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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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Initiating Projects: What to Do When Process Gets in the Way

When supporting project initiation decisions, effective process can consistently lead to extremely effective decisions. The problem for most of us is that we don’t work in an environment where there is effective process. In actual fact, the presence of solid, well-meaning and useful initiation processes is incredibly rare. While most organizations claim to have formal processes for project initiation, in a large number of instances these do not lead to better initiation decisions. The challenge …

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Four Questions for Quenching Knowledge Management

The thirst for knowledge must be quenched. Every day people are looking for answers that they need. The question you have to ask yourself as a service provider is, “Are you positioned to satisfy their needs?” One of the fundamental challenges with knowledge management isn’t capturing the information; it is usually the ability to actually manage it. Part of the discovery process should lead us to ask ourselves why we need to do this in …

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5 Methods to Preempt Team Conflict

There is equilibrium in the team conflict spectrum. A little conflict can produce great, innovative results, but bad conflict can result in all-out anarchy. In an article for Harvard Business Review, Ginka Toegel and Jean-Louis Barsoux discuss how taking a proactive stance with team conflict often inspires the best outcomes. So Many Conflicts The best medicine is preventative medicine. Supervisors should set aside some time for teams to be encouraged to communicate with one another. …

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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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Top 10 Signs Your Company Needs Project Portfolio Management

The truth is that any business could benefit from project portfolio management (PPM). However, if you find your company running into the following signs, you could be in more dire need of PPM than most! Sign #1: Project and resource managers often fight over resources. Example: The head of the Finance department asks IT services to install a new accounts payable system. When approached by the project manager requesting to assign two financial analysts to …

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10 IT Basics That Business Managers Need to Know

From your computer at work to brushing your teeth, technology has managed to permeate almost every aspect of human life. It has become essential for everyone to understand some basics about technology, even those outside of IT. In an article for TechRepublic, Mary Shacklett shares 10 of the most pertinent concepts every manager should know about IT: Defining how new technology can help How to work with IT vendors Understanding what IT truly does How …

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The Paradox of Workplace Productivity

Can a company have productive employees and still be failing in their overall productivity? In an article for Harvard Business Review, Ryan Fuller explains how there are different types of productivity that mangers need to begin to recognize. One Hand Does Not Wash the Other Fuller states that productivity is “the amount of value produced divided by the amount of cost (or time) required to do so.” This formula is deceivingly simple in structure, but …

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The Nine Elements of Digital Transformation

The digital transformation is here and running full throttle into the future, but how can managers keep pace with this movement? In an article for MIT Sloan Management Review, George Westerman, Didier Bonnet, and Andrew McAfee elaborate on their findings after having interviewed 157 executives across 50 different companies. A Full Scope of Transformation All of these companies are considered large and derive from 15 countries. Half of those interviewed were business leaders and half …

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The High (and Often Hidden) Costs of Project Team Dysfunction

The dream team: a collection of people who all get along and perform beyond any manager’s wildest dreams. This elusive dream is typically not the norm, and unfortunately most managers will have to learn how to deal with a team laden with issues. In an article for TechRepublic, Moira Alexander delves into this issue of dysfunctional teams and their cost. Everyone Loses To begin with, how do teams become dysfunctional? According to Patrick Lencioni, the …

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