Tag Archives: project management

A new kid on the PM methodology block: The Half Double Methodology

halfdoubleIn my last review (How to DO projects), I found a reference to a new Danish initiative “Project Half Double” A journey to conceptualize a new project management methodology through research and the collection of best practice methods. Furthermore, to experiment with the methodology on selected real life projects and gather learnings – and in the process, engage a leading community of project practitioners.

Looks like I must update my lost in standards article again.

At this moment, you can find on the corresponding website an explanation of the methodology, many, many youtube movies, a book in progress (the thirst three chapters can be downloaded (great layout, easy to read, nice content), example projects and a community to co-create this methodology.

looks like a promising methodology making use of best practises from the traditional as well as lean-agile world. So it can be used in a hybrid project environment.

See: http://www.projecthalfdouble.dk/en/

Review: How to DO projects. A Nordic flavour to managing projects

2017-02-24-17-28-56I received the book ‘How to DO projects. A Nordic flavor to managing projects’ written by Joana Geraldi, Cristian Thuesen, Josef Oehmen and Verena Stingl. Great to see that the authors used one of my blogs (they asked upfront). The book contains my Lost in standards overview of project management methods. The book will prepare students of the Danish Technical University for the ISO21500 certification exam but others can benefit too.

The book brings you inspiration to alternative project management practices. The book gives you insights how to get into action mode, how to work together with your project team to achieve a meaningful purpose.

The book contains three views:

  • The ISO 21500: 2012, Guidance on project management standard
  • The Nordic ‘flavour’ to add on top of the ISO 21500. Understanding, social relations and the development of future-oriented meaningful projects will empower the project team
  • Four perspectives (purpose, people, complexity, and uncertainty) and context to give you a solid foundation to develop your own recipe for projects compatible with ISO 21500 and the Nordic flavour.

The book is divided in 7 chapters. The first two chapters introduces the three views and elaborates on the definition of a project.

Chapter three explains the project, temporal and organizational context and the next four chapters explains the four perspectives: purpose, people, complexity, and uncertainty.

Every perspective is explained by an illustration, an introduction, key challenges and common mistakes, how to DO it, the relationship to the ISO 21500 standard including a generic explanation, and for each related ISO 21500 activity the purpose and documents/tools, the Nordic flavor and a summary.

dia1In the attached QRC (download QRC (pdf)) you can find the perspectives, what to do, Nordic flavor and key challenges and common mistakes. I added ISO 21500 4.3.5 Control project work to the Uncertainty perspective because I think the authors missed this one. The book ends with a few examples of recipes.


If you want to understand what it means to bring ISO 21500 into practice this book is a good read. By moving away from the standard process view as represented in the ISO 21500, the setup of the book with the context and the four perspectives ‘forces’ you to really tailor the project management practices into your own recipe for your project.

EU Commission released new PM Methodology (PM2) guide

img_1959The guide was released by the centre of Excellence in Project Management Methodology (CoEPM2) of the European Commission.

The PM2 guide incorporates elements from globally accepted best practices, standards and methodologies.

The PM2 Methodology provides:

  • A project governance structure
  • Process guidelines
  • Artefact templates
  • Guidelines for using artefacts
  • A set of effective mindsets
  • Competences

The house of PM2 shows:

A foundation including Project Management Best Practices and The PM2 Methodology Guide. Build on this foundation we find four pillars representing:

  • Governance: 5 management layers: Appropriate Governance Body, Project Steering Committee (Directing layer: Project Owner, Solution Provider, Managing layer: Business Manager, Project Manager), Performance layer (Business Implementation Group, Project Core Team) and optional a Project Support Team.
  • Lifecycle (4 phases, 3 phase gates and approvals: Ready for Planning, Ready for Execution, Ready for Closing. Where needed: tailoring and customization and a structure to support agile teams)
  • Processes:
    • Initiating: Initiating meeting, project initiation request, business case, project charter
    • Planning: planning kick-off meeting, project handbook, project stakeholder matrix, outsourcing plan, project work plan, deliverables acceptance plan, transition plan, business implementation plan
    • Executing: executing kick-off meeting, project coordination, quality assurance, project reporting, information distribution
    • Monitoring & Control: monitoring project performance, control schedule, control cost, manage stakeholders, manage requirements, manage project change, manage risk, manage issues and decisions, manage quality, manage deliverables acceptance, manage transition, manage business implementation, manage outsourcing
    • Closing: project-end review meeting, lessons learned and post-project recommendations, project-end report, administrative closure.
  • Artefacts: requirements management plan, project change management plan, risk management plan, issue management plan, quality management plan, communication management plan, change log, risk log, issue log, and decision log.

