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Why Organizations Forget What They Learn from Project Failures

Mistakes are seldom the end of the world. In fact, mistakes often provide wonderful learning opportunities for organizations to grow. What becomes a problem is when organizations forget what they have learned from project failures and go back to making the same mistakes. In an article for Harvard Business Review, Francisco Polidoro Jr. explores why businesses so quickly become amnesiacs. What Do You Remember? NASA unfortunately provides a quintessential example of lessons learned and forgotten from ...

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What Google Learned from Its Quest to Build the Perfect Team

No two teams are quite alike, because they are all made of different people with different perspectives and motivations. So what definitively distinguishes a good team from a mediocre one? It is Perfection. In an article for The New York Times Magazine, Charles Duhigg explores the new data that reveals why some groups are more successful than others. Feeling Out Perfection Many firms engage in “employee performance optimization,” or the analysis and improvement of individual ...

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3 Reasons Why Your Delegating Is Failing (and How to Improve)

The delegation of tasks is an action that project managers need to become experts at, very quickly. Unfortunately, delegation is not something that is simply taught; rather, it is a skill learned through experience. In a post for A Girl’s Guide to Project Management, Elizabeth Harrin lays out everything that you need to do to become effective at delegation. Apprehensions To begin with, delegation is “where responsibility or authority for a task is assigned to ...

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Wishful Thinking Plagues IT Project Plans

Being overly optimistic is a rampant problem across all fields, but very prevalent in IT. IT remains unrealistic in their expectations, and worse, they are not taking responsibility for the consequences of these assumptions. An article for IEEE Spectrum by Robert N. Charette explores this pervasive problem. A Sunshiny Sickness “Hubble Psychology” is the “over optimism” disease and is often cited as the root cause for IT project failure. Basically this is the idea that ...

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10 Ways Software Development Teams Can Master the Art of Releasing Upgrades

With the amount of upgrades that become readily available every year, you would assume that the process was almost automated. Unfortunately, it is still too common that upgrades are rushed and put together with glue and popsicle sticks. In an article for IT Business Edge, Don Tennant explores what project teams can do better to make upgrades an instant success. There are 10 areas to improve on: Time well. Remove bugs. Test for performance. Test ...

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How to Overcome the Most Common Mistakes in Risk Management

Good risk management demands more planning and greater creativity–two things that mediocre project managers cannot be bothered to spend their time on. But the biggest mistake you can make is believing you know everything, especially when it comes to risk management. In a post for the PM Perspectives Blog, Susanne Madsen provides a comprehensive explanation for how to overcome these common errors. Defanging Risks When risk management is done well, project managers are able to ...

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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 Develop an Operational Risk Management Plan

Any successful organization is able to identify, evaluate, and manage any operational risk that may arise. These risks can range from a failed business process to an external event. In a post at the Project Risk Coach, Harry Hall elaborates on how to develop a plan to manage operational risk. Handling the Biggest Risks There are four types of risks organizations need to be aware of: Process risk People risk System risk External event risk ...

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Good Stakeholder Communication in Action

Whether you like it or not, communication is at the heart of most jobs, in varying degrees. In a post for A Girl’s Guide to Project Management, Elizabeth Harrin discusses some of the techniques she has perfected throughout the years to make stakeholder communication successful. Use Every Channel Available Sometimes, a good ole fashioned pen and paper can do just the trick to successfully communicate. For instance, a handwritten note goes a long way toward ...

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