Articles and Publications


Staying Safe at Schoolies

2019-11-18

Schoolies should be a time to relax and celebrate finishing school with your friends and be an event you have fond memories off. However, a fun time can turn bitter quickly. Drug Overdoes, Fights, Theft, Robberies, Assaults, Being Arrested, Alcohol Poisoning, dehydration, physical and mental injuries and illnesses consequences from unsafe behaviours.

Our list of 20 tips to keep you safe at Schoolies this year are:

  1. Don’t Leave Drinks Unattended
  2. Don’t accept open drinks from someone you don’t know
  3. Stay in a Group
  4. Look out for your friends
  5. Don’t swim at night
  6. Avoid the Balcony at night and when you have been drinking
  7. Always lock your Hotel Door whether you are in the room or not
  8. If you are sharing a room, make sure you know whom has the key or if there is a 24-hour concierge leave the key with them
  9. Always keep your Schoolies Lanyard on you
  10. Keep your belonging with you and don’t relay on others to look after your stuff
  11. Make sure your friends get home safe and everyone is accounted for
  12. Keep your phone fully charged and ensure you have credit
  13. Phones go flat so have a plan such as a met-up place and time, if you are separated from your group and uncontactable
  14. Ensure you know the address of your hotel so you can get home safety
  15. Keep in contact with your Parents throughout the week and let them know whom you are with and where you are going
  16. Obey and respect the House Rules for your hotel and accommodation and ensure you don’t get kicked out
  17. Have emergency phone numbers with you such as Red frogs, Schoolies Hotline, 000 and Your Hotel
  18. Look after your health and wellbeing. Stay Dehydrated, ensure you eat and get sufficient rest
  19. If you suspect you or a friend is having a bad reaction to drugs or have drunken too much, seek medical attention immediately
  20. Remember its ok to say no, if you are not comfortable or think something is not right don’t do it and don’t give in to peer pressure.

Choosing Security for your next event

2019-06-14

When Planning an Event you will be sure to have many questions relating to choosing Security, some of these questions may be:

HOW MANY SECURITY GUARDS DO I NEED ?

This really does depend on a number of factors such as if Alcohol will be present, the type of event, the location, the demographics, the size and how many people will be present.

For a basic event budgeting for 1 guard for every 100 people would be a starting point.

If you are operating a licensed venue that will trade after 1am within the Brisbane City Council area, you must comply with the 2002 Liquor Regulation Act. The security to patron ratios are:

Number of Patrons of Crowd ControllersNumber
1 to 1001
101 to 2002
201 to 3003
301 to 4004
401 to 5005
Additional over 500 (every additional 250)1

WHICH SECURITY COMPANY SHOULD I CHOOSE ?

Its essential that you choose a Respected Security Company whom are licenced (Master Licence) and insured. They should supply professional Guards whom are also licenced (individual licence) and possess a current First Aid Certificate.

By choosing a local company they will have experience with the unique and diverse concerns and issues for that area. Not to mention being familiar with local services (i.e. Police, Fire Brigade, Hospitals, Doctors, etc.)

Look for a Company that has experience in the area that you require the service for or alternatively choose a diverse company with well rounded experience in a variety of different areas. These companies will have experience and be able to handle a wide range of different scenarios that may occur

ARE THERE DIFFERENT TYPES OF SECURITY ?

Yes there certainly are many different types of Security and what services you require will greatly depend on the type of event you are hosting and who or what you require protecting.

The main types of security services are:

Crowd control – The best option for outdoor events, festivals, concerts, parties, rave parties. Crowd Controllers are able to effectively monitor, manage and direct the crowd, whilst being capable to remediate any unruly behaviour that may occur.

Unarmed Guards – Unarmed Guards provide a range of functions such as securing Buildings, Attending to disturbances, patrolling the property, using monitoring equipment, providing loss prevention services, removing trespassers, maintaining peace and reminding guest and patrons of policies and procedures.  

Gatekeepers – This is another option for concerts and outdoor events. Gatekeepers are positioned near entrances and exits, as well as stages and barricades. They again manage, control and direct traffic whilst dealing with any issues that may occur throughout the event.

Bodyguards – The most suitable option for specialised, personal protection if you are looking to protect 1 or 2 people.

Mobile patrol unit – Where an event takes place across multiple sites or a larger area, Mobile patrols are great. Security are able to quickly and efficiently move between establishments or locations whilst attending to the security needs of the event.

