Bay of Plenty News
posted by pmi_admin on Wed, 01/05/2013 - 9:07am
The topic of the evening was “Great Ideas and Great Expectations”, which was presented by Justin Partington of QualIT.
Detail - Big Data, Big Plans and Great Expectations
Everywhere you look there is a fresh article on Big Data. It’s the latest Big thing – but what is it really about and more importantly what does it mean to us?
If it has caught the imagination and interest of the business community, you can bet that the next push will be on rolling new features and requirements into our projects, with their Great Expectations. Does that mean that Project Managers have to change what they are doing or do something new? Justin would like to offer some context and propose some practical approaches and considerations.
Justin presented a fascinating perspective on the hype around “Big Data” and the challenges it will present project managers if they are unable to see through the hyperbole. We were introduced to the 3 linchpins of big data, volume, variety and velocity (referred to as the 3”V’s”) and were introduced to the role of the Data Scientist. It was an interactive session and one of the notable discussions covered the cultural shift that would be required around data projects in the future. We shouldn’t be content with looking at data and shaping it so that it gives us what we are looking for, but stepping back and asking “what is the data telling us?”
For more detail about Justin’s presentation, a copy is attached for your reference.
Justin has been involved in the delivery, management and oversight of projects and people for 18 years, leading PMO and EPMO functions and developing Projects and Business Assurance practises.
Until late 2011, he led one of the largest Project Management practices in NZ, recruiting, coaching and developing Project Managers and developing capability at Telecom NZ. He has hands on experience of outsourcing and in-sourcing to enhance service delivery.
He has worked in small start-up software companies, the UK civil service and defence industry, multinational telcos and is now General Manager at QualIT leading their Assurance Consulting functionality focusing on right size and pragmatic Project Assurance and Governance.
posted by pmi_admin on Thu, 25/10/2012 - 3:18pm
BOP PMI Branch Meeting: 18 October 2012
Venue: Gen-i Offices, Mount Maunganui
1. Feedback from the BOP PMI Branch Chairperson: Lars Thiel- Lardon
Lars attended the PMI Conference held in Wellington on 24thtill the 26thSeptember 2012.With a beaming smile, he described the event as entertaining, interesting, a great party, covering a broad spectrum of topics and he mentioned that he learnt a lot. The event also provided a fantastic opportunity for networking. The 2013 event will be held in Auckland and Lars encouraged everyone, if possible, to attend.
2. Upcoming event: End of year social function.
A relaxed social event for members and partners with finger food and drinks. Further details to be provided in due time.
Date: 30th November
Venue: Masonic Lodge, Hairini, Tauranga
3. Guest speaker: Murray Clode, Gen-i, Tauranga
Murray Clode is a Lean Management consultant and General Manager for Gen-I, Tauranga. He hails from Invercargill and has extensive experience in Project Management. In his spare time he enjoys art, tramping and mountain biking. He is also a board member of the Tauranga Chamber of Commerce.
Project Management in a Lean World
Note by C. Dawson: The following is a summary of the talk as presented by Murray as well as extracts from the book The Toyota Way (J.K. Liker, 2004). It is not a word for word account of the material as presented by Murray but rather contains the essence of what was discussed.
Lean is a term the authors of the book "The Machine That Changed the World" (Womack, Jones, Roos, 1991) used to describe the methods used by Toyota to improve the productivity of their business: "Shortening lead time by eliminating waste in each step of a process leads to best quality and lower cost while improving safety and morale" pg 25, The Toyota Way (J.K. Liker, 2004).
Toyota Motor Corporation was founded in the 1930's and at first made poor quality vehicles using primitive techniques. The leaders of Toyota visited the US in the 1930's, specifically Ford and General Motors, to learn from the already successful companies. Mass production using huge equipment was the key to their success. Toyota trialled the technology but Toyota still struggled to be a viable entity. Demand was low and in comparison with Ford's 9000 units per month, Toyota produced only 900 units. After WWII, the Toyota company became instrumental in rebuilding post-war Japan and with assistance from the US, the company was resurrected. The leaders once again visited the US and the Ford plants. Their dilemma was how to become as productive as Ford within a post-war, cash strapped Japan.
