Monday, 20 December 2010

Festive Greetings to All

Best Wishes for a very Happy Christmas.
May 2011 encourage everyone to Change Through Action.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Winner Announced - 2010 IPMA Young Project Manager Award

Congratulations to Shailesh Nepal who won the IPMA Young Project Manager Award for 2010.

Mr. Nepal was presented with the prestigious award at the IPMA Global Young Crew Workshop and Gala Dinner on October 30, 2010 in Istanbul, Turkey. He was honored for his contributions to the China Engineering Railway Corporation Project as the Deputy Contract Manager and Senior Construction Engineer.

“Shailesh Nepal embodies the traits of a dynamic emerging leader that is dedicated to advancing project management” says Jhaymee S. Wilson, IPMA Young Crew Board Member and coordinator for the 2010 award. “We are excited to honor Mr. Nepal and all of our finalists on their accomplishments in the field. Their dedication and impact to the project management profession proves that our finalists are leaders and influencers on a global scale.”

The 2011 IPMA Young Project Manager Award application will be available online in the Spring of 2011. The award will be presented at the 2011 IPMA Global Young Crew Workshop in Brisbane, Australia, 8-9 October 2011. For more information about this award and others sponsored by IPMA and the IPMA Young Crew, visit

"We were honoured to participate on the Jury Panel for the 2010 Award" said Deanne Earle, "and are very honoured to have been asked to participate again in 2011. The calibre of the finalists this year was outstanding setting an exceptionally high standard for those applying in 2011. Congratulations again to Shailesh and the other finalists." 

About IPMA Young Crew: IPMA Young Crew is a key component of IPMA’s growth and development of the leaders of tomorrow. It is an active network of young project management professionals and students aged 25 to 35 who believe in community and the building of a worldwide young professional project management family. More information about the 2010 Young Project Manager Award is available at

Monday, 29 November 2010

The Importance of R&R

A new project and what it could mean for an organisation is exciting. It’s very easy to get caught up in that excitement and forget that a project is the sum of many parts and people. Companies don’t operate as isolated instances so why would projects. Start introducing global programmes and company portfolios and the hierarchy necessary to manage that work effort for a joined-up solution increases exponentially.

Delivering successful projects relies on an approach that’s robust and mature enough to set clear terms of reference and give everyone the instruction, information and support they need in order to succeed.

How do you shape up?

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Age doesn't equal Maturity

Some things do improve as they age – fine wines or certain cheeses are prime examples. Unfortunately age is no guarantee that either will deliver excellent results to the consumer. The wine may be from a poor vintage or not be stored properly for good maturation, and the cheese well, the less said about rank cheese the better.

Organisations and how they deliver projects or services are a bit like good wine and cheese; successful quality outcomes depend on many inputs. In an organisations case those inputs can be identified as the maturity of people, process, technology and the organisation itself.

What is maturity if it’s not about age?

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Finalists Announced - 2010 IPMA Young Project Manager Award

IPMA Young Crew Announces Finalists for the 2010 Young Project Manager Award

On September 24th the finalists for the 2010 IPMA Young Project Manager Award were announced. The winner of the award will be announced at the 2010 IPMA Young Crew Workshop Gala Dinner being held at the Hilton Istanbul Hotel in Istanbul, Turkey as part of the IPMA World Congress from 1-3 November 2010.

Introduced in 2006 the IPMA Young Project Manager Award recognizes rising talent in the project and program management industries by honouring young project managers that have demonstrated invaluable impact to the profession and for the companies for whom they work, and are on the fast track to becoming project leaders and influencers on an international scale.

"We received the largest number of applications ever for this year’s award." says Jhaymee S. Wilson, IPMA Young Crew Management Board Member and Coordinator for the award. "We are inspired by the high caliber of our candidates, and we have no doubts that among these names are some of our next great leaders."

The finalists for the 2010 IPMA Young Project Manager Award are:

Anne Hoffman, Siemens Wind Power A/S
Saad Hegazy, United Expert
Shailesh Nepal, China Engineering Railway Corporation, China and Tundi Construction Pvt. Ltd. Nepal JV

Deanne Earle said "As one of 5 on the jury panel I found it both interesting and challenging to judge the short-listed applicants for this years Award. The standards were high and each persons contribution to their project was outstanding. I congratulate the 3 finalists and wish them every success for this Award and their future careers."

About IPMA Young Crew: IPMA Young Crew is a key component of IPMA’s growth and development of the leaders of tomorrow. It is an active network of young project management professionals and students aged 25 to 35 who believe in community and the building of a worldwide young professional project management family. More information about the 2010 Young Project Manager Award is available at

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Interview with Commsabilities

A couple of months ago I had the honour of being asked by Jo Ann Sweeney of Sweeney Communications Ltd to participate in an interview. She was interviewing a number of project management practitioners across the globe for a series of articles on communication skills. The group she chose to interview were all highly skilled individuals with many years of project experience in different parts of the globe and I was delighted to be included on her list. The result of her efforts is an excellent series of blog posts covering the top 5 communication skills for project managers - active listening, building relationships based on trust, setting clear priorities and enabling collaboration.

Not only was being interviewed by Jo Ann a great opportunity to share my thoughts and experiences in a different forum, it was also very interesting to read the finished articles and see just how similar the combined groups opinions, beliefs and ideas actually were. So while our project and organisational challenges may come in various shapes and sizes, underneath it all they're really not that different.

