PMI Publishes Navigating Complexity: A Practice Guide

Navigating ComplexityLast week, PMI announced availability of a new publication on managing complexity in projects, programs, and project portfolios. Called “Navigating Complexity: A Practice Guide,” it is now available for download in PDF format at no cost, for a limited time. The print version will be available in mid-March.

The Guide organizes the causes of complexity into three categories, including human behavior, system behavior, and ambiguity. The need to align people, programs, and projects to manage complexity is addressed through organizational support structures, and useful practices in four areas: scope, communications, stakeholders, and risk. Principles are demonstrated via several scenarios, each with suggested actions. Key considerations in developing, implementing, and managing an action plan are included. An extensive literature review is included as an appendix, along with a glossary.

The PDF file is 113 pages, and includes an assessment questionnaire. The questionnaire is available as a separate download, along with a companion resource gap analysis and skills assessment. Additional resources, including white papers and case studies, are available on the same complexity program page as the downloadable files.

PMI Announces a New Professional Credential for Portfolio Managers

PMI has announced that they are developing a new professional credential: Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP).  As you might guess from the name, this certification is directed toward project portfolio managers. For more information on eligibility, check the PfMP Certification page on the PMI web site.

PMI says that the PfMP Exam Content Outline will be made available later this month, and they expect that the pilot test will be available late in 4Q13.  At a guess, the Standard for Portfolio Management, Third Edition will likely be a key resource.  However, I expect that PMI will list a number of other references.

Note that nearly four years after it was introduced, there are only 939 active holders of the Program Management Professional (PgMP) credential.  I don’t know how many portfolio managers PMI expects to attract with this credential, but I’ll bet the initial interest will come almost entirely from people who already hold two or more PMI certifications.  I’ll report on this again later in the year, as news becomes available.

New PM Articles for the Week of August 26 – September 1

New project management articles published on the web during the week of August 26 – September 1.  We read all of this stuff so you don’t have to!  Recommended:

  • Vincent McGevna explains three important techniques: the five why’s, affinity diagrams, and mind maps.
  • Elizabeth Harrin reviews Do Nothing! by Keith Murnighan and Real Influence, by Mark Goulston and John Ullmen.
  • Linda Mitton tells us why managers don’t actually do anything.
  • Soma Bhattacharya applies the broken glass theory, normally applied to vacant buildings, to team building.
  • Shim Marom explains the central theme of Dylan Evans’ book, “Risk Intelligence – How to Live with Uncertainty.”
  • Glen Alleman uses a vacation road trip as a metaphor for managing and planning in the presence of uncertainty.
  • Matt Heuser explains how to get started in project portfolio management, by treating projects as investments, rather than expenses.
  • Jen Skrabak summarizes the role of the portfolio manager, and previews the new Portfolio Management Professional certification from PMI.
  • Mike Griffiths is an advocate for leveraging the PMO to facilitate the success of Agile projects.
  • Chris Merryman continues his article on the role of the PM, in a transition to Scrum.
  • Johanna Rothman says that in Agile program management, everything starts with trust.
  • Martin Webster summarizes a classic book on project management, Robert Buttrick’s “The Project Workout.”
  • Brett Beaubouef notes that collecting functional requirements in silos can result in ERP implementation failures.
  • Joanne Wortman has worked on a few “cloud projects,” and shares some observations about what works.  And, what does not.
  • Peter Saddington hosts a guest post from Tiempo Development, on implementing Agile methods in multi-cultural work groups.
  • Ian Webster uses a clip from “Dead Poet’s Society” to illustrate why stakeholder management takes more than a two-dimensional chart.
  • Anthony Sherick has a short list of folks who might not be project managers, despite what their role description says.
  • Brad Egeland wants us to shut off our filters when briefing the project sponsor / client.  Just the facts, Ma’am …
  • Bruce Benson advocates for measuring, collecting facts, and … well, understanding the problems at hand.  Then deciding how to fix them.
  • Craig Brown shares a classic clip from a Steve Jobs presentation.  “It starts with the customer.”
  • Cheri Baker has been cleaning out her software tool box.  Here’s what she kept.
  • Kerry Wills has some points of etiquette to share, regarding shared documents.