The following statistics were taken from the same book (The Toyota Way):
- Toyota showed a net profit of 8.3 times that of its competitors (1983)
- Stock prices continued to increase by 24% while competitors fell (2003)
- The company has made a profit every year for the last 25 years (pre - 2004)
- Toyota has the fastest product development in the world (as of 2004) taking less that 12 months to design while competitors take 2 to 3 years.
Looking at the above statistics, one may ask "How did a small company in a small country manage to become a giant in the automobile industry? "
The solution was to develop a philosophy of business with principles and tools that transformed the mass production process into a flexible, low waste process, delivering a quality product in a short time with maximum profit.
What was evident in the 1950 visits to the US, was that nothing much had changed in 20 years. Ford still used great big machines to produce large volumes of product that were then stored in massive warehouses until such time as orders were placed and the parts assembled. In essence, much of the company's finances were held in stagnant stock. In addition to over production, there was an uneven flow of processes, defective products that went unseen due to storage times and disorganised workplaces.
The then plant manager of Toyota, Taiichi Ohno, was given the onerous task of improving productivity. With subsequent visits to the US, reading Ford's book Today & Tomorrow, and in collaboration with the Toyota team, the principles of "Lean" or the "Toyota Way" were established.
First Ohno changed the idea of "mass production equalling success" .
He reduced the volume of "step1" manufacturing and subsequent need to store the product until needed in the "step 2" of the process. The same principle was applied to each successive stage so that there was less front loading and a more even flow of effort and resources. This in turn reduced the waiting time (short lead times) between the processes and thus improved cash flow. Processes were reviewed, "waste" identified and the processes amended.
In summary, some of the principles of Lean Management are:
1 Eliminate Waste (analysis)
Ask yourself: What value is this process adding to final product / to the client / to us?
There are 7 main waste areas which for ease of remembering, Murray ordered into an acronym WORMPIT.
Waiting - bottlenecks, standing around watching, walking from desk to printers, waiting for meetings.
Over production - of product or people. Producing large amount of stock which have not been ordered requires storage until needed. Storage costs money and is money tied up. When product is stored, defects are not discovered until later when used and if this is a production defect, any product made until discovery of the defect will be useless.
Toyota's solution was to develop a "Just in Time" process where minimal product is stored and just enough produced or delivered to meet the demand at that time.
Rework - Defects caused by poor quality control, excessive production and poor inspection. Not meeting your clients needs or failing to understanding your client's brief will require redesign and abortive efforts.
Motion - Transport costs, time taken to walk between places, time taken looking for documents or parts or equipment. Efficient workspaces, ordered grouping of items, locations of plants within the area of demand or network of suppliers.
Process - over design or under design is wasted effort and cost.
Inventory - too much or too little product or raw materials (production). If you look outside the manufacturing world, your "in tray" could be a different example - what you still have to do can create delays to your own process or to others.
and last but not least:
Training - having the right people do the job with the right skills, engaging with employees to continuously improve the process, tap into employee creativity. Not applying these leads to wasted resources, defects and time delays.
This leads us to the second principle:
Develop leaders, teams and employees. Encourage them to challenge the way things are done, to improve the process. Respect their input, opinion, their need for job satisfaction and dignity. Respect your network of partners.
3. Go and See:
Put into practice what you preach and go see how the processes are actually working, how people are implementing the paperwork. It is a hand on approach of management.
4. Fix it when you see it (KEIZEN BLITZ)
5. Visual Aids:
Simply having a process does not prevent errors. For example, four similar looking bottles contain different medication. Each bottle has similar looking labels but different instructions. Preventing an error relies on a person reading the instruction. An effective method would be to differentiate the contents by visually differentiating the bottles from one another by colour, size and shape.
Another visual aid is to produce "Story Boards" where the presentation, reports or problems are contained on a 1 page format. Identify the key issues, make it concise. Provide visual instructions, analysis of data. Also called an "Information Sites".
6. Reflect (HAINSEI) and
Continuously improve (transformation) KAIZEN (change for the better).
Analyse the process and determine what is working, what is not. What is adding value, how much value is it adding. Amend the process to improve and apply the changes.
Maintain the smooth flow of production on a daily basis and look at long term implications such as maintenance. A lean organisation needs buy in from all personnel, not just management. It is a bottom up approach.
Murray concluded his presentation with a reminder that "Problems are an opportunity for learning and improvement".
While writing this article, out of interest, I googled "Toyota Statistics". Search results highlighted that recently things are not so rosy for Toyota. In 2011 several vehicles were recalled for faulty components.
