Musings on Project Management

Buffer your sponsor expectations

Musings on Project Management

If you follow this blog you've read several references to the project balance sheet. So, is this about accounting? Yes, and no: Yes, it's about a double entry tool to keep track of "mine" and "yours", but no, it's not the accountant's tool used in your father's accounting office.

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Avoid 'this' scheduling mistake

Musings on Project Management

The mistake' to avoid in scheduling is to construct a milestone-success situation that strictly depends upon two or more tasks scheduled (planned) to finish at the same time.So, what's the big error here?First, First, as regards milestone success, each of the tasks leading into the milestone is a risk to success (success means: it is achieved on time)Second, total risk is the product of all the input. schedule

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Working for an enterprise with Agile

Musings on Project Management

Applying agile methodology in your software project? Working for an organization large enough to be called an 'enterprise'? Probably that's good.Why so?Access Access to resources is the main reason. You may have heard that agile is all about small self-directing teams -- yes, that's part of the doctrine. But how many teams are needed for your project? Dozens? Hundreds even? Where do those people, agile

2022 262

Threats, vulnerabilities, and risks

Musings on Project Management

Daniel Messiler has an interesting essay about threats, vulnerabilities, and risks that is worth a quick read.He summarizes this way: A Threat is a negative scenario you want to avoidA Threat Actor is the agent that makes a Threat happenA Vulnerability is a weakness that can be exploited in order to attack youA Risk is a negative scenario you want to avoid, combined with its probability and its.

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Layoffs in the middle of your project?!

Musings on Project Management

Well, talk about cratering a schedule and resource plan!Layoffs Layoffs in the middle of a project will do it for you.But wait!There There may be a silver lining here:Communication complexity in and among project participants decreases as the square of participants. That could be a winnerYou may be able to select the departees. That's tough in any circumstance, but it's also an opportunity to prune the lesser. human factors Risk Management

2022 163

Balancing project sponsor and project manager conflicts

Musings on Project Management

If you follow this blog you've read several references to the project balance sheet. So, is this about accounting? Yes, and no: Yes, it's about a double entry tool to keep track of "mine" and "yours", but no, it's not the accountant's tool used in your father's accounting office.

2022 320

The first two questions in Risk Management

Musings on Project Management

Doing a little risk management?Here Here are your first two questions:Can I afford the downside? Interpret that question with these rewordings: In effect, can I afford to let the risk go unmanaged, or can I afford to take the risk, given I have a choice?)Can Can I improve the chances that the risk event won't happen, or can be somewhat mitigated, if I can obtain more knowledge? This is the classical. Risk Management

Risk 174

From strategy to plan to approval

Musings on Project Management

To state a strategic principle is one thing; to reduce principle to a practical plan is another; but then to get stakeholders to approve and invest in both the principle and the plan is yet another.General Eisenhower had something to say about this, and one should be fully aware that not only did his strategic principles have to satisfy those with a focus on Europe, but also in the larger context acquisition Strategy

Starving or stretching the Critical Path?

Musings on Project Management

In project management school, the lesson on Critical Path includes Rule #2: Apply resources first to the critical path, and subordinate demands of other paths to ensure the critical path is never starved.But, of course, Rule #2 follows from Rule #1Rule #1, if you haven't guessed is: Create a schedule network so that the critical path is revealed.

2022 294

How to Improve Team Effectiveness & Reduce Workplace Stressors Through Exceptional Culture

Speaker: Galen Emanuele - President, Shift Yes LLC

Having a great workplace culture increases engagement and performance, yet many leadership teams lack the tools they need to successfully develop one. In this webinar, you will receive guidance on how to adapt your workplace culture and improve your employee experience.

Proposals follow Strategy

Musings on Project Management

Have you written a strategic plan?Got Got your strategy in mind now?It's It's time to implement. One way to do it is to propose the work to your sponsor or to your client.So, now you need a proposal. Do you read Mike Clayton? You probably should.Here is his idea of the 12 points of a perfect proposal:What are the elements of a perfect proposal? Here are 12. YouNo one wants to hear all about you. See the. Project Management Project Value

The only two things you need to know about statistics

Musings on Project Management

Number One: It's a bell, unless it's not For nearly all of us when approaching something statistical, we imagine the bell-shape distribution right away. And, we know the average outcome is the value at the peak of the curve. Why is it so useful that it's the default go-to? Because many, if not.

