Being a project manager emerging skills aptitudes and expectations
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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 Expectations

  • “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 Expectations

  • 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 ? Expectations

  • 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 Expectations

  • 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 Expectations

  • 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 Expectations

  • 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 Expectations

  • 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 Expectations

  • 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 Expectations

  • 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 Expectations

  • 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 Expectations

  • 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 Expectations

  • 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 Expectations

  • 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? Expectations

(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 ? Expectations

  • 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. Expectations

  • Questions ?

  • Contact information: email: [email protected]

  • 01707 – 631000

  • www.computacenter.com


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