandal prompted the semi-public multinational energy company to announce it will review

all of its projects. Two oil re neries under construction will be delayed so contracts can be renegoti- ated with companies that have faced accusations of overcharging for work. A global drop in oil prices has prompted Petrobras to can-

cel two other re nery projects in Brazil’s northeast.

cel two other re nery projects in Brazil’s northeast. CRUMBLING BRICs? Little more than a decade

CRUMBLING BRICs?

Little more than a decade ago, the BRIC nations—shorthand for the developing economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China—were seen as the future of the global economy. Today, two of these once-vaunted countries are in recessions, and only one is growing robustly. It’s not only Brazil. Russia’s real GDP will likely contract 5 percent in 2015, says Sara Johnson,

senior research director for global economics, IHS Global Insight, Lexington, Massachusetts, USA. She projects a 1.1 percent real GDP decline for the year in Brazil—“not as difficult as Russia, but far worse than India and China.”

CHINA The country’s rapidly cooling real- estate market has slowed construc- tion project activity, and as of April that had rippled out to slow down employment and new business growth to their lowest points in at least eight months. But the factory sector is showing signs of a rebound, and the government has acted to make home buying easier in an at- tempt to jump-start the market. “We’re projecting 6.5 percent real GDP growth compared to 7.4 last year,” Ms. Johnson says. “The environment is not as vibrant, but at least there is some growth.”

RUSSIA The global drop in oil prices, coupled with economic sanctions from Western coun- tries, has triggered big government spending cuts and a major reces- sion. That had pushed down project activity in heavily state-controlled industries, including defense and healthcare. Soaring inflation has also hurt the private sector, including retail- ers and wholesalers.

INDIA 2015 may be India’s breakout year. With a new government spurring market optimism with promises to enact business-friendly tax, labor and foreign investment laws, IHS Global Insight projects a 7.8 percent growth rate in the current fiscal year—higher than China’s for the first time this century. Project activity is particularly hot in defense, energy and manufacturing sectors. Still, lackluster electricity and transportation infrastructure continues to hold back broader project activity, Ms. Johnson says. —Ambreen Ali

ere’s a high degree of

uncertainty resulting from the corruption investigations at

Petrobras, and that is certainly

a ecting the construction

industry as well,” says Sara Johnson, senior research direc- tor for global economics, IHS Global Insight, Lexington, Mas- sachusetts, USA. “Brazil is in a mild recession. It’s a di cult environment.” From oil re neries and highways to shipyards and hydroelectric plants, grand infrastructure projects have long buoyed Brazil’s economy. When the country hit an eco- nomic slowdown in 2011, the government stepped in with stimulus packages to keep projects on track. But with the United Nations estimating that Brazil’s gross domestic product

theEdge

the Edge “Brazil is in a mild recession. It’s a difficult environment.” —Sara Johnson, IHS Global
the Edge “Brazil is in a mild recession. It’s a difficult environment.” —Sara Johnson, IHS Global

“Brazil is in a mild recession. It’s a difficult environment.”

—Sara Johnson, IHS Global Insight, Lexington, Massachusetts, USA

will contract 0.9 percent this year, President Dilma Rousseff has slashed government spending in a bid to curb inflation and avoid a debt rating downgrade. A downgrade would likely mean a reduction in foreign investments, which would probably cause major projects across the economy to be delayed or canceled. But there are bright spots on Brazil’s project landscape. Two years after the World Cup tournament culminated a BRL25.6 billion program of stadium and infrastructure projects, the 2016 Summer Olympics will be staged in Rio de Janeiro. The Olympics have spurred a range of transportation and construction projects, with the cost of sports venues estimated at BRL6.6 billion, and a total budget of BRL37.7 billion. The mining industry also remains strong. Multinational mining organization Vale continues its US$19.7 billion S11D expansion project at the Carajás mine in the Brazilian state of Pará, having received an envi- ronmental license from the government in 2013. The project is scheduled for completion during the sec- ond half of 2016, with mining operations to reach full capacity two years later. “S11D is Vale’s most important project, and it’s running as planned. There is no delay in this because of Brazil’s economy,” says Murilo Fiuza, media relations officer, Vale, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

1 CHALLENGE 3 PROJECTS

BUILDING BETTER BODIES

When the goal is to augment the human body, projects take on new levels of significance—and scrutiny. Here are three projects that used new technologies to bring biomedical breakthroughs to those in need.

1

Restoring Vision

After 25 years of development and approval delays, a medical technology project has helped the blind see. The Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System, which restores limited sight for blind people with retinitis pigmentosa, was implanted commercially for the first time in 2014. Second Sight, the U.S.-based company behind the US$150 mil- lion project, spent two years just figuring out how to attach the implant to a retina without damaging it. And in 2010, after three years of clinical trials, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration told the company to develop a new met- ric to assess the real-world impact and then implement that new metric on all patients. “That was an important moment for the company,” says Robert Greenberg, MD, PhD, president and CEO, Second Sight, Sylmar, California, USA, who spearheaded the project. “If we didn’t have the strong investors that we did, and access to extra capital to deal with the delays, it could have killed the company.” Noting that successful trials on an earlier version of the Argus II gave stake- holders enough confidence to stick with the company, Dr. Greenberg advises doing human clinical work as early as you possibly can. “If the data is negative, it’ll save you time and help you move in a new direction. And if it’s positive, it will encourage the stakeholders to be supportive of the project.”

the stakeho lders to be s upportive of the project.” 2 Printing Limbs In July 2013,
the stakeho lders to be s upportive of the project.” 2 Printing Limbs In July 2013,

2

Printing Limbs

In July 2013, Mick Ebeling, co-founder of U.S.-based Not Impossible Labs, read about Daniel, a 14-year-old Sudanese boy who lost both arms in a bomb explosion. He offered to make the boy an arm with a 3-D printer, despite his lack of experience with the technology. “At Not Impossible, we com- mit, then we figure it out,” says Mr. Ebeling, based in Los Angeles, Califor- nia. The organization focuses on solving the healthcare challenges of individuals with crowd-sourced, low-cost, technology- based solutions. After just one week of 3-D printing train- ing, Mr. Ebeling traveled to the Nuba Moun- tains in southern Sudan in early November. But the project was delayed by bomb explo- sions, unreliable electricity and daytime temperatures so hot the printing plastic melted. The original plan to work in a hos- pital became impossible when a ceasefire fell

Making the Best of It

The mining industry notwithstanding, the recession has already impacted project managers. Practitioners in the construction, oil and gas, and IT sectors have lost jobs as a result of the economic slowdown and cor- ruption scandals, according to Alex Brasil, PMP, project manager, Clarify, São Paulo, Brazil. “For a while now, some companies have not been hiring and the number of unemployed professionals has grown,” Mr. Brasil says. Project managers looking for work—or just looking to leave large organizations in sectors hit by the downturn—can stay afloat by exploring opportunities in other industries, or with small-to- medium enterprises. The good news is that in recent years Brazil has suffered from a shortage of project managers, so a sig- nificant oversupply in the current recession isn’t likely. For those who do find themselves out of work, Mr. Brasil suggests taking the opportunity to boost skills. “Despite crises, there’s always an opportunity to improve our careers with new knowledge, education and inspi- ration, including improving our technical and interpersonal skills and entrepreneurial vision.” —Ambreen Ali

skills and entrepreneurial vision.” —Ambreen Ali apart, so Mr. Ebeling instead set up shop in a

apart, so Mr. Ebeling instead set up shop in a refugee camp. On 11 November, Daniel’s arm was completed and for the first time in two years, he was able to feed himself. Mr. Ebeling, a film and TV producer by trade, now realizes he didn’t have a realistic time frame for the project. But he credits Not Impossible with finding a creative way to complete it. “We know how to produce something from scratch. In my world, pro- ducers are project managers—they can look at goals and figure out what needs to hap- pen to get us there.”

3

High-Tech Collaboration

Project team members at DEKA Research and Development Corp. in Manchester, New Hampshire, USA set out in 2006 to create a state-of- the-art prosthetic arm for military veteran amputees. But to deliver the desired results, they had to create clear lines of communication across multiple government agencies. Funded by the Revolutionizing Prosthetics program, a US$100 mil- lion initiative of the U.S. government’s Department of Defense (DoD), the DEKA Arm System gained federal approval in May 2014. The end product, a robotic arm controlled by electric signals, leverages the con- traction of muscles close to the site of amputation to give users greater control over their prosthetic limb. Team members say the key to the project’s success was the sharing of information and resources between the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the U.S. Army. “Interagency collaboration has been critical to allow for independent assessments of the technology, incorporation of user feedback into the design, and identi- fication of regulatory strategies and transition paths,” Justin Sanchez, PhD, a program manager with the project, said in a press release. “We could not have achieved our goal so quickly without the support of many partners in govern- ment.” —Emma Haak

our goal so quickly without the support of many partners in govern- ment.” —Emma Haak JULY

theEdge

the Edge “The level of detailed information we’re able to get from these sensors is remarkable.”
the Edge “The level of detailed information we’re able to get from these sensors is remarkable.”

“The level of detailed information we’re able to get from these sensors is remarkable.”

—Francis W. Peverly, Orange and Rockland Utilities Inc., Pearl River, New York, USA

Extra Sensory Perception

It’s 4 a.m. in the middle of a snowstorm. Dozens of homes in a rural community are without power. A utility company truck inches along a road trying to locate the problem with a spotlight aimed at electric power lines. Did a falling tree limb break a line? Did a transformer malfunction? Is the cause of the outage five miles away or 50? Grid sensor installation projects are making answers to these types of questions more read- ily available. Smaller than a shoebox and equipped with GPS communications technology, grid sensors attach to power lines and transmit data in real time to an electric company’s centralized monitoring system, alerting operators to the exact location and nature of a problem. They can also collect data that helps utilities integrate new energy sources into the grid. “The level of detailed information we’re able to get from these sensors is remarkable,” says Francis W. Peverly, vice president of operations, Orange and Rockland Utilities Inc., Pearl River, New York, USA.

Opening Black Boxes

To safeguard its 1,350-square-mile (3,496-square-kilometer) power network in the states of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, Orange and Rockland (O&R) Utilities last year installed more

ROOTED IN TECHNOLOGY A large oak tree in a New York, New York, USA park
ROOTED IN TECHNOLOGY
A large oak tree in a New York, New York, USA park is now
working for the United States Forest Service. Part of a national
“smart forest” program to understand the effects of climate
change, the tree in the second largest park in the city’s Queens
borough collects fresh environmental data every 15 minutes.
In late 2014, the forest service completed a project to
outfit the tree with a webcam and tools to measure precipi-
tation, humidity, air temperature, wind speed and direction,
and soil temperature and moisture. The benefits began
immediately: Data is wirelessly transmitted to an online
portal, where it is checked for accuracy. Daily webcam shots
and data are posted to the Smart Forest Network website,
which also displays real-time information from 19 other for-
est sites around the country.
The Smart Forest program is an important step in learn-
ing about changing environmental patterns and making that
information available to the public, say project leaders. Forest
Service officials hope to eventually incorporate “smart forest”
data into school curricula.
“We know relatively little about what’s going on in these
forest ecosystems. Eighty percent of the population lives in
urban areas, so understanding urban forest ecology is critical,”
forest service research ecologist Lindsey E. Rustad told The
New York Times. —Imani Mixon
PHOTO COURTESY OF THE FOREST SERVICE’S NEW YORK CITY URBAN FIELD STATION

than 300 grid sensors as part of a US$29 million smart grid development project launched in May 2014. Power substation monitoring devices and other smart grid technologies were already moni- toring much of O&R’s network, but the new sen- sors brought more extensive certainty. “The grid sensors told us what was going on along vast stretches of power lines that would oth- erwise have been a black box,” Mr. Peverly says. The benefits of the project are clear to both O&R’s more than 300,000 customers and the organiza- tion. “Reliability is a key issue all utility companies face. If we don’t meet our reliability targets, our regulators apply negative revenue adjustments,” Mr. Peverly says. Regulators also impose these adjustments for power outages and delays in restoring service. To realize the installation project’s benefits as quickly as possible, O&R identified its net- work’s worst-performing rural power circuits and deployed the grid sensors to this infrastructure first. After collecting and analyzing data about the location of power outages, the organization was able to predict where problems were likely to occur and then strategically direct maintenance crews to replace specific aging infrastructure. Along with supporting this preventive project approach, grid sensors significantly improved O&R outage response time by immediately pinpointing the location of the problem for repair crews. The sensors even indicate which wire in a power line the fault was on (left or right) and the cause of the problem (such as a tree limb or an equipment mal- function). “The benefits of the sensors far exceeded our expectations,” Mr. Peverly says.