As well as her series of blog posts Jo Ann wrote a summary article called “5 Essential Rules for Project Leaders”, which was published on the PMI (Project Management Institute) website. To keep up with her latest publications subscribe to her RSS feed and if you're part of the Twitter world add her to your follow list. I have!

Thanks again Jo Ann.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Busting the Myth of 'It's different here'

Companies, Projects, are they really any different from one country to another? I say NO! and having recently returned from foreign shores I thought it might be time to bust the myth that exists with ‘but it’s different here’.

Let’s go on a small journey and take a look at you, the company.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

The Value of Values

Values, everyone has them whether they’re written down or not. Some are negative and some are positive. It’s belief in them that gives them credibility and establishes their value. Where a mission statement defines a company’s purpose, it is the values that help define the behaviours it wants exhibited in order to achieve the mission. Companies can spend ridiculously large sums of money defining, documenting and displaying their values. They’re often quick to capitalise both internally to staff and externally to their market, when they (usually senior management or executives) are displaying those carefully crafted values. Yet it’s interesting to observe how much faster they are to minimise, possibly even ignore, when they’re not. Dare I suggest these often very expensive values only have value when it suits?

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Podcast with Guerrilla Project Management

Earlier this year I was absolutely delighted to be interviewed by Samad Aidane for his Guerrilla Project Management podcast. Samad is not only a genuine and generous guy who I'm honoured to know, he's also a Certified Project Management Professional (PMP) with over 15 years of IT experience. His Guerrilla Project Management blog is the place for "conversations about the mindset that Project Managers must adopt to be able to effectively manage today’s complex projects".

An experienced and good PM is always prepared and Samad proved this 10 fold with his prep work. He didn't just flick a few questions through on an email, oh no; Samad had absolutely done his homework and identified exactly the pieces from my articles he thought would interest his audience. I'm just glad he forwarded them to me so I had sufficient time to get my responses into some semblance of order!

Figuring out our time zones was probably the most difficult part as Samad made our interview together feel like we were having a normal conversation. Go listen and while you're there subscribe to his RSS feed, listen to his other podcasts and read through his various blog posts. You won't regret it.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

International Young Project Manager Award 2010

Nominations are now open for the 2010 IPMA Young Project Manager Award. Introduced in 2006 at the IPMA Young Crew conference in Shanghai, China, the IPMA Young Project Manager Award recognizes rising talent in the project and program management industries by honoring young project managers for their accomplishments early in their careers. These honorees have demonstrated invaluable impact to both their profession and their companies, and are on the fast track to becoming influential project leaders on an international scale.

Unlike Before is thrilled to be a member of the esteemed award jury who will be assisting with selecting the finalists for this award. ”Being asked to participate in the selection process for the 2010 IPMA Young Project Manager Award is an enormous honour.” says Deanne Earle, Director of Unlike Before Ltd, ”It’s critically important to recognise talented project managers early in their careers as through their success we can sustain strong project leadership into the future.”

All prospective applicants should complete the online application. Initial applications will be accepted by the Award Committee until midnight, 30 June 2010 Eastern Standard Time (EST). Details about the application procedure, assessment criteria and award jury can be found on the IPMA website.

Read more or submit your application here.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

When Urgent isn't Urgent at all

In January I was chatting with someone I know who asked if I knew anyone who could ‘operationalise a project’. What he meant was that his company needs help with business readiness and handover of what has been a very long project. Of course I reminded him who he was talking to and started asking questions about what was needed and the timeframe. Our conversation concluded with a mutual understanding that the need was urgent.

Now urgent to me means that the situation is important enough to require immediate attention; straight-away, no mucking about, decision made, let’s get on with it. Even the online Compact Oxford English Dictionary defines the word as:

urgent    adjective   1) requiring immediate action or attention   2) earnest and insistent

Pretty clear really isn't it? Apparently not...

Friday, 5 February 2010

Mind the Gap – Where emotional intelligence rules

Anyone who’s been on London’s Underground will have heard the world famous warning for passengers. “Mind the Gap” was introduced in 1969 to warn passengers about the space between the train carriage and the platform. Just like passengers in a hurry or who think they know best run the risk of falling between the two, businesses need to maintain conscious awareness of the very real and tangible gap existing between their strategy and desire to achieve effective operational change.

Business Strategies are specific when it comes to the organisation's mission, vision and objectives; Direction is clear, ROI specified, and growth expectations and market share targets listed to support both. Now the challenge starts. This beautifully constructed well thought out strategy must be turned into operational reality and if the strategy is one that sees the business moving through previously uncharted waters, there will be the inevitable changes along the way to operational practises.

What's all this got to do with emotional intelligence?

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Close the Gap

Readers Survey - Results

There are very few instances in fact I struggle to think of even one example, where an IT-led project will not impact the organisation through some sort of structure, people or process change. Time and again I see a gap existing between the delivery of a project and the organisational change it inevitably creates. Often companies will engage expensive consultants to help with the organisations cultural and process changes; sometimes they do this at the same time as running an IT project, however even if the two are running in parallel they’re generally tracking along their own path and seldom if ever come together.

Because I specialise in this area I wanted to understand if the critical success factors and challenges this gap presents to a business have changed with the global economic climate. I was also interested in the actions or processes you are taking or putting in place to reduce this gap. Hence the December Survey - Organisational Change and IT-led Project Management Processes.

So what did the survey tell me? Well, some very interesting things actually but you'll have to read on to find out.