Quality comes from Professional Responsibility

Testing is a double edge sword. Testing is done for two reasons: to catch any unintended consequence of changes and (for risk management) giving a fresh view to find anything that would be a reputation issue if it reached a customer. However, because testing is done there may be a tendency for a “I’ve got a safety net” mentality that can allow corners to be cut and process precision to be lost. Read more of this post


Interim Programme or Project Managers

The questions I am asked most about what I do are not about project management but about being an interim manager:

  1. Why would an organisation bring in an interim manager to run their project or programme?
  2. What’s the difference between an interim and a contractor?
  3. What’s the difference between an interim and a consultant?
  4. Isn’t it cheaper to employ someone properly?

My short answers are: expertise, objectives over attendance, stewardship not advice, no!

I hope the rest of this explains the answers. 
Read more of this post

Does an interim have to be industry specialist?

Some HR managers and interim providers seem to be advising executives and directors on hiring interim managers who have specialist experience in their sector.

It has always been so for certain sectors and they have a point: understanding the language and “standard operations” of these sectors is a real benefit when you want an interim to start fast and make positive impact quickly.  Especially where the role is to be a heavy weight temporary role.

However, one way in which I have been able to help clients is by bringing insights from other sectors which gives them a way of looking at the problem with fresh eyes. Read more of this post

Interim Management is a business solution

Interim managers bring experience from multiple environments and sectors alongside their specialist expertise, ability to prioritize and deliver at pace.  The organisations that use them are not recruiting staff but the resources to move their business forward.  It’s not just me that says so:

“The attributes required involve a combination of experience, personality and an attitude to the job that demands flexibility, curiosity and a willingness to accept the uncertainty of a series of relatively short-term contracts and no guarantee of future work.”
Charles Batchelor FT.com Published: September 24 2010 11:25

Project Management Art or Skill?

I share an office with an artist. I’m told art is a skill.  Art is something that is developed through experience, dedication and practice: nearly anyone can draw but it takes effort to be an artist.

My first reaction is that project management is a skill but the best project managers make it look like art.  Read more of this post

Humbled by a Compliment

This isn’t a self-help channel, don’t switch off!  Skip to the fourth paragraph if you must.

Sometimes the most unexpected things happen to you and you revert to type: you become the person you are when you are not being the professional you.  At least that is true for most people: there are some wonderful expectations who “are all that they are” in or out of the office. They always seem to be so successful and over the last few years the business press has told readers to “become authentic”. Read more of this post

Who are masters of risk management?

At a recent meeting of managers from a number of sectors, there was a discussion about risk management and the professional bodies and qualifications.

The programme managers from the public sector were talking about OGC’s Management of Risk (M_o_R).

Educationalist spoke about the need for risk assessment in everything they do.

Engineers talked about the many options for structured identification of risks, including FMEA, ergonomics and process reviews.

There was a group of project managers debating the merits of RAMP, APM and PMI practice standards. Read more of this post

Getting the Communication Right

The British Commuter Society has changed considerably since I joined (more than 20 years ago) and so has the world.  In the last couple of years, it has recognised that the world was leaving it behind. I’m glad to say the sleeping giant shook itself and started to move. The United Kingdom’s IT profession and government started to realise it had an organisation that could unite the diversity in the IT profession and make a real difference: from professional computer games players/testers, to embedded systems engineers, to teachers and researchers, through to programme managers making strategic decisions about business systems.   Read more of this post

Interim Management

The Financial Times today have given a very balanced view of Interim Managers http://bit.ly/95GAMe   with comments from clients, the interim management providers (agencies that specialise in finding interim management talent) and some information about the Interim Management Association Institute. Read more of this post

Hiring for a project team

You are a project manager with a resource requirement. You have a job description to say what the job is. You have a person specification so you can assess the education, training, aptitudes and experience of the candidates. You have approval for the budget and the legal team have approved the draft contract.  The interview will be easy, yes?

No! Read more of this post