Thought Leadership

Thought Leadership

Thought Leadership

Top 10 Trends in Project Management 2014

ESI International’s top 10 trends in project management highlight the need for leadership within projects, whether Agile or Waterfall. They also discuss the challenges associated with finding qualified PMs, and finding the right balance of PM approaches in this evolving industry. ESI International’s top 10 trends in project management were identified by a global panel of ESI senior executives and subject matter experts.

ESI Annual Project Manager Salary & Development Survey

In order to uncover how public and private sector organizations are going about building and developing their project communities, ESI International conducted the ESI Annual Project Manager Salary & Development Survey. In the survey, ESI polled over 1,800 project managers to gain insight on the hiring, development and promotion of project managers within their respective organizations. The survey takes into account regional and industry differences as it seeks to answer critical questions surrounding the most effective and efficient ways of building a project community.

Top 10 Project Management Trends for 2013

Take control of 2013! Learn about the top 10 project management trends for the year. With leadership skills and Agile in the front of everyone’s minds how will you prepare yourself to be successful in the year ahead? J. LeRoy Ward provides insight into what is around the corner for PMs in 2013.

Finding the Right Blend: Sometimes Pure Agile Isn't the Way to Go

Agile project managers need to be prepared to work in cooperation with non-Agile project managers, teams that employ traditional methods, and organizations that have resources scattered around the globe. This paper outlines the various ways that Agile methods can be incorporated into traditional PM to allow organizations to reap the benefits of the Agile approach without utilizing Agile methods exclusively.

Agile in Government: Can Agencies Make it Work?

Government agencies at all levels are slowly making the shift to the Agile project management approach. Increasingly, the shift is becoming less optional and more mandatory. The US CIO’s 25-point plan and section 804 of the National Defense Authorization Act are making the shift a requirement for major IT programs. The question is, can Agile work in government?

Agile Project Management Metrics: Finding the Right Tools for the Job

Adopting agile project management is more than a change in methods; it's a change in metrics and mindset. Is your organization ready and able to support a switch to agile PM? Are you using a different set of tools and metrics to report your progress?

Building a Better Business Case

Are you ensuring that your business case is more than just a financial document? If your business cases focus solely on ROI, your organization could be funding all the wrong projects.

The Challenges to Success for Project/Program Management Offices

The majority of PMOs still endeavor to realize the full measure of their potential. This UK & European study sought to assess the impact and significance of the PMO within organizations, to discover the challenges they have faced, and measures they have attempted to overcome them. The results provide insight into the issues that may benefit PMOs as they undertake their mission to improve organizational performance, particularly in the current economic environment.

The Change Management Life Cycle

Every organization is affected by change. Still, organizational change initiatives fail at an alarming rate. This is because most initiatives fail to consider how changes affect the people in an organization. To successfully implement change initiatives, organizational leaders must ensure employees at all levels of the organization embrace the proposed changes.

Collaborative Learning in a Project Environment

Get all the brains in the game for faster and better results. Collaborative learning is learning with others by capitalizing on different skills and experiences to solve problems fast and get better results. Collaborative learning is intrinsic to project teams, incorporating the right learning technologies into that environment makes the learning more productive toward achieving those better results.

Current State Of Project Management: The Impact Of An Economic Crisis

This survey was conducted to gain a better understanding of the impact the ever-changing business environment has had on project management and vice-versa. A primary objective of the survey was to understand which projects were equipped to survive the economic downturn and how they were affected by it. The fundamental areas targeted for this survey include project survival, resources, output, readiness and outlook.

Delivering Successful Programs: 10 Essential Steps

Program management, which PMI defines as "a group of related projects managed in a coordinated way to obtain benefits and control not available from managing them individually," is key to executing major strategic initiatives.

Developing Effective Agile Requirements Relies on Both User Stories and Use Cases

Many shy away from use cases within an Agile approach because they resemble the ways of elicitation and analysis from the Waterfall approach. However, regardless of how one approaches requirements analysis, the end goal is the same: help business users/stakeholders identify their true needs and translate them into requirements. For Agile requirements to be successful, both must be leveraged to get to the heart of the most appropriate business solution that brings value to the customer.

