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    Agile Management

The Art of Positive Politics: A Key to Delivering Successful Projects

  • By: scott.roberts on 18 May 2018

by Vijay K. Verma (PMI Fellow, PMP, MBA, P. Eng.)

Today’s business environment is characterized by global competition, rapidly changing technology, and a limited human resource pool with the proper skill mix. Now more than ever, project management is critical to an organizations’ survival; balancing the constantly shifting business landscape to execute strategies and transform goals into reality. At its core, power and politics are critical factors in determining the success of a projects but they are rarely, if ever, discussed in depth in project management literature. Internal politics permeate all levels within an organization and should be taken into consideration when navigating any project.

Whether you want it or not, politics exist in every organization and are an important part of project management environments because projects are done by people with different viewpoints, expectations, interests, and personalities. People are the ones who make things happen or prevent them from happening.

The existence of politics within any given project can be labeled as either positive or negative. Negative emphasizes “I”, whereas positive emphasizes “we”. Although politics cannot be eliminated entirely, efforts should be made to minimizing negative politics with through the implementation of positive ones. Focusing on personal agendas, finger pointing, and favoritism are all prime example of negative politics. On the other hand, positive politics focus on the team as a whole - redirecting the energy of people involved to create a culture of more collaboration, synergy, and commitment. It is unfortunate that positive politics are less understood, and that many managers at various levels view them with suspicion and uncertainty.

The Art of Positive Politics is a new book by author Vijay K. Verma that sheds light on organizational politics and provides guidelines to manage them at all levels to deliver successful projects. The book will enable readers to understand: positive and negative politics, the Ten Commandments to powerfully minimize the impact of negative politics, ways to analyze the landscape to identify a stakeholder’s political positions, understanding and managing political behaviors, and managing politics at the upper management and project levels.

Vijay K. Verma is an internationally renowned speaker and author. He wrote a three-volume series on the Human Aspects of Project Management published by the Project Management Institute (PMI): Organizing Projects for Success, Human Resource Skills for the Project Manager, and Managing the Project Team. In 2009 Mr. Verma was awarded the PMI Fellow Award and prior to that, the 1999 PMI David I. Cleland Project Management Literature Award (for his book Managing the Project Team), and the 1999 PMI Distinguished Contribution Award for sustained and significant contributions to the project management profession.

Procept All-Stairs Surpass Fundraising Goal for WWF

  • By: pcadmin on 09 Apr 2018

On April 7, 2018, staff members from Procept and its TidalShift subsidiary jointly raised funds to gain support of their efforts to climb the stairs up the CN Tower in Toronto, Canada in support of the World Wildlife Fund. After walking 1,776 stairs (148 flights), the team celebrated (and recovered!) at the top of the city. The team surpassed its fundraising goal by 50% before Procept management stepped in and doubled their fundraising total again. The final tally showed that the team raised over three times its original fundraising goal, ranking in the top 20 teams out of over 7,000 climbers at the event.

Way to go, team!

Climbing from Procept were Alana Hughes-Willinsky, Robin Karnilavicius, and Sebastian Aguanno. Climbing from TidalShift were David Donaldson and Scott Roberts. Guest team members were Michelina Aguanno and Richard Osborne.

The MEARIE Group Partners with TidalShift for Change Management

  • By: pcadmin on 06 Apr 2018

In partnership with TidalShift, The MEARIE Group will now be offering their Ontario energy-sector clients participants TidalShift's course leading to the internationally-recognized Change Management Practitioner™ certification. Participants will learn how to understand and manage change as an individual, as a member of a team, and as a leader. They will better understand the organizational “levers”, adoption approaches, and reinforcing systems required to sustain change.

“The energy sector is rapidly changing,” said Charlie C. Macaluso, President & CEO of The MEARIE Group. “Our clients need leaders qualified to manage and lead teams through change. We are pleased to offer this internationally recognized Change Management Practitioner program which we believe will enable organizations to lead and manage change, ensuring the future health of their business.”

The course qualifies for 35 hours of professional development credits from several organizations including the Project Management Institute (PMI) and the International Institute for Business Analysis.

About The MEARIE Group
The MEARIE Group provides comprehensive financial and business solutions to the energy sector in Ontario. MEARIE was created in 1987 by Ontario’s electricity distribution companies. Today, MEARIE offers an extensive range of services including: property/casualty insurance; risk management services; group benefits; human resource services; trades, professional and management training; and more – all targeted expressly to the energy sector. The MEARIE Group is based in Vaughan, Ontario. For more information about The MEARIE Group, please visit www.mearie.ca.

