Posts Tagged ‘projectmanager’

Tailoring (part 2) – Projects in Programmes

October 11, 2010


As I wrote in my last article about tailoring, it’s all about making choices! What do I have to do to be successful. This article I will getinto tailoring PRINCE2 to fit for projects within a programme and large projects versus small projects.
As was indicated earlier, one programme recognizes one or more projects and a number of activities. Think, for example, of an organization that is starting up a warehouse as a programme, where all kinds of projects are necessary to bring about its utilization. The aim of the programme is then formulated in terms of profits, stocks, number of customers (per time unit), etc. Examples of projects could be: the organization of the shop, constructing the parking bays, hiring of staff, etc. Nevertheless activities are still required to enable development and to realize benefits , such as the buying and selling of products.
With the tailoring of a project as a part of a programme, a few aspects are adapted: themes, processes and management products. For the programme management aspects reference is made to ‘Managing Successful Programmes’ (MSP) from the OGC.
With Starting up a Project within a programme there will usually be a good overview in place of what must happen in outline. The project mandate will mainly contain the information that is necessary to enable a Project Brief . Sometimes the complete Project Brief has already been delivered by the programmes. However, this Project Brief must not simply be accepted. It remains important to check again every time whether the delivered particulars are consistent and realistic. That is the responsibility of the Project Manager .
The Business Case of the project is defined on the basis of the standards of the programme. Sometimes the Business Case is provided by the programme or it can be a reduced level of content. The responsibility for realizing and monitoring the benefits of the project lies with the programme. The Benefits Review of the project can be a part of the benefits realization plan of the programme.
The organization structure is about an optimal connection being created between the programme and project organization for an efficient manner of reporting and reviewing. Often the role of Executive will be filled by the programme manager or a direct delegate. In this way coordinated Project Support and Project Assurance is also organized in most cases. This helps enormously with communication in the programme and across projects. In this way the underlying projects will get the necessary information of the programmes much more directly. And vice versa, with information about, for example, a project experiencing scope creep reaching other parties involved in the programme more seamlessly.
Another example of the possible integration of roles is that the change manager(s) in the programme can fill the role of Senior User(s) in the project. The design authority, or the architect of the programme, can also fill the role of Project Assurance or Change Authority in the project (see figure 1). What is important is that there is a clear division of responsibilities and that overlap is prevented.

Figure 1. Project and Programme management roles
(Source: Project management based on PRINCE2)

With any project that exceeds the planned level of change, coordination with programme management must take place and, where necessary, programme management will have to take decisions. Here one can for example think of not only changing of the objectives, but also changing the Business Case.
Another aspect is that the programme can supply the Quality Management Strategy for the project. In this way the programme can give advice about quality methods and provide help with the execution of quality control and quality assurance activities. With the planning of the project, care must be taken that the standards of the programme monitoring and control are followed. In the Project Plan dependencies with other projects within the programme must be covered.
When determining a project’s strategies, the strategies of the programme should form the starting point. It also has consequences for the techniques and classifications to be used, in the project. The issue solution strategy of the programme is used as a guideline for the issue and change procedures of the project.

The information management strategy of the programme will be a guideline for the Configuration Management Strategy of the project. In the same way the monitoring and control strategy of the programme is a guideline for reporting and monitoring activities of the project. In addition the programme determines the project tolerances and the number and length of the stages.

Scale of the project
The scale of a project doesn’t only relate to its size, but also the complexity, the risk and the importance of the project. For all PRINCE2 principles it must be established how they can be used instead of not using certain principles. The use of PRINCE2 can be regarded as the reduction of project failure. If an element of PRINCE2 is taken less seriously, it must be regarded as a risk.

