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Posts Under "Quality Management"

Closing the Project: 10 Ways to Embed Lessons Learned in the Organizational DNA
By Alan Zucker
The value of the project lessons learned process is to transform information into actionable knowledge to improve the outcome of future efforts. If we do not apply the lessons to future work, then little has been achieved. Furthermore, embedding the lessons into the organizational DNA is necessary for our project organization to mature. In October, I published "Closing a Project: Ask the Right Questions.” In that blog, I presented two techniques for effectively eliciting lessons learned during the project review. In this blog, I will share 10-ways to embed lessons into the organizational DNA: 1. Have a meeting where all... 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»

Not All Projects Are Sunshine & Rainbows - Part I
By Morley Selver, P.Eng IPMA B
I would hazard a guess that all projects have something go wrong that takes time, money, and effort to sort out. This is how we, as project managers, gain experience and knowledge. In fact, when you look at all your company procedures and practices, you need to realize that they are the result of someone trying to solve a problem. Some problems you can laugh at and others are serious issues. Following are a couple of problems I had on different projects. The Diesel Generators Figure 1 is a picture of a diesel generator. We purchased fourteen of them of... Read More»

By Morley Selver, P.Eng IPMA B
Why Do Projects Fail This article is a continuation of why projects fail. Inadequate attention to quality. I have seen quality problems arise from a corporations desire to embrace Auotcad by getting rid of experienced designers and hiring inexperienced CAD operators, to companies suffering because they didn’t get involved in a total quality package. Over my work history I have seen Vendors change from a lack of interest in equipment foundations to being very interested. One project I worked on were four pulp refiners. These were large revolving discs, of several tons, attached to a 10000 hp motor. In the... 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»

Human Quality Considerations
By Ann Drinkwater
In our personal lives, we review reports and conduct research to determine product quality, durability and other measures. For professional services, such as medical care, we ensure our providers have the necessary credentials and experience. We also know that quality is important in our professional lives, but seem to be more willing to make substitutions when it comes to acquiring human resources to fulfill our projects. Would you want someone without the necessary credentials and experience performing a high-risk medical procedure? The same thoroughness and requirements should be applied to our projects and organizations. Read More»

Is This A Project Managers’ Favorite Task?
By Morley Selver, P.Eng IPMA B
You know what task I’m talking about. Your project is up and running, you’re moving on to another project, gearing up, getting organized, motivated, excited about the new project, just can’t wait to get going, when the boss says, “Oh, by the way”. These are words no project manager wants to hear, but I digress. The boss comes in and says, “Oh, by the way, don’t forget, you have to close out your last project”. Talk about being deflated. Project closeout is the least enjoyable project task there is. It is boring, you’re not motivated, the other team members are... Read More»

Avoiding Fumbles
By Michael Aucoin
A number of years ago, the Philadelphia Eagles played against the New York Giants in a game remembered for a fumble. The Giants had the ball, leading 17-12 with 31 seconds to go. The Eagles had used all their timeouts, and New York simply had to run one more play to win. For nearly all such situations, the quarterback will take the snap and fall to one knee - a safe call to avoid any handoffs. But this time, the offensive coordinator called for a running play. The handoff from the quarterback to the running back was fumbled. The Eagles'... Read More»

Cut those bugs in half!
By Margaret de Haan
Recently I had a conversation with a friend that had had a very interesting question from a Manager during an interview. After I figured out the answer, I realized that the same concept can be used for finding defects in Project output, and that it is the most efficient way to narrow down failure in either code or process. Since I know you are all wondering, here is the question: You have 20 red marbles, all of which weigh the same except for 1 which is 1 ounce lighter. You only have a balance scale and you have to identify... Read More»

A Lesson from a Calendar
By Margaret de Haan
From the time that my twins were born, I have created a yearly calendar for the northern contingent of my family to keep them off of my back about sending pictures. For those of you with kids and family that live 2,000 miles away, I know you understand why I go through the hassle every year of spending hours on-line yearly, as the few hours spent gets me a year of less complaining. In the past it has taken me about two hours tops to complete, this year it took six, and that got me thinking... what's happened to quality... Read More»

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