Powering The Project Economy – Project Economy – Part 5

Powering The Project Economy – Project Economy – Part 5

Ideas into Reality

People have the skills to work on projects, but they need to be channelized across multiple projects. These skills are the ones that help in the success of the projects. In the end, the people’s skills and capabilities in the project serve to turn ideas into reality. That is when the project delivers value to its stakeholders. The people are the enablers for the growth and transformation of the projects. Ideas can be converted into reality by achieving the right mix of skills and capabilities in people.

Ideas into Reality

Ideas into Reality

The Project Economy at Work

The skills are utilized in project-based structures included in large organization’s portfolios and programs.

According to Professor and author Roger Martin, one of the world’s top-ranked management thinkers, this kind of approach is called “projectization,” where the everyday tasks become projects by themselves. Such trends are on the rise as “Gig Economy” is part of the project economy, which has been largely adopted by organizations like Ola, Uber, Airbnb, etc.,

People with varied skills, experience, and capabilities are brought onto one project to deliver value to the stakeholders. The resources are aligned at the portfolio level and mobilized to the projects on-demand based on priorities. Such an approach minimizes the cost of hiring, training, and retention. They all evolve into a high-performing workforce as they started merging into the socio-cultural aspects of the portfolio capabilities.

GIG ECONOMY

GIG ECONOMY

For example, companies like Zappos adopt a culture wherein the onboarded people or hired people are put onto their call centers to understand the various departments involved in the process and understand the pain they undergo. Post that, they will be able to get the context and core values of the organization, which were they can synchronize. It’s all about the task at hand than the title itself.

Vital skills in Project Economy

The Project Economy needs uniquely human skills such as leadership, creativity, and empathy.

Vital skills in Project Economy

Vital skills in Project Economy

Leadership – Need to bring in the best of human potential. When the project economy is adopted, the people will move from role-based work to project-based work. As projects are going complex, a project manager is responsible for spending quality time with the people to bring their best.

Creativity – Creativity helps to find solutions to the problem in novel ways. Co-creation along with the stakeholders would minimize the postponement of decisions. It also extracts the thinking power of the participants creating new options. Creativity also creates good energy and establishes a win-win situation. Creativity can be fostered by providing an appropriate space to the team, decluttering the workplace, adopting a design thinking approach, etc… Foster an environment where creativity is recognized and rewarded

Empathy– When the project manager applies empathy, it creates scope for project associates to move out of their comfort zone and takes risks. It also brings on agility and helps reduces stress through minimized conflict. With empathy kindness and compassion becomes the natural ingredient promoting teamwork and leadership among individuals. Empathy can be exhibited by the project manager who is willing to be vulnerable and has the mindset to listen to all and exhibit leadership by walking the talk.

Project Economy Adoption

In the Middle East 

There are many infrastructure projects already underway in the Middle East, such as Smart City, Higher Education, expansion of health care, etc… These projects bring changes to the digital infrastructure, transportation, and allied government service. Already in Dubai International Project Management Forum plays a vital role in megaprojects, including Construction of Digital Twin, Asset Project Management, BIM Implementation for Roads and Transportation Authority, Solar Park. All of these projects need people to execute. People are needed with the right skills to provide value to the stakeholders.

In the European Union 

Case Study-1: Municipality located in Southern part of Sweden with more than 32000 inhabitants having organization size of 2400 full time and permanent employees have been organized as seven administrative departments. EU-funded projects were executed, and the projectification of departments, including public health, was achieved.

  • The municipality has educated themselves and other organizations surrounding them, which helped effectively manage the EU funds and create competent project organization where employees make sense of their work.
  • This move is transforming the civil servants, politicians to handle project activities affecting their organizing the style and overall impact on their performance routine.
  • Implies changes where routines, or day-to-day activities, to an increasing extent are organized and understood, as if they were projects.

Case Study-2: Totally program worth 67.9 billion was allocated for the operational program through the EU. Territorial Self Government Units covering 57 offices were involved in a Survey related to identifying the benefits of Projectification

  • Labor market institutions, up to 100% of offices declared that projects are never abandoned in the course of their lifetime
  • In 96% of the projects, there was no change in the planned budget
  • 89% of projects were completed according to the original schedule
  • In 96% of the projects, there was no change in the planned budget
  • Public organizations acting in this way make use of opportunities that arise in their environment, which proves their flexibility in adapting to changing conditions
  • Changes in organizational structure are a temporary adaptation to the changes that have occurred in the external environment

Case Study-3: Automotive, Manufacturing, Engineering-Procurement-Construction (EPC), 2006 Football World Cup, Establishment of the Tsunami Early Warning System in South-East Asia.

