Adaptive vs. Predictive Project Management

Prof. Raymond Levitt
The project management philosophy, methods and tools that comprise PMI’s Project Management Body of Knowledge were developed and formalized in the 1960s based on the requirements of, and experience in, the aerospace/defense, construction and pharmaceutical industries. For these industries at this time, the challenge was to plan and manage a relatively small number of very large, complex programs and projects in a business environment where technologies, markets and supply chains were all relatively mature and stable. In today’s world of rapidly changing hardware and software technologies, dynamically evolving markets and supply chains and global political turbulence, a new, much more agile approach to project management has evolved.

Essence of PM 1.0:

  1. Centralized Planning
  2. Decentralized Execution
  3. Top-Down Tracking and Control

PM 1.0 is disciplined, but not agile

Shared Awareness and Self-synchronization




Strategy in Action-Culture and Culture change

Culture and Culture Change

-Prof. Gideon Kunda

Organization has rational personalities. If Structure is aligned towards strategy, Culture is a force to handle if strategy is not getting accomplished. Culture is a resilient. Culture-“A learned body of tradition that governs what we think, feel, and do“ Variety of rules people identify even if it might not have a reason behind it. Values <-> Culture Culture-

  • Above surface (material/artifacts) culture
  • Under surface (rules underlying the artifacts)

Rules of Culture –  Espoused or Actual ; Abstract or Specific ; Conscious or UnConscious — Organization of Time and space

Types of Artifacts-Symbols;Rituals;Myth;Technology;Time;Space Identity-

Levers for change:

  • “You”: the symbolics of managerial action
  • Changing artifacts: space, technology
  • The reward system: what behavioral, cognitive and affective rules does it support
  • Managing careers: recruiting, hiring, promotion, creating & socializing managers

Expanding function into integrated function with staff support

Evolving into lateral integration.

Power and Culture
-Prof. Steve Barley

Differentiation in the company along following lines:

  • Function; Region; Product lines; Hierarchical; Gender; Political affiliation; Age; School

Timelines of perspectives is a cause of conflict. Question what are people hired to do?

Disagreement of Goals Vs Means

Approaches to explaining power- Psychological & Sociological

Network power- centrality in a a n/w; measure of betweeness; closeness; connected’ness; realize the power of the structure; Structural holes(information and innovation)

Stanford-Converting Strategy into Action

Strategic Execution Framework

  • By keeping projects alive, to what degree are you subtracting things from the possiblity of your future.
  • Hyperaction Vs Nonaction
  • Project:How does “Done” look like.
  • How flexible and adaptable is portfolio to the strategy to the relevance in the external market.
  • Environment with a fast moving market, Portfolio strategy to match half that frequency.
  • Portfolio is always ON. Vector Sum total of all projects is Strategy
  • Culture and Structure important for strategic success.
  • Where are we going in the long-term? What are the goals of our goals.
  • Strategy naturally or cognitively flows to Portfolio
  • epiphany-experience of sudden and striking realization
  • Strategy <-> Commoditization
  • Ideation – Nature – Visions – Engagement – Synthesis – Transition
  • Benefits realization/planning is critical.


  • Strategy is about adding value through a mix of resources, capabilities and activities different from those used by competitors in your industry.
  • Porter’s five forces
  •      Industry dynamics
  •                   2. Threat of new entrants- entry and exit barriers
  •                  1. Rivalry between existing firms.
  •                  3. Threat of substitute products/services
  •      Supply chain power
  •                  4. Bargaining power of suppliers- owns a critical component of your product will take value off your supply chain
  •                  5. Bargaining power of buyers- as products commoditize; more comparison; more choices
  • Choose the right industry to compete in. Change industry when the industry becomes hyper competitive.


  • Four kinds of product leadership zone (a) Disruptive innovation (b) Application Innovation (c) Product innovation (d) Platform innovation
  • Industry Maturation – Technologies and categories mature rapidly. Buying decisions begin to emphasize low cost and vendor responsiveness. Result- productions and supply get outsourced, major product innovation become increasingly difficult.
  • Customer intimacy zone- Line extension, enhancement innovation, marketing innovation, experiental innovation
  • Operation excellence zone- value engineering innovation, integration innov, process innovation , value migration innovation.
  • Category renewal zone-Organic, Acquire, Harvest and Exit

Strategy and Culture

The four Strategic Value Disciplines (SVDs)

  • Operational excellence (CONTROL)
  •      Differentiate through superior execution as measured by productivity and, ultimately, lower price
  • Customer intimacy (COLLBORATION)
  •      Differentiate through superior matching of customer expectation with offer fulfillment—demanding higher price
  • Product leadership (COMPETENCE)
  •      Differentiate through superior design and engineering yielding higher performance—demanding higher price
  • Disruptive innovation (CULTIVATION)
  •       Thinking outside the box, imagineering, new paradigms

Culture Egg -perfect sphere culture mix might not serve well

  • Cost Containment (Governance) Vs. Cost Competitiveness (Strategy)
  • IDEO-Highly differentiated Disruptive innovation. Best supported by cultures of cultivation. Aligned to preach to practice.
  • Governance in terms of process that helps move forward. Focusing effort.
  • Execution of process- not holding back and restricting creativity.
  • Competitive advantage grid- Geoffrey Moore

Culture and Structure

  • Structure must be aligned with strategy and culture
  • Formal Structure- flow of information, authority and decision making across the organizationHow

The Stanford Exposure

Long time since I had a classroom experience after my academic exposure at IIM Lucknow. So on slightest opportunity I got I enrolled in a project management program at Stanford. Know more.

Only thing different this time is the delivery option I chose for this program- Online. I’m excited and a bit skeptical of this delivery mode. I’ll judge the efficacy as I go along this program.

Also I’ve planned to take notes on my blog. So the next few posts will be the classroom extracts of the attended classes as part of this certificate program. So here I go.

The HBR gold..on Mindsets

Read a article on the HBR blog by Carol Dweck. Thought i’ll bookmark it by writing a post on it.

The post categorizes people with two different mindsets.
“Growth” and “Fixed”

People with “fixed” mindsets believe themselves to be infallible and consider themselves superior. In contrast people the “growth” mindsets are more oriented towards learning. Some snapshots worth jotting down here.

People who hold a fixed mindset are way more confident than their performance would warrant, but people with a growth mindset are pretty accurate. How does this happen? It turns out that people with a fixed mindset focus heavily on their successes and, as much as they can, ignore their failures. Over time, they create a highly distorted perception of themselves.

The research showed that when engineers in training learned that they were deficient in an important area of professional skills, those with a growth mindset took steps to improve. Those with a fixed mindset, however, turned away from their deficiency and chose instead to dwell on things they were already good at.

The theory also applies not just to individuals but also to organizations.

Organization embraced both a fixed mindset (it believed in fixed abilities) and a growth mindset (the idea that abilities can be developed). Not surprisingly, people tailored their applications to the organization, either highlighting their genius or their passion for learning.

Most experts and great leaders agree that leaders are made, not born, and that they are made through their own drive for learning and self-improvement. Creating organizations that value a growth mindset can create contexts in which more people grow into the knowledgeable, visionary, and responsible leaders we need.


Well, a lot to learn from this article.

Road trip to Kedarnath-Badrinath

This was a ‘wow’ trip. After Rajasthan, Goa and Patna this was my years third fourth. Quite a handful of experiences and loads of learning.

  1. You can”t plan a road trip. It just takes its own plan.
  2. How to descend on hills when you have no brakes to apply.
  3. Helicopter skillset 
  4. History behind Badrinath and Kedarnath shrines
  5. Awesome routes I’ve ever driven on- dense jungles, curvy roads and picturesque landscapes (called the Mini Switzerland) near Chopta (mid way between Kedarnath and Badrinath)
  6. How not to miss the petrol pumps on the hills and avoid ‘Fuel Risks’.
  7. Traffic jam/Parking mess at the entry to the last Indian village-Mana on the China border, and the last tea shop which attracts so many numbers.

Uttarakhand is a beautiful state amidst the peaks of Himalaya. I’ve loved this trip and look forward to visiting the other places in the state namely Munshiari, Valley of flowers, Hemkund Sahab, Har ki Doon and many others that I’ll come to know of.