Project Accelerator News http://www.projectaccelerator.co.uk The latest project management news, views and project management sites from the around the world Thu, 16 Mar 2017 15:44:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.3 Learn How To Succeed At Stakeholder Management http://www.projectaccelerator.co.uk/learn-succeed-stakeholder-management/ http://www.projectaccelerator.co.uk/learn-succeed-stakeholder-management/#respond Thu, 16 Mar 2017 15:42:32 +0000 http://www.projectaccelerator.co.uk/?p=5524 New research from Elizabeth Harrin shows that project managers understand the value of stakeholder management but in many cases they aren’t doing it (or aren’t able to do it). Engaging stakeholders on projects is essential for success. The survey, conducted at the end of last year via Elizabeth’s blog, GirlsGuideToPM.com, included responses from over 300 …

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what prevents you from engaging stakeholders

New research from Elizabeth Harrin shows that project managers understand the value of stakeholder management but in many cases they aren’t doing it (or aren’t able to do it).

Engaging stakeholders on projects is essential for success. The survey, conducted at the end of last year via Elizabeth’s blog, GirlsGuideToPM.com, included responses from over 300 project managers worldwide. They reported that the value of stakeholder management is clear. It:

  • Helps manage risk
  • Improves the perception of success
  • Improves project handovers
  • Helps secure resources
  • Ensures the team does what is required.

Doing stakeholder management well, and moving beyond the obligation to document a list of people affected by a project on some kind of log, has a real impact on being able to deliver your project successfully. When you know that it can help you smooth out issues on your project and get work done more effectively, wouldn’t you prioritise doing it?

That doesn’t seem to be the case. Project managers are prevented from doing effective stakeholder management for a number of reasons including not having management support (45%), not having enough time to do it when juggling their other responsibilities (48%) and not having the templates to set the processes up (27%).

Constrains on stakeholders’ time came up multiple times in the comments that respondents added to their survey results. “This seems to be a real issue for people,” Elizabeth says. “When your stakeholders don’t give you the time you need with them, your project suffers because you can’t get the direction and decisions that help you keep moving forward.”

In response to the survey results, Elizabeth has put together a Masterclass on stakeholder management to help project managers create better working relationships with stakeholders and customers.

“The difficulty with stakeholder management is that there is no magic wand,” she says. “It’s impossible to hand out a formula that would work in every situation, for every business, for every project, and that’s where much of the formal teaching about stakeholder management falls down. We give people the templates and processes but we don’t explain how to actually move people’s positions, or share the techniques that really work.”

Much of that hard-won knowledge comes from experience, and that’s difficult to get for someone new to the role. Equally, even mid-level career professionals can struggle when faced with a difficult set of personalities or a particularly challenging project.

Elizabeth’s Masterclass is a shortcut to gaining that knowledge, packed with practical tips to navigate the difficult terrain of stakeholder relationships. “What I can do is give you the tools, techniques and confidence to boost your stakeholder relationships at work so you can effectively decide which way on the map to go,” she adds.

Unlike lots of online training classes, the Stakeholder Management Masterclass will be delivered live over 4 weeks. “I’ve already had students sign up from overseas who know now that they won’t be able to make the live classes,” Elizabeth explains. “They’ll be getting information in advance of the classes so they can still ask their questions and then they can watch the replays. I hope I’ve created an engaging format that will allow me to tailor the course and enable delegates to get the most out of it.”

Elizabeth’s objective is that she can give project managers the confidence to engage with project stakeholders – even the difficult ones. When you have confidence, and the techniques, you can build credibility and authority at work and put together a clear engagement plan for working with others on the project.

Read the full research results and find out more about the Stakeholder Management Masterclass.

Enrollment closes on 20 March 2017 with live classes starting on 22 March 2017.

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Sustainable project management http://www.projectaccelerator.co.uk/sustainable-project-management/ http://www.projectaccelerator.co.uk/sustainable-project-management/#respond Thu, 16 Mar 2017 07:53:25 +0000 http://www.projectaccelerator.co.uk/?p=5518 Project management association members and credential holders have an obligation act sustainably.  For example, PMI’s Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct (2.2.1) asks us ‘as practitioners in the global project management community to make decisions and take actions based on the best interests of society, public safety, and the environment.’   The problem we all face …

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Project management association members and credential holders have an obligation act sustainably.  For example, PMI’s Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct (2.2.1) asks us ‘as practitioners in the global project management community to make decisions and take actions based on the best interests of society, public safety, and the environment.’   The problem we all face is working out how to achieve this aspiration!

The concept of sustainability (or the ‘Triple Bottom Line’) is fairly well understood in business, it involves balancing economic interests with the needs of stakeholders (society) and the environment.