Executive Conversations: Five Keys to Communicating so the c-Suite Listens

When your opportunity arises to have a one-on-one conversation with an executive in your organization will you have the confidence to seize it?

The Global State of the PMO 2012: On the Road to the Next Generation

This survey, which investigates the current role of the Project/Program Management Office (PMO), its development to full-blown maturity and value for the overall business, reveals the emergence of a new kind of Project/Program Management Office that ESI has identified as the Next-Gen PMO.

The Global State of the PMO: Its Value, Effectiveness and Role as the Hub of Training

ESI International undertook an investigation into the global state of the PMO to determine its current perceived value, effectiveness and role as a hub of training. Download this report to learn more about the global state of the PMO, how to improve its value and increase its effectiveness within organizations.

Global State of the PMO: An Analysis for 2013

The Global State of the PMO annual survey seeks to investigate the evolving role of the Project/Program Management Office (PMO) in training and development, its level of maturity and value for the overall business. This year’s survey also examined the role that Agile plays in the PMO. The survey was conducted from March to April 2013 with responses from over 2,300 project management professionals worldwide.

Information Assurance is Mission Assurance

Find out what you and your organization can do to secure your agency’s information and its mission.

Metrics for Agile Projects

This paper will begin by reviewing metrics PMs currently use to track progress and report progress to stakeholders in a project, an iteration and a release. Details for iteration planning and estimating will build the framework for selecting progress reporting metrics. Best practices for progress reporting will include a detailed examination of how and when to use the methods available, including daily meetings, iteration delta tables, release and iteration burn-down charts, progress reports, running tested features (RTFs) and earned value management.

PMO ROI If Someone Asks, You Have Already Lost Your Budget

Are you responsible for your developing your project managers? Download PMO ROI: If Someone Asks, You’ve Already Lost Your Budget and prove that your training program improves your project manager's ability to do the job; that this improvement has a positive impact on the business; that this impact results in a financial benefit to the organization; and that the benefit is more than the cost of the training.

Powerless: Why Businesses Cannot Execute

Even your most finely-honed business strategy can fail if not executed with precision, causing you to lose time, revenue, market share and stakeholder support. This paper examines the reasons why many strategies fail to deliver and what you can do to make sure that it doesn't happen to your organziation.

View from the Ground: The Project Manager Perspective on Project Portfolio Management Effectiveness

Organizations rely on project portfolio management (PPM) to evaluate, prioritize, approve, implement and manage projects to meet their strategic and financial goals. This study provides an analysis of PPM maturity and challenges within global organizations from the project/program management level. Its unique, bottom-up perspective offers insight into the factors that lead to successful implementation of strategic direction, as well as potential areas for action.

Saving Troubled Projects: Five Steps to Rapid Recovery

Before the countless, money-wasting, reputation-busting projects of the world were failed projects, they were troubled projects. This paper examines the complex, high-stress period of assessment and recovery of such projects and offers five crucial steps for their successful recovery. The steps are presented from the perspective of the Recovery Project Manager (RPM), assigned from outside to rein in a project, but they are applicable to project managers practicing "self-recovery" as well.

Softer Side of Agile

Soft skills are essential to the success of Agile collaboration. There can be great pay-off from the people-focused Agile model if soft skills and leadership competencies are applied correctly. This paper covers critical Agile questions.

Successful Solutions Through Agile Project Management

Today’s business climate is both dynamic and complex. Management faces changing requirements and increasing demands, as well as tight budgets and fast turnaround demands. Organizations are struggling to do more with less — fewer resources, including less money, and, in many cases a reduced workforce. Therefore, it’s essential to optimize every aspect of business, particularly project management. There’s no question that performance and outcome are on top of everyone’s mind — this is a reality for public and private sector entities, as well as for non-profits.

