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Ian Stokes is PMP certified with the Project Management Institute (PMI), and an Agile PM DSDM Atern certified trainer, practitioner and examiner.
At present, he is launching a catalogue of agile training courses and also a CAPM certification training program with Business Schools in France, and has recently completed a publication on Project Management for Research and Product Development.
He can be contacted on the following mobile phone number +33 6 81 76 55 39
Project Process Maturity
This instrument helps you to assess the degree of project process maturity in your organisation in 8 dimensions and on 5 levels
There are eight dimensions that are developed in this instrument:
1) Strategic Alignment - strategic objectives are understood by all persons involved at all levels of the company.
2) Market Focus - prospects, desires and needs of current and potential customers are researched and integrated throughout the life cycle.
3) Learning from Experience - the convergence of skills and behaviours with current and potential needs.
4) Ability to Innovate - integrating technological developments and trends in lifestyle with the capabilities and products of the company.
5) Financial Management - control of the investment and benefits lifecycle, including the implementation of a dashboard of indicators on a balanced portfolio of projects.
6) Management and Control - steering projects with objectives that are qualified, measurable and prioritized.
7) Information Communication - the ability of the organization to integrate technologies, methods, skills and expertise as part of their process.
8) Change Tolerance - the ability to incorporate beneficial changes during the project and product life cycles without negative cost complications.
Each of these is assessed over five levels:
This questionnaire helps you to assess the extent to which the organizational structure supports the degree of influence of your projects
The strong matrix may be the most natural organizational structure in which to carry out challenging and complex projects which balance the contributions of the functional services and the capabilities of project management. Nevertheless, there are several other structures that are encountered in companies, including the weak matrix, the functional organization and the projectized organization.
This questionnaire enables you to assess in your own situation the organizational structure in which you are operating. It also provides you with another way to sensitize decision makers and other stakeholders about the way to best adapt the organization to its project challenges. Clearly, projects vary a great deal, but the greater the complexity and risks, in terms of marketing or technology, the greater the need for skilful and influential project managers.
Obstacles to project management
This questionnaire enables you to assess the nature of the obstacles you face in optimising project management in your organization
Promoting good practices through project management, improving performance, wellbeing, effectiveness and reliability: the potential of project management can be enhanced by overcoming some typical roadblocks and obstacles.
This questionnaire invites people to consider the obstacles in terms of management and organizational issues, technical and procedural issues, culture and belief issues, and people issues. Knowing where the issues lie is a good place to start in order to persuade people that project management has a more complete and deeper contribution to make.
Projects are important, they deliver innovation and change. Projects can be difficult for the same reason. And projects have often been under-invested due to these challenges. However, projects are also the area where you can get the biggest return on investment through easy wins. But, first you need to conquer some of the resistance and overcome the obstacles. This questionnaire can help people to own up to where the stand before making the resolutions to improve.
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Agile Project Management Training
Please click here to download course structure and overview
Agile project management methods are designed for projects that have tight deadlines, firm budgets, and important results to achieve. An agile project involves a high degree of participation from users in order to provide a better understanding of business requirments by using modelling and prototyping methods.
This course is mostly based upon AgilePM, Scrum, DSDM and Lean methods in order to offer a balanced training course, in terms of the techniques, the processes, the principles and the value added.
Scrum is an iterative team-based approach to developing product. AgilePM offers a governance framework and all of the necessary rigour and flexibility that large organisations requir for complex and challenging projects. Lean is an approach that focuses on maximum value as early as possible for minimum effort until enough is known about the results to justify further investment.
These approaches can be used independently, or in combination with each other and with other good practices such as PRINCE2, MSP, PMI, ITIL and CMMI. They are proven, practical and adapted to projects throughout the world that requir structure and organisation. Conferences, user communities and certification programmes are associated with these methods and contribute to their evolution.
This training course is suitable for people who use agile methods already as well as those who wish to acquire the keys to agile understanding agile methods that are based on a business case and keen developer and user cooperation.