The ‘economic’ aspect of project management is directly aligned with effective project management, delivering the project on-time, on-budget and to the required quality. And, this basic objective cannot be achieved without engaging effectively with at least part of your overall stakeholder community. So-far-so-good!  The challenge project managers and their teams face is understanding how they can move beyond the pure economic elements to take into consideration the needs of society and the environment.  What do these terms mean and how can a project manager or team member make a difference?  Fortunately there is an increasing range of resources available to help us focus on the things that matter where we can make a difference.

 

Sustainable Development Goals

The starting point is the Sustainable Development Goals that all 193 members of the United Nations have signed up to achieve. On 25 September 2015, the United Nations General Assembly formally adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs – ‘the Goals’) and 169 associated targets. The new transformative agenda builds on the achievements of 2000 – 2015 Millennium Development Goals program, and sets the world’s targets for the next 15 years.

No one is going to attempt to tackle all 17 goals let alone the 169 specific targets, but every project team can look through the goals and targets and find 3 or 4 that they can strive to achieve. A couple of examples:

  • Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns, Target 5: substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse. Focus on this and you not only help the environment, you can also improve profitability!
  • Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls, Target 8: Enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology, to promote the empowerment of women. Child care is still primarily undertaken by women – how can your team support working mothers?

There are lots of other options to choose from, all you need to do is visit the sustainable development website http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/ and find a few that you can focus on and make a real difference!

There are also commercial benefits! As governments and corporations move to implement the SDGs, $trillions will be invested in projects to implement the changes.

 

Green Project Management Resources

GPM – Green Project Management is a sustainability-centered certified social enterprise whose mission is to decouple socio-environmental degradation from economic growth. The mission of GPM is ‘delivering a sustainable world, one project at a time’.  Project Sustainability starts with a company’s value system and a principled approach to managing portfolios, programs, and projects.

To learn more see: http://greenprojectmanagement.org/

 

Summary

The world’s governments and an increasing number of corporations are starting to focus on sustainability. Organisations are beginning to recognise they cannot survive if the society or environment it operates within fail. The role of the organisations governing body is to balance the three elements of sustainability to create win-win outcomes where better social and environmental outcomes drive better economic outcomes.   The opportunities for project practitioners highlighted in this post are firstly the opportunity to get onto the ‘front of the wave’ and be positioned to take advantage of the demand for project mangers the SDGs will create over the next few years.  Secondly, providing a practical foundation to work from to implement our ethical responsibilities to ‘to make decisions and take actions based on the best interests of society, public safety, and the environment.’

How can your team help achieve the UN’s SDGs ‘one project at a time’?

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Project Management Apprenticeships Launched by Parallel and Interserve http://www.projectaccelerator.co.uk/project-management-apprenticeships-launched-by-parallel-and-interserve/ http://www.projectaccelerator.co.uk/project-management-apprenticeships-launched-by-parallel-and-interserve/#respond Fri, 10 Mar 2017 13:12:39 +0000 http://www.projectaccelerator.co.uk/?p=5511 The choice of project management as a first career is becoming increasingly common. This is a significant change because traditional project management was seen as a second career.  This is a continuing trend as shown by the Arras People benchmark report. They asked project management practitioners asked if PPM is, in fact, their first career or their second.  The …

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The choice of project management as a first career is becoming increasingly common. This is a significant change because traditional project management was seen as a second career.  This is a continuing trend as shown by the Arras People benchmark report. They asked project management practitioners asked if PPM is, in fact, their first career or their second.  The results are fascinating; they show that while a majority of people still see project management as a second career. However as you can see below, it is more common for younger people to see project management as a first career.

The conclude that When the UK respondents are cut by age, as in figure below, we can see that the percentage of the population in a first career are certainly higher amongst those under the age of 42. As an overall number though, they are lower accounting for 43% of the respondents.

In the under 34’s we see a wider gap and the actual number is higher, accounting for 54% of the respondents, so maybe the career of first choice is taking traction?

This is the first time they have asked this question and it will be interesting to see how this changes over the next few years.

 

We can expect to see this trend accelerating as the APM has just launched the project management trailblazer apprenticeships. This sets a benchmark standard for all PM apprenticeships, including the knowledge to be developed, skills to leaned and the expected behaviours.

To respond to these changes Parallel Project Training and Interserve Learning and Employment have combined togeather to offer a structured project management apprenticeship. This is available as a 24-month programme for new starters and 18 months for those who have some prior experience. The programme consists of three main components, knowledge of the principles of project management, skills development workshops and then the practical application of the skills in the workplace.