Armed guards – No generally a requirement for events however may be considered for the safe transportation of large suns of money. The Security Company will undertake a formal risk assessment and consider the most appropriate means of transporting takings to the bank or other place.

Ushers -Assist Patrons by collecting tickets and directing people to their seats. As well as searching for lost times and providing direction to amenities’.

Ray Turner

Principal – Ray Turner Consultants


Retail Loss Prevention

2019-05-03

Retail Loss Prevention is simply defined as a set of practices employed by Retailers to preserve profit through eradicating or at least minimising “shrinkage” by theft, fraud, wastage, vandalism, abuse, other deliberate acts of misconduct or in advert error by staff members through poorly executed business practices or failure to follow procedures and policies.

The bulk of losses within The Retail sector are a result of deliberate but preventable criminal acts.

Depending on the specifics of your Business, The particulars of encountered losses, current loss prevention measures presently employed, allocated budget and other factors there are a number of effective measures that can be employed, including but not limited to:

Technology – CCTV, RFID/Electronic Tags, Point of Sale Equipment, Doorbells, etc.

People – Uniformed Security Guards, Covert Plain Clothed Security Personnel, Cash Escorts, Increased Staff Presence, Staff Positioning, etc.  

Physical – Store Layout, Position of Checkouts, Shorten Displays, Mirrors, Security Display Hooks, Display Cabinets, Install a Safe, etc.

Systems and Administration – Establishing Responsibilities and accountability, Developing Procedures and Policies, Signage, Inventory Management Tools, Staff Training, Staff Vetting, etc.

Ray Turner

Principal – Ray Turner Consultants


CCTVs Role in Fighting Crime

2016-05-30

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With yet another late night Armed Robbery at a local convenience store, I questioned why the rise in Robberies in an otherwise steamily quiet suburban town in Brisbane and secondly does CCTV really prevent crime?

Crime seems to be on the rise yet Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) systems are becoming increasingly common in homes, in shops, in pubs and clubs, in Schools and Universities, on public transport, in car parks and a variety of other environments.

Big Brother really is watching!

A CCTV System is not a physical barrier, does not limit access to an area or property, and does not make a person more difficult to rob or assault nor does it make an object or property harder to steal.

So what purpose is CCTV intended to play in Crime prevention?

  1. Firstly CCTV is a deterrent.

The effectiveness of this is somewhat ambiguous and depends on a variety of facts such as The Management and Operation of The System, The location installed and what Crime is targeted.

CCTV ultimately seeks to change the offenders perception that if he or she commits the crime they will be caught, increasing the risk of capture. The Offender however must be aware of the presence of the cameras and believe the risk of capture out weights the rewards of the intended crime.

  1. Secondarily The Footage is utilised to make an arrest and conviction

Police in all states throughout Australia rely heavily upon footage collected from CCTV Cameras when investigating crimes and there are numerous examples of where recordings has been utilised to aid in the conviction of an offender.

However there are often issues of image quality when assessing evidence. There are many different types of CCTV Systems and quality varies significantly. As an example some Cameras still in use today record in Black and White, whist others record still frames at intermittent times. Many CCTV Systems in homes and small business are purchased on-line and installed as a DIY (Do It Yourself) Kit.

Poor quality images are problematic from both a prosecution and defences perspective and often such evidence is deemed to be inadmissible and cannot be presented in Court.

A Professional CCTV System must incorporate and take into account a number of considerations and factors such as; Placement of The Cameras, Number of Cameras, Camera Types, Analogue vs Digital Cameras, Fixed or Wireless Cameras, Lenses, Resolution, Storage Requirements, Compression ratios, Remote Viewing, Monitoring, Network Requirements, Lighting, Environmental factors, etc.

There unfortunately is no “One Size Fits All” solution when it comes to CCTV.


When Project Managers Become a Danger

2015-09-20

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As Project Managers we are placed in positions of power and importance. We are in The Business of maintaining order and control, often in times of chaos. We are trusted to achieve the required outcomes in an honourable way within a strict code of conduct.

We are the White Knights brought in to fight the good fight, rescue those in anguish and grief and in due course deliver a successful project.

All actions we take reflect and are a direct effect of this. Or should be…………………

So when do Project Managers become a Danger to themselves, their team members, the project and their business?

