Even in a specialized world like project management, there are current trends and popular kids (often newcomers), while other issues, skills and areas are relegated to a second row or altogether ignored. Here are ITM Platform’s candidates to those second row components in project management that are worth discussing more in-depth.

1. Project Evaluation

Project Evaluation should be a methodical and un-biased assessment of your projects, both completed and ongoing. Post Project Evaluation completes the project management process once the product is in use. It provides feed-back in terms of effectiveness, efficiency, relevance, etc. in order to learn for the future. There are two main stages:

  • Immediately, evaluation seeks to identify isolate learning moments, transform them into lessons so that they can be applied to the next project – that’s the moment they turn into lessons learned
  • A longer term review to determine what, if any, adjustments should be made to company policies and procedures

2. Project Integration Management

The objective of Project Integration Management is to co-ordinate the diverse components of the project by quality project planning, execution and change control to achieve the required balance of time, cost and quality.

Project integration management ensures the effective integration of a project into the organization’s total business and co-ordination of the diverse components of the project. This includes setting up the planning and control systems for project selection, planning the total project and co-ordinating the activities in the other eight knowledge areas. It also includes working with everyone in the organization who is involved in the project, not only the immediate stakeholders.

3. Management tools and techniques

The objective of using management tools and techniques is to optimize specific activities in the development of a system. Although much of the attention is paid to the selection of planning tools, some areas that are often neglected from this point of view are:

  • Growth Management. Beyond the adoption of prediction metrics that can measure the growth of an organization, it is essential to have scalable tools to accompany an organization when it goes through a transition between different maturities. By combining ease of use with the full benefits, ITM Platform is specifically designed to support these processes.

Using Project management tools such as ITM Platform will help automate management processes and make your company more efficient.

  • Talent development should go beyond measurement and remuneration by objectives, seeking to introduce a learning loop between project performance and work performance of team members.

4. End-customer orientation

Although this is the fundamental focus of agile philosophy, putting yourself in the place of the end user is a form of empathy that is always lacking and which there are few formative options. Here are some strategies that demonstrate customer orientation:

  • Work in startup mode beyond the initial phase of creating an organization: the business orientation is to respond to what the customer is looking for.
  • Responding swiftly to customer complaints and questions.
  • Dealing respectfully with community issues.

5. Creativity

Essential to conceive solutions for customer problems, they are typical of engineers and product owners, but obviously extend to project managers. In one way or another, creativity is an essential skill in project management. As opposed to the regular and standardized world of operations, there is no one-size-fits-all for projects.

But creativity in project management is not a voiced desired for the extremely original or the never-seen-before. It’s, put simply, the ability to identify what’s should be happening when placed under a new situation.

Project managers require a taste for recalling their past experiences, and those of the projects they interact with, to come up with a combinatorial solution that applies to the current context. That’s creative project management.

6. Coaching and Development

By employing their coaching skills, supervisors assess the training and professional development of team members with the aim of offering them opportunities for improvement, such as new experiences that allow them to develop new competencies. Although project management certification is a recognized goal, it is often important to be able to identify intermediate training and experience objectives.

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multitasking businessman. talented funny man with six hands. loudspeaker, idea, coffee, golden cup, gear and smartphone.1. Organization Design

Organizational design is a methodology that takes into account the various, potentially problematic, areas of projects, such as work-flow, structure, systems, roles and responsibilities and realigns them in the most appropriate way for the project.

The 3 most basic kinds of structure are; functional, project and matrix.

2. Negotiation

Negotiations happen constantly. A good negotiator knows not only what he needs, but also how to get it, both internally and externally to the organization.

That’s why negotiation is an incredibly advantageous skill to have as a project manager. However, since it belongs to the phantasmatic realm of soft skills, it is rarely mentioned.

Negotiation is the art of achieving the most benefit for yourself from a transaction, while leaving all parties to the negotiation sufficiently content that the relationship subsequently works well.

Formal negotiations usually take place with external providers typically when agreeing on contracts, while informal negotiations can arise resolving conflicts or in discussions to gain more internal resources.

3.Value Management

Value Management is defined as a way of improving business effectiveness using a combination of planning tools and methods to find the optimum balance of project benefits in relation to project costs and risks. It is done in a structured manner, and uses specific techniques:

  • Value Engineering is the management philosophy that should guide the design of the project, using proven techniques during the formative stages.

  • Value Analysis is the introduction of similar techniques to an already existing product, process or organization.

4. Industrial Relations

Far from being a PR concept, Industrial Relations covers a full range of functions related to work-force management. Of course, proper Industrial Relations require an in-depth knowledge and personal experience of the legal system, labor regulations, and the negotiations with the unions, for example.

This skill is a must have for a project manager that wants to create a positive and safe working culture, and solve or prevent work related incidents.

5. Variation Control

Traditionally, projects have been predictable. Differences between projects (variations) ideally are too –so they have to be managed.