Knowledge of the Principles of Project Management

Knowledge or project management is evaluated by a gateway exam taken within the first 12 months of the programme. This is done by the completion of the APM Project Management Qualification. This is a 3-hour written exam with 10 questions from a selection of 16 options. Training for this is provided using the Parallel Learning System which combined workshops, e-learning, podcasts and webinars with project management experts. Apprentices will be expected to complete monthly homework questions and a full mock exam before taking the final gateway exam.

Skills and Behaviours Development Workshops

In addition to theory apprentice learn how to use and apply the tools and techniques of project management at workshops. Based on a simulated project these workshops develop the practical skills of project management including stakeholder management, planning, budgeting, change control, reporting and managing risk.

Putting Theory into Practice

 

The final element of the apprenticeship programme is applying the skills developed in the workshops and theory parts of the course to a workplace project. This application is supported by an apprentice mentor but needs to support of the employer to give the apprentice access to a suitable project.

End Point Assessment

Once the apprentice has completed all these elements of the course they can then submit their portfolio for endpoint assessment, this is a paper review of what they have learned and also an interview where they have to show that they have met the standard set by the APM.

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Project Governance http://www.projectaccelerator.co.uk/project-governance/ http://www.projectaccelerator.co.uk/project-governance/#respond Thu, 23 Feb 2017 15:27:30 +0000 http://www.projectaccelerator.co.uk/?p=5503   Does Project Governance really help?   In 2015, a study conducted by PMI (Project Management Institute) revealed that project delivery remains a challenge for most companies. It emerged that 45% of projects are not on budget, 7%  exceed the allotted time and 56% do not provide the expected value.   For several years, there’s …

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Does Project Governance really help?

 

In 2015, a study conducted by PMI (Project Management Institute) revealed that project delivery remains a challenge for most companies. It emerged that 45% of projects are not on budget, 7%  exceed the allotted time and 56% do not provide the expected value.

 

For several years, there’s been much talk about governance and its perceived impact or lack thereof, on project success. It’s an expression that causes a lot of confusion, and is used in various contexts. In general, governance is about creating the ideal environment to govern effectively. In project management, governance aims to develop ways of piloting and monitoring during the life cycle of a project. This is a framework that ensures alignment with the overall organizational strategy. If there is no standardized approach, project governance is strategic for businesses and establishes a monitoring framework for optimal project delivery.

 

Improved decision making

 

Governance allows a company to describe a management style and an organizational framework for all activities. A company that works in project mode, establishes a project governance to ensure the dissemination of information in a particular way. This governance is meant to facilitate the taking of thoughtful and strategic decisions in the context of complex projects with high stakes. During the life cycle of a project, many events are created as a result of changes, for example. Effective governance should enable the collection of information quickly, in order to make good decisions and keep the project under control. Based on practice and experience, governance provides a direction for making the necessary changes.

 

Maximize ROI

 

Efficient governance minimizes the risks of change and maximizes revenue. Governance allows the defining of areas of responsibility for stakeholders and to understand which actions have worked and which did not bring the expected results.

 

The areas of governance

 

Project governance helps define a framework and a strict methodology for running a project. It provides a logical strategy aligned with the overall organizational strategy, establishes clear goals and offers the visibility to see if the objectives have been achieved.

 

If there is no standard governance, it is important to create a favourable project environment. Project managers who can implement and monitor governance improve their chances of success.

 

Here are some areas to consider for establishing an effective project governance:

 

  • Project objectives: it is important to accurately understand the issues and project objectives by defining specific criteria. This information helps set expectations and shows that the project is well aligned with the strategic objectives of the company and meets the company’s needs.

 

  • Project management methodology: a method for implementing a project is essential to its success. We must therefore define the path and steps leading to the delivery. This methodology should be consistent with the organization’s strategy.

 

  • Monitoring, reporting and decision making: Governance sets the controls during the project implementation. Reporting or dashboards integrate important and useful information and make this information available to management. The reporting should be clear enough and should consider the maximum amount of metrics, to convey an accurate picture of the situation.

 

  • Tools used: projects can be very different from one another and the tools used during the execution can be varied. Governance requires the use of specific tools.

 

  • Project team: a project cannot exist without the people who work on the project from idea to delivery. Consider the necessary knowledge and employees skills for the success of the project.

 

 

Project management is increasingly complex and difficult to monitor. The establishment of an efficient governance will help keep some control and optimize results.

More information about Genius Project

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Why you should ask your talent ‘Where would you want to work after here?’ http://www.projectaccelerator.co.uk/ask-talent-want-work/ http://www.projectaccelerator.co.uk/ask-talent-want-work/#respond Thu, 23 Feb 2017 12:42:22 +0000 http://www.projectaccelerator.co.uk/?p=5497 “If you get the gig, where would you want to work after here?” As a recruitment specialist, my ears pricked up. I heard this conversation in a coffee bar this week. Actually, I was already pretty fascinated because the conversation was a job interview between a radio presenter and a radio station boss and it’s …

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where do you want to work after here

“If you get the gig, where would you want to work after here?”

