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Blogging Alliance

Status Reports: Separating Information from News

I am sure you have heard about the old news where it was proclaimed that dog-bites-man is not news, but man-bites-dog is news. While the news can be a source of entertainment, especially when some man bites a dog, such incidents are anecdotal at best—a statistic with a sample size of one. We should also consider that tabulated instances of dog-bites-man and related details can be statistically analyzed for correlations like breed, time of year, …

Magbasa pa »

There’s More to a System Design Than Requirements

A few years ago, I was asked to assist on a project where the client was replacing a highly-customized legacy system. As part of the discovery process, we were looking at the integrations to the other systems—internal, third-party administrators, and so on—currently in place. One integration in particular seemed unnecessarily convoluted; it received a file from one system, validated all of the data, and generated workflows to various roles in the event a particular transaction …

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The What, Why, and When of Evaluating Project Risks

Every project is a journey of uncertainty. How can we complete the challenges of each journey successfully? By identifying, evaluating, and responding to our project risks consistently. Let’s focus on the what, why, and when of evaluating project risks. What is the best way to evaluate risks? There are many ways to evaluate risks. Each has its place. In general, project managers perform qualitative and quantitative risk analysis. What’s the difference? Qualitative risk analysis is …

Magbasa pa »

Balance Incident and Change (or Prepare for a Thursday Beatdown)

Recently, as part of a professional networking organization, I was tasked with scheduling a session for like-minded colleagues. The challenge, I soon found, was that while most people were good with Thursday, one service desk manager was adamant that he couldn’t make it. When I asked why, he said they are almost always overloaded with incidents on Thursday, so the likelihood of making it was next to nil. Intrigued by his ability to see into …

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The Three ‘Ins’ That Are Putting Our Projects behind Schedule

It was the short week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, and I had time to think while stuck in traffic between Seattle and Portland. Somewhere around Centralia, (Yes, that’s really what it’s called, and it really is about halfway.) it occurred to me that I’ve been seeing some common themes lately. Call them the three “ins”: indecision, inactivity, and indifference. Each takes a toll on one or more tasks, adding delays and uncertainty, forcing …

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How to Be More Forward-Thinking in Your Project Decisions

Projects involve a constant stream of decisions. Some decisions are quick and easy. Others are difficult, take lots of time, and have significant impact. Let’s look at three decision models that can help you be more forward-thinking in your project decisions. Few project managers think deeply enough about how their project decisions will be made. Using the wrong decision models results in weak decisions that often change later, in turn resulting in adverse impacts to …

Magbasa pa »

Problem Management Is Like Watering Plants

I can remember the first place I lived in on my own without roommates. A friend dropped off a potted palm tree as a housewarming gift. They said, “It will make your place look better, more lived in.” I shrugged and placed it in a spot where it would get loads of light. In the first few months I took good care of the plant, watering it and providing regular doses of fertilizer and so …

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Managing Globally Distributed Project Teams

I started managing projects that included team members or customers outside the US in the mid-‘90s. In the beginning, it was one other country. Then two, and so on. These days, working with globally distributed project teams is my norm. A typical project will include people spread across five to 30 countries, three to five continents, and from three to seven time zones. As you would expect, it’s very different from managing a few folks …

Magbasa pa »

Feedback Loop: If They Don’t Think You Care, They Won’t Care Either

We have all been there before at some point or another: In an effort to understand the business, we solicit information from them in a “how are we doing” button or survey. The trouble that may present itself is that, while we are working to improve things from a delivery perspective, we may not have fully built out a strategy to manage the lifecycle of the feedback. Here are a few points to consider, but …

Magbasa pa »

Practical Advice for Project Managers

I’ve been managing projects for about 30 years or so, far longer than I’ve been writing about it. Along the way, I’ve collected a few useful thoughts that never made it into an article or blog post or book. At first, I was just jotting notes on paper. Then I took to creating short text files, saved to a folder. The last few years, I’ve been using OneNote to capture those fleeting thoughts. Here are …

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