My top Five (5) are:

  1. Spreading Pandemonium

Project Management is all about the process and following a defined and proven methodology. Right. Yes, in a perfect world! From time to time we will all face unrealistic expectations from a number of internal or external sources and our job as Project Managers is to navigate the team through the uncertainties and chaos to deliver the project with the best possible outcomes. The pressure felt by The PM must be controlled solely by The PM and cannot spread throughout The Team. Any half decent Project Manager has the ability to salvage something even in the most difficulty situation and bring the Project home, if handled correctly. But putting your pressures and burdens onto the team will guarantee chaos and disorder follows suite beyond the Project Team.

  1. Being a Drama Queen

It takes a special sort of person to succeed as a Project Manager and “stay in the game” long term. Due to the constant pressure associated with delivering unique, one off endeavours within a defined timeframe, often with difficult circumstances and conditions attached, it’s not for the faint hearted! A career PM should be calm, level headed and hold everything together through the ups and downs of the Project, whereas Drama Queen’s thrive on excitement and attention. The excitement can be negative or positive. Most of us long for a quiet, uneventful day in the office to catch up on paperwork, but for a Drama Queen when the project simply can’t deliver the stimulation needed, he or she starts rumours, gossip, traumas, dramatic declarations or proceeds with an emotional breakdown, in order to get the required gratification. A Drama Queen feels insecure unless all eyes are on them.   

  1. Project Going Too Well

When things are going too well early in a Project, in my opinion is the worst thing that could possibly happen! Absurd you may say…. However through experience I have come to learn and accept, when things go too well in the beginning The PM becomes lazy, begins to think they are invisible and forgets no Project ever goes to plan. Projects are Risky Endeavours no matter how modest or small they may seem and close attention needs to be paid to every aspect each and every day. By relaxing and becoming complacent too early simple but important and necessary planning and checking is forgotten or dismissed as not required. This is when issues fly under the radar and are missed, resulting in a Snowball effect.  

  1. Blowing Their Own Trumpet

A Project Manager must take a little less of the recognition and a lot more of the blame. Well at least they should! We have all worked with the Project Manager who spends the whole day on the phone, interrupts meetings and generally wastes everybody’s time telling every Tom, Dick and Harry about the 500 billion dollar project they delivered for The Secret Service or the time they built a space station in the Amazon Jungle. Whilst it is important to appropriately recognise achievements, the recognition should be directed to those responsible. The Project Manager whom feels the need to take credit for anything good that happens on the Project but then throws anyone who’s back is turned under the bus for anything that went wrong on The Project will sooner or later expose himself as the fraud he or she is and won’t survive long in the tough world of Project Management!

  1. Doing Too Much

Often the Project Manager whom has risen through the ranks and was a Tradesman, Computer Programmer or from an operational background feels the need to revert back to their profession. Regularly in difficult times and turbulence on a project, The Project Manager is on site Programming or installing rather than managing The Project and steering the ship through the storm. The Project Manager all too often forgets the time past and makes decisions or judgements based on old Technologies or how things were done back when Adam was a boy, rather than trusting and seeking the opinions or their Subject Matter Experts. The Project Manager whom is a perfectionist and has the attitude of “If you want something done properly do it yourself”, is equally as dangerous to themselves and The Project. No one Man or Woman can do everything!

Ray Turner

Principal – Ray Turner Consultants


Project Managers – The Path between Strategy and Execution

2015-08-23

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Often the value of a Project Manager is disregarded and discounted. A PM may be thought as a disposalable and replaceable resource engaged on a Project by Project Basis to meet a temporary business requirement.

Controversially, The Project Manager should be treasured, valued and adored by The Executive or Senior Management Team and be informed and regularly updated on the big picture and strategic direction of the organisation as well as consulted on decision making on a number of matters outside of the day to day, delivery of Projects.

Why you may be asking?

Well, let me tell you why a worthy PM ought to be The CEOs Best Friend.

Why the entire Project Management Team needs to be respected, acknowledged, commended, rewarded and valued as a key members of The Management Team.

The Executive Team might be the “brains behind the operation” and the ones that lead the organisation, repeatedly developing and surpassing their achievements of yesteryear, cultivating and promoting visions and strategies for the next unique product, cutting edge technology or whatever brilliant item or thing that puts the company on the map and sets up the organisation to be a leading player in their chosen industry.

However without the ability to deliver, supply and/or distribute the product or service in question, the vision and idea are merely only a dream. Only solid execution delivering the envisioned strategy will keep the organisation at the forefront of their game and ahead of their competitors perpetually.