As a recruitment specialist, my ears pricked up.

I heard this conversation in a coffee bar this week. Actually, I was already pretty fascinated because the conversation was a job interview between a radio presenter and a radio station boss and it’s not every day that you get to eavesdrop upon such a chat.

The presenter was coy, saying the kind of things that she probably thought the boss wanted to hear about long term commitment but the boss pressed on and eventually she revealed a dream to work for Radio 1.

“Great,” said the boss, “if you come to work with us we’ll work every day honing your act so that you’re good enough to work for Radio 1.”

Coaching talent to be more able to get their next job … what an interesting approach to recruitment. As the manager gathered his coat afterwards I asked him about it.

“It gives me a sense that I’m hiring someone who is on their way up the career ladder,” he told me, adding, “and it gives us a working quality benchmark that is aspirational and not naggy. You get more out of your talent if they believe that you’re on their side beyond this job and not just coaching them to deliver what the station needs.”

It’s a thought, isn’t it? A talent partnership.

Could you start a recruitment interview in this way? Would it even work for IT Recruitment?

It reminded me of the book ‘The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age’ by LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman in which he explores how the employer/employee relationship has changed. Managers can’t offer lifetime employment but still need to build something that will last. The challenge is doing that when you are actively encouraging talent to behave like free agents.

The solution that Hoffman and his co-authors Ben Casnocha and Chris Yeh came up with was to embrace the reality. Stop trying to create a family atmosphere for employees where if your face fits you’re locked in forever but don’t think of them as free agents either. Start thinking of talent as allies on a ‘tour of duty’ with your mission.

It’s an alliance that is held together by mutual benefits. As an employer you invest in your talent with a monthly deposit in their bank account, you maybe give them future opportunities with your organisation (without a promise of a ‘job for life’) but more than that you mentor them (you make them ‘next job ready’) – you invest in their market value!

In return, they invest in your organisation’s success by providing their talent, creativity, energy and experience for the duration of the alliance. Then, at the end of the ‘tour of duty,’ you meet up to re-evaluate the relationship and agree upon what happens next.

The radio manager in the coffee shop seemed to feel liberated by embracing the reality that his talent will eventually leave. Indeed, in the book ‘The Alliance’ it is encouraged that you actually have conversations with your employees about what their dream job would be and then explore how to align day to day activities so that both you and they are sticking to a chosen path.

If you think about it from the talent’s point of view it makes sense.

A career is more than a job, especially these days where contracts can last just a day. They want success and the feeling that they are advancing on a daily basis and if you can’t give them a guarantee of long term work then you’ll have to come up with something else to keep them engaged and get a maximum return on your investment.

There is a tangible pressure on IT staff to be ready for their next job but the last thing that your IT Project portfolio needs is talent working for you but with half their attention diverted by this unknown future. A Gallup poll in the US found that 70% of workers were not engaged in their work, if this is true of IT teams it is perhaps not a surprise that so many projects struggle.

However, when you have the conversation when you agree to align their time with you with their career hopes and dreams you’ll find that they relax and engage. They seek out ways to gather career-advancing skills whilst on the job and that benefits them in the long term and you right now. It’s transformational – your talent grows their portfolio of skills and experience and your business is transformed by the accomplishment of specific missions.

In many ways, it’s like taking the agile project management methodology, where you adapt on a continual basis to achieve a specific well-defined goal, and applying it to IT recruitment. The important thing from your point of view as the hirer is how ready you are to adapt. You need to have a continuous rolling recruitment strategy or get a recruitment partner who will get to know your culture, missions and ambitions and keep a constant eye on the talent market so you’re ready should your best talent find something new.

Embracing the fact that talent moves on doesn’t make it happen any quicker, though.

Paradoxically, Reid Hoffman says on his website, “Acknowledging that your employees might leave, is how you build the relationship that convinces great people to stay.” The tour of duty approach or entering into a partnership with your talent builds trust incrementally as you commit to shorter steps which are based on deliverable, specific promises.

The radio station manager committed to making his presenter good enough for a major national station. In return, he gets a major national station mindset working on his brand. By helping your talent improve to the level of their greatest aspirations you’ll end up with world class talent working on yours.