Table 1. Examples of projects of different scales
(Source: Project management based on PRINCE2)

Large versus small projects
Medium-sized and large projects recognize several delivery stages in addition to the initiation stage. With short-running, non-complex projects with limited risks, the project may only consist of two management stages: the initiation stage and the delivery stage. With small and straightforward projects the Starting up a Project and Initiating a Project processes are sometimes combined (see figure 2).
In such cases the two processes can be informally dealt with together in a single discussion. It is advisable in such instances to record the decisions in a discussion memo. For example this could be possible where the project involves a small internal move within one department or something similar.

For small projects the Controlling a Stage process can be summarized in the following activities:

  • Allocating work to be executed;
  • Monitoring the progress;
  • Ensuring that the agreed quality is realized;
  • Ensuring that changes are carried out after approval;
  • Monitoring risks;
  • Reporting the progress of the work;
  • Keeping a watchful eye for changes occurring to the plan.

These activities must be carried out even in the smallest projects. The question is, however, whether reporting on these activities must always be done by means of bulky reports. In small and informal projects quite simple reports are adequate, or reporting can even be done verbally or via e-mail. However, the project management team must realize that verbal reports have inherent risks. An argument may develop about what had been agreed. And what happens if the Project Manager is temporarily unavailable or leaves the organization? The other themes can also be completed in a simpler manner, which results in smaller overheads.

Figure 2. Phasing projects
(Source: Project management based on PRINCE2)

For smaller projects and for those projects with only one team that reports directly to the Project Manager, the coordination between the Project Manager and the Team Manager can also be less formal. The Project Manager and the Team Manager may be one and the same person. The work of the Team Manager can be summarized as:

  • Setting up agreements on work that must be done;
  • Planning the work;
  • Supervising the execution;
  • Keeping an eye on the progress;
  • Reporting the progress;
  • Having the product s tested;
  • Recording the results;
  • Keeping up with the changes;
  • Ensuring that the products are checked;
  • Delivering the products to the Project Manager.

The role of Project Support can also be undertaken by the Project Manager.
For small projects the Closing a Stage process can be summarized in the following activities:

  • Checking whether everything has been delivered and accepted;
  • Checking that there are no loose ends;
  • Recording outstanding points;
  • Archiving the project file for later assessments;
  • Signing off people and resources.

Small projects and bureaucracy
Sometimes small projects are choked by too much paper and bureaucracy. Most procedures and templates in organization s that are developed to organize and manage projects, are based on large and complex projects. For organizations that have ISO certification, it is applicable for management and specialist activities to be thoroughly undertaken. That requires additional paper work and the accompanying signatures. This is not a PRINCE2 requirement, however.
PRINCE2 can reinforce all of this because the method is complete and is underpinned by a large number of templates. All available PRINCE2 templates are often also used to guarantee a feeling of maximum control over the project. The result is an overkill of documents. This can detract attention from what is really important and can create an aversion to all documents, including instances when a document is in fact important. An overkill of documents in any case costs a lot of time and attention to produce and study. This time and attention can often be better spent on other matters.
All PRINCE2 processes must be adhered to in every project. However, the question is whether all processes in a given project are so important that specific procedures and templates for the execution of these processes are necessary. It is important to use only those procedures and templates in a project that are really important in the given circumstances and provide added value for organizing and managing that project. For small projects certain processes can be gone through and completed quickly and informally.

Project Manager versus Team Manager
Small projects typically use one project team. Only members of the project team itself work on the project, reporting directly to the Project Manager. In addition two situations can arise:

  • Separate Work Package es are to be differentiated, but these Work Packages are still undertaken by one person. This person is then simultaneously a member of the team and Team Manager. In such a case the Project Manager and the Team Manager are separate people.
  • The Project Manager does not direct the team member at the level of Work Packages, but at the level of activities. That is also the case if the team member is not yet sufficiently senior to execute the Work Package independently and the Project Manager has sufficient subject content expertise about the work area to be executed. In such a case the Project Manager and Team Manager are one and the same person.

