Voices on Project Management

> Back to Voices Home

January 2009 Archives

Credential Milestone

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)
Roger Chou, Taiwan-based CEO of Advanced Business Consulting and founder of the Institute of Taiwan Project Management, recently became the first person in Asia to receive PMI's Program Management Professional (PgMP®) credential. We recently discussed what earning the certification means to him and what it could mean for the region.

Why did you pursue the PgMP credential?
    Over the last three years, I have trained over 2,300 [Project Management Professional (PMP®) credential holders], boosting the number of qualified managers in Taiwan to 5,388. This brought us into the top eight countries of PMP-certified project managers in the year 2008--overtaking Germany and Great Britain, which were originally the 8th and 9th place.
    But I wondered if the PgMP [credential] could help Taiwanese enterprises cope with the worldwide economic downturn. I observed successful international enterprises survive previous economic hardships--what strategies did they use? I analyzed what they had done, and found they had produced synergies between their projects through portfolio strategies. Soon I realized these were lessons learned from PgMP [credential].
    We can see the PgMP credential philosophy behind such successes as Nintendo's new Wii video game console, Sony's range of stylish consumer electronics, like Vaio laptops and Bravia digital TVs, and Apple's iPhone, combining mobile phone, PDA, music player, video player, and digital camera functionalities all into one.
    Unlike the PMP [credential], whose target audience are project managers, the PgMP [credential] is aimed at senior managers, such as company CEOs. The PgMP [credential] exam is concerned mainly with how to do things in the most effective way (especially with large programs), ... improve competitiveness, and, more importantly, guide business leaders on how best to coordinate projects to produce the greatest synergy.

Why is continuing education and training important to you?
I think if you want to stay on top of the world, you should always work to improve yourself by accepting challenges, which will certainly help you survive this economic downturn.

How does it feel to be the first Chinese manager in Asia with this certification?
It is absolutely an honor. It is almost an impossible mission for Chinese managers to obtain PgMP certification. I have read through 13 textbooks in English, which is a tough challenge even for native English speakers.
    My mother tongue is not English, and passing an exam that even native English speakers find difficult means a lot to managers throughout Asia. It signifies that as long as we are willing to make the effort, and use the right method, we can do anything.

Editor's Note: Find out more all of PMI's credentials by visiting PMI.org.

'Tis the Season For ... Conflicting Visions

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)
Friends and colleagues, I hope 2008 was a productive year for you. No doubt some of us are already feeling the need to take another break.
    With the pressure of the economic downturn, many companies are looking for leaders who can see the big picture and motivate the mass with clear visions. I want to share a story with you. Ten months ago in a large defense company, the vice president of engineering declared that the focus for the year was going to be on defect prevention. Everyone was to do their part to ensure that quality is priority number one when products are delivered to the customers.
    The strategies to enable the vision included:
1. Adhering to rigorous formal inspection process for all product development
2. Following an extensive automated test regimen
3. Implementing additional gate reviews to ensure product quality
    Project managers soon found themselves guiding/mentoring teams on following processes, ramping up quickly on expensive software tools, and spending more time conducting "mission assurance" activities.
    All would have been well except that in the same timeframe, the vice president of the product line also announced the vision for the year: "First to market; driven business with agility." And to meet the challenging business climate, everyone needed to be focused on generating value.
    The strategies to enable the vision included:
1. Adopting the use of lean Six Sigma to increase efficiency for all product development,
2. Relying on the use of rapid prototyping--which requires early customer/stakeholder feedback--to ensure customer satisfaction
3. Less gating reviews.
    The end result was disastrous. Project teams created sophisticated enterprise applications that are still waiting to be used. Employee morale suffered because there was a constant tug-of-war between the mandates to implement more processes versus generating revenue faster.
    Sensing the frustration of their team members, project managers united to present their case to senior management on why a new direction is needed. Heeding the wise counsel of the project managers, the vice presidents made changes.
    This year, the vice president of engineering shared her vision of business success through innovation where everyone plays an important role in contributing to the bottom line of the company. Ironically, the vice president of product line decided to share his vision as well. Due to poor ratings from customers in the previous year the vision is defect prevention.   

About This Blog

Voices on Project Management offers insights, tips, advice and personal stories from project managers in different regions and industries. The goal is to get you thinking, and spark a discussion. So, if you read something that you agree with — or even disagree with — leave a comment.

All posts represent the opinions of the bloggers.

Follow PMvoices on Twitter

About Bloggers

Keep checking back because the voices for this blog will continue to grow and change to represent a variety of regions, industries and opinions.

Read blogger profiles

Voices Poll