  • GPM study on projectification in Germany, almost 50% of working time in the manufacturing industry is spent on project work (GPM 2015)
  • The project economy will generate 15% of value-added in Germany in 2020 (in 2007, it was 2%).
  • The mean value shows that around 37% of all work processes in corporations are now organized in a project-oriented manner.

Summary:

As priorities change in these difficult times rapidly, project organizations need to embrace change. The Project Management office needs to build a team that commits to success. Project economy adoption is already a reality in various regions of the world. There are proven cases wherein successful projects are delivering values. Let’s focus on turning ideas into reality.

Feel free to check out my discussion on this topic with Dr. Reinhard Wagner in YouTube

You can subscribe and follow my podcasts and interviews with Project Management Experts on YouTube at https://bit.ly/2NDY8wd

You can subscribe to vCare Project Management YouTube Channel to catch future videos of our certification Q&A series and student success stories using the link https://bit.ly/2YF0wJl

For any questions related to Project Management career, training, and certifications, you can book an obligation free 15 minutes session with me by visiting https://bit.ly/2SbhTOK

 

Projectification on social projects globally – How is it done? – Project Economy Series – Part 4

Projectification on social projects globally – How is it done? – Project Economy Series – Part 4

  1. Implementing public policies through projects is driven through global organizations such as World Bank, UNICEF, UN, etc., encouraging projectification practices that drive down activities vertically deep down.
  2. Implementation and deployment of public policies are time-framed. Hence, they are projectified.
  3. Projectification is seen as a key strategic measure for getting things done concerning the EU.
  4. OpenPM² is a project management methodology designed by the European Commission for interoperability solutions for public administrations, businesses, and citizens.
  5. We introduce projects to the public sector managers’ toolkit in the smallest offices and teach how to build project portfolios in the largest public units.
  6. The Polish public sector used the external funds and started to fully “think project-wise.” Because projectification of activities was a “sine qua non” condition, none of the countries joining the EU structures can fully integrate with them if there are no competencies regarding project management.
  7. To receive and implement a project, people have to organize themselves into teams – so projects build micro-communities and unite people around a common goal, often involving stakeholders who have so far been excluded.

Models such as GPM3 can help manage the implementation and evaluation of projectification efforts and their maturity, as given in the figure below.

Governmental Project Management Maturity Model (GPM3®)

Governmental Project Management Maturity Model (GPM3®)

Governmental Project Management Maturity Model (GPM3®) 

A maturity model is the sequence of groups (levels) of more efficient practices in any activity area. Our base area for defining maturity levels are Governmental Project Implementation and Governmental Project Management treated together as one system. The first source of our inspiration was Capability Maturity Model Integrated (CMMI ©) – probably the first widely recognized and probably best-known maturity model. The second source of inspiration was the Organizational Project Management Maturity Model (OPM3©) – a maturity model for the organizational level.

Initial Level

Some governments are (really!) not interested in managing their projects and investments. They think it is enough to allocate the budget and set the deadline for product delivery, and people will know how to do it. We say about such governments that they are at the lowest, Initial level of project management maturity.

Local Level

At some moment, people in individual governmental agencies and organizations, worried about continuous failures of their projects and inefficient work, learn that efficient and effective project management methods exist. After some time, they manage to convince their organization executives that it is worth implementing them throughout the organization. If project management methods are implemented only in some governmental organizations, we say that the given government has reached the Local level of project management maturity.

Governmental Level

After some time, the cabinet learns that a few of its projects (either internal or foreign governments) were implemented more efficiently than anywhere else. This awareness resulted in implementing project management methods, techniques, and processes to work in all government projects. This way, project management maturity in that state reaches the Governmental level.

Cooperating Level

But should the government only define the ways of project implementation and passively observe the results of these processes? It is better if the government is actively involved in implementing projects, like trying to solve problems faced by – usually complex and complicated – government projects. Then we say that governmental project management has reached the Cooperating level.

Optimizing Level

But this is not the end of the journey to the top of the ladder of maturity. Everything can always be done better (if there is such a need). The most advanced governments – such as the US Federal Government – command its ministries and agencies to improve project (and program) management processes constantly. Then we say that the given government has reached the Optimizing level of project management maturity. And this description of progressively achieved levels of project management maturity (which can be observed in some countries) is called the Government Project Management Maturity Model (GPM3®).

