Training Courses and Project Management UK, Pearcemayfield

BOOK YOUR COURSE TODAY or FOR FREE ADVICE

FREEPHONE 0800 052 1600
or email info@pearcemayfield.com
Pearce Mayfield
Sign me upFor Podcasts, Videos, White Papers and Upcoming Courses
You have [0] Items in your basketVIEW NOW

Learning Leader

Lessons of a Learning Leader.
'Lest I missed anything in my youth' (Alexander von Humboldt)

Question of the Month (June 2015) – Change Management

Posted: June 12th, 2015 by John Edmonds

question of the month

“ I work in a busy PMO and have just had a very interesting conversation with my company’s Head of Change and Implementation. He believes that Change Management strategies can be put at risk because our PMs are not also competent Change managers. Is he right?!”

John Edmonds, Director of Strategy and Marketing and Head of Training replies:

 

The short answer is YES! Project managers, to be effective, need to be competent change managers as well.  Often, projects to introduce new or changed products or processes or to put on an event are planned without appropriately considering the change that the project result will cause in its environment. Project Managers DO need Change Management skills.

 

Over the last twenty years or so we have seen increasing levels of professionalism amongst project managers as more organisations adopt recognised project frameworks and more people take accredited project management training courses. However, Project Managers need something else in addition, and that something else is change management. By this I am not referring to ‘change control’ – an essential tool of the project manager to control issues and requests for change to the scope of a project. Change management is something entirely different and can be described as “an approach to transitioning individuals, teams, and organisations to a desired future state.”

So, why is this important to a project manager? Well, quite simply, the whole point of your project is to introduce change to one or more organisations, and whilst you, as project manager, may not be a part of the desired future state, you are a catalyst for it happening and many people may be looking to you for guidance, ideas, expertise and advice about that transition.

Now the challenge. Whereas project management is a series of relatively well-defined processes and concepts, the ideas behind change management are rather more equivocal. For project managers who thrive on certainty the uncertainty and ambiguity of change is a challenge. Yet however vague change management might seem when compared to the relative discipline of project management, we have no choice but to recognise its vital part in organisational transformation.

The pace and scale of change in organisations appears to be increasing and the associated challenges as complex as ever. Many of the challenges are what we often label as ‘soft’ ones – such as culture, emotions, motivation. Ironically there is nothing soft about them, they are very hard! Understanding change management and being able to lead others to grasp its importance is becoming increasingly essential. Project managers can lead the way here. Are you ready to pick up the challenge?

The pace and scale of change in organisations appears to be increasing and the associated challenges as complex as ever. Many of the challenges are what we often label as ‘soft’ ones – such as culture, emotions, motivation. Ironically there is nothing soft about them, they are very hard! Understanding change management and being able to lead others to grasp its importance is becoming increasingly essential. Project managers can lead the way here.

Are you ready to pick up the challenge?

More on Change Management

Contact John Edmonds here

The Challenge of Transformation

Posted: June 12th, 2015 by John Edmonds

Why Project Managers Need Change Management Skills

Over the last twenty years or so we have seen increasing levels of professionalism amongst project managers as more organisations adopt recognised project frameworks and more people take accredited project management training courses. This, of course, is good news.

However, to use a well-worn phrase, it is necessary but not sufficient.

To get straight to the point, project managers need something else in addition, and that something else is change management. By this I am not referring to ‘change control’ – an essential tool of the project manager to control issues and requests for change to the scope of a project. Change management is something entirely different.

Change management can be described as “an approach to transitioning individuals, teams, and organisations to a desired future state.”

Why is this important to a project manager? Well, quite simply, the whole point of your project is to introduce change to one or more organisations, and whilst you, as project manager, may not be a part of the desired future state, you are a catalyst for it happening and many people may be looking to you for guidance, ideas, expertise and advice about that transition.

Now the challenge

Whereas project management is a series of relatively well-defined processes and concepts, the ideas behind change management are rather more equivocal. For project managers who thrive on certainty the uncertainty and ambiguity of change is a challenge.

Yet however vague change management might seem when compared to the relative discipline of project management, we have no choice but to recognise its vital part in organisational transformation.

