Getting Beyond the BS of Leadership Literature

Every person who would seek to improve their leadership skills through a good book should be applauded. However, there are some things that a person can simply not learn from reading, and unfortunately, leadership might be one of them. In an article for McKinsey & Company, Jeffrey Pfeffer explores how to move past the simple leadership literature and develop tangible management skills. From Theory to Practice There is a wide array of leadership failures in …

Read More »

How the Project Manager’s Vision Can Save a Project

Research from Harvard indicates that the major qualities that people expect to see in leaders–but not necessarily in their other colleagues–include being forward-thinking and encouraging others to look towards the future. This means that you as a project manager are critically expected to understand your project from a strategic perspective. In a post at her website, project leadership coach Susanne Madsen further elaborates on this coveted attribute. Solidify and Unify the Vision In order to be …

Read More »

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 …

Read More »

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 …

Read More »

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 …

Read More »

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 …

Read More »

Beware of the Productivity Measurement Fallacy

Can money and productivity be measured on the same spectrum? Unfortunately, money saved does not always equate to greater productivity from employees. In an article for CIO.com, Eric Bloom explores his own experience with this fallacy. Pitfall Ahead In the business he was employed at, there was a company-wide productivity initiative. The program was explicit in its intentions, and there were even prizes to be awarded to the team that generated the greatest company savings. …

Read More »

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 …

Read More »

12 Ways to Be More Productive at Work

If you are hit with that afternoon slump at work, you are not alone! The good news is that there are natural, non-caffeine stimulant ways to improve your productivity, and in an article for CIO.com, Sharon Florentine elaborates on how. There are 12 ways to improve your productivity: Get your sleep. Begin leisurely. Prioritize. Exercise. Minimize caffeine. Change locations. Minimize the multitasking. Clean. Take a break. Keep a routine. Avoid distracting web sites. Accept the …

Read More »

McKinsey on the Organizational Cost of Insufficient Sleep

A good night’s rest can be the difference between a day of productive decisions and a day with you accidentally putting your lunch in the freezer. Sleep recharges the brain and helps to prevent silly mistakes–at home and at work. In an article for McKinsey & Company, Nick van Dam and Els van der Helm elaborate on the true cost to businesses of losing sleep. Save Your Energy Leadership behaviors tend to be associated with …

Read More »