Think global Act local

Think global, Act local

Think global Act local: Committed project management individuals are experts at acquiring funding and coordinating support for their solution. In terms of projectification, these characteristics of the project champion are skills that are disseminated and encouraged across local government organizations. These Project Managers need to have the skills to cut across culture, language and have the ability to influence the groups for projectification.

Involve in fieldwork to get closer

  • Connect with the local people at the ground level and understand the ground situation better for such implementations.
  • Observe in the meeting and participate in meetings based on the dynamics involved with civil servants in different departments.
  • Be available at the field level to have empathy towards the problem in projectification.

The more you become closer to them, the better operational goodness.

Fieldwork

Fieldwork

Projectifications impact on BaU (Business as Usual)

  • Activities are organized and realized as projects.
  • Projects are the new form of work and mechanism for change.
  • Enforcing the way of projectification through regulations, framework, and practices
  • Projects in the public sector impact governance and help adopt previous best practices.
  • Helps to identify and pilot a new way of work
  • Helps developing new strategies and shaping the future for the society through innovation and joint learning, and
  • In some cases, organizations might use projects for dealing with controversial issues that the permanent organization does not want to deal with.

Conclusion

In the global setting, Projectifications provide organizations with the ability to link multiple business partners and respond quickly to market demand and supplier needs while remaining flexible enough to anticipate and respond to rapid shifts in consumer preferences. The positive impact has been proven, so countries and its government need to enable the Civil Servants to become better project management and program management professionals for seamless projectification. This move would lead to a better economy, GDP and generate an extraordinary value stream across the government services.

Feel free to check out my discussion on this topic with Dr. Reinhard Wagner in YouTube

You can subscribe and follow my podcasts and interviews with Project Management Experts on YouTube at https://bit.ly/2NDY8wd

You can subscribe to vCare Project Management YouTube Channel to catch future videos of our certification Q&A series and student success stories using the link https://bit.ly/2YF0wJl

For any questions related to Project Management career, training, and certifications, you can book an obligation free 15 minutes session with me by visiting https://bit.ly/2SbhTOK

 

Project Economy – Part 3 – Projectification in Economy and Societal Setting

Project Economy – Part 3 – Projectification in Economy and Societal Setting

In the public sector, as Mats Fred (2018, p. 189) indicates:

Projectification as proliferation emphasizes the increasing use and diffusion of projects and project ideas. Projectification as transformation and adaptation highlights the transformation of “permanent” ordinary organizational activities to temporary projects and processes of adaptation in the surrounding organizations and structures. Projectification as an organizational capacity building in which the project logic is spread and diffused in local government organizations, not primarily through specific projects, but through practices encouraging the project logic and reinforcing local government’s organizational project capacity.

The term “Project” itself would be considered as a temporary endeavor. Projectification involves the cultural and discursive societal processes whereby projects and project-like circumstances are institutionalized in individual lives, organizing all sorts of work and society. They are to be planned, controlled, managed with dedication and commitment. In a societal setting, it calls for flexible action and task-focused social relations.

Understanding the Societal Setting

Understanding the Societal Setting

Understanding the Societal Setting

When the boundaries of the project go beyond the organization, societal settings come into place. Societal settings focus on developing and providing solutions together. When the projects are managed and executed at the societal level, it becomes a more collaborative effort. This kind of environment calls for global communication, collective intelligence, identifying skills across the board to leverage. Project execution should focus on accomplishing the tasks by adopting agile principles with empowering the team. The focus should be working through the community via effective networking.

Factors that could affect projectification in societal impact

  • Temporary societal setup

There could be an influence at a Project Level, Political, Bureaucratic and Market Level. To a varying degree, local government involved in the societal settings would have specific practices that correspond to a political, bureaucratic, and market context. In terms of projectification, there could be complementary or contradictory aspects in nature that need to be managed well. Projectification translation could be done based out on specific settings and practices.

  • Specific goals/focus

The societal context would have to manage multiple institutions yet need to bring them with a common goal and vision despite indifferences. This aspect needs to be dealt with using Decoupling, Compromising, and Combining depending on the situation and environment. These practices will de-escalate tensions in arriving at a consensus on the focus area or goals.