Obtain a deep and broad enough overview of DSDM and AgilePM practices for AgilePM certification
Achieve the ability to promote and successfully apply Agile Project Management within an organisation
Assimilate and understand a set of practices that makes sense on agile projects and enables success on projects with evolving requirments and a solid business justification
With a dynamic and inclusive style, Ian Stokes is involved in the facilitation and evolution of project management processes, in innovation and product development, change management and the development in organisations of approaches centred on customers and cross-functional and inter-cultural teamwork.
Built around case studies, active learning, and where appropriate participants own situations and experience, this course develops understanding and learning by doing.
Benefits of the course
Appreciation of the benefits and application of agile methods
Understanding of agile roles, products, principles and practices
Experience in the way agile methods work on a typical project
Integration of agile methods that give added value in different situations
Ability to build a comprehensive and manageable business case
Practice in using agile approaches on an important and urgent project
More confidence in business analysis and business modelling
Development of estimating, planning and risk management skills
Assimilation of concepts essential to change management
Project Management Foundations
Acquire the skills, behaviours and understanding that will help to achieve business goals, meet and exceed stakeholder expectations, satisfy customer needs, respect deadlines, work to budget, deliver to quality and fulfill regulatory requirments
Because projects have become so important for innovation and change, organizations can achieve more return on investment from project management than in almost any other part of the business. However, projects are complex, and present unique challenges, which means that the development of skills, the adoption of good practices and the need for improved cooperation is never ending.
Since this course presents good practices applicable on any project, it is as appropriate for project managers at client companies and sponsors of projects as it is for project managers at supplier and for project team members.
Use good project management practices to make the most out of your projects
Optimise organisation and implementation within the team and amongst the project partners
Integrate scope, time, cost, quality, risk, communication and stakeholder satisfaction
The instructor has experience in project management in many industrial sectors where change and innovation have been key factors, and has been consultant, facilitator, and project manager, manager of methods and quality, and trainer in large and small organisations.
Review the nature of a project and project management
- Overview of project management
- Understand the role of project managers
- Recognize typical project challenges
Interactive session: Identifying the challenges of projects
- Set the framework of project management for better results
- Outline the project management process
- Understand the project life cycle and process steps
Define the project’s boundaries and purpose to meet your organisation’s business goals
- Describe and position the project, the critical success factors, principle objectives and risks
- Set the project scope, time, cost and principle objectives
- Determine what defines successful outcomes and how quality is measured and managed
Case Study: Defining a mission for the project (i.e. charter / terms of reference)
Perform an analysis of stakeholders, risks and benefits
- Analyse the influence, support and impact on key stakeholders
- Analyse risks and identify response strategies
- Prepare a communication plan in order to manage benefits and customer expectations
Exercise: Perform stakeholder analysis and risk analysis, produce a communication plan and a risk management plan
Structure and organize the project
- Develop the work breakdown structure and define work packages
- Allocate responsibilities using a responsibility matrix
- Develop estimating strategies to establish the overall cost and duration of work estimates
Case Study: Develop the work breakdown structure and define the work packages
Develop a project plan to manage the project
- Develop a comprehensive project plan to manage the project
- Define key project activities, determine dependencies and establish critical path
- Plan a schedule by setting clear milestones at the outset of the project
Exercise: Understanding critical path analysis methods
Case Study: Build the project plan, includ project budget and subsidiary plans, and establish a baseline for the project
Work on your management style to get the best results in a project team environment
- Recognize personal styles that contribute to effective teamwork
- Develop the attributes of teamwork that enable high performance
- Understand team management throughout the project life cycle
- Explore techniques to resolve conflicts and to handle pressures in a project team
Exercise: Group work on team development and conflict management
Effectively manage a project and control its progress towards successful results and to maximize ROI
- Set up a format and process to formally manage change requests, problems and incidents
- Explore criteria for decision making on change implementation
- Effectively manage a project and control its progress to meet targets
- Assess and manage the project performance at regular intervals
Case Study: Decide on appropriate responses to change requests, and manage project progress
Develop principles and methods to manage partners (managers, colleagues, suppliers) to optimize project team work
- Develop good practices for managing outsourced projects
- Use milestones, methods, measures and reviews to enhance visibility and deliver results
- Establish and develop communication skills to improve project partnering
- Review strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats to the critical purpose
Discussion debate: Management of partners on projects
Focus on methods and skills that improve and speed up your projects
- Evaluate emerging initiatives for improving, accelerating, optimizing and managing the project scope, cost and timeline
- Develop tactics to optimise personal time management and motivations
- Identify and respond to the differing motivations of individuals in the team
- Adopt appropriate communication and responses for managing differences
Exercise: Completion of a self-evaluation questionnaire
Close out the project, identify failures fast, and build on successes
- Close the project taking account of contractual, regulatory and administrative
- Learn from project successes and failures, and build project management maturity
Exercise: Review project closure from several different perspectives
The course uses case studies as well as activities and learning games.