Sensing the Future

Along with stabilizing existing power grids, grid sensors are helping utilities study and build networks that are more efficient and less fossil fuel-intensive. UK Power Networks installed a variety of sensors as part of its £28 million Low Carbon London project to quantify the impact of low-carbon power generation technologies on its network, which delivers power to 25 percent of the U.K. population. One of the core areas of the project, which

The Low Carbon London project used sensors to quantify the impact of low-carbon power generation
The Low Carbon London project used sensors
to quantify the impact of low-carbon power
generation technologies on the city’s network.
power generation technologies on the city’s network. “Instead of just managing capacity [by building new
power generation technologies on the city’s network. “Instead of just managing capacity [by building new

“Instead of just managing capacity [by building new infrastructure], we’re balancing the network.”

—Michael Clark, UK Power Networks, London, England

launched in January 2011 and was completed in December 2014, focused on combined heat and power (CHP) systems. CHP systems, also known as com- mercial cogeneration, allow customers to generate power and sell it back to the grid. “We knew commercial cogeneration units were out there, but we had no empirical information on how they were being used,” says Michael Clark, project director, UK Power Networks,

London, England. The project team had lots of questions. How much power was being generated by CHP systems and at what time of day? Would the voltage coming into the grid from them cause voltage excursions outside of statutory limits? How much extra power from CHP systems could the grid handle? Grid sensors were deployed at substa- tions near commercial cogeneration sites to help the team collect data and formu- late answers. “The sensors allowed us to build profiles about how these pieces of equipment are run,” Mr. Clark says. The project’s results “gave us confi- dence that we could get a building to turn up [CHP electrical output] if we

asked them to,” Mr. Clark says. That’s a valuable option, because it is cheaper to ask com- mercial cogeneration customers to push more power into the grid at peak load times than it is to build new substations to handle overcapacity, in some cases. The project team identified capital project savings of up to £43 million over the next 10 years. “Instead of just managing capacity” by building new infrastructure, says Mr. Clark, “we’re balancing the network.” —Kate Sykes

THE LATEST STATISTICS, SURVEYS AND STUDIES
THE LATEST
STATISTICS, SURVEYS
AND STUDIES

SMART WHEELS

In the cars of the future, connectivity will be a core competence. To get ahead of the trend, automakers around the world are launching projects. By Margaret Poe

MASSIVE, MULTIFACETED GROWTH

The global connected car market is projected to more than triple in value during the next five years. And self-driving cars are just one part of the emerging four-wheeled future.

€31 billion
€31
billion

Projected annual revenue from the global connected car market in 2015

€113

billion

Projected annual revenue in 2020

in 2015 €113 billion Projected annual revenue in 2020 2 9 % The market’s projected compound

29% The market’s projected compound annual growth rate through 2020

These six areas will account for the connected car market’s massive project growth through 2020.

€49 €6 billion €7 billion €8 billion €10 billion €33 billion Mobility Vehicle Well-being:
€49
€6 billion
€7 billion
€8 billion
€10 billion
€33 billion
Mobility
Vehicle
Well-being:
Entertainment:
Safety:
billion
management:
management:
fatigue
traffic or park-
ing informa-
tion to help
drivers reach
destinations
safely, quickly
and efficiently
vehicle condi-
tion remind-
ers and other
functions to
help improve
maintenance
and ease of use
detection
Internet access
providing music,
video, social
media and other
web services to
entertain driver
and passengers
collision
protection
and warnings
to protect
from hazards
on the road
Driver assistance:
and medical
monitoring to
ensure driver
autopilot or assistance to
partially or fully automate
driving and parking
alertness

THE NEW NORMAL

By the end of the decade, smart cars will be the norm.

By the end of the decade, smart cars will be the norm. of new vehicles in

of new vehicles in 2020 will have built-in connectivity—up from 10% today

in 2020 will have built-in connectivity—up from 10% today GIVE THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT Automakers

GIVE THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT

Automakers know that consumers prefer—and will come to expect—high-tech vehicles.*

8% of drivers are currently using connected car features. of drivers are currently using connected car features.

63% of drivers are interested in using them in the future. of drivers are interested in using them in the future.

69% of drivers believe they should be able to access their car’s diagnostics (onboard computer system) of drivers believe they should be able to access their car’s diagnostics (onboard computer system) as easily as they use a phone or tablet.

73% of drivers think safety and diagnostic features are the most important services a connected car of drivers think safety and diagnostic features are the most important services a connected car can offer.

*Based on a 2014 survey of 5,012 adults aged 18 and over conducted in Germany, the United Kingdom, Brazil, the United States and Spain

 

THE RACE TO CONNECTIVITY

 

In the coming years, shifting regulations and market demand will push sponsors to complete projects.

and market demand will push sponsors to complete projects. 2017 Russia will require all new vehicles
2017 Russia will require all new

2017

Russia will require all new

vehicles to include technology that automati- cally transmits the location of a car crash to a national accident emergency response system.

 
   
 
 
 
 
 
 
2018 The European Union will likely

2018

The European Union will likely

require the eCall system to be installed in all cars sold in Europe. It automatically dials emergency services after an accident and transmits the car’s location.

all cars sold in Europe. It automatically dials emergency services after an accident and transmits the
all cars sold in Europe. It automatically dials emergency services after an accident and transmits the
all cars sold in Europe. It automatically dials emergency services after an accident and transmits the
all cars sold in Europe. It automatically dials emergency services after an accident and transmits the
all cars sold in Europe. It automatically dials emergency services after an accident and transmits the
all cars sold in Europe. It automatically dials emergency services after an accident and transmits the
all cars sold in Europe. It automatically dials emergency services after an accident and transmits the
all cars sold in Europe. It automatically dials emergency services after an accident and transmits the
2019 Large-scale tests of self-

2019

Large-scale tests of self-

driving trucks are scheduled to begin in the Netherlands. The project aims to reduce pollution and improve safety and efficiency.

aims to reduce pollution and improve safety and efficiency. 2020 Year by which approximately 97 p
aims to reduce pollution and improve safety and efficiency. 2020 Year by which approximately 97 p
aims to reduce pollution and improve safety and efficiency. 2020 Year by which approximately 97 p
aims to reduce pollution and improve safety and efficiency. 2020 Year by which approximately 97 p
aims to reduce pollution and improve safety and efficiency. 2020 Year by which approximately 97 p
aims to reduce pollution and improve safety and efficiency. 2020 Year by which approximately 97 p
aims to reduce pollution and improve safety and efficiency. 2020 Year by which approximately 97 p
aims to reduce pollution and improve safety and efficiency. 2020 Year by which approximately 97 p
aims to reduce pollution and improve safety and efficiency. 2020 Year by which approximately 97 p
2020 Year by which approximately

2020

Year by which approximately

97 percent of new cars shipped in the United States are estimated to have Internet capability.

Sources: Strategy&, Telefónica, IHS Automotive, The Associated Press, Business Insider

ILLUSTRATION BY JOEL KIMMEL
ILLUSTRATION BY JOEL KIMMEL

INSIDE TRACK

Setting the Standards

Melissa Starinsky, chancellor, Veterans Affairs Acquisition Academy, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Frederick, Maryland, USA

Longtime employees in the baby boomer genera- tion began retiring during the 2000s, taking project and program management expertise with them. Leaders at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), a PMI Global Executive Council member, took notice. In 2008, the VA—the second-largest U.S. federal agency—acted to mature its acquisition and project management capabilities. It created the VA Acquisition Academy, which trains civil ser- vants to contract services and manage contractors, and prepares them for Office of Management and Budget federal certifications. Since January 2013, Melissa Starinsky has over- seen the Academy’s five schools, including its Program Management School. Ms. Starinksy has

more than two decades of acquisition and program management experience in the public and private sectors.

First off, what does “acquisition” mean at the VA?

It’s about more than procurement and contract- ing. Our workforce includes an integrated acquisi- tion team: the project and program managers, the contracting officers, the legal representatives, the finance teams, end users and even contractors. The academy ensures that we’re training this entire community and providing learning opportunities that bring its members together to enable a more efficient and effective acquisition system.

What does the acquisition team do exactly?

The VA’s discretionary acquisition spend this year is about US$20 billion. The acquisition team ensures that money generates the proper supplies and services at the best value. The right project and program management experts have to be in place to ensure the proper investment for delivering services, whether they are offered through the Veterans Health Administration, the Veterans Benefits Administration or the National Cemetery Administration. Those are the VA’s three primary service areas.

What does the Program Management School’s training involve?

We have a core curriculum that covers project and program management principles related to cost, schedule and performance, and then we tailor those principles so that they’re really relevant to the work of the government. We also have a whole slew of continuing education courses, like life-cycle cost estimation, work breakdown structure and agile in the federal government.

How does the academy address the need for soft skills?

We weave those skills into courses, and we have

a PM Fellows program [project and program

management] with skills-building workshops where our students are given hands-on activities. They get feedback before they head back into their job.

What about training beyond the classroom?

In addition to the classroom curriculum, we deploy teams of instructors to the field during crises to help manage risks and get programs back on track. For example, during Hurricane Sandy in 2012, we deployed a team to a flooded VA medical center to manage risks to our assets there.

What’s a training program you’ve implemented at the academy?

I started a critical thinking program. It helps the

team understand the assumptions we sometimes make that are often flawed, the conclusions we often draw from those flawed assumptions, and the arguments we need to make to form business cases. The teams work through those things in a classroom setting before they’re in a state of crisis on a project with tight constraints when tensions often arise.

“A lot of project failure is related to cost, schedule and performance, but at the core of that is communication.”

performance, but at the core of that is communication.” How do you gauge whether academy courses

How do you gauge whether academy courses improve project managers’ performance?

One of the reasons most projects fail is poor communication, so that’s one of the most significant metrics we’re tracking. We’re seeing great results from academy graduates: an 87 percent increase in improved communication compared to before their training. Also: an 81 percent increase in program efficiency, a 55 percent reduction in overall program cost and a 72 percent improvement of timely delivery of services.

Can you offer a specific success story?

One program manager said that as a result of his academy training he now focuses on the larger acquisition strategy. He looks at the big picture rather than several one-off contracts and is more strategic in how he manages his contract portfolio. And he believes he’s better able to communicate with higher-level people in the organization. Rather than going into a briefing and getting into the weeds with details, he’s learned how to manage up to more effectively get buy-in from senior leadership.

What’s the biggest challenge you face as chancellor?

Making sure people continue to see the value of maturing project and program management capability throughout the department. Training is an investment of money and time. Since we opened our doors, 17 other government agencies have sent employees to us, rather than other training sources. That speaks volumes to the value of our curriculum.

What’s the greatest reward?

Helping wounded veterans move into a civilian career. Our Warriors to Workforce program helps veterans whose military careers were cut short through service-connected disabilities. We give them a strong foundation in program management, and then they go into the field to support the care and services we deliver to other veterans. Being a part of that has been incredibly rewarding. PM

Being a part of that has been incredibly rewarding. P M Small Talk What’s the best

Small Talk

What’s the best professional advice you’ve ever received? Do what you say you’re going to do. Don’t overpromise and under-deliver.

What’s your favorite thing to do in your spare time? Exercise outdoors.

I used to be a

marathon runner.

I loved that to

accomplish that big goal, you’ve got to be disciplined to reach interim milestones. That’s how we approach program management.