  • Funding Challenges

The project budget needs to be derived from the policies wherein the costs are derived from the social investment funds. This action would mean cutting across the government and local bodies in the region. Sometimes these funds are advocated by World Bank, EU, IMF, etc… Using such funds would also call for strong coordination among the various stakeholders across different processes and procedures. Managing such funds could be tiresome and painful.

  • Focus on implementation

Be in the realm of the project in the implementation context. It would look like a smooth sail as initiation would be easy on the ground implementation could be a posing challenge. Focus on the welfare benefits, lower costs for the larger group during the implementation. Understand the potential areas of resistance early in the project upon the various factors including economic, environmental, etc.,

  • Managing Complexity

Projectification involves managing an organization to manage two types of complexity involving task complexity and Social complexity. Task complexity refers to the density of the units, causal links, and consequences within a temporal and spatial frame. Social complexity describes the number of members communicating and working with each other and the differentiation of their tasks. In contrast, cultural complexity encompasses the number of different historical experiences and sense-making processes confronting each other in a project.

Factors that could affect projectification in societal impact

Factors that could affect projectification in societal impact

The three projectification studies in Germany, Norway, and Iceland show that project work contributes to one-third of the national gross domestic product. Although differences exist among the countries regarding size and industry structure, the degree of projectification of advanced economies seems to converge on around one-third of all economic activities. The exact results showed that the share of project work in Germany was 34,7% in 2013, and 32,6% in Norway, and 27,7% in Iceland in 2014 (Schoper et al., 2018).

The projectification in the public or governance societal segment was more towards improving, modernizing the managerial approach towards the commoner or public. The projects were part of the public sector in the infrastructure area, such as Road Construction, Dam Construction, construction, and larger institutions, and their Projectifications are not sudden. Based on one of the research study by Schuster in 2015, he identified three key factors which seem to provide public/civil service organizations to adopt projectification. They are:

  1. Quick Mobilization
  2. Strategic approach towards managing the change
  3. Accountability and Transparency to stakeholders
Key factors to adopt projectification

Key factors to adopt projectification

It is also to be realized that the ongoing social and economic change and the increase in public sector stakeholder’s innovation and entrepreneurship are most needed in this sector. Projectification helps to meet the void, which can help implement public policies, thus enabling changes in resolving social problems. Even though the benefits exist on projectification, it is not implemented due to the factors such as – Excess bureaucracy, Causes lack of trust, lack of persistence, etc.,

Conclusion

Projectification provides benefits to the people involved to know how to lead a team, influence people, and negotiate or resolve conflict. It would be a combination of more organizing activities to the organizations and transforming ordinary activities into projects. And increasingly, everybody needs to feel comfortable working in a digital environment.

Feel free to check out my discussion on this topic with Reinhard Wagner in YouTube

You can subscribe and follow my podcasts and interviews with Project Management Experts on YouTube at https://bit.ly/2NDY8wd

You can subscribe to vCare Project Management YouTube Channel to catch future videos of our certification Q&A series and student success stories using the link https://bit.ly/2YF0wJl

For any questions related to Project Management career, training, and certifications, you can book an obligation free 15 minutes session with me by visiting https://bit.ly/2SbhTOK

Role of Advanced Certifications in Project Management Career & Latest PgMP®/PfMP® stats 2021

Role of Advanced Certifications in Project Management Career & Latest PgMP®/PfMP® stats 2021

Most project management professionals with a certain number of years of experience would like to move up their career ladder to senior positions that provide them with higher visibility, wider recognition, and a definite bump in their pay scale. They would aim to become a

  • PMO Leader of their organization
  • A Program Manager handling multiple connected projects
  • A Portfolio Manager who drives the vision and mission of an organization through successful programs and projects
  • An executive who is implementing a strategic initiative for the success of the organization

Some professionals might be looking to migrate from their current organization to a better/higher position in another organization and might be wondering what could be one of the keys that open that door to success.

Advanced Certifications might be the solution.