3 days, either consecutive or 2 + 1
Benefits of the course
A solid grounding in project management skills and familiarity with good practices
Skills, behaviours and understanding that are commensurate with good practice
Enhanced comfort in the project management life cycle
Ideas discovered, developed and exchanged
Project Leadership Skills
Learn critical skills in the areas of leadership, communication, negotiation and motivation, and be able to develop the ability to apply these in practice
Leadership skills are part of everyday experience, and yet can be developed, enhanced and perfected through experience. This course aims to accelerate understanding and support the resolution with which people develop their own leadership capabilities in different circumstances.
Since this course presents leadership skills for managing upwards as well as towards the team, across organizations and outside the organization, it is appropriate for project participants who must exercise persuasive, coordination and leadership skills at many different levels.
Enhance understanding of leadership skills, delegation and the nature of motivation
Learn approaches for managing conflicts, resolving problems, negotiating and making the most of differences
Understand and apply communication skills and increase awareness of blocks to communication
The instructor has experience in project leadership in many industrial sectors where change and innovation have been key factors, and has been a consultant, facilitator, and project manager, manager of methods and quality, and trainer in large and small organisations.
Develop a personal vision of leadership
Engage and energize the start of the course by creating a personal leadership vision
Use inspiration from quotes on leadership and coloured cards to create a personal motto
Attributes of leaders
Develop understanding about the attributes of leaders
Explore the differences between leadership and management
Reflect about how leadership competencies can be learned and developed
Leadership personal assessment
Using a leadership assessment instrument participants reflect about their own leadership strengths and weaknesses and resolve to focus on their own development
Leadership effectiveness workshop
Build a ‘Leadership Effectiveness Profile’ (emotional intelligence, contextual thinking, directional clarity, creative assimilation, change orchestration, people enablement, reciprocal communication, driving persistence)
Develop the phases of i) Understanding the team, assessing the situation and agreeing on ground rules, ii) Providing directional clarity, setting tangible goals and targets (managing up, as well as down), iii) Learning how to lead by example and take measured risks (decision making), iv) Appraising team performance, recognising success, inviting feedback and adjusting style.
Situational leadership and team-building
Discover the full dimensions of the Tuckman team-building model, its relevance for situational leadership, managing the project life-cycle and change management.
Expand upon the importance of leadership and management style during the project life cycle, recognizing at each step what needs to be done to manage the project and transitions effectively.
Attributes of high performing teams
Examine the TEAMWORK acronym (Shared Targets, Energy, Equilibrium, Engagement, Empowerment, Attitude, Accountability, Attitude, Appropriation, Mutual Support, Working Tools, Organisation fit to purpose, Recognition, Respect, Rewards, Results, Knowledge).
Highlight the specific challenges of virtual teams and develop ideas adapted for distance working, cross-functional and international teams.
Work in a team on a creative and active team activity involving communication, brainstorming, problem solving, conflict negotiation and decision making. Use a teamwork instrument to assess individual preferred team working preferences.
Use a conflict mode instrument to identify preferred responses to conflicts and when they are appropriate leading to a team-play to develop the theme of cooperative negotiation.
