Executive Report November 2005

Welcome to ProjectsAtWork’s Executive Report (Vol. 1, No. 11), the newsletter for professionals engaged in high-level, enterprisewide project leadership. In this issue, we identify essential technology-oriented capabilities needed to manage global project teams … present a PMO facilitation model that combines the more common support and supervision roles … and share some basic lessons on crisis leadership. Also: a white paper from MKS on the successful implementing of an application lifecycle management solution.

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Topic Teasers Vol. 82: Balancing Business Analysts

Question: After being team lead for our Customer Operations business unit transformation project, I’ve been offered a position to head the new department. It will now also include Information Technology (IT). Here’s my issue up front: I’m a traditional project manager and now I’ll have nine business analysts and an agile IT team to lead. Who is responsible for what on projects now? I need to figure this out fast.

A. Business analysts replace project managers, so once you assign a BA to a project, your work is over. All you will need to do is help referee the conflicts between the BAs and the IT teams.

B. If your business analysts are trained and certified, they’ll know their own roles or can adjust quickly to what you want them to do. The agile IT team should be fairly self-directed. All you need to understand is who does what, present the responsibility chart and stand back ready to support them if needed.

C. Agile teams do not need any supervision or direction over and above their own ScrumMaster, who is 100% devoted to one project at a time. Ask your BAs if they will cross-train as ScrumMasters to maximize the number of projects you can run at any one time.

D. Due to the new strategic and business requirements from PMI, project managers have now been renamed. Just have your newly christened business analysts do what project managers have always done.

Pick your answer then Test Your Knowledge!

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Topic Teasers Vol. 49: Working Government Contracts

Question: I’m a PMP and an experienced project manager, but I just landed a great job in a government agency. We are working out procurement contracts, and I must admit that I’ve never heard of most of these contract name types they are throwing around. Does the government do different contracts that those we were taught in our training?

A. Within the federal agencies there is one sole source for tangible goods and a second for people who might be subcontracted into jobs on a project-by-project basis. These sources are reconsidered every four years. Depending where you are in the cycle, you will either use the source already in place or you may have a voice in choosing the next source.

B. The federal and state governments each make their own rules about procurement. There is no common thread of how it is done; therefore, if your project spans several states you will need a separate purchasing agreement and supply source for each state.

C. Government projects are run in exactly the same way that other projects operate under the supervision of a PMP, so check the version of A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide) from the year you were certified to see what procurement guidelines you should follow.

D. There are some general ways you can learn in which government contracting differs from traditional private sector contracts, but check the details with your agency as laws and agency practices differ from year to year. You may have to make small adjustments in your practices as new rules are legislated.

Pick your answer then Test Your Knowledge!

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