Taking Your PMO to the Next Level: Four Steps to Value Improvement

Your PMO has a direct link, and contribution, to your organization’s bottom line. This paper examines various aspects of the PMO, including key functions, characteristics and challenges, and showcases attributes of a successful PMO. A four-step plan is also provided to improve your PMO’s value to the organization at large.

Want the Edge? Teaching Project Management Skills to Non-Project Managers

Are you looking to gain a competition advantage? Are you faced with the challenge of improving performance and creating better efficiencies within your organization? Then teaching project management skills to non-project managers may be your smartest move yet!

Think of Risk Management as a Competitive Advantage

With nearly two-thirds of organizations spending up to 50 percent of their budgets on outsourcing, buyers and sellers of outsourced projects need to have an effective risk management plan.

Top 10 Project Management Trends for 2012

Ensure your organization and project managers are ready for what 2012 will bring! Download J. LeRoy Ward's Top 10 Project Management trends for 2012. He shares his insights on the necessity of collaboration, resource management and the transforming triple constraint.

Transparency Requires More Than Oversight

In response to growing public demand for better, faster and more cost-effective government, agencies at all levels are looking for ways to improve their efficiency and effectiveness. While all are structured to report on performance to meet compliance requirements, few are able to translate performance information into better program performance results. This article argues that an integrated approach to governance will not only improve agencies’ oversight capabilities but also enable them to develop the insight and foresight to make the tough decisions that will improve their programs’ outcomes.

"What's Old is New Again"...Project Management after 30 years

Read J. LeRoy Ward's perspective on how project management has changed (or how it hasn't) over the past 30 years. Did LeRoy find project management or did it find him? What path has project management taken and what does the future hold?

Business Transformation in the Federal Government: The Program and Project Manager’s Guide to Success

For the federal government to improve services to its citizens, increase operational efficiency and provide better access to services in a more secure environment, it must modernize the way it does business.

Top 10 Business Analysis Trends for 2014

The practice of business analysis is gaining recognition and attention. Business analysts (BAs) continue to show their value to their organizations, and we see career paths emerging for BAs, as the discipline matures. ESI International’s top 10 trends in business analysis were identified by a global panel of ESI senior executives and subject matter experts.

Strengthening Government's Weakest Link: 5 Steps to Better Requirements Management

Well-defined and managed requirements can spell the difference between success and failure whether you manage projects, programs or contracts.

Eight Things Your Business Analysts Need to Know: A Practical Approach to Recognizing and Improving Competencies

Each year, organizations across the globe face astronomical project failure rates, often wasting millions of dollars per failed project. This paper examines the roots of project failure and centers in on the elusive, often undefined role of the business analyst.

Top 10 Business Analysis Trends for 2013

It’s 2013, are you ready? Make sure you know what to expect in the New Year! Check out ESI’s Top 10 trends for business analysts as outlined by Nancy Y. Nee. With a broader acceptance of Agile methods and a wider scope of job duties for BAs predicted this year, make sure you go into the New Year prepared!

Enterprise Analysis: Building a Foundation from the Top Down

Whether you are seeking a business solution or considering a new business opportunity, systematic planning and examination of alternative options is key to determining the best project investment path. This paper examines the step-by-step process – enterprise analysis – of identifying and analyzing potential solutions to a business need as identified by International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA™).

Establishing and Maturing a Business Analysis Center of Excellence: The Essential Guide

Many organizations are scratching their collective heads over how to build and mature a business analysis center of excellence (COE). Where do we start? What does a business analysis center of excellence look like? Who owns it? How does it evolve?

The CIO's 26th Point? Requirements Management and IT Management Reform

The federal government is taking unprecedented steps to improve program outcomes through its “25 Point Implementation Plan to Reform Federal Information Technology Management.”

A Surprising Change Leader: Your Business Analyst

The most successful organizations are able to identify opportunities for self-improvement and conceive of changes that can make them more efficient, more successful and better equipped to achieve their goals. What most companies don't realize is that the leader who can help them champion major change is already on staff and ready to be utilized: the Business Analyst.

