July 24, 2014

Know what you’re measuring

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TweetI have to confess that I have never before read Eli Goldratt’s The Goal.  It was on the list of books I wanted to read once I’d finished my MBA and, now that I’ve got the degree, I’m tending to my long-ignored reading list. While Lean enthusiasts will be highly familiar with Goldratt’s work that [...]

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Change your premise

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TweetI am frequently reminded of some old Star Trek: The Next Generation episode whenever I hear or see someone who is failing, over and over again. The episode dealth with Commander Data, the cybernetic organism that worked so dilgently to understand human life.  He was pitted against some grand master in a game that looked [...]

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Chart(er)ing the plan for improvement

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TweetSomething I have to wonder about the high rate of failure of most process improvement projects – is how many of them are executed according to solid project management principles?  All too often, there are tales of failure describing a lack of senior management buy-in, however, that begs the question – if you didn’t have [...]

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Mission and Vision = Purpose and Pride

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TweetHad an opportunity to help someone craft a Mission and Vision statement for a new product line recently.  It was an interesting experience, and gave me a chance to demonstrate how focusing on the intangible, humanistic side of things is so much more than just pie-in-the-sky “fluff.” While struggling with the concept, he was doing [...]

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it’s the computer that kills

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TweetA frequent frustration I have surfaces whenever I encounter project teams whose first instinct is to crack open a spreadsheet/database/management app/anything else that resides on a laptop when they begin to plan out their work.  Very often, that instinct rests on a lack of genuine understanding of how to plan activities and an utter reliance [...]

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Meeting management = being considerate

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The more experience I get with working on project teams, the more frustrated I get with the way most of those teams go about their work. I think we’ve all had enough of meetings that never start on time, long conversations that involve only one-third of the people in attendance, and the need to call another meeting since this meeting didn’t get anything accomplished.

Project overrun, and/or become a hurried pile of chaotic activities, all squished together in hopes of meeting some arbitrary deadline. So, here’s a few simple things I think project managers can do to make sure their teams, and their deliverables, are a little bit better off: [Read more]

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Thank you, David Maister

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Today’s post is a bit of an homage to David Maister. Specifically, to a single quote of his that I came across some time last year, when a person-I-can-no-longer-recall tweeted it, and it has been on my mind ever since.

“I did tolerable work for tolerable people because the paid me.” [Read more]

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Problems, solutions, GPS and Owls

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TweetOne of my least favorite experiences occurs every time an organizatioanl outsider hears of a problem, and immediately insists that he/she knows the answer to the problem people within the organization have struggled with for years. Yes, I am aware that a fresh perspective is often the key to “un-sticking” a stagnant group, however, that’s [...]

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S.M.A.R.T.? No! SMART-Y PANTS!

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TweetWe’ve all been exposed to SMART objectives, usually in the context of the dreaded and much-maligned annual performance review.  The SMART concept applies to any goal-setting situation, though, such as project planning, business planning, personal productivity, etc.  They all employ this simple approach to deciphering what appear to be large, complex problems and breaking them [...]

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Big Problems, Big Decisions, Big Country

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That’s right – some times, you just have to remember that when every hope is gone it’s simply time to move on. If you know you can’t crack management’s obtuse perception, if there’s no room for you on the next rung of the corporate ladder, if your best friend takes advantage of your generosity – whatever it is…..you either grab yourself a Star Wars episode IV-style New Hope, or you just put the right foot in front of the left, and repeat. [Read more]

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