Build upon the theory of conflict management with emphasis upon relational conflicts, conflicts of interest and technical conflicts in order to apply a framework for creative conflict resolution:
i.Relational conflicts draw upon a respect for differences and a willingness to build a mindset, a wavelength and a climate that enables understanding.
ii.Conflicts of interest requir negotiating skills, to weigh up the factors and to achieve an appropriate outcome, including the ability to pursue a win-win negotiating strategy.
iii.Technical conflicts demand a problem solving approach with the availability of subject matter experts and an objective analysis and selection of options.
Critical Thinking and Self-Awareness
Critical thinking is an emerging area of cognition that has become particularly relevant recently. Some of the pertinent phenomenon introduced in an engaging and informative fashion:
Groupthink – the group ends up where no-one wants to be
Distraction – failing to see the obvious, because focusing elsewhere
Illusion – differences of perception and insight into ambiguity
Forcing – channelled into choices amongst restricted options
Wishful Thinking – overvaluing our own experience, or what we desire
Pain Distortion – avoiding the challenge of the unknown
Selective memory – wiping out memories that conflict with our beliefs
Dialectic fallacies – (Straw man, slippery slope, circular arguments, ad-hominem, non sequitur, ad populum, ad verecundium, ad baculum, dubious evidence) are all deceptions that mislead
Governance Standards, Values and Ethics and Crisis Management
Understand how corporations must establish governance standards and limits that will shield the organisation from the challenges that occur more often than organisations ever expect
Know how to build a clear set of principles and execute the first steps in crisis management in order to reassure stakeholders and head off disorientation and distrust.
Conclusions on the Theory and Arts of Communication
Consolidate the theory of communication - e.g. sender receiver model, the importance and limits of listening, the need for feedback, awareness of context and perspective, all round communication, the necessity for persistence, the need to overcome misinterpretations and misunderstanding that arise due to filtering and questions of cognition and perception.
Practice communication in role plays and exercises on listening and comprehension
Extend the definition of intercultural beyond the geographical dimension of national and regional differences, to encompass the semantic gap and differences between disciplines
Make use of some basic theories of intercultural attributes, their provenance, and their significance; participants read, discuss, exchange and report back on some typical cultural differences, and how to manage them to work effectively across boundaries.
The course uses active learning, participation through discussion and debate, self-evaluation questionnaires, role-plays and feedback, as well as team activities and games
3 or 4 days, either consecutive, or 2 + 1, 2 + 2, or 3 + 1
Benefits of the course
The potential to acquire and to develop the understanding of leadership skills
Pre-conceptions explored and challenged, new awareness and insights developed
An opportunity to share experiences, to exchange ideas and to put ideas into practice
A low-risk learning environment in preparation for good resolutions that make a difference
Stories and Puzzles
Business Analysis and Business Modelling
Learn how to build a suitable business case for managing the development of a product, process, system or service, analyze the current situation and the solution developed and sucessfully implement the solution.
The creation of a suitable business case and the management of its implementation are fundamental to the successful delivery of products, programmes and the realisation of business benefits. Often neglected these skills have become essential to the dialogue that must take place in organisations at different levels, across boundaries as well as between the technology and market perspectives.
The course is aimed at people who are responsible for business analysis, building and managing a business case, defining requirments, modelling and designing product, process, service and process solutions, in either a management or a development capacity.
Present a framework for managing the delivery of product, process, system and service solutions based on a proper business analysis and a suitable business case
Develop an understanding of the skills that are useful for business analysis, product and process design, business modelling and business case management
Build the motivation of participants to manage a business case to deliver high quality product, process, system and service outcomes
The instructor has experience in business analysis in many industrial sectors where change and innovation have been key factors; and has been consultant, facilitator, business analyst and project manager, manager of methods and quality, and trainer in large and small organisations.
