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Project Management Blog

 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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Sunday, 12 August 2007 20:54

Point 9 - Deming in Project Management

Break Down Departmental Barriers in Pursuit of a Common Goal

Many processes are cross-functional. The same is true of projects. {mosimage}This point is about dissolving the “us versus them” scenario that so often exists in one form or another within organizations. In most projects that I work on, there are individuals from departments such as operations, central services and other support functions, MIS, IT, Service Engineering, etc. The “us versus them” attitude comes about when project managers and project team members look at their own interests at the exclusion of others, and instead of working towards a common goal, work towards their own separate and distinct goals.

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Bas de Baar, ProjectSociology.org

Whatever your take is on projects, at the end of the day it is just a bunch of people working together to achieve a certain goal. To laugh, cry, pull pranks, play dirty tricks and show all other kinds of behavior towards each other. If you are lucky they even work to reach the final goal. If you take everything away, and put people in the center of what a “project” is, you will see a group of stakeholders interacting with each other, just like any other group of people would do. As a Project Manager it is your goal to herd the project crowd toward the required end result.

 

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Saturday, 16 June 2007 09:46

Deming's 5th Point in Project Management

Continuous Improvement

This is one of my favorite points from Dr. Deming. I see so many mistakes that are made again and again, and lessons learned that are either completely undocumented or filed away after a project, never to be seen again.

Do all of the other project managers in the firm get exposure to lessons learned from other projects? Usually not, in my experience. Surely, individual project managers and sponsors learn from their projects, but organizational learning and continuous improvement require a formal process for the documentation, analysis, and incorporation of lessons learned into a common methodology.

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Monday, 07 May 2007 08:50

Less Obvious ROI

When I was working with a system support group we had to scramble each month to determine the Return on Investment (ROI) for the system enhancements.  Changes ranged from new reports to added functionality with other odd things in between.  Needless to say, determining the ROI for adding a product color field to a report lacks a certain excitement and requires a lot of creativity.  Technically it is the responsibility of the business group to assign ROI, but it generally falls on the technical team to make it happen. 
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Tuesday, 10 April 2007 18:29

Motivational Theory in Project Management

I recently studied Frederick Hertzberg's article on his motivational theory, in the Harvard Business Review. The title is "One More Time: How Do You Motivate Employees?"

I've heard about the theory before of course, vaguely referred to as the hygiene/motivator theory and it usually managed to earn about 1 slide in a presentation flooded with motivational theories. I was excited to read the author's article and understand the theory in more depth. There is a lot of value in it for project managers, and I'd like to share some of my notes and thoughts.
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Thursday, 22 March 2007 17:35

The Accidental Project Manager

This article is intended for a particular kind of project management (PM) newbie...someone I call the "accidental project manager." Are you an accidental project manager? Here are some tell-tale signs:

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Thursday, 25 January 2007 21:37

Conflict Management

Whether conflict has a net positive or negative effect on a project and its parent organization depends on how the project manager handles it. PMI® recognizes five methods for dealing with conflict:

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