Sunday, December 27, 2015

Innovation in Project Management

Can we innovate in Project Management?


Innovation per Google:
noun: innovation
  1. the action or process of innovating.
    synonyms:change, alteration, revolution, upheaval, transformation, metamorphosis, breakthrough; More
    new measures, new methods, modernization, novelty, newness;
    informala shake up

    "no appliance manufacturer can survive without an ongoing commitment to innovation"
    • a new method, idea, product, etc.
      plural noun: innovations

      "technological innovations designed to save energy"
Although Project Management is a fairly mature discipline, it can be made better.  Case in point, in 2013, released the 5th edition of the PMBOK.

When I achieved my PMP in 2001, there were 9 knowledge areas.  Today a new knowledge area called, "Project Stakeholder Management" has been added.  Along with  a stakeholder analysis.  They have added how Projects fit in the overall corporate picture from vision through execution.

So, is there room for more innovation?  Not only because there have been 5 editions of the PMBOK, do we know there shall be more innovations.

A portion of of my PM methodology innovations come from following the Project Closure process.  While my projects are successful, I always find things that can be done better.  It is though this process, that I find new methods that are not covered in the PMBOK.

Come to think of it.  There are a number of practices, that the PMBOK does NOT tell you.   Thus the topic for my next blog  "What the PMBOK Doesn't Tell You"

What do you think?  What is missing from the PMBOK?  Please share your thoughts on this.
Armada Business Consulting, Inc.

Need help getting from strategy to execution?  I can help.  For more information contact Trish at

Friday, November 20, 2015

Connecting Strategy with Execution

I was recently asked:
"It's difficult to manage project portfolios and meet company objectives. How are you connecting strategy with execution?"
My answer is through the 3-Cs of Project Management. I find when I am put on a problem portfolio or program it is usually because communication failed somewhere to communicate the goals and objectives in one way or another.

Strategic Goals & Objectives

Strategic Goals & Objectives sit right in the middle between Mission & Vision and Execution. 
Strategy includes such things as specific goals and objectives with perhaps numbers and deadlines.  These strategic goals and objectives then feed the execution.

Portfolio Plans

Portfolio Plans then are the statements of specific actions or activities used to achieve an objective.  s
Programs and Portfolios are management constructs to better manage large numbers of projects or related projects and activities.  Remember projects produce deliverables, but the value is realized through programs.  

Program Management

Program management is not only for the planning performance against strategy but also are a management construct for managing the value of sub-programs, projects and operations.  It is the Program Manager's responsibility to align the program with the strategic goals and objectives to ensure appropriate use of the organizations resources and the initiative DOES PROVIDE BUSINESS VALUE!

The Program and Portfolio Manager have a duty to evaluate the strategy and the investment decision before defining the portfolio's strategy and accepting new programs and projects in the portfolio.

Communication Communication Communication

Remember the 3-Cs of project management?  Communication cannot be downward only!  Portfolio and Program Managers must report up to the stakeholders responsible for the strategy, not only the status & value of programs and projects undertaken to achieve the strategy, but also the feasibility of the selected strategy.  Many assumptions are often made when performing strategic planning.  It should not be a big surprise to anybody that reality of execution can change the strategic goals and objectives.   
So providing a feedback loop to the stakeholders of the strategic goals and objectives is required, allowing the stakeholders to correct the course if necessary.  It is through this communication loop that execution meets strategy.

What do you think?  Please share your thoughts on this.

Need help with strategy and execution?  I can help.  Contact me

Friday, October 30, 2015

Go GREEN (Part 1), Simple Things Michigan Companies Can Do to be More Green


Go green doesn't mean go Spartans, Michigan State University.  In this instance we are taking about our our Carbon Footprint. 
There are several options that Michigan companies can adopt to go GREEN and help to reduce our carbon footprint on the earth.  These include:

  • Go 100% Virtual Office Space for all Knowledge Workers
  • Require Knowledge Workers to Work From Home at Least 2 -3 Days a Week 
  • Go to a 4 X 10 Work Week (appropriate for factories)

If Michigan companies with knowledge workers, were to require those knowledge workers to work from home even 2 days per week, by using virtual meeting places and teleconferencing, it would have a major impact for the companies, the employees, the state and our carbon footprints.

Knowledge Worker:  Requires a computer and phone to do their jobs.

Consider the following facts:

Michigan Civilian labor force 2014:  4,729,900 (5)
Per U.S. Census Bureau, 2011 4.3% of the work force already does work from home.  (6)
Knowledge workers are generally considered to be 28% to 45% of the work force. (7)
45% - 4.3% = 40.7% and let us round it down to 40% for ease of numbers. 

That means there are 1,891,960 workers that are eligible to work from home at least 2 days a week. 

With an average commute time of 25.4 minutes (6) and 20 miles (9). 
Thus the average commute is 40 mile round trip.  (9)
This average daily commute burns 1.6 gals (10) (corporate fleets average 25/miles/gal)

And there are 255 working days in the year.  Less 2 weeks vacation each. That leaves 245 working days. 


At 2 days per week  296,659,328 gallons of gasoline that would be saved

Two days a week equals 98 days/year.
Thus, 98 days X 1.6 gals X 1,891,960 workers = 296,659,328 gallons of gasoline that would be saved.

That much less traffic would lower insurance rates!

At 2 days a week,  7,416,483,200 miles that would NOT be driven on our Michigan roads in a year.

The State of Michigan and counties would benefit long term for maintenance of the roads because
the above equates to 7,416,483,200 miles that would NOT be driven on our Michigan roads in a year,
That much less wear and tear on the roads that must be maintained through public funds.

Benefit to Employees and Companies

Since the actual cost for the daily commute is approx.. $20. (9)
Companies that employ the 100% virtual, will instantly give their knowledge workers the equivalent of  $4,900/year raise. 
Companies that employ the WFH 2 days a week, will instantly give their knowledge workers the equivalent of $1960/year raise.  
Companies that employ the 4X10 work week will instantly give their employees the equivalent of  $980/year raise.  

Plus you are giving your employee a better work/life balance.

Benefit to the Company

Companies that go 100% virtual, could do away with a lot of office space.  Commercial office space isn't cheap, but going 100% virtual, would considerable reduce the need for a lot of square footage.  If the company can go to a 4X10 work week, there are very large savings for electricity and heating costs.  There are more benefits than just these.   

Question of Federal and State Tax Breaks 

Global warming is fact.  We have to reduce our carbon footprint and this is a very simple way to start.  The facts stated here are just for the state of Michigan.  Imagine if we can get the entire nation on board?  If the Federal and State governments offer tax breaks, it would certainly encourage more.  

Managing a Virtual Work Force 

There are other benefits companies can realize with a virtual workforce.  But there is also an art to managing a virtual work force.  In my next blog I will discuss the art of managing a virtual work force. 

If you need assistance with setting policy and managing a virtual workforce, please feel free to contact me directly.  

What do you think?  Please share your thoughts on this. 


1 Partners Green:
2 Michigan Municipal League:
By:  JC Reindl

5 Michigan 1990 Labor Statistics:
6  Average Commute:  with Oakland County, MI having the most motorist driving alone 85.7% of
7  The knowledge (worker) economy, Oct 1, 2005, Hugh McKellar
8  Kinja “Compare your Commute time to the rest of America’s with this interactive map”, Robbie Gonzalez, 

9 Your commute is costing you more than you realize, By Chris Taylor, NEW YORK Tue May 27, 2014 12:17pm EDT,

10 Corporate Average Fuel Economy

Working With Millennials Can Give You Wrinkles You Didn't Know You Had

I had the opportunity to lead some millennials in a development project.  Per Wikipedia:
 Millennials (also known as the Millennial Generation or Generation Y) are the demographic cohort following Generation X. There are no precise dates when the generation starts and ends; most researchers and commentators use birth years ranging from the early 1980s to the early 2000s.

So,  this kid was a young hotshot (and I shall refer to them as "HotShot" for the remainder).  The project was a web-based development project.  In reviewing what had been completed, I noted that it was only tested on Microsoft Internet Explorer.   Doing my project management risk assessment, we know that any web development for the consumer requires testing on multiple browsers.

The bare minimum is Microsoft Internet Explorer, Opera, Firefox, Safari, Chrome for sites intended for desktops.  But the platform has expanded and mobile browsers are now part of that bare minimum.  So include Safari for Iphone, Android Browser and Chrome for Android and there are many more.

