Books and White Papers on Running Successful Projects

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Project management has been accepted in many businesses as a discipline critical for continued growth. To improve project performance, companies have levied rules on how projects should be run, defined common reporting requirements for all projects, and pooled and shared their project management resources. Even with these functions, projects still struggle to meet the needs of the customer. In order to improve project outcomes, the way in which they are managed must change. Project managers must become leaders, paying more attention to soft skills, managing their stakeholders, and identifying solutions to organizational issues that are limiting project success. The following paper discusses techniques developed by the author to address these needs and improve project success rates.

Published in White Papers
Thursday, 24 September 2015 14:58

Strategic Alignment: The Key To Project Success

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Project success rates for many companies and government organizations are dismally low, yet executives never seem to look at the big picture. They continue to make adjustments in the way projects are run by addressing isolated problems. However, projects are part of a much larger system and should be addressed in that context. To do that, companies must define how their strategic plan will use people, projects, and technology to achieve their goals. This paper discusses one approach to make this happen.

Published in White Papers

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A failing project’s fate is destined long before assigning a project manager. Its doom is sealed from the time the customer envisions the idea. Traditionally, project inception is defined as when the customer comes to a solution provider (internal or external to their organization) asking for a product or service. In actuality inception is much earlier. It starts when someone says, “Wouldn’t be neat if I could...” From that point forward the customer’s exceptions are set, changed, and reset as the process of discovery refines the concept. The customer’s ideas change from what they want to what they need, while continually constrained and formed by the realities of an ever-changing business environment. Although people cite unrealistic expectations as major problem during inception, the constant change in expectations causes the real issue—misalignment. For project managers to make a significant difference in a project’s success, they must use a new paradig.

Published in White Papers
Monday, 13 July 2015 15:13

Rescue the Problem Project

Rescue the Problem Project: A Complete Guide to Identifying, Preventing, and Recovering from Project Failure

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Author: Todd C. Williams
Publisher: AMACOM
Released: March 20, 2011
Pages: 277
Type: Hardcover
ISBN: 978-0201835953
Type: Paperback
ISBN: 978-0814439418

Amazon #1 Bestseller in Business and Technical Project Management!

Back from the brink... the first fail-safe recovery plan for turning around troubled projects and keeping the problems from reoccurring.

When budgets are dwindling, deadlines passing, and tempers flaring, the usual response is to browbeat the project team and point fingers of blame. Not 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.

In Rescue the Problem Project, Todd Williams, President of eCameron, describes how projects go wrong and what to do to fix them. It focuses first on people, then process, and finally technology. By doing this it helps you find the root cause of the failure and helps you prevent it from happening again.

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Projects build capabilities to met corporate goals. If you are a CEO, you need to make sure your employees and vendors know what those goals are and how they fit in to the plan. If you are a project manager, you need to know the bounds of you project. If you are anywhere in between, you need to understand how all the pieces fit together and keep it all aligned.

Most organizations consist of multiple business and support units, each populated by highly trained, experienced executives. But often the efforts of individual units are not coordinated, resulting in conflicts, lost opportunities, and diminished performance.

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap...And Others Don't

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Author: Jim Collins
Publisher: HarperBusiness
Released: October 2001
Type: Hardcover
Pages: 300
ISBN:978-0201835953

The Challenge:

You are running a project that is supposed to improve the organization to leap out in front of the competition, yet you have had little formal training on what that means. Project managers need lessons in how world class business runs to drive projects to make that happen.

Built to Last, Collins' first book and defining management study of the nineties, showed how great companies triumph over time and how long-term sustained performance can be engineered into the DNA of an enterprise from the very beginning.

But what about the company that is not born with great DNA? How can good companies, mediocre companies, even bad companies achieve enduring greatness?

The Study:

Alignment: Using the Balanced Scorecard to Create Corporate Synergies

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Author:Robert S. Kaplan, David P. Norton
Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
Released: April 2006
Type: Hardcover
Pages: 320
ISBN:978-0201835953

Projects build capabilities to met corporate goals. If you are a CEO, you need to make sure your employees and vendors know what those goals are and how they fit in to the plan. If you are a project manager, you need to know the bounds of you project. If you are anywhere in-between, you need to understand how all the pieces fit together and keep it all aligned.

Most organizations consist of multiple business and support units, each populated by highly trained, experienced executives. But often the efforts of individual units are not coordinated, resulting in conflicts, lost opportunities, and diminished performance.

Last week I had coffee with fellow tweep, Peter Kretzman, at the Zeitgeist Coffee in Seattle. We had a wonderful conversation and shared stories, philosophies, and impressions. In the process we stumbled upon a common literary love—The Mythical Man-Month by Frederick Brooks. I read it for the first time last summer and Peter reads every few years. We both extolled the virtues of the book and lamented at the fact that so many of the items Brooks brings up continue to plague us today.

Tuesday, 18 April 2006 15:41

Guns of August, by Barbara Tuchman

The Guns of August

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Author: Barbara Tuchman,
Publisher: Random House
Released: 1962
Type: Print (Paperback)
Pages: 551
ISBN: 034538623X

The Guns of August is a military history book describing the events of the first month of World War I. The focus of the book is to provide the history of World War I from the declaration of war through the start of the French offensive that stopped the German advance through France resulting in a stalemate for the subsequent four years. In addition, the book provides history on the plans, strategies, world events and international sentiments prior to and during the war.

Effective Opportunity Management for Projects: Exploiting Positive Risk

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Author:David Hillson
Publisher: CRC Press
Released: November 19, 2003
Type: Hardcover
Pages: 340
ISBN:978-0824748081

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

The publisher says:
Do you want to gain business benefits, achieve project objectives, and maximize opportunities? With step-by-step guidelines, this book unveils a revolutionary approach to the management of project opportunities by expanding the traditional risk management process to address opportunities alongside threats-offering valuable tools and techniques that expose and capture opportunities, minimize threats, and deal effectively with all types of uncertainty in your business and projects.

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