Friday, July 31, 2009

A look at PMI

Project Shrink talks to Andrew Stitt about what PMI Educational Foundation is doing to make our world better.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

ProjectWorld & The World Congress for Business Analysts News

As we look forward to the PW&WCBA November event, we’d like for you to take a look at the companies speaking at our upcoming West Coast PW&WCBA Conference that have recently been featured on national media and industry press:

Mazda North American Operations helping Ford increase production efficiency in Thailand:
In these challenging times, the United States has seen a drastic decline in the American auto industry. Recently industry leaders from Ford, parent company to Mazda, have opted against government aid and decided to change the way they do business on their own. Mazda just announced a joint venture with Ford, opening a new production plant in Thailand. The goals of this new endeavor is to increasing efficiency and production levels, as well as focusing more on environmental impact. For more information, read the complete article here.

Boeing is overcoming project challenges to deliver their newest jet:
As a leader in the aerospace industry, Boeing is constantly working to innovate and effectively manage their projects to stay ahead of the competition. With the release of their newest jet, Boeing has hit several snags in their processes. While the project is currently 2 years behind schedule it seems like the challenges being faced are finally being overcome - testing of the plane should begin in the next couple of months. Interested in more? Read the complete article .here

What is Xerox doing to become more environmentally efficient?
Similar to many other organizations, Xerox is working to create a better, more eco-friendly process for their business. Their energy reduction program, "Energy Challenge 2012" was designed to reduce the greenhouse gases emitted from the company's operations, and so far it has been hugely successful. Having already met the goals set for 2012, Xerox is expanding their program with hopes to achieve long-term financial and environmental benefits. Interested in more about Xerox's green policy? Read the complete article here.

How Austin Energy earned their spot in the Top Green-IT Organizations:
Everyone is looking for sustainable power options that will help them conserve energy. Keeping this in mind, as well as their reputation as a green company, Austin Energy set out to be among the top in their industry to be energy efficient. Austin Energy starts their green process in their data centers. Their IT teams created a virtual server environment using a significantly less number of machines than they had in the past. But it doesn't end there - their hardware and software decisions were also made based on energy efficiency, and the centers are run on 100% green energy. To find our more information about how Austin Energy is staying green, read the complete article here.

Do you have a process for success you would like to share with your peers? Share your project management ideas, processes and thoughts on our blog and on Twitter!


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Friday, July 24, 2009

PW&WCBA Now on Twitter!

We invite you to follow us on our newly released Twitter account. Be sure to follow us @Project_World for the latest news, updates and information about upcoming PW&WCBA events and exclusive Twitter discounts.

We look forward to your follow!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Risk Management: The Pros And Cons Of Building Your Own System

Effective risk management requires that the firms establish culture, policies and procedures that are specific to their operating model. However, at its core risk management is a quantitative discipline that requires significant investment in data, systems and people. In an article written by Aleksey Matiychenko and Alexander Makeyenkov they discuss what it takes to develop internal risk management architecture.

In order to effectively develop a risk management structure, its important to have these four things ready:

1. Holding and trade level data
2. Historical pricing data for securities traded by the fund
3. Historical data for risk factors used in various analyses
4. Results of risk management analyses

To be truly reliable, the data used in risk management analysis should be housed in a relational database such as a MS SQL Server or Oracle.

For more information, please visit the original article.

Risk Management: The Pros And Cons Of Building Your Own System

Monday, July 13, 2009

Project World November Keynote: Vincent Cirel SVP / CIO Norwegian Cruise Line

Vincent Cirel
Norwegian Cruise Line

Vincent Cirel joined Norwegian Cruise Line in March 2008. As Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Cirel is responsible for all aspects of Business and Information Technology, including both tactical operations and strategic planning.

Before joining NCL, Cirel served as Vice President and Chief Information Officer for Regent Seven Seas Cruises. After joining Regent as its first Chief Information Officer, Cirel built a world-class IT organization facilitating the systems and process requirements to fuel the Regent brand expansion. Cirel also served as a key member of the executive team facilitating the Apollo acquisition of Regent. Prior to joining Regent, Cirel served as Vice President and Chief Information Officer for Grand Expeditions (GEI). As VP/CIO, he was a key contributor to the M&A activities of GEI as a roll-up of eight global luxury travel brands.

Biography courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Lines

Friday, July 10, 2009

PW&WCBA June Event Round-Up

We invite you to join our PW&WCBA LinkedIn group offering networking, news and information about the PW&WCBA Conference. Join today!

Below is our most recent group announcement:

Last month we had the pleasure of being in Baltimore for our June 2009 PW&WCBA Event - It was an exciting experience and the new executive program format was a big hit. The extended sessions and immersion labs allowed attendees to dive-in, collaborate and ask personal questions pertaining to their specific challenges. All of the attendees walked away re-charged and re-energized.

A special thank you to those who attended! If you weren't able to attend, we hope you consider attending for our
November event – the NEW brochure is ready for download .

For more information, please visit our website:

Here’s a brief executive summary brought to you by Lisa DiTullio, Principal, Lisa DiTullio & Associates & Chair of the PMO Forum.

Within minutes of launching the program, it was clear that size does not matter. Our group was small but mighty. Everyone in the room was eager to be there, excited to learn, and enthusiastic about the program. Everyone clearly came to learn more about how to introduce and manage a PMO model. Our small size allowed everyone to engage in interactive discussion with the panel experts throughout the entire day.

