Over the past two decades freemium (a combination of ”free” and “premium”) has grown rapidly in popularity; it is the dominant business model among internet start-ups. A monetization method in the freemium model is that of selling user data. This practice has become commonplace among a wide array of freemium products. Monetizing their users’ personal information instead of charging a fee has become an established revenue model. Jaron Lanier, the “founding father” of virtual reality, argues that “people need to be paid when their data is used”.

“Whenever you are offered something for nothing remember that mice die in traps because they don’t understand why the cheese is free.” …


Andy Grove (www.whatmatters.com)

I first heard of the goal-setting theory of motivation back in 2011 when I took a management course at Bilkent University in Ankara. The theory was developed by Edwin A. Locke in the 1960’s. In my mind it is linked with two very important terms in job design: Specificity and difficulty.

Specificity and difficulty: Clear, particular and difficult goals are greater motivating factors than easy, general and vague goals.

Honestly, I had no idea Intel’s strategic management was built upon that theory, up until I came across an amazing book by John Doerr, called “Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs.” …


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Photo by: Adeolu Eletu

Benefits Realization Management: A Practice Guide, a PMI publication to help businesses drive more successful outcomes and better strategic alignment, contains practices and universal principles that can be applied at project, programme and portfolio level. However, the Guide lacks the practice-oriented knowledge.

Luckily, special Interest Groups of Project Delivery Professionals exist and they share templates, documentation, case studies and valuable market knowledge. They also provide guidance on benefits mapping, template completion and measurement.

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Benefits documentation hierarchy

Once you figure out how the benefits management practices work, you can apply them to a programme as whole, such as in the figure below.

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Benefits cycle practices alignment with programme lifecycle (Infrastructure and Projects Authority, gov.uk)

However, this process needs a lot of drawing, revising and sharing maps and diagrams. Is there an easy way to do it? …


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Photo by: Ashton Mullins

Imagine you are an executive looking for strategies to move your business department forward. You schedule a meeting with business owners, organizational leaders, and other stakeholders and you are excited to hear about current and future projects. A PM comes in to talk about a website and says “The site will have a multi-layered architecture with hot standby facility.”

Pause to the PM story. …


Photo by: Maarten van den Heuvel

Here’s a list of documents with their download links. I will make sure the list is regularly updated.

  1. Project charter: The Project charter is issued by the sponsor to formally authorize the existence of a project and provides the project manager with authority to apply organizational resources to the project. #Integration Download: CDC.gov (Direct link, Word)
  2. Project initiation: The Project initiation contains the direction and scope of the project. #Scope Download: powerofproductleadership.com (Direct link, Word)
  3. Organization breakdown: The Organization breakdown structure outlines each organizational unit’s responsibilities toward completing the project. #HR Download: templatelab.com (Direct link, Word)
  4. Project governance management plan: This template provides a record of how decisions are made on the project. #HR Download: CA-PMO (Direct link…

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Photo by: Kelli McClintock

According to an ancient story (or rather an epic poem by Hesiod), Pandora had a box (or rather a jar of the 7th century BC) which was full of gifts from the Gods and Pandora was not allowed to open it. Pandora was curious and she couldn’t resist. So there she goes opening the box:

Out from the jar flew every trouble known to humanity. Pandora managed to keep one spirit in the jar as she shut the lid, a timid sprite named Elpis, usually translated as “hope.

I have heard stories by old and wise CORBA application programming practitioners, of how the Box still exists today in the hand of the Gods and if you open it you will find lifecycles and hope 🕊️. …


There’s a wealth of information out there, coming from project management professionals who have established themselves as thought leaders and influencers. One of these influential voices is Michael Kaplan, senior change agent focused on program performance and transforming organizations.

“Michael helped deliver $10 million IT project portfolio for a New York insurance company encompassing ITIL/ITSM re-engineering projects, resulting in 15 percent reduction in service desk tickets over a 1-year period.”

Organisations often fail in implementing their strategies even though they employ project, programme and portfolio management techniques. Benefits Realisation Management (BRM) is a set of processes structured to close the gap between strategy planning and execution by ensuring that planned benefits are realised. …


Photo by: Clem Onojeghuo

There’s often a gap in the appropriate tracking from planned benefits to their actal realisation. Benefits realisation management (BRM) is an approach used to close that gap and help companies correct their strategy misalignment.

What can be the possible causes of strategy misalignment?


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Photo by: Drew Farwell

This story is about the phychological factors and roles influencing the eventual success of a project portfolio. It appears that at least three pills, a cookie and a bar are involved in project success. Read on.

Ok, so have you noticed that we get the most out of other people when we believe in them? I found out it’s the same with project, program and portfolio management.

Say that your board is not well positioned to address governance issues and the executive-level stakeholders have limited strategic insight. Let’s assume that the people with the appropriate organizational knowledge and expertize to establish portfolio selection criteria, review risks and provide insight on how components enable success of the portfolio have negotiated the escalated issues. Maybe the key messages have not been communicated properly to the stakeholders and now your board wants to go on with investments for which supporting evidence exists that they don’t provide any benefits. …


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Photo: Sebastian Herrmann

When it comes to leadership, I’m a person who thinks that it is preferable to be inclusive and encourage collaboration with the team. Many people want to feel included in decision making and feel that they have choices regarding their work. This is particularly relevant when it comes to younger generations. To my disbelief, I find that the majority of younger people expect managers to give them orders that they will follow without question. Can it be that younger people simply can’t see any benefit in collaboration or that the upper management disregards the benefits of collaboration?

“Directive leaders disregard the benefits of collaboration because they believe their experience and knowledge is more valuable to the project. They do not seek out to empower others. Employee growth and insight is secondary to the tasks which must be completed.” …

About

Zoe Marmara ⚡

Much of my job boils down to understanding and communicating the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything. | Find me at zoetrope.gr

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