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Whitepapers

  • Organizational resilience—Elmar Kutsch
    resilience

    Organizational resilience—When rules find their limits

    The post-crash 21st century has seen many organizations – not just financial institutions – seeking to enhance their resilience. This is driven by their need to withstand an increasingly uncertain and complex future. The financial industry alone is said to be investing more than $20 billion into ‘ways of working’. The ability to prevent unfolding difficulties from developing into crises is increasingly seen as an organizational necessity, yet it is often unclear exactly what this means or what managers can do in practice.

    The challenge managers face in their pursuit of resilience can be understood in terms of uncertainty and complexity.

    Authors: Dr Elmar Kutsch, Mark Hall, Neil Turner
    Review status: N/A

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  • Creating a Culture of Engagement and Accountability—Tom Rose
    job_engagement

    Creating a Culture of Engagement and Accountability
    Executives and their leadership teams do three big things. They build a strategic vision, they mobilise an organisation to execute that vision, and they guide an organisation through and around implementation challenges that occur in making that vision a reality. In pursuing this threefold agenda, leaders actively cultivate a context that both engages others and promotes their accountability—this includes junior colleagues, peers, and senior colleagues.

    To address today’s pressing challenges most leaders and their executive teams have crafted strategic visions for how to win the hearts and minds of customers and secure profitable growth. While many have confidence in the vision, they have much less in its execution. Many executives worry that their organisations will not successfully execute the plans needed to make the strategic vision a reality. They foresee implementation challenges.

    People will have to do new things or familiar things differently. They will also need to drive results within tight timelines and budgets while negotiating the challenges of working with global and often remote teams.

    Author: Tom Rose
    Review status: N/A

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  • Why PPM and PMOs fail—KeyedIn Projects
    portfolio_risk

    Why PPM and PMOs fail
    There is a wide gap between what the PMO (Project Management Office) is doing and what the business expects it to be doing. This misalignment has serious consequences for both the PMO and the business.

    If you are concerned about setting up your PMO, then maybe you should be—the failure rate is very high with approximately half of all PMOs closing down within three years or considered implementation failures.

    Fortunately, it’s not all bad news. A select few PMOs are maturing to add great value to their businesses. What do these best in class PMOs do to separate themselves from the rest? With the right knowledge and an effective game plan you can make a huge difference to your PMO strategy—both strategically and tactically through the use of Project Portfolio Management (PPM).

    Author: KeyedIn Projects
    Review Status: N/A

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  • Contributing factors in optimal project portfolio selection—Doug Wheeler
    Basic portfolio management: project selection

    Contributing factors in optimal project portfolio selection
    The selection of projects and programs of work is a key function of both public and private sector organisations. Ideally, projects and programs that are selected to be undertaken are consistent with strategic objectives for the organisation; will provide value for money and return on investment; will be adequately resourced and prioritised; will not compete with general operations for resources and not restrict the ability of operations to provide income to the organisation; will match the capacity and capability of the organisation to deliver; and will produce outputs that are willingly accepted by end users and customers.

    A modified Delphi approach has been applied in this study to investigate best practice and to determine the factors that contribute to optimal selection of projects, and the associated strategic level decision making.

    There are various standards and practices that some may recognise as representing best practice in this area. Many of these have similar characteristics and this study has found no single best practice. Each of the participants in the study related to practices that are appropriate to the organisation, the size and nature of the candidate projects, the regulatory environment, its stakeholders, and the experience and capability of its personnel.The study identified the factors that contribute to the optimal selection of projects as: culture, process, knowledge of the business, knowledge of the work, education, experience, governance, risk awareness, selection of players, preconceptions, and time pressures. All these factors were found to be significant; to be appropriate to public sector organisations, private sector organisations and government owned corporations; and to have a strong linkage to research on strategic decision making. These factors can be consolidated into two underlying factors of
    organisation culture and leadership.

