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Assessing culture and ethics with COBIT 5


Three questions:

  1. Why have culture and ethics hit the board agenda?
  2. What is the relationship between them?
  3. How can firms assess them?

I have given thought to these questions for some time.  As a passionate advocate of good governance to promote the right business behaviours, I have long said firms need to achieve Responsible Capitalism, a term promoted by the Institute of Business Ethics earlier in July.


Posted in COBIT 5.

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Bob’s guide to successful Change Management: People First & Process Second


Why take this strategic approach for implementing effective organisational change management?

Basically it’s the smart option – yet it is rarely acted upon. Oh yes – organisations say they do this….but do they really?

How many of us either implementing or affected by organisational change attend a ‘Town Hall’ Meeting where senior people present a slide deck of the changes at a relatively high level, deliver some motivational rationale for the changes and either ask for or assume buy-in to the proposed new world order?


Posted in Change Management.

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Best practice for Business Analysts in an Agile world

agileba blog

Effective business analysis skills are widely regarded in project management and product development circles as being critical in helping organizations to achieve their business goals.

Through analysis of the organization’s needs and the alignment of business projects to these needs, the business analyst’s role is to facilitate solutions to business problems. This may involve:

  • Strategic analysis, modelling strategic themes and drivers
  • Business capability modelling – modelling what the business does (conceptual activity models), as opposed to how it does it (physical process models)
  • Process and value stream (value chain) mapping
  • Skills and competency mapping
  • Process re-definition / re-engineering
  • Data definition and events identification
  • Liaison between different business and technical disciplines
  • Requirements engineering
  • Discovery and definition of cost-effective, valuable solutions to business needs


Posted in Agile, Qualifications.

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A leading approach to Agile Project Management




It’s rather common knowledge now that the world of project management has changed significantly over recent years. For decades the profession has been dominated by traditional, sequential, “waterfall” approaches. Now, increasing numbers of individuals and organisations are turning to agile methods and frameworks to manage projects more effectively.

No longer confined to product development and IT & software development projects, agile approaches have become popular with a wide variety of organisations that need to be more flexible and responsive as the pace of change continues.


Posted in Agile.

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ISO/IEC 20000 – Requirements for plans

Requirements for plans

There are several specific requirements for plans in ISO/IEC 20000-1. These are:

Service management plan (clause 4.5.2)

The service management (SM) plan is the main overarching document for ISO/IEC 20000-1 detailing the scope, objectives, service requirements and other items. It is explained in clause 4.5.2 which states that the plan must be created, implemented, reviewed and maintained taking into account the SM policy, service requirements and requirements of ISO/IEC 20000-1. A list of contents is provided for the plan. The contents can be in the plan or referenced from the plan.

All process specific plans need to be aligned with the SM plan.


Posted in ISO Schemes.

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Bob’s guide to successful Change Management: Front-end Loading – What is it & why bother?

Before getting into the detail, a little bit of scene-setting:

  • Have you ever experienced being ‘late’ even before you’ve started a project?
  • Ever been told the Sponsor(s) and Champion(s) are fully supportive of the Change Programme but you still have that ’nervous feeling’ about the authenticity of their buy-in?
  • Ever been ‘given’ your Change Team and told everything is ‘good to go’ and after your first transition team meeting, find yourself thinking, “this is going to be tougher than I thought” as you discover your ‘team’ isn’t really a team – you don’t have 100% of their time for the change programme and individually and collectively they lack the 3Cs: Capability, Competency and Capacity.

If any of this sounds familiar – then the case for front-end loading is partially made. None of these situations or indeed the numerous other associated areas increase the chances of success. In fact they actively work against change success from the start.

It’s also quite likely that none of these are identified as either risks or issues meaning that the only person or people with increased risk is the Change Manager and the Change Team.

So here’s the point. Even before starting, good practice for the effective delivery of organizational change is being ignored – increasing the likelihood of creating the self-fulfilling myth that organizational change can be more effectively and efficiently delivered than it is at the moment.


Posted in Qualifications.

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To be or not to be COBIT 5 Implementation qualified?

COBIT 5 (Image 1)

Conclusions first

Business is complex. COBIT 5 is different to its predecessors.  It covers the entire enterprise, so no wonder it, too, is complex. That suggests I, and others, should take the time to understand COBIT 5 from its fundamental principles through to application in the workplace. Employers may not voice requirements but they hold expectations that the reviews and assessments will cope with the complexity.  This blog follows my thought process to get to these conclusions.


Posted in COBIT 5, Cyber Security, Qualifications.

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Effective Project & Programme Management Demands Best Practice

Successful projects and programmes are critical to success. Whether for the development of new products and services or transformation of an organization’s structure, the results of successful projects and programmes can deliver huge financial and competitive benefits. Unfortunately though, we don’t always get it right.

Reports and studies from a variety of sources continue to highlight problems with project planning, design and execution, with overall failure rates still alarmingly high. It’s a problem for all industries and sectors too.

PMI’s “Pulse of the Profession®” is an annual survey and report that aims to chart the major trends in project management. Below is a selection of key findings from the 2016 report:

  • Organizations waste US$122 million for every US$1 billion invested due to poor project performance — a 12 percent increase over 2015
  • 38% of projects failed to meet the original goals / business intent
  • Only 53% of projects were completed within the original budget
  • Only 49% of projects were completed on time
  • 16% of projects were deemed failures

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Posted in Qualifications.

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PRINCE2 Agile: the best of both worlds?

Agile is on the rise. Organizations from a wide range of industries are reporting great successes following moves to agile approaches, often citing gains from early delivery of projects that generate faster returns on their investment. This helps to give them a competitive edge over organizations that have yet to take advantage of the flexibility and responsiveness of agile.

PRINCE2Agile blog







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PS Professional: developing the consultants of tomorrow

In an environment of intense competition and increasing change, employers, customers and partners have increasingly significant expectations of their consultants and Professional Services (PS) teams.

Consultants and other PS professionals have long relied on technical skills in order to address requirements of clients and typically have a number of both vendor (CCIE, Microsoft Professional) and/or non-vendor (ITIL®, PRINCE2®) certifications.

However it takes more than technical skills to stand out in today’s increasingly complex professional services world and there has been little in the way of a clear development path for developing crucial non-technical, personal and commercial skills and competencies. It is these ‘softer’ skills that are often neglected and the most challenging to develop.


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