VOICES

Project Toolkit

Young

Leaders

Establishing a track record as a proven leader while supervising staff members of varied ages can present unique management challenges. We asked practitioners:

What are your best tips for leading a team as a young project manager?

best tips for leading a team as a young project manager? DefineYour Role I’m the youngest

DefineYour Role

I’m the youngest on the team, so I had to prove my competence and earn the team’s trust over time. At first, an older member on my team wouldn’t listen or provide any relevant status updates to me, because she didn’t like the fact that I was the same age as her last- born child. She couldn’t comprehend why I was in charge. I told her it’s nothing personal and we shouldn’t have any issues if I’m able to verify her work. She agreed, but still was reluctant. I told my boss about my challenges and suggested I give a presentation about what project managers do to ensure work gets done. After explaining the differences and benefits of our roles, she understood I was there to help the team and not to impose power on them. She has since changed her demeanor to me.”leading a team as a young project manager? DefineYour Role —Yewande Akin, CAPM, information technology project

—Yewande Akin, CAPM, information technology project manager, Fiserv, Sugar Land, Texas, USA

Focus on the Outcome

As a young project manager, I achieve outcomes and deliverables through influence rather than a directive leadership style. When a new project manager who was 20 years my senior joined my project, he viewed me as his apprentice. Though I was accountable for the project controls and he was accountable as the project manager, he was under the impression he would be teaching me about project management and leadership. That was okay because, for me, it’s good to gain insight into various project management approaches from various project managers. We had some heated discussions, but once I understood his needs and he understood my capabilities, we developed a working relationship and earned each other’s respect.”manager, Fiserv, Sugar Land, Texas, USA Focus on the Outcome —Chris Booth, CAPM, project management cadet,

—Chris Booth, CAPM, project management cadet, BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance, Moranbah, Australia

Be Assertive

Mitsubishi Alliance, Moranbah, Australia Be Assertive Listen to what your team is telling you and, more

Listen to what your team is telling you and, more importantly, what they’re not telling you. I was once selected to manage a change management project instead of one of my colleagues, who had more

Leadership Gap

According to Deloitte’s 2015 Millennial Survey, there are large gaps between what millennials perceive as the priorities of their organization’s senior leaders, and what they would prioritize as leaders.

Meeting short-term financial goals

10% 27%
10%
27%

Personal income/rewards

12% 30%
12%
30%

Employee growth and development

32% 18% Employee well-being 37% 17%
32%
18%
Employee well-being
37%
17%

Whatand development 32% 18% Employee well-being 37% 17% millennials would prioritize as leaders What they believe

millennials

would

prioritize

as leaders

What they18% Employee well-being 37% 17% What millennials would prioritize as leaders believe their current leaders prioritize

believe their

current leaders

prioritize

than 25 years of experience in the organization. I had

less than five years experience and was about 30 years

his junior.

During the project, he was not actively disruptive. But

he wasn’t fully engaged, either. The last straw was when

I discovered that I had been operating on incomplete

information because he wasn’t actively working with me.

To resolve the issue, I invited him out to lunch. I told

him I felt he was contributing the bare minimum and

wasn’t supporting me. I said I felt he was setting me up

to fail and I couldn’t let that happen. We either needed

to work things out together or I was going to be forced

to take action that would ensure the success of

the project.

He admitted having feelings of resentment and we

had a very meaningful discussion. We left the restaurant

with a tenuous agreement to better support each other.

It didn’t happen overnight, but we slowly began to trust

each other.”

—Andrea Emrick, CAPM, project manager, Alberta Bone and Joint Health Institute, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

ShowYour Chops

Health Institute, Calgary, Alberta, Canada ShowYour Chops All good leaders prepare themselves for some resistance.

All good leaders prepare themselves for

some resistance. It’s important to take

charge from day one to set the tone for

relationship and communication management for the

rest of the project. My approach has always been to

focus on the work at hand, acknowledge that every

team member contributes value to the project and

maintain basic principles of respect and humility in

executing the project.

I remember the first steering committee meeting I

attended with the director of one of my previous projects.

When we arrived, the attendees assumed I was her personal

assistant. Then I conducted the main project initiation

presentation. Showing them my understanding of the project

dynamics and how I handled the questions that followed

earned me the respect of the team. From that point on, I

worked well with the project team.”

—Rethabile Thaba, CAPM, PMP, project manager, iSchoolAfrica, Johannesburg, South Africa

Build Trust

iSchoolAfrica, Johannesburg, South Africa Build Trust I’ve found that establishing a work environment built on

I’ve found that establishing a work

environment built on trust is the key to

success. Ensure that your team members feel

comfortable approaching you with questions and concerns

about a project.

At a previous employer, the culture was less friendly to

younger workers. But at a relatively young age, I was tasked

with training and supporting a group of mostly older program

and project managers on the rollout of a new piece of software.

To earn my colleagues’ trust, I went above and beyond

to resolve their problems. More importantly, I was open and

honest with them. When I didn’t know something, I quickly

found someone who did. It worked for me because I set clear

expectations and followed through.

Finding

Your Place

What are your leadership secrets for young project managers? What difficulties did you face and how did you solve them? Share your tips on the PMI Project, Program and Port- folio Management LinkedIn Group.

Never give up. Every project will have difficult moments,

but it’s during these trying times your teammates need you

most—so keep pushing.”

—Kristen Wypych, CAPM, project manager, Igloo Software, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada PM

INNOVATION

Center

FRAMING INNOVATION

For an innovative environment to stand on its own, it needs a little scaffolding first.

BY KAREEM SHAKER, PMI-RMP, PMP

w Without a rigorous and tailored framework to

manage the innovation practice, realizing the ben-

efits of innovation endeavors is unlikely. Instead,

the process collapses due to problems, such as the

lack of a chief innovation officer, the wrong ideas

being implemented or the lack of a post-imple- mentation process that measures actual benefits against forecast ones. When an organization has a formal innovation framework that is properly aligned with business strategy and governed with key indicators, it’s easy to decide whether innovation is on track or derailed. Lay the foundation for a robust, structured innovation framework, led by a chief innovation officer and adopted by all other teams, in three phases: Ideate, innovate and capitalize. Here’s a guide for successfully setting up this framework.

Ideate

It’s important to explore a lot of ideas—some good, some mediocre—in order to identify the best one and develop truly innovative products. In this first phase, solicit ideas from various sources across teams, innovation labs, customers, suppliers, partners and even competitors. Then log them in a central repository where each idea is measured against defined criteria and given a score based on a weighted average formula. The formula could comprise parameters such as cost, return on investment, payback period, mar- ket size, strategic alignment rank and risk. Once top-ranked ideas have been selected, ideally using a portfolio management system, prioritize them based on enterprise resources availability. Examine the ideas with your team to pick the best, most innovative idea. The bubble chart is an indis- pensable tool for depicting the ideas portfolio. For example, the horizontal axis can represent cost, the vertical axis can represent risk, bubble size can repre- sent ROI and color can represent status. Ultimately, the team will have to deliver a business case for the idea and submit it for final approval.

If this innovative project idea is a brand-new product that requires funding and early feedback, entrepreneurs and organizations can use crowd- sourcing to market their ideas and seek early responses. Crowdfunding platforms such as Kick- starter and Indiegogo can help secure funding for your innovative idea by a group of backers who are passionate about your future product. Pebble Smartwatch, the Ubuntu Edge smartphone and the LIFX smart LED bulb are just few innovative products that benefited from crowdfunding. Their teams raised millions of dollars to transform ideas into successful products. This ideation process works best in an innova- tion-friendly environment, coupled with a well- aligned innovation strategy governed by SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound) goals.

Innovate

This is the phase where all the action happens, where ideas are brought to life and concepts are turned into tangible deliverables. Implement- ing PMI project management good practices is an important factor in successfully delivering the innovative product. One area to focus on in this phase is stakeholder management. As innovation projects are unique, each stakeholder segment perceives the project outcome differently, possibly creating conflicts of interest. Classifying your stakeholders is crucial for a successful delivery. A power/interest grid can be used to categorize stakeholders based on their power and interest in the innovation project outcome. Agile project management works best with inno- vation delivery, given the highly iterative nature and substantial risk level of innovation projects. Using an agile approach provides incremental delivery as compared to the conventional big-bang approach. It also boosts team collaboration and gets the customers or end users actively involved because they can provide continuous feedback on the deliverables. Agile also allows the team to adapt the innovative product or service easily.

Capitalize

This phase encompasses realizing the innovative product or service benefits, then measuring the return on innovation investment—in other words, determine how well the innovation strategy is working. With intrapreneurship (behaving like an entre- preneur despite being in a large organization) on the rise in most corporations, intrapreneurs own the commercialization of innovative products and services and develop plans to meet foreseen sales targets. In the case of not-for-profit innovations, adoption rates or return on society for social proj- ects can be used instead. An important part of this step is adopting a continuous improvement style. Customer evalu- ations of the innovative product play an impor- tant role in this. The innovation framework itself should also be reviewed frequently to assess its efficiency in generating the right ideas and effec- tiveness in delivering them successfully. Building innovation scorecards and a management dash- board can provide a holistic outlook of the inno- vation portfolio performance. Should the team need to improve high-performance products or discontinue failed innovations, an efficient inno- vation framework will reduce the time needed for decision-making. A defined set of key performance indicators (KPIs) with realistic goals is essential to distinguish between a successful innovative product and a bungled one. One KPI for innovation is the per- centage of new products and services sold, com- pared to the aggregate number of sales. Developing and following the three-phase inno- vation framework helps your organization strike the right balance across innovation projects in an integrated way. Automating the framework using innovation management systems can accelerate the process, boost creativity and rally return on inno- vation investments. PM

The innovation framework itself should also be reviewed frequently to assess its efficiency in generating the right ideas and effectiveness in delivering them successfully.

ideas and effectiveness in delivering them successfully. Kareem Shaker, PMI-RMP, PMP, is a senior manager, projects
Kareem Shaker, PMI-RMP, PMP, is a senior manager, projects and enterprise risk at Dubai World,

Kareem Shaker, PMI-RMP, PMP, is a senior manager, projects and enterprise risk at Dubai World, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Follow him on Twitter at @kareemshaker.

THE AGILE

Project Manager

AGILE COMPLIANCE

To navigate strict regulatory compliance while using agile methods, project managers must find a middle ground.

BY JESSE FEWELL, CST, PMI-ACP, PMP, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR

I If you’ve ever heard that “agile means no docu-

mentation” then, like me, you probably rolled your

eyes and moved on. That kind of management

approach does not work in regulated industries

such as finance, defense or healthcare.

However, if we’re honest, delivery is often slowed

by the extra reports, audits and authorizations that come with regulatory or corporate oversight. That leaves us with a problem: How do we complete all the compliance paperwork while implementing agile methods? Here are some practical tips to do just that:

Find a Compromise

In one corner, security auditors argue that documents and gate reviews are the only way to ensure quality is achieved and regulations are met. In the opposite cor- ner, agile experts insist that documents add no value. Both are wrong. A strong project manager finds a balance between too much and too little and makes the case to implement changes on both sides.

Engage Auditors Early

The best way to craft a custom strategy for manag- ing regulations is to work with the auditors directly. Many times, they won’t have the availability to do a full audit, so set up quick and regular collabora- tion meetings to keep everyone aligned on what’s been done—and what’s still needed. Show the audi- tors how to achieve “lightweight compliance” with nontraditional documentation, such as whiteboard photos and rolling wave plans. The auditors may even grant you a few process waivers, so you have less compliance work to do. The sooner you have these conversations, the better. Otherwise, you

might get an unpleasant surprise during your secu- rity audit.

Define ‘Done’

One agile technique is to establish a “definition of done.” This is a simple checklist spelling out what

a high-quality product needs to be “shippable,”

meaning ready for consumer use. But there’s also

a separate checklist of additional work spelling

out how to “ship” the product into operations—or get it into the consumer’s hands. This distinction between “shippable” versus “shipped” can also apply to compliance. For example, for a project to be “auditable,” we

use a checklist that helps us store copies of all arti- facts, peer review minutes and customer feedback. However, we wait until much later to collate and send those materials to be “audited.” You can save

a lot of overhead if you avoid doing all the compli- ance work all the time and instead do just enough for right now.

Sacrifice Scope (If Necessary)

Sometimes, a competitor’s newly announced medical device has our business sponsor scram- bling to go to market immediately. However, we still have to go through government review. If that review takes two months, it makes sense to bite the bullet, do the review and ship. Of course, that translates to some hard trade-offs on some unfinished device features, but that is simply the nature of the game. Alternatively, we can absorb the risk of deferred compliance work and build momentum with customer demos, prototypes and early previews. All projects encounter trade-offs, and our job as

a leader is to know how to strike the right balance. Be intentional, engage your auditors, put in the effort and you may well become the project man- ager who can be agile with compliance. PM

Jesse Fewell, CST, PMI-ACP, PMP, participated on the core team of the Software Extension to

Jesse Fewell, CST, PMI-ACP, PMP, participated on the core team of the Software Extension to the PMBOK® Guide. He can be reached at email@jessefewell.com.

