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Breaking Through the Project Fog: How Smart Organizations Achieve Success by Creating, Selecting and Executing On-Strategy Projects

ISBN: 978-0-470-15755-8
September 2009, Jossey-Bass
Breaking Through the Project Fog: How Smart Organizations Achieve Success by Creating, Selecting and Executing On-Strategy Projects (0470157550) cover image
A trail of mismanaged or terminated projects in recent years has cost the North American economy $100 to $150 billion dollars annually in lost productivity and shareholders capital. Unfortunately, the gap between project selection and project execution is often symptomatic of the onset of Project Fog, an all too familiar business situation in which projects are started and stopped constantly; resources fall short of the project workload to be executed; and, in the end, the entire effort is seen as a failure. A guide to sidestepping the usual hazards that often spell Project Fog, this book bridges the gap between executives who develop strategy and decide what projects get approved, and the project managers who have to execute those projects flawlessly. It provides a roadmap so that project managers can partner with executives to align their portfolio of projects with overall business strategy, ensuring that things get done right.
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Preface.

Acknowledgments.

CHAPTER 1: SPOTTING PROJECT FOG.

How the Fog Rolls In.

The Fog Thickens.

The Research Participants.

Defining a New Starting Point.

The Link Between Current Practices and "Better Practices".

CHAPTER 2: THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING STRATEGIC.

Is Your Organization Aligned for Results?

Current Project Selection Methods.

The Strategic Implications of Limited Resources.

The Role of the Project Management Professional.

Selecting the Most Strategic Projects.

Understanding the Origins of Portfolio Theory.

On-Strategy Project Management: The Fourth Dimension.

The Final Word In the Real World of Practitioners.

CHAPTER 3: NAVIGATING THROUGH FOGGY STRATEGY.

Balanced Performance Measurement and Management.

Building a Strategic Project Scoring Model.

Benefits and Costs of Revising Your Current Methodology.

Putting the Proposed Changes into Practice.

CHAPTER 4: MANAGING PROJECT RISKS, RETURNS AND RESOURCES TO MAXIMIZE BENEFITS.

Maximizing Your Project Management Efforts.

Managing Project Risk.

Internal Project Risk Assessment.

Resource Management Approaches in PPM.

Integrating PPM with Other Core Business Processes.

CHAPTER 5: CREATING SMALL, SMART AND MIGHTY PMOs TO STEER THE WAY.

Getting Off to a Good Start!

Defining or Re-Defining the Purpose of the PMO.

Strategic PMO Processes.

Key Success Factors.

Supporting Strategic Project Selection.

Improving the Project Submission Process.

Establishing Standard Methodology (Ours or Yours).

Summary of Do's and Don'ts of an Effective PMO.

CHAPTER 6: THE ROLE OF THE BOARD: INTEGRATING MEASUREMENT AND ACCOUNTABILITY FOR PROJECT RESULTS.

All Boards Are Not Created Equal.

For Profit or Non-Profit Board: What's the Difference?

Elected or Appointed?

Board Committees.

The Board as Project Sponsor.

The Board as a Project Resource.

The Board as Project Manager.

Final Thoughts.

CHAPTER 7: GOOD LEADERSHIP IN FOGGY CONDITIONS.

Personal Leadership Style.

Why Should You Care So Much?

A New Leadership Model.

The Three C’s for Project Management Professionals.

The Three A’s for Executives.

The Forecast for Relationships.

A Parting Reflection.

CHAPTER 8: SWEEPING AWAY THE FOG IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR.

Clarifying Strategy and Reducing Non-Strategic Projects.

Improving Project Selection Methods and Processes.

Training as a Tool of Strategic Change.

Integrating Resource Management into PPM.

Summary of Results.

CHAPTER 9: TWO CASE STUDIES: CLEARING UP THE FOG IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR.

Case Study Candidate 1.

Step 1: Clarifying the Strategy.

Step 2: Consolidating Effort.

Step 3: Reinforcing What Works.

Step 4: Staying the Course.

Interesting Data Points from Participants.

Case Study Candidate 2.

What Was Done Differently.

Connecting Individual and Corporate Performance Management.

Interesting Data Points from Participants.

Continuous Improvements.

Why PPM Really Works.

CHAPTER 10: WHERE TO GO FROM HERE?

Next Steps.

APPENDIX: REVIEW OF RELEVANT RESEARCH AND ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY.

Strategy References.

Project Management References.

Leadership and Change Management References.

Finance and Portfolio Theory References.

BSC and Performance Management References.

Bibliography.

Index.

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James Norrie is a practicing consultant and academic in the fields of Information Technology Management, Leadership, and Strategy and Project Management. He is Director of the School of Information Technology Management, Faculty of Business, Ryerson University, and Assistant Professor on its faculty. He has consulted with a diverse group of clients in Canada, the United States, and globally, including AT&T, SONY, Cable & Wireless PLC, Bell Canada Enterprises, CBC, Novartis Pharmaceuticals, SAP Canada Ltd., and Skyservice Airlines. He also consults to a number of public and not-for-profit sector clients, including federal, provincial, and municipal governments and World Vision Canada.He is a sought-after speaker, frequently appearing for the Project Management Institute, the European Advanced Project Management Practices Institute, the Conference Board of Canada, the annual CIO Summit, IQPC, and as a key note presenter for leading corporations and government groups. He has published several articles in the Project Management Journal (PMJ), and is the co-author of a self-published book, The A to Z Guide to Soul-Inspiring Leadership.
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