By their own admission many companies admit they invest heavily with resources, funds and time when it comes to strategizing. High level executives are also likely to become involved and participate in the development of new strategies. On the flipside, they also admit they are somewhat weak when it comes to implementation.

Viewing development as a high level task requiring support from upper management and yet seeing executing as a lower or inferior task or concern, often considered to be below The C Suite and members of The Management Team is where it is falling over. With failure destine to follow.

Don’t be one of the large number of organisations that don’t follow through or follow through yet fail at the execution portion of the strategy.

It takes years of consistent execution for any establishment to accomplish sustainable competitive benefit from successful execution and such success cannot be achieved without exceptional Project Management.

To be successful, to deliver successful projects and ultimately successful outcomes.

Invest.

Invest in Executing.

Invest in your company’s future.

Follow a proven Framework.

Engage the right Team, if necessary hire from outside the business.

Employ a proven Project Manager to lead the team, to lead the execution, to lead the venture, to ensure success.

Execution is simply getting Projects done and executing any strategy requires excellent Project Management. The most creative and greatest ideas won’t and can’t materialise without Project Managers to accomplish them.

The Project Management Profession may not be considered cool nor is it high profile. Their probably is not a child alive whom dreams of being a project Manager. We are not Rock Stars, Astronauts, Brain Surgeons, Athletes nor Movie Stars. Most Project Managers may not be creative, may not have been the best engineer, programmer or professional in their chosen field.

But we are organised, focused on not only the output but the process behind it, driven, motivated, results focused, reliable, resourceful and adaptable, somewhat perfectionists, we are detail orientated, and we never give up. We are the ones sitting in the dark corner long after everyone else has left for the day tapping away on our keyboards, talking on our Mobiles, working towards the end game, focused on completion. But most importantly we are the clandestine to achieving success, the link often missed between strategy and victory.

That is why Project Managers are the path between strategy and Execution!

That is why we are a vital part of all successful businesses!

Ray Turner

Principal Ray Turner Consultants


Building a Project Centric Culture

2015-07-22

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In the volatile and unpredictable climate we find ourselves in, it is impossible to guarantee each and every Project will be a success on all fronts and achieve all desires impeccably. However to have a fighting chance one must build a Project centric culture within their organisation.

The environment, values, attitude and other enterprise environmental factors within the company alone can “Make or Break” The Project.

A project simply does not operate in a vacuum and is directly impacted by and has an effect on the cultural norms, procedures, policies, risk tolerances, standards, and many other factors of the organisation they are part of.

It is essential to engage a professional and proven Project Manager whom utilises tried and proven approaches and methodologies to lead the team and steer The Project.

Recruiting, engaging and retaining the right personnel is equally as important and then holding all Team Members Accountable is a must.

However even the best Project Manager won’t ensure the success of The Project, unless they are empowered and provided with authorisation and set up to succeed.

The company structure and organisation dictates whom has the power and authority to make what decisions and ultimately whom has control of The Project. The relationship between The PM and team members will vary substantially dependant on the authority of The Project Manager and structure of the organisation.

In a Projectized Environment, teams are organised around Projects and The Project Manger makes all of the decisions surrounding the Budget, Schedule, Resources and Quality. In this environment The PM ultimately is responsible for the success or failure of The Package of Work.  

On The “Flip Side”, in a functional workplace, whilst there may be a small number of dedicated Project Team Members, the majority of employees are members of a functional department (e.g. Finance, Engineering) and are loaned to the Project on a needs by needs basis. The Project Manager is more likely to be part time and assume an Expeditor or Administration Role with little to no responsibility and all decisions are made by The Department or Functional Manager. Often in a Functional or Weak Matrix atmosphere, Project Management and resourcing the endeavour is looked upon as a burden and disruption to day to day operational tasks.

A systematic arrangement aimed at accomplishing the purpose of the Project shaped by the common experiences, of the collective whole of the organisation are most likely to succeed in accomplishing the objectives of the project.

Culture is often hard to define or explain but you will know when you see and feel it!

Often an attempt to explain the culture may be “How we do things around here” or “The way we do things”, however a Culture is seen, felt and experienced across all functions and all personnel in the company.

A worthy project centric culture is an environment that demonstrations respect for the Project and inner working and a shared commitment for a successful outcome. Every hour and dollar spent must count toward the delivery of the scope and accepted and endorsed by the organisation as a whole rather than seen an unnecessary overhead.

Project management cultures can’t be bought, made-up or imagined. They must be real and need to be built from the ground up and driven from the top down by the Company and The People.

Cultures are unique and specific to an Organisation, Project, Work Group and Individual Team.

Take a step back and ask yourself “Does the culture of my Business have the best interests of The Project and Project outcomes in mind?”. If not what needs to be changes and how are we going to build a Project Centric Culture? And ensure our Projects have the best chance to make it.

Ray Turner

Principal Ray Turner Consultants


Personality Traits of Great Project Managers

2015-07-12

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Most Project Managers begin as “Accidental Project Managers”, by flourishing and being successful in their Trade or Field they are elected to “step up” and provided with an opportunity to Lead a Project. More often than not this opportunity was “a do or die” or ‘sink or swim” scenario for young, up and coming professionals. Somehow through devotion, dedication, hard work, commitment and passion not only do they survive but they develop the skills and knowledge to continue as PMs and take on larger, more complex and more challenging Projects, eventually earning repetitions as accomplished and seasoned Professionals in the Project Management arena.

We all know that The “Hard Skills” in The Project Management Subject Matter and the Methodologies required to grow and prosper can be taught or learnt.

However The “Soft Skills”, being attributes and characteristics are more difficult to pick up along the way, and are generally hardwired or built in from an early age.

In Project Management one must remain flexible and adaptable and must possess the ability to move rapidity between tasks and concepts and “wear many hats”. The ability to do so requires varying characteristics and personas suited to the individual tasks and roles.

An extraverted Project Leader would be suited to and enjoy leading meetings, negotiating contracts, communicating with contractors on site and resolving conflicts. Whereas an introverted Project Manager would be more appropriate with forecasting, reviewing contracts, compiling reports, developing budgets and analysing data.   

Before the late nights cultivating and perfecting Gantt Charts or the countless hours entrenched in the PMBOK Guide studying and cramming to conquer The esteemed PMP Certification or the frustration in comprehending and mastering Earned Value Management, what were the Personality Traits that sets up imminent PMs for success?

My Ten (10) collective personally traits that are likely to build the foundations for an esteemed Project Management Career are:

Detail Oriented – A PM needs to pay attention to every aspect of his or her Project and deal with any area of concern promptly, before it becomes a problem. However it is equality as important that a PM, manages rather than does, as the lurking danger of becoming too detailed orientated is that The Project Manager will become excessively involved in micro aspects rather than continuing to be macro and focusing on the project as a whole.

Adaptable – To be respected a PM must be able to voice his or her opinion and that of their team without being pushy or aggressive. Yet, They must also be flexible, adjustable and adaptable and be prepared to take advice and act upon the recommendations of their SMEs and other Stakeholders. Even if he or she does not agree with the behaviour and/or opinions of others, they have an obligation as Professionals to show due respect.

Resourceful – To succeed in Project Management, one must be resourceful and “think outside of the box”. Project Management involves solving problems and complications that arise, whilst never giving up and over coming continuous resource allocation issues and countless obstacles on a daily basis.

Passionate – If you don’t love your Project no one else will. Project Management is a stimulating, thrilling and challenging but rewarding and satisfying Career choice and only those whom truly love their occupation and view Project Management as a Career rather an a Job will make it to the top.

Ability to Lead and Command – A PM must take charge and lead The Team and Project whilst being able to naturally influence Stakeholders from “all walks of life” and cannot simply rely on their title alone to claim respect. They must have the ability to not only see the vision and understand the big picture but be able to share that visualization with the team then influence and motive the team to productively move towards the goal.

Organisation – No Project Manager can succeed unless they are efficient and organised. It takes superior organisation and great time management skills to meet deadlines that are often tight and regularly perceived as unachievable. A Project Manager must also manage resources from a variety of fields and areas and ensure they are also punctual and have the ability to meet all milestones of the Project. The “buck stops” with the Project Manager and ultimately he or she is responsible.

Communication – Unfortunately most Projects never run smoothly and it is rare that a Project will come in on time, within scope and under budget. Hence The PM must possess superior communication skills both written and verbally through a number of medium’s to a wide variety of people in various environments in order to “steer the ship through the storm”. At times a PM needs to be calming, comforting and soothing yet at times he or she must be assertive, firm and even forceful. Other times it take the ability to negotiate and be persuasive to ensure the success of the Project. Whatever it takes The PM must have the Communication Skills to get the message across and keep the Project moving forward.  