Move up the career ladder

Move up the career ladder

Advanced Certifications

Advanced Certifications are for professionals,

  • Who are established in their careers but want to climb up further
  • Who want to increase their knowledge and improve professional ways of working
  • Who are working in a role much more extensive than their current designation
  • Who wants to prove a point to professionals in their space about their capabilities
  • Who wants to prove a point to themselves for self-motivation and increase their self-worth

Advanced Certifications help you to,

  • Change labels from being named an Experienced/Advanced professional to become an Expert/Master of the art.
  • Change levels to elevate yourself to higher levels in the organizational hierarchy. Earn the birds-eye view.
  • From “Doing the work right”, move to a phase where you start “Doing the right work” to ensure your organization’s mission and vision are accomplished through your actions. Go from Tactical to Strategic.
  • It opens doors that were earlier closed in your career and creates new doors for you to venture. Gain global recognition. SKIP THE QUEUE IN PROFESSIONAL EVALUATIONS.
  • Stand out from the crowd, Be that Differentiator.When all is Equal, the certified gets hired.
  • Eliminate career shocks such as layoffs and retrenchments.
Advanced Certifications help you to

Advanced Certifications

Why PgMP® & PfMP®

The PgMP® certification recognizes advanced experience, skill, and performance in overseeing multiple related projects and their resources aligned with an organizational objective. PgMP® certification holders oversee a program’s success — a way to group multiple related projects to achieve benefits that may not be realized if the projects were managed in a stand-alone fashion.

The PfMP® certification recognizes advanced experience, skill, and performance necessary to manage and align a portfolio of projects and programs to realize organizational strategy and objectives. PfMP® certification holders oversee one or more portfolios’ success, balance conflicting demands between programs and projects, and allocate resources based on corporate priorities and capacity. As portfolio management continues to grow and organizations adopt it to achieve strategic objectives, it becomes more critical to have individuals competent in this practice area. As employers demand portfolio managers who can support the organization’s strategic goals, PfMP® certification holders will gain a distinct advantage in employment and promotional opportunities over their peers.

Why PgMP® & PfMP®

Why PgMP® & PfMP®

Both PgMP® & PfMP® from PMI could help you achieve the possible elevation within your organization or get you the golden ticket to join your targeted organization. Compared with the PMP, which is more than a million globally, the numbers for PgMP® and PfMP® are still in the four digits, with PfMP® crossing the 4-digit mark just a few months ago.

The Numbers – What do they say?

Irrespective of the Pandemic concerns, professionals have been pursuing their PgMP® & PfMP® goals aided by the online/remote learning program options. PgMP® has crossed the 3500 number barrier, and as on 1st March 2021, it is now at 3543. PfMP® has crossed the 1000 number milestone, and as on 1st March 2021, it is now at 1035.

Global PgMP Stats 2021

Global PgMP® Stats 2021

 

Global PfMP® Stats 2021

Global PfMP® Stats 2021

USA, China, India, Canada, and KSA contribute to the top 5 numbers in PgMP® and PfMP® numbers.

Top 5 PgMP® Countries

Top 5 PgMP® Countries

 

Top Five PfMP® Countries

Top Five PfMP® Countries

A unique aspect in PfMP® numbers is the surge of certification holders from KSA, which has overtaken India to become the second country with the maximum number of PfMP® holders after the USA. With our training partnership with the PMI-KSA chapter, I wish the numbers of not only PfMP® but also that of PgMP® surge ahead. Students from KSA and the PMI-KSA chapter can reach out to me to avail offer associated with our partnership.

vCare Project Management is proud to have supported the following students in February 2021 in their successful pursuit of certification. This 2021, we have been producing excellent results with 10 PgMP®s and 6 PfMP®s achieving success in their certification goals aided by our training services thus far.

Our PfMP® & PgMP®s Success Stories | Feb'21

PfMP® & PgMP®s Success Stories | Feb’21

In the year 2020, we supported 48 PgMP®s and 16 PfMP®s in achieving success. As on 1st March 2021, we have thus far aided 322 PgMP®s of the 3543 PgMP® professionals and 58 PfMP®s of the 1035 PfMP® professionals. We have supported 322 students across 44 countries in their successful PgMP® journey.

vCare Project Management PgMP® Stats

vCare Project Management PgMP® Stats

Because of the hardships that the companies and professionals are going through currently, I have decided to offer multiple discounts and flexible payment options to our upcoming mentoring and boot camp programs in 2021. These include,

  • A 20% discount for Active Duty or Veteran professionals from Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Border, and Coast guards or any other valid military service branch
  • A 20% discount for Women professionals
  • A 20% discount for Differently abled professionals
  • A 20% discount for professionals who are currently in dire financial constraints

Please email ([email protected]) or reach out to me on LinkedIn to avail of this discount post appropriate scrutiny.

