Managing Your Portfolio – Leaping those “Change” Moments

As PMO Portfolio, Programs, and Projects struggle to get the most out of their IT resources, capacity management and risk management issues essentially start rearing their heads once the portfolio is in the execution phase. …

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The purpose of this category is to describe how you can use your Project Management skills to manage social responsibility.


Increase your Project Success Rate

It’s a reality according to the stats (see project success chart) that the project success rate is eye opening and disappointing particularly when you look at the causes why projects fail in the first place.  Interesting enough, the Agile Manifesto was introduced to help turn things around and in most instances, it has worked, but I believe one of the foundations for the success is because there’s a strong Scrum Master and/or Technical Project Manager (TMP).

My objective of this article is to make a case for why Technical Project Managers (TMP) have a great impact on project success. TMP’s help understand why development tasks take longer than others and why having a strong TMP (Scrum Master) in a Scrum environment helps tremendously to steer the ship as it goes through the scrum processes. TMPs help prioritize user stories from the product backlog and therefore have a greater chance of project success because most major decision points can be addressed up front with the Product Managers on hand.

A statistical view of project failures/success in the world of IT.

A statistical view of project failures/success in the world of IT.

As a manger, this is where I believe a strong  technical manager would come into play (putting all politics aside). TPM’s with hands on business knowledge and an understanding of the SDLC play a major role to achieving project success for the following reasons:

  • TMPs provide the road map to achieving the goal of the project and as result, it helps the business unit focus on what can or not be achieved.
  • TMPs help the development over come challenges by providing alternative solutions to resolve critical components.
  • TMPs provide essential communication to various stakeholders to ensure project deliverable’s are being met.

Therefore, now that I tooted my horn for TMPs, one important item that can’t be missed is TMPs need to be well balanced .  Too technical means, they will most likely hang out with the developers than the business unit and this is where things get wacky and the project may start to fall apart.

In an ideal environment, businesses units would have a dedicated PM and  Technical Manager,  however, in today’s environments, it is expected that PMs not only understand technical components, but should also be the relief pitcher when a resource is not available (e.g. doing business analyst, QA, writing test scripts, etc).  Today’s’ TPM are expected to perform not only their regular jobs, but to also step up when needed in other ares of the project.   Image a captain of a large vessel trying to man everything himself. Not realistic right, however, a captain of a small ship would most likely be capable.

After many years of being in all types of roles, I see this as one of the key factors for project success or failures. Business units as well as PMs should know their capabilities and have a clear define role in order to ensure project success is being achieved.  If companies are trying to stretch technical project managers, then something will give away and most likely it will be, the project itself.

In conclusion, my case for Technical Project Managers is one the key roles for project success or failure. Yes, there’s other elements that come into play, but essentially, the TPM ultimately has the underlining responsibility and therefore, one of the key roles with project delivery.



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