The Paradox of Workplace Productivity

Can a company have productive employees and still be failing in their overall productivity? In an article for Harvard Business Review, Ryan Fuller explains how there are different types of productivity that mangers need to begin to recognize. One Hand Does Not Wash the Other Fuller states that productivity is “the amount of value produced divided by the amount of cost (or time) required to do so.” This formula is deceivingly simple in structure, but …

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The Nine Elements of Digital Transformation

The digital transformation is here and running full throttle into the future, but how can managers keep pace with this movement? In an article for MIT Sloan Management Review, George Westerman, Didier Bonnet, and Andrew McAfee elaborate on their findings after having interviewed 157 executives across 50 different companies. A Full Scope of Transformation All of these companies are considered large and derive from 15 countries. Half of those interviewed were business leaders and half …

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The High (and Often Hidden) Costs of Project Team Dysfunction

The dream team: a collection of people who all get along and perform beyond any manager’s wildest dreams. This elusive dream is typically not the norm, and unfortunately most managers will have to learn how to deal with a team laden with issues. In an article for TechRepublic, Moira Alexander delves into this issue of dysfunctional teams and their cost. Everyone Loses To begin with, how do teams become dysfunctional? According to Patrick Lencioni, the …

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How CIOs Can Drive Digital Innovation through Collaboration

I have good news for the CIO community: Senior executives at leading companies are getting the message that leveraging information and technology to improve competitive advantage changes the dynamics of the enterprise and must be at the core of every corporate strategy. Here are a few examples. The board of ANZ Bank in Australia hired Filippo Passerini, former CIO of Procter & Gamble and currently an operating executive with The Carlyle Group, and three other …

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The 7 Aspects of Project Relationship Management

As project management professionals we all have become increasingly aware of the importance of the so-called “soft skills” aspect of our profession. In recent years, skills such as time management, communication (verbal and non-verbal), emotional intelligence (EQ), facilitation, conflict resolution, and organizational management have received more and more recognition as essential aspects of successful project management. Let’s add to that list a skill I like to call “Project Relationship Management” or PRM. There are upwards …

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Using the Program Blueprint for Program Management

Is there a hidden tool that will help you to add value to your program? In a post for the PM Perspectives Blog, Elizabeth Harrin discusses what she believes to be an essential element to programs: the blueprint. A Program Compass To begin with, what precisely is a blueprint? A blueprint helps to define the vision statement of the program, as well as the capabilities it will deliver. Basically, it defines what the program will …

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Using the RACI Matrix to Maximize Project Accountability

One of the challenges of planning and controlling a complex project is delineation of roles. This can be especially challenging when representatives of multiple organizations are participating in the project. For any particular phase or task, it can be difficult to explain what participation is expected of each assigned team member, as roles might change from one task to another. Responsibilities The PMBOK includes a brief description of a RACI matrix or chart in the discussion on …

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What Does a Great Product Development Group Look Like?

Since 1989 we have been traveling the globe looking at great, and sometimes challenged, organizations. From an engineering and management perspective, here are some common “great” things we see. As you read them, contrast with your organization and determine where you would like your group to be. Deadlines, budget, and project status Goals are established, clearly defined, and communicated to the organization. These are usually related to deadlines, budget, and quality (e.g., defects or customer …

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The Five Ways to Motivate Your Project Team

Happiness and motivation seem to go hand-in-hand, especially in the world of project management. At Voices on Project Management, Lynda Bourne expands upon her idea that a happy team is a motivated team by using Dr. David Rock’s “SCARF” model, which provides information about how motivation actually works. The SCARF model acronym stands for five elements: Status Certainty Autonomy Relatedness Fairness People by nature are driven by the need for heightened self-esteem, and one factor …

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7 Reasons IT Managers Have the Toughest Management Roles

No good management job is an easy job, but do IT managers have it the hardest? In an article for CIO.com, Mike Sisco explores why he believes this role is so much more challenging than other management positions. There are seven reasons why the role of IT manager is the toughest management role: Technology is constantly changing. A technical expert is not a manager. Success depends upon delegation. IT employees are difficult to manage. There …

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