    The significance of the conclusions from this research is that organisations that do not give due consideration to the underlying drivers of organisation culture and leadership, will continue to make sub-optimal decisions on the billions of dollars they invest in projects each year.

    Author: Doug Wheeler
    Review status: Presented at the AIPM 2014 National Conference

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  • Learning Through Reflective Practice—Ahmad Alshehri
    lessons-learnt_project-process

    Learning Through Reflective Practice While Deploying a Load Management System In a Famous Cement Industry
    This paper explains the topics of ‘reflective practice and ‘learning through reflection’ in a practical project environment at one of Australia’s major Cement manufacturing companies (referred as ‘X-Cement Ltd’ in this paper). The project was to develop and deploy a comprehensive new load management system including the equipment and software logic automation in X-Cement Ltd using Agile Methodology and Approach of Project Management.

    Implementing Agile methodology within X-Cement Ltd involved:
    —Analysis of the project management approach already implemented at the X-Cement Ltd.
    —Responsibilities assignment to Staff and vendors teams to develop a project management system based on Agile Methodology which met the specific future needs of X-Cement Ltd.
    —Training of staff on Agile and operation of the load management system within the Power House department of The X-Cement Ltd.
    —The implementation of new logic metrics and measures to validate the success of, the new methodology.

    The project explains reflective practice in the form of brainstorming sessions and fortnightly meetings referred here as “Project review meetings” arranged by the project team to discuss the status of the project success so far or time elapsed by a project iteration, what could be improved, and how to achieve more success in the future/ next project objective. These meetings purely represent Social learning as well as Experiential learning.

    The project report explains the benefits achieved by X-Cement Ltd through reflection practice as:
    —Increased collaboration and trust among staff and vendor project teams
    —Increased work performance due to effective reflection
    —No loop holes left unattended during the project
    —Increased effective and detailed briefing on the project

    Author: Ahmad Alshehri
    Review status: Postgraduate assignment (University of Technology Sydney)

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  • Knowledge Sharing in a Project Based Environment—Muhammad Haroon Mukhtar
    team separation

    The Importance of Knowledge Sharing in a Project Based Environment as a Means for Performance Improvement – Case Study: HT’s 3G Trial Network Project in Country P
    This paper highlights the limitations imposed by an organization’s organizational structure on knowledge sharing among individuals and teams working on similar roles but in different projects that are isolated from each other. It takes as an example a small scale project of novel nature that a specific team was required to deliver having little to no technical expertise of the technology the project was meant to deliver. Some of the key issues that affected the project are discussed in detail along with the presentation of arguments how knowledge sharing between this projects’ team and another project team that had delivered a similar project could have benefitted the project in achieving an improved outcome.

    The ever present pressure of delivering the project at the earliest also acts as a barrier to providing such teams a common platform to share relevant knowledge and experiences to enhance their skills and abilities and be better prepared for the unforeseen situations and obstacles. Moreover, quite often developing and maintaining knowledge gained from existing projects is overshadowed by the haste of delivering new projects.

    This paper aims at emphasizing the opportunities that are missed due to such barriers, opportunities that promise learning and improvement for individuals, teams and organizations through knowledge sharing.

    Author: Muhammad Haroon Mukhtar
    Review status: Postgraduate assignment (University of Technology Sydney)

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  • Project Performance Improvement—Denise O’Sullivan
    software_partner

    Project Performance Improvement
    This paper discusses the benefit of using reflection and improvement techniques in a software development and organisational change project. While the project was reasonably mature in the change management and implementation streams the paper argues that reflection could be embedded in a more structured fashion and that there is always room for improvement when teams are working together in this more virtual and complex world. The dark side of the organisation is explored and the conclusion is that there is plenty more work to be done on this human aspect of project management.

    The paper concludes that the company where the new system was being implemented could have reduced costs if three areas of improvement were given more focus, employee understanding of the change, developer understanding of the user experience and more detailed planning of the support required during the implementation.