So what characteristics would enable project managers to become better catalysts, and how can they develop the skills and knowledge required?

The characteristics can be summed up as:

  • Enact
  • Engage
  • Empower

Enact

Project managers need to act as a role model throughout the organisation. This involves setting a positive and meaningful example of how to lead change successfully. Two particular ‘audiences’ for this role modelling are senior managers and middle managers. Both groups in turn need to be encouraged themselves to become role models, and project managers can be instrumental in making this a reality

Engage

Stakeholder engagement is so often the weak area of any project. In a recent survey three quarters of organisations stated that they defaulted to a top-down approach to communication and less than 10% encouraged dialogue around change initiatives. Project managers must begin to prioritise engagement and communication, as people need to understand and buy in to the case for the change if that change is to succeed. Stakeholders need clear answers to the ‘why?’ questions around change. Once again, if project managers set an example in this area, others may well follow.

Empower

Ultimately change happens within the organisation, projects ‘simply’ deliver the products that allow it to happen. Therefore the need to empower others is paramount. Change leaders at all levels in an organisation need to be recognised, equipped and supported so that they are empowered to play their part in successful change.

How can project managers develop their change management knowledge, skills and abilities?

Well, the good news is that training and qualifications in change management have been developing and maturing over the last few years and there is now a growing global recognition of the certifications and institutes available.

At pearcemayfield we have aligned ourselves with a change management qualification that is recognised by the Change Management Institute and which utilises an extremely valuable reference book as its core syllabus. We find this provides our delegates with a rich variety of ideas in an accessible structure that really equips them with a range of concepts, ideas, techniques and tools.

The pace and scale of change in organisations appears to be increasing and the associated challenges as complex as ever. Many of the challenges are what we often label as ‘soft’ ones – such as culture, emotions, motivation. Ironically there is nothing soft about them, they are very hard!

Understanding change management and being able to lead others to grasp its importance is becoming increasingly essential. Project managers can lead the way here. Are you ready to pick up the challenge?

More information about Change Management

The Importance of Change Management Skills

Posted: June 11th, 2015 by John Edmonds

JE podcast

 

John Edmonds explains why he believes that Project Managers can be key agents for change in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world and explores the challenges they face.

Download Ten Steps to Leading Change White Paper by John Edmonds

Question of the Month (May 2015) – Where did OBASHI come from?

Posted: May 19th, 2015 by Richard Rose

question of the month

Richard Rose, Director of Finances & IT and Training Consultant replies:

The OBASHI framework was invented by Fergus Cloughley and Paul Wallis of Stroma Software Ltd. during late 2001, following their collaboration on a project to help plant managers visualise and understand how and why IT assets supported business services within British Petroleum, Grangemouth, Scotland.

The subsequent OBASHI methodology was born out of the need for business professionals to easily understand the dollar per second value of dataflow that supports their business services in a simple and meaningful way so accurate and better informed operational and strategic decisions could be made.

Cloughley and Wallis recognized that by developing a methodology around the OBASHI framework, the existing methods for costing and valuing the flow of data in the Oil & Gas / Process Control industry could be made universally applicable to flows of data in all sectors.

Mored details on OBASHI® Business Design Method Foundation

Failure is not an option….

Posted: May 15th, 2015 by Patrick Mayfield

Business TurnaroundFailure is not an option….

No, it’s inevitable. In today’s business environment it is almost impossible to fail somewhere along the way.

The issues are: first, will I accept that reality? Then can I act so that when I do fail, it is cheap and useful?

Time was when we would develop methodologies that tried to avoid failure altogether. This was a conceit. The way it was typically evidenced in project management was to start further and further back in design:

“We need a plan first.” (This seems like good sense, doesn’t it?)

“Well we need a business case first.” (Of course, who would argue with that; I wouldn’t.)

“Yes but before that we need a Project Brief.”

“Yes, but before that we need a Project Mandate.”

“OK, but before that we need some kind of Strategic Objectives.”

“Yes, but first we need our Vision, Mission and Values.”