Zombie Risks How to prevent retired risks from coming back to life. By Rex M.

Zombie

Risks

How to prevent retired risks from coming back to life.

By Rex M. Holmlin, PMP

I teach project management to undergraduate and graduate students, as well as students in continu- ing corporate education programs. During one class on project risk management, we discussed retiring risks once the activities associated with them were complete. That’s when a student asked, “What about zombie risks?” He had worked on a project in which the team diligently identified risks and included them in the risk register. As the likelihood of each risk became low enough, the team retired it, and the contin- gency funds set aside for that risk were freed up for other purposes. Unfortunately, after being retired, one risk “came back to life”—much like a zombie—and was realized. At this point, the funds associated with the risk response plan had been used for other purposes. In our discussion about zombie risks, three important points emerged. First, project risk man- agement tools should be integrated with other

VOICES

In the Trenches

tools we use in project management to provide a better understanding of interdependencies. One option is to map risks to either the work breakdown structure (WBS) and/or the project schedule. (For more information on this, see the PMI Global Congress paper Understanding Risk Exposure Using Multiple Hierarchies by David Hillson, PhD, PMP, PMI Fellow.) By mapping risks to the WBS, we know which deliverables have risks associated with them. We also get a much better idea about where clusters of risk may lie in our project. A project team could map risks directly to activi- ties in the schedule, but there is potential value in taking a “top-down” approach and mapping to the WBS first. While risks may be primarily associated with a particular activity, mapping to the WBS and then decomposing deliverables into activities could better identify other relationships or dependencies. A second theme in our discussion on preventing zombie risks was the need for a structured process for risk retirement and the release of funds associ- ated with the risk. When should a risk be retired? When the activity it is primarily associated with is complete? Or when a deliverable the activity is associated with is complete? Making this decision takes considerable judgment, and organizations could benefit from a formalized discussion about risk retirement, as well as a documented risk retirement process. Lastly, the discussion stressed the importance of the role of risk owner, the project team member who is charged with monitoring and managing a particular risk. The risk owner should have a very clearly delineated role to play in recommending risk retirement and requesting release of contin- gency funds associated with that risk. With these processes in place, project teams can make sure their risks won’t come back to haunt them after they’ve been retired. PM

Rex M. Holmlin, PMP, is a visiting professor of project management in the Mason School

Rex M. Holmlin, PMP, is a visiting professor of project management in the Mason School of Business at the College of William and Mary, Wil- liamsburg, Virginia, USA.

VOICES

In the Trenches

Lessons

Learned

Three things I learned from my executive master of business administration degree.

By Suresh Gopalakrishnan, PMP

AFTER A FEW DECADES OF IT-related project man- agement across a broad set of industries, I recently returned to school for an executive master of business administration degree (EMBA). The 18-month pro- gram was rigorous, challenging and exciting. Here are my three big takeaways from the experience:

1. Emphasize Traits Over Skills

Traits are innate, but skills can be taught. Often in the recruiting process, too much emphasis is placed on skills and not enough on traits. Organizations—and project managers—would be better served in the long run by focusing more on these traits, known as the five factor model:

1. Conscientiousness (dependable, efficient, achieve- ment-oriented)

2. Emotional stability (calmness, steady, self‐confident, secure)

3. Extraversion (sociable, ambitious, active)

4. Agreeableness (courteous, optimistic, friendly)

5. Openness to experience (intellectual, imaginative,

analytical) Individuals with the above traits can overcome certain deficiencies in their skill set, while the reverse isn’t always possible. Focusing on the five factor model, more than technical know‐how, will help you form a project team that can work well together. Years back, I interviewed for a project management position at a reputable firm. The interview process was so focused on the specific technical details of the company’s system that traits and experience were not explored. I did not get an offer. A year later, I found

out that the person who accepted the position— who had a very strong technical background— was let go for not possessing leadership traits.

2. Negotiate Better

Throughout a negotiation, it’s critical to know three factors: the most desired outcome, the least acceptable agreement (the minimum agreement that stakeholders will accept) and the best alter- native to a negotiated agreement, or BATNA (a plan in case an agreement can’t be reached). You may start a negotiation with weak BATNA, but the dynamic nature of business events can change that. A few years back, I was tasked with salvaging a troubled project. Going in, my BATNA position was very weak, and I had no choice but to absorb an unfair share of costs as a demonstration of good faith. A few months into the project, due to some of my corrective actions, project perfor- mance improved significantly. However, I failed to recognize the change in my leverage, which I could have used in my favor and helped save a few thousand dollars. Another negotiation lesson I learned is to sepa- rate interest from position. The classic example is of two chefs fighting over an orange, only to real- ize that one wants only the juice and the other only the skin. It is impossible to satisfy them both based on their position—they each want the orange. But their interests—why they want it—are different, and a smart negotiator uncovers these and realizes both parties can get what they want. When dealing with conflicting priorities, project practitioners should explore the interests behind stakeholders’ positions. Similarly, remember that negotiations can be win-win, which some call “expanding the pie.” One of my professors liked to point out that in many situations we tend to take an “or” approach and lose sight of two additional options. When we say A or B, we forget that there’s always the possibility of A and B or neither A nor B.

3. Influence Without Authority In consulting, one of the biggest challenges is get- ting clients’

3. Influence Without Authority

In consulting, one of the biggest challenges is get- ting clients’ acceptance and willingness to share their business processes. Often we encounter people who believe their business is so complex that no one else can understand it. This can lead to many difficulties during the initial stages of a project, such as getting entrance and exit criteria, a complete business scenario listing and detailed requirements. I once faced a similar challenge on a project:

Despite our best efforts, we were not able to get a complete list of business scenarios against which we could test the system we were building. Every time my team requested the listing, we were told, “Our business is so complex that we could only write 15 scenarios. Please keep in mind that there are a million other combinations that we cannot define.” Basically we were asked to read the client’s mind and build a system that would meet all the

requirements. Despite multiple escalations to client leadership, the situation did not improve. My “Science of Persuasion” course had an inter- esting equation:

Knowledge + Trust = Authority. Analyzing my challenge in retrospect, it’s clear that the project team lacked authority and assumed that escala- tion would force the client to comply with project needs. Our business analysts did not have a thor- ough knowledge of the organization’s processes, which put us in a very weak position to influence the business. To prevent this situation, project practitioners should spend some serious time understanding business processes so they have an authoritative position from which to navigate a project. PM

When dealing with conflicting priorities, project practitioners should explore the interests behind stakeholders’ positions.

explore the interests behind stakeholders’ positions. Suresh Gopalakrishnan, PMP, is a program manager at Fujitsu
Suresh Gopalakrishnan, PMP, is a program manager at Fujitsu America Inc., San Diego, California, USA.

Suresh Gopalakrishnan, PMP, is a program manager at Fujitsu America Inc., San Diego, California, USA.

VOICES

In the Trenches

Mobile Plan

How to prepare for an enterprise mobile app project.

By John Pitchko, PMP

MANY PEOPLE MISTAKENLY BELIEVE that deploying mobile services in an organization is easy. The widespread adoption of mobile technology leads users to believe that creating an enterprise mobile service is as simple as downloading an app from the app store. What many business users fail to understand is that the app itself is only one aspect of the entire mobile solution. When planning to deploy mobile projects, project leaders need to keep the fol- lowing two points in mind.

KNOW YOUR INFRASTRUCTURE CAPABILITIES When workers at our oil sand mine expressed inter- est in deploying a mobile app to support their work, we investigated their base infrastructure before look- ing deeply at the app itself. Our analysis quickly iden- tified a number of road- blocks: poor Wi-Fi coverage and budget concerns about tablets and ongoing cellular data fees. Had this analysis not been performed, money would have been spent to provide a mobile service usable by only a small number of workers. Our work now focuses on building a longer-term road map of mobile technology and services for that mine and building support from the various stakeholders to implement it. If your mobile project also involves workers in the field, a reliable Wi-Fi or cellular network con- nection may not be available. Workers’ devices will likely require a weather-proof enclosure and, in some cases, an anti-spark certification. For more traditional mobile projects in an office, users typi- cally have a secured wired or wireless connection that connects their computer to the organization’s network. In that environment, mobility can be

achieved by deploying standard tablets or smart- phones connected to the organization’s Wi-Fi. Regardless of location, users may require the use of a VPN to allow secure access to the organization’s networks. All these infrastructure factors need to be considered when analyzing the feasibility for mobile projects, and may ultimately dissuade sponsorship of the project.

HAVE A SOLID BUSINESS CASE Workers at some of our remote well sites had no easy way to access data. One option was to purchase a ruggedized laptop, but these were expensive and could not be easily used at the well sites. We created a solution that involved deploy- ing iPads and several streamlined mobile apps that presented the precise information needed by the workers as they were working on the well head. Because this solution was less expensive and func- tioned well, the business case was easy to make. Other organizations may also find that they can save money by replacing more expensive tra- ditional desktop or laptop computers with basic tablets. Another source of value is reducing worker travel time—putting information and technol- ogy at a user’s job site allows him or her to spend more time at the site and less time behind a desk. Less travel also provides safety benefits as workers spend less time driving a vehicle. Keeping these items in mind will help ensure a successful launch of an enterprise mobility project. Without a robust business case and an understand- ing of infrastructure capabilities, a mobility project will struggle to gain momentum. As mobility be- comes even more present in the world, enterprises able to rapidly roll out mobile technology will outpace those that cannot. PM

out mobile technology will outpace those that cannot. P M John Pitchko, PMP, is founder of

John Pitchko, PMP, is founder of Pitchko Technol- ogy in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and a former program manager for an energy company.

S So you’ve decided you want to be a Portfolio

Management Professional (PfMP)®. Everyone has

different reasons for this. For me, it’s the oppor-

tunity to gain even more expertise in project and

portfolio management that will benefit both my

career and my organization.

The application process is a commitment to

our profession in itself, as it requires you to write

a series of essays about your experiences, roles, leadership and aptitude regarding portfolio man- agement. Putting together all the pieces and relat- ing them to my years of experience in this area was more difficult than I’d anticipated. It required looking back over the years and remembering the journey I’ve been on and some of the major steps I took along the way. The process felt like looking through old fam- ily photos. I referenced historical presentations, plans, roadmaps, business cases and a wide assortment of other “memorabilia.” This proved very interesting and informative, as I’d forgotten some truly special moments. One of those steps was when the concept of an Enterprise Portfolio Management Office (EPMO) was just a twinkle in my eye—and it needed to become a robust busi- ness plan. The effort back then involved doing considerable research, along with reaching out to external organizations with expertise on this

THE PORTFOLIO

Track

LOOKING BACK TO MOVE FORWARD

The PfMP® application process spurs a useful walk down memory lane.

BY TERESA (TERRI) KNUDSON, PMP, PgMP

topic, while bringing this to the attention of our senior leadership. Another step in the journey involved holding many meetings with leaders to figure out how best to struc- ture the portfolios in a way that would be of value to the organization. This resulted in our aligning the portfolio structure with the organizational structure, which has proven to be a best practice over the years. My trip down memory lane also took me back to some of the ways we gained organizational engage- ment for project and portfolio management across the enterprise, and how we’ve been able to retain a high profile over the years. This has required a continual effort to learn from others and a passion for persistently finding ways to adapt and adopt this knowledge within our organization. All these experiences provided considerable mate- rial for creating comprehensive responses to the essay questions. But they also served to remind me of all the successes we’ve had along the way—and how the work has been well worth it. I’m very pleased to share that both PMI and the panel reviewed my application, and it passed! Now onto the really fun part: studying and taking the exam. PM

Teresa (Terri) Knudson, PMP, PgMP, is the director of the enterprise portfolio management office at

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 knudson.teresa@mayo.edu.

Continent A

Connects

Rapidly expanding IT and communications projects across sub-Saharan Africa are fueling broader economic growth.

across sub-Saharan Africa are fueling broader economic growth. BY STEVE HENDERSHOT ILLUSTRATION BY PETER AND MARIA

BY STEVE HENDERSHOT ILLUSTRATION BY PETER AND MARIA HOEY

Sub-Saharan Africa is at a communications crossroads. Af- ter decades of relative isolation due to
Sub-Saharan Africa is at a communications crossroads. Af- ter decades of relative isolation due to

Sub-Saharan Africa is at a communications crossroads. Af- ter decades of relative isolation due to poor telecommunications infrastructure, projects building mobile and high-speed Internet networks for the region’s more than 900 million people are being completed with astonishing speed. As cellular phone coverage ex- pands, mobile devices are becoming more common: 79 percent of people in sub-Saharan Africa are likely to have mobile phones by 2020, according to Frost & Sullivan, up from 52 percent in 2012. By 2016, mobile broadband connections (such as 4G) are expected to quadruple from their 2012 level to 160 million.

Because weak telecommunications infrastruc- ture has long hampered growth across the region, connectivity projects offer immense promise. For example, the creation of mobile broadband net- works could give millions of people access to bank- ing services for the first time. Sub-Saharan Africa currently has the lowest rate of access to financial institutions. Frost & Sullivan predicts the region’s mobile payments market could be worth US$1.3 billion by 2019. “The Internet is having a transformative effect” in both cultural and economic terms, says Tim Kelly, PhD, lead information and communications tech- nology (ICT) specialist, World Bank, Washington D.C., USA, who has worked on major ICT projects in Africa.

A telecommunications tower in Ethiopia

Making the Leap

While it’s difficult to quantify the sector’s precise

stimulative impact, its rapid growth is certainly con- tributing to the region’s current economic boom. Sub-Saharan Africa’s combined GDP will grow by 4.5 percent this year, according to the International Monetary Fund, making it the world’s fastest growing region after Asia. As countries see their technological

infrastructure move closer to the cutting- edge, their economies stand to benefit from what has been called the “leapfrog effect.”

Rather than investing in—and then upgrad- ing—older fixed-line technologies such as phone lines, countries can realize cost efficiencies by jumping straight into mobile broadband. This

efficiencies by jumping straight into mobile broadband. This “The Internet is having a transformative effect.” —Tim

“The Internet is having a

transformative

effect.”

—Tim Kelly, PhD, World Bank,

Washington D.C., USA

is having a transformative effect.” —Tim Kelly, PhD, World Bank, Washington D.C., USA JULY 2015 PM

could enable the region to develop more quickly than industrialized countries have in the past. For the “leapfrog” benefit to be realized, how- ever, multinational organizations executing ICT infrastructure projects—often in partnership with local governments and companies—must learn to navigate one of the world’s most ethnically and linguistically diverse regions. Whether their initiatives are large (building a broadband net- work) or small (building a cell tower), executed in one country or many, practitioners must identify unique project challenges. All 49 governments operate differently—and each country’s trans- portation and energy infrastructure make their own demands on ICT projects. To assume that a strategy that proved effective in Ghana will also work in Rwanda is foolhardy, says Mark Walker, associate vice president for sub-Saharan Africa

Mark Walker, associate vice president for sub-Saharan Africa “It’s interesting to see Western and Chinese

“It’s interesting to see Western and Chinese telecommunications companies coming into Africa and making the same mistakes:

underestimating Africa’s size and complexity, and trying to use one go-to- market plan.”

Mark Walker, IDC, Johannesburg, South Africa

at market research firm IDC, Johannesburg, South Africa. “It’s interesting to see West- ern and Chinese telecommu- nications companies coming into Africa and making the same mistakes: underestimat- ing Africa’s size and com- plexity, and trying to use one go-to-market plan,” he says. Sub-Saharan Africa’s larg- est economy, Nigeria, under- scores this learning curve. To

properly plan an ICT project, organizations have to be on the ground to understand how factors such as the country’s underpowered electrical grid and snarling traffic affect day-to-day business, says Mr. Walker.

traffic affect day-to-day business, says Mr. Walker. All Over the Map Sub-Saharan African nations’ economies

All Over the Map

Sub-Saharan African nations’ economies are in different stages of development—and so are their ICT sectors. That’s no coincidence: Rising mobile phone usage and broadband connectivity rates stimu- late broader economic development. Here’s a look at mobile phone and broadband usage rates and projects underway in four countries—including the region’s two largest economies, Nigeria and South Africa. All usage rates represent the number of subscriptions per 100 people. —Imani Mixon

3 1 4 2
3
1
4
2

1. NIGERIA

2. SOUTH AFRICA

3. SENEGAL

Mobile phone

Mobile phone

Mobile phone

subscriptions: 66.8

subscriptions: 130.6

subscriptions: 83.6

Wired/wireless broadband subscriptions: 0.01/18.4

Wired/wireless broadband subscriptions:

Wired/wireless broadband subscriptions: 0.7/3.6

Project: Sponsored by the Nige-

2.1/25.2

Project: Senegal’s govern-

rian government and the World Bank, the US$10 million Nigerian Research and Education Network project gives 27 universities fiber- optic Internet connections. The first phase was completed in March. The second phase aims to give an ad- ditional 3.4 million students access by the end of 2015.

Project: The Western Cape provincial govern- ment is sponsoring Project Isizwe, which is scheduled to deliver free Wi-Fi to all government educational institutions by 2016.

ment and the African Develop- ment Bank are co-sponsoring a US$120 million project to build a 25-hectare (62-acre) “digital park” in the port city of Diamnia- dio. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2016 on the site, which will feature broadband access and an ICT and data training center.

4. KENYA

Mobile phone

subscriptions: 71.2

Wired/wireless

broadband subscrip-

tions: 0.1/2.2

Project: Internet service provider AccessKenya will spend KES7.2 million by the end of 2017 on a project to provide primary and secondary schools for the blind with broadband Internet connections and “assistive technology labs.”

“You can’t manage Nigeria by remote control,” he says.

Gaining Ground

The region’s broadband revolution began under- water, with submarine fiber-optic cables bringing high-speed Internet to the continent. (Although consumers use them wirelessly, mobile broad- band networks connect to the Internet through international cables, rather than satellites.) But the task of running those cables was not only daunt- ing from a project management perspective, it was also capital intensive. More than US$3 billion has been invested in projects to connect cables to sub-Saharan Africa. Given their immense price tags, public-private partnerships—in which private and state-owned companies co-invest in projects, sometimes alongside not-for-profits such as the World Bank—have been vital to the success of many such projects. For example, the Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) project will lay 17,000 kilometers (10,563 miles) of fiber-optic cable along the continent’s west coast from South Africa north to France. The project, the first phase of which was completed in 2012, will cost US$700 million and involves a consortium of more than 12 stakeholders, including the Republic of Gabon and the French telecommunications giant Orange. The US$160 million South Atlantic Cable System (SACS) project, which will deliver the first high-speed connection between Africa and South America, is being led by Angola Cables. Launched in December 2014, it is scheduled to be complete late next year. With submarine cables now connecting directly to each coastal sub-Saharan country, the big task facing practitioners is extending high-speed broad- band connections to inland consumers, says Bridge- water, New Jersey, USA-based Eric Handa, CEO of APTelecom, a U.S. company that is part of the SACS project consortium. The challenges facing inland projects vary from country to country. Obstacles can include slow- moving government regulators and a lack of local operators to collaborate with. The logistical issues

Konza Techno City, Kenya

Beyond the Basics

Three tech projects made possible by sub-Saharan Africa’s ICT boom

Sub-Saharan Africa’s improving ICT infrastructure translates to an in- creasingly connected populace. That, in turn, means big project opportu- nities for technology businesses. Here are three examples of sub-Saharan African tech projects building on the region’s developing technology base.

RWANDA’S SMART COLLABORATION. Like other countries in the region, Rwanda is keen to capitalize on what Jean Philbert Nsengimana, PMP, min- ister of youth and ICT, government of Rwanda, Kigali, Rwanda, has called “the transformative power of technology for development.” As part of the Smart Rwanda program to help the country become an ICT hub, Mr. Nsen- gimana in March signed a memorandum of understanding with Swedish electronics company Ericsson to collaborate on projects delivering online government, healthcare and education services. Ericsson also will provide network security for government systems as part of the deal.

GHANA’S DIGITAL CAMPUS. When he noticed the vast majority of Ghanian college students are now using smartphones, David Mumuni saw an opportunity. Mr. Mumuni, 26, is CEO of Flippy Campus, an Accra, Ghana-based mobile-app development company whose signature product facilitates electronic communication between colleges and students, ex- tending the reach of physical campus announcement boards. “Right now you have people who are tech-savvy enough to use a mobile app or a web application,” Mr. Mumuni says. “Seven years ago that wasn’t the case.” Yet Flippy Campus’ app rollout project last year hit a few snags. At Knutsford University College in Accra, where Flippy Campus first promoted the app, wireless Internet access was too inconsistent to facilitate its use. Mr. Mumuni turned his focus to the nearby University of Ghana, where wireless Internet service was better—but still not stel- lar. The organization’s 3.5-megabyte app takes students more than 10 minutes to download and register. Despite the infrastructural limitations, Flippy Campus’ app is a suc- cess: More than 1,000 students downloaded the app within a week of its release, and Mr. Mumuni will pitch for US$50,000 of seed capital from the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology, a tech-busi- ness incubator in Accra, in June.

KENYA’S TECHNO CITY. Kenyan officials are executing a technol- ogy hub megaproject to bypass the piecemeal, gradual upgrades that are the hallmark of ICT infrastructure development. Konza Techno City, located southeast of Nairobi, aims to provide world-class urban infrastructure to position Kenya for rapid, high-tech economic growth. Preliminary construction began last year at the site, with the first phase of the project expected to close by 2019. The whole project is budgeted for a cost of US$14.5 billion.

alone make threading a cable from continent to continent look easy. That is particularly true in less-developed African nations, such as South Sudan. The World Bank is work- ing with China EXIM bank on a US$1.3 billion program to bring fiber-optic connectivity to the country and make other infrastructure improvements. After the ini- tiative launched in 2012, a civil war began in late 2013, throwing the country into violent instability and halting project planning for five months when the World Bank evacuated its office in the country.

Even after the fiber-optic project was approved in 2014, sponsors hit a major obstacle related to the project’s financial returns. The South Sudanese government announced that it planned to charge network operators US$500 million for a 15-year license to do business in the country. South Sudan’s economy is largely based on oil exports, and as prices have fallen, it has put financial pressure on the gov- ernment. Dr. Kelly—and telecommunications opera- tors—are trying to persuade the government not to squeeze the companies too hard for revenue.

CASE STUDY

MTN’s Broadband Buildout

I n recent years, the telecommunications com- pany MTN Group has invested millions of dollars to co-sponsor undersea fiber-optic cable projects to create the Eastern Africa

Submarine Cable System and West Africa Cable System. The high-bandwidth cables deliver incred- ible advancements in Internet speeds. To both provide that premium product to its customers across the region and stabilize its net- work, Johannesburg, South Africa-based MTN needed to overhaul its operations in the 17 sub-Saharan African countries where its operating entities do business. So the company launched a program in 2011 to build a network capable of delivering broad- band throughout its footprint. “It’s about really providing a platform that can both carry the capacity and provide redundancy to our services,” says Michael Paul, who is based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. He leads MTN’s group technol- ogy team and co-managed the initiative. In order to support services such as video con-

ferencing, file-sharing and application host- ing, MTN decided to build a multiprotocol label switching virtual private network—a multiyear initiative that would require substantial projects in countries across the continent. With Shenzhen, China-based Huawei Corp. con-

“It’s about really providing a platform that can both carry the capacity and provide redundancy to our services.”

—Michael Paul, MTN Group, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

—Michael Paul, MTN Group, Dubai, United Arab Emirates tracted to handle network design and implementa- tion,

tracted to handle network design and implementa- tion, and its subsidiaries and vendors operating in each country, MTN created a program management strategy to ensure coherence, efficiency and success. The organization maintains consistency through a universal methodology—the same communications, reporting and governance structures, as well as a uniform escalation matrix—in each country. Program leaders tightly control project budgets, with capital expenditure governance centralized to ensure con- sistency. The planning phase also included risk man- agement strategies that accounted for variables that could pose major challenges. “We are talking about a multiyear program here. We knew that many geopolitical, inflationary or other economic aspects could come into effect in one country or another,” says Dani Abu Ghaida, head of IT and network PMOs, MTN, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, who helps lead the program. “We forecast the budget across three years to see how this program would be executed, so we could pre- dict how the budgets would be constrained each year, and how we need various operating entities to collaborate and play their part in the investment.”

