Leadership for Project and Executive

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

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Author: Simon Sinek
Publisher: Portfolio
Released: December 2011
Type: Softcover
Pages: 256
ISBN:978-0201835953

Do you need to persuade someone that your project is worth doing? Maybe you are the CEO and need to sell a new vision and the project to go with it.. If so, you need to Start With Why. Too often your first reaction is to start with what and that will not inspire people to meet your dream.

Why are some people and organizations more innovative, more influential, and more profitable than others? Why do some command greater loyalty?

Published in Suggested Books
Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard

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Author:Chip Heath
Publisher: Crown Business
Released: February 2010
Type: Hardcover
Pages: 320
ISBN:978-0201835953

Projects drive change and you need to get people to switch to that change to make your project successful. Switch is a great book on how to help make that happen.

Why is it so hard to make lasting changes in our companies, in our communities, and in our own lives?

Published in Suggested Books

Too often, project managers and their stakeholders lack the visibility into how their project's fit into the business' grand vision. Think how wonderfully your business would run if everyone from the C-suite to the feet on the street understood how to maintain focus executing business strategies.

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Balanced Scorecard for Project Managers helps your project managers and their stakeholders:

  1. Understand what is valuable for your organization.
  2. Reduce miscommunication.
  3. Focus their energies and your resources.

Organizations the world over use balanced scorecard to define their strategic goals. However, balanced scorecard only works if its information is disseminated throughout the organization. This workshop helps PMO managers, executive sponsors, project managers, and their project teams understand why and how a strategy is defined, the use of activity and strategy maps, and how they apply to the organization's projects.

Published in College Classes
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Projects are never a success when they are delivered—their product must be adopted to declare success. Whether you are delivering a process for HR, creating new model of cell phone for your customers, or implementing a new ERP system for your company, if they do not see value in the output of your project, it is a failure. Most project teams, however, are focused on maintaining scope, schedule, and budget, they are far removed from the end-user, and they have little concept on how to persuade someone to use what they are developing. The fact of the matter is, though, that if they are the first people involved in the making a tangible product that their customers can use, adapt, and enhance to create value.

Organization Change Management for Project Teams helps your project manager, their teams, and their stakeholders:

Published in College Classes
Sunday, 17 April 2011 00:00

Management Versus Innovation

Innovation Thought Bubble

Months ago, maybe over a year, now, I was blasted for talking about innovation in the context of information technology (IT) projects. The gist of the complaint was that all IT folks think they are building some new groundbreaking, revolutionary application that requires the latest in technology's tools. I agreed with his argument, qualifying that although this seems to be a pervasive theme, IT is a discipline that needs to keep one-foot in the pioneering frontier. Regardless, I had to concede that many innovative initiatives are more about a technician playing with some new toy. Jobs like implementing ERP interfaces to manufacturing execution systems (MES) only sound new. Unfortunately, I must say, "been there done that." Most IT is neither new of innovative. To avoid squandering funds, executives must understand and direct what needs to be innovative and permeate the company's culture with that knowledge. Otherwise, the wasted time and expense will suck a company dry.

Published in Strategy
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"Project management is easy. We have been managing people for hundreds of years. Just take any manager, give them a project, and tell them to get it done." Experienced project managers will accurately predict the end of this story—there is a disproportionate chance this project will fail. Rather than "manager" being the key noun, a leader is required to deliver project value on time and within budget. To distinguish the project manager further—functional managers need only manage subordinates, while successful project managers lead extended project teams. This fundamental difference drastically increases the project manager's scope of the responsibility, since the project team includes an entire flock of stakeholders.

Published in Strategy

The other day, while playing with my nine-month old Granddaughter, I counted the number of times she tried to do something and failed. If I had that much trouble, I would give up. Then I reflected on how many successes she has ever hour. Day by day, she changes—in a marked way. Making new sounds, crawling, climbing, signing, putting toys together, they are all big steps. She repeatedly tries until she gets it right, resulting in more successes in a day than I have in a week... maybe a month, even though she fails at more things in an hour than I do in a year. Maybe, if I were to increase my number of failures, successes would skyrocket.

Published in Strategy
Sunday, 09 January 2011 00:00

Tomorrow's Project Manager

With the coming of 2011, it is time to reflect on our past and contemplate the future. We think about our families, our friends, our successes and failures; we think about our jobs, our professions, and the world of possibilities. We must reaffirm our ship's direction, stay the course, make corrections, or find a new destination. As project managers, we must look at the recent changes in the discipline and translate those into a plan for our professional development—a plan that meets our needs and the needs of the discipline.

Published in Strategy

Conflict resolution is a major part of recovering red projects. The solutions range from firing the bastards to analyzing where the sources of conflicts are and determining a more friendly way to resolve them. I have to admit, when stepping into a project where the estimate at completion is a couple million dollars over the budget, everyone is pointing fingers, and the customer is screaming the supplier is in default, replacing people is sometimes the best option. So much so, my kids occasionally refer to me as 'hatch.'

Published in Strategy
Sunday, 15 November 2009 00:00

Project Failure Bunk

Are project success rates getting better or worse? What is the cost? What are the controlling factors? How does someone calculate these numbers? The answers are elusive. Lately, Roger Sessions has taken exception to one source—The Standish Group. He has many valid points. However, I doubt there are any statistics giving us a complete picture.

This twitter banter prompted me to dust off some old reports, dig through my library and search my online files to pull some meaningful data together. I was wondering about the headline sentence of this year's Standish Chaos Report, which contains "[2008's] results show a decrease in project success rates, with 32% of all projects succeeding." A pretty alarming statement.

Published in Strategy
Page 5 of 12

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