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Posts Under "Project Processes"

How To Ensure That Your Projects Take Off Smoothly, Predictably and Effectively - the Power of the "Pre-Flight" Checklist
By ProjectConnections Staff
Those of us who've flown commercially have invariably observed the flight crew busily at work, audibly and meticulously going through a formal checklist process, as we complete the boarding process. This process is performed by the pilot and co-pilot each and every time prior to take-off and covers a multitude of functional checks as well as a visual inspection of the aircraft, all with the singular objective of ensuring and confirming that both they and the aircraft are ready for safe flight. This process is always performed, without fail, for one simple reason - lives are at stake. While most... Read More»

Project Management As Getting From Point A To Point B
By ProjectConnections Staff
One of my early mentors, Mark M., told me once that project management is actually very simple - "...it's getting from Point A to Point B, as efficiently and effectively as possible". Not glamorous, certainly not sophisticated in today's environment of Monte Carlo simulation and RACI matrices, but there's a certain raw power in the simplicity of this view on what it is that we project managers actually do that I believe is worthy of consideration. As with other professional disciplines, project management has matured and become more complex, richer in texture and nuance over the decades. While most of... Read More»

Closing a Project: Ask the Right Questions
By Alan Zucker
“Asking the right questions takes as much skill as giving the right answers.” Robert Half It is generally accepted that a conducting lessons learned meeting or a project post-implementation review at the end of a project or phase is a best practice.at the close of a project or phase. However most reviews are ineffective because they do not collect actionable information. A well-executed project or phase closeout will yield: A constructive post-implementation review that produces actionable lessons learned. Lessons learned that could be communicated as ‘universal truths' that are readily applied to future projects. For example, a project team may... Read More»

Establishing YOUR Project Team's Culture
By Jeff Richardson
You can tell the difference between an effective and ineffective team by simply observing ONE meeting. The underlying set of agreements becomes very apparent to an outsider, while team members are somewhat oblivious to how their team REALLY works because they have been immersed in the minutiae. Just like fish don't think much about water because they immersed in it, teams become resigned to a "that's just the way it is" mentality regarding how they works interact. Changing the way your team works together seems like a daunting task from the insiders perspective, even for many leaders. The complexity of... Read More»

Oh Oh, We Should Have Discussed This With Operations! Part III
By Morley Selver, P.Eng IPMA B
This article is a continuation of last months article on Operators responsibilities. Solicit input from peers for "moan list" item resolution prior to hydrotests, or other problems that have been missed in the design specifications. Once into commissioning operators will find things that don’t work or are not suitable. These can go on a punch list /complaint list or ‘moan list’. These items need to be resolved before commissioning. Not all items get done as some might just be a preference on how things should be done while others are actual problems that need resolution. In one of my workshops,... Read More»

Why Is It Called Fred's Folly?
By Morley Selver, P.Eng IPMA B
Oh Oh, We Should Have Discussed This With Operations All projects are about solving a problem and it is important that Operators be part of the solution. This means, when you are managing a project in an industrial facility, you should have an Operations Representative on the project team. As a designer, you need to understand what the problem really is. This comes from discussions with the Operations Representative. As well, the Operators are the ones who have to live with the project so they should have substantial input into the design and construction of any project. Remember, Operations are... Read More»

Sunshine & Rainbows, Part IV
By Morley Selver, P.Eng IPMA B
We Forgot To Check That. We were building a new facility and had to design a loading area to ship the product. The product was to be shipped by flat deck semi-trailers called B-trains which is one truck pulling two flat bed trailers. As we were in the frozen north, the trucks would be loaded inside at one end of the warehouse. Those on the design team were not truck drivers so we were trying to figure out how to get the trucks in and out of the warehouse. We were looking at a drive through as we did not... 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»

The Process of Facilitating
By Alfonso Bucero
Are you a good facilitator? I believe you would be if you want to be a complete project manager. One of the main skills project managers and team leaders need to have is the ability to facilitate a team. Good facilitation requires knowledge of meeting tools and techniques, some teamwork, and considering human factors. Facilitation is about helping a team to act properly, to make good decisions. It is not easy because usually will generate debate, some issues and stretches people to think differently. However team discussions are always positive to learn among the team. What do you facilitate? Perhaps... Read More»

The "Secret" Code: a Toolkit of Skills
By Randy Englund
Proman was at a crossroads. The large program had just concluded. What was next? He noticed how engaged he’d felt during the process. Each day he threw himself into the proceedings with renewed vigor. He seemed to know instinctively what to do. People looked to him for direction, even people smarter than he was and higher up in the organization. Sure, there were many moments when he felt like he wanted to strangle someone who would not cooperate. But even these moments challenged him to reach inside himself for an appropriate response that would elicit a positive reaction. He had... Read More»




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