In small projects both situations can occur simultaneously. The second option, however, has the inherent danger that the team member concerned feels insufficiently involved and will sit back, “The Project Manager tells me what to do anyway. It is their project/problem and not my project/problem.” This develops especially when a team member (in their own estimation) has sufficient expertise to function as Team Manager, but is not given this responsibility. This is not good for team building and commitment in the team and only reinforces the risk that the Project Manager will still interfere with the content. Too often the Project Manager strongly interferes ‘out of habit’ with the content of the activities. It could be that the Project Manager is not used to directing on the basis of Work Packages and remains stuck in the old procedure. Coaching by a senior Project Manager is then necessary to avoid similar situations.

Large projects
There is essentially no difference between a ‘small’ and a ‘large’ project. A product or service still has to be delivered. A large project, however, is regarded as a project with several project parts where each is directed as a project, for example with its own Executive , Project Board and Project Manager. A Project Board that coordinates all the different Project Boards is responsible for the entire project. The building of the space shuttle is a huge project, just like the building of the Channel Tunnel. However, the result that is delivered is nonetheless still a product. It is for the customer to use the product and to realize their objectives with it. So, it remains a project and not a programme .
The difference between a portfolio of projects and a large project is that in a portfolio of projects the different projects sometimes deliver several results, sometimes solitary and sometimes in clusters, with each being capable of delivering added value for an organization; with a large project, one inextricably bound total result is delivered.
With a large project one can naturally use the same methods and techniques as with multi project management and with managing a portfolio of projects, and these techniques are found again in the management of programmes.

In the next article I will go into tailoring PRINCE2 for different kinds of projects and in different context. All kinds of projects have their own characteristics and possibilities to tailor it towards success!
Please feel free to comment on my articles. I’d love to get into remarks and questions.

For any other information, please mail me (

Differences in PRINCE2® v2009 versus v2005

June 23, 2010
In 2009 OGC, the owner of the project management method PRINCE2, has released a new edition of the PRINCE2 manual. In this 2009 edition there are several changes were applied to improve the method. The fundamentals of the PRINCE2 method have not changed. The most important improvement is that the underlying principles of PRINCE2 are now explicit guiding principles for the content of the themes and processes as these are defined within the method (see figure 1).

Figure 1. Differences in PRINCE2TM v2009 versus V2005
(source: Project management based on PRINCE2, 2009 Edition)

