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Tag Archives: featured

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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What Do You Do When You Feel Out of Your Depth on a Project?


Feeling overwhelmed is like drowning in an ocean with no lifeboat to save you. This all too common feeling is something that everyone experiences at one point or another in their career. In a post for the PM Perspectives Blog, project leadership coach Susanne Madsen shares some simple ways to conquer the feeling of being in over your head on a project. Grow Some Gills When things seem to be spiraling out of control, the ...

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8 Top Skills of the Best CIOs and Business Technology Leaders


Some say that leaders in the technology sector need to be chameleons, able to change with their environment, but they would probably be better off as octopuses. They can blend in too, but with the benefit of many extra arms! In an article for CIO UK, Arif Harbott explores eight skills a technology leader needs to possess in order to make an impact: Foremost, be a business leader See and experience Take responsibility Be bold ...

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10 Surprising Insights about How Your Brain Works (that Improve Productivity)


The human mind is a highly complex but extremely fascinating thing. In an article for Fast Company, Belle Beth Cooper explores several different facts about mental functions. These are tips you can take with you to work more productively in every aspect of life. There are 10 interesting facts about how the brain actually works: When you are tired, creative work is better. Stress changes the brain. You cannot multitask. Nap time is a good ...

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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 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. You ...

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Top Five Skill Areas for a New Project Manager


Life is a learning game, and it is constantly full of mini-exams to test the knowledge you should have acquired. It is through the trial and error of experience that people learn, grow, and thrive. In a post for the PM Perspectives Blog, Lindsay Scott explores how this concept is especially true for beginning project managers. There are five skills a new project manager should work on developing in their first few years: The foundation ...

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12 Focused Ways to Improve Your Risk Management


Pretty much everyone agrees that risk management is important, yet too many project managers continually ignore the management of threats and opportunities. We can do better! In a post for The Project Risk Coach, Harry Hall explores how to improve risk management practices. According to Hall, there are 12 reasons why risk management becomes ineffective: A failure to lead by example A failure to focus on the important risks A failure to customize a risk ...

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