button1-projectconsultingbutton2-changemanagementbutton3-managedservices

Project Management is a franchise that needs a revival. Rebooting Project Management: An A to Z is a series of articles, musings and images that give fresh impetus to project management recognising it as an art and a science.

Agile is everywhere…Thankfully so is Dilbert

Dilbert cartoons are funny but they always make us stop and think. “How true?” Writing on LiquidPlanner, “7 Project Management Trends for 2015”, Will Kelly, forecast “More Agile, less Waterfall”. He predicted that 2015 was going to bring even more Agile project management practices into small and large businesses. This prevalent theme is trending with […]

Benefits realisation: When success is not a benefit…..

 … A PARADOX! You’ve delivered your project on time, within budget, the customer has signed it off and you’ve completed your closure report. You’ve done your job, right? Time to move on to the next project, right? It depends. It depends on what kind of Project Manager you are and what success means to you […]

Change Management – A Road To Nowhere?

In 1985 David Byrne, the lead singer with Talking Heads, wrote: “Well we know where we’re goin’ But we don’t know where we’ve been” “Well we know where we’re goin’ But we don’t know where we’ve been” Does this capture where change management is? We know where we’re going and we know where we’ve been? […]

Delivery Maturity Assessment

Just how mature is your organisation at project management or does it even matter? If you deliver value to your customer then where’s the problem? Where’s the problem? Before we ask that question maybe we should ask the question is there a problem? Do we all agree that the answer is yes? Let’s look at […]

Excellence in Project Management

In last week’s post I asked how mature your organisation is in terms of project management and if it even mattered? If your organisation is delivering value to your customer then where’s the problem? After much deliberation I concluded that a balance of focus on both maturity and value is probably going to be right […]

F – Why IT projects fail (and organisations go nuclear)

For any organisation project failure is like a dog with fleas. It costs a lot of money to treat and the fleas come back making the life hell for the organisation and the dog. Sometimes the only thing to do is to put the dog out of its misery. Before going to such extremes why […]

Governance… works except when it doesn’t

An exceptional certainty if you will. In last week’s blog we identified why IT projects fail and included such reasons as lack of user involvement, scope creep, communication, controlling budget and time. We also included poor governance as a reason. “For how could you establish even the most obvious fact when there existed no record […]

H – The view from a helicopter can be hallucinatory

In an earlier blog post “Why IT projects fail (and organisations go nuclear)” we used the analogy “dog with fleas” for project failure. In it we listed a number of early warning signs that will help you recognise and address the problems before things go nuclear. We did caveat those listed as only some of […]

Influencing the Influencers

Robert Kennedy’s influence in the administration extended well beyond law enforcement. Though different in temperament and outlook, the President came to rely heavily on his brother’s judgement and effectiveness as political advisor, foreign affairs counsellor, and most trusted confidant. The Influencer is a strange bird. It wields power often in a hidden, Machiavellian way, often […]

J – Don’t be a Jargon Junkie!

The next time you feel the need to reach out, touch base, bake it in, circle back or leverage cloud platforms, by all means do it. Just don’t say you’re doing it. If you need to ask why then I’m afraid it’s too late. You are a jargon junkie. You may be well-versed in all the […]

KPI: Keep Pointless Information

If you are a regular visitor to this site and are (I hope) encouraged by its content then you will be familiar with what we believe to be the ideas worth spreading. The stuff that matters! For that reason I will not labour the point and risk becoming redundant or diluting the message through (exhaustive) […]

Leadership: a dangerous path – from the A-Z of Project Management series

Do you feel lonely as a leader? Forbes asked its readers that question in an article (published 23 February 2012 “Do You Feel Lonely As A Leader? Study Says You’re Not Alone”) The authors cited survey findings that “half of CEOs report experiencing feelings of loneliness”. While not experiencing the rarefied air of the ivory […]

Matrix organisations – Become Neo to succeed as a Project Manager

silo ˈsʌɪləʊ/ verb 1. isolate (one system, process, department, etc.) from others. “most companies have expensive IT systems they have developed over the years, but they are siloed“ Silo is often used to describe large organisations structured around functional areas. The analogy is particularly apt given the strong (tower-like) vertical structures in place and variously […]

N – Don’t be a NARC: no Accountability, Responsibility and Control

Accountability is one characteristic that is present every time success is realised on a project. Think about it. In a perfect world everyone would possess the requisite self-discipline to deliver in every situation. But the fact is it is not a perfect world. People avoid responsibility. People don’t like or want to be held accountable. […]

Out Of Scope: Defining different types of scope and their places in a project

Building the wooden box To make a wooden box go to http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Wooden-Box (“How to Make a Wooden Box”) and follow the 8 steps: Choose the wood. Gather your supplies. Measure and mark your boards. Cut your boards, if not already to size. Assemble the sidepieces using a butt joint. Attach the sides to the base. […]

Politics and Project Management. It’s only a game, right?