SOURCE

The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age – Reid Hoffman 

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‘I pity the fool’ that doesn’t value their B.A. http://www.projectaccelerator.co.uk/pity-fool-doesnt-value-b/ http://www.projectaccelerator.co.uk/pity-fool-doesnt-value-b/#respond Wed, 22 Feb 2017 11:14:18 +0000 http://www.projectaccelerator.co.uk/?p=5493 OK, the Mr T reference may be wasted on anyone under 30 but in IT Project Management your ‘B.A.’ is as much a key part of the A-Team as B.A. Baracus ever was! Often, I’ve seen the holder of the role of Business Analyst be the positive difference between success and failure – so why …

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Value your BAOK, the Mr T reference may be wasted on anyone under 30 but in IT Project Management your ‘B.A.’ is as much a key part of the A-Team as B.A. Baracus ever was!

Often, I’ve seen the holder of the role of Business Analyst be the positive difference between success and failure – so why don’t BAs get the credit that they deserve?

In his great ProjectManagement.com article ‘Business Analysts: The Unsung Heroes of Organisational Success’, Michael Wood suggests it may be two-fold, “First, most senior managers don’t understand the value BAs can bring to an organisation in helping it drive strategic initiatives into operational reality. The second is that there aren’t that many great BAs, so they don’t deliver the value that can be realised.”

Reading Michael’s words gives me cause to pause and reflect on my opening statement. While it’s true that I have seen Business Analysts be the positive difference in an IT Project it is also true that some IT Projects have floundered through a lack of BA basics.

It really matters. I have written in the past that, in the next phase of its evolution, IT will no longer ‘merely’ support the business, it will BE the business.

Consider this. “IT must be positioned as a business unit that adds value. A focus on enabling business objectives must be at the forefront of IT’s thinking. The management of multiple service providers in delivering business outcomes will become an increasingly important capability.” (Ovum 2015- ITSM Trends to Watch:).

It’s a powerful argument for Business Analysts to step up but also for businesses to actively encourage best practice. To do that the C-suite has to get its collective head around the potential a great B.A. can deliver.

I’m a huge fan!

World class B.A.s deliver a measurable difference. They are the coordinators of strategic change, delivering the intelligence that course through the veins of successful IT projects, they have a finger on the business case pulse, and like the best chess players, they are several moves ahead of the moment considering the implications of every decision, not just within the confines of an individual IT project but across the whole parent organisation too.

Business Analysts help improve and constantly enhance your IT services and support by helping integrate Service Delivery and IT and business strategy and giving you the intelligence to review the IT cost of running your services. They play an active role in improving the availability, reliability and performance of your Service Delivery. They define scope, identify and liaise with key stakeholders, and provide clear, actionable requirements to implementation teams.

Describing his Business Analyst one Project Leader says, “She’s like a Project octopus with tentacles influencing every aspect of the project, a great Project Manager in her own right, a process expert and strategist but what I really love is that she never comes to me with a problem without first imagining a solution. Her analysis of the data is always spot on and the solutions she designs are always congruent with the project mission and business case.”

So, to be a great Business Analyst do you have to be a bit of an IT octopus?

In Michael Wood’s article, he rather suggests that you do. he lists ‘Strategic Thinker’, ‘Data Model Conceptualizer’, ‘Project Manager’, ‘Business Process Expert’, ‘Applications Requirements Architect’ and ‘Change Facilitator’ among the character traits of world class B.A.s.

It’s quite a lot to ask! Investing in training your Business Analyst talent to excel at any of these disciplines will pay you a healthy return.

To be fair, I regularly see many of these skills (and more) on display from Business Analysts that I work with but if you do find that you’re falling short there are options.

If a lack of business intelligence reporting is hampering effective Programme Management, you can access PM focussed business analysis in the ‘as a Service’ market to give you a competitive edge. Service Delivery Assessments and CMMI based Service Benchmarking can deliver sustained capability improvement and deliver substantive benefits to your organisation.

With the right partner, delivering a business and culturally aligned service, you can benefit from strategic recommendations and prioritised improvement with risk & business impact assessments.

In conclusion, while every organisation should be seeking to encourage in-house Business Analysts to step up and deliver change, in the meantime, You CAN hire in the business analyst octopus that you need.

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IR35 – how to avoid Public Sector IT talent shortages http://www.projectaccelerator.co.uk/ir35-avoid-public-sector-talent-shortages/ http://www.projectaccelerator.co.uk/ir35-avoid-public-sector-talent-shortages/#respond Wed, 15 Feb 2017 08:41:31 +0000 http://www.projectaccelerator.co.uk/?p=5488 When the Government announced changes to IR35 and off-payroll working rules for public sector workers like IT contractors, a wave of confusion rippled through online forums used by contractors and hirers alike. There are some great online resources that explain the changes, not least the one published by Stoneseed, in this post we’ll explore ways …

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IR35 - how to avoid Public Sector IT talent shortagesWhen the Government announced changes to IR35 and off-payroll working rules for public sector workers like IT contractors, a wave of confusion rippled through online forums used by contractors and hirers alike. There are some great online resources that explain the changes, not least the one published by Stoneseed, in this post we’ll explore ways to protect your organisation from the changes to IR35 and the potential implications that they may have on your IT operation.

