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10 Powerful Questions in a Checklist to Save Your Projects

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 ...

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Why #NoEstimates Is a Rough Finish for Your IT Career

I live in the American Southwest—the Mojave Desert, to be specific. We have massive areas of land covered with nearly identical homes, built in clusters called “developments.” The term is meaningful, because the builders aren’t just building houses; they are developing entire communities. Complexity Lives at the Business Level We have a well-established process: The organization with the right to build on a tract of land proposes a plan, which is reviewed by a planning ...

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Are You Really Collaborating? Too Much Communication Also Kills Projects

The value of collaboration within a project Project management is very task-oriented: focused defining and managing of all the tasks that must be done to achieve a specific objective. To accomplish these tasks, it is important to consider the people involved and impacted by the project. A good project leader will be able to develop a positive working relationship and maximize communication within the project. Let’s take the development of an enterprise IT application to support ...

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How to Be a Productive Project Manager: 7 Tips

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 ...

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Unlike Scotch, Problem Records Do Not Get Better with Age

At a recent service management event I met up with a friend who is a problem manager, and as practitioners do, they tend to vent about one issue that they are facing in their organization. We started talking about a problem record that they had open and how it seemed it was never going to be closed off. Digging a little deeper, I asked why it was still open. “You know…the root cause of this ...

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The Evolution of the Service Desk: A Better Help Experience

Is your Service Desk still relevant? Pretty bold question when we are talking about how we provide support and services for our business needs? For the most part IT organizations have set up a ‘help desk’ to address their business challenges with regards to IT. Over time this may have transitioned to a Service Desk. The challenge is whether this has been a transformation in name only. The first thing you need to understand is ...

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9 Practical Ways to Jump-Start a New Project

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 ...

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Plato’s Cave: A Framework for Better Project Indicators

The History Behind Bad Data In Book VII of Plato’s dialogue, The Republic, the Greek philosopher introduces his powerful imagery of learning and means of perception in Allegory of the Cave. In his allegory, there is a group of prisoners who have lived in a cave since childhood, legs and necks chained so that they cannot move. Above and behind them is a fire blazing at a distance so that they can only see shadows ...

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Communication Is Not Enough: How to Manage Project Relationships

We often hear about the importance of communication in project management. Some even claim that the job of a project manager is 90% communication. I guess it is true that we must communicate a lot, especially if we are a part of a project involving numerous stakeholders and a large project team. While this can be accurate, it also misses the point. PMBOK blind spots PMBOK includes a chapter on communication and another one on ...

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How Knowledge Management Overcomes the High Cost of Ignorance

A few weeks back I bumped into a friend of mine who is working as an application manager at a large food distribution centre. After the usual updates on what was new, she delved into a story about one of their legacy applications that was a pain point. In essence the problem was that the tool was not scalable, and it was this way because of change management. I admit at first when I heard ...

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