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About the course 

A How-To and What-to and When-To (and Why) for Governance of the Portfolio of organizational resource uses

Who should attend 

Everyone who has a role in control or management or leadership

Learning Outcomes 

Know when, why and HOW to exercise management over the portfolio of organizational activity that includes Programs and Projects

Take-away a model of the information flows, their content and triggers by which the decision processes could be run and should be audited

Be able to evaluate and confirm or enhance or build and operate a governance structure suited to any scale of organization in any industry


1st Hour / Introductions 
Hello, Intros and WANTS (Targets)
What are Portfolios, Programs, Projects?
What is Governance?
2nd Hour / Topic Introduction
What are the challenges
Why is Good Governance worth while (Benefits – Cost = Value)?
How do you do Governance – Helicopter view
The recipe of Routine Procedures
Gates for projects & programs
Oversight of portfolio events and operational cycles
Who – The Roles, their authority, competencies, decisions
When – Triggers and Timings
Artefacts – Inputs, Use, Outputs
3rd Hour / Quick How-To Do Governance: Artefacts, Techniques and Tools
Cascade of EEF and Intent to Project plan
Hierarchy of Gates – Q->S->DDD->Bs->No (Qualification, Sanction, Delivery, PjClose/ Benefits, PgClose/ Normal Pf Ops)
Preparing the Project DSP
For Q / S
Status Reporting and D
For Benefits Entry and Earned Benefits
4th Hour / What to do to do Governance
Evaluate current Governance Maturity
Vision of future Governance Capability
Build capability by Briefing, training, supporting role holders on their roles
PMO Services that connect decision makers with information flows
Right templates, QC of completion, Timings
Preparing, Conducting and Following up Decision making sessions
Politics of the before and corridor Outside the meeting
5th Hour / Known frameworks
The nature of Projects work’s uncertainties in lifecycle selection
Predictive versus adaptive
Time to first versus time to last delivery versus
PRINCE2 on a page – What governance topics it covers & doesn’t
PMBoK-G on a page – What governance it covers and doesn’t
Small scale Agile on a page – What it covers and doesn’t
Enterprise via Cobit
Three In-House industry examples
-From Defence
-From Oil & Gas
-Global Not-For-Profit (UN-FAO)
6th Hour / Wrap-up
Course Summary 
Targets for what our future governance looks like
Steps in the action plans
Course Closing 

About the course 

Really there is no such thing as a simple or complex project.

There are activities within the organisation that are routine (we know their consequences) and those that are novel (they create change whose full set of impacts is more or less unknown)

This course reveals concepts, framework and techniques to add to the standard program and project toolkit.

Some of content that will be covered has become known as in the last couple of decades, and within one discipline ‘agile’.

Agile is a subset of the full treatment of leading in complex contexts which has been known to generals and others for millenia 

Who should attend 

Every-one with leadership, oversight or management responsibilities to initiate change, deliver change or integrate change into day-to-day operations

Learning Outcomes 

Take-away an actionable framework (default pattern) of actions with techniques and tools equal to leading through complexity plus the understanding of how to adapt and replace its elements to match local specific needs.

Ironically describing how to lead in complex contexts is simple. Perhaps unsurprisingly mastering the simple takes time and practice. This course introduces everything you need to start the journey but could never claim to be everything you’ll need on the journey. Those additions will be personal to your discovery but you will be on the right path.


1st Hour / People Introduction
Hello, Intros and WANTS (Targets) – We don’t see the same world
What is Complexity? – Non-linear, emergence, strange attractors, adaptive – Agile as a fad in Complex Adaptive settings
What is Leading? – Vision, Reward, enable, encourage, discipline, connect, oversight
‘All’ about (simple) pre-plannable projects and pro-active plans (in 10 mins)
2nd Hour / Topic Introduction
Embracing complexity to lead (not manage) – Complexity is not something to ‘overcome’ or remove but to use
System defined and attributes – An organization and a project are systems
– boundary, sipoc, feedback – Agile and Learning Styles
Bees are Autonomous Agents – Agent behaviour – Compete-Cooperate-Exit
Role of People’s Attractors – wiifm, recognition and compensation
Machiavelli – The Prince – Creating momentum for delivery
3rd Hour 
How (but not yet when) to Trigger action – Using strong forces, Disruptive Change – Covid-19 as an adaptive challenge
Exercise Matches – Easy when you know how
Differences in managing and leading across Simple – Complicated – Complex – Chaotic and Cynefin
“You can’t solve a problem…” ‘Properties’ (needing solutions) of Wicked and Super-Wicked problems
4th Hour / Assessment of Complexity and Responses
Building local complexity assessment tools/ approaches/ metrics
Exercise create a complexity assessment tool (and apply it?)
A recipe for Complex Project Delivery
End-point description, wiifm, Disruption, Self-Org and Emergence, Simple delivery, Divergence (or not), Correction
Techniques for defining the end-point in outcome terms, Defining Benefit Entry Tests
– from Mission-Values-EEF to Vision-Agreed Targets
Techniques for exploration of solution statements – Dialogue mapping, Backlogs and Breakdowns Org-Pd-Wk-, RAM & DSM and dependency networks
Planning is about ‘Possible paths’, Plans are chosen paths (early choices are often wrong)
5th Hour 
Communication flows of the complex project – PM is NOT central participant
Exercise Design the Complex Project’s Comms Plan
Rational Discussion Space – Risk, Change, Roadblock, Product and process retrospectives
Gathering status data, Analysing achievement information, Empowerment and action – Defining Done (Quality Planning) & Earned Value (Recognition of Quality Control’s confirmed achievements)
From Simple (but discovered to be wrong) back to complex (in order to search for right)
6th Hr / Wrap-up
Turn the heat up or down quiz?
Summary of the whole
Steps in the action plans
Good bye

