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Project Management Blog
green_leafThe influence of green and the focus on the environment continues to expand globally. One sign of this is the number of organizations who have become certified in environmental standards (the International Organization for Standardization’s ISO 14000 family of standards). This number continues to increase and companies have been requesting the same of their supply chain partners.
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Monday, 10 December 2007 05:09

Should Project Managers Retire?

The question is: "Should Project Managers Retire and, if so, what is the place for our project management elders amongst the project management community?" Having reached that age when one begins to think of leaving a "legacy", I was persuaded to attend a "Philosopher's Café". This assembly was arranged by our local university to discuss the subject of "The Place of Elders in an Ever-evolving Society". In his introduction, the facilitator observed that "In traditional societies the elders were respected for their knowledge and wisdom."
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 We have all been on projects where an understanding different stakeholder groups becomes a ‘touchy-feely’ process.  You have a gut feel for their tolerance for change, commitment, ability to influence and what they view as important.  Most of the time we are wrong but if we had some real data for these areas, then we could establish effective communications and begin to understand what challenges faced us during our project time line.

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Thursday, 05 July 2007 19:05

Point 8 - Deming in Project Management

Drive out Fear and Create Trust

Fear encourages short-term thinking. One of Deming’s classic stories was about a foreman who didn’t stop production to repair a worn-out piece of equipment, because he feared that stopping production would mean missing his daily quota. Instead, he let production continue. When the machine failed, it forced the line to shut down for 4 days.

 

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The superhero gene inherent in project managers can mutate and become something ugly. Such is the case with Ms. Bellows. Instead of discussing, she yells. People leave her office in tears. Behind her back people call her Yelly Kelly.

The problem is that she is successful. People jump when she says to and projects get done on time. This makes upper management happy and she is rewarded, reinforcing the original problem. Eventually no one willingly works with her and some of the best resources leave the department, company or even country.

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Adopt a Philosophy of Cooperation Where Everyone Wins and Teach it to Everyone

Often, projects can become battlegrounds where the project manager and team are at odds with the sponsor and other stakeholders. These conflicts can arise when the project environment is not conducive to a win-win approach.

In project planning and initiation, clearly define the WIIFM (What’s in it for me) for everyone on the project.

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Saturday, 28 April 2007 09:08

Cargo Cult Project Management

During World War II, the Allied forces occupied many of the Pacific islands.  Up until that point, the inhabitants of these islands had never seen manufactured goods.  With the military occupation, goods such as sunglasses, chocolate and coca-cola literally fell from the sky.  To islanders unfamiliar with manufacturing or powered flight this bounty was a delivery from the gods. 
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Sunday, 18 March 2007 04:16

So, what about knowledge

From an epistemological perspective, a dictionary definition is "knowledge or science, the branch of philosophy that is directed toward theories of the sources, nature, and limits of knowledge.

In today's world, knowledge is the asset many organizations started to recognize as being the most important aspect for creating a competitive edge in a highly volatile business environment.

Refraining from buzz words and terminology often used by management and research, knowledge is the accumulation of thoughts and skills that give a person or an organization its ability to survive, compete and prosper in the this changing and challenging world.

Work by many researchers like Nonaka in his book 'The Knowledge Creating Company' and many other researchers worldwide, has given a new dimension for knowledge management in organizations.

The research went into the details of human interaction which generates and promotes the dessimination of knowledge. Unlike manothers who advocate an Information Technology infracstructure as being the fundamental core of a knowledge system, Nonaka thinks that it more a human issue and culture than mere computers and databases.

 

 

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Thursday, 25 January 2007 21:34

Acquiring the Project Team

Recruiting Team Members - The project manager has to follow the rules of the host organization. The PM must be aware of, and work well with, the levels of authority. If the PM is working within a Functional matrix, then he must be prepared to allow the employee’s functional manager to determine things like availability and the PM must provide feedback to the functional manager regarding performance. The PM has little authority to perform these tasks.

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Thursday, 25 January 2007 15:15

Stakeholder Management

You should recognize the importance of involving stakeholders in the development of the project plan. It is the responsibility of the project manager and the project team to create an environment in which all stakeholders can contribute as appropriate, but recognize that who contributes and the level of the contribution will vary by stakeholder. There are usually a number of people who are either directly involved in a project or who have a stake in its outcome. These people are called stakeholders. The key stakeholders in most projects are:

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