May 23, 2017

Subscribe:  

Project management advice, tips, tools and recommended resources for existing and aspiring project managers.

Project Management: How to foster creativity in your team

By Linky van der Merwe

Advances in technologyWhen we look at the new all electric cars that are storming the market today, we see amazing speed (0-100km in 3 seconds), top speed of 250km per hour and a range of 250km – 295km. Clearly innovation is evolutionary, brought about by many incremental advances in technology and revolutionary because it’s often disruptive and new, like the electric cars.

This is according to James Hebbard, a Snaptech Trainer and consultant who presented at the Project Management South Africa Conference in November 2016. He said the death of innovation is BFH, an abbreviation for Big, Fat and Happy! Below are his recommendations to foster innovation think.

6 ways to foster creativity

#1 Inside Game

Although ideas, inspiration and innovation seem to come from outside you, they don’t – it always comes from inside, sometimes within small intimate teams.

#2 Obsession and Focus

Innovative thinkers were all obsessed and extremely focused.  Albert Einstein was obsessed with light, Steve Jobs was obsessed with design and product perfection and Elon Musk is obsessed with space flight and electric cars.

#3 Perseverence and Patience

Keep yourself in your chair and the break-through will come as this picture illustrates.

perseverence

#4 Creating a culture of innovation

Culture is a mindset that is shared by a team. There are ways to create such a culture. People are afraid to make mistakes so you can start by creating an environment where it’s safe to fail. Create learning experiences, do brainstorming and problem solving facilitation, root cause analysis. Create space like 15% paid time to work on own creative projects. Look at the work environment.

#5 High performing teams

Know the strengths of team members, the level of the team maturity and their personalities as explained below.

  • Thinking styles: Ideation, Strategic, Learner, Input, Intellection, Analytical
  • Executing styles: Achiever, Arranger, Focus, Restorative, Responsibility
  • Relational styles: Achiever, Arranger, Focus, Restorative, Responsibility
  • Influencing styles: Activator, Communication, Maximizer, Significance, Self Assurance

This is what you need to know how to get the best out of your team.

#6 Identifying problems

Innovation is born from necessity. Without a pressing problem there is no need for a solution. Identify the problems around you because finding problems will help you solve them. How do you as a team identify problems?

Conclusion

innovation1 A few points to remember.

  • Innovation is often born out of necessity (AKA Problems).  Get to the root cause and see innovative ideas being born.
  • Humans are a product of their environment.
  • Teams are made of Individuals.

As a project manager, you need to know what their strengths are in order to get the best out of your team.

Here is an interesting article about virtual team management by Rob Rawson, co-founder and CEO of Time Doctor.

 

Virtual Project ConsultingPlease subscribe to Virtual Project Consulting not to miss future articles, tips and success stories!

Innovation in Project Management

By Linky van der Merwe

Innovation in project managementAccording to Forbes.com innovation needs to be seen as a discipline of learning to use the right methods, tools and approaches at the right times, in other words: “learning to harness innovation”.

Harnessing the Power of Innovation was the theme of the latest Project Management South Africa (PMSA) National Conference that was held from 9-11 November in Johannesburg. The call is often for creativity and a shift in culture which will enable leaders and employees to optimize change. The question on how to achieve this was answered by a number of excellent speakers on the topic of Innovation!

PMSA Conference Nov 2016Project management often provides the ideal environment in which to harness innovation. It requires project managers’ skills sets to include the ability to encourage and develop creative thinking to achieve results.

The keynote speaker, Vasitha Pather, set out to demystify innovation by presenting a view of the bigger picture thinking required to integrate innovation into our projects. She helped project managers to think how we create an environment for innovation to take root and flourish.

Listening

According to Vasitha listening creates a safe space and increases trust. In the context of listening we enter in a psychological state where we are more receptive to be creative. A key ingredient of innovation is to slow down in order to move fast.

Find your flow

In sport they talk about getting into the zone, where they describe an altered state of consciousness, an increased mental state and even a heightened state of enjoyment.

We need to be in environments that are fun and innovative. As project managers and change managers we need to enable that through conversation, having fun and giving meaning to work. Let people engage all their senses, because we think with our whole body.  We’ll immerse ourselves in a state of productivity that can increase our productivity by up to 60%.

Social sensitivity

Diversity is a core aspect of innovation. It helps to have different perspectives, to care about each other and to have authentic leaders.

Vasitha also referred to the work of Peter Block, called Social Fabric which is centered around the need to belong. He believes in building a community that gives a sense of connectedness, where collaboration is a choice and people realise that they can create more together than on their own.

For project managers who value high-performing teams it’s good to encourage a culture of appreciation. Reward and acknowledge people by their name, give empathy that will increase the feeling of connectedness and will contribute to people feeling safe and connected.

Where projects often consist of self-organising teams, project managers need to build resilience in the system to handle the uncertainty. It’s important to remember that you cannot innovate without disruption. Where people play, insights and knowledge come out, because you give people a higher experience, while staying productive.
Virtual Project Consulting Please subscribe to Virtual Project Consulting not to miss future articles, tips and success stories!

