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Samer el Barakeh was born in Lebanon, 1973. He completed his Bachelor in Engineering-CCE at Beirut Arab University-Lebanon in 1996 with honours. Samer was granted Masters Degree in Project Management (MPM) from the University of Sydney-Australia with honours. He also gained the Project Management Professional (PMP) Credential from The Project Management Institute (PMI). Samer is a member of the Order of Architects and Engineers in Lebanon since 1996, The Project Management Institute (PMI), Arabian Gulf Chapter (AGC-PMI) and Lebanon Chapter-PMI. During his 13 years of professional experience in Lebanon, Australia and Saudi Arabia, Samer held many positions among them: Telecommunication Site Engineer, Site Manager, Low Current Service Head, and he is currently Senior Systems Analyst at the General Project Construction Division. Samer is a Project Management Consultant and Training Provider for universal organizations like Business Management Consultants (USA) and PMCTQuest (Canada) Samer is a Registered Training Provider for Project Management Professional (PMP), and he provides training in Program Management, Portfolio Management,PMO...
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March 13, 2007

Programme Management to Implement Strategy

In order to overcome strategic implementation difficulties arising at corporate, business and operational levels, we are going to use programme management as the strategic implementation “wheel” underpinned by relevant skills and established learning; not relying on projects with inappropriate systems/processes-a common mistake leading to diffused, diluted, compromised or postponed strategic implementation (Kippenberger, 2000)

With organisational maturity as a baseline, a separate temporary structure is created by developing integrated programmes of projects (Partington,2000) thus strategic change will be managed outside existing culture in a way to integrate projects and business as usual (Murray-Webster et al, 2000).

Configuring strategic/goal oriented programmes (fig below) aims at co-ordination and integration of continuous strategic initiatives across the organization supplemented by portfolio (chunked) and incremental (heartbeats) programmes (Kippenberger, 2000).

Adopting the eco-cycle, presented by Michel Thiry (2000), for programmes to integrate both types of change: deliberate (formal planned top-down strategic change) and emergent (unplanned bottom-up triggered by unanticipated inputs). It consists of two loops, learning and performance. While deliberate change goes through the performance loop (top-down), feedback, and unplanned changes go through the learning loop (multi directional) that facilitates new deliberate decisions (value management).

Figure: The programme eco-cycle, adopted from Thiry, 2000

This method can be employed in Okumus (2003) case to implement strategic changes; however there are many others methodologies that can still be explored.


March 10, 2007

ABC to Avoid Project Failure

Risk of failure is dwindled by early adequate risk management plan properly applied। While shifting from rigorous to complex exploratory projects owing to the fast moving competitive business environment and mounting sponsor demand, risk of failure augments. It is highly dependent on business type and the Project manager’s exertion to remain within boundaries. Figures in IT reveal only 16% success; Figure 1. (Schwartz, 2005; Nicholson, 2005; Hunter, 1997; Clancy, 1994)

Harold Ainsworth scrutinized many researches aimed at identifying main causes of project abandonment; these consolidated into three main broad lines (Ainsworth, 1998):
- Lack of effective corporate controls;
- Poor project management;
- Lack of independent advice about status and which provides alternative strategy.
Approaches to close the gap arising from these three factors are outlined in the fig। below.

Project manager is to overcome the “don’t rocking the boat” syndrome upon identifying early failure “symptoms”। However, if failure was inevitable, it is useful to remember its positive aspect: “Failure begets knowledge”। Recently, more calling for “learning lessons” are arising, especially in the computer industry where failures were, as to some time ago, being undisclosed and consequently repeated। (Clancy, 1994; Humphrey, 2002)



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