Home / Author Archives: Susanne Madsen

Author Archives: Susanne Madsen

Susanne Madsen
Susanne Madsen is an internationally recognised project leadership coach, trainer and consultant. She is the author of The Project Management Coaching Workbook and The Power of Project Leadership (Jan 2015).

Prior to setting up her own business, she worked for 17 years in the corporate sector leading large change programmes of up to $30 million for organisations such as Standard Bank, Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase. She is a fully qualified Corporate and Executive coach and a member of the Association for Project Management (APM).

Susanne specialises in helping managers improve their leadership skills so that they can gain control of their projects and fast-track their career. She does this through a combination of training, coaching, mentoring and consulting.

Project Governance: Establishing an Effective Steering Committee

Within the project management community, the concept of governance is seen as a fundamental project control, which is easy to grasp in principle. But in reality, it’s a different matter. Getting the governance piece right requires insight and at times a few honest conversations about roles and responsibilities. If those conversations aren’t happening, the project may end up with an ineffective escalation and decision-making process. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon that ...

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Top Tips for Realistic Project Estimations

Poor estimation is a major cause of project failure. According to the PMI, inaccurate cost estimates is a contributing factor in 28% of projects that fail. Many project professionals have first-hand experience in how devastating it can be to underestimate a project. Perhaps you have too. When an estimate has been delivered, clients and executives will often see it as binding and will expect the project to track to it. ...

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Is Your Strategic Project at Risk Due to Poor Implementation of Proven Project Management Practices?

According to the PMI’s Pulse of the Profession, 52% of projects completed in the last 12 months experienced scope creep. This is a significant increase from 43% reported five years ago. The Project Management Institute also reports that in the projects that were deemed failures, the following causes were contributing factors: change in project objectives (37%), inaccurate requirements gathering (35%), inadequate vision or goal for project (29%), failure to identify ...

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How to Continuously Review Your Strategic Project

Regular retrospectives are a popular part of Agile development methodologies. In contrast, large strategic projects, that don’t use Agile, tend to only be reviewed during the closure phase, when it’s too late to course correct and feed the lessons back into the project. There are many advantages of reviewing a project regularly, throughout its lifecycle. You get a chance to make adjustments to suboptimal processes whilst the project is still ...

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Project Leadership – The Art of Stepping Away From the Detail

On small, tactical projects it’s not unusual for the project manager to double up and also be a team member who completes some of the team’s work and who makes detailed decisions. It can be a great way to utilize people’s skills, especially if the project doesn’t need a full-time project manager. On large strategic projects, however, it’s a different story. Large projects require a project manager who is dedicated ...

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Stress on Strategic Projects and How to Deal With It

On strategic projects, stress is often a topic that looms just below the surface. On one of the leadership programmes we’re running it has really come to the fore. The participants are leaders of large strategic construction projects with a complex stakeholder set-up, tough clients, tight budgets and deadlines linked to stringent contracts. In addition, the health and safety concerns associated with the industry add further pressure to those who ...

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Leading Strategic Projects From the Front and From Behind

What’s the difference between management and leadership? Leadership is a broad topic and it won’t come as a surprise that there are many different ways of leading a team.  In my work I often distinguish between management and leadership as a way to highlight that leadership is concerned with people as opposed to planning and tracking tasks. As a project manager it’s tempting to be overly focused on tasks, deliverables, ...

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How to Measure Success of Strategic Projects

In project management circles there is often disagreement about how to measure success of projects. Traditionally a project’s value is measured according to the triple constraints of time, cost and quality, also referred to as the Iron Triangle. These three dimensions form the cornerstone of most projects. Not only do we need to understand the trade-off between time, cost and quality when we plan the project, it’s also hard to ...

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