Can you answer these questions? Mega Projects Trivia

Please treat this post with a bit of fun! Although we are posting serious questions about mega projects and the management of these massive projects, it good to be relaxed about them. We asked questions about people, team size, communication, and so on. I have to stress, that this blog article and a few others I have and will be posting about, are related to my work on the book Leading Mega Projects, a Tailored Approach. This book will be published by CRC Press, Taylor & Francis before the end of 2019.

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Dear projects executives, how can we help you?

I am writing this post, including some personal background information. I write to the attention of senior executives in organizations that are leading large projects, capital projects, and mega projects. You are my audience if you are an executive in what we call project owner organization. These include government, semi-gov, and private. Your projects could be oil & gas, petrochemical, unities, transportation, power generation, solar projects, real estate development, or similar. Do you need to build your project management function?

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Does the role of project manager vary from one context to another?

We often see posts that tell us about the role of project manager, with a list of responsibilities. These posts often appear to be by “experts” and the content is presented with certainty. In other words, the post might be erroneous or present the role from a narrow perspective, yet it is presented as THE ROLE of project manager.

There is about 1 hour of content here, so if you are a PMP, you could claim 1 PDU for listening in.

Agile Project Management, Agile Project Manager, Project Leader

I guess it is clear from our introduction that the role of a PM is not fixed. It varies from one context to another. In this article, we share five videos related to this topic.

Role of Project Manager

OK, the role of PM does vary from one context to another. However, are there some general guidelines?

In theory, a project manager is the one who manages a project. However, in practice, the answer to the question: what is the role of project manager (and his/her responsibilities) is it depends on numerous other factors. In this first video, the longest; about 26 min we cover the topic in general.

Do project owners still need a project manager in BOT situations?

Continuing from the first video, this second video address a specific question, which is: do project owners’ organizations still need a PM in a BOT (Build-Operate-Transfer) situations? The idea is since the BOT company is paying for project and will manage it, would the “utility” or government entity (or others) that is giving out the BOT contract still need to manage? Listen; this is a shorter video.

Project Manager Competence

How can we link project manager competence to project classification? In other words, how can we determine the type or size of a project that a given project manager can manage? OK still not clear, let us say we have a PM with less than 5 years of experience, can this PM manage a large and complex project?

In this third video, we address this question and link it to professional certifications, such as those from IPMA. IPMA focuses on project management competence and their certifications link to the project manager competence.

Do we need project managers or project leaders?

Here we address a highly popular topic, which is to address one of the common misunderstanding on the topic of leader versus manager, then we link this to project management and managing a project.

OK, then, for managing a project, do we need a project manager or a project leader? The answer is in the next video.

Is the project manager doing all PM work?

We close this series with this question:

Is the project manager doing all PM work or are there others to help?

The reason for this video is that many of the posts on PM, even when reading the PMBOK Guide, or preparing for the PMP exam, one can be led to believe that the PM is the one doing everything. Well, maybe in those tiny projects. Other than micro projects, the PM cannot do all of the work. Listen to see if you agree with our views or you think we are wrong.

Closing Remarks

What do you think? What did you like or don’t like?

Are there any topics you would like to address?

Do you want to learn how to apply a project management methodological approach?


The following file include information about what we are willing to share. To gain access to these e-books in the future, stay connected to one of our engagement social media sites and you will get notifications when an e-book is ready to share.

Tailored Methods

The ebooks include case studies, using tailored methods based on the SUKAD CAMMP Methodological Approach. To learn more about tailoring methods, why not check this YouTube Playlist.

How to differentiate between scheduling a stage work and scheduling a project?

This blog article, combine three short articles/video blogs that we published a while back. We combine them here for ready reference. There are three videos: one for developing the schedule for a stage; another for scheduling across the project life cycle; and the third is about rolling wave planning. More related videos could be coming to this platform.

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What is and how can we use Rolling Wave Planning?

This blog post is a video.

Develop a Schedule Series

This is the third video in the short series on how to develop a schedule.

In the first video, we covered the process of scheduling, which are the steps to follow for any schedule development.

In the second video, we covered the action of scheduling across the stages; along the project life cycle.

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How to schedule across the Project Life Cycle?

This blog post is a video.

Develop a Schedule

This is the second video in the short series on how to develop a schedule.

In the first video, we covered the process of scheduling, which are the steps to follow for any schedule development.

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What are the steps to schedule a stage of the project?

This blog post is a video.

Develop a Schedule

This video cover ‘the process’ of scheduling. Typically developing the schedule for a stage of a project but could be for any other work.

We will not discuss details, only an overview of the steps to develop the initial schedule and some of the concepts required to optimize the schedule.

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What are the CAMMP; three dimensions?