Cool, Calm and Collected – There is and never has been any doubt that Project Management can be a stressful occupation. A project is full of complications and at times may even be considered chaotic. Only those whom are able to cope under pressure and continue to perform will succeed in the world of Project Management. Often great Project Mangers Careers are cut short due to the inability to handle the ongoing stress caused by the job. A PM must learn to not only cope under the strain’s and responsibilities placed upon them but also see the pressure as an opportunity and learn to thrive on the knowledge that they are able to influence and guide the outcome of the problem, whilst never ever letting their workforce or the stakeholders see them sweat.

Reliable and Honest – A PMs word must mean something. It is important when a Project Manager makes a promise they keep that promise at all costs. Team Members will respect their integrity and loyalty, though he or she must also hold others accountable in a firm yet fair manner if they are unable to deliver what is expected or required of them.

Analytical Skills – Often a Project Manager is responsible to deliver a Project or components of a Project of which he or she may not have any previous experience or exposure to. Each and every day they will receive data from a variety of sources about expenses, problems, delays, goals, resources, materials, vendors, etc. The received data will be provided by a variety of sources and often have various degrees of accuracy. The PM must analyse the information, deciphering, filtering and deciding for themselves and the best interests of The Project what to act upon and what to ignore. Being able to obtain a realistic view of the progress through the received information is another crucial requirement. A great Project Manager also possesses a six sense and is able to spot a weakness or potential risk a mile off and address the concern immediately, in order to ensure the Project remains on track.

There is however no magical formula and everyone is unique with strengths and weaknesses.

Ray Turner

Principal Ray Turner Consultants


Why do so many Projects FAIL?

2015-06-08

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Why do so many Projects FAIL?

It’s no secret that a huge number of Projects FAIL. Project FAILure does not have to be a total tragedy with catastrophe effects and a written off or aborted Project. It may be the Project lost money or did not return the revenue intended or required, It could be the goals and objectives were not meet, the client’s expectations were not aligned with the delivered outcome, the Practical Completion date could not or was not meet or a number of other circumstances leading to the Project taking a nosedive and becoming a misadventure. 

It is estimated: 68% of Technology Projects FAIL. 17% of Large IT Projects go so poorly that they threaten the very existence of their Corporation. 36% of Projects do not meet their original objectives and business intent. 28% of Agile Projects completely FAIL. 37% of Business Process Change Projects FAIL to delivery benefits. 70% of Organisations have endured at least 1 FAILed Project in the past Twelve Months and 35% of Businesses have abandoned at least One major Project in the past Three Years. 

So Why Do Projects FAIL or FAIL to achieve what they were envisioned to accomplish?

1. Engaging the Wrong People

Too often personnel with the wrong skill set or lack of subject matter expertise are assigned to the Project either through an absence of the “Right” people being available or lack of understanding from The HR Department or Senior Management.

Simply selecting the first available person to fill a role rather than waiting for the person who is best qualified is a fast track to disaster on any Project.

As is failure to provide the team or individual team members with appropriate training specific to the Project requirements (i.e. Technology in use, Business domain, processes to be utilised, etc.).

All too often a great person within their field (i.e. Software Developer, Chemist, Electrician, etc.) prospers at their Profession and Role. Based upon being a successful in their field, gets promoted to the position of Project Manager and is now responsible to manage the types of projects they normally worked on. The difficulty is they often are not provided with training in Project Management and may also lack many of the soft skills the job calls for and as a result they struggle and frequently FAIL despite previous successes in their area of expertise.

2. Unclear Objectives and expectations

It is vital and essential for the Project Manager to ensure that the requirements of the project are defined early and are as detailed as possible. Poor defined objectives are a sure-fire way leading to project FAILure.

In countless cases of project FAILure, a poorly defined or non-existent Scope of Works leads to constant revamping and redesigning of the project since stakeholders are continually adding to the scope and providing input into what they envisaged or imagined the project was designed or proposed to do. This leads to limitless rework and delays, and can often end up causing project slippage or complete and utter failure.

A concise and detailed explanation of what the project is actually looking to achieve along with clear defined assumptions, exclusions, schedule, terms and conditions and other specifics of The Project, agreed upon and formally signed off by all stakeholders for the Project will confirm they are on board and are in agreement

It is equally important that clear roles and responsibilities for all Project Team Members are established and understood early as FAILure to do so often results in confusion, errors and omissions internally within The Team.

