Office 365 Propels Turbine Test Services to New Heights

RTI Consulting Services is excited to share the latest from Microsoft – a short video highlighting small business hero Scott Naucler. Scott owns Turbine Test Services, a professional services company with four employees who work remotely to maintain wind turbines along America’s wind corridor. Scott relies on Office 365 not only to work flexibly and collaboratively with his employees, but also to keep him organized when he’s pursuing his passion – building and flying Cessna planes.
Office 365 helps Scott get the most out of his work and his passion. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you do the same.

In this video RTI Consulting Services takes a look at how Microsoft Office 365 helps small business owner Scott Naucler and his three employees work better together – giving him time to pursue his passion for the wind, at work and in life. Contact us today to find out how we can help you do the same.

EPMO : Making a difference in the lives of patients and thier families

It would be understandable if you are hard-pressed to figure out the connection between EPMO  ( Enterprise Project management Office) and making a difference in the lives of patients and their families. Making a difference in the lives of people is not something that readily springs to one’s mind when talking about PMOs. Well, this is what the CAMH EPMO has pulled off, as touchingly summed up by  Carrie Fletcher, Senior Director, Health information management and Enterprise Project Management Office (EPMO) at CAMH ( Center for Addiction and Mental Health) at the end of the video. A richly deserved honor as 2017 winner of the PMO of the year ensued.

I along with a roomful of project practitioners had the privilege of listening to Carrie Fletcher and Jacqueline Phan at the PMI Toronto’s event on February 5, 2017.  Here is what I learnt : by facilitating project management rather than policing it, by getting the business to trust the EPMO and by speaking the language of the business (tracking the before and after metric as Jacqueline Phan states in the video is one example) the EPMO has delivered the outcomes ( improving patient safety, reducing wait times….) that continues to make a difference in the lives of patients and their families. So, kudos to the folks at CAMH, for not only wining the PMO of the year award but for making a difference in the lives of people.

As project management practitioners we can take vicarious pride in their success as well as learn from it. So, here are some key take aways from the meeting

  1. EPMOs should focus on facilitating project management rather than policing it
  2. Partnering with the business means taking joint accountability and ownership for delivering business outcomes. This is how the business begins to trust the PMO.
  3. Leading from the front is absolutely required if you want to business to begin to trust the discipline of project management to deliver desired outcomes.

Would love to hear the thoughts of the folks who attended the presentation.

Worldwide Educating for the Future index : Applying its insights to today’s workforce

Education Redefined: The Future is Now .While the primary focus of this EIU ( Economist Intelligence Unit) report is on making changes to the education system to enable students to acquire skills to succeed in the workplace that is being dramatically disrupted  by digital tehcnologies, it offers insights that can be applied today’s workforce.

The report identifies the following types of skills current students will need  inorder to flourish in the world as adults:

  • Interdisciplinary skills
  • Creative and analytical skills
  • Entrepreneurial skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Digital and technical skills
  • Global awareness and civic education

To acquire these skills students will increasingly be involved in project based learning that will be enabled by digital technologies.

The opportunitiy for organzitions today is to leverage insights from the report to enable thier work force to learn, apply and enhance the skills indentified in the report. Here are two insights that organizations can immediately implement to drive thier success as well as thier employees success in the digtially disrupted word of today:

  1. Implement a digital infrastructure that allows work to happen anywhere, anytime and on any device
  2. Embrace project based work to embed the creative use of digital technologies to drive a step change in team and organizational productivity.

We suggest Microsoft 365 as the digital infrastructure organizations implement as it allows organizations to empower their employees to work digitally to achieve organizational goals.At the same time employees can use the same digital infrastructure to learn , apply and enhance the skills identified in the report.

However for organizations to truly realize the twin benefits of Microsoft 365 – using the digital infrastructure it provides, to achieve organizational goals and enhance individual skills, we suggest organizations embrace project management, as way of getting work done. This will ensure that digital technologies get embeded in the way people work which will drive the utilization of Microsoft 365. The effective utilization of Microsoft 365 to get work done digitally will be a predictor of organizational and individual preparedness to flourish in the digitally disrupted world of today and tomorrow.

Becoming a better project manager series : Taking ownership 

Being a project manager is tough. You are responsible for delivering results but don’t have complete control over the means to deliver them. Most of the times, the results are defined in the vaguest possible terms, that you don’t even know what results you have to deliver. Welcome to the world of project management where both the results and the means to deliver them are mired in ambiguity, uncertainty and flux.

This unsettled state of affairs, isn’t due to the level of maturity of the project management processes within the organization but due to the very nature of project management. The definitions of projects, by two leading authorities on project management illustrate this point further.

The Project management body of knowledge (PMBOK) guide’s definition of a project :  ” A project is a temporary endeavour undertaken to create a unique product, service or result.”

PRINCE2 (PRojects IN Controlled Environments) description of a project : ” A project is a temporary organization created for the purpose of delivering one or more business products according to an agreed business case.”

The common message contained in both definitions is that projects are temporary i.e. they are non – permanent. This temporary nature of projects means that the outputs of the projects and the ways to create these outputs will always be embroiled in uncertainty, ambiguity and flux.

So, what do typical project mangers do when they are handed over a project. They complain that not enough details have been provided ; the process is broken; management doesn’t know what it is doing and on and on. My advice, get over it. this isn’t management’s fault or the processes fault or any body else’s fault, this is what projects are all about. So, instead of being intimated by uncertainty, ambiguity and flux ; embrace it.

And the best way of embracing it, is by taking visible ownership of the project. By taking ownership you have mentally accepted that the project is your responsibility and it is now your job to figure out how to get the project done successfully. And by being visible about the act of taking ownership, you send a signal to the project stakeholders that you have confidence in your skills as a project manger and project leader to manage and drive the project to success.

If you need further convincing about the value of taking ownership, check out this Harvard business review article.