Troubleshooting From the Hub

Program leaders act as a multinational commu- nications hub to coordinate cross-border work among the different country-level operations.

“Having good connectivity is a good way of encouraging growth,” Dr. Kelly says. If South Sudan sits at one end of the sub-Saharan ICT infrastructure continuum, South Africa’s mature market is at the other end. In between are countries such as Kenya, Ghana, Ethiopia and Nigeria, which seem capable of making an economic leap forward once infrastructure upgrade projects are completed. It’s in these developing countries where skilled project managers can make the greatest impact. If they can push projects to the finish line during a period

“Having good connectivity is a good way of encouraging growth.”

—Tim Kelly, PhD

is a good way of encouraging growth.” —Tim Kelly, PhD of development marked by inefficiency and

of development marked by inefficiency and corruption—as well as progress and potential—

then new African digital economies seem poised to emerge. In “high-growth countries, building infra- structure is still the name of game,” Mr. Walker says. “But once you look beyond that, you see a banking sector that’s very sophisti- cated, and the same with government, health- care and education. They’re on the cusp of a

whole new way of doing things.” PM

The West African Cable System links southern Africa and Europe. The 14,000-kilometer cable cost US$650
The West African Cable
System links southern
Africa and Europe. The
14,000-kilometer cable cost
US$650 million.
PHOTO BY © NIC BOTHMA/EPA/CORBIS

For example, Mr. Paul and Mr. Abu Ghaida con- duct a weekly update meeting with stakeholders, and step in when they learn of conflicts or chal- lenges. Sometimes that means asking two ven- dors in conflict with one another to meet. Other times, clearance delays at a hub located in one country have affected the rollout of services in other countries. “If there is a problem in clearing the equipment, or custom clearance is taking longer than expected, it’s affecting many countries…that are relying on connecting to this hub,” Mr. Abu Ghaida says. In

that case, “we need to inform the other CIOs of this dependency to ensure that they also coordinate with their vendors or teams. This is our bread and butter,” he says. The initiative will help MTN make significant inroads into what has proven a thorny problem across sub-Saharan Africa: extending powerful transoceanic fiber-optic cables from coastal cities to people living across the continent. The broad- band network is “certainly the biggest in terms of footprint and capacity across Africa,” Mr. Paul says. “We haven’t had any like this…not to this scale.”

A Country on the Cusp

Nigerian ICT projects are transforming the country’s dynamic economy—but an infusion of project talent would boost its progress.

F ueled by the largest oil reserves in

sub-Saharan Africa, Nigeria surpassed

South Africa in 2014 to become larg-

est economy on the continent. Yet for

those who see Nigeria’s potential for competing on the world stage, it might also be Africa’s most frus-

trating country. For all its promise, Nigeria is beset with infrastructure obstacles such as an insufficient power grid and horrific acts of violence perpe- trated by the Islamist militant group Boko Haram. The development of a robust national ICT infrastructure is one way Nigeria

By 2019, Nigeria will have 182 million mobile phone subscribers—more than one per person, on average.

aims to increase prosperity and stability. And thanks to a series of successful projects that have expanded the country’s network capacities, the sector is booming. Companies have invested more then US$32 billion in Nigeria’s ICT infrastructure, the Guard - ian newspaper reports. ICT consumer spending is on pace

Source: Pyramid Research prediction

to reach US$167 billion in 2020, up from US$115 billion in 2010, according to Nigerian government statistics. Most of the ICT boom is in mobile network projects. Pyramid Research predicts that by 2019, Nigeria will have 182 million mobile phone sub-

scribers—more than one per person, on average. (The country’s current popula- tion is about 175 million people.) But only 3.4 percent of households had a fixed-line (DSL or broadband) Internet connection as of 2012, according to a report by the not-for-profit organization Research ICT Africa (RIA). The gap is partly explained by the poor power grid and a shortage of computers, says RIA, but also by a lack of fixed-line infrastructure. Project practitioners working in Nige- ria’s ICT sector say the dearth of infra- structure is partly the result of a difficult project environment. Lagos, Nigeria- based Ifeyinwa Anaele, PMI-RMP, PMP, is a project coordinator for MTN, a Johannesburg, South Africa-based telecommunications company that leads in the Nigerian market. She says indige- nous companies have struggled to execute projects, both on their own and in conjunction with multi- national organizations, because of a lack of project management acumen. “A lot of projects here are not managed by project management profession- als. There’s no specific methodology, and many times those projects fail,” she says. According to Ms. Anaele, low stakeholder engagement and frequent conflict are among the

PHOTO BY SUNDAY ALAMBA

consequences, not to mention the time and money devoted to doomed-to-fail projects that didn’t receive a proper risk assessment. “So often, people don’t do risk plans. They don’t plan the mitigation,” she says. “Everybody is run- ning helter-skelter, and that means more money and more time, and more adjustments to the proj- ect scope.” Indeed, a significant portion of MTN’s Nige- rian revenue is spent on network expansion (see “MTN’s Broadband Buildout”), which RIA describes as proof of just how challenging the

“A lot of projects here are not managed by project management professionals. There’s no specific methodology, and many times those projects fail.”

—Ifeyinwa Anaele, PMI-RMP, PMP, MTN, Lagos, Nigeria

country’s ICT infrastructure deficit remains. While Nigeria has seen an extraordinary increase in avail- able broadband bandwidth capacity since 2010, thanks to four new submarine cables connecting to Lagos, “the area of difficulty remains the last mile,” says Clifford Agugoesi, editor, Africa Telecom & IT, Lagos, Nigeria. In other words, the type of ICT infrastructure that could facilitate an enormous growth spurt is within arm’s reach. What Nigeria needs now are project managers capable of seeing the job to completion. PM

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To get the most from a graduate degree, project professionals must know how to pick
To get the most from a graduate degree, project professionals must know how to pick

To get the most from a graduate degree, project professionals must know how to pick the right program

BY DONOVAN BURBA

H

igher education is a hot commodity. Each year, more college graduates are heading back to school, hoping a professional

degree will help them land

a more rewarding—and lucrative—career. In 2012, for the first time, one in three adults in countries in the Organization for Economic Coop- eration and Development held a tertiary qualifica- tion, such as a degree from a college, university or vocational school. And in the United States, indi- viduals who have enrolled in or completed a gradu- ate degree program (36 million) now outnumber

those with only a bachelor’s degree (30 million). But as the number of global degree holders continues to rise, so do employers’ academic requirements. In the United States, for example, the number of managerial and professional office jobs that require

a master’s degree is expected to increase by 24 per- cent between 2010 and 2020, according to a report from the Georgetown University Center on Educa- tion and the Workforce. For project professionals looking to outpace the competition, this trend has made earning an advanced degree a top priority. While the MBA is

the most popular post-graduate business degree, some practitioners are choosing to hone their expertise by
the most popular post-graduate business degree, some practitioners are choosing to hone their expertise by

the most popular post-graduate business degree, some practitioners are choosing to hone their expertise by obtaining a Master of Project Man- agement (MPM) or a Doctorate of Project Man- agement (DPM) (see “Three Degrees of Project Management” sidebar). The University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) in Sydney, Australia offers both an MPM and an MBA with project management concentration. Shankar Sankaran, PhD, a professor in organizational proj- ect management at UTS, notes that class sizes have seen a steady uptick, increasing 25 percent over the last 10 years. But to choose the right program, prospective stu- dents must understand why they want to pursue an advanced degree in the first place, says Carl Brede- noord, PMP, a consultant and project engineer who recently completed an MBA at the University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa. Only then can project professionals fill in the next two parts of the equation: when and where. “You really have to have a deep think about what you want to achieve and why you want to do it,” says Mr. Bredenoord, who also has a master’s degree in

—Carl Bredenoord, PMP, Cape Town, South Africa

—Carl Bredenoord, PMP, Cape Town, South Africa

“You really have to have a deep think about what you want to achieve and why you want to do it. You have to be very honest with yourself.”

electrical engineering. “You have to be very honest with yourself.” Those internal conversations can be difficult, he says, but they’re necessary. “It’s a lot of work to choose, but you’re putting a lot of money and time into it.”

THE COST-BENEFIT EQUATION

Whether they decide to pursue an MBA, MPM, PhD or DPM, project managers shouldn’t forget three other letters when making the decision to go back to school: ROI. While an advanced degree might mean more cash in the long run, higher edu- cation requires a significant up-front investment. In Australia, for example, an MPM program can cost as much as AUD37,000, with costs comparable in the United States and the United Kingdom. An MBA at a top-level school can run in the six figures. And while some countries, like Germany, partially or fully subsidize advanced degrees, many graduate students have to take out hefty student loans. In the United States, 40 percent of the US$1.1 trillion in outstanding student debt was used to finance graduate or professional degrees. Still, many project practitioners see a graduate education as a worthwhile investment. MBA candi- dates in the United Kingdom, for instance, expect to see a 153 percent salary boost, while those in India expect a bump of almost 390 percent, according to QS, a global MBA networking association. Further- more, after 10 years in the workforce, a master’s degree is worth US$15,000 more annually than a bachelor’s degree, according to a study conducted by job search site TheLadders. But the payoff may not materialize immediately upon matriculation. Instead, it might set a project manager apart when it comes time to lobby for a promotion or change organizations. “In my case, the degree offered access to employ- ment opportunities and provided recognition and

Three Degrees of Project Management Graduate Certificate in Project Management These certificates provide an introduction

Three Degrees of Project Management

Graduate Certificate in Project Management These certificates provide an introduction to project man- agement fundamentals. “The graduate certificate is useful for those who want to acquire some basics—for example, an architect who needs project management skills or functional manag- ers who want to interact with project managers,” says Shankar Sankaran, PhD, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia.

Master of Project Management (MPM)

A broad program that teaches

advanced project management methodologies and strategies along with basic business and management theory. Some

schools offer specialized degrees

in areas including program man-

agement, project governance, risk management and interna- tional project management.

PhD in Project Management

A terminal degree that focuses on

cross-functional management of projects, programs and portfo- lios. Candidates also conduct research and write and defend a dissertation.

Many project practitioners see a graduate education as a worthwhile investment. MBA candidates in the United Kingdom, for instance, expect to see a 153 percent salary boost, while those in India expect a bump of almost 390 percent.

Source: QS

in India expect a bump of almost 390 percent . Source: QS “In my case, the

“In my case, the degree offered access to employment opportunities and provided recognition and credibility.”

opportunities and provided recognition and credibility.” —Jaume Barceló, CAPM, PMP, PSS Tecnologías de la

—Jaume Barceló, CAPM, PMP, PSS Tecnologías de la Información, Barcelona, Spain

credibility,” says Jaume Barceló, CAPM, PMP, project manager at PSS Tecnologías de la Infor- mación in Barcelona, Spain. He earned his master’s in project management after nearly two decades in the workforce.

Tim Henson, PMP, found that his Master of Science in Project Management (MSPM) from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville bettered not just his career, but his organization as well, which gained a more valuable, well-rounded project leader. Mr. Henson worked as a senior project manager at Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico, USA, while he earned his MSPM. He completed his program five months before a two-year, 10,000-user, high-risk project closed. He said the timing meant he was often taking direct knowledge from a class and applying it the next day at work. The 122-person team wrapped up the proj- ect on schedule with a 5 percent cost variance. That success, along with his improved risk management, quality management and virtual teaming skills, got him noticed. In April 2015, Mr. Henson was pro- moted to program manager. “Being viewed by peers and executive manage- ment as capable, organized and able to get things

done is important,” he says. “At work, I get the most complex assignments, and management

done is important,” he says. “At work, I get the most complex assignments, and management often wants to spread me across multiple areas for input into other projects.” Filling in skills gaps or keeping up with changes in the field is another strong driver for practitio- ners looking to continue their education. Chi- vonne Algeo, PhD, is course director and senior lecturer at UTS. Years before beginning her doc- toral research, she enrolled in UTS’s master’s program in project management as a way to expe- rience new project approaches. “I knew there must be more to managing projects than following existing paradigms,” she says. “The organization I was working for was using an outdated methodology and projects were being managed inef- ficiently, with key opportunities often missed. I wanted to explore different approaches based on sound research that had been proven to work.”