Top 10 BA Trends

2012 is a new year with new challenges. Are you prepared for the year ahead? Download this paper to discover Glenn R. Brûlé's insights on the top 10 business analysis trends for 2012. He explains the necessity for a broader perspective for RMD in order to successfully deliver contracts and projects in the future.

BA Global Survey: Why Good Isn't Good Enough

Our global survey of more than 1,600 respondents, covering a wide spectrum of industries and organizations, reveals that most staff believe that their BA practices are "good", while the critical question remains: with widespread gaps in fundamental BA functions, is "good" necessarily good enough?

Why Modeling Works and Your Solutions Development Process Could Fail Without It

Modeling provides instant visual insight into opportunities for improving efficiencies, demonstrating traceability and validating requirements. It’s a proven, powerful tool for Business Analysts—helping to enable collaboration, identify issues and assure solution buy-in. In fact, organizations that don’t adopt modeling may run the risk of prolonged inefficiencies, duplicated efforts and squandered financial opportunities.

Acquisition Reform: It’s More Than the Contract

Several mandates have been issued to reform government acquisition across all federal agencies with an eye to delivering services that are better, faster and cheaper. Executing on these mandates requires taking a holistic approach; one that integrates the program/project, contracts and business analysis activities. Taking this approach will improve your agency’s ability to achieve the intended outcomes of acquisitions and deliver better cost, schedule and performance results from programs. This article will address where to start and how to integrate the three critical points: people, processes and tools.

The Acquisition Workforce: Certified or Qualified?

In recent years, the federal acquisition work force’s size and skills have fallen far behind the surge in spending, contract action rates and procurement complexity. Across government agencies, strategic human capital plans for the acquisition work force highlight strategies to increase headcount and certification. Will these strategies improve the federal acquisition process, performance and results?

Can Insourcing Succeed?

The administration’s call for insourcing has led to confusion about what functions are inherently governmental and how agencies should implement new insourcing policies. This report is based on a poll of civilian and defense agencies who were asked about their insourcing initiatives, the anticipated impact of those initiatives and the lingering and potential challenges of implementing insourcing.

Collaborating for Successful EVM: Five Fundamental Roles

Planning, measurement and control have always been the basic tenets of successful project management. Unfortunately, for many organizations, these principles can be difficult to put into action – particularly in the form of Earned Value Management (EVM). While the concept itself is fairly straight forward and has been in use for some time now, successful EVM requires action and cooperation from virtually every person who touches the project.

Get to the Core of Vendor Management Problems with Better Requirements

Are you struggling with vendor management issues on your outsourced projects? Have you considered these issues may be caused by poor requirements management? What other risks are you facing with your outsourced projects?

Improving Sourcing Outcomes: The Three Cs of Vendor Management Success

Failure in sourcing has grown to be one of today's most complex business issues. Whether you are buying or selling office supplies or outsourcing entire information technology functions, sourcing can become a liability if not properly planned and executed.

Risky Business: Organizational Effectiveness at Managing Risk of Outsourced Projects

Nearly 95 percent of organizations buy, provide or both buy and provide outsourced services and functions, in which they face inherent risks created by new and unforeseen challenges. These risks create the need for a risk management culture that is essential for organizational success. This report seeks to explain how users and service providers identify, assess, mitigate, exploit and manage outsourcing risk, and more importantly, how effectively.

Maximizing Your Leadership Training Investment

Are you finding that your leadership training isn't producing the results you want?
Leadership training during a time of greater accountability, increased transparency and need for improved performance is a worthy investment and a likely priority. However, simply identifying leadership performance gaps and sending people to related training may not be the most effective approach and may not bring you the best return on your investment.

Learning Trends 2011

In an environment where we're all asked to 'do more with less', how do leaders responsible for learning programs adjust and adapt their human capital initiatives?

