Organization Development and its Relation to Project Failure

Monday, 14 September 2009 00:00

Emphasis on Process

Reading an article the other day, the author was lamenting on how Project Managers were under educated and needed to know more about earned values analysis, risk probability determination, finite schedule development and other tools that make a Project Manager great. She was arguing that certifications, like PMI's PMP® certification, needed to have more testing on those subjects.

Published in Project Rescue
The 4 Disciplines of Execution: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals

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Author:Chris McChesney, Sean Covey, Jim Huling
Publisher: Free Press
Released: April 24, 2012
Type: Hardcover
Pages: 352
ISBN:978-0201835953

This is a non-project management book that discusses how to achieve results in the execution of a plan. The four disciplines are great change management tools that get results and keep people focused. Where it is valuable to a project manager is in its education on how to keep people focused on a goal. It can you used to help your team on short term progress or on driving your project's customer to focus on what they need to achieve success. If you plan to make the move from project management to any other operational mode--even to the PMO--this book gives a number of good tools.

Published in Suggested Books
The Seven Arts of Change: Leading Business Transformation That Lasts

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Author:David Shaner
Publisher: Union Square Press
Released: November 2010
Type: Hardcover
Pages: 184
ISBN:978-0201835953

This book is currently under review, more details will be added when available

In my opinion, as a project manager, you cannot read too many books on handling change. Each gives you a different perspective on how to effectively deliver a project whose product is valuable. This is a lesser known book, but has a great perspective.

Many businesses try to change, but few succeed. At best, a few buzzwords and new reports become part of the company's structure. At worst, programs crash and burn, and the members of the organization become irreparably disillusioned with the revolving door of new-mission statements. According to David Shaner-a business consultant with a 100% success rate of change at companies including Duracell, Frito-Lay, Caesars Palace and Gillette-the problem is that those changes don't address either individuals or the corporate culture. They're only on the surface.

Published in Suggested Books
Tuesday, 14 July 2015 10:52

Lean Six Sigma For Service

Lean Six Sigma For Service

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Author:Michael George
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education
Released: July 2003
Type: Hardcover
Pages: 300
ISBN:978-0201835953

If you are trying to implement a lean philosophy in a service industry (or just your projects), this book is a great resource. It describes what is needs and how to implement it. As a "desk resource" it at times repeats itself; however, that is great for reading sections at a time. There are a lot of tools that can be used by project managers to lean out their methodology.

Bring the advantages of Lean Six Sigma improvement out of manufacturing and into your services organization.

Published in Suggested Books
In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America's Best-Run Companies

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Author: Thomas J. Peters
Publisher: HarperBusiness
Released: February 2006
Type: Softcover
Pages: 400
ISBN:978-0201835953

This book is currently under review, more details will be added when available

If you want to explore and improve your leadership style, this is a "Must Read." Why leadership? Because projects struggle under managers and they excel under leaders. Not only that, but this also gets you thinking and talking like your business leaders. How can you communicate with them if you do not think like them?

Touted as the "Greatest Business Book of All Time" (Bloomsbury UK), In Search of Excellence has long been a must-have for the boardroom, business school, and bedside table.

Published in Suggested Books
The Next Evolution - Enhancing and Unifying Project and Change Management: The Emergence One Method for Total Project Success

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Author:Thomas Luke Jarocki
Publisher: Brown & Williams Publishing
Released: June 2011
Type: Hardcover
Pages: 326
ISBN:978-0201835953

Still confused on how projects and change management fit together? If so, read this book. It gives a great history of both and outlines a process that may work for your company. If nothing else, the process described will help you understand how your company can fold the two disciplines together. The only detractor is the author's contniual reference to "his" methodology. However, this does give you a good example of its implementation.

Just about every project professional agrees that "success" today is not just about being "on time, within budget, and according to scope" but one in which there is successful organizational change and the broad organizational adoption of project outputs and deliverables. However, because the project management and organizational/behavioral change management disciplines are often practiced as separate entities, the road to success often becomes divided, leading to poor outcomes for both the project manager and stakeholders throughout the organization.

Published in Suggested Books
Wednesday, 15 July 2015 10:33

The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement

The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement

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Author: Eliyahu M. Goldratt
Publisher: North River Press; 30th Anniversary Edition
Released: June 2014
Type: Softcover
Pages: 362
ISBN:978-0201835953

If you are managing projects in a manufacturing setting, this book is critical. If you are managing a project in a company using the theory of constraints, this book is essential. It is the foundation of a pervasive methodology and the precursor to critical chain project management. he is recommended reading before reading any of the other books on critical chain.

Published in Suggested Books
The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of The Learning Organization

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Author: Peter M. Senge
Publisher: Doubleday
Released: March 2006
Type: Softcover
Pages: 445
ISBN:978-0201835953

Business and projects are complex systems. The people that run them need to create organizations and teams that can learn and grow. This classic business book is a great treatise how to become a better lead and run a better project.

This revised edition of Peter Senge ’s bestselling classic, The Fifth Discipline, is based on fifteen years of experience in putting the book ’s ideas into practice. As Senge makes clear, in the long run the only sustainable competitive advantage is your organization ’s ability to learn faster than the competition. The leadership stories in the book demonstrate the many ways that the core ideas in The Fifth Discipline, many of which seemed radical when first published in 1990, have become deeply integrated into people ’s ways of seeing the world and their managerial practices.

Published in Suggested Books
Wednesday, 15 July 2015 14:44

HBR's 10 Must Reads on Change Management

HBR's 10 Must Reads on Change Management

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Author:Harvard Business Review, John P. Kotter, W. Chan Kim, Renee Mauborgne
Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
Released: March 2011
Type: Softcover
Pages: 224
ISBN:978-0201835953
Published in Suggested Books
Sunday, 28 February 2010 00:00

When PMs OD, Projects Run Better

Most projects do not fail for the problems on the project; they fail for the problems in the organizations associated with them. Even issues within the project are usually personnel related requiring the project manager to do more counseling than managing. So where does the project manager get these skills? Unfortunately, they come from experience; few come from formal training. Instead, project managers get training on process, which, as can be seen in many of my articles, is misguided. Project managers need to spend more time developing the organizations, making them stronger. Without doing extensive organization development, projects will continue to fail.

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