 

Project Management: Harnessing the Power of Innovation

The speed of change is increasing exponentially. Organisations struggle to determine which change is applicable and how to manage it to their benefit.  There’s a call for creativity and a shift in culture which will enable leaders and employees to optimise change.  Many see “innovation” as the solution.

INNOVATION is a Discipline

According to forbes.com, innovation needs to be seen as a discipline – learning to use the right methods, tools and approaches at the right times. In other words: learning to harness innovation.

Creativity is about individuals coming up with ideas. Innovation is about “bringing ideas to life.” For example, we use creativity in our project teams to come up with the ideas. Then we use innovation to move these ideas from vision to reality.

Enabling Creative Thinking

Project management often provides the ideal environment in which to harness innovation. It requires project managers’ skills sets to include the ability and know-how to encourage and develop creative thinking to achieve results within the parameters set by the project. It’s about developing the ability to marry the traditionally structured, output-driven project management approach with “out-of-the-box thinking.

Innovation is a collaborative process; where people in many fields contribute to the implementation of new ideas. This occurs throughout the execution of a project.

Method and Practice

This means learning, practising and honing innovation skills including what the various methods are and how they are applied in different contexts, as well as measuring the methods and their results, determining what works and what doesn’t.

Creative Project Management

According to Business Improvement Architects (bia.ca) creative Project Management requires that the Project Manager will create a project team. This will begin the process of engagement and commitment. The team will collectively develop their team’s roles and responsibilities – so that everyone knows who’s involved in project success and what skills, knowledge and experience each of them adds to the overall team.

The project team will scope out the project to ensure there is a common understanding and agreement of scope. By engaging the entire team in the process it will be done faster, with more comprehension and complete team buy-in. The project team will then develop a detailed project plan. Research has shown that by creating the entire plan with the full team, teams will get a plan that has four (4) times the detail. And they will accomplish this in about one-quarter of the amount of time it takes compared to the project manager creating the plan on their own.

PMSA Conference 2016

Project Management South Africa National Conference

In South Africa, the PMSA is hosting the National 2016 Conference with the Theme: “Harnessing the Power of Innovation”.  The aim is to aid project managers in developing their own innovative skills which they can apply to their teams, as well as to intrinsically innovative projects that they have to manage.

The 2016 Conference Programme consist of keynote sessions, plenary sessions presented by experts and thought leaders, case studies, academic research presentations, master classes, an expo with interactive exhibits as well as plenty of networking opportunities.

For more information or to Register, visit project management.org.za

Please subscribe to Virtual Project Consulting not to miss future articles!

Virtual Project Consulting

The Professional Project Manager

Project Manager (PM Level 1)

As a follow up from the previous article about project management as a profession, this article will discuss the levels of project managers in more detail.

Project Management South Africa (PMSA) have registered three designations for project managers.

A project manager has earned this designation when fulfilling the full spectrum of responsibilities associated with project management being the core focus in their working environment. A PM will have obtained an appropriate first degree / qualification or accreditation and built up the required years of experience performing the role of project managers taking multiple projects through the life-cycle over the required period of time. Project managers maintain a high ethical standard and a minimum endeavour to comply with the principles of the Code of Conduct.

Awarding Criteria

Knowledge: An industry relevant tertiary qualification or a certification/accreditation plus five years of relevant experience. Practical experience should show skills, experience and commitment. Three years of managing projects of low complexity through full life-cycle. Signs and adheres to the prevailing PMSA Code of Conduct Competence: In the process of developing ability in each competency area.
Commitment Member of a professional body for a minimum period of one year.Engage in activities required to maintain registration and further their professional development and current knowledge

 

Senior Project Manager (PM Level 2)

A senior project manager earns this designation when they have actively chosen to pursue a career in project management within the field they originally qualified. They will have the technical knowledge associated with their first degree / qualification and related experience. They will have made the professional commitment to obtain one or more, further qualifications, certifications or accreditations related to project management.

A senior project managers will have applied their knowledge to deliver projects through the complete life-cycle on multiple projects of varying complexity for a period of at least 6 years.

Senior project managers will have membership with a relevant professional body to gain knowledge into current trends and best practices and to share their knowledge with peers. They maintain a high ethical standard and comply with the principles of the Code of Conduct.

The awarding criteria

Knowledge: An industry relevant tertiary qualification and any formal short learning in Programme / project management of 120 hours or certification, accreditation in a recognised methodology at the advanced level (PMP, IPMSA and completion of one renewal cycle of such. Practical experience demonstrated ability to practice in a chosen PM methodology. Experience will include 3 years low complexity, and three years moderate complexity taking projects through the complete life cycle. Members of at least one relevant project management association and participation in activities, like presenting.
Signs and adheres to the prevailing PMSA Code of Conduct.
Competence: Developed ability in each competency area.
Commitment Adopted and conform to Code of Ethics of professional body.
Member of a professional body for a minimum period of one year. Engage in activities required to maintain registration and further their professional development and gather required number of points.Engage in activities required to maintain registration and further their professional development and current knowledge.