The principles are also emphatic guiding principles for tailoring the method to a specific project in a given context. It is explicitly stated that deviation from the use presented in the themes and processes is possible, but that if not all PRINCE2 principles are applied in a project, it can no longer be termed a PRINCE2 project. The changes that have been implemented can be distinguished according to methodical changes, changes in the structure of the manual and smaller changes within a specific theme, product or process.
Structural changes
The most important structural changes are:
• Firstly, of course, the new chapter that has been added in which the PRINCE2 principles are explicitly named and described.
• More attention has been paid to adapting the method to a specific project in a given context.
• This has now become a separate chapter called Tailoring PRINCE2.
• The method is less prescriptive. With regard to many subjects, it is stated that deviation from the approach described is possible. It is stated that it is better to work according to the spirit of the method than to adhere to the rules of the manual.
• The method is less bureaucratic. Sub-processes have been swapped for activities. Fewer management products have been defined.
• There is now greater emphasis on learning from experience. In the first PRINCE2 process, learning from experience gleaned from previous projects is expressly mentioned as an activity.
• Lessons now come up for discussion in all reporting and meetings. Conveying one’s own experiences to the corporate or programme management is now included during stage boundaries too.
• There is a clearer link to other OGC methods, such as Management of Successful Programmes (MSP) and Management of Risk (M_o_R).
• Strategies have been introduced for risks, quality, configuration management and communication, all in line with MSP.
• There is more reference to techniques to be used. Reference is made to frequently-used techniques, not only in planning but also for risks and (for example) the Business Case.
• Delivery of the results in stages is pointedly assumed.
Changes to the manual
• First of all, the manual has been reduced from some 450 pages to around 330 pages, primarily by removing duplication of components and processes.
• The components have become themes and have been put before the processes. As themes they have also become what they are, namely areas for attention, without wishing to create an impression of being integral to a project – the term ‘component’ suggests.
• The eight components have been reduced to seven themes. Configuration management has now been integrated into the Change theme.
• Control aspects have now been renamed as the Progress theme.
• The Techniques section is now defunct. The techniques are now described in the relevant themes, alongside other important techniques.
• The number of processes has been reduced from eight to seven. The Planning process has now been included as a procedure within the Planning theme. This puts planning in line with other procedures, such as those of risk management and change control, which always used to be dealt with like procedures within the components/themes.
• There are more support and guidelines for the members of the Project Board and the senior management. To this end, the OGC has even published a separate manual with a separate exam associated with it.
• The appendix incorporating risk categories has become defunct.
• The health check has now been arranged according to the different steps in the project process.
Detailed changes
• Business Case – The Post-Project Review Plan is now called Benefits Review Plan. This plan is now created during initiation of the project and assessed by the Project Board during project authorization. For each stage, the Benefits Review Plan is brought up to date. Justification of the project is now based on whether the project is wanted, viable and achievable. The lifecycle of the Business Case is now subdivided into developing, verifying and confirming. The Business Case now also contains an Executive summary, dis-benefits and benefit tolerances. In the case of delivery in stages, benefits reviews can be held during the project.
• Organization – The four levels of management are now called corporate or programme management, directing, managing and delivering. The Change Authority has now been included in the organization chart. The configuration librarian is now part of the Project Support. In line with MSP, the Senior User is now responsible for identifying and defining the benefits and the operational or programme management holds this role responsible for demonstrating that the benefits forecasted are being achieved. The agreements on communication are now detailed in a Communication Management Strategy.
• Quality – There is now greater emphasis on the quality of the products. The quality path has been replaced by a quality audit path with overlapping paths for quality planning and quality management and quality control. The ‘project product’ has been introduced, which refers to the project’s final product to be delivered. The Project Product Description contains the customer quality expectations, the acceptance criteria and the quality tolerances at project level. The Project Quality Plan has been replaced by the Quality Management Strategy. The Stage Quality Plan is no longer distinguished separately in the Stage Plan.
• Plans – The method now states that a Product Description is required for all products identified. In contrast to this, the technique focus on products, which is now explained within the Planning theme, is less prescriptive. Thus for external products they only ‘advise’ choosing an anomalous colour or shape, for example.
