Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway this month for a copy of Healthcare Project Management.

Names went into the hat and the winner was… Pamela from Somerset in the UK. Congratulations! Pamela, your book is in the post so it should be with you shortly.

The giveaway in August will be for newsletter subscribers only, so to be in with a chance of winning sign up if you’re not already on the list.


What do you think? Leave a comment!

50 carnivals

Woo hoo! This is our 50th Blog Carnival. It’s the round up of recent, interesting articles from the project management web.

Margaret Meloni presents Who ARE these people? posted at A Path to Peace, saying, “A stakeholder is a person or organization who may be positively or negatively impacted by your project. That can be a large group of people. Think about it – when you are working on a large project or program just about everyone you pass in the hallway is a stakeholder. How are you supposed to manage all of these groups and interests?”

Richard Svahn presents PM job candidate trends posted on his blog, saying, “An analysis of 300 job listings reveals what employers are looking for in project managers. A recent PMI report estimated that 6.2 million new project management jobs will be created in the US from 2010 to 2020.” Plus it’s got Dilbert. Got to love articles with Dilbert.

Kirstin Miller presents What is project portfolio management (PPM)? posted at Work Zone, saying, “For CMOs, CIOs and other management personnel Project Portfolio Management (PPM) ceases to be a simple administrative term and becomes the task they grapple with across the expanse of their career. And why not!”

Rex has an article on information security breaches at the Focus on Training blog. He reports that the 2014 Information Security Breaches Survey indicates a small reduction in the total number of incidents – but a significant increase in their scale and impact. What risk does your project face?

George Ellis offers an article called Solve, don’t Blame on The PM Hut. “Blaming tries to solve a symptom and ignores root cause. We all know this thinking doesn’t work with technical issues— you can’t blame a snippet of software or piece of steel. But how do you apply the same thinking for issues related to people? Of course, you search for root cause,” he says.

Pawel Brodzinski, on his blog, which is one of the longest running project blogs (I think). His article is called Scaling Up Is Not the Only Option and he writes, “There is one thing that seems to be present in pretty much every company strategy these days. Given the opportunity, they want to grow.” But do you have to? Pawel presents some choices.

What do you think? Leave a comment!

This is going to be long, so here’s the summary:

  • APM is applying for a Royal Charter
  • PMI objected at the time
  • The Privy Council decided that they were going to recommend a Royal Charter for APM
  • PMI raised legal challenges
  • The High Court has conducted a judicial review into the objections
  • PMI’s objections have been dismissed.

Now, if you want the full story, read on.

How did we get here?

In 2007 APM announced its intention to achieve Chartered status for the project management profession. APM explains why as follows:

As a UK charity dedicated to acting for the public good, it is committed to gaining Chartered status on behalf of the project management profession in the UK.  That will secure recognition, status and enhanced standards for the profession at a time when the UK’s need for effective and efficient project sponsorship and delivery is greater than ever.

PMI made an application to object to APM receiving Chartered status and that kicked off a long process of judicial review, the results of which were announced on Thursday.

Why did PMI object?

I have searched all over for an explanation of why online, but I can only find the original email sent out to members by the PMI UK on 9 June 2012 which sets out these reasons:

  1. In order for APM to be granted Chartered status, it needs to have been judged by the Privy Council to represent most of the project management profession. APM’s acquisition of Chartered status would be an acceptance that it exclusively represents the vast majority of project managers in the UK. With over 6000 members and many more credential holders, PMI also represents a very substantial number of project managers in the UK. The Chapter’s management team expressed concern that the Privy Council has not taken into account that due to PMI’s large UK membership, APM cannot claim to represent most of the profession.
  2. It is in the public interest and the interests of the profession that there is diversity in the marketplace for project management qualifications and tools.
  3. The project management profession in the UK benefits from the plurality of approaches on offer. With a million members in 185 countries, PMI brings a unique global perspective to project management to its UK members, something that APM, as a UK-only organisation, cannot replicate.
  4. The Charter application process has not taken into account the views of all project managers, particularly those that utilise the global approach championed by PMI.

The first point on the list is particularly important. In 2009 the Minister of State at the Department for Business Innovation and Skills notified the Privy Council Office that his department did not recommend granting Chartered status to APM because of this reason – APM should have as members most of the eligible field for membership and he didn’t feel this criteria was met.

You need a unanimous decision in order for a Charter to be granted. Without the support of the Department of Business Innovation and Skills there was not going to be a unanimous decision and APM put its application on hold.

So what happened?

Well, APM did some lobbying. The government changed, new people got put in charge, the departments involved were reorganised and someone new looked at the evidence again. In 2011 the Department for Business Innovation and Skills withdrew its objection.

PMI’s concern that the Royal Charter will result in an anti-competitive advantage for APM’s members was rejected. While PMI and APM compete for membership and membership fees, the representative from the Office of Government Commerce said that it would be in the public interest for the APM to be granted Chartered status because:

  • It is possible to belong to both organisations
  • APM is by a considerable margin the largest project management professional body in the UK
  • The title of Chartered Project Professional would not be limited to members of APM.

With a unanimous approval now on the cards, APM asked for its application to be taken off hold and to be considered by the Privy Council.

What did the Privy Council decide?

The Privy Council considered the application and the objections and came to a decision. On 4 July last year the Treasury Solicitor (who works on behalf of the Privy Council and the Cabinet Office) notified PMI that they would be recommending to the Queen that APM are granted a Royal Charter. This recommendation was due to go on the agenda for a meeting in October 2013.

PMI challenged that decision – three of their challenges were rejected out of hand and two were maintained. This meant that those two claims had to be fully assessed, so the Chartered status application went before a judicial review earlier this month.

So PMI challenged again? What did the judge decide?

Mr Justice Mitting said that he believed this was the first time that the grant or refusal of a Royal Charter has been the subject of litigation, which makes this case pretty ground-breaking!

PMI challenged on two grounds.

The first challenge: decision was biased and pre-determined

First, they alleged apparent bias (because the government might make more money from their PRINCE2 qualification as this can count towards APMP) and actual pre-determination (because there is a long history of government interactions with APM).

The judgement concluded:

No reasonable person could reasonably believe that Government support for the grant of a Royal Charter to APM could possibly be motivated by the desire to profit financially from the promotion of its own PRINCE 2 qualification. Further, even if such a motive could be inferred, it would not vitiate the decision.

I had to look up ‘vitiate’. If it’s new to you too, it means ‘weaken the effectiveness of’. So basically the government has the right to make decisions in its financial interest if it wants.

“Executive decision-making does not normally start with a blank sheet of paper.” Mr Justice Mitting

The objection that as APM and the government have worked closely together the decision was practically a given was also rejected. Mr Justice Mitting said that decisions are not made in a vacuum and that prior involvement with the APM would have influenced the decision, but that the review process conducted by government officials was robust.

The second challenge: decision was contrary to policy

The basis for PMI’s second challenge was that the recommendation to grant a Royal Charter was contrary to the Privy Council’s published policy.

Mr Justice Mitting explained a bit about the history of judicial reviews and concluded: “I cannot see how PMI’s challenge can be brought within the established framework of judicial review and I would be prepared to dismiss its claim on that ground alone.”

But he went ahead and reviewed the challenge anyway.

There are five points in the policy for bodies who are applying for Chartered status, and PMI claimed that APM failed to meet three of them. However, Mr Justice Mitting said that the policy makes it clear that these are guidelines and that each case will be decided on merit. Therefore an application that looks like it doesn’t meet the published policy won’t automatically fail.

Mr Justice Mitting dismissed the claims.

What happens now?

And what does that mean? The recommendation that APM is granted Chartered status can go before the Queen’s representatives. While there might be some other steps in the application process, I think it will be ratified which means Chartered status is go.

I haven’t seen a public announcement yet from APM about the next steps for them but we await that announcement with bated breath. Watch this space…!

You can read APM’s statement online and read the whole judgement on the BAILII website.

7 brilliant comments, add yours

Photo of Gerald

A pretty bad photo of Gerald Morin from UPEC presenting at the Gartner Summit, June 2014

What do you do if you need staff, students and the global research community to all have access to collaborate on projects, but without making everything complicated or publicly available? If you are Gérald Morin, you implement a suite of Microsoft solutions.

Gérald, Quality and Methods Manager at the Université Paris-Est Créteil (UPEC), delivered a case study at the Gartner PPM & IT Governance Summit last month. He explained that UPEC is the largest multi-disciplinary university in Paris with 30k students, 1600 professors, 13 schools and 31 research centres. Situated 20 minutes from the city centre, it runs international programmes and Masters courses taught in English as well.

Once they recognised that they needed a professional suite of tools to make university-wide (and global) projects work effectively, they defined their requirements. Gérald said these were:

  • It must be simple
  • It must be based on Office 365
  • It must offer transparency
  • It must manage user access, including for teams and individuals outside the university due to international research projects
  • It must be quick to implement
  • It must foster cross-team collaboration
  • It must offer portfolio management
  • It must contribute to the initiative to professionalise the way projects are managed at the university.

Addressing the challenges

Prior to embarking on this tool selection exercise, the university had no project management tools in place at all. They wanted to improve processes, tools, methods, training and reporting as well as introducing portfolio management. They might have had very little in place along these lines but Gérald said that there was already a clear governance model. “For UPEC governance is defined by the strategic documentation,” he explained. They needed to align their PPM solution with the university’s 5 year strategic plan and this formed the basis for how they set rules for managing projects.

Getting the basics right

The project team implemented several solutions to form the basis of their professional PPM suite:

  • Microsoft Project Online
  • Microsoft Project Professional
  • Microsoft Project Web App
  • Microsoft SharePoint Online
  • Microsoft Lync
  • CS Task Board App
  • CS Milestone Trend Analysis App

That sounds a lot, but the aim was to start with a small amount of functionality and then add more. Document management, dashboards, access to reference materials and scheduling functionality was on the cards.

Between May and September 2013 the team introduced all this including setting up the guiding principles, methods and document repository. However, they knew that getting people to manage projects in the new way wouldn’t happen without some organisational change management as well.

They introduced training about the culture of project management and then offered tool-specific training too.

Photo of bag

My bag of goodies from the Gartner summit

Managing the portfolio

One of the biggest benefits, from what Gérald said, was that now the complete portfolio can be viewed on a single screen. The resources breakdown structure shows the hierarchy of UPEC. The President and Directors can see all projects, Directors of departments can see just their teams’ projects and so on.

New project opportunities are given a score which assists with prioritisation. This means that the staff and board can decide which projects they want to move ahead with – a degree of transparency the university didn’t have before.

What’s next?

So far the university has seen an increase in productivity, improved communications and time savings. They’ve added in scheduling tools now. The plan Gérald shared at the Summit said that they were going to carry out an audit of what had been achieved in June and would then add generic resource management assuming all was well. Then there are plans to check progress again in a formal way before adding in cost management as Phase 3.

“Sharing documents is very important,” he concluded. “The transparent project status lets you ask teams how they are managing their projects and to help them. You can be much closer to your teams.”

I attended the Summit as a guest of Genius Project.

1 brilliant comment, add yours

PPM Practices: A panel discussion on now and the future

July 14, 2014

At the Gartner PPM & IT Governance Summit last month I sat in on a panel discussion between Sajan Parihar who leads the project and portfolio business at Microsoft and Patrick Tickle, EVP of Products at Planview. The moderator put a question up on a slide and Sajan and Patrick had a few seconds to […]

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Giveaway: Healthcare Project Management

July 9, 2014

I have a great giveaway for you this month: a copy of Kathy Schwalbe and Dan Furlong’s book, Healthcare Project Management. At over 500 pages it’s a comprehensive guide to working in the healthcare sector, plus it includes a guide to Microsoft Project. It’s compatible with the PMBOK® Guide, Fifth Edition and it’s full of […]

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6 Reasons why networking is important

July 7, 2014

Ever wondered why you should be going to that seminar on risk management or that evening social event with a guest speaker? It’s because networking is an essential part of your job, whether you know it or not. Will Kintish expands on this in his book Business Networking: The Survival Guide. He explains the 6 […]

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Book Review: The Presentation Book

July 2, 2014

“A great presentation,” Emma Ledden writes in The Presentation Book, “ is about figuring out what questions your audience need an answer to.” In other words, it’s not about what you want to say, it’s about what they want to hear. I read this book before doing a talk to the PMI Southern Ontario (Canada) […]

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Hydra: A new way of managing resources

June 28, 2014

I met Manfredi Bargioni, Vice President Marketing at Hydra, at the Gartner PPM and IT Governance Summit in London earlier this month. He and his colleague James gave me an overview of their project management tool which I found very interesting as it takes a different approach to project scheduling. Project management tools are traditionally […]

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Project Management News Round Up for June 2014

June 25, 2014

UK IT industry awards open for nominations Think your team has what it takes to be named IT Project Team of the Year? Then why not enter the UK IT Industry Awards? There is also a category called ‘Project Excellence Awards’ so if you’ve worked on a successful project you could put yourself forward for […]

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