About the course 

o Organisations that do not have troubled projects probably are not trying hard enough!

o So if we are mature enough to know that having troubled projects is (almost) a good thing we should also have the competencies to deal with them

o This course explains the life-cycle to manage troubled projects, the links to ‘normal’ governance, trouble’s symptoms, root causes and remedies

Who should attend 

o PMO staff and others charged with a watching brief over project and portfolio

o Owners of project based investment and their advisors who attend steering comittees or similar forum

o Project leaders, managers and staff with duties to deliver projects in challenging circumstances

Learning Outcomes 

o After attending the course participants will be equipped with procedures, roles and tools for use in both troubled projects but also ‘routine’ project life to identify when remedial actions are becoming necessary.

o The course explains the steps of recovery and stabilization relevant to project challenges in multiple different dimensions such as politics and competencies


1st Hour / Introduction 
– Hello, Intros and WANTS (Targets)
– Concepts of Recovery – What does ‘Recovered mean?’ Original business case!?, Maximum salvageable, Damage limitation, Best current options
It isn’t (just) projects, its programs and portfolios (business case) recovery
– RTP Framework – Detect, Diagnose, Correct
– 4 or 8 Root causes of trouble on 3 or more axis
-= 4RC= Target Churn, Solution Skills, Political Support and resources, Monitor & Control to plan (= CSPC)
-= 3Axis= Resource consumption vs benefits, Schedule to coordinate, Product ability to realize benefits (= CTP)
-= Participants in Detect, Diagnose, Correct – Where from, Skills, Who is in the project recovery team?
2nd Hour 
– Causes and degrees of trouble
-= What OK looks like – Successful Project and Successful recovery
-= Varies by life-cycle phase
-= What not ok looks like – Single and aggregate indicator scales
– Exercise define trouble scales
– Summary
[[Topic Introduction – The RTP Life-cycle Step One – Detect]]
– Life-cycle SIPOC for Detect, Diagnose, Correct (Withdraw)
-= Follow the process – Start with a signed Recovery Charter, Kill or Cure commitment
– What to do – Detect – Find the routine and special causes
-= Are controls matched to project’s nature? – Predictive and Agile at Pj, Pg, Pf levels
-= Routine detection via dash-boards, status reports and steering committee compared to scales
-= Special causes via events or whistle blowers – Whose concerned and Why?
3rd Hour RTP Life-cycle Step Two & 3 Diagnose & Correct
– What to do – Diagnose – Root causes of wrong in 4 dimensions (CSPC) on 3 axis (CTP)
-= Routine detection – Correcting gradual onset problems and EEFs change ‘under’ a good project
-= Root cause analysis – Build a project time-line – Interviews and Question types – Framing – Affinity – Pareto – Fishbone
-= Establish team velocities = 1 – When V = 1 Kill or Cure? – IS ‘Project baseline ‘realistic’ = Business case no longer DVA?
-= Recalculating the Pf (EEF based Business Case) impacts
-= Evaluating the Kill/ Continue Question
– Retrospective
4th Hour RTP Life-cycle Step 3 – Correct
– What to do – Correct – By 4RC & 3A in the development life-cycle
-= Fixing: Right politics – Match CSF to AC, DoD and KPI and EBT
-= Fixing: Right Monitor & Control of right lifecycle for stability and skill levels, Swapping to or from Agile
-= Fixing The hardest (Soft) recovery topics – Right team culture, moral, mood and feedback
-= Fixing Capability and capacity
– Fixing at the Investment level – Correction in the Pf for EBT
– Withdrawl of remedial support
5th Hour / Avoiding Failure and Wrap-up
– We are NEVER going to avoid future failures
– Summary of the whole
– Reflections
– Steps in your action plans
– Good byes


Register for 2 courses with Simon Harris for 480 US$

Register for all 3 courses with Simon Harris for 670 US$ 


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