Inarticulate ramblings of a management consultant

the day to day experiences of a consultant operating in weird and wonderful client situations

Consulting

Domain knowledge – the only thing that matters in consulting?!

A frequent complaint that one hears about consultants is that ‘one team sells’ but another delivers…the implication being that the more senior folk are involved in winning the work, but when it comes to delivery, it’s often handed to the less experienced with the expected consequences. Like all professions that deliver a service, the tendency is to try and win at all costs and think about delivery at a later […]

Continue Reading →

Re-employment, not retention – that’s the name of the game these days

It is extraordinary how age creeps up on you. In thinking about and discussing this blog with a colleague recently, I was suddenly aware of how over the course of 20+ years of work, the nature of my relationship with my employer has changed and more specifically how different it is from the new generation joining the workforce. So, like many of my peers, I’m left with a dilemma. Do […]

Continue Reading →

Have pity for program leaders of a post merger integration – they need your sympathy!

Imagine the following situation: You’re given the challenge to program manage a post merger integration, carried out in the public eye, with all of the details (cost, complexity, high level strategy) broadcast to the world. After a few months, you discover that actually there were a number of other people in the frame for the work, who for one reason or another, couldn’t take up the challenge! You’re given a thousand pages of diligence, written […]

Continue Reading →

How M&A destroys value – it’s all about the small things!

I’m working on a couple of transactions at the moment around the region and one of them in Indonesia led to a moment of insight which I wanted to share. As consultants, we are frequently accused of looking for the big impact change…the magic bullet which will dramatically transform the project / or open the stakeholders eyes to a new way of doing things. In the mergers and acquisitions area though, […]

Continue Reading →

Agile – A change in methodology or something much deeper and altogether more challenging?

I’ve just spoken at an excellent conference on project management in KL. There were some truly interesting seminars on project recovery, risk, the danger of optimism in projects, and of course Agile. It is extraordinary what sort of reaction this topic generates amongst proven, seasoned project management professionals and the range was certainly on display at the conference. I saw everything there from fear and loathing, to contemptuous dismissal, to […]

Continue Reading →

Are we always going to spend countless hours on planes to get to sit in meeting rooms with colleagues?

This morning, as I sit on yet another flight, this time from Singapore to Hong Kong, it’s ever more apparent to me that far from video conferencing and other forms of communication taking the place of international travel, planes are fuller than ever with business travellers flying short distances for a schedule of meetings, which from my own straw poll over the past 18 months, are mostly internal to their […]

Continue Reading →

People in project management – the ultimate elastic band in terms of productivity!

With thanks to Toby Tester for this topic, I wanted to explore a subject which has been close to my heart for more years than I can say. How did we get to a situation where the presumption is that human capital productivity stays constant in periods of intense change? I know this blog is supposed to be a series of incisive commentaries based on personal consulting experience but the […]

Continue Reading →

Bringing project management into the mainstream

With thanks for an excellent seminar last night by Thomas Martin of Forward Intelligence Group and previously Microsoft, and also a reflection from a number of other clients and colleagues, I’ve been observing an interesting series of phenomena in the last few months. A redrawing of some of the traditional boundaries between transformation and business as usual activities, specifically when it comes to allocation of CAPEX. It seems that there […]

Continue Reading →

What value the functional qualification in project and programme management?

Now before you all bombard my blog site with death threats, this is not going to be a diatribe against the qualifications which are prevalent in the arena of programme and project management. I fully accept that these have a place and a value, and for someone starting out in the world of complex programme / project management, having the confidence of this type of certificate is clearly important and […]

Continue Reading →

Transformation – the new business as usual!

For several years, I’ve been drawing the same picture…the one which illustrates that the percentage of a company’s activities related to business as usual versus that related to what I call ‘special projects’ has been changing over the past ten years, in favour of the latter.  By special projects I mean: mergers and acquisitions joint ventures new product launches new territories expansion significant change in strategy and subsequent implementation requirement […]

Continue Reading →

Absorptive Capacity, Knowledge Management and Innovation Capacity

Originally posted on Paul4innovating's Innovation Views:
Let’s start with some defining statements. Innovation is totally dependent on becoming aware of external ideas and the knowledge that is needed and then translated for it to become new innovation. We can ‘fall over these ideas’ or we can find ideas or concepts through explicit search. Then to translate these and turn them into something new and different we need to…

Continue Reading →

The bubble….why does it continue? Our poor forecasting capability or collective amnesia?

I was listening this morning to the Forum on the BBC which had an archectural theme to it, notably including Stephen Bayley, a commentator with whom I had dealings some years ago and whose opinion is always worth listening to. He made the point that the completion of very large, eye catching buildings seemed to frequently coincide with an economic downturn and quoted Dubai and various buildings in London, the […]

Continue Reading →

Management information in projects – a meaningful source of data or post rationalised intuition?

Much of my work in recent years has been to work with senior managers who are looking for some kind of a magic bullet to give them an insight into their organisation…a data set which: They can trust where the ‘provenance’ is clear and consistent. The consistency in particular has to relate to qualitative experiences they’ve had with their employees or other relationships they have internally or externally Relates to their own experience either […]

Continue Reading →

What’s the value of a plan?

It may seem strange to those of you who know me that I’m in the profession of planning otherwise known as project / programme management. For years, my life was anything but planned, work opportunities seem to occur through a combination of chance and happy circumstance. Obviously it’s been easy to post rationalise my various moves (!) but the reality was very different. That was not however due to a […]

Continue Reading →