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Project Practitioners > Analytical Thinking and Problem Solving

Posts Under "Analytical Thinking and Problem Solving"

Shift Their Mind Paradigm
By Margaret de Haan
I’ve decided that I have become too much of a creature of habit, and so I have decided to start ignoring most of what I know works. I know, it sounds bizarre, doesn’t it? I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking and observing lately, and I’ve come across some interesting perspectives that my brain has spun together. The result looks like something that could have significant value in changing the current process paradigm. Ultimately, if we keep performing things in the same way, based on the scientific method of investigation and learning, how do we deviate away from basic... Read More»

Automated Project Scheduling in Excel
By DeAnna Burghart
Have you ever wished you could see a simple project's tasks laid out on a calendar without wrestling with MS Project or similar scheduling software? Maybe you don't have scheduling software installed. Maybe it seems like way too much effort for this project. Maybe you want to be sure the rest of the team can read the schedule as well as you can. Maybe you just like using spreadsheets. This week I thought I'd share one of my Frankensheets, in the hope some fellow spreadsheet junkies will find it useful. If complex formulas and conditional formatting make you break out... Read More»

Projects Have Always Been Hard (Until Now)
By DeAnna Burghart
Projects have always been hard, especially long projects with sprawling scopes, conflicting stakeholder requirements, and impossible budgets and timelines. Basically, we've bought into our own PR, and it's a total fiction. And the proof is right in our history books. Read More»

Think Differently About Project "Crunch Time"
By Margaret de Haan
So we have all been the lead on a Project that hit “crunch time” where everyone has borrowed a sleeping bag and planned on camping at the office 24/7 for a few days to make sure that the date is met, right? Well I have been speaking to a number of individuals from different organizations at some of my networking events that I have attended recently, and one of the COO’s that I met came out with a revelation that I feel I just have to share even though it should be considered obvious. In a discussion about the “Go... Read More»

Project Management and the Art of Confrontation
By Margaret de Haan
I have been brushing up on my negotiation skills to ensure my sanity lately, and came across a fantastic presentation deck about confrontation that I am sure every Project Manager on the planet can benefit from. I have summarized in my own words the highlights below, including some personal thoughts regarding the conclusions and comments made. If you would like to review the entire deck, please access the following link: http://www.pmipr.org/html/presentaciones/confrontation%20skills.pdf In terms of background on this “tool”, there are a few different confrontational types of behavior: Aggressive; Non-Assertive & Assertive – the “preferred” method. Assertive behavior involves face-to-face, respectful... Read More»

Do you want to be a Project Ninja?
By Margaret de Haan
I have been reviewing many Job Descriptions that are out there for Project Managers, and I realized the other day that if I was really graded solely on what was written in mine, I would really be failing in the eyes of the company. We are so much more than tasks, dates and Project Plans aren’t we? In many ways I am very lucky, the VP that I report to and I, see many things the same way and are more flexible in terms of allowing team members to bend the rules and do what makes sense, than to follow... Read More»

What Really Is A Project Manager?
By Margaret de Haan
The longer I work in some form of a Project related role within any organization, the more I realize that the skills required to manage a Project to a successful outcome requires so much more than is encompassed in the PMBOK. I have also found that there are many Project Managers that don’t share that philosophy, insisting to stay “inside the lines” of what is outlined in the PMBOK – a “that’s not part of a PM’s job” mentality. I have seen again and again that ideal increasing risk, reducing the quality of deliverables, and costing money. The big one... Read More»

Does Your Agile Organization Have Cancer?
By Brian Irwin
Every (yes—EVERY!) organization that I’ve ever worked for or with has had cancer. Indeed, several of the projects I’m aware of have also had cancer. This has largely been true regardless of the methodology used. The specific stage of cancer has varied, as has each prognosis; however, all organizations I’ve encountered have been diseased with one type of particularly aggressive form of cancer. The specific type of organizational cancer I’m talking about is having an excessive amount of work in progress (WIP) at any given point in time. For organizations in general and agile organizations, in particular, the result can... Read More»

Black Friday the Project Management Way
By Margaret de Haan
Just like approximately 200+ million people each year, I am a Black Friday shopper. It has become a tradition. After the yearly Thanksgiving dinner with friends, a cross section of the women sit down with the flyers from the Thanksgiving edition of the paper, and map out the "plan of attack". This year we had a "Black Friday Virgin" decide to join the experience, and was stunned by the "Project Planning" process that I go through (once it was mentioned, it got everyone torturing me, as I apparently take Project Management to the extreme - is that even possible??). We’re... Read More»

Invisible Agile Leadership
By Brian Irwin
"A leader is best When people barely know he exists Of a good leader, who talks little, When his work is done, his aim fulfilled, They will say, "We did this ourselves." - Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching Like many parents, my wife and I provide a weekly allowance to our sons for completing their family responsibilities (I think "responsibilities" sounds better than "chores"). Occasionally, their money collects to the point where it begins to burn sizeable holes in their banks. Yesterday my youngest son brought his money with him on a family shopping trip. He chose to buy a... Read More»




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