The roof represents Effective (solutions & benefits) Delivery supported by Control & Agility and PM2 Mindsets (apply PM2, remain mindful, committed, deliver max. value, involvement, invest, become better, share knowledge, improve, inspiration).

In the appendix, we get:

  • Overview of commonly used PM tools & techniques: PESTEL analysis, make or buy analysis, stakeholder interest/influence matrix, risk likelihood/impact matrix, work breakdown structure, deliverables breakdown structure, effort and cost estimates, three-point estimating using PERT, project scheduling, resource levelling, Gantt charts, critical path method, critical chain method, earned value management, Pareto analysis, lessons learned.
  • PM2 and portfolio management model: Portfolio framework definition (Define portfolio characteristics and project categories, Define portfolio metrics, Define selection and reporting frequency, Define portfolio processes and governance bodies), Portfolio composition (Projects Identification, Projects evaluation, Projects capacity planning, Projects prioritization, authorization), Portfolio realization (Portfolio monitoring & control, Portfolio reporting, Portfolio change management, Portfolio benefit management, Portfolio optimization, Portfolio risk management) and Portfolio stakeholder management & communication
  • PM2 and Agile: Agile PM2 principles, extension with agile roles and responsibilities (agile core teams within the project core team), integration in the life cycle, and suggested agile artefacts
  • Ethics and conduct
  • Glossary

The Open PM2 initiative include:

  • PM2 guide – Open edition available through the EU Bookshop. For free see: PM2 guide
  • PM2 Methodology Wiki
  • PM2 certification exams
  • Project Support Network (PSN)


The PM2 guide is comprehensive, gives enough explanation for a complete picture of the traditional project management approach (in line with ISO21500, PRINCE2 and PMP) with a flavour of portfolio management and agile integration on the delivery level (PRINCE2 Agile offers much more) and includes benefits and transition management (comparable with MSP). The manual has a lot of colourful pictures, tables and references. Don’t confuse PM2 with the Japanese P2M (a guidebook for Project & Programme Management).

I assume that many people has put a lot of energy in developing this PM2 Methodology but I ask myself why do we need a new methodology, why spend a lot of money for something that is already available? Why a new certification program, why a new community? We have PMP, PRINCE2, PRINCE2 Agile, MSP and IPMA certifications we have best practice groups like BPUG and the IPMA community. What will be the added value of this new methodology paid by ourselves?

Book review: Project Management for SMEs

smeGren Gale wrote the book ‘Project Management for SMEs’. Having cartoons and starting quotes makes the book easy to read. The book is divided in five chapters.

A small introduction Chapter 1 introduces projects, explaining the need for a project manager and a case showing you have to use a form of project management.

Chapter 2, how to deliver projects, is the main part of the book. The author describes his own eight stage waterfall delivery process:

  1. Business Case
  2. start-up
  3. Analysis
  4. Design
  5. Build
  6. Test
  7. Implement
  8. Closure

For each stage you get an IPO model (input, process/activities, output). The author explains his own best practices to be used in those stages.

The final part of this chapter focusses on agile versus waterfall. It gives pros and cons for both approaches. The book focusses on Scrum as the agile framework. I see Scrum as a delivery framework and not a project management framework. DSDM is mentioned but not explained and DSDM (AgilePM) is an example of an agile project management framework. The author embeds the agile sprints in his delivery framework as mini design/build/test steps and have an additional integration test before the implementation stage.

The third part focusses on project governance. You get an overview of all needed documents to manage a project as well as an overview of governance roles and responsibilities. I would not put the Project Owner in the same box as Senior Supplier. I would even keep it separate from the Senior User. I see the PO as the Change Authority positioned in one or more development teams. Next paragraphs focusses on Risk and issue management, change control and quality. The last paragraph emphasises on the benefits of portfolio management supported by a Project Office.

Chapter 4 explains the soft skills communication, people management and crisis management.

In the last chapter you get the author’s key points you need to be aware of, and you get all mentioned document layouts and a glossary.


According to the author he used PRINCE2 and the PMBoK (PMI) as a starting point. For me the question why the author creates a new project life cycle? One of his arguments is the fact that these methodologies are designed to manage huge programmes. I don’t agree, you can tailor PRINCE2 in such a way that it can be used for small projects too.

Also unclear why the author made the division between Business Case, Start-up, Analysis and Design. Confusing if you are familiar with PRINCE2. Now we get a PID as a result of the Start-up stage. I would say, start with Start-up and deliver an outline business case. In the next stage you perform the analysis and design and deliver a PID including a more detailed Business Case. It’s for small projects, so why four stages, keep it simple. Also having a first stage without a project manager and a project sponsor but defining the scope and a first project plan looks rather strange.

