Value management is something that project managers should be aware of. In fact, the Association for Project Management in the UK has a specific interest group dedicated to value management. It’s a structured approach to defining what value means to a business and that’s essential to make sure that projects are aligned to strategy. A value management framework should give you the ability to define what your company needs, any problems and opportunities and then take these and review what the right solution should be.
Sounds difficult? The main problem with value management is that it’s subjective. And that applies whether you are dealing with what the company values as a whole (like “we value environmental credentials”) or at a project level (such as “As your sponsor I value quality over budget on this project”). Different people will have a different view of what is important. At corporate level you would expect there to be some kind of agreement and strategic take on what the company values – that’s essential as it can help prioritise projects (criteria around value should be part of the project selection process). But at project level when you are dealing with a number of different stakeholders it can be difficult to get agreement about what’s important. Read more »
Hiring new employees is not an easy task and can be extremely stressful. Many employers, thus, constantly try to investigate and come up with new ways in which they can make this entire stressful process much easier for them.
With technologies such as webcams and video conferencing, conducting virtual interviews is now a possibility and could easily become a new way to hire future employees.
Virtual interviews can be conducted from within the comfort of an employer’s home or office, and this is perhaps a great advantage in conducting virtual interviews. These are essentially like other job interviews. However, they are different in that the manner that these interviews are conducted is via the Internet instead of in person. This essentially means that interviewers would not have to set aside extra time to meet with the candidates on a particular day in or outside of the city, and you will not have to invite any strangers inside your office or home. You might as well take the interview in your pajamas and you can easily conduct these video interviews on Blue Jeans video conferencing software.
Types of Virtual Interviews
According to HH Staffing, virtual interviews consist of two basic types; with the first one involving a recording of the job applicant while they answer all of the interview questions in the style of a video resume. In this, the employers would send a video to the applicant consisting of interview questions, or email the list of questions to them. The interviewees would then have to record their answers to the questions in the format of a video and send it over to the employer so that the video can be reviewed.
The other virtual interview type is a two way process where interviews are conducted live and involves the interviewer and interviewing interacting with each other in real time as though it were a physical meeting, except it’s through computer screens.
Virtual interviews are a great way for employers to hunt out talent in an effective manner. They are especially useful when interviewing candidates that are not situated in the same geographical location as that of the interviewers.
Advantages of Virtual Interviews
When an employee needs to be hired outside of the area that the business is situated in, it takes a lot of funds in order to fly the applicant to the required destination in order to carry out their interview. When the same interview is performed online, the hiring process becomes much easier and cost effective, especially since the company does not have to spend heavily on purchasing air tickets, as emphasized by Recruiting Trends. They would not even have to waste fuel in order to travel to any nearby location that the interviewee wants their information taken at. All they would be required to do is to sit comfortably in their office space and let the interviewee be comfortable in their home while they conduct the interview.
A Successful Woman raves about how conducting a virtual interview saves time as it can be scheduled whenever it is possible for both the people involved, and not just during regular business hours. The time is also saved in the sense that with the help of virtual interviews, there will no longer be any need to travel to other locations in order to conduct the interviews.
When you interview candidates through video conferencing programs, it makes it possible for you to really be able to tell how capable the applicants are in terms of their understanding of technology. When a company knows that an applicant can master the usage of an online program, they can determine whether a certain candidate is fit for a job or not, especially if the position is for something technology driven.
Are Virtual Interviews for You?
Virtual interviews are truly gaining a lot of importance and popularity all thanks to the many advantages and benefits that they offer to the companies. A study conducted by PGi showed that since 2011, online job interviews have increased by as much as 49 percent, with 66 percent of the candidates actually preferring to be interviewed over the Internet. The numbers of HR managers that are known to make use of video conferencing to interview candidates are 6 in every 10, which will significantly increase in the near future. Another very significant advantage of taking interviews over the Internet as opposed to the traditional methods over the phone is that virtual interviews can look into the non verbal part of communication of the candidate as well.