READY … OR NOT

Choosing the right time to leap back into the classroom—be it online or brick-and-mortar—can have as much to do with market forces as personal desire. Mr. Bredenoord was working as an oil and gas project engineer in Singapore when he decided to pursue an MBA in 2012. Why then? A lull in his project roster gave him the time to make good on a long-held desire to go back to school. Dr. Sankaran notes that UTS has seen spikes in enrollment driven by various market and industry factors. For example, an uptick in Australia’s min- ing sector led to increased demand for project managers with graduate degrees. And when the country’s defense ministry implemented a push for

—Carl Bredenoord, PMP

“I’ve kept in touch with people from my program. When something comes up, or I have an idea about something, it’s easy to pick up the phone and call them.”

project professionals to pursue university qualifi- cations, there was a corresponding rise in enroll- ment at the school. Unlike in some fields, where jumping straight from an undergraduate degree to a graduate pro- gram is common, the variety of programs available to project professionals argues for at least a few years of in-the-field experience before heading back for another round of schooling. For his part, Mr. Barceló recommends between eight and 10 years in the professional environment. This will give project managers a sense of what it takes to manage timelines and teammates—and what they need to learn to be successful. At that point, learning next-level management theories can provide a much-needed supplement to on-the-job experience. A formal education program offers project managers the chance to “think abstractly and to seek the conceptual basis of arguments and situations,” he says—an alternative to model-based decision-making that many project managers fall back on in the field.

“Being viewed by peers and executive management as capable, organized and able to get things

“Being viewed by peers and executive management as capable, organized and able to get things done is important.”

—Tim Henson, PMP, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico, USA

THE RIGHT FIT

Matching a project manager’s motivations with the right program requires diligent research. Practitio- ners should check that programs have been accred- ited by professional organizations such as PMI and be sure their modes of teaching (online versus in- class) align with their personal preferences. Some programs cater to working professionals while oth- ers may o er specialized training for project manag- ers in certain elds, such as healthcare or IT. Project professionals also need to consider what level of program will work best for them. UTS, for example, o ers a graduate certi cate, which teaches basic methodologies such as those found in A Guide

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46 PM NETWORK JULY 2015 WWW.PMI.ORG

to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide). The master’s program, on the

other hand, caters to those aspiring to carve out a long-term project management career or move into

a more senior role in the field. Still others move

on to doctoral programs at other schools, with the intention of pursuing careers in research and aca- demia, says Dr. Sankaran. To help degree-seekers meet more targeted career goals, UTS has recently tailored some of its

curricular offerings to appeal to subsets of the proj- ect management field, including systems thinking and management of complex projects. It even offers

a specialized degree in project risk management.

even offers a specialized degree in project risk management. For many prospective students, choosing the right

For many prospective students, choosing the right school requires assessing both personal needs and professional goals. When Mr. Bredenoord decided to pursue his MBA, he first looked at highly reputable programs in the Asia Pacific region, near his then-home of Singapore. Two factors turned him off that path. He was most interested in course- work related to leadership development, change management and corporate strategy development, but none of the programs seemed to offer curricula that would help him advance his project manage- ment career in these areas. Then there was the price tag: The nearby schools he looked into cost as much as €50,000 a year. The University of Cape Town, on the other hand, offered a modular program that met Mr. Bredenoord’s professional needs and only required two weeks of class time three times a year over a two-year period. Even taking into account flights to South Africa—not incidentally, his home coun- try—the program was cheaper than those he’d

already rejected. He also was able to participate in an exchange program with the Rotterdam School of Management at Erasmus University in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Mr. Bredenoord’s advice—other than to be cost- conscious—is to dig deep into a school’s alumni network to find “role models,” graduates who have landed positions and built careers similar to what a prospective student is looking for. Where they’ve gone can be a good indication of where future graduates may go as well. When it comes to the ROI of his MBA, Mr. Bredenoord points to those networks as the single biggest benefit. “The ability to build those personal relationships, you can’t put a number on it, but it’s a definitive gain,” he says. “I’ve kept in touch with people from my pro- gram. When something comes up, or I have an idea about something, it’s easy to pick up the

phone and call them.” After all, as he points out, the vast majority of people in graduate programs are there because they want to learn a specific skill set, and that creates strong bonds within a cohort. Those relationships, not the fatter paycheck and corner office, may be the most enduring benefit of heading back to school. PM

Sahar Kanani, PMP, Telus, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Project managers must understand the organization’s strategy

Trend

or

Foe?

to know when to follow a trend—and when to walk away.

BY AMY MERRICK PORTRAITS BY CARLO RICCI

rom cutting-edge technologies to creative organizational processes, hot new trends offer exciting and possibly lucrative
rom cutting-edge technologies to creative organizational processes, hot new trends offer exciting and possibly lucrative
rom cutting-edge technologies to creative organizational processes, hot new trends offer exciting and possibly lucrative
rom cutting-edge technologies to creative organizational processes, hot new trends offer exciting and possibly lucrative
rom cutting-edge technologies to creative organizational processes, hot new trends offer exciting and possibly lucrative
rom cutting-edge technologies to creative organizational processes, hot new trends offer exciting and possibly lucrative
rom cutting-edge technologies to creative organizational processes, hot new trends offer exciting and possibly lucrative
rom cutting-edge technologies to creative organizational processes, hot new trends offer exciting and possibly lucrative
rom cutting-edge technologies to creative organizational processes, hot new trends offer exciting and possibly lucrative
rom cutting-edge technologies to creative organizational processes, hot new trends offer exciting and possibly lucrative
rom cutting-edge technologies to creative organizational processes, hot new trends offer exciting and possibly lucrative
rom cutting-edge technologies to creative organizational processes, hot new trends offer exciting and possibly lucrative
rom cutting-edge technologies to creative organizational processes, hot new trends offer exciting and possibly lucrative
rom cutting-edge technologies to creative organizational processes, hot new trends offer exciting and possibly lucrative

rom cutting-edge technologies to creative organizational processes, hot new trends offer exciting and possibly lucrative alternatives to the status quo. But project managers hoping the next big thing will produce real project results must choose their paths wisely.

produce real project results must choose their paths wisely. “It’s hard to say whether something is

“It’s hard to say whether something is inherently good or bad, useful or useless, without context.”

—Julien Pollack, PhD, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia

A trend that has staying power for one organization might be a fad that will

fizzle for another. To be able to spot winning potential, project managers must have a clear understanding of their organizations strategy—and how a new trend can help deliver on strategic goals. Keeping projects in line is central to success, according to PMI’s 2014 Pulse of the Profession: The High Cost of Low Performance. High-performing organizations (those that achieve 80 percent

or more of projects on time, on budget and meeting original goals) are twice as likely to have high alignment of projects to organizational strategy when

compared to low performers (organizations that achieve 60 percent or fewer of projects on time, on budget and meeting original goals).

A trend can lead to a winning project if it addresses a core weakness in how

the organization does business, says Julien Pollack, PhD, senior lecturer, faculty

of design, architecture and building, University of Technology, Sydney, Aus- tralia. If not, a project based on a trend could be a costly distraction from the organization’s primary objectives. “It’s hard to say whether something is inherently good or bad, useful or use- less, without context,” Dr. Pollack says.

PROBLEM SOLVERS

To provide the necessary context for analyzing trends, Meri Vikstrom, PMP, project/program manager, Sequel Business Ltd., London, England, starts by identifying problems or goals within an organization. She then determines if any up-and-coming industry trends can help her address those issues. This approach increases the likelihood that incorporating a new trend will support the organization’s strategy.

“Companies usually don’t do something because they want to be trendy or because some trend
“Companies usually don’t do something because they want to be trendy or because some trend
“Companies usually
don’t do something
because they want
to be trendy or
because some trend
is in right now.
Ultimately, it’s about
the business case.”
—Meri Vikstrom, PMP, Sequel Business
Ltd., London, England

For instance, Ms. Vikstrom pushed for environmental projects at a company she previously worked at, because its strategy emphasized environmental issues. at’s why the company chose to pursue an environmental management system certi cation and create habitats for wildlife on company property. “Since we were able to tie it back to what the company wanted to do—this is who we are, this is what our brand is—that helps us convince the company that this is a good idea,” Ms. Vikstrom says. Sahar Kanani, PMP, manager of information services at Telus, a telecom- munications company in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, is paying close attention to the Internet of ings (IoT). IoT refers to the increasing number of consumer and industrial devices embedded with sensors and software that pro- vide feedback to users. Telus is heavily invested in electronic health solutions, including health analytics services, so Ms. Kanani believes the IoT trend pres- ents a strategic opportunity for the company. For instance, the company could create a product that helps people monitor medical conditions via sensors. “Imagine an elderly person who needs constant supervision,” she says. “If you have a device that can measure their blood pressure and oxygen level, you can send that information to a medical professional, and they can stay at home instead of in the hospital. When you put technology and health together, the possibilities are endless.” Supporting the strategy also means knowing when a trend won’t work for the organization. Ms. Kanani recently passed on an idea to gamify task management tools in order to motivate millennial team members. e tool would assign team members points for completing tasks, much like a video game. Ms. Kanani felt the system didn’t match the company’s culture in many of the business units.

much like a video game. Ms. Kanani felt the system didn’t match the company’s culture in
much like a video game. Ms. Kanani felt the system didn’t match the company’s culture in
much like a video game. Ms. Kanani felt the system didn’t match the company’s culture in
much like a video game. Ms. Kanani felt the system didn’t match the company’s culture in
much like a video game. Ms. Kanani felt the system didn’t match the company’s culture in
much like a video game. Ms. Kanani felt the system didn’t match the company’s culture in
much like a video game. Ms. Kanani felt the system didn’t match the company’s culture in
much like a video game. Ms. Kanani felt the system didn’t match the company’s culture in
much like a video game. Ms. Kanani felt the system didn’t match the company’s culture in
much like a video game. Ms. Kanani felt the system didn’t match the company’s culture in
much like a video game. Ms. Kanani felt the system didn’t match the company’s culture in
much like a video game. Ms. Kanani felt the system didn’t match the company’s culture in
much like a video game. Ms. Kanani felt the system didn’t match the company’s culture in
much like a video game. Ms. Kanani felt the system didn’t match the company’s culture in
much like a video game. Ms. Kanani felt the system didn’t match the company’s culture in
much like a video game. Ms. Kanani felt the system didn’t match the company’s culture in
much like a video game. Ms. Kanani felt the system didn’t match the company’s culture in
much like a video game. Ms. Kanani felt the system didn’t match the company’s culture in
much like a video game. Ms. Kanani felt the system didn’t match the company’s culture in
much like a video game. Ms. Kanani felt the system didn’t match the company’s culture in
much like a video game. Ms. Kanani felt the system didn’t match the company’s culture in
much like a video game. Ms. Kanani felt the system didn’t match the company’s culture in
“If I hear about a cool new trend, and I’m working on a specific project
“If I hear about a cool new trend, and I’m working on a specific project
“If I hear about a cool new trend, and I’m working on a specific project
“If I hear about a cool new trend, and I’m working on a specific project
“If I hear about a cool new trend, and I’m working on a specific project
“If I hear about a cool new trend, and I’m working on a specific project
“If I hear about a cool new trend, and I’m working on a specific project
“If I hear about a cool new trend, and I’m working on a specific project
“If I hear about a cool new trend, and I’m working on a specific project
“If I hear about a cool new trend, and I’m working on a specific project
“If I hear about a cool new trend, and I’m working on a specific project
“If I hear about a cool new trend, and I’m working on a specific project
“If I hear about a cool new trend, and I’m working on a specific project
“If I hear about a cool new trend, and I’m working on a specific project
“If I hear about a cool new trend, and I’m working on a specific project
“If I hear about a cool new trend, and I’m working on a specific project
“If I hear about a cool new trend, and I’m working on a specific project
“If I hear about a cool new trend, and I’m working on a specific project
“If I hear about a cool new trend, and I’m working on a specific project
“If I hear about a cool new trend, and I’m working on a specific project
“If I hear about a cool new trend, and I’m working on a specific project
“If I hear about a cool new trend, and I’m working on a specific project
“If I hear about a cool new trend, and I’m working on a specific project
“If I hear about a cool new trend, and I’m working on a specific project
“If I hear about a cool new trend, and I’m working on a specific project

“If I hear about a cool new trend, and I’m working on a specific project or program, I try to think about how this trend can impact it in the long run.”

—Sahar Kanani, PMP

“If you’re a small startup, it might be a good investment to attract a lot of young developers,” Ms. Kanani says. “For another type of organization, though, it might not add as much value.”