It seems as if the "quality" once so prized by Toyota is having issues however, these have been identified as being caused by defective parts and not the process of assembly, the rapid international expansion that was required as Japan's economy faltered and also, the change in the workforce structure.
However, in comparison with competitors GM, the number of legal cases due to quality issues show that Toyota accounts for only 3.55% of the claims awhile GM accounts for 16.6% even though the production is similar in quantity.
The same link had this quotation:
Because I am an engineering-quality person by training, one key thing repeats over and over to me. It costs a lot to make bad products.
4. Study Group:
10 students sat the CAPM and PMP exam on the 12th October. All agreed that it was a long exam and quite demanding. We wait with baited breath for the results and congratulate all on your commitment over 14 weeks. The students presented Alex with a gift of appreciation for his leadership in the role of Study Group Co-ordinator.
Two study groups are envisaged for 2013. Details will be conveyed once known.
The meeting ended with drinks and relaxed mingling.
posted by pmi_admin on Mon, 06/08/2012 - 7:44am
Venue: Beca offices, 32 Harrington Street, Tauranga
With the sun setting over Tauranga, approximately 30 Project Managers and interested persons mingled in the newly refurbished refreshments area, enjoying pre- meeting drinks and stunning views across the Tauranga strand.
Fred Terblanche, Beca Tauranga, Project and Cost Management Section Manager, gave a brief overview of Beca and what services are provided.
Beca is one of the largest employee-owned engineering and related consultancy services groups in the Asia Pacific region. In 1918, Beca was established in New Zealand with only three employees and has grown into a group of companies with over 2,600 employees working out of offices across Asia, Australasia and the Pacific.
Primarily providing engineering and related consultancy services to many markets including industrial, buildings, government, water, transport and power, Beca also offers architecture, planning, project and cost management, land information, valuations and software services.
Some of the recent projects include the redevelopment of Tauranga Police Station (Project Management services), schools in the Pacific Islands (Architecture), upgrade of the Tauranga Hospital Services (Building Services), Victoria Desalination plant in Australia (Engineering Design services) and design of Software Training System Prototypes for the Defence market (Beca Applied Technologies (BAT). An interesting video to watch is located at the following link:
Additional information on what Beca does can also be found on the same link.
Fred Terblanche was questioned about Beca’s stance towards the PMI qualification and responded saying that Beca places a significant value on the qualification, particularly given that many clients (notably Government entities) are increasingly requiring consultants to be either PMI or Prince 2 accredited as a qualifying requirement for successful bids. The qualification is not currently a pre-requisite at Beca but is certainly regarded very favourably.
Main Speaker:Sachin Ekbote, Senior Project Manager and Mechanical Engineer
Topic: Geothermal Electricity Plant Study – Norske Skog Tasman, Kawerau
Founded in 1952, Norske Skog Tasman (NST) commenced production of newsprint and kraft pulp at its Bay of Plenty mill in Kawerau, New Zealand, in 1955. Annual paper production is currently over 300,000 tonnes.
The mill uses geothermal steam for process requirements and power generation. In 2009, NST decided that there was a need toimprove the power generating capabilities of the plant and save costs for their Mill.
The Finnish Forest Research Institute (Metla) predicted earlier this year that local wood use will fall by a third by the year 2020, partly due to a decline in use of paper by newspapers….and says that the pulp and paper industry must find ways of adapting to changing circumstances in order to survive.”
NST engaged Beca AMEC during the feasibility studies. Part of the feasibility studies involved the option of upgrading the existing plant or installing a new plant.
After completion of these studies, NST decided to proceed with a new binary power plant. This plant was supplied by Ormat group of companies.
Beca AMEC assisted NST with resource consents, air dispersion modelling and contract preparation as well as carrying out the balance-of-plant design and liaison with the main power plant vendor (Ormat) and the geothermal fluid system design and supply company. During the detailed design phase, Beca AMEC provided project engineering management, geotechnical, civil, structural, fire engineering, mechanical and electrical design services as well as Hazard Study services.
The binary plant process can be more fully understood by linking to the following website:
From a project management perspective, Sachin highlighted the importance of getting a defined and detailed scope before embarking on a project. This process was a large contributing factor to the success of this project.