3. Unachievable and Unmanageable Workload

Most fruitful and successful organizations have more leads, opportunities and project enterprises than they can ever dream of fulfilling. It goes without saying that many of these businesses embark upon and take on many more Projects and developments than they should in order to maximise revenue of the business.

This consequently results in over worked and unhappy team members.

Where there are commitments and obligations to be fulfilled and insufficient personnel to complete project work without the luxury to engage more resources on the project, pushing a team OR individual that is already exhausted into doing even more overtime to meet the deadlines results in poor quality workmanship and often failure to delivery to Quality Standards or the imposed schedule.

4. Scope Creep Not Managed

FAILure to address excessive scope volatility and/or uncontrolled scope creep almost always results in loss of revenue through completing additional work not defined or required on the Project.

Excessive unplanned changes or scope creep are sure to result in FAILure of the entire Project.

Once you have defined accurately what work is required under The Project, Contract, SoW, etc. It is essential you freeze it and obsessively safeguard against all unplanned changes.

Any and all changes must be planned via a Change Control process and approved via a Change Control Board or other Responsible person in writing.

Subsequently then the PM can issue a revised Programme, Budget and any other required and justifiable amendments to the Project. Otherwise, you will likely miss your target and have an unhappy customer.

5. Inaccurate Estimations

Very often The Project Team are handed a “Lemon” or “A Hand Grenade”, in terms of a Project that has lost money before it has even started.

The causes for an inaccurate estimation is endless, a few examples are;

Budget or costs are cut to secure a contract

All too often, the Estimator FAILs to build in a contingency budget or allowance to handle unknowns

A manager, sales agent, customer or other person often bullies the team into making unrealistic and unachievable commitments

The assumptions used for estimating are not documented, justifiable nor validated

Estimates are often provided and committed too without a clear statement of works

6. Poor or lack of Communication

In Project Management, Communication can be said to be “The Glue that sticks everything together”. Without that glue the Project will fall apart.

Many internal and external Stakeholders on a project will recognise the Project Manager solely by his or her communication. They will distinguish The PM by how their voice derives across over the phone, how well the Project Manager can hold the floor and keep the attention of Team Members in a Meeting or how well-written his or her emails are.

If the project manager is not a clear and unambiguous communicator across multiple mediums, chaos and confusion will follow, resulting in a FAILed or less than perfect Project execution.

7. Absence of Leadership

The Project Manager is deemed to have the greatest impact of success (or FAILure) on the outcome of a project. 

An effective PM must be a natural Leader whom possesses a strong strategic vision of where to go and the ability to articulate that vision to Stakeholders on all different levels.

He or She must also have the capability to drive the initiative and not just manage a process. 

For a Project to succeed The PM must have the respect of his or her Troops. A respect that is earned through blood, sweat and tears not claimed.

8. Poor or non-existent Project Tracking and/or Forecasting

Believing that although the team is behind schedule, they will catch up later is a delusion and misconception that many PMs on a “Sinking Ship” often force themselves and others to believe. Only in rare circumstances does this illusion ever materialise.   

Monitoring and Controlling is an often forgotten or overlooked phase in The Project Lifecycle as is updating and ensuring forecasts are accurate.

The list of inadequacies in the area are endless. Several examples are;

FAILing to monitor employee, sub-contractor and/or vendor performance at regular intervals

Believing that a task reported by a team member as 90% done really is 90% done

Believing that because an individual was assigned a task earlier in the Project, they will remember what they were asked to do and when to do it

Creating a schedule and FAILing to review, revise and/or update it. Or if it is updated simply filling in percent done, which is an arbitrary number more times than not plucked out of the air.

FAILure to update P&L Summary. Or if the P&L Summary is updated the true and correct Costs to Date and Costs to Come are not known and percentages are once again conjectured or guessed.

9. Poor or no Methodology or Proven Approach

Many Industries are still lagging behind on the use of established and recognised project management methodologies, tools, tactics and knowledge.

FAILure to adopt and adhere to a suitable project methodology all too often is the fine line between a prosperous or botched Project.

Many Organisation whom do employ repeatable approaches, often fail to tailor the method to suit the Project.  Using waterfall in an organization where the business has an agile mentality leads to FAILure. As does using Scrum without the logic and acceptance of the larger picture also will inevitably lead to FAILure. 

A project management methodology ought to be part of any establishment’s determination to be consistently successful within The Project Management discipline. The methodology however must be personalized to the organization’s people, culture, industry and projects.