To incorporate variation management, systems and processes must be established and properly documented. Once these steps are implemented, procedures and their variations can be managed in an efficient and controlled manner. This practice is also known as Change Control, and includes taking into account such variables as scope, specification, cost and schedule.

6. Conflict Management

Although it is considered a soft skill, it still has imperative importance to how successful a project manager will turn out to be.

Conflict Management is the process of identifying and addressing differences that, if left unsolved, could affect the business goals.  And we all know that an unresolved conflict can be expensive! It increases uncertainty, damages morale and undermines long-term team harmony.

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By Nicholas Taylor

Our intern Nick shares his particular views on the season

Season’s greetings to one and all! Hope you’re all looking forward to the Day of Food… or otherwise known as; Christmas day.

All joking aside, there can be a lot of pressure to deliver at Christmas, particularly depending on the number of not so close relatives you only see once a year, and the rotation system your family has in place. After the amazing stuffing your brother-in-law prepared last year, expectations are built up!

Whether it be all the family coming round expecting the best meal of the year, or making sure you’ve got the correct Tamagotchi for Sophie (I am aware that my knowledge of children’s toys may be a little outdated…) and the latest Nike trainers for Matthew, at ITM Platform we are aware a bit of method might help your situation.

I’m going to provide you with some insider tricks on how to get through the big day using project management skills, so that by the end of it you find internal peace to sit back, relax, and enjoy a well-earned tipple.

Christmas initiation

The first step to project managing your Christmas, before doing anything else, is establish what your perfect Christmas day entails. Do you have all the family coming over and want to impress them with an amazing dinner? Or maybe a simple, quiet Christmas day with close family is what you’re aiming for?  Whatever it is you decide to do on Christmas day, make sure it is clear in your mind what the project is, so you can put into place the steps to managing a stress and problem free day (Well, as much as possible).

Christmas planning

The next step to project managing your perfect Christmas day is to plan it! Planning is a MUST in project management.

Let’s go to the basics: think of your oven in terms of scope and try to answer the following questions:

  • How many people are coming? Do I have room for such a big turkey in my oven?
  • When do you have to start cooking in order to be done by dinner time?
  • How many hours of work will you need to have an unforgettable dinner?

If you don’t know the answer to any of this, projectize! Break down your preparation, task by task, and think of what each task requires so you can have a clear, critical path in mind.

Don’t improvise the groceries! Make lists of all the ingredients for recipes, and don’t underestimate drinks! Double the amount of champagne that you consider sensible.

Gift control

When it comes to buying presents, controlling costs is probably the most important advice for the season. Give yourself an overall budget and don’t go overboard!

Other important facets of gift control include:

  • Not buying large presents for adults
  • Buy services, not stuff that will be abandoned in a corner. A subscription to a good news service, for example, or to a non-profit can mean a lot more than yet another necklace.
  • Identify your relative’s personas: Are they likely to get upset if the present doesn’t meet their expectations? Do they have expectations at all?


Communication, communication, communication. If you’ve got a couple of Santa’s little helpers on your side, you must have good lines of communication with them, report your progress and vice versa. Don’t buy presents without telling them, don’t change the recipes or invite new people over without informing the party! This will help keep the project on track as everyone will be on the same page.

Avoid project overload?

Don’t give yourself a crazy amount to do all in one day, this could completely ruin the quality of the project or only finish with a half completed job.


Remember: to be a great host, you need to look happy, too.

Final checks, expert delivery

This is your time to shine.

Quality checks are a must – is the turkey moist enough? Are the grandparents merry enough yet? Whatever your goal, final checks should definitely be undertaken to make sure the project is up to the highest standard so your guests will enjoy the evening without realizing you have been using spreadsheets with thousands of rows to track your Christmas orders.


Now comes the fun bit. Enjoy Christmas Day! Reap the success of your work, whether it be devouring those delightful little pigs in blankets or enjoying a large glass of champagne. You’ve worked hard and successfully project managed a great end product. You can now take these project management skills of yours and put them to use for the New Year’s party you’re regretfully obliged to host…


Nicholas Taylor
Marketing Assistant
ITM Platform

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two businessmen playing, try not to make the tower fall on the floorThe risk manager is perhaps a position that is not as well recognized as others, however it is essential for the successful development of a company.

The job of a risk manager is to identify potential risks that may affect the organization on multiple fronts: reputation, safety and economic feasibility, even investment security. Although it is common for a risk manager to specialize in a particular area, so as to detect and address potential risks in their corresponding field. For example, risk departments are essential in the banking sector, and insurance companies have risk assessment as one of their core activities. In these areas it is common to find risk directors and risk analysts.

