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Scheduling and Cost Control in a Complex Environment

The recent UK Government’s enquiry into the management of major projects was cut short by world events, but the interim report and oral evidence make for interesting reading.[1] Experts involved included respected consultants and also academics such as Professor Flyvbjerg, from the Major Programme Management Department at Saïd Business School, Oxford. In short, experienced, but above all evidence-based experts. Unsurprisingly the variables under discussion were cost, schedule and benefits. Professor ...

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Curiosity is the New Normal

More and more adults probably feel like children in a complex business world that doesn’t look like anything we’ve seen before. Like children, we try to make sense of the surrounding world and the best way to do this is with a sense of curiosity. This curiosity is what allows us to gather information, try new things, and adapt our execution based on the situation. Before looking at our new ...

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Seven Aspects of Project Risk in 2020

Ahead of its January meeting in Davos, the World Economic Forum published its Global Risks Report 2020, based on the input of 750 experts and outlining the biggest risks faced by economies over the next 10 years[1]. Infectious disease was ranked as 10th biggest risk in terms of impact, and didn’t figure at all in the top ten by likelihood. And if the WEF didn’t see a risk coming, then ...

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Top Skills Employers Are Looking For in 2020 and How to Get Them

As we move into 2020 and the start of a new decade, it is important to take the time to consider how your industry and workplace may have changed in recent years, and how they will continue to evolve in the future. Crucially, you also need to gain an understanding of what businesses actually need from their employees in this modern age. From participating in project manager training, through to ...

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How is Design Thinking Used to Get Project Results?

Design thinking is a non-linear process, which allows businesses and their project teams to embrace design concepts, in order to solve complex, ill-defined problems. It is especially useful for situations where project managers need to re-frame the way they view an issue, challenge internal assumptions, or truly innovate. While the concept of design thinking has grown in popularity, some remain unsure of precisely how it works and what the benefits ...

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The Commercial Project Manager

The client called the project manager to ask if the final performance test and approvals meeting could be moved to Friday, one day delay, ‘it would fit in really well because Sarah (Technical Manager) will be in the office’. No problem, agreed the Project Manager, looking forward to the final sign-off, invoice issue and associated $200,000 balance payment.[1] The PMBOK[2] contains the word ‘cash’ three times, only once referring to ...

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The Vision of Your Project

The ability to identify, articulate and share a clear vision for the project is one of the key ingredients to project success. When we run projects we must begin with the end in mind as Stephen Covey put it in his best-selling book; The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Beginning with the end in mind – in a project context – is about envisioning what we ultimately would like ...

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How to Carry Out a Schedule Risk Assessment

One of the key roles in any project core-team is an expert planner and scheduler. I was recently called upon to carry out an external review of a project schedule. This was a two year $20m project to deliver a turn-key manufacturing facility to a new customer. The project was two months in, and already two weeks late to schedule. Understandably management was becoming nervous about late delivery penalties. Although ...

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