James Randell, Director, PMO Department of Human Services (OKDHS), State of Oklahoma, kicked us off with an energetic presentation about the importance of cooperation and communication. In no time at all, James had the group constructing spider-webs, helping us all understand how the lack of sound communication can quickly place a team in crisis. He reminded us to rely upon our social awareness skills; he strongly suggested the value of Myers Briggs or knowing our colors to help understand differences among team members. What color are you - Blue, Gold, Green or Orange? Not sure, take a sample quiz at .

Mary Ann Burns, Senior Project Director, The Travelers taught us that yes, you may have more than one PMO in your organization and thrive. Mary Ann chronicled her 1st year journey as she designs and launches a new PMO in the Business Insurance Systems Division. She emphasized the need to really know your corporate culture before designing your PMO, scale your PMO to your industry and size, and be sure to adapt your methodology to your business needs - do not take a one-size-fits-all approach. I can't wait to hear about her continued journey in year two.

Heidi Boehringer was responsible for establishing and developing a PMO at the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI). Today, NCCI has a mature project management culture and in fact has received many awards for their PMO accomplishments. Heidi provided terrific advice on how to mature your PMO through the application of lessons learned. She suggests you collect lessons learned at the end of each project phase rather than waiting until the completion of the project. She also advised that all project teams review previous lessons learned from the like - projects at project launch - a terrific way to gain insight as the project begins.

Jane Walton, an independent project management consultant, shared case studies from a variety of client engagements, showing best practices from PMO implementations. Jane reminded us that regardless of what type of PMO you need, you must always understand the impetus for launching a PMO model. The other two requirements necessary for a successful PMO launch is to focus on your constraints and objectives. Even if you have previous PMO launch experience, every PMO is different; remember, there are different solutions for different problems - be sure to correctly match the right solution to the right problem for guaranteed PMO success and longevity. The group left armed with actionable practices for immediate results. Just goes to show you - size doesn't matter.

PW&WCBA LinkedIn Group

November 2009 Event:

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

5 free project management applications you must try

DigitalArtsOnline writes that, "Putting together a project plan can sometimes seem more daunting than completing the project itself. When you need to track each step of a project, along with your costs, staff, and other factors, you probably need a project management application."

Five free alternatives to using Microsoft Office Project

Although is Web-based, it has no online collaboration features. Rather, is meant to be used like a standalone desktop application.


GanttProject is an open-source application written in Java. It runs on Windows, Mac OS X or Linux, as long as the Java Virtual Machine runtime is installed on your computer. It can be launched directly from the GanttProject site; or you can download the installation file for your specific operating system and install the Java code to run as a standalone desktop program.


JxProject is another Java application. According to its creator, Peter Hawkins, it was borne from his frustration with other software that he felt was difficult to use when dealing with resources that were part-time or located in different time zones.


Like GanttProject, OpenProj is an open-source project, and has the potential to be the most popular among the project management software on this list, mainly because of its compatibility with Microsoft Office Project files

Open Workbench

As its name implies, Open Workbench is yet another open-source project management program. It runs only on a Windows computer with the Java Virtual Machine Runtime installed.

Of course, for a detailed account of these free programs, be sure to check out the original post.

5 free project management applications you must try

Any others missing on the list?

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Future of Project Management - From IIR ProjectWorld Workshop

Dan Rasmus was at last week's ProjectWorld in Baltimore. He documented a session called "The Future of Project Management." This is co-posted from his blog.

I conducted a workshop on the future of project management at IIR's ProjectWorld conference in Baltimore last week. Here is the brainstorming based on Microsoft's future of information work scenarios:

Proud Tower

  • Project Management = science
  • Rigid processes, only need to know what you need to know
  • Single methodology
  • Strong government influence on practice, but company ultimately decides on competitive issues
  • Scope, cost, schedule (pick one)
  • Very reliant on internal resources and capabilities
  • Schedule is driven even if not realistic
  • Low level of forgiveness for failure
  • Control + Good Model = company existence
  • Low innovation and freedom of thought
  • Quality= Doing what the boss says

Continental Drift

  • Project Management = discipline
  • Reduced Innovation
  • Government dictated methodology
  • No outsourcing
  • Resources only extend to region
  • No worry about language (assumed)
  • Divergent standards around the world (practices by region)
  • Duplication of many companies doing the same thing
  • Reduced specialization at the individual level – more “Jacks of All Trades”
  • Projects are low risk
  • Highly secure environment
  • Less variation among projects
  • Many compliance projects
  • Virtualization of organization takes place within trusted core
  • Quality=do what is least risky

Frontier Friction

  • Project management=art
  • All about people, trust and relationships
  • Resources: use who and what is available
  • Need to learn to negotiate with power (when power isn’t constrained by common law)
  • Dependent on the luck of the skills that are in the pool
  • No certifications or standards
  • Skills taught by mentoring
  • Quality = do the right thing

Freelance Planet

  • Project Management = experiment (adventure)
  • Team recruitment=Ocean’s 11 model (people I know and trust)
  • Highly networked teams
  • Only as good as your last job
  • Strong peer pressure to succeed (last job reflects on team too)
  • Either very honest or very dishonest, no room for gray
  • Many projects, smaller in scope
  • Projects are interesting
  • No big firms (can’t gain critical mass among branded individuals)
  • Negotiating with teams for credit, pay, etc.
  • Methodology is determined by team, by project
  • Communities of practice
  • Less economies of scale
  • Prima Donnas
  • Meritocracy
  • Highly personal knowledge, shared only with trusted individuals (including very private Associations)
  • Learn by doing on teams (Take responsibility for your own learning)
  • Quality= do what offers the most learning within time and budget constraints that delivers what the customer says they want (so my contract will get renewed)