The importance of proper risk management for the development of any economic activity has led to a specialized discipline often known by its acronym: Enterprise Risk Management, or ERM. COSO defines the discipline as follows: 

ERM is a process effected by an entity’s board of directors, management team and other personnel. It applies to the entire company in a strategic context, is designed to identify potential situations that may affect the entity, manage risks that are within the scope of its risk appetite and provide reasonable assurance to achieve the objectives of the entity.

 Enterprise Risk Management - Integrated Framework
Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission

If you are interested in this value proposition, you should know that the culmination of your professional development could come with the title of Chief Risk Officer (CRO). Although this managerial position is more common in the financial sector, large engineering firms also include them in their structure. A very interesting profile in the US, for example, is that of James Durree, Vice President of Risk, Ethics and Compliance at JACOBS. Durree’s career showcases the strong sectorial mobility of risk expertise: having started as a Risk Analyst at Abbot Laboratories, he then moved out of the healthcare industry and spent 21 years managing risk at Avery Dennison, a global packaging manufacturer. Durree’s last move to JACOBS placed him in front of the kinds of risks that are faced by primary process industries across a series of services.

In short, the risk profile of the specialist is so specific to the role that it can’t be confined to finance or insurance companies. Additionally, risk managers often require a strategic integration with project management. Depending on the size of the company and its organization, PMOs are likely to have access to a risk expert, although smaller or more horizontal companies may distribute that responsibility among regular project managers.

The position of risk manager has its own characteristics and expertise, combining technical knowledge with management experience and an important transversal competence: the ability to communicate and persuade. Therefore, to perform effectively as a risk manager you have to be comfortable taking up a central position, interacting with members of other teams within the company and with customers.

Once risks have been identified and assessed, risk managers work to implement procedures to overcome, transfer, or at least minimize them.

They must understand the objectives of the company, to always direct their efforts and make changes in the initial planning towards producing a product that provides the greatest customer satisfaction.

The result is a soaring new professional profile.

Tasks to be performed by the risk manager

  • Identify risks. Often, risk managers don’t have all the information they need, resorting to team workshops in which they share progress information and collect data from project units. In this case, the risk manager is the facilitator of conversations and a catalyzer of contingency plans.

  • Develop contingency plans. Once risks are identified, the risk manager is the person with the technical knowledge necessary to develop a contingency plan. It is possible that many details are beyond his competence and direct influence, so his work can sometimes be seen as internal consulting for the units that demand technical assessment.

  • Provide methodologies to identify and analyze the economic impact of the loss of any of the components of the organization, workforce changes, or any other damaging impacts.

  • Seek opportunities. The risk manager should select those enterprise opportunities that are more efficient for the company from a risk perspective.

  • Anticipate additional costs resulting from newly emerging risks through specific budget items. However, this should not prevail over realistic budget forecasts.

  • Work collaboratively with the board to maintain control over the objectives of each process, ensuring the end result meets customers’ needs.

Training and skills that a risk manager should have

The development of a risk manager will be different depending on the type of project or the type of risk that they will work with.

In addition to specific project management and risk training, a risk manager should be a subject matter expert of the project in which they will work. For example, if it comes to identifying risks in a project related to construction, it is appropriate for the risk manager to have experience in architecture or engineering. Only then will he be able to truly understand the market, challenges and opportunities that may arise during the execution of this specific project.

The professional profile of a risk manager also allows more varied training in other areas. In addition to project management, other measurable training studies include:

• Math

• Physics

• Statistics

• Business Management

• Financial and Actuarial Studies

• Economics

• Industrial engineering

For example, an engineer may have never worked specifically as a Risk Manager but have experience in construction or related engineering projects, and therefore in tracking tasks and managing projects. In this case, the lack of specific training in risks can be bridged by means of the transferable knowledge and skills developed in previous positions.

Besides the specific training in risk, a Risk Manager must have a series of non-specific, transferable competences, including but not limited to:

• Ability in problem-solving and decision-making

• Analytical skills and attention to detail

• Organizational skills

• Negotiation and persuasion skills

• Strong mathematical and quick calculation skills

• Business intelligence, to integrate risk calculations on the dynamics of development of the company.

If you wish to acquire the training and skills needed in the field of risk management, there are a number of institutions of reference in the US. One of the most renowned internationally is the Institute of Risk Management. Other prominent organizations are the International Risk Management Institute, or the Global Association of Risk Professionals. These organizations provide continuously updated courses and training qualifications.

Allies of a risk manager

In addition to the training and skills possessed by a risk manager, one of the keys to succeeding in the risk management field and transferring these assets to a company is the support of specific and advanced software.

In ITM Platform we work to provide a solution that allows you to maximize your productivity and complete projects effectively. You can start by testing the new online version of our risk assessment matrix tool, which you will also find in our integrated solution.

If you request a 14-day free trial on ITM Platform you can see just how easy it is to get custom reports, track tasks and perform the basic functions all risk managers need, including communication and coordination with all departments of the company.

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