To buy: Project Management for SMEs

Review: The Project Saboteur….and how to kil him

saboteurDion Kottman and Jeroen Gietema wrote a book about project sabotage: The Project saboteur….and how to kill him.

Can I sabotage the success of this book? Can my review be that negative that nobody wants to buy the book anymore? Is it possible that the attached QRC, I created, can replaced he book?

That is, while there is value in the review and the QRC, I value the book more!

The book will help you in your battle against project saboteurs by showing you how to recognize these sabateurs and what you can do as counter measures. After reading the book you have a much better view why so many projects fail. You understand that the human factor has to be considered seriously to provide you insights in the reasons for project failure.

The book is easy and fun to read, divided in 10 chapters with many cartoons, quotes and several supporting assessment tools.

In the first chapter you get an understanding that every project will have its opponents. People who want to destruct your project. The authors created a self-assessment to understand if you have the motive, mentality (conscience), sufficient influence and knowledge to sabotage.

Have a look at the next video: Flight Cancelled – The Berlin Airport Fiasco | People & Politics. The new Berlin-Brandenburg International Airport was a landmark project that has turned into major debacle. After a fourth delay in its scheduled opening, Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit has stepped down as chairman of the supervisory board. The delay will cost billions of euros, and taxpayers will be left footing the bill. But who is to blame?”.

What’s the root cause? Lack of sponsorship, Emotional maturity, User involvement, Optimisation, Skilled Resources, or Sabotage?

The next chapter focusses on the usage of CRIME1 as a weapon against PRINCE2. With CRIME1 (steps: Conspire, Recruit, Infiltrate, Manipulate and Execute) you get an approach to destruct your project. In this chapter you get the Manipulation Facts Analysis showing which irregularities might be occurring in your project.

The following chapter gives you insights how you can undermine the bureaucracy of your project by being over-methodical or under-methodical.

In the next chapters the authors put a potential saboteur in the spotlights. They explain extensively what you can do, in a specific role, to sabotage the project. And you get examples,  an overview with tips to sabotage, what you can do to investigate the actions and, if sabotage is at play, what measures can be taken. See the Quick Reference Card (QRC) for an overview.

Dia1In the subsequent chapters the following potential saboteurs are explained:

  • Chapter 4: The director;
  • Chapter 5: The project manager;
  • Chapter 6: The user;
  • Chapter 7: The specialist;
  • Chapter 8: The member of the Joint Consultative Committee (Work Council).

In the following chapter, the authors dive into conspiracy. Who can conspire with whom to sabotage. See again the QRC for an overview of the conspiracy matrix. You will also get an assessment tool to identify possible and actual alliances and how to break the actual alliances.

In the last chapter we get a summing up and the final pages are reserved for some appendices. A reading list, the Maslov’s hierarchy of needs and the motives of the project saboteur and lastly an appendix focussing on the agile way of sabotage, the PO, SM or team as the saboteur.


A must read, if you want to understand the impact of the human factor in the success or failure of a project, or If you want to recognize saboteurs and want to act upon. The book is instructive as well as fun to read.

To buy: The Project Saboteur

saboteur nl

In Dutch: De projectsaboteur

Global standards and publications Edition 2016/2017

9789401800358_CoverLR-230x290Ivo van Haren from Van Haren Publishing send me their latest Global standards and publications Edition 2016/2017.
A handsome guide containing short summaries (3 minutes) of many standards.
I am one of the authors of a couple of these summaries.
In this guide you can find:
  • 17 standards in the field from IT & IT Management: (Agile, Scrum, Devops, ASL, CMMi, COBIT, e-CF, ISO20000/27000/38500, ITIL, Lean IT, AIM, BRM, IT-CMF, IT4IT, SFIA)
  • 11 standards in the field of Project Management: Axelos family (PRINCE2, MSP, MoP, P3O, M3P3, M_o_R), ICB4, MoV, PMBoK, ISO21500, ISO3100
  • 2 standards in the field of Enterprise architecture: ArchiMate, TOGAF
  • 7 standards in the field of Business Management: Balanced scorecard, BiSL, eSCM-CL/SP, OPBoK, Six Sigma, SqEME
If I compare this guide with the Edition 2014/2015 we see the following additions:
IT & IT Management:
  • BRM: Business Relationship Management
  • DevOps
  • IT4IT: Reference architecture and a value chain-based operating model for managing the business of IT.
  • SFIA: Skills Framework for Information Age
Project Management
  • ICB4: replaced ICB3
Business Management
  • BABOK guide and ISO 9000/9001 were deleted.

International Project Management Day 2015: Ensuring a Sustainable Future.

280540LOGOThought Leaders from PMI, NASA, Bloomberg, and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to Present at IIL’s International Project Management Day 2015: Ensuring a Sustainable Future.

More information: Press Release