Identify the vital elements of a business case, business analysis and business modelling
Importance and purpose of the business case
Nature and definition of business analysis
Outline and options of business modelling
Initiate and elaborate the business case
Set up a vision for the project
Evaluate overall benefits and estimate overall costs
Identify quantitative and qualitative benefits
Solicit stakeholder input
Develop comprehensive estimates, from wide-ranging to all-inclusive
Order of magnitude and ball-park estimates
Analogical and parametric estimates (including function points)
Gathering and using historical data
Analyse and manage risk
Define and plan risk management
Identify, brainstorm and articulate risks
Analyse, qualify and prioritize risks
Quantify risks and decide on response strategies
Manage the evolution of the risks
Manage stakeholder expectations and benefits realisation
Perform stakeholder analysis (influence, impact and favourability)
Develop a communication plan to stakeholders
Enable managers to be engage and to respect their commitments
Establish a balanced scorecard with key performance indicators and measurement criteria
Define requirments for a new product, process, system or service
Agree on quality criteria and define a quality plan
Analyse business user requirments, functional and technical requirments
Formalise and prioritise requirments, ensuring commitment and requirments traceability
Perform process analysis and modelling
Define a process and understand the start and end points, inputs and outputs
Identify as-is, to-be scenarios and perform gap analysis
Elaborate process understanding step by step (actors, events, flow, data)
Apply user stories, service cases and voice of customer approaches
Perform product analysis and design
Focus on user experience and apply usability principles
Understand design patterns and principles of good design
Produce a technology map to determine a resilient architecture
Manage using agile and dynamic techniques
Specify prototypes with validation and verification criteria
Plan using timeboxes and a prioritized product backlog
Identify roles that are appropriate to scope-driven planning
Use facilitated workshop techniques to improve decision making
Plan, prepare, structure and organize the workshop in a flexible manner
Manage the creative problem-solving and decision-making process
Follow-up on the workshop adopt a results-driven approach
Develop a reliable approach to testing
Define test strategy and design test cases
Focus on valid quality, risk and performance measurements
Establish a testing attitude
Develop awareness of various testing approaches (for products, services and systems)
Determine change and configuration management strategy and tactics
Classify factors that relate to importance, sensitivity and susceptibility to change
Organize the management of information and communication
Create the capability to justify and to coordinate the modifications and transitions
Manage the implementation, go-live, hand-over and launch process
Manage business analysis maturity
Define and manage the maturity of the business analysis
Develop the capability to manage the delivery of benefits
Consolidate capabilities and principles that contribute to long-term success
The course uses a core case study and other case studies as well as activities and learning games.
3 days, consecutive or 2 + 1
Benefits of the course
Enhanced competency in the construction of a business case
Comfort and familiarity with business analysis and process modelling techniques
Awareness of applicable design and usability principles
Improved capability to define and to manage benefits, requirments, tests and quality
Practice and theory in risk analysis and estimating
Integration of concepts pertinent to change management
Advanced Project Management for Technology Development
This course helps you to align your IT organisation, projects, standards and architecture in an appropriately agile manner in order to achieve the right technology solutions that are cost effective and delivered on time.
Technology is the basis for optimizing the value-adding capability of valuable human resources and capital assets. Software development is a critical success factor. Project management, this most important of processes, is by definition difficult because it is about innovation and change. This double challenge is heightened by the fact that project management has often been under-invested. Projects will continue to be over-promised and under-delivered until the most realistic of the current wave of emerging best practices are assimilated. Surfers spend their life waiting for the biggest wave. The biggest wave might be now !
This course is for business and information technology strategists, technology managers, senior business analysts and senior software developers; and especially IT and IS managers, business development managers, computer service managers, network managers, operations managers, user support managers, program managers, IT project managers, IT innovation managers and IT application managers.
Enhance existing project management knowledge and prepare your organization’s ability to benefit from change and innovation.
Obtain extra nuggets of insight on cutting edge project capabilities such as customer-centred development, risk-focused sourcing, component-based design and conflict-inspired change management.
Develop the resolve and the momentum to initiate and to deliver the projects that can attain business goals.
Recognize emerging opportunities, learn from peers and colleagues, and build on shared experience.