    Author: Denise O’Sullivan
    Review status: Postgraduate assignment (University of Technology Sydney)

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  • Project Performance Improvements—Sepideh Habibipour
    rail

    Project Performance Improvements
    This reflective report explores the topics of ‘reflection’ and ‘learning through reflection’ within the context of the project environment within one of the major worldwide rail (brake system) manufacturer companies in Australia (hereby referred to as ‘The Rail Company’). Due to company development and changes in business strategy, implementing new processes, new modules in SAP and some minor changes in hierarchy organization structure were required. Therefore executive management has decided to define a project named ‘Operation Performance Improvement’ (hereby referred to as just ‘The Project’) to manage the requirements successfully. The project manager, to achieve continuous performance improvement and benefits in the project and organization level, has picked and implemented the reflective practice approach similar to Theory-in-practice (Winter et al, 2006) and SECI model(kujiro Nonaka and Hirotaka Takeuchi, 2000). These approach and model have been implemented through the meetings named‘ Service Center improvement’ (hereby referred to as just ‘The weekly meeting’). The highlighted benefits that have been achieved through this project were increasing efficiencies in different department, increasing team member’s competencies and changing team members from trainers to reflective practitioner, increasing the level of trust through deferent departments by sharing knowledge and experiences in not judgmental environment and at the end adding knowledge Asset to the organization by creating processes of dynamic converting knowledge (from tacit knowledge to explicit knowledge). At the end this paper will focus on specified lessons learnt that have been achieved through this project and the works which team members and project manager will do differently in future projects.

    Author: Sepideh Habibipour
    Review status: Postgraduate assignment (University of Technology Sydney)

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  • Tacit Knowledge in the Workplace—Brenton Conway
    knowledge understanding

    Tacit Knowledge in the Workplace
    Tacit knowledge is not easily transferred to another person as it is not formalised or standardised and thus must be experienced by the learning party in order to be interpreted and transformed into actions. It is through the everyday experiences that employees build up their knowledge and skills which, in turn, allow them to solve complex problems based on previous experiences.

    Tacit knowledge in the workplace entails the transfer and communication of skills and competences that are hard to quantify as these capabilities are not entirely known to whom possesses them. The project under discussion in this article is an upgrade in 2007 to the telecommunications system used in the chain of Bunnings hardware warehouse style department stores across the eastern seaboard using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology.

    My role was that of an onsite Project Manager, and I was employed on a contract basis for this upgrade. Until this project was completed and I had studied tacit learning at university I had not realised how important this type of knowledge was to ultimately complete said job.

    Reflective practice is a tool I was able to use to understand what lessons were learnt. In the beginning, while being a contractor, I considered that my contributions to the project were not presented in a way that added value in a corporate environment. Looking back on it, without realising it, I was emulating the behaviour of the senior engineers, observing and learning the protocols of big companies which eventually led to my full time employment.

    Author: Brenton Conway
    Review status: Postgraduate assignment (University of Technology Sydney)

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  • The ABC Wind Power Station Construction Project Management Performance Study—Yi Gao
    wind power

    The ABC Wind Power Station Construction Project Management Performance Study
    At the present, there are too many academic researches concentrated on the corporation performance evaluation in China, but there is lack of researches consider about the construction project performance evaluation. Because of this, it is difficult for the managers to give correct evaluations in assess the construction projects even it may cause profit losses to the corporations by making the wrong decisions.

    With the construction market competition intense more and more in the wind power station today, the developers also have more and more requests to the construction corporations, especially to the constructing quality, safety and environment protection. Because of this, it is a critical problem which is the performance evaluation of wind power construction project to be paid more and more attention by the publics.

    The study analyzed the market environment for the wind power station developers and did some researches and analyses. By integrating the characteristics of the construction project performance evaluation and the wind power station projects, it made a performance analysis for the ABC wind power station based on the project quality, schedule, cost and other part of project management. Then there are some project performance improvement suggestions in the next for the wind power station construction projects.

    Author: Yi Gao
    Review status: Postgraduate assignment (University of Technology Sydney)

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