WHITE PAPER: Why the Lessons of Your Business Classes Don’t Work: The Missing Foundation of Relationships

This paper will attempt to understand the lubrication that makes the skills that education, MBA classes, and training provided by mentors work and why it is imperative to the successful implementation of not only business skills but life skills. This lubrication, relationship skills, will be broken down into three components: Respect, Rapport and Trust.

Considering the current pandemic, any discussion of relationship skills would not be complete without bringing up the impact technology has on building respect, rapport and trust. In addition, in today’s global workplace, culture also has an impact on relationship skills.

This paper was written not to minimize the importance of the “hard” skills, such as accounting, scheduling and budgeting, rather to discuss how to make them work more effectively by introducing an often-missing foundation to those skills.


About the Author:


Ed Lively

Ed Lively  (MBA, PMP, CSPO, CSM) brings a wealth of experience to the project management field as a practitioner, presenter, mentor and author. An IIL Senior Consultant and Trainer, Ed is enthusiastic about motivating and developing others and has taught thousands of managers, team members and executives from 32 industries and 16 countries.


WHITE PAPER: THE GROWTH OF PROJECT COMPLEXITY IN A VUCA WORLD

In the ever-changing world that we now live and work in, disruption is as great as it has ever been, meaning we are seeing all aspects of VUCA within our own environments.

Currently, the biggest item on top of any CEO’s to-do list is creating, shaping and transforming their organization’s culture to be more responsive to change. CEOs talk about the values of integrity, trust, empowerment and leader development as essential within the new damaging environment of VUCA Management.

This paper will guide you through the hazar

Today, there is nowhere to go where you can avoid the VUCA environment. VUCA is forcing leaders and decision-makers to become managers of change. Making long-term decisions in an environment that has an abundance of complexity and can change continuously is difficult. This will require managers at all levels, including project managers, to develop new skills necessitated by the VUCA environment and to learn how to think non-linearly in order to manage complexity.

We all seem to agree that the world in which we live is dictated by VUCA, but there still exists confusion on the meaning of the components of VUCA. Some companies prefer to look at just one or two components, such as volatility and complexity, and downplay or avoid considering uncertainty and ambiguity. The application and definition of the components of VUCA are therefore industry or even company specific.

There are several interpretations and applications for VUCA and its components. The VUCA environment can be looked at on a global basis or just in the environment of how one company competes and makes decisions. The consensus belief is that all companies in the future must plan on how to compete and survive in a VUCA environment regardless of the industry.

Download this white paper for access to Dr. Harold Kerzner’s exclusive insights on project complexity in today’s VUCA world.

ds of working within this ever-changing environment to understand how to prepare, how to manage the impact of the continuing change and how to safely negotiate a passage out again.

We will demonstrate how the project professionals can reinforce these values through personal example and by ensuring they cascade throughout the organization. By delivering this change through effective leadership, this will help to shape and reinforce the future business culture.

RELATED COURSE

Build the soft skills that are critical to leading a team and creating sustainable business change with our on-demand course on Project Leadership Skills.


About the Author:


Harold Kerzner

Harold Kerzner (M.S., Ph.D., Engineering, and M.B.A) is IIL’s Senior Executive Director for Project Management. He is a globally recognized expert on project management and strategic planning, and the author of many best-selling textbooks. His latest book is Innovation Project Management: Methods, Case Studies, and Tools for Managing Innovation Projects (Wiley, 2019).


WHITE PAPER: STEPPING SAFELY INTO THE UNKNOWN: PROJECT MANAGEMENT IN A VUCA ENVIRONMENT

In the ever-changing world that we now live and work in, disruption is as great as it has ever been, meaning we are seeing all aspects of VUCA within our own environments.

Currently, the biggest item on top of any CEO’s to-do list is creating, shaping and transforming their organization’s culture to be more responsive to change. CEOs talk about the values of integrity, trust, empowerment and leader development as essential within the new damaging environment of VUCA Management.

This paper will guide you through the hazards of working within this ever-changing environment to understand how to prepare, how to manage the impact of the continuing change and how to safely negotiate a passage out again.

We will demonstrate how the project professionals can reinforce these values through personal example and by ensuring they cascade throughout the organization. By delivering this change through effective leadership, this will help to shape and reinforce the future business culture.

RELATED COURSE

Build the soft skills that are critical to leading a team and creating sustainable business change with our on-demand course on Project Leadership Skills.


About the Author:


Mark Reeson

Dr. Mark Reeson, ChPP, RPP, FAPM, MCMI, PMP, is Director of Project Management Services at M R Project Solutions Limited. As a Senior Consultant and Trainer with IIL, Mark provides expertise in project management, interpersonal and leadership skills, risk management, quality management, and other management development services.


