ITMPI FLAT 001
Main Menu
Home / Authors / Blogging Alliance

Blogging Alliance

There’s More to a System Design Than Requirements

A few years ago, I was asked to assist on a project where the client was replacing a highly-customized legacy system. As part of the discovery process, we were looking at the integrations to the other systems—internal, third-party administrators, and so on—currently in place. One integration in particular seemed unnecessarily convoluted; it received a file from one system, validated all of the data, and generated workflows to various roles in the event a particular transaction …

Read More »

The What, Why, and When of Evaluating Project Risks

Every project is a journey of uncertainty. How can we complete the challenges of each journey successfully? By identifying, evaluating, and responding to our project risks consistently. Let’s focus on the what, why, and when of evaluating project risks. What is the best way to evaluate risks? There are many ways to evaluate risks. Each has its place. In general, project managers perform qualitative and quantitative risk analysis. What’s the difference? Qualitative risk analysis is …

Read More »

Balance Incident and Change (or Prepare for a Thursday Beatdown)

Recently, as part of a professional networking organization, I was tasked with scheduling a session for like-minded colleagues. The challenge, I soon found, was that while most people were good with Thursday, one service desk manager was adamant that he couldn’t make it. When I asked why, he said they are almost always overloaded with incidents on Thursday, so the likelihood of making it was next to nil. Intrigued by his ability to see into …

Read More »

The Three ‘Ins’ That Are Putting Our Projects behind Schedule

It was the short week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, and I had time to think while stuck in traffic between Seattle and Portland. Somewhere around Centralia, (Yes, that’s really what it’s called, and it really is about halfway.) it occurred to me that I’ve been seeing some common themes lately. Call them the three “ins”: indecision, inactivity, and indifference. Each takes a toll on one or more tasks, adding delays and uncertainty, forcing …

Read More »

How to Be More Forward-Thinking in Your Project Decisions

Projects involve a constant stream of decisions. Some decisions are quick and easy. Others are difficult, take lots of time, and have significant impact. Let’s look at three decision models that can help you be more forward-thinking in your project decisions. Few project managers think deeply enough about how their project decisions will be made. Using the wrong decision models results in weak decisions that often change later, in turn resulting in adverse impacts to …

Read More »

Problem Management Is Like Watering Plants

I can remember the first place I lived in on my own without roommates. A friend dropped off a potted palm tree as a housewarming gift. They said, “It will make your place look better, more lived in.” I shrugged and placed it in a spot where it would get loads of light. In the first few months I took good care of the plant, watering it and providing regular doses of fertilizer and so …

Read More »

Managing Globally Distributed Project Teams

I started managing projects that included team members or customers outside the US in the mid-‘90s. In the beginning, it was one other country. Then two, and so on. These days, working with globally distributed project teams is my norm. A typical project will include people spread across five to 30 countries, three to five continents, and from three to seven time zones. As you would expect, it’s very different from managing a few folks …

Read More »

Feedback Loop: If They Don’t Think You Care, They Won’t Care Either

We have all been there before at some point or another: In an effort to understand the business, we solicit information from them in a “how are we doing” button or survey. The trouble that may present itself is that, while we are working to improve things from a delivery perspective, we may not have fully built out a strategy to manage the lifecycle of the feedback. Here are a few points to consider, but …

Read More »

Practical Advice for Project Managers

I’ve been managing projects for about 30 years or so, far longer than I’ve been writing about it. Along the way, I’ve collected a few useful thoughts that never made it into an article or blog post or book. At first, I was just jotting notes on paper. Then I took to creating short text files, saved to a folder. The last few years, I’ve been using OneNote to capture those fleeting thoughts. Here are …

Read More »

Our Favorite Method to Watch Our Projects Fail

All want to succeed The reality of projects is that some projects do fail. That is unfortunate. Of course, projects can fail for multiple reasons. Each project is unique and has its own context. Whole books can be written on the topic. It is an interesting topic. Failures can be the best mentor in life. Organizations do sincerely want to complete their projects successfully. After all, they are the one approving these projects. They invest …

Read More »