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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How to Use Metrics to Optimize Service Delivery

I want you to think about all the different types of organizations you worked for. Whether they were Finance, Communications, Energy, Agriculture, or Transport, there was likely one similarity among them: The reporting that was done from an IT perspective did not produce metrics that mattered. Why? It’s simple—we (as an IT organization) tend to loop endlessly on the metrics as they apply to IT. We must move away from thinking that “recovery from failure …

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Easing into Agile: 5 Painless Steps towards Adoption for the Resistant

I recall that during an agency meeting conducted to plan the kick-off for a new project, I recommended that the project be done using an agile approach. Although some in the meeting were interested, the key project sponsors were not willing to risk departing from an established and familiar project planning methodology that was in place. It is often true that state government administration offices develop, recommend, and in some cases enforce the use of …

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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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Open a Window: Using Data and Self-Awareness to Remove Organizational Blind Spots

In 1955 the American psychologists Joseph Luft and Harrington Igham developed a technique to help individuals place themselves in context to the world and the people around them. This technique originated in the study of group dynamics and organizational behavior at the University of California and is a feedback/disclosure model of self-awareness. By combining the first names of the technique’s founders, this model came to be known as the Johari Window, represented by four quadrants. …

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Quick Fixes Make Quicker Problems in ITSM

Incident teams are expected to respond to problems and rectify the situation, but if the underlying causes are not fixed, they will be stuck in a never-ending firefighting mode. In a post for Service Management Journey, Ryan Ogilvie elaborates on how to effectively fix this issue. A conversation with a colleague sprouted an interesting discussion for Ogilvie. The colleague shared that he and his team were excitedly awaiting a new incident manager, because there was …

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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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