Firstly, a brief catch up.

IR35, also known as the Intermediaries legislation, was a response to perceived ‘tax avoidance’ by contractors operating as Personal Service Companies (PSC) but fundamentally behaving like employees – what became known as “disguised employment”. Clearly many contractors deliver services to clients that could not be construed as disguised employment and so there needed to be a test to define which talent fell into which category and guidance on who was responsible for making the call.

From April 2017 there will be a significant shift in responsibilities and liabilities. Simply put, responsibility to determine a public sector contractor’s IR35 status shifts from them to you, the end-client.

The government acknowledges that there will be “a significant initial impact” but seem to consider that this will be mainly confined to extra admin duties for public sector organisations. However, many public sector hirers are also raising fears that contractors will either increase their prices to mitigate any extra tax due or that they may shift their talents to the private sector, in which case the hiring body could face higher costs and may struggle to recruit the best talent.

According to a survey by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), few public sector hirers are in favour of the changes with almost seven out of ten HR managers (69.5%) fearing a negative impact in terms of increased wage bills, their ability to attract talented individuals and their ability to afford the experienced contractors required.

Furthermore, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) warned off a “significant risk” as public sector organisations are likely to mitigate the potential risk of liability by using only large outsourcing service providers, again with cost implications for the sector.

Most commentators and observers agree that implications will reach further than extra paperwork, to what extent will depend largely upon how ready for the change organisations are. There are a number of things that you can do now to protect yourself.

1 – Start The Conversation NOW

Organisations that are dependent upon contractors should have started the dialogue with their talent already and if that’s you and you haven’t – start now. To be clear, the client needs to take the view on whether a particular service provided falls inside or outside IR35. In the interests of fairness to all, this is a judgement that is better made in a calm, measured fashion before the rules changes rather than in a rushed panic afterwards.

Having made your judgements, you will then have time to react to any decisions made by contractors on how they will operate moving forward, i.e. if they stop providing their services to the sector you will have some space to seek an alternative.

2 – Consider the Project Management as a Service market

This is probably the cleanest way to mitigate risks. Although it is true that booking contractors through agencies might shift liability to the intermediary, the IR35 decision will rest with the public sector organisation as opposed to the agency and as buyers realise this they are increasingly looking to G-Cloud for inspiration.

All public sector organisations can use the G-Cloud or the Digital Marketplace to find people, services and technology for IT projects. The Project Management as a Service (PMaaS) market offers you a complete range of Project Management services, including full Programme Management Office(PMO) providing assessments, governance, tools and people to improve your delivery capability and performance. Best of all, engaging services this way is unlikely to be perceived as “disguised employment”.

Early adopters are also benefitting from consistently high-quality IT Project Delivery, often with no net increase in the overall portfolio costs and are grateful to the IR35 changes for practically forcing upon them the opportunity to rethink their approach to IT.

3 – Be Proactive And Seek Win/Win Arrangements With Contractors To Keep Them Outside IR35

In some cases, IT contractor arrangements can be defined to ensure that they do fall outside IR35. If you currently arrange substitute talent when your contractor is ill, for instance, this would ‘fail’ the IR35 test and be deemed as “disguised employment” but shifting this responsibility to your contractor might rebalance the judgement. Again, accessing talent through a legitimate Project Management as a Service arrangement would be the clearest way forward.

It is recommended that public sector hirers and contractors work through HMRC’s IR35 criteria together to find work around solutions that work for both client and contractor but ultimately, more importantly, the tax man! An independent review may be the best way to ensure compliance.

In conclusion, time is running out and for public sector bodies doing nothing is not an option. Many IT contractors that I talk with are already considering their future outside the public sector. It is vital that you do everything that can to keep them outside IR35 or convince them of the benefits of coming “on payroll” with you (good luck with that) or you risk losing key contractors and the crucial strategic skills they offer. Many public sector organisations are skipping this step altogether by reimagining their approach to IT services and project delivery procurement, furthermore, having entered the ‘as a Service’ market many are wondering why they didn’t do it sooner.

