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How to Identify Risks with a SWOT Analysis

Project managers can use several tools to identify project risks, including interviews, brainstorming, checklists, assumption analysis, cause-and-effect diagrams, the nominal group technique, and affinity diagrams. One of my favorite techniques is the SWOT analysis, where you and your team can identify and prioritize strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Once you’ve completed the SWOT analysis, you will have identified opportunities (positive risks) and threats (negative risks), inputs for your risk register. The information can help you …

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The Dark Side of Resilience

We always want to celebrate people who bounce back from hardships. Resilience is a quality people never get scolded for having. But sometimes—maybe they should? In an article for Harvard Business Review, Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic and Derek Lusk discuss how excessive resilience can actually be a detriment to business. Self-Assured of Nothing One way resilience can work against you is when it comes to unrealistic goals. An overly resilient person might work toward an overly ambitious …

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How to Bridge IT’s Growing Generation Gap

Millennials could account for more than half of the workforce by 2020, so IT must change to accommodate the needs and expectations of this generation. But the place also has to stay livable for Generation X and Baby Boomers. How do you manage all that? In an article for CIO magazine, Minda Zetlin draws upon the insights of various experts on how IT can bridge the generation gap. Managing Skills and Attitudes With “go digital” …

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How to Mitigate Project Risks without Stifling Innovation

Unless you have Dr. Strange’s time reversal magic, it is impossible to innovate without incurring risk. This means that risk management—perhaps enterprise risk management—should factor into all innovative pursuits. Risk management is required not just to mitigate the damage of mistakes but also to maximize value opportunities. In has in fact been shown that “Enterprise value that can be lost through an ill-conceived move can exceed the operational costs of the mistake many times over.” …

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Can Reverse Mentoring Work in IT?

Everyone is familiar with the joke where a parent or grandparent is baffled by a new piece of technology, only to have a child solve the problem with the press of a button. It’s a nice reversal of traditional roles when it comes to technological competency, but this extends much further than a few laughs. In an article for the Enterprisers Project, Kevin Casey explains how “reverse mentoring” may be something IT will implement moving …

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How to Develop Your Managers into Leaders

There seems to be an odd stigma when it comes to being called a manager as opposed to a leader. The truth is both skill sets have their place. It takes time and effort to help mold an individual into someone who is at the front of the charge. In a post at his website, Art Petty explains how we can focus on developing managers as solid leaders from the very beginning. Leadership Development The …

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Beware a Meager ROI on Automation

Homer Simpson ran for Sanitation Commissioner on a platform of, “Can’t someone else do it?” and he won. People love not having to do stuff. But automation is not always as instantly sound in practice as in theory. In an article for InformationWeek, Mark Dickson outlines why the return on investment (ROI) on automation will be underwhelming if you are not careful. History Is the Best Teacher Dickson uses an unusual but powerful example to …

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Untangling Your Organization’s Decision-Making

Armed with extensive analytics, and being mindful of the many biases that affect our perceptions, business leaders should be better equipped to make decisions than ever. However, business complexity has also increased such that decision-making accountability has become too messily dispersed. The final result is a tangle. In an article for McKinsey, Aaron De Smet, Gerald Lackey, and Leigh M. Weiss comprehensively address how to clean up decision-making processes in your business. Piercing the Impenetrable …

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Project Governance Sounds Important—But What Does It Actually Look Like?

Governance is a buzzword that naturally sounds like something pretty relevant, maybe because it reminds us of government or of the verb to govern. However, many people would find it difficult to explain what governance is in practical terms. On an organisational level, most of us may see governance as a board of directors making difficult and strategic decisions aiming to make the business successful. That is not wrong, but governance also involves processes and …

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What Problem Does ITIL Solve?

IT needs speed, speed, speed. ITIL is associated with structure, structure, structure. But to think that ITIL plays no part in modern ITSM would be a grave mistake. In a post for ITSM.tools, Dan McCarthy offers a brighter, alternative perspective to gloomy ITIL outlooks. Solutions Abound In some organizations, ITIL has practically become a curse word, somehow becoming a comprehensive sponge for all of IT’s problems. And criticisms are swift. For instance, McCarthy finds ITIL …

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How to Engage Stakeholders through an Internal Blog

You deal with stakeholders on a daily basis through a variety of means. Have you ever tried blogging at them though? The idea actually holds a lot of merit. In a post at the Project Risk Coach, Harry Hall discusses how you can set up a useful internal blog that engages stakeholders. For the Self-Centered Projects Hall has used internal blogs as a mode of “pull communication” with stakeholders when implementing enterprise programs such as …

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How Change Management Fits into Projects

Project management and change management are two different dimensions, but they coexist and are always intersecting. In fact, many people are expected to play a hand in proper change management these days. In a post for A Girl’s Guide to Project Management, Elizabeth Harrin discusses the role of change management in projects today. Change Permeates All Harrin explains that change management is largely embedded into other roles and processes these days, and distributing it in …

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The Sponsor Makes or Breaks Your Project Success

Stormy times are upon us, literally, but also perhaps in the life of your project. A project sponsor is supposed to be your umbrella in the storm, in addition to the flashlight and the blinking directional signs. When the sponsor stops acting in any of those functions, you can get wet and lost real quick. In a post at Project Bliss, Leigh Espy explains the many benefits of great project sponsors—and what happens when they …

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Motivate Staff the Jack Ma Way?

No, Apple did not have the biggest conference this week. It was definitely Alibaba, whose chairman Jack Ma grooved to Michael Jackson in full costume for his employees at their annual conference. The next time you are looking to get your team excited, definitely (maybe?) draw inspiration from this performance.

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