What does it take to facilitate a successful project launch? Let’s look at two scenarios, one that results in potential failure and one destined for success. The Wonder Wheels Company assigned Tom Dooley to manage a high-profile project, a project critical to the achievement of the company’s annual goals. Jane Johnson, a senior leader and the project sponsor, called Tom to her office, handed him a few memos, and described the project deliverables. Coldly staring ...
Steven Covey said, “The cause of almost all relationship difficulties is rooted in conflicting and ambiguous expectations around roles and g6oals.” Do you know the difference between a business analyst (BA) and a project manager (PM)? Clarifying these roles can greatly enhance your chance for project success. What Is a Business Analyst? The business analyst works with stakeholders to understand the structure, policies, processes, and operations of an organization. Ideally, business analysts have strong business ...
What are you doing to become a better project manager? The Project Management Institute (PMI) says that the ideal skill set of a project manager is a combination of technical, leadership, and strategic and business management expertise. The days where a project manager provided mostly technical skills are long gone. Yes, project managers still need to develop project schedules, manage risks, calculate reserves, and manage requirements. But the best project managers also know how to ...
Author William Gaddis once said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” The best project managers understand project management and know how to keep things simple. Some project managers are guilty of using complex risk management processes and lingo that few people understand. Team members finds themselves lost. They may be thinking, “What planet is this guy from? Sheesh!!” Risk management does not have to be complicated. Really. Allow me to share seven simple ways to manage ...
Susan recently discovered that a key team member has taken another job and will be leaving the company in three to four weeks. Bob continues to have problems with a third-party developer on his team and has decided to replace the developer. Jane’s top tester, Sam, had an accident over the weekend; Jane needs to quickly replace Sam to meet her tight deadlines. How well project managers handle these transitions can mean the difference between ...
The CHAOS Reports have been published every year since 1994 and are a snapshot of the state of the software development industry. The Standish Group 2015 Chaos Report studied 50,000 projects around the world, ranging from small enhancements to massive systems implementations. It revealed that 29% of the projects were successful, 52% were challenged, and 19% failed. Successful projects were defined as projects that were completed on time, on budget, with a satisfactory result. If ...
Many project managers feel overwhelmed with emails, phone calls, and meetings. They often work overtime, but few feel as though they are making progress. Although we are all given the same amount of time each day, some project managers are able to produce greater value for their organizations. Some are more engaged. Imagine yourself as a more productive project manager, one with greater capacity and energy to complete each day’s tasks. Let’s look at common ...
Tom replaced Bill as a developer at the midpoint of a software development project for an insurance company. Sheila, the project manager, had her hands full with multiple projects and hoped that Bill had provided Tom with the necessary information to hit the ground running. At Tom’s first project meeting, he was rubbing the back of his neck, twisting his watch, and bouncing a foot. Tom asked a few shallow questions that indicated that he ...
Imagine that you are at the 15% completion point of your project, a project that is essential to your organization’s strategic vision. Your project is significantly behind schedule and over-budget. You are not likely to dig yourself out of this hole. “No project recovers from a variance at the 15% completion point. If you underestimated in the near, you are generally off on the long term too.” –Gregory M. Horine You had the best intentions ...
Once upon a time, I sat in the office of a CEO as he described ten years of late and grossly over-budget Information Technology projects. He was more frustrated than a New York Mets fan losing another New York Yankees game. He asked why IT continued to promise the moon, but could not get off the launching pad. As I interviewed stakeholders within the organization, I quickly discovered a primary cause of the underperforming project ...