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Six Actions of Innovative CIOs

CIOs with a strictly technical mindset are fading away, because business demands more. Everyone is expected to have a head for business these days, at least on some level, and CIOs with strong business understanding are worth their weight in gold. These are the innovators of the IT space. In an article for CIO magazine, Mary K. Pratt discusses six things that innovative CIOs do: Sunset legacy systems Develop innovation-focused processes Reimagine work Leverage their …

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Should You Standardize Project Methodology?

When you standardize project methodology across projects in the organization, you introduce reliability to project management. But when you do not standardize, project managers are better able to manage projects in a way that fits their natural style. Which is better? In a post for Voices on Project Management, Ramiro Rodrigues discusses the pros and cons to standardization. Standards & Practices One benefit of standardization is that this standard can be made to align with …

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How to Become a World-Class Listener

In one ear and out the other—we hate when people do not listen to us. How hard is it to just hear a few words and process them appropriately? Well, depending on the circumstances, it could be harder than we think. In an article for the Cut, Kristin Wong discusses the psychology and physical steps involved in better listening. Hear the Truth There are varied ways that someone can be bad at listening. For instance, …

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10 Common Reasons Why IT Projects Fail

Problems are always obvious in hindsight, or when they are happening to someone else. It is only when you are directly in the thick of things that you might miss the blatant signs of impending doom. For that reason, it is worth reminding yourself of the many common ways that projects can go wrong. In an article for DZone, Ulf Eriksson discusses 10 of the most common reasons that IT projects fail: Lack of management …

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How to Reduce Risk Evaluation Bias

Identifying risks is step one, but evaluating them is the critical step two. And if you are not careful, biases can color your team’s thinking and make you think a risk is worse or safer than it really is. In a post at the Project Risk Coach, Harry Hall shares what you need to know in order to avoid these biases. There are motivational biases and cognitive biases, and you should be mindful of both. …

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5 Tips to Spin Off an IT Startup

As rainwater lands on a tree leaf, it builds up until a fat drop falls off it. Imagine if you could treat innovation like rainwater. Is it possible to build an innovation-driven outfit in IT that can be spun off into its own sub-entity? In an article for InformationWeek, Mary Shacklett shares some tips for how it might be possible: Find a need and fill it. Get stakeholders who are customers. Hire someone who knows …

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6 Tips to Get Started with Automation

When you have spent years neck-deep in manual IT processes, automation feels like a life preserver. It opens up big new pockets of time to work on more strategic initiatives. In an article for the Enterprisers Project, Kevin Casey shares six tips to get started with automating IT: Start with low-skill work that takes a lot of time. Audit workflows to flush out resource drains. Identify a key metric and automate the feedback loop. Start …

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The Ship Is Burning: Fix or Flee the Project?

The ship is on fire and it is still miles to shore: It is not a situation anyone hopes befalls them in project management, but it happens. In a post for Project Management Tips, Elizabeth Harrin discusses why projects fail and how you can make a last-ditch effort to save your project. Or—failing that—she explains how to call it quits. Rescue the Project The major reasons for project failure include unrealistic expectations, lack of necessary …

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12 Soft Skills Every Tech Worker Needs

Maybe people have talked a little too much lately about the importance of soft skills in IT. But then again, as long as the stereotype persists that IT workers are a bunch of anti-social gremlins, maybe we should keep talking about soft skills anyway. In an article for IT Business Edge, Sue Marquette Poremba outlines all of the domains where tech workers should develop soft skills: Empathy Collaboration Communication Listening Reading and writing Customer service …

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What Is a Scrum Master?

Agile has taken the world by storm, but like any other storm, it takes a while to reach everyone. Not everyone on Earth knows how scrum works yet, or how its prescribed roles function. In an article for InfoWorld, Isaac Sacolick provides a helpful overview of what constitutes the scrum master role. What Scrum Means to You Scrum is the most popular implementation of the agile philosophy, and a scrum team consists of a product …

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