APM PMO SIG - project review simulation

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Slides from the session I ran for APM PMO SIG at MMU business school on 12 Dec. (Most of the session was taken up with the simulation, but these slides cover some of the lessons you might learn as a project reviewer.)

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  • Establishing context for regular reviews.  • Providing a pool of expertise  • Maintaining review checklists and guidelines  • Monitoring effectiveness  • Tracking project-level actions  • Supporting portfolio- and programme-level actions  • Embedding lessons learned into organisational standards  • Providing administrative suppor
  • APM PMO SIG - project review simulation

    1. 1. Project Reviews, Assurance and the PMOProject Reviews, Assurance, PMODec 2012 1
    2. 2. Project Reviews, Assurance, PMODec 2012 2
    3. 3. Agenda10 min -- Introductions60 min -- Project review simulation50 min -- Debrief (& models)Project Reviews, Assurance, PMODec 2012 3
    4. 4. Objectives Explore project review process & the pressures it creates Explore what support the PMO can give Share experience and expertiseProject Reviews, Assurance, PMODec 2012 4
    5. 5. Introductions Who are you? Why are you here?Project Reviews, Assurance, PMODec 2012 5
    6. 6. People lose touch with reality The single underlying cause for most project failures…Project Reviews, Assurance, PMODec 2012 8
    7. 7. Role of the reviewer… … is to help people keep in touch with reality PMI Research About 75% of the things that go wrong on projects, someone knew about the issue but didn’t know how to deal with / who to tell about it.Project Reviews, Assurance, PMODec 2012 9
    8. 8. Assessing project Airfix  24:1 scale model (1 hour = 3 working days)  6 teams  Conduct a health check of project AirfixProject Reviews, Assurance, PMODec 2012 10
    9. 9. Assessing project Airfix - Rules 1) You have  Project briefing  Team / resource list  Planning framework 2) Read briefing & identify who / what you want to see over the 3 days 3) I will give document outlines & interview notes in line with your plan 4) Analyse notes and present findings (2 mins) 5) Describe how you got these findingsProject Reviews, Assurance, PMODec 2012 11
    10. 10. Findings 2 minutes (= 45 mins in real time)1. Present your key findings2. Describe how you got to these findingsProject Reviews, Assurance, PMODec 2012 12
    11. 11. Debrief What was common to your findings? Different? Why? What was common to your plans? Different? Why? How did you feel during the exercise?  What was challenging?  What was confusing?  What was interesting? How was this like real life? How did it differ? How can the PMO help make reviews easier?Project Reviews, Assurance, PMODec 2012 13
    12. 12. Some possible learnings Planning  Analysis  Knowing who to talk to is tough  Knowing what to look for is tough  You can’t cover everyone in  You may need technical skills limited time  People will say conflicting stuff –  You will probably identify more you need to probe people, documents, etc  You can’t uncover every issue –  You need to time to analyse you have to focus and frame an actionable report  Balancing breadth versus depth  You have to pace yourself or is tough you’ll burn out  It’s easy to make inferences based on limited information, or to be overwhelmed with data (And you didn’t have to deal with all the negotiating and so on that happens when managing stakeholders) There is never enough time!Project Reviews, Assurance, PMODec 2012 14
    13. 13. Some possible learnings Data Gathering  Getting stakeholders together  You may need depth for results may mean they spark off each to be actionable – evidence other adds to credibility and specific details help action.  Two people may make slower progress together initially (e.g.  There’s always a risk that you’ll interview coverage), but they miss stuff. This damages the project and your credibility. may also fill gaps in each Don’t let this freeze you. Be other’s coverage organised and open minded to  There’s always noise that you’ll minimize the risk. need to untangle (if it was obvious, others would have covered it)  Organisations & teams have inconsistent terminologyProject Reviews, Assurance, PMODec 2012 15
    14. 14. Some thoughts Which sources will give you a quick overview?  Review & project sponsors, programme manager  Risk register  Business case  Plans  Are the documents still current? Are they well maintained? What does your experience tell you to look for?  Patterns in this company or industry?  Bad smells? How do you hit the ground running?  Define charter up front  Clear process for data gathering, recording and analysis  Checklists to help with planning (what to look for, what to ask)  Heuristics and models to help you plan will buy time for data collection and analysisProject Reviews, Assurance, PMODec 2012 16
    15. 15. Role of PMO Establish context for regular reviews Maintain review checklists and guidelines Monitoring effectiveness Tracking project-level actions Supporting programme- and portfolio-level actions Embedding lessons learned into organisational stds Providing administrative supportProject Reviews, Assurance, PMODec 2012 17
    16. 16. Thank Yougraham@grahamoakes.co.uk@GrahamDOakesProjects fail when...Dec 2012 18
    17. 17. Useful ModelsProject Reviews, Assurance, PMODec 2012 19
    18. 18. Types of Project Review Timing  Attributes  Event-based  Objectives  Periodic  Status  Ad hoc  Risk  Quality Degree of Independence  Process  Independent assurance  Compliance  Peer  Self-assessment  Summative vs Formative Degree of formality  SpectrumProject Reviews, Assurance, PMODec 2012 20
    19. 19. Gate or Regular Review? Gate Review Regular Review Depth • Tend to go deep into • Tend to be more project status and issues lightweight Trends • Infrequent • Regular reviews can track trends Reviewer • Takes time to get up to • Get to know the project Overhead speed Project • Can be disruptive • Small but frequent Overhead disruption Objectivity • Reviewers are well • Risk of going native separated Specialist • May be needed for deep • Can often spot trends skills review without themProject Reviews, Assurance, PMODec 2012 21
    20. 20. Peer review or independent assurance? Peer Review Independent Assurance Availability of • Must find time from own • Dedicated team Reviewers projects Skills of • Non-specialist • Rigorous approach. Develop Reviewers skills in gathering evidence, conducting interviews, etcUnderstanding • Reviewers are managing • Reviewers risk losing touch. of Projects similar projects themselves.Understanding • See many projects of IssuesRelationship to • Open, friendly relationship • Risk being adversarial Proj TeamOrganisational • Good way to share • Risk focusing on assessing Learning experiences projects Match to • Organisational learning • Executive info & assurance Overall Objectives • Formative reviews • Summative reviewsProject Reviews, Assurance, PMODec 2012 22
    21. 21. Independent Assurance or Peer Review? Peer review  Independent Assurance  Project team’s peers provide  Dedicated team focused on reviews outside perspective (people may rotate through it)  Probably take time off own projects  Work across multiple projects in a to do it (so it can be hard to get programme or portfolio (so need to time from reviewers) manage availability for each project)  Provide advice and reality check to  Probably focused on checking status project manager (& sponsor?) (but may provide advice), reporting to sponsor or external executives  Open and friendly, with emphasis  May become adversarial – “project on 2-way learning from their peers police” – and lose learning focus  Non-specialists may be  Can develop review skills and unstructured in approach, and methods, but need to overcome reluctant to challenge peers team resistance  Dependent on team goodwill  Have authority (if dangerous to use!) May mix roles, but helps to be clear which hat you wearProject Reviews, Assurance, PMODec 2012 23
    22. 22. Independent Assurance or Peer Review? Peer review  Independent Assurance  Project team’s peers provide  Dedicated team focused on reviews outside perspective (people may rotate through it)  Probably take time off own projects  Help across multiple projects in a Work executives manage Help the project team to do it (so it can be hard to get programme or activities need to manage the project external portfolio (so time from reviewers) manage availability for each project)  Provide advice and reality check to  Probably focused on checking status project manager (& sponsor?) (but may provide advice), reporting to sponsor or external executives  Open and friendly, with emphasis  May become adversarial – “project on 2-way learning from their peers police” – and lose learning focus  Non-specialists may be  Can develop review skills and Help sponsors manage interventions unstructured in approach, and methods, but need to overcome reluctant to challenge peers team resistance  Dependent on team goodwill  Have authority (if dangerous to use!) May mix roles, but helps to be clear which hat you wearProject Reviews, Assurance, PMODec 2012 24
    23. 23. Types of Project Review You can mix up the types  Formal, independent gateways at key points during initiation  Regular peer reviews during execution  Occasional health checks  Self-assessments for low-risk projects or high-capability teams  Shift from objectives, risk and process to quality and status How much to budget?  ½ to 2%?Project Reviews, Assurance, PMODec 2012 25
    24. 24. Review process (Chapters 3, 4, 5) Control parameters Criteria Baseline Reference Feedback Models to improve reference modelsInputs Review execution OutputsArtefacts & other Analysis Loopitems to review, plus Go / No -go Improvedsupporting details. decision. artefacts. Recommendations to improve review artefacts Project Reviews, Assurance, PMO Dec 2012 30
    25. 25. Analysis Loop (Chapter 6) Raw Data (e.g. Documents Structured Data & Interviews) (e.g. Issues Log) Analysis drives additional data gathering (e.g. to buy information on key risks) Analysis & Hypothesis GenerationProject Reviews, Assurance, PMODec 2012 37
    26. 26. Analysis Loop Raw Data (e.g. Documents & Interviews) Structured Data (e.g. Issues Log) Iterations may be based on Analysis drives additional data gathering (e.g. to buy information on key risks) Analysis  Breadth then depth & Hypothesis Generation  Risk  Dependencies  … Gather information into “issues log” for analysis and clustering Hence build models of potential problems, and of information we might gather to refine our understanding and confirm / disconfirm Build traceability from problem to issues cluster to detailed issues and their supporting notes You’ll often start with some sort of hypothesis: be aware of biasesProject Reviews, Assurance, PMODec 2012 38
    27. 27. Interviewing (Chapter 6)1) Planning2) Interview Preparation3) Pre-interview4) Opening5) Mid-Interview6) Closing7) Post-InterviewProject Reviews, Assurance, PMODec 2012 40
    28. 28. Interview Protocol Questions  Closed  Open  Clarifying  Metaquestions  Demonstrations Use a mix of question types! Directive or non-directive interviewing?Project Reviews, Assurance, PMODec 2012 43
    29. 29. Interviewing Don’t be afraid of pauses and silences LISTEN Use note-taking to create space Don’t let the protocol dominate (I throw it away) Have a plan, but follow the energy Check opinions, assumptions and assertions: “what leads you to believe that?”Project Reviews, Assurance, PMODec 2012 47
    30. 30. Observation The ability to gather data is essential to assessment. Data comes in a variety of forms other than documents & interviews:  Interaction  Body language  The environment “You can observe a lot just by watching” - Yogi BarraProject Reviews, Assurance, PMODec 2012 50
    31. 31. Checklists Guide your activities – help avoid gaps, prioritise Help capture learning Checklists on disk  Project review  Sponsor Interview  Business Case  Project Process / Policy  Boundary Definition  Plan Review  Project Manager  Diagnostics (These are starting points. They’re not complete – adapt for your context)Project Reviews, Assurance, PMODec 2012 53
    32. 32. Assurance as an information conduit Project teams often have problems communicating key messages:  Lack savvy  Lack credibility  Lack access Assurance teams can help them frame their messages and communicate them effectively Likewise, sponsors often have trouble picking the critical information from the mass of stuff that comes their way Assurance teams can help them recognise key information and frame appropriate interventionsProject Reviews, Assurance, PMODec 2012 67
    33. 33. Thank youProject Reviews, Assurance, PMODec 2012 69
    34. 34. Graham Oakes Ltd Making sense of technology…  Many organisations are caught up in the complexity of technology and systems.  This complexity may be inherent to the technology itself. It may be created by the pace of technology change. Or it may arise from the surrounding process, people and governance structures.  We help untangle this complexity and define business strategies that both can be implemented and will be adopted by people throughout the organisation and its partner network. We then help assure delivery of implementation projects. Clients…  Dover Harbour Board – Systems and architecture review  Council of Europe – Defined systems for monitoring compliance with international treaties  Sony Computer Entertainment – Defined common product approval process for global units  National Savings & Investments – Helped NS&I and BPO partner develop joint IS strategy  Amnesty International – Defined ECMS strategy for researchers, activists and campaigners  Cisco Worldwide Education – Researched competitive marketplace for e-learning assets  The Open University – Defined enterprise architecture, CRM and product development strategies  Oxfam – Helped defined strategy for content management, CRM, e-Commerce  MessageLabs – Implementation assurance for customer service portal  Sapient Ltd – Risk management strategy for customer billing solutionProject Reviews, Assurance, PMODec 2012 70 Some images & clipart in this presentation are © JupiterImages Corporation

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