General Management Issues

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Projects build capabilities to met corporate goals. If you are a CEO, you need to make sure your employees and vendors know what those goals are and how they fit in to the plan. If you are a project manager, you need to know the bounds of you project. If you are anywhere in between, you need to understand how all the pieces fit together and keep it all aligned.

Most organizations consist of multiple business and support units, each populated by highly trained, experienced executives. But often the efforts of individual units are not coordinated, resulting in conflicts, lost opportunities, and diminished performance.

Published in Suggested Books
Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap...And Others Don't

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Author: Jim Collins
Publisher: HarperBusiness
Released: October 2001
Type: Hardcover
Pages: 300
ISBN:978-0201835953

The Challenge:

You are running a project that is supposed to improve the organization to leap out in front of the competition, yet you have had little formal training on what that means. Project managers need lessons in how world class business runs to drive projects to make that happen.

Built to Last, Collins' first book and defining management study of the nineties, showed how great companies triumph over time and how long-term sustained performance can be engineered into the DNA of an enterprise from the very beginning.

But what about the company that is not born with great DNA? How can good companies, mediocre companies, even bad companies achieve enduring greatness?

The Study:

Published in Suggested Books
Monday, 13 July 2015 15:13

Rescue the Problem Project

Rescue the Problem Project: A Complete Guide to Identifying, Preventing, and Recovering from Project Failure

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Author: Todd C. Williams
Publisher: AMACOM
Released: March 20, 2011
Type: Hardcover
Pages: 277
ISBN: 978-0201835953

Back from the brink... the first fail-safe recovery plan for turning around troubled projects and keeping the problems from reoccurring.

When budgets are dwindling, deadlines passing, and tempers flaring, the usual response is to browbeat the project team and point fingers of blame. Not helpful. For these situations, what is needed is an objective process for accurately assessing what is wrong and a clear plan of action for fixing the problem.

In Rescue the Problem Project Todd Williams, President of eCameron, describes how projects go wrong and what to do to fix them. It focuses on people first, then process , and finally technology. By doing this it helps you find the root cause of the failure and helps you prevent it from happening again.

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Alignment: Using the Balanced Scorecard to Create Corporate Synergies

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Author:Robert S. Kaplan, David P. Norton
Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
Released: April 2006
Type: Hardcover
Pages: 320
ISBN:978-0201835953

Projects build capabilities to met corporate goals. If you are a CEO, you need to make sure your employees and vendors know what those goals are and how they fit in to the plan. If you are a project manager, you need to know the bounds of you project. If you are anywhere in-between, you need to understand how all the pieces fit together and keep it all aligned.

Most organizations consist of multiple business and support units, each populated by highly trained, experienced executives. But often the efforts of individual units are not coordinated, resulting in conflicts, lost opportunities, and diminished performance.

Published in Suggested Books
Tuesday, 18 April 2006 15:41

Guns of August, by Barbara Tuchman

The Guns of August

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Author: Barbara Tuchman,
Publisher: Random House
Released: 1962
Type: Print (Paperback)
Pages: 551
ISBN: 034538623X

The Guns of August is a military history book describing the events of the first month of World War I. The focus of the book is to provide the history of World War I from the declaration of war through the start of the French offensive that stopped the German advance through France resulting in a stalemate for the subsequent four years. In addition, the book provides history on the plans, strategies, world events and international sentiments prior to and during the war.

Published in Suggested Books
Sunday, 12 June 2011 00:00

Decision Makers, Shakers, and Fakers

Got 'Tude?

Decisions, deshmisions, what is the big deal? Anyone can make a decision! Hardly. After years of working with ineffective initiatives and consternated companies, I have a healthy respect for the D-word. It is all about the seven 'tudes—ineptitude, attitude, fortitude, altitude, aptitude, incertitude, and vicissitude. Some organizations obtrude the 'tude in which they are imbued, while others are denude of a common 'tude.

Published in Project Rescue

A few weeks ago, I posted an article on five of the ten stupidest decisions management had done on troubled projects, as promised, here are the other five. Although these may all bring a little light hearted laughter, the goal is to educate in order to avoid repeat performances. We all have seen, and made, dumb decisions; finger pointing and blame will not improve the result. So, read on, enjoy and then share your experiences so we all learn more.

Published in Project Rescue
Sunday, 29 May 2011 00:00

Passionately Dispassionate

People routinely ask me the question, "What do you do when you find yourself on a project that is a hopeless failure?" It was raised again a few weeks ago in a Focus.com roundtable and then last week in an interview with Andy Kaufman. It only matters if the executives above the project are ignorant to how dire the situation is. It is tricky, trying to convince someone that they have a problem when they refuse to acknowledge the obvious—a tough and politically dangerous sell. The general consensus is "dust of the résumé." However, there is a logical approach to the problem—be logical.

Published in Project Rescue
Sunday, 27 March 2011 00:00

Leading Without Authority

Leadership is more than leading the people reporting to you. Too often, you need to lead people over which you lack any authority. The absence of hierarchical advantage adds a challenge, but is ideal training on how to deal with managers, customers, and difficult people. The key is making them feel the direction chosen is theirs. One of the best methods of doing this is storytelling.

Published in Project Rescue
Sunday, 16 January 2011 00:00

The Consultant's Lore

Icon of man with datastream

"Why is it that when you get hired you are no longer the expert?" A chuckle rippled through the audience; however, the woman asking the question was serious. I turned the question back to the audience of director level managers, "Why is this the case?" There was silence. Finally, I proffered that it was management's lack of understanding the skills of the people working for them. "Who in your organization can you implicitly trust?" More silence. It is sad that organizations know so little about the people that they hired—the people on which they stake their company's future.

Published in Project Rescue
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