 

Professional Project Manager (PM Level 3)

A professional project manager earns this designation when they reached a level of proficiency associated with an expert in the practice of project management.

This designation is awarded based on an individual’s portfolio of evidence as well as peer interviews in which proficiency, namely knowledge, skill, attributes and emotional intelligence, are analysed. It reviews a candidate’s past work in terms of consistent excellence across multiple projects of a required size and complexity, ongoing professional development and contribution to the growth of the discipline.

Awarding criteria

Knowledge: An industry relevant tertiary qualification and a qualification in project management. Practical experience would show a skill level of advanced or expert ability to practice in a chosen PM methodology. Experience would equal ten years in managing moderate to highly complex projects. Membership and active participation in a professional project management association.
Signs and adheres to the prevailing PMSA Code of Conduct.
Competence: Attributes would demonstrate traits required of an expert including emotional intelligence, leadership, decision making and problem solving. Developed expert or advanced ability in each competency area.
Commitment Adopted and conform to Code of Ethics of professional body.
Member of a professional body and made a tangible contribution for a minimum period of one year.
Made a contribution to the Body of Knowledge or future project managers through active engagement, research, sharing of best practices and mentorship.
Engage in activities required to maintain registration and further their professional development and gather required number of points.

 

What should you do next

If you are based in South Africa, you are encouraged to visit the Designations FAQ.

Once the system is available, you can activate membership and populate your member profile.

Once you understand the designation criteria, you need to upload all relevant documentation. When invited to do so, make an application for the relevant designation.

Welcome to the world of Professional Project Managers!

Project Management as a Professional Designation

The purpose of this article is to look at project management as a profession, the characteristics of a professional, the career path and levels of project managers and how to register it as a designation.

A Profession would have the following elements:

project management as a profession

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Project Management South Africa

When we talk about a professional project manager, what does that really mean?

Characteristics of a Professional

In a profession, people would be expected to have certain characteristics. Here are some of those:

  • Advanced education and expertise
  • Membership to professional bodies
  • Implicit adoption of that organisation’s ethics
  • Commitment to continual professional development and learning
  • Sense of responsibility to the wider public
  • Consistent exercise of discretion and judgement

Professionals would have a qualification, an accreditation and/or certification. Let’s look at the definitions to be clear on what each means.

Qualification – A learning outcome as a result of formal tuition. In South Africa it is what is recognised on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) at the different levels.

Accreditation – Recognition provided to a candidate in accordance with the criteria of a specific organisation or institution typically based on a combination of knowledge and demonstrated ability.

Certification – Certification is often needed to work in some trades. It usually means an individual has passed a trade test administered by a recognised authority. Possessing a certificate of completion of a course is typically not the same as being certified.

Registration – A Professional Registration gives a license to operate and to practice within a scope of operation and to take responsibility for the work. It provides authority to perform a certain scope of work without supervision. The registration is typically a statutory requirement.

Designation – In the South African context designation is a job title. It’s the title conferred by the South African Qualification Authority (SAQA) recognised professional body that could be statutory or non-statutory, based on certain criteria defined by the professional body.

SAQA aims to work with professional bodies towards:

  • Progressing professions by working with those professional bodies that meet the criteria for recognition and with these bodies, regulate professional designations.
  • This promotes public awareness of these professional designations, inspiring pride in the profession, and sets the scene for public protection by requiring adherence to a code of professional conduct.

By recognising and formalising designations, professional bodies contribute to the development of career paths as well as promoting continuous professional development within the profession.

Project Management Landscape

The South African Department of Higher Education and Training named Project/Programme Management the 5th most scarce skill in South Africa. Project Management South Africa (PMSA) aims to provide a career path framework through qualifications, training, accreditation etc. The following designations have been registered:

  • Project Manager
  • Senior Project Manager
  • Principal Project Manager

Ongoing professional development is also enabled. The following image depicts a typical career path:

PM career path

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please subscribe not to miss the next article in this 2-part series about project management designations.

PMSA Becomes a Registered Professional Body

Since September 2013 PMSA has been recognised as the professional body for project management in South Africa.

This means that PMSA has the sole right and the responsibility to confer the designations of Project Manager (PM), Senior Project Manager (Sr.PM) and Professional Project Manager (Pr.PM) according to criteria specified by PMSA, and in line with the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) framework.

If you as project management practitioners have any questions in this regard, please visit the dedicated FAQ section on the PMSA website.

 

Project Management South Africa Launches Online Recruitment System

online recruitment
Are you a Project Manager based in South Africa? Are you looking for a new challenge in Project Management?

Or do you have vacancies on your project team that you would like to advertise to a targeted group of project professionals?

Project Management South Africa (PMSA) has just launched a new online resource that allows PMSA members to upload their CVs to a searchable database. A CV summary is then viewable by subscribed recruitment agencies and fellow members. If a CV summary sparks interest, the candidate will receive an email request to release the full CV for viewing by the requesting party.

Agencies and companies pay a subscription fee to advertise jobs and search CVs on the recruitment system, while individual members, RETPs and corporate members may upload vacancies free of charge.

To view existing CV’s or to load your CV, go to www.projectmanagement.org.za and click on

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...