The text in this blog post is from a seven-volume e-book series that we are working on. It is Chapter 7 from Volume 2.


The Customizable and Adaptable Methodology for Managing Projects™ is a three-dimensional methodological approach. In other words, to manage projects effectively and at high degree of efficacy, we must consider three dimensions. It is possible to use one of the first two dimensions, on its own, to manage a micro, basic, or simple project but as projects grow in term of cost, time, or number of resources and team members, then we must consider the first two dimensions together, for good project management. For great project management, we advise consideration of all three dimensions.

What are these three dimensions?

The First Dimension

The first dimension is the project life cycle (the horizontal dimension), which helps practitioners follow a project from idea to closure (and beyond). Figure 5 (the first figure) is repeated from an earlier chapter, and it presents the first dimension. Keep in mind, this image represents the standard model without any customization, adaptation, or other tailoring steps.

The CAMMP™ Standard Project Life Cycle

The project life cycle consists of phases, stages, stage deliverables, and stage gates. What CAMMP™ offers is a standard model that can be tailored; tailoring is covered in more details in Volume 6 of this series.

The intent of assigning “the first dimension” to the project life cycle is to emphasize that a project life cycle is the most basic form of a methodology and must be the starting point. In other words, whether we are dealing with a micro project or a mega project, organizations should follow a project life cycle, or what is also known as a stage-gate process. The project life cycles will vary from one industry to another or project type. Hence the need to start with a standard model, then customize to an industry and organization, adapt to an organizational function, and modify to fit a given project class accounting for size and complexity. The ultimate purpose is to start with a standardized methodological approach to develop tailored methods that are fit for purpose[i].

Volume 3 will provide a detailed explanation of every stage, and its components.

The Second Dimension

The first dimension can be good enough to manage micro or basic projects without the use of the second dimension. It helps organizations manage a project C2C, concept to closure. Therefore, this dimension is a must for all projects regardless of type, domain, size or complexity. However, once again we must emphasize that as project grow in size or complexity, there is a need for the second dimension.

The second dimension is the vertical dimension of the project life cycle. It is about the application of the project management processes along the project life cycle in every stage or phase. In other words, the PLC help us manage C2C but to manage each phase or stage, we need the second dimension.

Before we show the big picture, let us emphasize a vital point. For the effective management of every phase of the project, we need a set of processes. PMI and ISO offer us the concept of process groups, which we modified and expanded it for the CAMMP™ methodological approach. Figure 6 (this second image) presents the set of processes to manage a stage or a phase, as modified by SUKAD.

The CAMMP™ Processes to Manage a Stage of the Project

Now, it is time to integrate the first two dimensions, which is the focus of Figure 7 (this third image).

The Process Groups (Processes) Repeat in every Project Phase

What this image shows, is that in every phase, these set of processes repeat. Keep in mind that CAMMP™ use the term process to represent a set of process steps that are necessary to accomplish a process deliverable, such as a stage authorization document or a stage management plan[ii].

Volume 4 will provide more coverage of the second dimension.

The Third Dimension

A quick refresher first.

  • We stated that the first dimension can be used on its own (without the second dimension) for basic or small projects.
  • We also stated that as project grow in size, complexity, or number of resources and people required, we need the second dimension.
  • Integrating the two dimensions, the PLC help the project management team manage the project concept to closure, across the stages, whereas the processes help the PMT in managing each phase (or stage) of the project.

Wonderful, then what is the third dimension for?

The essential view of the third dimension

Unfortunately, we do not have a graphical representation for this since it is not like the first two dimensions; not a specific step or a stage or a process. The third dimension consists of layers, layers that organizations could implement along (and on top of) the project life cycle and the processes. These layers are what help organizations move from a fundamental methodological approach and transform it into a highly sophisticated and robust system that will enable and empower them to seek excellence.

In other words, whether you are managing a small or a mega project, a technology or a marketing project, in for-profit or not-for-profit organization, we need to apply some, if not all of the topics of the third dimension. This would be necessary, if organizations and teams want to elevate their projects and organizational performance to outstanding levels.

More on the third dimension

Organizations must ensure the competence of those working on projects. The competence would have to be appropriate to the type, domain, or class of the project. Competence is one of the advanced topics of the third dimension.

Along with competence, organizations cannot elevate performance without assessing the success of the projects they complete. We do have a project success model that we incorporate with CAMMP™ but it can also be used for other methodological approaches.

In addition to competence and project success, we address sustainability and best practices as the other two advanced topics to help organizations reach higher level of project management maturity.

Volume 4 will provide more coverage of the third dimension and its advanced topics.

[i] Volume 6 of this series will provide more details about tailoring the steps for developing tailored methods. In the meantime, this video playlist is a good starting point:

[ii] The image shown is the SUKAD model for medium-moderate complexity projects.