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Posts Under "Business Analysis Planning and Monitoring"

Developing Confident Leaders
By Ann Drinkwater
In knowledge work, there is no line manager. Knowledge work involves professionals. Professionals are paid to solve problems and get results. Regardless of position, we are obligated to take ownership for our work and our personal development. Working for yourself, working for a startup, having an entrepreneurial drive and determination are helpful to understanding what professionals do, but there are other ways a person can acquire this level of understanding and accountability. There are no excuses in business. So how does a person go from being uncertain and needing significant guidance and oversight to being able to confidently handle all... Read More»

Story Maps - Your Path to Product Success
By Brian Irwin
Personally, I tend to grasp things better visually. Tell me the directions to your house and, while I'll get there, it will probably take me longer and cause me more frustration than if you had also provided a map. It can also be helpful to create a map of functionality when developing products. In their simplest form, products are bundles of functionality that end users utilize for benefit. Early in the agile product development life cycle it can be very difficult to develop an initial prioritized product backlog of user stories. The story map is one tool we can use... 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»

Project Chronicles
By Ann Drinkwater
Documenting the good and bad within your project, with your stakeholders and teams is very beneficial. Through the process you will gain a strong historical account of events which can be used as a personal, team and ultimately organizational learning and management tool. The act of documenting creates introspection and perspective. It doesn't matter your position with your company; varying perspectives and insight is critical to enterprise and personal improvement. It also doesn't matter if you have a background in writing. It is the process of identifying and articulating your thoughts and observations that matters. Being a highly analytical and... Read More»

The Power of Questioning Why
By Brian Irwin
As project managers we expend significant thought and effort on aspects of who, what, when, where, and how of our projects and our work. Working with project managers and front-line managers in several organizations throughout my career, I witness much less thought given to the often more relevant question of why. Perhaps because asking why is viewed as being contrarian, and therefore may have a negative career impact, we never bother to pose the question. Or, perhaps we don’t even think to question why. Failing to ask, and understand, why can cost our organization immeasurable sums of money and also... Read More»

Was This Project A Success or Not?
By Morley Selver, P.Eng IPMA B
Working The Markets In this article I want to tell you about a project I managed that, depending on your viewpoint, was either a success or a failure. The project was to build a medium density fiberboard (MDF) plant using scrap lumber. If you think of building a house, there all manner of small waste pieces of 2 x 4's etc, that go to landfill or some other use. This is the scrap we were looking for. This meant the plant had to be near a large population area. The background of the owners of the plant was all financial.... Read More»

"Manage That Pipeline!"
By Margaret de Haan
OK, so for those of you that manage the Project pipeline, I'm sure that many if not most of you have experienced those Charters that don't get approved, or die. The documentation gets completed, it goes to the powers that be, but somehow even though it doesn't get an OK2GO, it doesn't die either. It seems to perpetually stay on hold, but it keeps on getting brought up during the Steering Committee meetings, and six months or a year after its initial pitch, it is decided that the documentation should be reviewed, updated and reviewed again by the team for... Read More»

Proper Methods for Resource Planning
By Ann Drinkwater
Controlling and micro managing creative, knowledge workers generally doesn't work. Conversely, providing an arbitrary delivery date or even allowing the team to completely self regulate work without a delivery date, doesn't work either. We have all heard of Parkinson's Law (work expands to fill the time available for its completion), but don't try and run your business with this principle. Tried and true project management planning, scheduling and controlling will more scientifically determine the time needed to complete work assignments, effectively manage the execution of the work and create a reliable, realistic and healthy environment. Along with, and surprisingly sometimes... Read More»

Meetings and Process - How Much Is Enough?
By Brian Irwin
Over the past several months, I must admit that I've not been my usual self. In the interest of being liked, I put aside some assertiveness and have bowed before the whims of others. I've been working with a company recently where the culture welcomes meetings in all shapes, forms, and sizes. Meetings are very commonplace. I suspect you may be thinking that I work at your company. As project managers, we are often tasked with leading and implementing projects that will usher in change. We must be able to stand up and support positive change. I have never been... Read More»




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