Category Archives: People

The Project Hub employs professional people

Being Ready to Bloom

flowersEver had that itch to be somewhere beautiful? Well South Africa has an array of amazing spots to visits that can attest to the diversity and beauty of our country. One such a place is Namaqualand. It is not much during most of the year, but spring brings with it a burst of colour and its splendour can barely be captured by camera.  More than 4000 types of seeds sit in wait for the perfect moment to bloom. Timing is everything and so they wait for the right circumstances. Everything has to work together, including the wind, rain and temperature, to ensure that the environment is ready for this spectacle.

It is not so different for projects. If you want to see real beauty in the success of your project it is important to understand the dynamics within your project, organisation and team and wait for the right moment. It all has to come together at the right moment just like the flowers of the Namaqualand. Too little rain means no flowers, too strong winds leads to flowers that quickly withers. No wind means not enough pollination, little rain implies not enough damp soil to help a seeds grow. So all elements are needed…even those that we sometimes consider to be roadblocks to our success.

And therein lies the art of project management. Those of us having had the privilege to manage projects before knows that a lot of the success of the project lies in the ability of the project manager to know when to block the wind and when to let it blow through. It is knowing when rain is needed and when rain is going to be damaging to the mind-set of the team.

Getting to see your project bloom is definitely fortunate, but getting it to bloom in its diversity is even more special. Too early will have not enough flowers bloom or too late will see most of the blossoms already withered. Both will leave you disappointed. Timing is thus everything and celebrating the differences that lies within each team member and directing the differences to bring together a solid team performance is part of the skillset needed from the project manager.

The Namaqualand flowers will mean nothing if there is nobody who make an effort to witness its splendour every year. Tourists (both international and local) flock to the area every year between August and September and create an economic bloom for accommodation establishment and local businesses in those areas. Similarly it is necessary for the project manager to sell the project success to those within, and outside the organisation and thus create an economic bloom for the organisation, the project team and individuals who can benefit from the success of the project.

So in summary then, the project manager’s role in project success should never be underestimated, diversity should be embraced and successes celebrated. That way the beauty of success can be enjoyed.

Written by: Lizette Venter,  September 2018

What if the gatekeeper can no longer be trusted?

stopsignsTrust is a fundamental part of every relationship and we build it on the premise that whomever we entrust in a position for a specific mandate would do so using integrity and a strong ethical code so that we, as an organisation or a country, will not be ashamed. But what if we no longer can trust those appointed, if those acting as gatekeepers can no longer be trusted to fulfill in their oversight and protective role, and the gatekeeper of gatekeepers become as soiled as those they are to regulate? What if the moral and ethical standards have so invaded the jobs that calls for high moral standards and integrity, jobs like chartered accounting, police services, bankers, engineering and project management?

This is not a grim picture of life somewhere in the future, but a reality today. Moral decay is evident all around us, and if we do not choose to live by higher moral standards we will form part of the everyday news, shattered careers of those left in the wake of damaged companies that had to face the brunt of poor judgement calls made by individuals in decision making positions.  Unfortunately corruption pays and in some cases pays big time and fatten all who we consider to be downstream of such an act.  The lack of courage and the potential risks involved in exposing these acts leave many paralysed. When enough courage do exists and those gross infringements get exposed the legal journey to conviction is long and taxing on the minds and remembrance of the victims (in most cases the tax payer) while some regulatory bodies proverbially wash their hands in innocence until convicted.

So who is to blame and maybe we need to keep to the profession of project management and not venture too far into the realm of other professions? The role of the project manager and the code of conduct required from international bodies like PMI calls for high ethical behavior specifically related to areas like procurement, contract management, scope management, financial control, stakeholder management and deliverable sign off.  All areas vulnerable to corruption and representational risks. Here is our dilemma: when we run projects, any project for that matter, the responsibility to ensure high ethical behavior lies with the project manager, not the accounting officer or CA who process the invoice, but the project manager that signs it off, the project manager that does not accept a bribe to channel money or turn a blind eye to low quality deliverable, the project manager that ensure that the clauses in the contracts are honored and that  transparency is evident and accessible to whoever so ask, so that we can be found above reproach.

It is a personal choice to live a life of integrity and to stand up when we are pressurized to cross the bridge to poor ethical behavior.  So do not judge other professions too quickly my fellow project managers as a lot of the corruption happening in organisations today can be squarely laid at the feet of our profession. We are the gate keepers of good project ethics, and if we can no longer be trusted, what then?

From the heart…

This blog post has been written by a member from our team and truly comes from the heart in true humility and in honor to God. Sometimes it is necessary to not change a thing, but to listen to what comes from within in order to understand the person better. 

After numerous of attempts to write my own blog, I still seem to be failing at the task – just because I am comparing myself to other team member’s skills and educational background knowledge.  “Stop!”  This is a fear of man.

Am I really left with focusing to search what I know and what I’ve learned in a lifetime of 28  years and then combining my experience in the 3 years at The Project Hub?

I’ve learned to be stretched beyond my own views of work and life situations. I’ve learned to deal with defeat and walk through glass walls (ok, I changed route) – making statements and redirect your thought processes. I’ve learned that work and personal relationships can take a strain if your focus is based on self-growth only. And I am still learning. And this blog has been due for a very, very long time.

Just really want to do it for the right reasons and failure or to not even attempt – terrifies me. My team members/life companions have been so kind, so patient.

What are the right reasons you ask? Well, firstly I fear God now, and not man. I am actually typing this blog and not worried about what others may take from it, just because I am in right standing with the Only One that matters.

This was only the result of comparing “I” to Christ. And guess what – I fall short in the work place, in my personal life, in my work ethic, in my punctuality…I fell short in every other part of life and even in interpreting the Scriptures correctly. My heart, my thoughts, my greatest, most brilliant, most pure and biblical intentions…I fell short.

“Uhhh, so you noticed the tense change?” I still fall short and by grace, still going. And I will still fall short tomorrow, but the pressure is off when you truly understand that the Word of God is true and sufficient, it is life and it is the only way. And that is what I will pursue, even by writing a blog for work.

The summary of this equation is in the contentment of this very moment that you might (be saved) or might-not understand (be unsaved), no one can take away from me. Who knew facts can be false, multi-tasking is possible. Just wrote a blog for work and at the same time, a letter to claim the reason for own personal salvation.

Interesting link to follow, for the next time you tackle ANY tasks at work.

Scriptural references you can search for yourself and a link to enjoy the bigger picture follows: