Sidestep Complexity Philip R. Diab, MBA, PMP

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1 Sidestep Complexity Philip R. Diab, MBA, PMP

2 Why PM 4 SMBs? Underrepresented in profession Complex PM Standards PM misunderstood in SMBs Unique challenges not being addressed

3 How Would You Define an SMB? By the number of employees? By revenue? By number of countries that the organization operates within? By the number of business units or lines of business? By the number of customers? By the size of the market/segments served?

4 What is an SMB? SMBs don t have a common definition. Various entities define them differently. European Union: companies with less than 250 employees USA: small companies have less than 500 employees Canada: Micro (5 emp), Small (100 emp), Medium (500 emp) Corporate view: Companies with revenue of less than $100M Companies with revenue of $10K per employee

5 The importance of SMBs Canada (about.com): SMBs create 37% of private sector jobs 64% of total jobs are in SMBs Europe (European Commission) 99% of all business are SMEs Provide 2/3 of private sector jobs 9/10 SMEs are micro enterprises US (SBA) Provide 50% of nation s private sector jobs Account for 64% of net new jobs annually China (Epoch Times) 99% of industry is SMEs Account for 60% of GDP and 50% of national revenue

6 Impact of SMBs on Organizations Creating jobs Better able to find the right job for a good skill set Less tied to existing job descriptions and openings Flexibility and control over tasks Allow employees to define how the work is done Provide ability to arrange and execute according to employee needs Work-life balance Often offer more flexibility in offering part-time or flex-time for employees Able to offer varying benefits including time off outside of typical corporate standards Focus goes beyond career path Allows employees who are focused on things other than traditional career paths to succeed Better flexibility in lateral moves, well-rounded development, and creating a career based on interests

7 What is Unique About SMBs? What challenges do you think SMBs face? Why are they different?

8 SMB Challenges - Finances How does this impact Project Management? SMBs relate to finances differently Access to cash is limited Minimal traditional credit options are available Payment terms from large company customers are becoming more and more unfavorable Cash flow is more pertinent than in traditional organizations

9 SMB Challenges - Talent Working in SMBs differs from large organizations What impact does this have on Project Management? A multi-tasking environment where employees wear more than one hat Little room for specialization Difficulty competing on salary and health/retirement benefits with traditional organizations Agility in terms of designing careers and meeting specific needs Retain Develop Plan Source

10 SMB Challenges - Infrastructure SMBs favor the ad-hoc over the institutionalized Why is this relevant to Project Management? Limited use of formal processes and procedures Minimum expenditure on tools, especially automation No legacy and little documentation of past performance Constant sense of firefighting culture

11 SMB Challenges Decision Making Is this important in Project Management? Unique aspects to decision making in SMBs No formal mechanism to make decisions Fewer layers in decisionmaking but more people involved in the decision Flexibility to move quickly but often paralysis due to fear of making the wrong decision

12 SMB Challenges - Relationships Relationships matter more in SMBs Why should PMs care? Lack of systems means reliance on people to manage relationships with: Clients Vendors Employees Shareholders Reliance on each person in the chain is greater as there are fewer people Can be reactive rather than proactive

13 SMBs Must Transform Through PM The Lone Hero The Team Principles rather than Methodologies

14 M.A.P. Framework for SMBs Each of the 3 areas contains principles of success from Sidestep Complexity Adopt Focus on organizational behavior Effective Execution Manage Position Aligning the Organization

15 M.A.P. - Manage The first area within the framework is Manage. This is focused on identifying the critical success factors that need to be adopted in planning and implementing projects. Sidestep Complexity principles associated with this area include: Understand the Needs Define Success Master the Basics Tool Time Each of these will be discussed extensively In the upcoming slides

16 M.A.P. - Adopt The second area within the framework is Adopt. This is focused on outlining the needed elements in establishing a practice of project management within the organization. This is important to ensure that there is an established ecosystem to foster an environment of success. Sidestep Complexity principles associated with this area include: Know the Culture Establish Buy-in Champion the Vision Each of these will be discussed extensively In the upcoming slides

17 M.A.P. - Position The third area within the framework is Position. It is: Focused on developing project management as a visible, value adding, core competence for the organization. Allows the leaders to align project management to the overall strategic direction of the organization. Sidestep Complexity principles associated with this area include: Get your Mind Straight Big Picture Unconventional Leadership Each of these will be discussed extensively In the upcoming slides

18 Unconventional Leadership Its all about Behavior Behavior Discipline Centered on the People Passion for the Mission Obsession with Values Excellence Imagining & Architecting the Future Focused on Delivery Skills Leadership Behavior Traits Know- How

19 Centered on the People Keeps interests of team and stakeholder at forefront Requires ability to understand people s needs Decisions are made in the best interest of both organization and people

20 Passion for the Mission Directs energy toward the specific goal of the effort Reflects a deep desire to succeed because of: Strong belief in the purpose of the organization Passion for the initiative

21 Obsession with Excellence Goes beyond mediocrity and does not accept good enough Good enough is simply not good enough Unyielding desire for perfection Applies to all area of project delivery Unwillingness to settle for second best or second rate May sacrifice grade but never quality

22 Imagining & Architecting the Future Is able to apply global thinking Brings various ideas together to imagine and shape the vision or situation Requires ability to think strategically Able to direct tactics to change present situation to align with envisioned future

23 Focused on Delivery Delivers the promises made Does not overpromise to make customer happy Views abilities realistically Ability to manage expectations Potential to implement according to realistic and achievable results Ensures goals are realistic Does not agree to unrealistic demands

24 Wrap-up PM is about People not Process Concerned with leadership rather than methodology Suitable for any organization as long as it is adapted There is no cookie-cutter approach The framework has to be tailored People have to understand the basics to buy into the practice Never lose sight of the big picture Business goals and objectives are the reason for undertaking any project. Proactively satisfying client needs is critical.

25 Website: Q & A THANKS FOR PARTICIPATING

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