EAR TO THE GROUND

Ms. Kanani stays up-to-date on trends in her industry by reading blogs and online forums, following thought leaders on Twitter and attending seminars and networking events. When she’s particularly intrigued by a new idea, she runs it by a small, trusted group of people she considers visionaries, including some who are leaders in her organization. Getting their take on a trend helps her vet new concepts—and builds early support for related changes, she says. “If I hear about a cool new trend, and I’m working on a specific project or program, I try to think about how this trend can impact it in the long run,” says Ms. Kanani.

For instance, a Google representative demonstrated how Google Glass could help Telus field technicians map
For instance, a Google representative demonstrated how Google Glass could help Telus field technicians map
For instance, a Google representative demonstrated how Google Glass could help Telus field technicians map
For instance, a Google representative demonstrated how Google Glass could help Telus field technicians map
For instance, a Google representative demonstrated how Google Glass could help Telus field technicians map
For instance, a Google representative demonstrated how Google Glass could help Telus field technicians map
For instance, a Google representative demonstrated how Google Glass could help Telus field technicians map
For instance, a Google representative demonstrated how Google Glass could help Telus field technicians map
For instance, a Google representative demonstrated how Google Glass could help Telus field technicians map
For instance, a Google representative demonstrated how Google Glass could help Telus field technicians map
For instance, a Google representative demonstrated how Google Glass could help Telus field technicians map
For instance, a Google representative demonstrated how Google Glass could help Telus field technicians map
For instance, a Google representative demonstrated how Google Glass could help Telus field technicians map
For instance, a Google representative demonstrated how Google Glass could help Telus field technicians map
For instance, a Google representative demonstrated how Google Glass could help Telus field technicians map
For instance, a Google representative demonstrated how Google Glass could help Telus field technicians map
For instance, a Google representative demonstrated how Google Glass could help Telus field technicians map
For instance, a Google representative demonstrated how Google Glass could help Telus field technicians map
For instance, a Google representative demonstrated how Google Glass could help Telus field technicians map

For instance, a Google representative demonstrated how Google Glass could help Telus field technicians map cables, connections and manholes in a neigh- borhood and pinpoint where to install new connections. The wearable technol- ogy can replace the need for carrying tablet computers and other mobile devices technicians currently use. However, Ms. Kanani knew the proposition was risky, given that Google announced in January that it plans to retool the technology. So when she brought the idea to the leader who manages the portfolio, she also identified three other companies—Optinvent, Meta Pro and Vuzix—working on wearable glass technology that can serve the same purpose. Telus might still include the idea in its five-year project roadmap, she says. “The risk was evaluated after an initial ROI case study,” Ms. Kanani says. It’s easier to build organizational support for integrating a trend if project managers can showcase the potential benefits, Ms. Vikstrom says. Say, for instance, a project manager was touting a new software implementation. While team members might appreciate seeing how a slick new interface operates, executives would be more impressed with evidence that the software would reduce a client’s processing times, Ms. Vikstrom says. “The ultimate purpose is to achieve a goal,” she says. Describing how a competitor has seen success with a trend also can be a strong motivator, Dr. Pollack says. “Stories are much more effective than going into statistics and graphs.”

Keep a Steady Course

Before launching a project to leverage a trend, consider its strategic value.

When looking to leverage a hot new trend, project managers should always keep strategy top of mind. Seventy-one percent of projects that are highly aligned to the organization’s strategy are success- ful, according to PMI’s 2015 Pulse of the Profession: Capturing the Value of Project Management, compared to just 46 per- cent of those not highly aligned. Here are five questions to help determine if a trend-based project will propel an organization forward—or leave it dead in the water:

RETHINKING THE ROUTINE

Valuable trends aren’t limited to technologies or specific sectors. Sometimes, new approaches and processes can help an organization do more to reach its strategic goals. For example, when Dr. Pollack was managing an IT project in the public health sector, he saw an opportunity to incorporate the soft systems methodol- ogy, a seven-step process for clarifying the goals of a project before entering the execution phase. He anticipated that team members might resist the change, so he and a colleague incorporated the methodology without declaring to the team that it was a process change. At one point, he asked the team to draw sketches to show a conceptual model of the project. “Technically-focused project management types aren’t necessarily used to doing doodles as a way of exploring their expectations and goals,” he says. “But once we asked people to suspend disbelief, then it worked.” After moving through the seven steps, participants were able to communicate their goals more effectively and the project was implemented more smoothly, Dr. Pollack says. Doing the research, understanding the strategy of the organi- zation and finding creative ways to get others to commit can help practitioners realize when a trend can become part of—or inspire—a winning project. “Companies usually don’t do something because they want to be trendy or because some trend is in right now,” Ms. Vikstrom says. “Ultimately, it’s about the business case.” PM

Does it address a core weakness in how the organization does business?

Does it align with the current strategy?

Would the project provide a competi- tive edge?

Would it exceed the organization’s risk tolerance?

If the project changes internal process- es, will the benefits align with what the culture values?

POWER EIFFEL A project adds wind turbines to an iconic French landmark— without obstructing a

POWER EIFFEL

A project adds wind turbines to an iconic French landmark— without obstructing a world-famous view.

BY SARAH PROTZMAN HOWLETT

PHOTO COURTESY OF UGE INTERNATIONAL LTD

Workers lift parts while installing the wind turbines at the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France.

JULY 2015 PM NETWORK

55

PHOTO COURTESY OF ©SETE- PHOTOPOINTCOM

WORLDWIDE KNOWN

for its signature silhouette, the Eiffel Tower is synonymous with the city of Paris, France. When a renovation project required two wind turbines to be added within the landmark’s frame, project managers were able to install them while keeping the tower’s iconic figure intact. And that wasn’t the only unique project accomplishment. Stakeholders from the Société d’Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel (SETE) and the office of the Mayor of Paris also made it clear that the turbines couldn’t be lifted with cranes, which could damage the 126-year-old tower. In addition, the project needed to accommodate the flow of revenue-generating tourists during business hours. This meant the team needed to find ways to do the most intrusive work at night—without disturbing residential neighbors. The project, which was completed in February, was part of a two-year, €30 million renovation that was also charged with adding LED lighting and solar panels to the first floor of the tower. The turbines were required to generate only enough energy to

The turbines were painted to match the tower’s iconic scaffolding.

power the tower’s first-floor commercial areas, which include a restaurant, a gift shop and a histori- cal exhibit. Although the total is less than 1 percent of the overall energy that the tower consumes in a year, it helps nudge Paris toward a citywide goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 25 percent by 2020 and 75 percent by 2050. The project was part of multiple green initia- tives in France less than a year before Paris is scheduled to host the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in November and December. For instance, in March, France introduced a law that requires plants or solar panels to be installed on the rooftops of new buildings in commercial zones. “Not many people are able to work on this kind of turbine,” says Sébastien Reinier, project manager,

UGE installed VisionAir5 wind turbines. SETE, Paris, France. “That’s why it took us more time
UGE installed VisionAir5 wind turbines.
UGE installed
VisionAir5
wind turbines.
UGE installed VisionAir5 wind turbines. SETE, Paris, France. “That’s why it took us more time than

SETE, Paris, France. “That’s why it took us more time than we expected, but finally it works perfectly and we are all satisfied. French people are often cautious concerning new projects, but the latest press cover- age about our turbines seemed very positive.” For the wind turbine installation project, stake- holders turned to green energy company UGE International, based in New York, New York, USA. UGE helped determine the right location, style and color for the turbines, then developed overnight work shifts so that equipment and materials could be manually lifted 122 meters (400 feet) above ground where the two five-meter (16-foot) tur- bines were installed. Components that wouldn’t fit in the service elevators were brought up by pulley and rope at night rather than by crane.

brought up by pulley and rope at night rather than by crane. “Not many people are

“Not many people are able to work on this kind of turbine. That’s why it took us more time than we expected.”

—Sébastien Reinier, project manager, SETE, Paris, France

“We’ve done over 2,000 installations worldwide, and we’ve never had to deal with not being able to use cranes,” says Jan Gromadzki, senior product manager, UGE, New York, New York, USA. Despite the unique challenges, the team was able to install the vertical-axis wind turbines inside metal scaffolding above the tower’s second level. “It was very hard to model the entire assembly in the existing tower,” Mr. Gromadzki says. “There

“We’ve done over 2,000 installations worldwide, and we’ve never had to deal with not being able to use cranes.”

—Jan Gromadzki, UGE, New York, New York, USA

cranes.” —Jan Gromadzki, UGE, New York, New York, USA have been so many additions over the
cranes.” —Jan Gromadzki, UGE, New York, New York, USA have been so many additions over the

have been so many additions over the years—elec- trical equipment and HVAC, for example—but it turned out okay.”

WITHOUT A TRACE

Tourist expectations also played a major role in defining UGE’s project plan. Seven million people visit the Eiffel Tower each year—and stakeholders didn’t want a single one to be turned away during construction. The attraction is open to the public until 11 p.m. or midnight, depending on the time of year, and the team needed to make its presence as unobtrusive as possible. Although workers could be operating on the tower during the day, major equipment had to be hauled to the area and up the installation site only after the tower was closed.

“Working at night was planned into the budget, since the Eiffel Tower already does most of its tough-access work at night,” Mr. Gromadzki says. “Night work is obviously more expensive, but as long as it’s in the budget and the timelines are not exceeded—and they were not in this case—it doesn’t affect expectations.” Stakeholders were also concerned the turbines would cause disruptive vibrations because they were mounted right above one of Paris’ classiest restaurants, which is located on the second level of the tower. To mitigate the possibility of loud or odd vibra- tions from the turbines during strong winds, UGE added damper pads in the structure’s steel founda- tion. “Now the turbines are as quiet as a whisper,” Mr. Gromadzki says.

To mitigate the project’s impact on tourists during the day, workers hauled major equipment up
To mitigate the project’s impact
on tourists during the day,
workers hauled major equipment
up the tower only at night.
Some installation workers were part of teams that painted the tower in the past.
Some installation
workers were part
of teams that
painted the tower
in the past.

However, Mr. Reinier says there was no require- ment to install the turbines in such a way to hide them from the view of tourists—quite the oppo- site, actually. “We explained to the administration that the turbines had to be seen from the ground, because we have no reason to hide it,” he says. “Tur- bines mean technical and environmental progress.”

WINDS OF CHANGE

Mr. Gromadzki, who is fluent in French, largely oversaw the project from his New York office. To avoid budget creep, he reviewed the project sta- tus every two weeks at first, and then he reviewed it weekly during the final three months—often with other team members. After a site visit in early 2014, which included a general meeting

with all stakeholders, Mr. Gromadzki flew to Paris in mid-January 2015, spending two weeks on-site to over- see the installations. During the initial planning phases, Mr. Gromadzki says UGE spent hours in phone meetings with tower and construction officials fielding ques- tions about how the turbines—and the instal- lation process—would work. Because very few wind turbines are constructed in Paris, it took time for the stakeholders to understand and approve the logistics. “We had a lot of calls where we’d just talk about the technology,” Mr. Gromadzki says. e project team also needed to collaborate with safety inspec- tors—consultants who made sure the installation was built to code and per the plan—plus general contractors and subcontractors. ese partnerships also helped UGE hire project talent with specialized skills. For instance, when UGE needed to hire installation workers who could navigate hard-to-access spaces, local contacts rec- ommended specialized technical teams, including some who had been part of teams that painted the tower in the past, Mr. Gromadzki says. Overall, careful planning allowed the team to stay on schedule—and on budget. e only piece of the project that incurred additional costs was the electri- cal work. Because the French electrical contractors had no experience working with wind turbines, they needed to bill for extra time while UGE taught them where to tie the turbines into the Ei el Tower’s electrical grid. Nonetheless, the entire project stayed

within 10 percent of its original cost, Mr. Reinier says. “It was all done really e ciently to keep the costs as low as possible,” Mr. Gromadzki says. “Everything pretty much went as planned once all materials were on-site, and many things could have brought us to a halt—but nothing really did.” In the end, the team delivered everything the stakeholders required while staying within project constraints, Mr. Reinier says.

e project’s execution happened exactly how it was scheduled,” he says. PM

TIMELINE TOWER

Late 2013: Environmen- tal consultants from the Eiffel Tower contact UGE about the project.