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Author Archives: Simon Harris

Simon Harris
Simon is a project management veteran with 30 plus years experience of projects gained mostly within large-scale blue-chip environments across finance and banking IT, defence engineering, oil & gas, government and not for profit. Simon has set-up and run PMO for several programmes and organisations.

Simon’s passion is to improve the state-of-the-art in organisation’s ability to cope with change. His thinking rests on the observation that organisations have to balance Run the Organisation with Change the Organisation. Project management is necessary but insufficient. Organisations need a broader and deeper response to change whether discretionary, gradual, irresistible or sudden. Simon welcomes Linkedin connections and you can find out more about Simon from his own website - Logical Model

The Basics of Programme Management

Programme management is the essential vehicle of organisation change and that is at least in part responsible for the awful confusion surrounding the word programme. Here are a few words to clarify before offering some essentials for ‘How To Manage A Programme’. First is it program or programme? Well in British English a program runs on a computer and people deliver a programme of change. In the rest of the ...

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A Beginners Guide to Scheduling and Cost Control in Projects

Project Managers the world over are tasked with delivering “to time, cost and scope”. The basic skills to achieve the relationship of the Golden (Iron or Triple Constraint) triangle are easy to grasp. There are two basic approaches. Either: fix the team and delivery date so making the scope variable. This is the agile approach. Or: fix the scope so making the resourcing and or schedule variable. This is the ...

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Making Sense of Portfolio Management

I spoke at the PMO Conference in London last week. Loads of fun. Like everyone else I listened to our opening Keynote speaker first, Mark Price Perry. He said, with great insight; “people get the Project Management Office’s purpose all wrong, they get the definition of projects wrong”. I agree with him, in theory. I’m going to extend that with “and they get Portfolios wrong too”. But we still have ...

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Lean Six Sigma and Projects

When faced with a nail a screwdriver is useless. When the job is to drive home the screw a hammer is a fast, if crude abuse of a tool whose solution shifts consequences into the future. The consequences won’t always matter. In Admonition of The Lean Band Wagon The history of project management methods and tools is one of gradual absorption of useful ideas from adjacent disciplines. Six Sigma process ...

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Rapid Assessment and Recovery of Troubled Projects

I recently had the pleasure of taking a small and senior group through the 2080 course Rapid Assessment and Recovery of Troubled Projects. We held a virtual class-room ‘Wash-Up’ session last week and I thought you’d get value from their reflections. The course was six sessions spread over three weeks conducted virtually. It includes: Structure and lead an effort to assess project problems rapidly Determine the root causes of identified ...

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Virtual Working – Procrastination and Distraction

Last month I attended my first Twitter chat #pmchat. It was frustrating. My wife, a 30,000-plus tweet veteran (@bakersbunny) tried to explain mid #pmchat what was going on. I’m going to throw out a small challenge. I bet the only reason that you’ll get to the end of this post is because I bet you won’t. I bet you’ll get distracted and wander off before the end. Probably the distraction ...

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Which Project Management Camp is Right? PRINCE2? Agile?

In the world of project management there are various labelled factions: the PMI crowd, the PRINCE2 crowd, the Agile crowd et.al. Well now there are the PRINCE2 Agile practitioners. Those people have a foot in both the “how to link projects to corporate approvals and direction” camp and the “how to run projects with technicians who use agile practices to create deliverables” camp. A Marriage Made in Heaven? Perhaps the ...

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Prepping for the PMI PMP

Last week I had the pleasure of a week in Stockholm and the challenge of shepherding a group through preparing for their PMI PMP® exam. So far I’ve had three emails: “Yipee I passed” and one, “I’m now booked for next Wednesday – wish me luck” with about 10 more to go. Some folk said “I’m thinking of booking next year”. My response was that might be making life hard ...

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