lego2Presenter: Jacob Hansen, Principle Customer Advisor, Projectum

Written by: Cameron Hyslop
 

This talk was given by Jacob Hansen of Projectum at NCC House on Wednesday the 24th of October. The session was well attended by about 20 PMI members.

 

Jacob spoke of his experience of running the IT PMO at Lego during a time of significant re organization. There were quite a few challenges. One of the main challenges was integrating resource management between most of the organization, which used a traditional project management model, and the marketing department which had implemented an agile project management, running a much faster cycle time. Jacob chose to use an off the shelf hybrid project management model and adapt it for use in this situation. This was Jacob’s solution in a number of situations. In his practice he chooses to adapt existing solutions, rather than re inventing the wheel. This means that the PMO can get on with resolving the larger problem.

Group Resized

Once the new system had been developed, there came the issue of implementing the new system throughout the organization and communicating the changes. This was at about the time that the Lego Movie came out. Consequently, everything at Lego was being animated. So, to communicate the new system, an animation was done. This featured several characters in the key project roles using the new system, entering the required information and reporting to the right person.

Showing the new system as a story rather than a list of operations and a flow chart could make it a little less intimidating and easier to follow. Looking at new ways to communicate the changes could be something all organisations should consider in the future.

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The second part of Jacob’s talk related to the changing nature of organisations, and project objectives. Increasingly, the deliverables of a project are less fixed. Jacob gave the examples of Ikea, Volvo and Mattel. Volvo has a new mission statement which says that no one should ever die in a Volvo. Mattel and Ikea are now selling experiences as well as physical products. Matell has the virtual Barbie, where you can buy virtual clothes and accessories for a Barbie avatar, which you can then put into a number of situations using the camera on your smartphone. Ikea has a new smartphone app where Ikea furniture can be virtually placed in a room using the camera and motion sensors on the phone. With a press of a button the items can be ordered, shipped out and set up as shown in the pictures.

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The emphasis on the experience or the over all goal is a very exciting development. However to achieve these they must be set up as projects. This will cause some interesting challenges for future Project Managers. How do you set up an outcome, such as the one expressed by Volvo as a deliverable for a project?  How do you set out to create an experience as a deliverable, and set it up on a time line? These will be interesting challenges for Project Managers to face in the near future.

Finally Jacob showed us some examples of new tools to support Project Managers and Line Managers in the future. One of the example Jacob gave was a chat bot which could be used to update reporting information. Using a natural language text interface the bot could be instructed to update the dates and values on a report. Through a quick text exchange, hours of manually updating regular reports could be eliminated, so the Project Manager or Line Manager could concentrate on the most important aspect of their job, looking after their team.

Thanks to Projectum for hosting the event, and for the sandwiches.

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