Posts Under "August 2012"

Project Practitioners > August 2012
Postcards from Sydney: Project decision making, part 2
By Michael Aucoin
How do you define project success? It seems like a question with a simple answer. A project is a success if it meets its objectives within the project constraints of scope, schedule, cost, risk, quality and resources. But, reflecting on part 1 of this mini series, remember that people make decisions based on emotion. The individuals associated with and affected by your project will determine success based on how they feel about your project. It is important to know this truth when making decisions as the project progresses. While we in the project management profession obsess about schedule and budget,... Read More»

Are Your Metrics Meaningless?
By Patti Gilchrist
Data is an essential corporate asset, critical for the continued success of any business. Data empowers organizations to make critical decisions and drives strategy. Thus, organizations often enthusiastically collect and report a variety and abundance of data, with the mindset that more is better. However, if not managed effectively, this mass of data may not provide enough meaningful or measurable value and may actually produce misleading conclusions. When implementing a system of metric collection and reporting, there are potential roadblocks that can derail the entire process, leading to meaningless metrics. A common cause of error is an inadequate data collection... Read More»

Develop your character
By Alfonso Bucero
How a project manager, as a leader, deals with the circumstances of projects tells you many things about his character. Project crisis does not necessarily make character, but it certainly does reveal it. Adversity is a crossroads that make a person choose one of two paths: character or compromise. Every time he chooses character, he becomes stronger, even if that choice brings negative consequences. The development of character is at the heart of our development not just as leaders, but as human beings. What every project manager should know about character? Character is more than talk: Anyone can say that... Read More»

What Are My Roles & Responsibilities?
By Morley Selver, P.Eng IPMA B
One of the things I cover in my workshops is the roles and responsibilities of a Lead Project Engineer / Project Manager. What I find amazing is that some of the attendees do not understand their roles and responsibilities (that’s why I do the workshop) so I will review them in this article. When you review them you will see the skills you have to master to be a project leader. Roles and Responsibilities a) Overall responsibility for organizing the project team. He/she is the team leader. This requires you to have people management skills. You may or may not... Read More»

You Are What You Integrate
By Randy Englund
I marvel at the wonders created by nature and modern chemistry. We constantly see new products emerging as a result of molecular combinations and increased miniaturization. Vitamin and drug pills are extremely potent yet come in small packages. These marvels are possible because of molecular complexity. A complex molecule can bind tightly to various targets because it can form lots of interactions. Infinite varieties appear possible due to various combinations within the molecules. Development of project, program, and portfolio managers can follow a similar path. Integrating skills from multiple disciplines allows for increased potency. Yes, individuals can be effective by... Read More»

The Power of Failing
By Brian Irwin
I am a case study in failure. Sometimes it seems as if I’ve made every conceivable mistake one man could make, and I’m a better person because of it. I now have a higher degree of good judgment than I did when I started my career. Good judgment comes from experience. Unfortunately, sometimes experience comes from bad judgment. We’ve all failed; had bad judgment, and generally messed things up. Let yourself wallow in it—briefly. It’s important you experience the emotions that resonate within you when you experience a failure. But it’s even more important that we use these emotions as... Read More»

Managing With Consultants
By Ed Reynolds
If you have been managing for more than a few years, you have been in the situation where you needed some outside help to complete a project. Sometimes you request the help yourself but sometimes your management supplies the help without asking you - how uncomfortable is that? That can create the perception with the consultant that they are there to clean up your mess and they show up with “the attitude.” If you value your team, check with them before you hire consultants to help them and make sure consultants know where they fit in the organization. I knew... Read More»

Managing the Manager
By Ann Drinkwater
Your organization has decided to outsource a project to an external firm. In some cases, the organization may allow your team to manage the project, but more often than not, the organization may want full reign and to manage the engagement themselves. What does this mean to the project manager from the client organization? Depending on your company’s project management philosophy (i.e. do they see project management as a scheduling function, or someone that truly manages the project and risk), this type of agreement may be more challenging than you first think. Read More»

“We” versus “Us & Them”
By Margaret de Haan
Just this past weekend my team and I were up at 4am for the deployment of a Software Project that had been in development for quite a few months. The Project is one of those “typical” Projects where there was attempted scope creep at the 11th hour, pre-deployment panic, and the “crying wolf” syndrome where every tiny issue found was going to stop the world from turning on its axis. On Sunday, during the post implementation verification I found the team trying to solve some problems on the fly that was the result of incorrect, mismatched data, which we all... Read More»

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