Why would anyone need to teach a group of managers how to tie their shoes? It seems improbable anyone could make it to this point in his or her career lacking this simple skill. However, I feel quite confident that a vast majority of project managers, managers, leaders, and probably you, are improperly lashing your laces. This prognostication will go one step further stating that even after proving a better method, they, and you, will be unwilling to put forth the effort to change. Adopting change, beyond just tying your shoes, is at the root of our inability to improve many of our business processes. Furthermore, studying this behavior and the subsequent difficulty of maintaining a new and better method will help us understand the high recidivism rate.
"We can fix this project ourselves." I hear that line all the time. And, of course, you can. It will just be a lot slower and more expensive because consultants cheat. Consultants simply have much more flexibility than employees do. At least consultants that put the client first. For instance, they can... Wait, I am getting a little ahead of myself. We need a little context before making that case. Obviously, consultants cannot do everything. It takes a delicate balance of consultants, employees, and contractors to get the optimal performance out of an organization.
The other day, someone said, once again, that an issue we were discussing was like pushing string. She said it with the sigh of resignation in her voice. I understand the metaphor, but the people saying it are stuck looking at the problem wrong. Immediately, two solutions to their dilemma come to mind. First, add a little water, freeze the string. Voilà! Push that string wherever your little heart desires. If that is too hard, then roll it into a ball or put it on a spindle. Now, we can push, roll, carry, and even throw it. The problem is the predisposition to the inevitability of the issue—there is no reason to look for a solution because it is out of our control. Worse than that, we are so defeated that we rarely ask the question "Why are we trying to push that string?"
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Hear what people are saying about the
Rescue the Problem Project Internationally Acclaimed Bestseller
Rescue the Problem Project by Todd C. Williams. A must-read book for your business, school, or in private life.
"Todd Williams' book 'Rescue the Problem Project: A Complete Guide to Identifying, Preventing, and Recovering from Project Failure' is a welcome and much-needed aid to help rescue and re-align struggling and failing projects. It is a very valuable resource for anyone working in project management. Regardless of whether or not the own project is on its way to glory or doom...."
"After reading Todd Williams book it couldn't be clearer - to recover a failing project strong teams are required. People are projects and Williams shows this time and again as he provides real-life examples of problems and how-to resolve them..."
I sent a note to professional organization's program director the other day asking if their group would be interested in hearing about methods to increase project success. The organization was for a technical group that worked with data transformation—a skill set used in every IT project I have ever been on. The reply came in a prompt, succinct, and sarcastic reply:
"We [sic] you please tell me just how this would ever relate to the members of our group. You obviously do not understand that we are not responsible for running the project."
This week's episode of The Project Management Podcast:
I am once again joined by Todd Williams, author of the book Rescue the Problem Project: A Complete Guide to Identifying, Preventing, and Recovering from Project Failure.
In our last interview Todd gave us an overview over the process, tools & techniques he recommends for rescuing problem projects. As our next step, we want to hear from Todd how he ensures that projects don’t get into trouble in the first place.
Commitment Now: Todd C. Williams, author of Rescue the Problem Project discusses how to turnaround and rescue failing projects.
Are you in the midst of a project at work that is driving you crazy and seems never-ending? Learn how to put your project back on track--even when budgets are dwindling, deadlines are missed and tempers are flaring.
Turnaround specialist Todd Williams has worked with many companies rescuing failing projects. In his new book, Rescue the Problem Project: A Complete Guide to Identifying, Preventing, and Recovering from Project Failure he reveals an in-depth, start-to-finish process that will enable you to finish the project successfully. In this interview, he discusses the biggest mistakes made when starting large projects, and how to complete a project on schedule that meets project specifications.
Read the full interview here.
Ask the Experts: Cost audits with Todd Williams
by - Elizabeth Harrin
Today I’m interviewing Todd Williams, author of the popular book, Rescue the Problem Project. In the book, Todd talks about cost audits. Even if your project doesn’t need rescuing, cost audits are a useful technique to use, so I talked to Todd to find out more.
Read the interview here.
This week's episode of The Project Management Podcast:
When project budgets are dwindling, deadlines passing, and tempers flaring, then the usual response is to browbeat the project team and point fingers of blame - usually toward the project manager. That’s not really all that helpful. For these situations, what is needed is an objective process for accurately assessing what is wrong and a clear plan of action for fixing the problem.
Enter Todd Williams, PMP who wrote the book Rescue the Problem Project: A Complete Guide to Identifying, Preventing, and Recovering from Project Failure. Todd and I sat down at the PMI Global Congress last year and in this interview we discuss approaches to project rescue.
Samad Aidane interviews Todd Williams about how to identify, prevent, and recover from project failure. Todd shares the big ideas from his latest book “Rescue the Problem Project” and provides an overview of his practical, battle tested and proven methodology for identifying, preventing, and recovering from project failure.
The interview was recorded on-location at Anthony's Famous Seattle Seafood Restaurant apologies for any background noise.