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Project Portfolio Management

3 Steps for IT to Learn to Talk Business

The easiest way to capture someone’s attention is to offer them something exciting. However, what a system admin finds exciting might be different than what excites an executive. IT needs to recognize that nuance. In an article for Smarter with Gartner, Chris Pemberton gives three steps for how IT can learn to talk business. All the Right Words Pemberton says to focus on the business’s wants and desires first so you can tailor your response …

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Overcoming Firefighting Mode in Your Organization

Research has documented the value of project management at various levels and in a variety of organizations. In the research study Researching the Value of Project Management by Janice Thomas, Ph.D. and Mark Mullaly, PMP, the researchers found that in both public and private organizations there were measurable improvements in productivity and business outcomes. Well-executed project management, which fits within the culture of the organization, creates repeatable processes that can lead to sustainable innovation through ever-improving efficiency. …

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How You Can Improve Business Support

While on a support call recently, I had the misfortune of suffering through long hold times, dreary music, and being transferred from person to person with no end in sight. While I waited I had plenty of time to think about what could be done better not just for this experience, but also from my own perspective to improve interactions with my own business. Listen More, Speak Less First, start by listening to your business—really …

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Using the Hierarchy of Purpose to Prioritize Your Company’s Projects

Every business makes an effort to track and prioritize projects, but too many of those efforts are hollow. For instance, implementing a project management tool to track projects and compare benefits will do no good if nobody can be convinced to use it. It requires a comprehensive and committed strategy to understand a business’s project portfolio and plan accordingly. In an article for Harvard Business Review, Antonio Nieto-Rodriguez introduces the “hierarchy of purpose” to achieve …

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Convert Good Project Management into Great Project Leadership

For the project management office (PMO) to be successful in the long term, it needs to be constantly improving the skills of its project managers. Particularly, managers need to be developing their comprehensive leadership skills. In a post for the PM Perspectives Blog, Rebecca Leitch highlights the need for a greater emphasis on soft skills in developing managers. Such skills are not as easy to objectively measure or train for, but they are too important …

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3 Ways to Take Advantage of the Talent Gap

It’s a great time to be in project management. PMI’s recent Job Growth and Talent Gap report finds that 88 million jobs will be generated globally by 2027 at a rate of 2.2 million per year. In other words, there will be a lot of positions to go around. What can you do to maximize demand for your skills? In a post for Voices on Project Management, Jen Skrabak shares three simple tips: Get additional …

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Essentials for Ensuring Consistency in Complex Programs

It is harder than ever before to ensure consistency among complex programs. Making sure everything works on the same wavelength requires figuring out some important aspects of your project and your business. In a post for the Association for Project Management, Mark Holmes delineates some of these essential points to consistency. Points to Program Progress It’s important to acknowledge that the business objectives you have are unique to your own situation and as such should …

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Is IT Having an Identity Crisis?

All of the forward-thinking businesses understand the value of IT these days—but not all businesses are forward-thinking. In many places, proving IT’s value is a war still being waged. Likewise, IT workers themselves often have yet to awaken to the significant influence they have on helping or hurting business performance. In an article for Computerworld, Minda Zetlin addresses this potential identity crisis. The View from the Frontlines To begin with, here are some numbers from …

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Can You Use Conflict to Improve IT-Business Strategy?

It is well established that you cannot please everyone, not even within your own business. Different people have different agendas in their pursuit of growing the business, often leading them into direct conflict with each other. Yet in an article for MIT Sloan Management Review, Toshiro Wakayama and Karen LaPierre discuss an example of a business that has been able to generate better results through encouraging such conflict. Could your business mimic this success? Head …

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Case Study: Portfolio Scoring Model—Western European Pharma

Company assets were in dozens of billions of dollars in 2012 whereas its income was measured in billions of dollars. Despite an overall strong position of the organization, the executives of the company were somewhat concerned with a slow growth in revenues (4-8% per year) and net income (1-3% per year). Consequently, they felt that the company was falling behind the competition and, in the long term, in danger of losing the leading position in …

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