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Risk Management

The Way You Describe a Risk Is What Makes It Manageable

Project managers know that risk management is an ongoing process, and risk identification happens throughout the project life cycle. In many projects, the team is empowered to draft risk log entries. Of course, one of the basic requirements in identifying project risks is describing each risk in such a way that it is meaningful to management and other stakeholders who aren’t part of the project team. If you’ve ever seen a risk log entry like …

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A Grim Portrait: The Current State of IT Project Failure

Where do we stand with IT project failure? Are success rates in the industry improving? Frankly, not really. At best, the same dreary old rates are holding steady. Let’s examine recent big-name stories and industry statistics of IT project failure in order to both understand what exactly is going on and also to find ways to buck the trend moving forward. Recent IT Project Failures NHS IT Projects (£5bn) at ‘High Risk’ of Failure – …

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Failure Is Not Optional: Why Project Failure Is OK

Back when I was on active duty in the U.S. Navy assigned to a systems command, I was assigned as project manager in the development of a methodology to incorporate technical performance within the realm of overall project performance measurement and control. I sat down before my boss, who was a brilliant engineer, and he asked me this question: “What is the value of failure?” Then, after a bit of discussion, he said: “That is …

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The Missing Link in Your Project Process

We are project managers. We know the importance of establishing a proper process to manage our project. It is a matter of effectiveness: We want to achieve the results. It is also a matter of efficiency: We want to use the most optimal process. Choosing and establishing the best processes for your project is an important step in managing your project. Let’s take the world of software development. The process can include many steps, such …

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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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Increase Your Return on Failures: 3 Steps

Never let the fear of failure keep you from playing the game. Failure is only one of the fastest and most direct ways to learn how to improve. In an article for Harvard Business Review, Julian Birkinshaw and Martine Haas explore how organizations can both overcome the fear of failure and maximize the gains to be had from it. Finding the Silver (and Gold) Lining In a 2015 Boston Consulting Group survey, 31% of respondents …

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How to Respond to Your Risks from Different Angles

The best type of medicine is preventive. Everyone fundamentally knows that it is easier to tackle a problem in its beginning stages rather than waiting until it becomes a full-blown catastrophe. If you feel yourself starting to get sick, you will take medicine so you do not get knocked out for a week. In a post for The Project Risk Coach, Harry Hall elaborates on how to utilize this mindset with risk management. All Better …

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Death by a Thousand Cuts: The Decisions That Bleed Projects Dry

Decisions in project management From the project initiation to project closure, decisions are an essential part of project management. For simple projects, it will rarely be an issue. The most usual problem would be that project decisions are only made informally. There is a temptation on simple projects to keep processes simple. However, while it is important to keep the processes aligned with the size of the project, it is essential to correctly manage decisions. …

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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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Meet Is Murder: Alternative Solutions

Meetings are often thought of as the “necessary evil” of corporate American culture, but how truly necessary they are is increasingly coming into question. Should executives find themselves in multiple meetings a day? In an article for The New York Times Magazine, Virginia Heffernan explores alternatives to traditional meetings, as well as how to understand different personality types and how they function in mundane meetings. Reconsidering the Meeting There are two different types of people, …

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