Education is the First Step in Reducing Project Failure

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, 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, 18 October 2009 00:00

Four Easy Steps to Recovery

Recovery Flow The four steps to bring a project back from red. They are:

  1. Project Audit;
  2. Data Analysis;
  3. Solution Negotiation;
  4. Plan Execution.

Like any recovery, be it twelve-step or four-step, it goes nowhere without realization of the problem. Step zero is acknowledging the failure. Without this step, the problems and subsequent resolutions will not have full recognition and the project recovery will fail due to the lack of management support. With realization, the recovery process has meaning.

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
Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In

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Author:Roger Fisher, William L. Ury
Publisher: Penguin Books
Released: May 2011
Type: Softcover
Pages: 240
ISBN:978-0201835953

One of the primary tasks of a project manager is to negotiate—negotiate scope, negotiate for resources, negotiate for money, negotiate end dates, etc.—there is almost nothing that a project manager has as a give. Even in your personal life, negotiation skills are essential for dealing with everything from your kids' bedtime, to the price of your next car. Understanding the art and science of negotiation is critical. This book, especially in conjunction with one of our classes, is a great way to get you down the road to improving you negotiation skills. Don't be fooled though, negotiation takes practice.

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
Primal Teams: Harnessing the Power of Emotions to Fuel Extraordinary Performance

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Author:Jackie Barretta
Publisher: AMACOM
Released: October 2014
Type: Hardcover
Pages: 240
ISBN:978-0201835953

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

Teams are the center piece of any project. Without a team you will most likely fail at meeting any criteria for a successful project. Jackie, a personal friend of mine, has written a great book that will open your mind on a different approach to teams.

Published in Suggested Books
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Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

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Author:Daniel H. Pink
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Released: April 2011
Type: Softcover
Pages: 288
ISBN:978-0201835953

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

Drive is a must read for anyone that has to motivate people to do anything. As a project manager, part of your job is inspiring people to work on or support your project. You would be foolish not to read this book and follow its advice.

Most people believe that the best way to motivate is with rewards like money —the carrot-and-stick approach. That's a mistake, says Daniel H. Pink (author of To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Motivating Others). In this provocative and persuasive new book, he asserts that the secret to high performance and satisfaction-at work, at school, and at home —is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and our world.

Published in Suggested Books
Effective Complex Project Management: An Adaptive Agile Framework for Delivering Business Value

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Author:Robert K. Wysocki
Publisher: J. Ross Publishing
Released: September 2014
Type: Hardcover
Pages: 328
ISBN:978-0201835953

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

If you are stepping up to manage complex projects this is a great text. It is wonderful as a standalone read, as a college text, or a desk reference.

Developed, refined, and validated by over 20 years of client experiences, Effective Complex Project Management offers a proven solution to managing any project that must succeed in the face of organizational complexity and market uncertainty. When applied and managed correctly, this intuitive framework and robust methodology will deliver the desired business value of programs and projects without fail!

KEY FEATURES

Published in Suggested Books
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