Corporate Culture and it Role In Project Failure

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.

Sunday, 05 September 2010 00:00

Why We Are Always Late

schedule with Identified Padding

Why is it that tasks always seem to be late? No matter how much time we allot, there never seems to be enough to complete a task on time. There is one overreaching reason pervasive throughout the enterprise—poor time management. To accommodate the continual barrage of supposedly urgent tasks, we heavily pad estimates. Excessive padding triggers numerous negative work patterns. The extra time and over confidence in estimates allows people to accept other unrelated tasks, introduce low priority features, and strive for perfection. It is unfair, however, to saddle the individual with the entire problem; the work-place culture reinforces and rewards the behavior.

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.

Monday, 07 September 2009 00:00

Project Inception or Birth?

The term 'Inception Phase' is often used to signify a project's beginning. Isn’t it really the birth? There are many similarities between a project's lifecycle and this familial analogy.

Inception happens much earlier with a glass of wine, maybe two. That first thought, “Hey, wouldn’t it be neat if we had a…” Complete the sentence to fit the situation. It is at this point that the ball gets rolling, so to speak, and someone decides to invest some time to explore the possibility of making something happen. The originator courts the business manager, selling the concept of the idea, until there is approval to move forward. Voilà! It is conceived. Someone commits to carry and nurture the project, allowing it to incubate and mature into a viable form that can properly benefit the organization as a final product. After the proper gestation, the project is born and has a team assigned. This is the transition that many methodologies errantly label inception.

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.

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.

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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.

Thursday, 24 September 2015 12:16

Your CRM Implementation Is Going To Fail

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) implementations fail at an alarming rate. For the last fourteen years, numerous independent parties have come up with the same dismal statistics. In fact, your implementation probably will not meet your goals either. The graphic above does not bode well for anyone heading out on that journey. To be sure, configuring the software is significantly more difficult that it appears at first glance. As much as one wants to blame Salesforce, Microsoft, or some other software vendor, though, the trouble lies much closer to home.

For the astute onlookers it is easy to tell when the implementation is going the awry. It is the argument over who is going to drive the project—IT or Sales and Marketing. Unfortunately, these are the wrong people to have in the discussion.

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.

Sunday, 27 December 2015 17:26

Kill The White Knight

There is a reason we hesitate to teach classes on fixing failing projects. Many a cynic feels that we simply do not want to teach our trade, however, our reason is far nobler—we should be teaching prevention rather trying to create white knights to save the day. It is the same philosophy as building a fence at the cliff's edge rather than an emergency room at its base. Our language is replete with idioms telling us to look past the symptoms and address problems at their root cause. 'An ounce of prevention versus a pound of cure' or 'a stitch in time saves nine.' Please, feel free to supply your own in the comments. Unfortunately, most of our businesses loathe this philosophy, waiting to address an issue until it is irrefutably broken.

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Filling Execution Gaps

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