New Video: Asked to Train? Insider Tips for Knowledge Transfer Success

  • By: pcadmin on 06 Apr 2018

Join Procept Associate Terry Kozlowski as she shares tips on how to best teach others. Useful if you are interested in adult training or even if you are just asked to show a colleague how to perform a complex task, this webinar will help you succeed.

Subscribe to the Procept YouTube channel to get notified of new videos as they are released.


Registration Now Open for 2018 International PM Day Conference in Toronto

  • By: pcadmin on 03 Apr 2018

Procept is pleased to renew its sponsorship for the 2018 International Project Management Day celebrations in Toronto, Canada. The 1-day conference will feature a range of excellent speakers on topics reflecting the changing nature of our profession. This year, the final round of competition for the PM Paper Competition will also be incorporated into the day.

Tickets are only $25 for the day, which includes catering, door prizes, and professional development credits (PDUs, CDUs, etc.) Bring your friends for a great day of learning and fun.  Register online by clicking the button below:

New Video: Project InfoBursts

  • By: pcadmin on 03 Apr 2018

Join Procept Associate Ralph Kuhn as he addresses how taking a casual approach to project communications management may put your project or program at risk.

Subscribe to the Procept YouTube channel to get notified of new videos as they are released.


New Video: Using a Capability Lens to Identify Project and Program Risk

  • By: pcadmin on 02 Apr 2018

Join Procept Associate Mark Peco as he discusses how to use a data-driven approach to identify project and program delivery risks.

Subscribe to the Procept YouTube channel to get notified of new videos as they are released.


New Video: Do You Know What Should Be on Your PM Radar? Key Trends in Project Management

  • By: pcadmin on 02 Apr 2018

Join Procept Senior Associate Sylvie Edwards as she discusses trends in the project management profession and how you can prepare yourself for the coming changes.

Subscribe to the Procept YouTube channel to get notified of new videos as they are released.


New Video: Conflict on Projects - Please Tell Me Why?

  • By: pcadmin on 02 Apr 2018

Join Procept Senior Associate, Janice Petley, as she explains the most common causes of conflict on projects — and what to do about them.

Subscribe to the Procept YouTube channel to get notified of new videos as they are released.


Procept Associates Ltd. Announces Acquisition of TidalShift Inc.

  • By: pcadmin on 05 Feb 2018

Bringing together two training companies leading in their respective fields, Procept Associates Ltd. has acquired 100% of the shares in TidalShift Inc.

“What first attracted us to TidalShift was its Organizational Lift ModelTM,” says Kevin Aguanno, President of Procept. “This model focuses on developing understanding, skills and behaviours in three areas of competency that underpin any organization’s ability to move ahead, allowing it to be adaptive, effective, and cohesive. We found that this comprehensive model well described the needs of our clients and provided a framework for improving their performance. Through this acquisition, Procept now has a structured way of moving from being a transactional training provider to becoming a strategic partner in achieving long-term performance improvements for our clients.”

Noting the strong synergies between the two organizations, TidalShift co-founder Catherine Daw notes: “Procept’s position in the marketplace as Canada’s premiere project management training provider fits well with TidalShift’s Organizational Lift Model. We plan on leveraging Procept’s deep catalogue of offerings in this area to bolster the organizational effectiveness portion of our model. I see tremendous benefits for our clients by leveraging the combined strengths of our two organizations.”

Kevin Aguanno also commented on the strategic nature of the acquisition: “In recent years, the standards bodies and thought leaders of the project management profession have noted the growing importance of soft skills training for project leaders. In addition, there has been growing demand for benefits realization – projects need to deliver results – so change management skills are now highly sought after. TidalShift brings strong capabilities in these two strategic areas to the Procept team. We believe that the combination of these two organizations will position us well to meet the changing needs of our clients.”

While their back-office functions will merge, the two companies will continue to operate and deliver under their own brands, selling the combined offerings of the two organizations to their clients.


Based in Toronto, Ontario, Procept Associates Ltd. is an international training and consulting company with offices across Canada, in the USA, in Switzerland, and with franchises in Africa. Procept is best well known as a pioneer in project management, business analysis and IT service management training and consulting. Procept and its subsidiaries have trained over 1 million people in over 17,000 organizations since 1965 making it one of the oldest adult training providers in the world. Find out more at www.Procept.com.


TidalShift Inc. (formerly SPM Learning Ltd., the training division spun off the SPM Group Ltd. in 2010) is a leader in leadership and team development, and change management training and consulting. TidalShift has won several international awards for its work including Continuing Education Provider of the Year from the Project Management Institute and the Gold Level award from the Institute for Performance and Learning (formerly Canadian Society for Training and Development). Find out more at www.TidalShift.ca.


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