We can carry on with this seemingly-rational nonsense for as long as we wish – many consultants and business “gurus” do just that. (Confession time: I own up to having done that in the past as well! )Learn From Mistakes Move Forward People Climbing Gears

But when do we actually do something? Where is the execution?

“Oh, no. We’re not ready for that yet. What if we do the wrong thing or do it badly?”

I sometimes think we’ve created a kind of management Catch 22 where we go around and around in ever decreasing circles, never achieving anything substantive. Fear of failure has become a sort of management political correctness. It’s time to face this demon. Is failure always a bad thing? Surely the worst failure of all is never achieving a return on our efforts. Truly we have become victims of paralysis by analysis.

There are two realities we need to get to grips with in breaking out of this syndrome:

  1. The world is more complex than our models. It is a world where there are unknowns. The unknowns prevent us from planning out all failure. Only as we experiment, execute, are we going to discover more about that complexity.
  2. We often operate in a management culture of fear. Fear is always bad counselor. Fear is a dreadful strategy and a poor modus operandi. We need courage. With courage we can devise small steps of execution where we are not betting the farm, but instead discovering more and learning from these unexpected results.

My colleague, Richard Rose, and I spoke recently at a conference on Agile Project Management. I found many there who were new to Agile. Others, by contrast, had been so long immersed in Agile practice that they had forgotten the true value of incremental, Just-Enough-Design-Up-Front management. When I said, “Failure is not an option, it’s inevitable,” it seemed lights went on within both groups. Those weary with traditional management that promises much but delivers little, and those immersed in newer, more empirical approaches, both need to be aware of the value of limited failure. We hypothesize about this complex world, test, examine the results, adapt and move on. W.E. Deming had nailed this years ago in his PDCA cycle.CDWTSWFWMAEZ5QL.jpg-large

We need a kind of empirical humility about what will happen if we take this action, test it and then see if we are right.

I’d like to think this is what my fellow consultants and I truly make our most valuable contribution. We are sense-makers.

Click here if:

Agile Project Management-empowering teams!

Posted: March 17th, 2015 by Pearce Mayfield

Patrick Mayfield, CEO of pearcemayfield, and Richard Rose, Director of Finance and Information, discussing what is Agile and what makes it different from PRINCE2.

What is Agile Podcast

 

Download our White paper about What is Agile here

You can also visit our Agile page to know more about the Agile Management AgilePM Practitioner qualification and other related courses.

 

Question of the Month Agile vs Waterfall (March 2015)

Posted: March 12th, 2015 by Patrick Mayfield

A Business Change leader asks:

 “Is it possible to combine a traditional ‘waterfall’ planning and design phase but then execute in an Agile framework?”  

question of the month

Patrick Mayfield CEO of pearcemayfield replies:

 Agile vs Waterfall

Patrick Mayfield

Yes, it is, but it is a challenge and that challenge is more behavioural than technical.A project team is likely to “run on habit” and apply waterfall thinking to Agile execution. This would almost certainly lead to confusion and failure.

A more robust approach is to reverse this: start with Agile working during the exploratory iteration, start up, initiation and requirements stages, and once a prototype looks a reasonably good example of what the customer wants, build and scale using the full rigour of classic development. In fact, this is broadly the strategy in Lean Startup: use iterative working to assess the market’s real needs, prototype to see if this meets those needs, and then scale. This manages the early stages of maximum uncertainty with a more empirical Agile approach, leaving the clearer scaling phases to Waterfall disciplines once this uncertainty has been removed.

 

You can connect with Patrick on LinkedIn and don’t forget you can win a free e-copy of Patrick’s Mayfield’s Book Practical People Engagement (PPE) worth £24.38 if your question is featured.

You can ask us your questions here or go to our Agile Management pages for more information about what we offer.

 

MSP® is a registered trade mark of AXELOS Limited pearcemayfield are specialists in learning and development, helping leading organisations and individuals to become more effective in their programmes and projects and to achieve successful change. Call us now to find out more about about how we can help you do your best work.

 

 agile vs waterfall

Question of the Month (Feb 2015)

Posted: February 15th, 2015 by pearcemayfield

Q: A Change Director writes….