Virtual interviews play an important role in making the hiring process much more effective and efficient for the company. These interviews are a great way to judge a candidate’s skills for the job and make sure that they make the right decision while hiring someone. Apart from this, virtual interviews are also far more constructive.
All projects face risks and risk management is a key process area of all major PM Bodies of Knowledge such as the PMI Body of Knowledge (PMBoK®). If you have never applied risk management to a project before (and even if you have) the following centres around one of the biggest challenges you will likely have – getting people to think and share ideas about risk and capturing them in a productive way.
Many projects and project team members are asked to apply risk management to their projects, meaning they have to do a number of things, including doing an assessment of the risks the projects faces. When people have not ever done this before, often they don’t find it one of the easiest things they ever do on their project. This is proven out by the output produced time and time again in these circumstances.
So what should you do in these circumstances?
Assuming you have a basic knowledge of risk in relation to projects, the last thing I would do is to leap straight into a risk identification workshop or similar. I may choose to do this at some point, but only after careful planning and preparation. One of the things I would do is I would have all the core team members (or team leaders) review their area of the project, and ask them to consider and most importantly capture what the uncertainties and risks may be. I would also use whatever process collateral is available from company procedures etc, to help them with this task, and offer them coaching in the topic as well.
So what should I expect (back from people)?
At some stage, you will have to consolidate all the inputs (assuming you have some). The first thing to expect is that most people don’t find this an easy thing to do and may not produce much or may even produce nothing at all. Even if they do, what they may well offer up are known issues on the project, (which are not risks and should not be included in this process. Clearly we don’t want to ignore these, but they don’t belong inside the risk management process).
So if I am going to run a workshop, what would I do?
Firstly, I would describe very carefully what we are trying to do and why. I would also make responsibilities within this process as clear as possible. Then, depending on the size of the project I would consider how to run the workshop(s). I may spilt it up into smaller sessions but I would be careful to have cross-functional representation in each session as far as possible. But most important of all, I would not simply ask people to brainstorm the risks – I would bring as much structure to help people as possible. Things like the WBS, if you have one, would be perfect. Lastly, I would be very careful how we capture whatever we get as input from whatever sources they come from. My recommendation would be to do as much of that as you can during the session, not afterwards.
If you follow the above, your efforts should be more successful.
Kevin Lonergan is a Principal Consultant for PMIS Consulting, and has conducted and supported risk assessment sessions in multiple projects and in many industries.
I’ve read How to be a Productivity Ninja this year in a bid to become more productive. The author, Graham Allcott, shares some strategies for making the most of your time, one of which is the CORD model of productivity. I think this is a great tool for project managers so here is a brief explanation of what it is all about.
C: Capture and Collect
In this step you capture all the stuff that you think you might have to do, or useful notes. In the project environment, that could be notes from a chance conversation in the corridor with your project finance manager, or the minutes of your project board meeting. It could also be emails, post, things that come up from phone calls or ideas that you get in the shower about how to deal with that difficult project risk. Anything, really.
Got any presentations coming up? Sometimes it feels as if I’m constantly giving presentations, to different stakeholder groups and individuals. What matters during a project presentation is that you meet the objectives for the presentation so that your audience – whether that’s one person or 1000 – go away knowing what they need to know and having their questions answered.
If you are new to giving stakeholder presentations on your projects here are some tips to help.
Know your audience
You may have heard this before, but it is really important. An audience of senior managers isn’t going to want to know about the issue with the code you found last week or how the construction contract is working out. They will want to know what it means for them and their teams in terms of sales, customer service and the big picture. They want to know what they have to do now to take advantage of the new project deliverables and how to help their own staff through the changes.
On the other hand, an audience of end users will want to know exactly how their work processes will change as a result of your project and you’ll probably get a lot of technical or functional questions relating to their day-to-day work.
Focus on whatever is important to your audience and make sure you anticipate the kind of questions that they will ask. Read more »