Month: June 2014

From Project Management to Project Leadership

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Strong project leadership can make the difference between success and failure but is surprisingly elusive to many businesses. When it comes to project management, we tend to talk about  assignments, tasks, approvals, and so on. But business is evolving, and many project teams are now being asked to lead change, instead of just timelines and milestones. This evolution is accelerating and is driven by fresh thinking and business necessity supported by advanced technologies that are highly accessible to a much broader range of contributors. Effectively managing work is no longer just the role of a few specialists.

In the attached file you can read a range of insightful answers by Project Managers that paint a picture of an industry in transition. Making the shift  from project management to project leadership isn’t easy, but the rewards can be significant.

Lessons from 40 Experts





The Pre-Mortem Technique

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An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

             Too often, we look back on projects gone horribly wrong and ask ourselves, “What happened?” So, we do a post-mortem and try to put together the broken pieces that will explain how we failed. But after your project has failed is the wrong time to discuss the big problems it faced! What you should’ve done, instead, is held a pre-mortem to look ahead at the challenges that could cause everything to fail, and created a plan to navigate around them.

Regardless of the project you’re working on, there are three steps you can take to complete your own pre-mortem and put an iron-clad fence around success for your project.

How to Perform a Pre-Mortem in Three Steps

This is a relatively simple process and powerful in its ability to prevent crisis when done correctly. It’s important, though, that you complete every step and that you do them in the right order, following the instructions carefully.

Before the process, though, a few rules:

  • Set aside at least two hours of uninterrupted time. If that seems like a lot, ask yourself how much time it will take to clean up the mess you make if disaster strikes while your pants are down.
  • All stakeholders should be present. Invite everyone with a significant role to the pre-mortem. If you don’t, you’ll face a number of blind spots that could still blow up in your face… and you won’t even know they’re there because the person who could have alerted to you to them wasn’t invited. Everyone is equally important at the pre-mortem.
  • The pre-mortem must be a face to face meeting. This process will not work via email. A live chat could work, but it will be cumbersome. Video chats would be the next best solution. But unless it is physically impossible, get everyone together in one room. This is critical.
  • One person should do nothing but take notes. Lots of important problems and solutions get tossed around during a pre-mortem. They’ll be useless to you if someone isn’t in charge of making sure they’re remembered.

Now, the process…

Step 1: Spend one hour listing every possible problem you can imagine.

Your one and only job during the first hour of your pre-mortem is to get down—on paper or a whiteboard—every single problem that has even a remote chance of occurring that would derail your project. Dream big! Dream small! At this stage, no problem is off-limits, and everyone at the meeting should feel completely uninhibited about tossing out things that sound ridiculous.

Think of this as a brainstorming session of doom. All ideas go, and you should encourage your team to explore different variations of the same problem…

  • What if a monster eats a team member?
  • What if an elephant eats our guest of honor?
  • What if a monster and an elephant get in a fight in our venue?

…as well as very different, unrelated problems:

  • What if no one shows up to our event?
  • What if our website goes down?
  • What if the most important person backs out on us?

The goal is to create a completely exhaustive list of things that could go wrong. Any route you take to get there is allowed. The only thing not allowed during this phase is proposed solutions. These are strictly forbidden because they draw the team away from getting every single problem out in the open. If you have a team of talented and solution oriented people, you’ll find this is harder to manage than you think.

Step 2: Pick the top 10 problems.

At this point, you have a massive list of problems staring you in the face, and you need a method to make some sense of the madness. Now is the time to pick the top 10 problems to focus on before moving into the next phase of the pre-mortem: finding solutions. Here are a few rules you’ll want to follow to make sure you pick the best ones:

  • Focus on show-stoppers. The problems you focus on solving should be critical to your project. In other words, if it occurs, will it severely impact the project? If the answer is no, cross it off; it doesn’t belong on your pre-mortem list. This rule will eliminate many of the minor issues that came up—and helped you find bigger problems—but aren’t really mission critical.
  • Pick problems likely to happen. Don’t waste time solving problems that aren’t likely to actually happen. Instead, try to home in on the “elephant in the room” problems that came up—the ones everyone was secretly worried about but never brought up until now.
  • Discard problems you have no control over. Every project will face some external risks that you simply can’t control. Toss those out now because there’s nothing you can do about them. This eliminates problems like “Tornado blows everyone to Canada.” From here on out, you’re focusing on problems you can actually fix.

Step 3: Spend one hour creating solutions.

Now is the time for your team to do what it does best: solve problems.

Believe it or not, this part is actually the easiest. Once the biggest problems are out in the open, their solutions become surprisingly simple. As Einstein used to say, “If I had only one hour to save the world, I would spend fifty-five minutes defining the problem, and only five minutes finding the solution.”

Go through each problem in your top ten list and either:

  1. Create a proactive solution for it (best for problems facing you now), or
  2. Define a backup plan (best for problems that could happen, but haven’t yet).

Most importantly, a solution is not complete until action items are created and assigned to team members to complete.

