Keynote to Educate on Successful Projects

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Marketing is difficult for any company. However, in small companies, where many people wear multiple hats, it is even worse. There is a vicious cycle between all-work/no-marketing and all-marketing/no-work. There are ways to address this problem but if takes planning and discipline.

Published in Finance Only
Sunday, 22 April 2012 00:00

The Art Of No

There I was, in a posh Montreal hotel conference room, two customers on one side of the table, and my client and me on the other. Taped to the back of my laptop lid was a conference-center supplied piece of paper with a hastily scrawled note on it. The entire message consisted of only two letters followed an exclamation mark. The letters were "N" and "O." They sent a succinct message that was hard to ignore as the customer incessantly strove to get a little more functionality brought into the failing project's scope. For every request, I would drop my chin slightly, look over the top of my glasses, tap my right index finger on the top of my laptop, and they would relent. Instead of being a pessimistic curmudgeon, I was bringing realism about the budget and timeline and doing what leaders do—making hard decisions.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010 00:00

Finding Gold in Red Projects Keynote

Gold Bars

The ability to deliver initiatives that make breakthroughs in the business is the differentiator of a truly successful IT department. However, the project success rates are very poor. Failure rate estimates range from 40-75% of project are over budget, late, or fail to deliver the required functionality.

Published in Finance Only
Sunday, 10 June 2012 00:00

Ethics, Liars, and Naïveté

Image on ethics

Are there any ethics in business today? Time and again, headlines proclaim where companies and leaders have gone astray. You cannot help but wonder what our fellow humans will do next. Men and women in search of money, power, fame, or all three, decide they are exempt from the rules and social norms the rest of us struggle to follow. It boggles the mind. Unethical, however, is just a waypoint in the spectrum from truth to criminal. Face it, we are all liars. It may be telling our children about Santa Claus, portraying our speed to the policeman, covering up a politician's extramarital affair, or promising fortunes through investments in Ponzi products. Deceit is everywhere.

Sunday, 08 May 2011 00:00

Executive's Role in Project Success

Dilbert cartoon

Few would question that executives are responsible for ensuring projects are aligned with the corporate strategy. They also need to ensure these initiatives remain in line with these goals as business conditions change. To achieve this, they have to be engaged with the project when it starts and maintain that context throughout its life cycle. This requires more than ensuring the project maintains its scope, schedule, and budget; projects must deliver value. Too many projects start with the inspirational support of upper management, but as the project (or company) drifts, the executives have long since disengaged from the project and are unable to straighten out the misalignment. This wastes company resources and hinders the company's ability to deliver.

Saturday, 14 November 1998 00:00

Media Information

People talking and listening to Todd Williams

Interview:
Public Sector Problem Projects

Media contact:

Joanne McCall
Office: +1 (503) 642-4191
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Office contact:

Savannah Rogers
Office: +1 (360) 834-7361
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833 NW 24th Ave
Camas, WA 98607

Keynotes
Event Planner's Page(requires registration)

Publications

Image of Rescue the Problem Project

Author
Rescue the Problem Project
AMACOM (2011)

Image Gower PIPM

Contributing Author
Gower's Handbook of People In Project Management
Gower (2013)

Visualizing Change:
Making Change Fun

Presentation:
Back From Red Excerpts

Book:
Rescue the Problem Project Trailer

Published in Media Contacts

Starting line image

Experience with red projects has more value than recovering them—avoiding them is the real objective. This presentation focuses on a number of techniques learned while recovering projects that greatly improve the chances for success. It introduces the concept of a Guidance Team that gets involved with the project at the customer inception stage and follows the project and team through to the project completion.

Sunday, 08 April 2012 00:00

We Don't Need No Stinking Social Media

Dilbert Cartoon http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/2010-09-13/

I need your help. Why is it that as we get older, so many of us lose the desire to learn? Where is the fun in that? A few years ago, I was nearly sucked into it myself—at least for a few minutes. A half-dozen of us were sitting in a coffee shop talking about growing our businesses and conversation turned to Twitter—about its uselessness. As I drove back to my office, I thought, "The six of us ought to go tell the twenty million people using Twitter how foolish they are." With that utterance, I realized how I had been drug into the world of stasis. I spent the subsequent three days immersed in social media, studying Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and numerous other social tools. Now I am perplexed on how to get others to see the value. Let me fill you in on what I have learned about teaching people, maybe you can point out my flaw.

Published in IT Assessment

Information Technology organizations continually struggle to build systems that meet their customer's needs. They work tirelessly developing solutions that are delivered late, difficult to use, or deficient in key features and functions. This is nothing specific to the last couple decades; it stretches back to the first systems developed. Fredrick Brookes eloquently underscores this in his recount of the 1960's software engineering project to develop the IBM 360 in his book The Mythical Man-Month (1975) and is required reading for all IT executives. For the Chief Information Officer to solve this problem takes a new approach, one, nearly opposite from today's direction.

Published in IT Assessment
Saturday, 21 December 2013 00:00

Ethics in Project Managment Keynote

Got Ethics?

We all know ethics plays a large role in running projects. When you are rescuing a project and trying to solve root cause issues, however, it is even more critical. When projects have gotten to the point of requiring rescue, the actions of bringing in a recovery manager are usually coincident with talking to lawyers about alternative routes. One must be very thorough and mindful of the fact that news of the failure can hurt stakeholders, stockholders, and ordinary innocent people.

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