Monthly Archives: August 2014

MSc in PPM at the University of Warwick

Several friends and colleagues ask me about my experience doing a Masters in Programme and Project Management at the University of Warwick, in the UK. They want to know about the university and the classes, but also about the routine, challenges, benefits and lots of other things.

It may be because in 2011, having around 12 years of work experience, I decided to leave Brazil and my job in the sunny and warm Rio de Janeiro to start “an adventure” in the cold and grey other side of the Atlantic in search of personal and professional development.

At the end of one year full of hard work, the “adventure” has proven to be actually an amazing multi-cultural learning experience. My MSc in PPM at the University of Warwick has certainly worth the investment and all the effort.Warwick 1

In order make my experience available to much more people, I have given a set of interviews to the Universia Blog, in 2012. They are still available online. So, in case you also want to know about my experience, please visit the links below:

Studying at the University of Warwick (UK) Part- 1 – Universia Blog

Studying at the University of Warwick (UK) Part- 2 – Universia Blog

Studying at the University of Warwick (UK) Part- 3 – Universia Blog

I have also given an interview about the same topic to the alumni profile section of the WMG website, which you can also have access by visiting the link below:

Carlos Serra – Alumni Profile – WMG Website

I hope you enjoy the reading and find the information useful. Who knows if it can perhaps motivate someone else to get into a similar “adventure”?

 

Some of our Project Management topics

As discussed in our previous post, projects and programmes have been employed for thousands of years to manage the execution of business strategies. More recently, perhaps in the last half century these have been increasingly recognised as the best way to do that. With greater relevance, new techniques are constantly being created and new areas of knowledge being discovered or better exploited in order to improve our capabilities to achieve success. The discussion of the following key Project Management subjects will help us to increasingly embark on this journey to a projectized world.

Benefits Realisation Management:

Benefits realisation management ensures projects and programmes delivering the outcomes required by the organisation’s business strategy. More than that, it also ensures the continuous control of these outcomes ensuring the embedment into the business routine.

Project Portfolio Management:

Project portfolio management ensures the strategic effectiveness of the organisation’s projects, by applying the best practices in areas such as project selection, evaluation, prioritisation and control.

Project and Programme Management Office:

Project and Programme Management Offices can be designed in different ways to ensure the successful execution of the organisation’s projects and programmes. They can vary from a repository of best practices and project knowledge to a centre of excellence, which creates methodologies and manages projects and programmes. The more suitable model depends on several factors such as the current business model and objectives.

Project and Programme Management:

Project and programme management are sets of techniques employed to ensure the delivery of non-routine business needs on a manageable and successful way. Allied to Business Performance Management, these techniques set the path for the effective execution of business strategies.

Project Management keywords

Why “Projectizing”?

Since the first human beings started walking around the world, we can consider that there were people gradually “projectizing” the way we do things. Maybe not exactly as we currently understand Project Management and surely using a lot less techniques, but there were certainly projects and project managers.

A good example comes from 2650 B.C., during the construction of the first Egyptian Pyramid. At that time, King Djoser, the customer and sponsor, required his architects to build this particular building, which is said that by many reasons it might be expected to provide him a kind of smoother journey to his afterlife as well as some other benefits.building-pyramids-ed

We can consider that it was a major programme, since it intended to contribute directly to one or more of King Djoser’s strategic objectives. Although it was 4700 years ago, they already knew that this kind of programme needs someone fully accountable for the results. Maybe they were even more accountable than today, once those programme managers could lose their lives in case of failure. Then, they chose the vizier Imhotep for this task.

After gathered the most relevant stakeholders’ expectations, defined expected benefits and created the KPIs for further control, Imhotep and his architects (the project team) decided to build six Mastabas, one on top of the other (Mastabas were Egyptian burial chambers). They probably “hired” thousands of slaves and executed this challenging programme. At the end, they had built a 197-foot-high (60 meters) Step Pyramid as part of a 37 acres (15 hectares) complex. Even for today’s figures, we need to recognize it as a very large and complex programme.

This programme was considered a success, since it delivered the output expected by the King and it also is considered as the inspiration for all the other Egyptian Pyramids. The title of “chief of sculptors” has been awarded by the King to the programme manager, Imhotep, which has his name carved on one of the King’s statues.

However, analysing it by today’s perspective someone can say that the most important KPI was hardly measurable, since nobody can say how or even whether the King reached his afterlife. Moreover, that Pyramid had not a perfect shape, which required a lot of effort from the next generations in order to build a smooth sided pyramid. Although we see this programme as a unique benchmark, we cannot say that it is a total success, can we?

Therefore, based on the evolution of project management throughout the centuries, this blog will discuss themes related to project management (including programme, portfolio, benefits, governance, etc.) from the perspective that they are constantly evolving. It means that we are always learning, discovering and creating.

The next posts will continue this history, by moving its attention into more modern pyramids and programmes…

More info about the Pyramid of Djoser can be found on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyramid_of_Djoser

Welcome to Projectizing

Dear reader,

Join the Projectizing community to take part in inspiring discussions about project, programme, and portfolio management, benefits realisation, governance and all other disciplines related to project management.

Every time we talk about project management we are surely comprising programme management, portfolio management, benefits realisation management and all other disciplines related to project management.

Please, feel free to participate, comment, ask, discuss and invite your friends to join us. This space is yours.

Kind Regards, Carlos Serra, BSc, MSc, PMP Welcome