• Risks – This chapter has been completely revised and therefore ties in heavily with the Management of Risks (M_o_R) method from the OGC. The agreements on approach to risk are now set down in a Risk Management Strategy. The risk process has been modified. Risks are now distinguished according to opportunities and threats. The responsibilities of the risk owner have been extended and the role of a risk-actionee is now recognized. The Risk Log has now become a formal Risk Register, which is created during the initiation of a project.
• Change – The Daily Log is now also used to record issues and risks that can be managed informally. The change procedure has been modified. Formal issues are now recorded in an Issue Register. The configuration management has been fully integrated into the Change theme. The approach to change control and configuration management is now recorded in the Configuration Management Strategy.
• Progress – The Progress theme replaces the Control component. This theme now concentrates entirely on the implementation of the project. The control aspects in the processes Starting up and Initiating a Project and Closing a Project are now no longer dealt with within this theme.
• Starting up a Project (SU) – Now also specifies the review of previous lessons. The project organization, the project approach and the Project Product Description have now been incorporated into the Project Brief. The Daily Log and Lessons Log are arranged in this process.
• Directing a Project (DP) – This process now begins at the end of the SU process in response to the request to commence initiation of the project. Apart from this, the DP process in itself has largely stayed the same. However, whereas in the past the Project Board requested initiation of the process Managing a Stage Boundary and premature closure of a project, this action is now the responsibility of the Project Board itself.
• Initiating a Project (IP) – The first activities of this process are now developing the different strategies for risk management, quality control, configuration management and communication management. The Risk Register is now arranged in this process too. The ‘PID’ is now defined as the Project Initiation Documentation. It now has to be explicitly recorded in the PID how the PRINCE2 method has been tailored to a project in this context.
• Controlling a Stage (CS) – This process has largely stayed the same. Only the sub-processes ‘capture’ and ‘examine issues’ have now been merged and extended into one activity: capturing and examining issues and risks.
• Managing Product Delivery (MP) – This process has largely stayed the same. Only the responsibility for recording the risks and the results of the quality reviews has now been returned to the Project Manager or (as the case may be) Project Support.
• Managing a Stage Boundary (SB) – The name of this process is now in the singular. The action ‘update the Risk Register’ is now part of the ‘update Business Case’ activity. The PID and the Benefits Review Plan are now being updated. The products completed in the project up until that point can already be delivered in stages and transferred to the customer. The formulation of a Lessons Report and recommendations for follow-on actions can now be part of this process.
• Closing a Project (CP) – New here are the activities prepare planned closure and prepare premature closure. Separate activities for handing over projects and recommending project closure have now also been defined. In principle, the Lessons Report and the recommendations for follow-on actions are now part of the End Project Report.
Tailoring PRINCE2
This is a new chapter. Whereas previously this aspect was addressed separately in the various processes, it has now been merged into one chapter. This subject has also been expanded considerably with regard to what had been set down in the 2005 version of the PRINCE2 manual. A distinction is made between implementing the method in an organization and tailoring the method to a specific project in a given context. The various aspects of the project and the environment that merit adaptation of the method to the project are examined. In addition to this, the differences between project and programme management are explained and the possible connections between the project and programme organization are examined. Finally it is explained how the method can be tailored to projects of different size and complexity.
• A. Arrangement of management products – The number of products has been reduced from 36 to 26. Further explanation is now given for each product. How the different management products can best be presented has been added.
• Governance – This is an entirely new appendix in which it is shown how and to what extent the PRINCE2 method covers governance of the principles of project management as published by the British Association for Project Management (not included in this book).
• B. Roles and responsibilities – The role Change Authority has been added. The role project office has become defunct. The requisite competencies for the various roles have been added.
• C. Example of product-based planning – This example has moved from the previous technique focus on products to the appendix. A Project Product Description and an example of a product breakdown structure in the form of a mind map have been added.
• E. List of terminology – This has been expanded in relation to the previous version.
• F. Other information – This contains a brief explanation of the various methodologies supported by the OGC.
So quite a lot has changed in the 2009 version, but the fundamental principals are still in place. I think the new edition is a real improvement regarding the 2005 version and easier to work with in practice. The biggest advantage are the explicitly made guidelines for tailoring PRINCE2 to your own situation.
Good luck applying PRINCE2!