Download the free IR35 Update – Key facts for employers

Source for stats

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Project Management History – A Visual Illustration On How Far It’s Come http://www.projectaccelerator.co.uk/project-management-history-visual-illustration-far-come/ http://www.projectaccelerator.co.uk/project-management-history-visual-illustration-far-come/#respond Fri, 27 Jan 2017 08:55:31 +0000 http://www.projectaccelerator.co.uk/?p=5481 If project management is the overseeing of any venture with the aim of creating something unique or providing excellent service, then we have all been project managers at certain points in our life; of course, without the official title. At certain times, we have all found ourselves overseeing some form of activity, paying attention to …

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If project management is the overseeing of any venture with the aim of creating something unique or providing excellent service, then we have all been project managers at certain points in our life; of course, without the official title. At certain times, we have all found ourselves overseeing some form of activity, paying attention to every single detail to ensure nothing goes awry. To ensure the project was a success, we must have pulled from our repertoire elements of project management that include the following:

 

Planning and Scheduling – This entails having a sense of direction for your “project”, a grand picture, the order in which tasks were to be executed.

Time Management – The race against time is one that everyone has had to engage in.

Human Resource Management – Probably the most important aspect of your “project”; the ability to manage a group of people well enough to achieve your objectives is a skill that only the best project managers possess.

 

We could go on and on but based on the definitions and descriptions in the above paragraphs, we can clearly see that the concept of project management dates back to thousands of years; probably as far back as when man first had the awesome idea to create shelter for himself.

 

However, modern project management didn’t kick off until the 1950s and since then, we have seen the discipline evolve through the years. While the focus was mainly in the field of construction, we saw it spread it’s tentacles into manufacturing, medicine, Information Technology and defense to name just a few.

It’s been quite an interesting journey and this infographic from Nutcache just about sums it up.

 

project management infographic from nutcache.com

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Why you need a CIO on the board http://www.projectaccelerator.co.uk/why-you-need-a-cio-on-the-board/ http://www.projectaccelerator.co.uk/why-you-need-a-cio-on-the-board/#respond Wed, 25 Jan 2017 16:07:16 +0000 http://projectaccelerator.co.uk/?p=5221 Only four specialist IT professionals have made it into the boardrooms of the UK’s FTSE 100 companies. Put that another way ninety-six of the UK’s biggest firms have no tech representation on their board! I think this should be a major action plan for EVERY company or organisation. OK, a technology professional recommending that technology …

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why you need a cio on the boardOnly four specialist IT professionals have made it into the boardrooms of the UK’s FTSE 100 companies. Put that another way ninety-six of the UK’s biggest firms have no tech representation on their board!

I think this should be a major action plan for EVERY company or organisation.

OK, a technology professional recommending that technology professionals should get higher prominence – no surprises there – but it’s more than self-interest.

Take a look at the four – Merlin Entertainments, AstraZeneca, Arm Holdings and Hargreaves Lansdown – what do they all have in common? A visitor attraction operator, a medicine firm, a software design company and an investment service – at first blush these four are an eclectic bunch.

However, what each of these visionary companies has in common is that they have all really embraced the reality of the role that technology is playing in their success.

AND the truth is, that now just about every firm is a tech firm.

You may sell sausages or semi-conductors but to survive these days you must also be a tech firm. IT is at the heart of most operations so it’s about time to reserve a seat around your boardroom table for a chief technology officer, chief information officer or a chief digital officer.

The good news is that, outside the FTSE 100, Britain is doing better than most other countries. IT experts are on the boards of 14.3% of UK companies, a number second only to the United States, but that still means over 85% of boards have no IT representative.

Progress is being made further down the chain of command.

IT professionals are on the management committees of almost a quarter (24) of the FTSE 100 companies, twenty more than in 2011. Do down another level and IT specialists have leadership roles at nearly three quarters (72) FTSE 100 firms companies (up 29 from 2011).

So, progress but not high enough up. There is a glass ceiling that must be broken and for that to happen IT has to be seen as an integral part of your business strategy and not, as has historically been the case, as a cost centre.

Looking again at that list of four firms that have a board-level IT expert, I notice another thing that they have in common.

Each of them are innovators. Hargreaves Lansdown is considered by many to be the UK’s most successful large financial services firm, it harnesses innovative IT to disrupt the way small investors can buy and sell. Its IT operation is headed by Computing magazine’s 2014 CIO of the Year – It’s no coincidence.

A CIO on the board could lead to more innovation within your organisation.

More IT Projects could be signed off more quickly improving your ability to react to market disruptions and changes. Just about every industry is facing threats from new entrants leveraging the latest technology, it makes sense that you have access to that kind of expertise at your top table.

So why does the glass ceiling exist?

I think there could a number of reasons. CEOs are often promoted from the ranks of CFOs and COOs. As a consequence, I think, there may be a bias against IT specialists. Perhaps IT is a function that is not widely understood by the accountants and business unit heads that populate most boards.