An interesting element of this project was the communication process between the various stakeholders. Working on a project involving global stakeholders can create issues of misunderstanding and one needs to be aware of cultural sayings and understand the implications thereof. An example of this was the use of the term “in a couple of days” which, to the NZ stakeholder, could mean 2 days whilst to the global stakeholder, it could mean anything up to 10 days. The time difference also made communication a challenge with working hours in NZ not coinciding with the working hours for the vendor.
The construction of the power plant started in January 2012, and it is scheduled to be commissioned early 2013.
Alex Study Group Comment:
The Study Group is in to its 5th week with good attendance from all in the group (11). A huge thanks to Craigs Investment Partners for the use of their Boardroom and in particular Becky Flint who has been a great in setting the room up for us
Kay Armstrong prepared some valuable information for attendees on the new ISO 21500 (International Standard for Project Management). It included information on how it relates to the PMBOK (PMI's Project Management Body of Knowledge). Anyone who did not get a copy of the handout Kay prepared, can either pick up a copy at the next meeting, or email Kay on email@example.com and she will be happy to email it to you.
Don’s NEXT MEETING info:
Technology – How can it assist in the delivery of successful projects?
David Murray from Procision Plus
Even today a really good project manager can still be constrained by limited access to timely accurate information when trying to perform their role, forcing them to sink further into the detail of a project.
This situation can prevent a project managers doing what they do best – manage projects. What we need is a set of tools that can support a more transparent process. Something that provides:
- The ability to identify issues early and be able to respond before the project is compromised
- Accurate and timely reporting on all elements of a project
- The ability to analyse data across a project, programme or organisation
Come and share an interactive evening with fellow project managers and discover the benefit that effective use of technology can bring to your role.
posted by pmi_admin on Tue, 19/06/2012 - 8:58amThe meeting was hosted by Alex Johnston at Gen-I in Mount Maunganui.
Kay Armstrong resigned as the BOP PMI Branch Co-ordinator and will take over the role of Membership Co-Ordinator.Lars Thiel-Lardon will take over the role of BOP PMI Branch Co-Ordinator effective immediately.
Lars immigrated to New Zealand from Germany six years ago and has been involved in various construction projects in a Project Manager capacity. His piece of advice this meeting was to encourage us to view the PMI website as it is very rich in content.
Our key speaker was Michael Shaw, Managing Director of Dale Carnegie Training, BOP / Waikato. Michael outlined some key “Communication Strategies for Project Management”.
As Project Managers one needs to carefully balance our people skills with technical skills. One of the ways to create this balance is to be aware of how we communicate.
There are two main approaches to communicating namely:
1. Linear Communication such email, letters & memos where it is one way, has limited interaction and feedback but is perceived as quick and factual. It can also be tedious ie long email train
2. Interactive Communication such as meetings, phone conversations and video conferencing. This allows for two way involvement but can be marred by “filters” ie people’s perceptions of the other which affects how one receives and sends communication. Filters such as gender, dress, previous experience, culture and position affect how messages are sent and received. Being aware of these filters and putting yourself in the other person’s shoes will help to dispel any message distortion that could occur.
As we are in the business of ensuring successful projects it is imperative that good communication exists. At the heart of this is the relationship between the sender and the receiver. Trust is paramount and this has shown to affect projects in terms of cost and productivity. Ultimately the one aspect we can manage in communication is how we act and react. Building trust and relationships can be assisted by being aware of the following 12 Communication Strategies (reproduced by permission of Michael Shaw and Dale Carnegie Training). Italics are ideas or comments from the floor.
1. The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it - sometimes having a “baddie” appointed to find problems in the proposal helps to generate discussion and other ideas. Arguments can be beneficial.
2. Show respect for the other persons’ opinions – never say “your’e wrong
3. If your’e wrong admit it quickly and emphatically - especially with wives!
4. Begin in a friendly way
5. Get the other person saying “yes, yes” immediately
6. Let the other person do a great deal of talking
7. Let the other person feel the idea is his or hers
8. Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view
9. Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires
10. Appeal to the nobler motives – their values
11. Dramatise your ideas – present your ideas or message in a way that is exciting ie using graphs
12. Throw a challenge – especially good if you are communicating with competitive people
The 12 strategies can be grouped into 4 areas – communication that aims at:
1. Diffusing negative attitudes
2. Increasing co-operation
3. Promoting understanding
4. Influencing outcomes
When dealing with people remember that people are creatures of prejudice, pride and vanity.