PRINCE2® is a Registered Trade Mark of the Office of Government Commerce in the United Kingdom and other countries

Project managers are from Mars, executives are from Mercury

May 30, 2010
On Wednesday the 15th of June Atos Origin is organizing a year event for their project and programme managers, titled ‘Project managers are from Mars, executives are from Mercury’.
I am honored to announce that Atos Origin booked me as key note speaker for this event, to talk about the relationship between project manager and project executive.
What is the importance of the relationship between project manager and executive? And can a project be successful without a good relationship between those two? How can the project manager keep the executive committed and involved throughout the project? Important questions which will be answered during the event.
I have asked the project managers to come up with practical examples regarding their relationship with project executives. For me it’s important to understand what these project managers are dealing with every day, so I can give some hands-on and experienced solutions and advise they can use in their daily work.  Advise is nothing if you can’t use it the next day.
An interview with me has been used to tell some more about the presentation and was published on the Atos Origin intranet. You can also see the interview following this link. I am proud to say that we have exceeded the maximum capacity of the event in only a few days. And I am looking forward to meet everybody in Utrecht!
If you want to know more about this interesting event or want to organize an event for yourself, please contact us at

Our goals for our book “Project Management based on PRINCE2™”

May 7, 2010
In the last couple of years I published several books about project management and programme management. For most of them I worked with Bert Hedeman, my good friend and fellow guru in this field of expertise. With every book we wrote we had some goals in mind we wanted to achieve. We wanted our books to add value to the books already available. In this article I want to give you some insights on our goals and ideals.
The reason for us to think about writing a book about project management was the observation that an increasing number of organizations were working in a project-like manner and were using the PRINCE2® project management method. For these organizations the advantages of using one uniform standard method are obvious: a uniform method of working and terminology makes projects comparable, transferable and orderly. Moreover, PRINCE2 has additional qualities, such as the standard ‘no go’/’go’ decision with each stage, the Business Case at the centre of the project and clear agreements about who is responsible for what.
Our book is intended for everyone doing projects in their daily work. It is written for Project Managers, Project Leaders and Team Managers and all others who are involved with the starting up and management of projects. It aligns with the 2009 Edition of the PRINCE2 methodology, with many lists serving as reference material for all project types and sizes. As our book illustrates, PRINCE2 is quite logical and this title demonstrates why it is often referred to as a structured best practice for project management. In addition, the contents of the book meet the majority of the theoretical requirements set for successfully passing the PRINCE2 Foundation exam. It also provides a good reference title as part of the wider reading and practical experience required from those taking the Practitioner exam.
In this book, we have tried to combine our long experience in project management and PRINCE2 training. Using this background we explain the PRINCE2 approach in a structured manner, complemented with useful examples to help bring the theory alive. The Themes, Processes, techniques and Management Products as defined in PRINCE2 are explained in an easy-to-read, concise text. In the appendices you will find an example of a Project Brief and a paragraph on how to deal with lessons learned in a project.

Enriching the PRINCE2 Manual
Although this book is based on the manual ‘Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2™’ from the OGC, which was fully revised in 2009. It is by no means the intention to ’translate’ the manual, but rather to make the methodology more accessible to the reader and to ‘enrich’ it with additions, practical tips and examples. It provides insight into how PRINCE2 can be used to manage projects and thus serves as a practical reference work for the experienced Project Manager. Thanks to its accessibility, the book is also extremely well suited to being used by anyone wishing to acquaint himself/herself with the method or working on a team engaged in projects (PRINCE2 or otherwise).
For instance, we wanted to provide the reader with extra information about working in a project management environment. So with Chapter 1 we added an introduction to Project Management. This first chapter provides the reader with insight into what a project is or is not, why projects are ‘different’ and what managing projects entails. In chapter 2  we introduced PRINCE2 and specifically examines what the PRINCE2 method encompasses, the structure of the method, its relationship to other OGC guidelines, what is not included in the method’s scope, the benefits of the method and the differences between the 2005 version and the 2009 version. In the rest of the chapters we go through the fundamental principles, themes and processes of PRINCE2.

Preparation for exams
In the PRINCE2 method, a PRINCE2 Foundation and PRINCE2 Practitioner exam can be taken based on Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2TM.
The PRINCE2 Foundation exam is aiming to measure whether a candidate could be act as an informed member of a project management team on a project using the PRINCE2 method. The PRINCE2 Practitioner exam is aiming to measure whether a candidate could apply PRINCE2 to the running and managing of a non-complex project within an environment supporting PRINCE2. With this book we provide a good basis for both exams.
So overall we aimed for a practical, easy-to-read book for project managers with all knowledge of PRINCE2 to pass the examination. But also a comprehensive book about working in a project management environment. Follow this link when you want to know more about the book or buy it.

PRINCE2® is a Registered Trade Mark of the Office of Government Commerce in the United Kingdom and other countries.

Books of Gabor Vis van Heemst

April 22, 2010

Since 2001 I published several books about project and programmemanagement.