Perhaps it’s that CIOs have been seen to be managing cost centres.

Maybe it’s that IT leaders tend to come up through the ranks of the IT department, consequently, it may be perceived that they only have experience of that ‘silo’ with little knowledge of the workings of the rest of the company.

It may be a combination of these and more.

It’s very short-sighted thinking, though, increasingly CIOs are adding new value to their businesses and not just reducing costs. They are identifying ways that technology can add new revenue streams, technology opportunities are aligning with business opportunities and that’s something that should pique the interest of any board.

That ‘siloed’ view perception frustrates me too. The Project Managers I work with, for example, often handle projects that span all parts of their organisation. They work with the whole entity as a matter of daily routine rather than just the IT department.

CIOs are increasingly customer and business minded. Marriot CIO Bruce Hoffmeister, for example, insists that everyone in IT is familiar with how the chains ‘revenue per available room’ (RevPAR) works. By aligning IT metrics with business or industry metrics a CIO can increase the value of his or her stock with the board. Hoffmeister is cited as saying that anyone in IT are not thinking about their potential to increase RevPAR is not doing their job properly. Music to any CEO’s ears!

Furthermore, the trends on those lower rungs of the ladder should be telling you something out there is changing. As identified earlier, management committee and leadership roles for IT professionals are trending up which means that increasingly companies will be selling into the ‘CIO community’. You will need CIO paradigms to build your product catalogue or service brochure to attract buyers in this market.

Anecdotally, I hear the mood music changing.

Cyber security is making firms re-evaluate their board’s position on the inclusion of IT professionals. Security is increasingly a priority for CEOs – who better to advise as organisations strive to stay ahead of the cyber hackers? In the interests of security, some CEOs are promoting their own CIOs to join the boardroom others are poaching CIOs from other companies. Consequently, CEOs who do not make space at the boardroom table may find themselves losing their talent to more forward- Boards thinking firms.

The IT professionals who have made it onto the boards of the four FTSE100 firms (and those 14.3% elsewhere) are trailblazers. It’s time that others follow in their wake.

that welcome their best CIOs will benefit from greater innovation and mitigate cyber risks.

Surely, in the current climate, it’s a no brainer!

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Does everyone need to be a project manager? http://www.projectaccelerator.co.uk/does-everyone-need-to-be-a-project-manager/ http://www.projectaccelerator.co.uk/does-everyone-need-to-be-a-project-manager/#respond Sun, 22 Jan 2017 08:40:30 +0000 http://projectaccelerator.co.uk/?p=5247 Even the Labour Party says that communication directors need to spin and project-manage at the same time! Every day there are hundreds of thousands of jobs advertised for professional project managers, whether that’s in IT, management consultancy, financial services or even construction.   But as technology changes the game, and the world responds to the complexities …

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Even the Labour Party says that communication directors need to spin and project-manage at the same time!

Every day there are hundreds of thousands of jobs advertised for professional project managers, whether that’s in IT, management consultancy, financial services or even construction.   But as technology changes the game, and the world responds to the complexities of this new order, all organizations – from large corporates to small start-ups, governments and political parties, and even the cash-strapped public sector – need to skill up in project management to achieve success.

Even Jeremy Corbyn and Seamus Milne agree!

This week the Labour Party advertised for a Deputy Director – Strategy and Communications, reporting directly to Labour’s chief spin doctor Seamus Milne.  A requirement of the job is “a proven track record of success in project management, through the complete project life cycle, preferably in complex situations”.

http://www.labour.org.uk/page/-/JD%20-%20Deputy%20Director%20-%20Strategy%20and%20Communications.pdf

The growing requirement for project management skills was also recently borne out by a survey conducted by PRINCE2, the world’s most-practised method for project management.  It found that, of the hundreds of thousands of professionals who apply the PRINCE2 method in their daily lives, over 65% were not in a specifically designated project management role; they were instead described as accountants, marketers, event managers, lawyers, doctors, HR professionals, and so on.

What’s more, of the professionals who held a project management qualification, such as PRINCE2, 88% said that it had aided their career progression and 85% said it helped in their current role.

The changing face of the project manager has also prompted a major update of PRINCE2, which in mid-2017 will see a change to its guidance.  Now, anyone, with a project to manage — even if he or she is not a full-time project manager – will find it easier to tailor the method in keeping with the complexity and specific requirements of a project.

As it happens, the updated PRINCE2 guidance, Managing Successful Projects, and examinations won’t be available until mid-2017, but we strongly recommend that Labour’s new Deputy Director, Strategy and Communications, should read up on PRINCE2 over the summer.  It might come in useful when planning for Labour’s Annual Conference in the autumn.

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