WHITE PAPER: WHY PROJECT TEAMS FREQUENTLY FAIL AT BRAINSTORMING

How often have we heard executives and project managers say, “We need to come up with some new ideas” or “We need to find some elegant solutions to this project problem”?

The project manager then sends out e-mails to all the team members with the hope of filling every available seat in a conference room with the belief that the more people that attend, the greater the number of ideas generated. The session may be virtual or onsite. Brainstorming sessions can exist anytime during the life cycle of a project where there is a large or small decision to be made.

When the sessions work as planned, participants may feel elated in the creativity that they participated in. However, for some, they may experience feelings of anxiety, a loss of empowerment and even a hatred of the upcoming meeting based upon past experiences in such sessions.

This white paper will explore why project teams frequently fail at brainstorming, and what you can do to get the most out of your brainstorming sessions.

Download this white paper for access to Dr. Harold Kerzner’s exclusive insights on Why Project Teams Frequently Fail at Brainstorming


Dr. Harold Kerzner

About the author
Harold Kerzner (M.S., Ph.D., Engineering, and M.B.A) is IIL’s Senior Executive Director for Project Management. He is a globally recognized expert on project management and strategic planning, and the author of many best-selling textbooks. His latest book is Innovation Project Management: Methods, Case Studies, and Tools for Managing Innovation Projects (Wiley, 2019).


WHITE PAPER: INNOVATION, LEADERSHIP AND PROJECT MANAGEMENT

A great deal has been published on the relationship between innovation and leadership.

Unfortunately, the bulk of the published material focuses heavily upon the role of senior management in project selection, governance and other topics related to the command and control of innovation activities from the top floor of the building.

This white paper examines the link between innovation and leadership at the project level where the innovation activities actually take place, using some of the principles of project management. 

Topics include:

  • Project Management Methodologies & Innovation Projects
  • Defining the Length of An Innovation Project
  • Defining Innovation Project Success
  • Innovation Disruption
  • Business Impact Analysis


About the Author:


Dr. Harold Kerzner

Harold Kerzner (M.S., Ph.D., Engineering, and M.B.A) is IIL's Senior Executive Director for Project Management and a globally respected expert on project management and strategic planning. He is the author of many best-selling textbooks including Project Management 2.0, Project Management Best Practices: Achieving Global Excellence, and, most recently, Innovation Project Management.

Dr. Kerzner has previously taught project management and business administration at Baldwin-Wallace University, engineering at the University of Illinois and business administration at Utah State University. He obtained his industrial experience at Thiokol Corporation where he held both program management and project engineering responsibilities on a variety of NASA, Air Force, Army, Navy, and internal R&D programs.


WHITE PAPER: THE IMPORTANCE OF AGILE SCRUM EVENTS

The Agile Manifesto states that we value Individuals and Integration over processes and tools and Working Solutions over documentation.

So instead of spending hours, days and even weeks building elaborate Gantt Charts, Entity Relationship diagrams, Flow Charts, Data Flow diagrams and Project Management Plans, we have time-boxed events with a maximum duration.

Pre-described events are used in Scrum to create regularity and to minimize the need for meetings not defined in Scrum.

  • Backlog refinement
  • Spring planning
  • Daily scrum or stand-up
  • Sprint review
  • Sprint retrospective

Without the events, we are back to Plans and Models or vanity reports, which really don’t align with my favorite principle of the 12 principles in the Agile Manifesto: “Simplicity – the art of maximizing the amount of work not done is essential.”

This white paper will discuss the purpose and processes of each Agile Scrum event, and help you understand why they are so important.


About the Author:


Keith Wilson

Keith Wilson (MBA, B.COMM., PMP, MCP, MCT, CSM, CSPO, KMP, SPC) is a Senior Consultant and Trainer with IIL. His background includes over 25 years of successful coaching, training, management, and consulting experience. He is well-known for his public skills and enthusiasm, and he has been a welcomed facilitator at numerous Fortune 500 corporations, universities, and associations worldwide.


WHITE PAPER: TOP TEN WAYS TO BECOME THE BEST PROJECT SPONSOR ON THE PLANET

Would you like to increase the number of on-time projects by 40%?

Increase the number of projects meeting their goals by 27%?

Increase the number of projects completed within budget by 28%?

Decrease the number of projects suffering scope creep by 30%?

Of course you would, who wouldn’t? No one I know.

Think of what these kinds of gains would mean to your organization or company. For example, if you were able to complete projects earlier than planned, this might result in:

  • Getting products to market faster
  • A significant increase in customer satisfaction
  • More revenue
  • Higher profits

Well, the fact is you can make these gains. How? Through effective project sponsorship.