2021 344

Leading from the bottom of the funnel

Musings on Project Management

This is about funnels, but we start with the concept of an apex.In every book written about project management, the PMO is at the apex of a pyramid. Sometimes, as in Agile project methodology, the pyramid is flatter than most, but always there is an identifiable top figure. Fair enough. But Robert Gates, former Defense Secretary [and holder of many other government titles] writes that he often. leadership

2022 163

Methodologies: more than one way to do it

Musings on Project Management

Did everyone catch Glen Alleman's posting on LinkedIn about the 'Waterfall Myth'? If not, here are a few value-adds from that posting. First up: Glen's definition of sundry methodologies for developing software systems, whether stand-alone, as it were, or embedded with hardware development: Waterfall Approach: Development activities are performed in order, with possibly minor overlap, but with. agile Project Management

2022 218

Modern Data Architecture for Embedded Analytics

Data has gone from a mere result of applications & processes to being crowned king. Picking the right avenue to data architecture depends on your organization’s needs. Development teams should build in stages, starting with a task that can be solved.

Risk, but no plan

Musings on Project Management

In my experience, a lot of projects operate more or less on the edge of risk, with no real plan beyond common sense and a bit of past experience to muddle through if things go wrong.Problematic, as a process, but to paraphrase the late Donald Rumsfeld: You do the project with the resources and plan you have, not the resources or plan you wantYou may want a robust risk plan, but you may not have. Risk Management

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Don't risk the team (in extremis)!

Musings on Project Management

Are you on one of those death march projects about to burn out. Want some time off? Perhaps it's in the plan Formula solution Google among others -- Microsoft, etc -- are well known for the "time off, do. what you want toward self improvement and personnel innovation" model; formulas like that lend objectivity to the process (not playing. favorites, etc). Note: more on this in the "6x2x1". human factors Project Management

2022 163

Threat unknown

Musings on Project Management

Most of the postings on risk management don't deal with the post-risk consequences that befall the people who are charged with managing risks. But guess what? Very often the axe falls, even though a best effort was given.So what are some of the human factors of risk management?Of Of course the stress level rises when the stakes are amped if there are life-at-risk possibilities, or bet-the-business. human factors Risk Management

2022 163

Mixed methodologies: Agile and.

Musings on Project Management

There comes a point where more planning can not remove the remaining uncertainty, instead execution must be used to provide data and remove uncertainty. This quote comes from a nicely argued case -- from the agile blog 'leading answers' -- for mixing agile methods in rather traditional businesses, like the oil and gas exploration/production business If ever there was a business that. agile Teamwork Virtual teams

2022 174

Blueprint to Modernize Analytics

The longer you wait to modernize your application’s analytics, the longer it will take for you to realize this value. A blueprint helps you define your new solution, plot out how to get there, and determine what you’ll need in terms of time and resources.

Setting strategy

Musings on Project Management

Consider this military wit, and put it in the context of a PMO. There is an old—and misleading—bit of conventional military wisdom which holds that “amateurs study tactics, while professionals study logistics.” The truth is that amateurs study only tactics or logistics, while professionals study both simultaneously. The most brilliant tactics ever devised are pointless when the supplies needed. Strategic Plan Strategy

You've been asked to write a strategic plan (ugh!)

Musings on Project Management

Who wants to write a strategic plan?Really, Really, nobody, unless you are a professional planner and that's your livelihood.But, what if you're asked to write, or help write, a plan?Of Of course, you can "google" it; and you'll find no lack of help with templates and outlines and even some process.But here's a bit from my experience.Ask for the narrativeAsking for the narrative from whomever has asked for. Strategic Plan

2022 163

Stabilize your project

Musings on Project Management

Stability!It It counts for a lot.It implies -- for behaviors and management decisions -- predictability, reliability, under-control (but not risk-free, of course), coherent narrative, steady-state goals, and a strategy that is understandable to those who have the job of implementing it.Perhaps you are aware, as many are, that stability requires feedback to effect error correction and trap excesses. Project Management

2022 163

If there's no Plan B.

Musings on Project Management

If there's no Plan B, then the first rule is "Make Plan A work!"And And it might require that you be aggressive about making Plan A work. no fooling around.No Plan BWait! Isn't there always a Plan B somewhere?A A general officer once told me: If there's no Plan B, invent it!Insure Insure for failure?Maybe Maybe you can insure against the failure of Plan A. Perhaps that's your Plan B -- just get your money back, Project Management

2022 163

Best Practices for Deploying & Scaling Embedded Analytics

Today, sophisticated capabilities such as adaptive security, predictive analytics, workflow, and writeback are taking analytics far beyond basic dashboards and reports. With cutting-edge capabilities like these, application teams are able to differentiate their products from the competition.