Never forget: this process is useless if you get all the way to creating a solution but don’t carry it out because no one knew they were in charge.

Have you used the Pre-Mortem Technique before? How did it work for you? If you haven’t, what are you going to use it for? Share your story in the comments.

Note: PMI, PMP, and PMBOK Guide are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc

Έναρξη 3ου PMI-RMP® Prep course στην Αθήνα – Ιουν 2014

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Η έναρξη του 3ου  PMI-RMP® – Risk Management Professional στην Αθήνα είναι πραγματικότητα!

Το πρόγραμμα της Human Asset ‘PMI-RMP® prep course’ δίνει όλα τα εφόδια που απαιτούνται για την επιτυχή συμμετοχή στελεχών στη εξέταση για την πιστοποίηση RMP® του Project Management Institute, (PMI)® (


Κατά το πρώτο 3ήμερο του σεμιναρίου έγινε λεπτομερής παρουσίαση των πρώτων 4 ενοτήτων του RskManagement συνδυαζόμενη με ένα σύνολο ασκήσεων και πραγματικών περιπτώσεων προς μελέτη (case studies) που συνέβαλαν στην απόκτηση ουσιαστικής γνώσης σύμφωνα με το πρότυπο PMI®.

Ο δρόμος της προετοιμασίας ωστόσο συνεχίζεται με κατεύθυνση από τον εισηγητή μέσω της πλατφόρμας ασύγχρονης τηλεκπαίδευσης αλλά και καθοδήγηση καθ’ όλη τη διάρκεια της μελέτης μέχρι την έναρξη του 2ου 2ημέρου στις 27  Ιουν. 14.  Στόχος μας η επιτυχία στις εξετάσεις αλλά και η απόκτηση ουσιαστικής γνώσης !


Τα επόμενα προγράμματα μας σε Αθήνα – Θεσσαλονίκη – Κύπρο για PMP, PMI-RMP και MSProject:

Οι θέσεις είναι περιορισμένες σε κάθε πρόγραμμα για λόγους ποιότητας και αποτελεσματικότητας.

Note: PMI, PMP, and PMBOK Guide are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc

Basic Tools for Quality

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Most of my students in Risk Management courses are expressing questions regarding the use of quality tools for various purposes related to assuring quality but also for Risk Management in a project.

Although there are a good number of quality tools specific to certain domains, fields and practices, some of the quality tools can be used across such domains. These quality tools are quite generic and can be applied to any condition.

There are seven basic quality tools used in organizations. These tools can provide much information about problems in the organization assisting to derive solutions for the same.

Let’s have a look at the seven basic quality tools in the attached document:


If you would like to learn more about Quality concerning the PMI-RMP® exam, please join prep courses (indoor or on-line) by visiting our following training pages:


We can run our Risk Management courses worldwide by making training more convenient for you. To get more details, please contact us directly.

Note: PMI, PMP, and PMBOK Guide are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc

Σεμινάριο Risk Management in Projects στην Αθήνα 13 Ιουνίου 2014

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Έπειτα από τα επιτυχημένα σεμινάρια μας στη Θεσσαλονίκη και τους πρώτους επιτυχόντες στις εξετάσεις πιστοποίησης, το νέο σεμινάριο Risk Management στις 13 Ιουνίου στη Αθήνα είναι γεγονός!

Περισσότερες πληροφορίες στο:

Η ομάδα ήδη έχει αρχίσει να συμπληρώνεται και οι θέσεις είναι περιορισμένες για καλύτερη απόδοση του προγράμματος.

Note: PMI, PMP, and PMBOK Guide are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc

Proactive Risk Management and Key Risk Indicators

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The real ‘best practice’ in Risk Management is to be PROACTIVE and a Risk Manager can accomplice that with the so called “Environmental Scanning”.  In this practice the Risk Manager and his team are continually monitoring Key Risk Indicators (KRI) attached to externally (and internally) facing influences and drivers that can affect the risks in the organisation and the project.

With current available technologies such as Big Data, Social Media, RSS (automatic subscription feeds), and predictive technologies, scanning what’s happening around you is not only possible but should be your first line of defence.  It not only introduces Proactive Risk Management but also introduces Opportunity Management with its ability to identify both positive as well as negative risk trends, and thereby raises Risk Management to another level by transforming it tο a Value-Adding business strategy.

Environmental Scanning is not a standalone answer to effective risk management, as the Risk Manager will need to change company’s current “siloed” risk profiles to integrated risk profiles, (like in the Fast Track Neural network) and step up from the 4×4 Risk Matrix to something like Bayesian mathematics to calculate risk.

If you are interested in reading more on the subject, Google: Environmental Scanning, KRI, Scenario Analysis, and Bayesian mathematics, or join our prep courses (indoor or on-line) by visiting our following training pages:

We can run our Risk Management courses worldwide by making training more convenient for you. To get more details, please contact us directly.

Note: PMI, PMP, and PMBOK Guide are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc