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.

Equipped for the future…my MBA gets completed

Traveled to Lucknow last week to attend the 26thAnnual Convocation 2012 at IIM Lucknow campus. It was good meeting up with old friends, Profs and other faculty members. The Lucknow campus is in itself is a great experience. The IIM-L Noida campus stills needs to catch up a vibrancy like the parent campus. Hopefully the years and the batches to come will bring in that fresh change.IIML Convocation

It was a heartwarming ceremony and I’m proud to be conferred the degree by Dr. C. Rangarajan, Chairman of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council, former Member of Parliament and Governor of the Reserve Bank of India and Dr. J.J. Irani, Chairman Board of Governors, IIM Lucknow and former Managing Director of Tata Steel .

With this degree I believe to have crossed a significant milestone of my life and look forward for a challenging and learning experience that lies ahead.

Yes Ma’am !!

My friend Saurabh just returned from his marriage after days of missing classes. Prof. Kumra, our Marketing Lighthouse, was taking attendance before a two session class. The class was as usual responding to their roll calls. Just when Saurabh’s name was called out, a few milliseconds of silence prevailed. People aware of his return started looking towards him, their eyes urging Saurabh to respond to his attendance call out.
Saurabh realizing that its his turn, immediately blurt out – “YES MA’AM” !!!
The moment he spoke those two words he realized the damage he’d done and also that there was no coming back. The whole class and the Professor burst into laughter and took a few minutes to settle down.
I wonder what was going through my newly wed friend’s mind.

The unsaid rules..

“In Germany all is prohibited unless expressly permitted;
In England all is permitted that is not expressly prohibited;
In France all is permitted that is expressly prohibited;
And in Italy all that is prohibited is permitted.”

-English judge Robert Megarry