About the Author:


J. LeRoy Ward

J. LeRoy Ward (PMP, PGMP, PFMP, CSM, CSPO) is Executive Vice President of Enterprise Solutions at the International Institute for Learning (IIL). He is a highly respected consultant and adviser to Global Fortune 500 Corporations and government agencies in the areas of project, program, and portfolio management. With more than 38 years of government and private sector experience, LeRoy specializes in working with senior executives to understand their role in project and program sponsorship, governance, portfolio management and the strategic execution of projects and programs.


WHITE PAPER: SIX SIMPLE STEPS FOR CREATING A PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT PROCESS IN YOUR ORGANIZATION

Are you thinking of starting, or improving, a portfolio management process in your organization?

If so, don’t start the way many organizations do: by diving into the weeds of which financial or quantitative models should be used for project selection. While this is certainly an important component of portfolio management, it’s only one of many to consider at the outset.

So, where do you start?

Well, that’s the very question I asked many years ago when I realized our company was drowning in too many projects, and too many of these projects were top priority. Sound familiar? I bet it does!

That question began a fifteen year journey of trying to sort out how to do portfolio management as simply as possible while gaining the maximum benefit.

Based on that experience, I’ve come to the conclusion that to get started right, you need to do six things to increase your chances of creating a portfolio management process that will create lasting business value, rather than just another bureaucratic process that wastes time and money.


About the Author:


J. LeRoy Ward

J. LeRoy Ward (PMP, PGMP, PFMP, CSM, CSPO) is Executive Vice President of Enterprise Solutions at the International Institute for Learning (IIL). He is a highly respected consultant and adviser to Global Fortune 500 Corporations and government agencies in the areas of project, program, and portfolio management. With more than 38 years of government and private sector experience, LeRoy specializes in working with senior executives to understand their role in project and program sponsorship, governance, portfolio management and the strategic execution of projects and programs.


WHITE PAPER: LEAN SIX SIGMA APPLIED TO UNIVERSITIES

CAN LEAN SIX SIGMA BE APPLIED TO HIGHER EDUCATION? TO COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES THROUGHOUT THE WORLD?

Sure it can. After all, higher education is a business and every business has processes and key metrics, right? The fundamental purpose of Lean Six Sigma is to improve processes and key measures of a business.

Edwards Deming, the famous quality guru, said it best with the quote below:

“IF YOU CAN’T DESCRIBE WHAT YOU ARE DOING AS A PROCESS, YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’RE DOING.”

Whether the industry is finance, telecom, healthcare, or higher education, businesses have processes and if the goal is to improve those processes, to have measurable and sustainable improvement, then the proper application of Lean Six Sigma and the DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control) steps is the best way to improve results.

EXAMPLES OF UNIVERSITY PROCESSES AND KEY METRICS

Think about all of the different departments within a university. There are numerous staffs, help desks, support systems, and processes within the university system. Each department, whether it is the medical school, the recruiting office, or the IT support group has processes that most likely need to be improved. The opportunities to apply Lean Six Sigma in a university setting are almost limitless.


About the Author:


Harry Rever

Harry Rever is IIL's Director of Six Sigma. He is a dynamic presenter and practitioner of Six Sigma and Project Management with an innate ability to teach the concepts of quality improvement in an understandable and more importantly, applicable manner. With over twenty-five years as a project manager, process improvement consultant and trainer, Harry has numerous examples of what works (and what doesn't) when managing projects and applying statistical process improvement concepts.


WHITE PAPER: LEAN SIX SIGMA APPLIED TO HEALTHCARE

IS THERE AN INDUSTRY, PERHAPS OTHER THAN “GOVERNMENT,” THAT COULD USE PROCESS IMPROVEMENT MORE THAN THE HEALTHCARE INDUSTRY?

The healthcare industry is full of complex and obviously important processes. Patient care, surgery, hospital stays, insurance, billing and IT systems support are just a few of the numerous processes that need to be addressed and improved in hospitals throughout the country and the world.

What the healthcare industry needs is a massive injection of process improvement. What the healthcare industry needs is the appropriate application of Lean Six Sigma!

WHAT IS LEAN SIX SIGMA?

Lean Six Sigma is a process improvement methodology that has been around for years. It’s an approach to management which focuses on making decisions based on facts, data, and process understanding. Taking the emotion out of decision making and replacing it with a focus on the customer, measurement of the process, and root cause analysis are key aspects of Lean Six Sigma.


About the Author:


Harry Rever

Harry Rever is IIL's Director of Six Sigma. He is a dynamic presenter and practitioner of Six Sigma and Project Management with an innate ability to teach the concepts of quality improvement in an understandable and more importantly, applicable manner. With over twenty-five years as a project manager, process improvement consultant and trainer, Harry has numerous examples of what works (and what doesn't) when managing projects and applying statistical process improvement concepts.