So I said to the HotShot.  "What about testing across other browsers?"
HotShot:  "I can't load all those browsers on my system."
Me:  "There are free online web browser testing solutions.  Do a search for them."

HotShot proceed to do the search and found a couple of free test sites and proceeded to test the application.  Exclaiming, "Oh wow, this is good."

Me:  "Will that work?"
HotShot: "Yes, thank you so much.  How did you know about this?"
Me:  "I have lots of experience.  I have been around.  I've done my share of web sites."  Pointing to my wrinkles at the same time. 

HotShot:  "You know they have procedures for that now."
Meaning my wrinkles.

Aghhhhhhh!!!!!!  You gotta love em.  HotShot was candid and trying to be helpful.  But beware, you may get the same when working with millennials. 

Other references:  Forbes:  What is a Millennial

What do you think?  Please share your thoughts on this.

Need help with millenials in your work force? Strategy and execution?  I can help.  Contact me

Sunday, October 25, 2015

How to Raise Your Power as a Leader

Do you want to be a powerful leader?  Then build great relationships.  Leadership is all about building great relationships. Those relationships include those who report to you.  

I used to frequently hear the saying, "there by the grace of God."  What is meant is that any one of us, could be in the "manager" position.  It also means leaders must be respectful to everybody, including their reports, because in the next job, that report could be the leader.  Leaders must be respectful to reports in front of others as well because if someone you want to hire is watching and sees a leader being negative or behaving poorly, they probably won't want to work for that leader and will recommend against others working for that leader.
"To lead people, walk beside them ... As for the best leaders, the people do not notice their existence. The next best, the people honor and praise. The next, the people fear; and the next, the people hate ... When the best leader's work is done the people say, 'We did it ourselves!'"
— Lao-tzu
I am surprised that in this day and age, in world class organizations, I have seen arrogant managers publicly treat their reports like children.   That manager is lowering his own prestige, by down talking his reports through his own arrogance.  Even if this is done in jest.  It makes the manager look insecure, un-approachable and thus lowers his credibility.

Best advice for leaders and everybody is to follow the golden rule.  The golden rule, although most widely known a Christian value, has long been a teaching of many religions and even atheists.  Jesus who was a Jew, states it as we know it today in Matthew 7:12. In Muslim religion:  
In fact the Quran goes beyond saying the Golden Rule by stating in more than four places that “Return evil with Kindness.” (13:22, 23:96, 41:34, 28:54, 42:40  --   
Remember we are all dependent upon each other in this world.  Either we prosper together or perish together. 

Leaders and "leaders to be" must treat your reports like you would want to be treated.  You have a responsibility to develop their careers as well.  Give your reports the support and opportunity to further grow themselves and their careers.   

Build great relationships and be a powerful leader!    

What do you think?  Please share your thoughts on this.

Need help building your teams leaders?  I can help.  Contact me

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Presentation Slides: What's the Big Deal with Projects, Programs and Portfolios

This presentation shows how projects make the corporate mission and vision a reality.  The live presentation includes, an exercise to give you the practice of discerning between Mission/Vision, Strategy, Portfolios, Programs and Projects.

Link to Trish Sutter PMP's presentation deck for "What's the Big Deal with Projects, Programs and Portfolios?"

If you are interested in a live presentation, please feel free to contact me.


Armada Business Consulting, Inc.

Need help getting from strategy to execution?  I can help.  For more information contact Trish at


Thursday, October 15, 2015

Announcements: Donna Iding's, The Program and Project Management Forum on Linkedin and Facebook.

Please check out Donna Iding's, The Program & Project Management Forum's Linkedin group at The Program and Project Management Forum on Linkedin and do join!  

Also find Donna Iding's, The Program & Project Management Forum on facebook at The Program & Project Management Forum on Facebook

The Program & Project Management Forum is a free group that meets once a month to promote networking, community, learning, share ideas and methodology.

Join us tonight Thursday, October 15 @ 6:00 networking, 6:30 1.5 PDU presentation

Speaker: Trish Sutter, PMP
Presentation Topic: "What's the big deal with Project, Program and Portfolio Management? ”

Quality Inn
2537 Rochester Court
Troy, MI, US, 48083

reply to: