Project Management News Round Up for April 2014

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Gamification cover WEBFree Gamification in Projects Guide launched

APM has launched a new 42-page report into gamification, the first of its Emerging Trends guides. This looks like it is going to be a really good series of ebooks, especially if they are all free. I don’t know what the next titles will be but I’m keeping an eye out for them.

Get the Introduction to Gamification here.

Kathleen Sebelius resigns from US Department of Health & Human Services

InformationWeek ran an article this month titled ‘Kathleen Sebelius: Failed IT Project Manager?’ It talks about her role on the HealthCare.gov project, a health insurance exchange website. Author David F. Carr writes:

“No, she didn’t write the code, but neither do most people with responsibility over an IT project. Even the most technical project manager is not a master of every discipline involved in the success of a complex project. Far from writing the code, he or she might not be able to read or understand it. The CIO doesn’t know everything the project manager knows, even though his neck is on the line if a major tech project fails. The CEO knows less than the CIO, even though a major enterprise project failure could send the company as a whole into a tailspin. At each level, managers depend on their subordinates to behave responsibly and report problems up the chain of command so they can be dealt with.”

It looks like this didn’t happen in this case, although it wouldn’t be the first time that management oversight failed to be effective and a project suffered as a result.

Report concludes BBC should review project management

Poor governance was also cited as part of the reasons why the BBC’s Digital Media Initiative went wrong. A new Public Accounts Committee’s report into the project was published this month concluding that the BBC should really overhaul its project management and that “governance and assurance arrangements match the scale, strategic importance and risk profile of its major programmes and projects.”

The Rt Hon Margaret Hodge MP, Chair of the Committee of Public Accounts, said, “No single individual had overall responsibility or accountability for delivering the DMI and achieving the benefits, or took ownership of problems when they arose. Lack of clearly defined responsibility and accountability meant the Corporation failed to respond to warning signals that the programme was in trouble.” She also reported that the DMI has only ever been used to make one TV show, Bang Goes The Theory, which I happen to like (as Maggie Philbin rocks) but I don’t think it is worth £98.4m.

New certification for Business Cases launches next month

APMG International are launching a new certification called ‘Better Business Cases’ next month. It’s a systematic and objective approach to developing business cases that fits with HM Treasury’s Green Book guidance. At the time of writing I don’t have any official information from them about what the training course or exam involves, but a sneaky look at the Pearcemayfield website (one of the accredited training organisations) says that it’s a 3.5 day course to take Foundation and Practitioner with the Foundation exam being a multiple choice paper.

The course is aimed at those who are developing and producing spending proposals as well as those who are approving them.

New PMI certification in Business Analysis

Talking of certification, PMI has launched yet another credential: the PMI Professional in Business Analysis (PMI-PBA)SM. The pilot starts in May and you can sign up to be part of it at the PMI website. PMI has plans to release a practice standard in Business Analysis and another one in Requirements Management, so there will eventually be a lot of literature around this area to complement the online Requirements Management Centre of Excellence that they set up earlier this year.

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