Greetings Leaders!

Statistically speaking, the 80/20 rule seems to apply to almost every situation. When it comes to your staff, it means that 20% of the people do 80% of the work. What would happen if we could somehow raise the level of performance of the 80%, just a bit? Or better yet, how can we move the bell curve to the right so that 40% of the people do 80% of the work? By moving the bell curve to the right, if the original 20% stay productive, and you increase the productivity of 25% of the rest of your staff, the amount of work that got done would have to go up. So, how do we go about accomplishing this?

Read the rest of this entry »

Greetings Leaders!

I’m the middle of teaching a project management class and we just finished up a section on Stakeholder Management. The discussion was lively, the group insightful, and as is often the case when I teach, I learned a few things myself. What I found interesting was the passion this particular group of students had about managing stakeholders. Most of the students are experienced project managers and they had a lot of insight into this vital but often overlooked area of project management. The two questions that got the discussion going were:

  1. Would you consider yourself (as a project manager) successful if you met the requirements, the timeline and the budget… but your customers were not satisfied with the product?
  2. Would you consider yourself successful if your project was delivered later than originally planned, over the original budget, but your stakeholders were happy?

Of course there are many situations that would influence your answer. But in general, and the class agreed, managing stakeholder and customer expectations were the keys to measuring project success.

Read the rest of this entry »

Greetings Leaders!

I’ve been hired to salvage troubled projects before. Sometimes I was successful, other times… well, not so much. Trouble projects are not hard to identify. In fact, it’s relatively easy. They’re chronically late, over budget, have poor quality, and the team is often in disarray. If you’ve been a project manager for any length of time, you will certainly have managed a troubled project. Saving a troubled project is not rocket science, but it is one of the more difficult things to do.

Read the rest of this entry »

Gina Abudi – Contributing Expert

Understanding the value of project management to the organization is one of the biggest challenges for leaders. Too often project management is considered as tactical – with no real thought or understanding of the strategic value of project management. However, shortchanging project management not only hinders an organization trying to meet strategic long-term objectives, but also diminishes the value of some of the most important people in the organization – the project managers!

Read the rest of this entry »

Ten Reasons Why Projects Fail

Greetings Leaders!

If Project Management keeps its promises, your project success rate should go up. For many organizations, it doesn’t. What gives? If you’ve spent a lot of time and money on project management, but your success rate hasn’t improved, don’t feel badly, as you’re not alone.

Read the rest of this entry »

Greetings Leaders!

I’ve trained quite a few project managers over the years, but not many project sponsors. That’s a problem. Too many organizations ensure they have processes in place and trained project managers to use them, but ignore the project sponsor. While you may be tempted to think project sponsors don’t need training, informal polls among my students indicate that sponsors rarely understand their role, resulting in dysfunction. I continually emphasize that even the best project managers cannot succeed if the project environment is dysfunctional.

Read the rest of this entry »

Greetings Leaders!

There is a pretty interesting article at CIO Insight about Reinventing the PMO (read the article here). The general premise is that PMOs are good at delivering projects, but not so good at ensuring the project/product is actually what the business needs. Their recommendation – a Results Management Office (RMO). My response…. you’ve got to be kidding. This is insanity at best.

Read the rest of this entry »

Be Wary of Best Practices

Greetings Leaders!

I was teaching a project management class last night and the topic of “Best Practices” came up. Some of the students wanted to know if I could use some of these during class. They were surprised when I told them no. I don’t believe in Best Practices.

Read the rest of this entry »

Project Management As A Career

Greetings Leaders, Project Managers and Future Project Managers….

I had a colleague ask me for some advice the other day. He is a supervisor, acting as a project manager and he doesn’t like it. Most of the projects he manages are fairly small and he spends most of his time chasing paperwork and going to meetings. He was bored and frustrated and wanted to know if all project managers worked like this.

Read the rest of this entry »

Does Project Methology Matter?

Greetings Leaders!

In the January 2010 issue of PM Network published by the Project Management Institute (PMI), there was an article written by Jesse Fewell, PMP that stated that project methodology didn’t matter. His basic premise was that sometimes project managers get caught up discussing methodology instead of getting the project done. I understand his perspective as I’ve seen project managers waste valuable time trying to define something as simple as a “phase” of the project. Or, perhaps it was a subproject? Of perhaps it wasn’t either but separate projects. I’ve also seen them debate the project schedule. Should it be a waterfall or should it be iterative? Should it be Agile, or for software development a form of Rapid Application Development (RAD).

Read the rest of this entry »