Bi-Monthly Project Management Seminars
Presentation given to the Project Management Institute Japan International Committee on the business case for Project Management Seminars in English.
The Project Management Institute Japan currently has about 3,000 members. Actually, Japan has 28,000 PMI members. Globally, PMI has almost .5 million members. The PMIJ-International Committee exists to support PMIJ in International project management. Of the 28,000 PMI members residing in Japan 800 are non-Japanese. We are not communicating with this existing group of Project Managers. Who are they? What do they need? We, The Project Management Japan International Committee do not know! Read More
Global Projects add complexity.
Culture gaps are difficult to detect. When you think about it, how can we step outside of the mindset that we learned from our family, teachers and friends. The insidious nature of Language shaping our thoughts is a barrier setting expectations.
For example if we think about the future. The core of Projects. How people construct the future actually depends on culture. For example my western upbringing and English Mother tongue, predispose me to construct future references using the future tense. For example
It will take two weeks.
Sounds pretty positive perhaps 95%. The same construct in Japanese literally is
Two weeks is. Read More
Image via Wikipedia
“Tzu-lu said ‘ If the Lord of Wei entrusts the government to you, what will you do first?’ ‘Correct names, surely!’, Confucius (551-479) BC.
Project Management is a global language. PMI and many Organizations have been promoting Project Management as an efficient way to close the Communication Gap. August 2009 PMBOK Cafe held workshops in which Project Management was discussed in detail by more than 20 Project Management Professionals from diverse industries and more than 5 countries. These people have extensive experience in conducting projects in Cultures out side of their Native Culture.
One of the overriding themes that has emerged is the reduction of the Culture Gap. The Culture Gap are ideas that are difficult to express across cultures. When you are working across cultures their is a greater Risk of Ambiguity. Case in point our Current 2009 World Bank President Robert Zoleick Stakeholder. As recently as 2006 during High Level government meetings between China and USA were stalled on the word Stakeholder. The finest translators in the world had issues with what does “Stakeholder” mean.
The practical methods to overcome this are email, messaging, voice, video and face to face travel. Finding the correct people who have the critical; language, cultural and technical skills is the first step. The Second step is Spending time to elaborate requirements is the best practice for management to mitigate this Risk of Ambiguity. Read More
PMBOK Cafe has a few spots open for the Global Risk workshop and the Marketing School of Project Management. The Three previous Cafes have had Participants from 6 different countries. The majority of the Participants have had extensive Experience working overseas.
Participants earn 12 PDU’s in Conjunction with PMI-Japan. PDU’s are Professional Development Units for the Global Standard Project Management Professional Certification or PMP. The PMP certification has become a common filter for Human Resource managers in accepting applications for Project Management positions around the world. Read More
How can we use Twitter in Project Management?
First what is Twitter? It is “an application that allows users to send brief text updates of up to 140 characters”. So let’s step back and look at the first question and replace twitter for communicate. How to communicate in Project Management? We all know the answer is Planning.
Twitter same as unsecured email is a valid risk.
We have all accepted the risk that email is unsecure, and we all send confidential, potentially damaging artifacts through email every day. Should we consider Social Media; not limited to blogging, Facebook, Linked-in, YouTube and yes even email as security events and make it clear from the beginning in our planning documents? How can we use Social Media on our projects?
There must be some people, who have successfully used twitter in managing projects. For example President Barrack Obamas election campaign was a project. How did he use twitter for managing his campaign project?
We should say what twitter isn’t. Twitter isn’t a blog. Twitter facilitates conversation, but it is horrible at retaining data. We should realize everything we twit is at once permanent and temporary at the same time. Robert Scoble correctly points out the significant historical twitter streams are “missing”. Perhaps, we can use it as a kind of performance review, or if we need more anonymous security we can use Rypple. Crowd sourcing using twitter? There are much better platforms already established for that, for example Amazons Mechanical Turk.
What is twitter good at?
Working the Social:
It is part of an information eco system. It is a conversation starter. It is a way to post links to relevant items. It is a small but vitally important link to communicate with incredible people all around the globe as equals. Twitter strips away race, gender, power, control and allows you to interact based on the quality of your character. But at the same time it seems like there is a risk. It definitely breaks the first rule we ever learned outside of the house which is don’t talk to strangers. Read More
Global Project Management Culture has been well documented as a complex system. The wicked problem of global transfer of knowledge in project based organizations has been documented in this excellent paper. Knowledge Transfer in Project-Based Organizations: An Organizational Culture Perspective. Mian M. Ajmal, Kaj U. Koskinen. Project Management Journal, Vol. 39, No. 1, 7-15 2008. The Authors Ajmal and Kokinen describe that the biggest problem is not tech but culture. They cite a study that says 80% of the problem of transferring knowledge is cultural. There is a perception among people that holding information is more important than sharing. Perhaps, the most famous example of this is Leibniz and Newton calculus controversy. Newton did not publish his knowledge for 20 years, and it was only under the threat that Leibniz was in the midst of publishing his work that he finally did. Read More
Today, we are undergoing extreme data overload. There are additional layers of complexity in technology. Complexity in Projects that span decades, time zones, languages, cultures in addition to the technology. The base I am most familiar with is The PMBOK. In 2009 we are in the Fourth Edition of The PMBOK. Where are we in terms of Knowledge and the Book?
Mayan Yin Yang
I would argue that we are in the right place in time.
The PMBOK Code some would argue is preparing people the wrong way. There is some tension in the Global Project Management Community. Some argue that standards, controls, and hard systems are the wrong tools for today. The Pirates Code as set forth by Morgan and Bartholomew can be a metaphor for our dilemma.
wait, you have to take me to shore, according to the code of the Order of the Brethren
first, your return to shore was not part of our negotiations nor our agreement, so it must do nothing, and secondly you must be a pirate for the Pirate’s Code to apply and you’re not, and thirdly the code is more of what you call guidelines than actual rules, welcome aboard the Black Pearl, Miss Turner
From Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl Read More
The PMBOK Guide Fourth Edition has been revised. This is an important milestone for Project Managers around the globe. As a Standard the PMBOK is indispensable because of its translation, wide spread global acceptance and the critical importance of providing people with a reference with which to communicate. I always carry the localized translations when I am working on a project in China, Japan or Asia. Having a common set of tools is the first step in a successful communication loop. Once again the PMBOK is changing. There have been many great blog posts, conferences and lectures about the changes. There is one change that is critical. The major change is the deletion of a “Create a Preliminary Scope Statement”. This was found in the Initiate phase in the Third Edition. Why has the global community decided to delete this? Is this a good idea? Read More