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Being a Project Manager: Emerging Skills, Aptitudes and Expectations. Don Southey (Computacenter and PROMS-G) BCS Nottingham & Derby Group October 2006. Background as a Project Manager. “Top Teams” in Rank Xerox IT / quality projects for Epcot Ltd & BNFL Computacenter – last 8 years

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being a project manager emerging skills aptitudes and expectations

Being a Project Manager: Emerging Skills, Aptitudes and Expectations

Don Southey (Computacenter and PROMS-G)

BCS Nottingham & Derby Group

October 2006

background as a project manager
Background as a Project Manager
  • “Top Teams” in Rank Xerox
  • IT / quality projects for Epcot Ltd & BNFL
  • Computacenter – last 8 years
  • Corporate / Govt. clients nationwide
  • Wide variety of ICT projects
  • Nearly always “someone else’s project”
projects the old way
Projects: the old way
  • Often an interruption to the ‘real’ work
  • Technically defined
  • Given to technically able
  • Minimum of tools or training
  • No methodology
projects the hard way
Projects: the hard way ?
  • Lack of success causing rethink
  • Tighter discipline & control required
  • Specialists, groups, departments
  • Bright spots: PRINCE / PMI
  • Kaizen
  • LTQ / QIP (Xerox)
  • Focus on Business Need
trend 1 project management a specialism
Trend 1: Project management a specialism
  • Used to be given to ‘techies’
  • Now recognised as distinct
  • Similar to:‘good techie ≠ good supervisor’
  • Also distinct from team leader
  • Among OGC’s ‘core skills’
  • Basic competence for all
trend 2 change is here to stay
Trend 2: Change is here to stay
  • More change within a project
  • More need to manage change
  • More need to define dynamically
  • More need to review objectives
  • More focus on business case
trend 3 convergence but not simplification
Trend 3: Convergence but not simplification
  • Convergence of telecomms, media and computing: predicted 6 yrs ago
  • 2004-6, IPT / VoIP: IT PMs bidding for replacement telephony networks
  • Process Control over Internet, RFID
  • R- & TVoIP, Geo-Text, FIPDA …
  • Tomorrow ?
  • Economics of churn
  • Security, trust and resilience
trend 4 less about charts more about people
Trend 4: Less about charts, more about people
  • Used to focus on methodology
  • Necessary for clarity & control
  • Client’s aims and aspirations
  • Understanding business case
  • Managing expectations
  • Persuading stakeholders
  • Motivating team in teeth of change
trend 5 more and more with less and less
Trend 5: More and more with less and less
  • Competition
  • Cannot ignore ‘tight’ clients
  • Small projects – team of one:Senior/assistant unaffordable
  • Faster delivery
  • More reporting and control
  • Systems & time management
  • Tailoring
  • Saying “No”
trend 6 up the food chain
Trend 6: Up the food chain
  • Competition: 2nd corollary
  • Managed Services
  • Developing World
  • Response to encroachment
  • People buy from people
  • International virtual teams
  • “Follow the Sun”
  • ‘Middle layer’ offshoring ?
trend 7 governance
Trend 7: Governance
  • IT is slowly being seen as central to the whole enterprise
  • First essential: money
  • Second essential: information
  • Desire for visibility and control
  • To higher management
  • Cf. Product vs Production line
  • Pushback: Business accountability
trend 8 enter the matrix
Trend 8: Enter the Matrix
  • Matrix reporting
  • Cooperative ventures
  • The Internet = The Matrix
  • MS: ‘borrowed’ resources
  • Ephemeral alliances
  • Virtualisation
  • The BAU-free enterprise
  • Marketplace of specialists
trend 9 accountability for results
Trend 9: Accountability for results
  • Less on systems, more on end service
  • Turnkey package
  • Penalties and fines
  • Litigation
  • Recording
  • Risk management
  • New threats
  • P.I.I.
trend 10 complexity and dynamism
Trend 10: Complexity and dynamism
  • Less certainty, more responsibility
  • MS – ‘business within the business’
  • Portfolios and programmes
  • ‘Organic’ interdependence
  • Dynamic requirements
  • Dynamic objectives
to boldly go where no pm has gone before
To boldly go where no PM has gone before?

(Based on Mark Seely / Quang Duong, 2005)

  • The limits of management
  • Rules based: dynamic procedures
  • By Method: dynamic designs
  • By Objectives: dynamic requirements
  • By Values: dynamic objectives
  • By Politics? – dynamic values
a possible case history
A possible case history ?
  • M. Eng, traditional engineering
  • Early interest in computing
  • Moved to modern industry
  • Got experience in IT and PM
  • Took management qualification
  • Tried contracting
  • Became PM for IT service firm
  • Took break to run charity logistics projects
  • Caught in the services ‘squeeze’
  • Moved into MS & programme management
  • Retired to Brasil and teaches project management
thank you for your time
Thank you for your time.
  • Questions ?
  • Contact information: email: [email protected]
  • 01707 – 631000
  • www.computacenter.com
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