I guess the answer to that depends on whether you see the game through the prism of the agitator or the agitated. Are there ways to win the game of politics and if so what are they? You can play fair. Will you win? To be honest I don’t like your odds. You can play […]

Quality – Where do you see it?

Serra Pelada (English: “Bald Mountain”) was a large gold mine in Brazil 270 miles south of the mouth of the Amazon River. The mine was made famous by the images taken by Sebastião Salgado showing an anthill of workers moving vast amounts of ore by hand. Because of the chaotic nature of the operation estimating the […]

Risk Management – Always bet on black

It’s Vegas Baby! In this article I’ll pose the question whether the problem is that people (or executives or both) don’t know what risk is or choose to ignore it. We will see what the implications of either and/or both are. “The streets at Edwards Air Force Base, where the majority of both the Air […]

Service… the new black!

We live in a service economy. These days more and more things come as-a-service – cars, software, bikes, paper, food, news content…. So why not Project Management? At The Project Foundry, we believe in Project Management as a force for good in every business, not a necessary overhead. We also believe that ‘PMaaS’ can help […]

TIME – A MOST VALUABLE RESOURCE BUT ALWAYS FLEETING

As project managers, we all know that there is never enough time – but are we right? Is it conceivable that there is usually enough time, but we just don’t manage it well?   “How did it get so late so soon?” – Dr. Seuss We also know that feeling – “I didn’t see the time going”, […]

Uncertainty – why it shouldn’t be a bad word to a project manager

Embracing uncertainty can lead to all kinds of positive changes. Nothing in life is more reliable than the constant of uncertainty. It’s inevitable. And in managing projects, even the most brilliant project managers struggle with uncertainty. We use milestones to anticipate outcomes, and risk management to prevent disasters, but what about those unseen, unknown issues […]

Victory: Sun Tzu and the art of Project Management

The Art of War, a 13-chapter masterwork written in the fifth century BC, is referred to even now, two-and-a-half millennia later, as one of the definitive texts on military tactics and strategy. Some things never change…. Sun Tzu, its author, may not even have existed, or may be a composite of different strategic geniuses, but […]

Waste – How the seven wastes of Lean apply to software development

Waste. It’s always bad, and particularly in business, and even more so in project management. A great deal of project management is geared towards avoiding waste, and this is where ‘Lean’ processes come in. The seven wastes of lean are well known, but on paper they appear to apply to manufacturing processes. With a little […]

Women Leading Progress – What it takes to be Inclusive

An International Women’s Day Event, hosted by The Project Foundry For the second consecutive year The Project Foundry hosted an International Women’s Day event; this year offering fresh insights on ‘Women Leading Progress – What it takes to be inclusive’. The event was held on Thursday 8th March in The Ballsbridge Hotel. International Communications Strategist […]

X-Factor to Success? Emotional Intelligence

Understanding your emotional intelligence and being able to read others is the x-factor to success. But what if you didn’t even know it exists? Up until last year I would be lying if I said otherwise. A successful project manager, I was busily working away with my PMP in one hand and my copy of […]

Yes to saying No

Often, ‘yes’ is the easiest word in the world to say. Saying ‘no’ takes resilience and strength of character, but it should be in the top drawer of any project manager’s toolkit, and you should never feel bad about saying it! ‘Strength of character’- It’s an overused phrase, but for a project manager to succeed, […]

Zen and the art of Project Management

Zen, as a practice, emphasises rigorous self-control, insight into the self and environment around you, and the personal expression of insight, especially for the benefit of others. Zen is not a goal, but a way to experience the journey. So how do you run a project with a Zen-like comfort and assurance in both the […]

A-Z of Project Management

Sign up to receive the A-Z of Project Management direct to your inbox