10. Risk management

Effective business development requires taking on calculated risks. Without Risk there would be no Reward.

For project managers, risks that develop into authentic or genuine threats can lead to FAILed projects.

Therefore, it is essential Project Managers focus on strong risk management policies and procedures.

PMs must never underestimate the looming threat of Risks and must also understand it is impossible to remove all risks, so we must try hard to identify and manage the said risks to prevent project FAILure. This involves identifying, quantifying, and managing all possible known risks.

Ray Turner 

Principal – Ray Turner Consultants


Project Management Trends 2015

2014-12-30

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Project Management is continually evolving and to “stay ahead of the game” it is essential to advance and progress with our Profession and the industry. As the New Year comes closer we are all asking what will be The Trends for 2015 ?, whilst none of us has a crystal ball my take on the Eight (8) biggest trends are as follows.

  1. Fostering and Agile Environment – The Agile approach to project execution, will continue to grow and build further traction in 2015, as Organisations look towards new methodologies to improve their delivery and outcomes of projects whilst gaining an upper hand on their competitors, through fresh methods. Indeed the rapid cycle time implementing this approach can massively improve results if applied and monitored correctly. However due to the relaxed methodology, somewhat informal structure and low level of documentation along with the multiple, swift project cycles often lead to failed attempts, unless implemented correctly by an experienced and skilled Team with close bonds. In 2015 large businesses will elect to incorporate an “Agile Approach” into the existing large tried and proven methodologies such as PMBOK and Prince2, forming hybrid methods rather than the “All or Nothing” approach of yesteryear.
  2. Program and Portfolio Management – 2015 is likely to see the implementation of clusters of smaller projects by a single PM as opposed to delivery of large intricate projects that some of us have become accustomed to. Organisations will lean towards mitigating risk through a larger volume of smaller projects and work packages, but will expect more to be done with less whilst delivering a speedier ROI and results in a much shorter time frame. Project Managers will require additional skills and knowledge in order to maintain governance and apply a holistic approach over the portfolio or program, which is vastly unlike managing a single Project.
  3. Certifications – Certifications and credentials are becoming a must. With global competition on the rise for professional Project Mangers to remain on the leading edge in our profession, credentials (or multiple) are now expected. This requirement will continue to cultivate into and throughout 2015, with a primary focus on PMIs PMP, Prince2 and the sweat of Agile/Scrum Certifications.
  4. Change Management – Change Management has been the “Buzz word” in Project Management circles over the past few years, with a frenzy generated. However I am not certain we all fully grasped the frameworks required for successful implementation of the tools and processes and as a result many successful Organisations adopted Change Management without applying it correctly nor reaping the real rewards and benefits. Traditionally change has been overlooked or not handled as well as it could have been. With the recent release of The CMBOK, the hype still fresh and lessons learnt, 2015 is the year to perfect Change Management processes.
  5. Benefits Realisation Driven – Gone are the “Bad Old Days” where bringing a project in on time, and on budget, constituted a successful project and a pat on the back. Often after client sign off has been achieved and a Lessons Learnt Meeting conducted, The Project Team moves on without ascertaining if the product or service returned the expected value. 2015 will see overdue evolution in this area, with emphasised accountability and measurability. Business Leaders expect results and confidence the desired outcomes have been not only met but exceeded. Results will be measured against the Business Case determining the true success of the project.
  6. The Big Picture – Project Management is rapidly advancing with a focus on “The Big Picture”, rather than the small piece of work being conducted. Business Leaders and Executives will urge, PMs to consider the alignment of a projects outcomes with those of the overall goals and strategic direction of the business. Project Management will no longer measured on a Project by Project basis but rather across all Commercial Initiatives. As a result Project Governance at an Executive level will inevitably be implemented to control business outcomes and investment spend within portfolios.
  7. Centralised PMOs – Centralised PMOs are on the rise and the value of Project Management Offices with a focus on improving project performance for large Organisations will continue to be acknowledged by Business Leaders with an emphasis to support Project Teams and enable projects to be successful. PMOs will focus on centralising decision making, providing support to The Project Teams, coordinate resources and provide a uniformed and standardised tools, templates, methodologies and procedures.
  8. The Cloud – More and more companies will move towards The Cloud in 2015. A rapid increase in Web Based Platforms permitting storage and sharing will become the normal of many project based entities with Project Documentation, Templates and Tools being accessible and available across multiple locations and devices.

Ray Turner

Principal Ray Turner Consultants



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