Given below are the various online programs’ links. The online mentoring programs / virtual boot camps cover all time zones.

PgMP®: http://bit.ly/2oBKQXQ

PfMP®: http://bit.ly/2oBKQXQ

SAFe® / Disciplined Agile: http://bit.ly/3ogQY0N

PMP®: https://bit.ly/2BU0mFp

E-Learning: http://bit.ly/3b2HOid

You can supplement your PgMP® exam preparation using our PgMP4U mobile app: Android Users: https://bit.ly/30sau42; iOS Users: https://apple.co/2QUngkx

Subscribe to vCare Project Management YouTube Channel to view our success stories: https://bit.ly/2YF0wJl

We are planning to do more webinars in the coming weeks. Subscribe and follow my Podcasts and interviews with Project Management Experts on YouTube at https://bit.ly/2NDY8wd

Aspirants aiming to get the PgMP® / PfMP® / SAFe® / PMP® / Disciplined Agile Credentials in 2021 can book an obligation free session with me to find out how I can assist you in passing the exam in your very first attempt. For any questions related to Project Management career, training, and certifications, you can book an obligation free 15 minutes session with me by visiting http://bit.ly/2SbhTOK

PgMP4U LinkedIn Group: http://bit.ly/2SBPwIp

PfMP4U LinkedIn Group: http://bit.ly/31P7GKR

Conclusion

Going by the numbers and the process involved in gaining the PgMP® / PfMP® certifications, it isn’t that easy for everyone to climb this mountain. These certifications are elusive by nature, and only with a determined focus, dedication, and brilliance coupled with hard work can one be able to achieve success.

I believe that this makes these certifications elite when compared with other senior project management certification offerings. This aspect alone could be the differentiator that highlights you from your peers in the project management community, helping you achieve your objectives.

 

The Agile Mindset

The Agile Mindset

Agile (.adj) means “to move quickly and easily”. It is a mindset of being more responsive. Humans are born agile. Off late, agile has been highly adopted by the software industry, but, in reality, it has been adopted by organizations of different domains to bring on success.

Agile Manifesto, created by seventeen software developers in 2001, embraces four core values: individual interactions over process and tools; working software rather than through documentation; collaboration with customers; and responding to change rather than following a plan.

Agile mindset is not only about that, but it would have those four principles as a foundation for a successful agile transformation bringing on agility in the organization. This transformation would certainly change the way organizations handle their portfolio, programs and projects. Steve Denning, an authority on Agile management, argues that hardware developers need to embrace Agile principles to keep up with the pace of innovation.

Agile Transformation

Agile Transformation

Tesla creates a lot of 3D Models and continuously iterates them to create many models to test them in different ways rapidly. 3D Printing techniques have empowered Tesla to pursue this methodology.

With this capability, rapid changes in hardware component level are iterated until the best design is evolved. SpaceX also exhibits a similar continuous iteration. Continuously improving and managing to incorporate customer feedback is all about having an agile mindset. The agile mindset is more of the management and leadership problem, which needs a cultural shift of thinking in an agile way.

Problems for existing project managers

Problems for existing project managers

What are the problems for existing project managers for an agile mindset?

  1. Typically, project managers assume that Agile is another project management approach.
  2. Ability to unlearn and learn to avoid the lens of project management previously done.
  3. Lack of familiarity with Agile concepts (e.g., Self-Organizing Teams)
  4. Confusion between the agile principles and frameworks such as Scrum, XP, etc.,
  5. Undermining the benefits of agile and not having trust in those principles

Agile Mindset

When we talk about the agile mindset, I would like to share with you all the below Zen Ex Machina diagram from Ahmed Sidkey’s “Agile mindset” presentation done in Agile Alliance conference 2014. The agile mindset reflects upon the actions and behaviors, thereby creating an agile culture. These can be brought to action based on 4 Values, 12 Principles as outlined in the diagram here.

Agile Mindset

Agile Mindset

Agile mindset is all about exhibiting certain behaviors. In an organization, we need to respect the worth of every person. Always exhibit truthfulness in communication by being transparent on the data, actions and decisions made. Commit to the team and organization through the collaboration for the common goal, trusting that support will be available from each other.

The following table outlines the differences in terms of agile vs. fixed mindset.