The instructor has 28 years of experience in most industries, especially software consumer products, finance, pharmaceuticals, electronic, telecommunications, aerospace, automobile and petrochemical. Qualified as a team facilitator, project practitioner of PMBoK and AgilePM he is president of the best practice community and lectures at various engineering and business schools in France. He has produced several publications on project management skill and techniques.
Building an Organizational Platform for Business IT Convergence
Companies need people that understand both business and IT. The convergence of the two defines breakthroughs: new business models, new products and new paths to the market. Methods such as agile development, user driven prototyping, open systems approaches and adaptive architectures create readiness for a constant conversation between the technology and the market. This session will set the scene, reveal perceived priorities, cluster interest groups and develop a potential strategy for the seminar that takes account of the needs of all of the participants.
* Business IT Convergence * IT strategic challenges
* Agile business approaches * Value-adding priorities
Importance of Requirements Definition and Management (including Modelling, Mapping and Prototyping)
Overwhelming evidence highlights requirments definition as the source of most IT project failures. Developers must learn to speak the terminology of users. Prototyping takes modelling into the user’s world. The first prototype hits the most critical problems, such as functionality, performance, or user interface. Prototypes must be only as detailed as is necessary to justify further investment. Using real examples, this session will identify alternative solutions to defined problems and opt for a timely cost effective approach.
* Requirements definition * Requirements management
* Life cycle governance * Prototyping methods
Agile Governance, Organisation and Implementation
Change management is at the heart of projects and innovation. Agile projects entail a constant dialogue between the technologies and the market. Decisions made in scrumming workshops and in product and process development teams have long-term business impact. Management must build an agile support structure to ensure that agile stories and energies sustain business priorities and that the project portfolio is managed in an agile manner.
* Building an agile business core * Reporting along horizontal and vertical channels
* Know and show principles * Maximum viable feedback for minimum effort
User Focused Design and Change Tolerant Architecture
Good design opens up a world of opportunity for harnessing and integrating local and public business components. Compatible and usable components are the building blocks of architecture that grows with the organization and fits to product or process. This session explores the core principles and design patterns that can assemble business systems able to flex, expand and adjust to meet a diversity of different usage scenarios.
* Good design practices * Enterprise architecture
* Open systems approach * Component-based development
New Ways to Manage Sourcing, ‘Co-opetition’ and ‘Virtual Teamwork’
Sourcing and risk management are intertwined. An astute choice of risks can position a business around strategic core competencies. To manage the challenge of physical and structural ‘distance’ an organisation must adopt an appropriate set of practices for contract management, benchmarking, recruitment, communication, measurement and resource management. The goal of this session is to admit a high degree of professionalism into these areas and to release some easy wins.
* Outsourcing and ‘In-Sourcing’ * Contracting for partnering
* Key success indicators * Managing distance and proximity
Total Quality Standards, Organizational Learning
Stringent auditing obligations and uncompromising financial standards have increased the pressure on quality management. Modern organisations prosper when they appreciate the distinctions between quality of production and quality of service. Good practices guarantee traceability, accountability and configuration integrity. Potential is developed through exploiting hard-earned experience. As well as adding depth and breadth, this session on quality develops the idea that great testing is a critical success factor.
* Building a quality capability * Meeting or exceeding expectations
* Constant learning process * World class ‘testmanship’
The course uses a work group approach based on participant examples and other case studies as well as activities and learning games.
3-4 days, consecutive or 2 + 1, 2+2 or 3+1
Recognize and assess IT challenges that deliver results by aligning IT capabilities to business priorities.
Build on the ability to design, prototype and develop IT solutions in a way that creates a constant interaction between the technology and the market.
Employ emerging proficiency in agile methodologies, open systems approaches and facilitative architectures to generate tractable organizational capabilities.
Obtain new insights on coordinating suppliers and partners with competing and cooperating interests in order to manage business risks.
Sharpen the quality focus of the organization by identifying pragmatic approaches to ensure the organization is demonstrably effective and purposeful.
Be able to use the constructive dynamics of conflict to steer business change and to consolidate disparate interest groups and levels of experience.