Applying Training and Transferring Learning in the Workplace: How to Turn Hope into Reality

Research shows that employees learn the most through real-life and on-the-job experiences. So, how do you ensure that your employees are getting the most out of our their training experiences and are applying what they've learned to the workplace?

Bridging the Gap to Align Learning Programs with Organizational Goals

Organizations allocate significant budget amounts annually around implementing “learning engagements,” or training programs, in order to improve the skills of their employees in a variety of specialized or technical areas. Yet 74 percent of organizations have not measured or calculated the impact of their learning programs, indicating that a large majority have no way of knowing if they are achieving their primary goal. Successful program planning, implementation, adoption and benefits planning are critical to realizing positive return and value from these learning opportunities. This report examines learning program goals for a broad scope of organizations. It attempts to define criteria and metrics to best measure effectiveness and determine best practices for learning engagements.

Business Transformation in the Federal Government: The Program and Project Manager’s Guide to Success

For the federal government to improve services to its citizens, increase operational efficiency and provide better access to services in a more secure environment, it must modernize the way it does business.

Give Your Employees the Learning Options They Demand

Are you thinking of multi-modality delivery options for your learners? If not, you should be. With competition fierce and budgets under scrutiny, every moment in a learning experience needs to count and multi-modality delivery options are essential to delivering high-impact learning. Too often, organizations only look at course content, timing and cost. Research shows that learning preferences, generational influences and culture have a tremendous effect on how well a learner absorbs and applies information. So how can you ensure you’re fully leveraging multi-modality delivery options as part of your learning investment?

The Hard Work Behind Soft Skills: Closing the Gap Between Technical and Business Expertise

Specialized professionals like scientists, engineers and information technology (IT) workers are increasingly being asked to take on more business-oriented tasks such as communicating with executive stakeholders, managing business change, thinking more critically, leading large teams and making complex business decisions.

An Inch or a Mile? Proven Practices in Measuring Learning Impact

In today's environment, leaders of PMOs, CEOs and L&D professionals are all tasked with proving that the training provided to their project members are yielding a bottom-line benefit to the organization. Leaders must be able to demonstrate the business impact of their learning investment.

It's cheaper, your staff wants it and most importantly, it works. So why aren't you taking your learning program virtual?

In a time when companies are scrutinizing budget and facing tough economic and resource constraints, virtual instructor-led training can be an effective, cost efficient, location-neutral learning solution. Virtual learning offers the capability to deliver learning engagements equal to those in traditional, in-person classroom settings with the “high tech” experience that learners are asking for.

The Most Effective Least Expensive Way to Protect Your Training Investment

Is your organization getting the most out of your training dollars? If it doesn't adopt what people learn from training, then no. Read the results from our survey of 17,000 government leaders to learn about what they're doing and how to protect your training dollars.

Training ROI: If Someone Asks You’ve Already Lost Your Budget

Are you responsible for your learning and development within your organization? Download Training ROI: If Someone Asks You’ve Already Lost Your Budget and prove that your training program improves the students' ability to do their job; that this improvement has a positive impact on the business; that this impacts results with a financial benefit to the company; and that the benefit is more than the cost of the training.

The Measurement Dilemma: Tying Learning to Business Impact and Financial Outcomes

Learning can and should be a critical business process, enhancing not only individual or team performance, but also having a significant impact on the strategic and financial goals of an organization. But do organizations understand the impact of these programs beyond traditional employee satisfaction measures? Are organizations measuring the true business impact of learning initiatives at all? ESI’s global survey examines to what extent organizations are measuring the business impact of learning. And if so, how exactly they measure business impact, and what areas of business impact are most important for proving the effectiveness of learning engagements.

Will your organization get an "A" for learning, but an "F" for value of investment?

Some of the biggest mistakes that companies make when engaging in outside learning and development are made because they fail to establish a comprehensive learning plan. To achieve long-term benefits and positive ROI, your learning program must have a strategic course of action plotted to identify challenge areas, integrate best practices and measure against clear end goals along the way.

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