Fixed Mindset vs. Agile Mindset

Fixed Mindset vs. Agile Mindset

When you are working on portfolio/programs/projects, you don’t see all the necessary outcomes, but you keep evolving it. Typically, when we are talking about an agile mindset, it always keeps evolving. This evolution can be referred to IKIWISI – I know it when I see it. So, when you can show the progress, customers or stakeholders can relate it better and conceive better.

It’s important to have an agile mindset, to “be agile,” but you also need to have the requisite skills to “do agile” and the experience to do “enterprise agile.” Though we understand the benefits and tenets of the agile mindset, when it comes to implementation, there is a lack of guidance for the team on what to adopt and how to go about the same. Typically, when teams follow a prescriptive framework, things fall in line and provide better results. It provides a better improvement which is consistent over time. One such prescriptive framework for adopting agile practices is DAD (Disciplined Agile Delivery) framework.

How DAD (Disciplined Agile Delivery) can be leveraged for mindset?

DAD

DAD

DAD approaches agile as a people-first, learning-oriented methodology for delivery. PMI DAD Toolkit is free for use. The focus of the toolkit is on the delivery, which is achieved by being hybrid which can take the best across multiple methodologies. The agile mindset can be accomplished by leveraging the Disciplined Agile mindset recommendation from PMI, which encompasses PPG (Principles, Promises and Guidance). DAD can help us transform ourselves into an agile mindset in practice. Easier said than done, but DAD could be the guiding light toward it.

Disciplined Agile mindset

Disciplined Agile Mindset

For having and improving the agile mindset, the locus of control needs to be more internal. The focus on outcomes and giving the necessary empowerment to people makes a significant difference. It should be embracing rather than imposition to people or one’s self. Disciplined Agile provides guardrails, guidance and enterprise awareness so your life as PM would be easy to advocate and embrace. DAD’s toolkit helps an organization to adopt common vocabulary while adoption of agile becomes easier with principles such as Delighting the customers, Optimizing the flow, etc.,

The following are some of the philosophies which could help the portfolio to be managed better based on DAD’s toolkit:

The motivation of resources:

There could be projects wherein there is a need for reduction in resources, some places it might cause cost overrun. Have the portfolio resources spread across the projects and rotate them across projects based on interests. Having a stable team who have good knowledge and understanding of domain can be cross-trained easily as well. Enable the team by building a safe culture and environment, and by motivating them to excel.

Business Value:

In this pandemic time, the customer would also suffer. There is no other good time than now to support them. One of the key portfolio strategies would be to maximize the stakeholder value by minimizing the risk in building the whole thing. So, approach such as “Prove Architecture Early” by building architecture components earlier would help achieve balance in risk profile and provide better value. This move helps the team to arrive at consensus early and re-prioritize activities after discussing with the customer. 

DAD's Toolkit

DAD’s Toolkit

Managing change:

With an agile mindset, fundamental thinking is accepting or embracing the fact that change is natural. A change could be influenced by a situation like a pandemic, technology changes, political factor, economic and legislative changes, and many more reasons. This change needs to be managed by Managing work items, prioritizing who has to work on it with details on How? and What?. Use of tools like Kanban boards can be very handy here.

Agile Governance:

  1. Incorporate simplified governance model across the portfolio and programs.
  2. Identify common risk areas and try to revisit the vision on what is to be accomplished.
  3. Relook strategies where the PMO efforts can be focused on creating business value for the stakeholders.

Alignment of the portfolio strategy with enterprise strategy would help to bring the stakeholders on the same page as well.

Effective Communication Strategy:

Interacting with the stakeholders is a very important component in seamless, agile implementation. The right choices of the communication channel based on the given context are very influential and can make a big difference.

Right choices of the communication channel

Right choices of the communication channel

Creating trust:

  1. Ensure the safety and well being of the team members.
  2. Take smaller initiatives which can lower the risk and enable frequent deliveries, thereby creating a trust of both the customer, teams and vendors.
  3. Act on action items after taking all stakeholders into confidence, which would create trust, resulting in a long-term relationship and also would enable us to maneuver key initiatives smoothly across the portfolio.

Bridging with the help of metrics:

Look at the gaps in the portfolio due to the current situation by evaluating portfolio metrics such as ROI, ROA, NPS, Velocity, etc., This would help on how to embrace the change and why that change is to be made. Manage the portfolio better by interacting with other teams based on the metrics.

Conclusion:

Overall this article aims to impart the essential aspects of the Agile Mindset. It highlights some key ingredients which can be applied during the current pandemic times to improve the situation better from Agile Context.