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Posts Under "Executive"

As A Project Manager Do You Want To Sleep Well At Night?
By Morley Selver, P.Eng IPMA B
In my past, I worked in Central Engineering for a large worldwide company. One day myself and another project manager got a call to attend a meeting with a Senior VP at one of our facilities. The project had purchased a used paper machine in the UK and were to install it in their plant. The facility engineering manager was running the project and they were $10 million over budget. As we found out later, they had done some planning and scoping but not nearly enough. Ohhhh Ohhhh Senior management were fed up and wanted Central Engineering to take over... Read More»

Sanity Check - How long has it been since you talked to your project's Sponsor?
By Cinda Voegtli
Conventional project management wisdom says that having an engaged executive-level project sponsor or champion is absolutely critical to success. But is your schedule of sponsor interactions putting that wisdom into action? I know, I know. They're busy. They're travelling. They sponsor other projects too. Maybe they even see the role as a figurehead thing and don't understand what you need from them. (Here's a resource to help you if that's the case.) But if it's been weeks since you talked to your Sponsor - well, that to me is a risk. Are the goals and priorities still the same in... Read More»

Being the PM they want: What *executives* think our 2015 goals should be
By Cinda Voegtli
So here we are - the start of a brand new year - and, very possibly, already drowning in everything we need to get done. Let's hold on a sec! Before those task lists take over all our time, here is my New Year's wish for all of us: A little thinking time about what is MOST important for each of us to do and achieve -- to be maximally effective; to be maximally valued; and to ultimately have the best possible options for our careers. Those who have followed me for a while or attended any of my classes... Read More»

What’s the biggest risk an IT project manager faces?
By J LeRoy Ward
We’ve all read the grim statistics regarding IT projects. For years, such highly respected organizations as Standish, Gartner, Forrester, the Government Accountability Office, and others, have reported high failure and abysmally low success, rates. Failed projects usually have three common characteristics: they are completed far in excess of their original budget, are delivered way behind schedule, and often fail to satisfy even the basic functional requirements demanded by their intended recipients. The list of root causes for IT project failure often reads like a rap sheet of a serial offender. The causes are almost always the same, but change in... Read More»

Training Does not Equate to a Learning Organization
By Brian Irwin
In a recent discussion it became apparent to me that there may be a fundamental misunderstanding about what it is that defines a learning organization. The discussion was centered on how to help drive agile adoption throughout an organization. My revelation about the misunderstanding came when the individual mentioned that attempts have been made in the past to “institute organizational learning by bringing in agile training and supporting those who desired to attend. The organization was also supportive of individuals pursuing advanced degrees.” First, let’s discuss what a learning organization “is not”. Sending individuals, or teams, or departments to training... Read More»

First Things First: Scale Agile Values and Principles
By Brian Irwin
Over the past few years there’s been an interest in scaling agile to the enterprise. The desire to scale agile seems to have intensified over the last year. Almost without exception, every conference remotely related to software development and/or project management seems to have some presentation on the topic of scaling agile. While I don’t believe this is a bad thing, per se, I believe it misses the point on three levels. First, almost all of the discussions I’ve heard and most everything I read refers to scaling a process. I can understand why so many are looking at the... Read More»

Reality is a Perception: It is Time to Change our Perception
By Nathalie Udo
"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." – Albert Einstein There might be disagreements about the root causes, but the facts are clear: The world population is growing rapidly. While it took centuries to get to 1 billion people, it has only taken 80 years to grow from 2 billion to over 7 billion people. During my lifetime alone 3 billion people were added to Earth’s population. The world's economic middle class will grow from 1 billion to 4 billion by 2050. Most of this growth will take place in Asia and South America. Our natural resources... Read More»

An Open Letter to Executives Leading Agile Transformations
By Brian Irwin
Dear Executive, Let me congratulate you on your decision to introduce agile methods within your organization. It is a wise decision that holds incredible potential for your employees, your company, and its customers. If you are just beginning your improvement, or are yet to begin, the journey upon which you are about to embark is one that will be well worth the effort. And it will take effort—long, arduous, and at times frustrating effort. Although Machiavellians do exist, my experience is that they are exceedingly rare. In general, people are good, honest, and hard-working and really want to do the... Read More»

Scrum is Not the Goal
By Brian Irwin
Every day I witness teams doing Scrum, each operating at varying levels of maturity. Scrum is a great way of working because, as a lightweight framework, it dictates nothing about how the actual work inside of a sprint is done. It does provide a number of roles, ceremonies, and artifacts, but stops short of instructing a team how to do its work. How the works actually gets done is determined by a number of factors such as how the team self-organizes, interacts, and how the individual members relate to one another. Sometimes a weakness is simply a strength overdone. I... Read More»

A Day at the Oscars
By Ed Reynolds
The company is in somewhat of an uproar. The CEO has announced a new corporate strategy and organization structure. He holds a company-wide meeting where all this is presented in some detail. His candor encourages a lot of difficult questions from the audience. A key focus area is on increasing span of control but he makes sure everybody knows what he means…we have too many managers and we will be flattening the organization...many managers will lose their jobs. He also comments that sales compensation plans are going to change. Top-line revenue doesn’t drive the right behavior; everybody needs to be... Read More»




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