Michael Shaw reminded the attendees that small businesses (less than 50 pax) are partly funded for training through the Chamber of Commerce and as such encouraged businesses to attend one of Dale Carnegie courses and reap the benefits. He finished his presentation with a real life experience from a Dale Carnegie student who has seen a big improvement in productivity and reduction on cost on a project which is directly attributable to the application of the communication strategies.
The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday 19thJuly and is to be hosted by Beca at 32 Harington Street, Tauranga. The topic is still to be finalised but is to cover one of the complex projects recently undertaken by this company.
Other issues to be covered include Mentoring and Sponsorship.
Study Group:Alex Johnston reported that a total of 10 persons have signed up for the study group which is to kick off in early July. Paper based examinations are being organised.
posted by pmi_admin on Wed, 16/05/2012 - 2:52am
The BoP PMI sub-branch recently had the opportunity to hear Owen Wallace, General Manager Information Management at Bay of Plenty District Health Board present on the importance of project governance, from a sponsors view.
Owen provided a great insight into his world highlighting the complexities of running successful projects. Some of the challenges that Owen and his team face include:
· Multiple entities (health providers) involved in projects
· Multiple governance layers with differing needs or focus on reporting
· Regional IS structures
· National initiatives that may conflict with projects already committed to
With these and other challenges Owen identified several key areas that he suggested should be focussed on to help make governance of projects more effective:
· Ensure that sponsors possess the mandate to influence projects
· A sponsor should be committed to a project end-to-end (not hand it over once it’s ‘nearly there’)
The Project Boards responsibility:
· They should have the correct membership
· Be able to focus on the bigger picture and not delve into operational issues
· These shouldn’t be too large (in terms of member numbers) and should focus on true governance issues, not project delivery
Judging by the numbers of questions from the attendees, Owen’s presentation hit the spot. His final points were well made in that projects succeed as a result of good planning and effective leadership and if we involve the right people we are more likely to deliver successful outcomes.
You can view the presentation here.
posted by pmi_admin on Thu, 29/03/2012 - 8:25pm
Following the inaugural meeting in January to launch the PMI sub-branch in the BoP, we had our first formal meeting on Thursday 22nd March.
BoP PMI had another great turnout in terms of numbers, who came along to hear guest speaker Clayton Delmarter, Manager - Major Projects at Trustpower. Clayton shared his experiences of the value that formal project management techniques bring, in the delivery of large infrastructure projects in the renewable energy sector.
Time was also spent assessing what the attendees were looking for from their PMI locally:
- High on the list was the opportunity to meet on a regular basis and network with other project managers
- Being able to hear a wide range of guest speakers covering topical aspects of project management and describing real life experiences
- Participation in study groups. We now have interest expressed from sufficient PMI registered members to get study groups started (details can be found soon on our website pminz.org.nz).
posted by pmi_admin on Wed, 25/01/2012 - 9:17pm
The inaugural meeting of the PMINZ Bay of Plenty Sub-branch was held on 25 January 2012. With a backdrop of historic aircraft and glorious weather at Tauranga's Classic Flyers venue the PMINZ President, Sean Whitaker, welcomed 61 attendees to the meeting. Following presentations from Sean and Calum Robertson, PMINZ Northern Branch Chair, the Bay of Plenty Sub-branch Committee members were introduced: Kay Armstrong - Sub-branch Coordinator, Don Jones - Meetings Coordinator and Alex Johnston - Professional Development Coordinator.
Until now, PMINZ members in the Bay of Plenty have travelled to Hamilton for PMI meetings. The formation of the new sub-branch is greatly welcomed by local PMINZ members and huge interest was expressed in holding study groups to achieve PMI certification.
The PMINZ President congratulated Kay, Don and Alex for their leadership in establishing the Bay of Plenty Sub-branch. The level of enthusiasm exhibited by attendees suggest that the PMINZ Bay of Plenty Sub-branch will greatly contribute to raising project management professionalism within the area.
Anyone interested in contributing to PMINZ Bay of Plenty Sub-branch should contact Kay Armstrong (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Central News TV Interview
posted by pmi_admin on Mon, 12/12/2011 - 4:06pmPlease come here for all of the latest news regarding the Bay of Plenty Sub-Branch.