July 28, 2014

Understanding questions

question marks
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I came across this post from the Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning at Harvard University detailing the different categories of questions:. While intended to be questions asked of students in a classroom, these exact same questions are the sort of things that ought to be asked in the workplace when attempting to promote continuous improvement. This list of questions serves as a useful study guide for anyone looking to conduct a root cause analysis or initiate a process change. [Read more]

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Why your PMP prep doesn’t feel like reality (and why it shouldn’t)

A Break in Reality
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I feel lucky to have the benefit of my time spent trying to understand the Lean paradigm because it is offering so much insight into what the PMI framework is trying to do. It is establishing a standard. It is offering a methodology for managing projects against which all other management styles, and outcomes, can be measured. In a way, it depicts the ideal – if all projects, everywhere, operated in the way the PMI describes, then all projects would deliver on time, within budget, and with inputs from all stakeholders at every level of the organization – including customers.

Is that reality? No. Of course not. [Read more]

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What to do when you don’t know the way to go

plot a course for home
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My 3-year-old is following in his 7-year-old brother’s footsteps and taking an intense interest in Nickelodeon’s Dora the Explorer. After a couple years of not having to listen to the theme song ad nauseum, we’re back into the thick of things.

For those who are not familiar with the show, Dora frequently goes on adventures and isn’t certain which way to go. In those situation, she calls upon her trusty map, which shows her the way.

If only we were all so well prepared. [Read more]

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Project Management & Measurement gamed

Measurement
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Project management tends to be all about outcome metrics. Tracking costs vs. plan, Earned Value, Cost and Schedule Performance Indices, consumed slack – all are about what happened. Granted, there’s an effort inherent to those practices that says the future can be predicted by understanding the past, however, that approach also seems to indicate that errors are acceptable. Especially if we read a bunch of charts and graphs and variance analyses to tell us that we had a problem some number of days, or weeks, ago.

Somehow, that doesn’t seem good enough. [Read more]

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LinkedIn Q&A: Few answers for Gemba in the Virtual Workplace.

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Last week’s question on LinkedIn followed up on a post I wrote here a few weeks back, asking for insight on how to go to Gemba when Gemba is anywhere:

It is clear that the popularity of virtual work locations and concepts such as ROWE are increasing. Going to Gemba is critical for Operational Excellence, however. How would you go to Gemba if the Gemba is anywhere and everywhere? [Read more]

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