Tag Archives: PMflashblog

A dinner for two, or two separate one’s?

This is my contribution to the second #PMFlashBlog focusing on Project Management in the Netherlands. I see in the Netherlands some focus points.

  • More and more organizations look at or work with agile approaches (e.g. Scrum) besides the use of waterfall methods (e.g. PRINCE2) or use a combination of PRINCE2 and Agile.
  • The same organizations are struggling with the governance for projects using agile. How to direct, how do we know where we are standing, are we still in control, when will we get the requested products?
  • Where are we standing with the benefits? Are we getting the benefits?

In this blog post I will look at the governance part (applicable for agile as well as waterfall approaches) and I will use the picture Menu à deaux, from frank Kunert, published in the book Wunderland. To make this picture, frank created “an arrangement of two people who have nothing to say to one another, who avoid all points of contact, even avoiding eye contact. They nevertheless maintain a token coexistence by opting for a table for their ‘shared’ meals built so cleverly around a corner that neither sees the other, though they can see their own television. The only thing the two share visually is a candle in the middle of the table.”

Menu a deaux (Frank Kunert)

Where have I seen this situation? Have you ever been in the situation that it’s difficult, or almost impossible to meet your project executive or sponsor? If there is no possibility to have informal meetings, have a cup of coffee or dinner together, how would one knows what the other one is thinking, what keeps one awake? How can you react if you don’t know? What will happen if your view on the project is a different view than the other has?

They have to work together; they have to become a team. Of course you could argue that not every project manager can do the job for each project owner. One size fits all is definitely not the case. If possible the project owner has to choose the right project manager. But let’s be honest for many organizations this is not that simple, there are just a few project managers and the one who just finished his/her job will be the first candidate for the next project. And be careful, one of the project success factors is the match between project owner and project manager. Not all leadership styles from the project manager as well as the project owner will lead to a successful project owner – project manager combination.

I see more and more emphasis on having the right combination of project owner and project manager. Do you see this too?

About “#PMFlashBlog – Project Management Around the World”

This post is part of the second round of the #PMFlashBlog where over 50 project management bloggers will release a post about their view of project management in their part of the world. Beginning with North America then followed by Europe & Australia bloggers will post their view each Monday for several weeks until we have gone around the world.


The complete list of all participating blogs is found here so please go and check them out!”

Free eBook What project management means to me #PMFlashblog

PMFlashBlog ebbok coverOn September 25, I published a short article about project management on request of Shim Marom. At the same moment more than seventy-five (75!) bloggers from Australia, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, France, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, UK and the USA were asked too and posted a blog – including the hash tag #PMFlashblog – about this topic. See my blog https://hennyportman.wordpress.com/tag/pmflashblog/

Allen Ruddock, one of these bloggers, took the initiative to bring these posts all together into an eBook. Please spare 5 minutes to complete a survey he is running that will help him out. His survey is about the problem with project management training and can be found http://www.arra-pm.com/the-problem-with-project-management-training/

To download this free eBook What project management means to me click here: PMFlashBlog

Looking forward to your reactions, Henny

The ideal project manager

We still see many project failures. Why can’t we be more successful? Inspired by some pictures from Gilbert Garcin I found on the web, I will visualize and explain some characteristics of the ideal project manager and than the answer will be in your hands. Do we have them? If you are a project manager, you could say if you are that ideal project manager, if you are a sponsor or project owner you can ask yourself do we have this ideal project manager or maybe you can make the difference and be a team with the project manager to achieve successes.

Every picture visualizes a key project manager competence.

Creates structure out of chaos

The ideal project manager will create structure out of chaos.

Has overview

The ideal project manager has overview.


The ideal project manager has a clear focus.


The ideal project manager can motivate him/herself to achieve the goal.


The ideal project manager can bring balance in the work to be performed.


The ideal project manager gets any job done.


The ideal project manager is a problem solver.

The ideal project manager will always make the right decision.

The ideal project manager knows how to communicate.

181 in de spotlights

The ideal project manager is the one who stands in the spotlights when it goes wrong.

Etre maître de soi - Controling oneself

The ideal project manager doesn’t need direction.

If you are a project manager, do you recognize these competences, are you using these competences? What will happen with your project if you use them? Can you make decisions on your own? Did you get tolerances on your project controls like Time, budget, scope, quality, risk and benefits? Or will you always escalate to your project board? Can you motivate your team, can you motivate yourself? Is there chaos or structure in your project? If you have problems with some of these competences and/or behavior, will your sponsor or project owner supports you or helps you? If you are a project owner or sponsor do you recognize these competences of your project manager, if not, have you asked yourself what you can do to help?

Dia1“P.S. This post is published as part of a first ever project management related global blogging initiative to publish a post on a common theme at exactly the same time. more than seventy five (75!) bloggers from Australia, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, France, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, UK and the USA have committed to make a blogging contribution and the fruit of their labour is now (literally NOW) available all over the web. The complete list of all participating blogs is found here so please go and check them out!”

“On October 13 we will publish an eBook containing all pmFlashBlog posts. Follow my blog to get the details.”

Project Management Flash Blog

Dia1I’ll be taking part in the first ever project management ‘flashblog’. More than 70 project management bloggers will be writing their thoughts on the title ‘What does project management mean to me – a Project Manager’s sermon’. All blogs will be published simultaneously on 25th September at 1am GMT. This should be a really interesting exercise and bring together all the best project management writers from the internet to one place. I’m really looking forward to it! Credit to Shim Marom for originating the project management flashblog idea. See (and use the PowerPoint viewer to use the hyperlinks to the real blogs behind it): pmflashblog-infographic-5