This year my new book ‘Project Balanced Scorecard, Passion For Aligning Projects With People’ will be published.

Check my LinkedIn
and the website

A Clarifying moment

April 8, 2010

Recently one of my trainees, a bright young guy at an energy company, gave me some feedback on my work. He said: ‘you allowed me to make progress and let me grow, just by asking the right questions’. Besides being honoured with this comment, it was a clarifying moment for me.

I mean, how often are we, as a committed coach, not tempted to get personally involved with the candidate and his/her problem. Most of the times we can relate to the problem and get enthusiastic about the content or context. From experience we know, or maybe we think we know, what the problem is all about and what ‘the’ solution should be. But do we really? Aren’t we painting our own picture based on assumptions? And does it matter if we really know the problem from our own experience?

The remark of this candidate that I asked the right questions reminded me off my role and position as coach. It was an eye opener that helped me to realize again what my goal is as a coach. I am not there to be prejudice about the case or candidate. It is not about me, it’s about the other to be able to give authentic answers to his/her challenges. It’s about giving room to grow and feeling the victory of coming up with own answers and booking results in practice. When I think about this, I suddenly recognize the positive feeling and the driving energy accordingly. This is what it’s all about!

Feedback Workshop IPMA – passion at work!

March 28, 2010

Passion at work!
It wasn’t easy to start a workshop about passion and increased joy in your work and for the people working in your projects. How to start such a workshop? How can we approach this subject in a ‘ no pain, no gain’ environment where working hard and without complaining is key?

These were my questions before the workshop for the regional group Amsterdam of IPMA (International Project Management Association). We started by making clear what passion is all about and how we recognize passionate people. This led us quickly to an interesting discussion.

Does passion in a working environment help to bring down costs, work related illness and improve business results? But above all, can it help me to get more fun out of it!?
Research shows us that a lot of money is wasted because of lack of engagement. For instance, Gallup statistics show that unhappy workers cost the American business economy up to $350 billion annually in lost productivity. In The Netherlands the Instituut voor Werk en Stress declares the annual costs o psychological problems for the Dutch society are 4.7 Billion Euros. These figures are mind blowing.

With this group I tried to figure out a practical way to turn this around in our own daily practice. How to get the people in our projects committed and passionate about their work? From my own experience I know how hard it is to get this flow running in a project or programme. During the workshop I tried to make the examples as practical as possible. To get the passion live and kicking in projects, my basic suggestion is that alignment between organization and employees is a key factor!

Alignment is key
People get involved when they feel that their work is useful. It has to have a meaning to them. But also it has to be possible to measure the effects. An employee wants to be able to see that his or her efforts are paying off. And last but not least, they want to feel appreciated. By applying alignment to the ambitions of the employees and the organizational ambitions, you are able to do those things. 







Bron: Rampersad, 2008

When we transform this to managing organisational changes, we have to be able to alignment not only the ambition of the people and the organization, but also make a transition into the change. We have to align all three aspects with each other. The alignment between the organization and the change usually is made by producing a Business Case. But is this enough? I think we regularly see Business Cases that are looking fine, but aren’t felt and believed by the people working with it.
Next we have to look at the alignment between the people and the changes, the projects. Does the project member know what the project is about? Is he/she committed to the end result? And when he feels the management doesn’t believe their own Business Case, why should he?
Aligning these stakeholders and their ambitions to the project will increase the chance of the project going over budget and increase the chance of success.

Some reactions after the workshop:
Inspiring evening and fascinating subject”

 “It was moving to see Gabor show his own challenge and development regarding being passionate”

 “I had a great evening and got a lot of positive feedback” (IPMA organization)

 I’m very proud with all comments after the workshop and pleased with the inspiring interaction. We got some practical examples and tips to start working on passion in our own working place. A small start, but nevertheless a big ambition 🙂

I hope to see everyone next time. If you want to learn more about this or other workshops from Gabor, please contact us at Follow this link to see the presentation!