 “I am shortly to lead a programme of major organisational change and this is impending change is already causing some anxiety and uncertainty amongst the team.

Can you suggest what I could be doing now to ‘prepare the stage’ and the tools, techniques and support that I might have at my disposal going forward?”

images (4)

John Edmonds, pearcemayfield’s Head of Training and the company’s Change Management course designer replies:

PM

John Edmonds

It has been recognised that we need four things to be in place for change to be successful. These are Senior-level Sponsorship, Middle-management Buy-in, a Change Team and a considered Approach.

Interestingly, three of these relate to people, so you will need to think about getting people in place that will build your capability and capacity to deliver the change that you are seeking. Let me give you an example.

Recently I have been working with an organisation in a similar position to yours – embarking on major change. They have very wisely invested time into equipping their senior managers with the knowledge and skills to be good change sponsors. They have also recognised a group of middle managers who will enact the role of ‘Business Change Managers’. We have helped them to develop skills in how to approach and lead people through change.

So, think people first. You could do a lot worse!

You can connect with John on Twitter and don’t forget you can win a free e-copy of Patrick’s Mayfield’s Book Practical People Engagement (PPE) worth £24.38 if your question is featured.

You can ask us your questions here  or go to our Change Management page for more information.

 

Call us now to find out more about about how we can help you do your best work.

Change Management™ is a Registered Trade Mark of The APM Group Ltd.
pearcemayfield are specialists in learning and development, helping leading organisations and individuals to become more effective in their programmes and projects and to achieve successful change.

“This is the next step on the Change Management journey….”

Posted: February 5th, 2015 by pearcemayfield

The new Change Management qualification – coming soon!

Patrick Mayfield (chapter author of the recently published Body of Knowledge ‘The Effective Change Manager’s Handbook’) and John Edmonds (Head of Training at pearcemayfield) talk about this exciting development for all Change Management professionals.

pb

 

Download our White paper about Change Literacy here

You can also visit our Change Management page to know more about the new Change Management qualification and other related courses.

Question of the Month (Jan 2015)

Posted: January 13th, 2015 by pearcemayfield

Q: “What are the attributes of a good Programme Manager?”

images (4)

Richard Rose, Director of Finance and Information for pearcemayfield replies:

PM

Richard Rose

Apart from having the patience of a saint, there are some attributes that should be considered when employing a programme manager.  These qualities should not be confused with the technical or business experience that may be required of the prospective candidate. High performing programme managers tend to demonstrate clear patterns of behaviour that are beyond process-oriented methods and techniques.  The Managing Successful Programmes (MSP®) Guide lists a number of attributes which can be summarised thus:

A good programme manager has to be a ‘people’ person with the inherent skills to form lasting relationships and overcome conflicts by operating in a ‘win-win’ environment. They do not have to be wedded to detailed planning – after all, this is done by their project managers!  This leads us to another management requirement of not micro-managing those poor beleaguered project managers and letting them deliver within set parameters.

However, research at Pearcemayfield has uncovered an ‘alpha trait’ to support these attributes with three emerging characteristics of a good programme manager:

  1. They are more self aware, able to articulate their own working priorities more easily; e.g. they instinctively know the priorities of the programme and its projects and therefore understand their own priorities
  2. They have a distinct bias to relationships in the way they apportion their time; e.g. they spend time communicating and shedding light for stakeholders where darkness exists in their programmes
  3. They build in margins in their schedule to deal with problems e.g.  in the way they ‘triage’ issues and in holding back time to handle the unexpected.

They need to be a ‘self-starter’ who is also self-sufficient and able to recognise and work with the political or personal agendas that may be present within the organization.

– Richard

You can connect with Richard on LinkedIn and don’t forget you can win a free e-copy of Patrick’s Mayfield’s Book Practical People Engagement (PPE) worth £24.38 if your question is featured.

You can ask us your questions here  or go to our MSP® page for more information.

 

MSP® is a registered trade mark of AXELOS Limited
pearcemayfield are specialists in learning and development, helping leading organisations and individuals to become more effective in their programmes and projects and to achieve successful change.
Call us now to find out more about about how we can help you do your best work.