The Principle of Calculated Risk

Musings on Project Management

"In carrying out the task assigned. you will be governed by the principle of calculated risk. which you shall interpret as avoidance of [risk] exposure. without good prospect. as a result of such exposure. of greater [benefit]" (*)Admiral Chester Nimitz to his subordinate admirals, Battle of Midway, June, 1942"You will be governed by the principle of calculated risk"What does. Risk Management

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NSA warns about Taiwan tensions

Musings on Project Management

Does your project depend on supplies from Taiwan?Is Is your project doing project work in Taiwan?You You should be thinking about how to be anti-fragile (*) if the balloon goes up according to national security officials.Fall 2022 brings this from NSA:NSA Director of Cybersecurity Rob Joyce has some critical lessons on how companies can withstand an escalation in China-Taiwan tensions and what such. risk decision Risk Management

2022 150

Counter-party risk

Musings on Project Management

Define counter-party: In a transactional relationship, the other party to -- or participating in -- the transaction is your counter-party. In project situations, there are usually many counter-party transactional arrangements, such as contractors and suppliers with transactional relationships. And within the business there may be transactional relationships among business units and the PMO. Oh business analysis contract Risk Management

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Visionary's approach to Risk Management

Musings on Project Management

And expect a parachute to followFrom the Netflix series "Inventing Anna"Actually, in the book "The Network" by Scott Wooley -- which is a pseudo-biography of Edwin Armstrong (vacuum tube amplifier inventor, among many electronics inventions. 42 patents and IEEE Medal of Honor) and David Sarnoff (founder of RCA and NBC) there are many "Leap!" projects described, to include but not. acquisition risk decision

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Enhance Employee Wellness to Retain High-Performing Teams

Speaker: Eric Torigian - Managing Director, Advisory Services, CHRO Solutions

During this informative webinar, Eric Torigian, Managing Director at CHRO Solutions, will explore how organizations are emphasizing employee wellness, how that has helped workers attain a healthy "life balance", and how, as a result, this has contributed to corporate success.

AGILE: how to get there from left to right

Musings on Project Management

If you are new to Agile (thus, perhaps, a late adopter. or a newbie to the software industry) read through this posting at LeadingAnswers. The big message is: Internalize the founding concepts and guiding principles before jumping into sundry Agile practices. Start left; move rightIn particular, understand this lecture: Absorb the idea of moving 'left to right' from the founding ideas to the. agile

2022 174

The THREE things to know about statistics

Musings on Project Management

Number One: It's a bell, unless it's not For nearly all of us when approaching something statistical, we imagine the bell-shape distribution right away. And, we know the average outcome is the value at the peak of the curve. Why is it so useful that it's the default go-to? Because many, if not.

2022 212

The biases come out

Musings on Project Management

Under stress, the biases come out Not only do the risks change, but risk attitudes change as well The stakes may be higher; the consequences greater. Now is the time to revisit the best book ever written on risk management -- in my opinion "Against the Gods, The remarkable story of Risk" by Peter L.

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The problem with strategy.

Musings on Project Management

Ideas matter, but they do not matter as much as intellectuals and [market strategists] think they do. What matters far more is [project craft], which is about sensing, adjusting, exploiting, and doing rather than planning and theorizing. It is the skill of judo player who may have plans but who important characteristic is agility. It is what philosopher Isaiah Berlin called "understanding rather. Strategy

Employee Wellbeing & DEI: Supporting Inclusivity Throughout the Employee Life Cycle

Speaker: Catherine Mattice - Culture Consultant, Business Coach, Strategic HR Expert

Join Catherine Mattice as she details actionable steps for encouraging and reinforcing inclusive behavior from the employees’ first day all the way to their last.

Mobile internet for platforms in motion

Musings on Project Management

Have you ever had a project where a test unit, pre-production unit, or training exercise involved a mobile platform? I have.And, there have got to be many more out there.Now this is not an endorsement or a commercial, but the recent news is that as of mid-2022, satellite-based internet is available at modest cost for mobile platforms. This after Space X's Starlink service for mobile platforms was Project Management

2022 163

Be a sequentialist first; beware the accumulations!

Musings on Project Management

I'm a sequentialist.When planning a project, I think first about how to sequence the scope: do this first, then that. Or, do these things in parallel, followed by this or that.MS Project, and similar tools, are the sequentialists go-to tool for planning sequences and establishing the sequential order of the project. Not so fast!What What about cumulative, non-sequential, scope and effects?For For these, planning Project Management schedule

2022 174

Hire the 'rules people'

Musings on Project Management

A lot of great outcomes are directly from emergent innovationEmergent meaning the properties were not predictable from analyzing the constituents; they surprise us all when the integrated constituents all came together and something new appears!Innovation Innovation meaning that risks to norms were deliberately taken; a form of destruction-constructionBut not everybody is comfortable for. human factors

2022 163

Detecting deep-fake video calls

Musings on Project Management

As I previously posted, there is a growing threat that the person to whom you are video conferencing is really a deep fake. For projects, this threat arises in recruiting strangers remotely by video call, but also in other situations when the 'familiar face' is really fake. But I know that person! How could the image I'm seeing be fake?)Here Here is a report of new research by NSA and UC Berkley. Project Management Risk Management

2022 163

Unlocking Your Supply Chains True Potential in The Midst of Disruptions

Speaker: David Food - Head Of Supply Chain at Board International

In this webinar, Supply Chain Futurologist David Food will discuss how to manage risks and build customer loyalty in the midst of disruption. Don't miss out!