Musings on Project Management

Some stuff you need quickly

Musings on Project Management

Robert Gates, the former United States Secretary of Defense, in a September 2008 speech, said: “Our conventional modernization programs seek a 99% solution in years. Stability and counterinsurgency missions—the wars we are in—require 75% solutions in months. The challenge is whether in our bureaucracy and in our minds these two different paradigms can be made to coexist”. Since that. acquisition Project Management

2019 170

Against the Gods -- a review

Musings on Project Management

"Against the Gods, The remarkable story of Risk" by Peter L. Bernstein is an excellent read and ambitious premise well delivered. Perhaps the best general history of risk -- and presentation of the major concepts of risk -- that is understandable by all practitioners at any level. The content is presented in a general historical order in major sections by epoch. The first being from the. books Risk Management

2019 170

I've got to write a RFP

Musings on Project Management

Ever been asked to write an RFP (request for proposal)? It may not be as easy as you think. My metric is about 2-3 hours per finished page, exclusive of specifications. Specs are normally just imported. So, it could take you the best part of a week to put an RFP in place.

2019 241

Just changed, or transformative?

Musings on Project Management

Change: things are different, or will be. Often a matter of process and function Transformation: Change + values or philosophy that are changed as well Some say that we still don't get it, some 12 years after notable John Kotter wrote his seminal article "Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail." Some say 30% or more fail. Of course, this begs the question: what is failure, or. change

2019 170

Task Management For Project Managers

How can project planning that stretches over months or years remain relevant and account for new ad-hoc activities that arrive every day?

So, who's responsible for Customer?

Musings on Project Management

One of my students offered this strategy for establishing, maintaining, and leveraging relationships with the customer. I thought it was pretty good, so here's the idea: 1. Customer Account Responsible (ACR) -- who. is the Account Manager. for the domain, market or dedicated to the customer (big accounts) responsible for: Account relationships, Opportunity identification, Commercial. human factors marketing

2019 170

The project balance sheet -- not for accountants!

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. Take a look at this figure: What have we got here? First, the business and the project; but. Risk Management

2019 170

Two doors: risk and decision managers

Musings on Project Management

A narrative* Imagine two doors to the same room: One labeled risk manager; the other labeled decision maker. Though the risk manager's door, entry is for the inductive thinker: facts, experience, history looking for a generality or integrating narrative Through the decision maker's door, entry is for the deductive thinker: visionary with a need to articulate specifics for the vision Risk Management

2019 204

Speak softly; big stick leadership formula

Musings on Project Management

Hit the ground running Consolidate control Ask questions of everyone wherever you go Manage by wandering around Determine the basic problems of each organization and hit them head-on When attacked, counterattack Stick to your guns Spend your political capital to to reach your goals When your work is stymied or done, find a way out. As quoted by Doris Kearns Goodwin in "Leadership in. leadership

2019 170

Burning up the team

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 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 you suggest lend objectivity to the process (not playing favorites, etc). Losing productivity Of course, the real issue is Teamwork

2019 196

Managing The Project Budget - Developing Your Project Management Skills

This eBook describes the process of managing the project budget and its associated costs.

Jack or Jill?

Musings on Project Management

A study I read about started this way: Draw a picture of an effective leader Almost without exception, the picture was of a man. Ooops: what about the lady leaders? There's certainly no lack of role models in both politics and business, from Angela Merkel -- Chancellor of Germany -- to Mary Barra -- CEO of General Motors Another study had people listen in to a business meeting where. leadership

2019 170

Looking for stuff on PM?

Musings on Project Management

You say: "I've got to give a presentation about [some] topic in Project Management. Where do I find the stuff I need?" I say: Look no farther than slideshare.net/jgoodpas. There you'll find some 45 presentations available for free download. Attribution: If you use my stuff, please do me the courtesy of an attribution and a reference to the material on slideshare.net The most viewed is this. Project Management

2019 179

Agile and R/D

Musings on Project Management

I was recently asked if Agile and 'R/D' go together. The issue at hand: how do you reconcile agile's call for product delivery to users every few weeks with the unknowns and false starts in a real R/D project? Good question! I'm glad you asked. Let's start with OPM. Other people's money. And the first question: What have you committed to do? There are two possible answers: (1). agile

2019 179

It's a bell shape, unless it's not

Musings on Project Management

Jurgen Appelo is, by his own description, "a Dutch guy" who is somewhat of a humorist, an illustrator, and a proponent of Agile. He also writes a lot about complexity, and the effects of complexity on systems and projects. In his posting, "The Normal Fallacy", Appelo takes on both misconceptions and lazy thinking, and reinforces the danger of thinking everything has a 'regression to the mean risk Statistics

2019 170

Top 5 Project Management Report Templates

These FREE most popular templates will help you perform your role more efficiently.

Measure the measurable

Musings on Project Management

Without Metrics you're just another guy with an opinion - Stephan Leschka, Hewlett Packard* I get it; and mostly, I agree with Mr. Leschka BUT, there are a few other rules: Don't measure -- meaning: don't invest the effort to collect and analyze -- that which you don't manage Don't measure the unmeasurable -- meaning, don't assign false values and dimensions to that which is fundamentally. estimate Strategic Plan

2019 196

Agile and the V-and-V thing

Musings on Project Management

Have you thought much about this? Two of the conceptual conundrums of the hybrid methodology project are: How do you verify that which is incomplete and. How do you validate the efficacy of that which is yet to be conceived? Verification and validation (V-and-V) are traditionally held to be very important project practises that are difficult to map directly into the Agile domain. agile

Agile 213

Quantitative risk for the new guy on the street

Musings on Project Management

Repetition and review are good--Malcom Gladwell says it takes 10,000 hours to be expert at anything--so here's a few words that will take a few minutes on three important quantitative concepts every risk manager should know: Concept 1: Centrality Most phenomenon of interest to projects, particularly naturally occurring phenomenon, tend to cluster around a central value, given enough samples. risk Risk Management

2019 196

Garbage in.

Musings on Project Management

Garbage in; garbage out. GIGO to the rest of us Re GIGO, this issue is raised frequently when I talk about Monte Carlo simulation, and the GIGO thing is not without merit. These arguments are made: You have no knowledge of what distribution applies to the uncertainties in the project (True) You are really guessing about the limits of the three point estimates which drive the simulation. Risk Management Statistics

2019 170

Living With Technical Debt: Balancing Quality and Perfection

Speaker: Cliff Gilley, The Clever PM

As a Product Manager, you probably have to deal with technical debt. Regularly. Whether you like it or not - because it can’t be avoided. Unexpected details pop up, as small as UX that needs clean-up, and as big as a previously unforeseen flaw in the infrastructure of a project. We have to accept that nobody gets away without some technical debt. And of course, the longer you take to deal with your technical debt, the more difficult it becomes to address fully. Feeling frustrated? Fortunately, we can take a step back, gain clarity, and see how the decisions we make impact our technical debt. Then, we can make decisions about how we want to balance technical debt with other priorities. Are we willing to live with some level of technical debt in order to ship product and meet deadlines? Can we mitigate technical debt to get to an MVP faster?

Agile strong -- a reveiw

Musings on Project Management

Trying to remember how you got here? Perhaps Understanding why you're sticking around is also important So, here's my top ten reasons why agile has worked for me 1. Agile is a "best value" method: it's doctrine is centered on value and accomplishment for the customer and user, not so much adherence to cost and schedule--though the sponsor's investment can not be exceeded, so cost is at. agile

2019 191

Technical debt -- a working definition

Musings on Project Management

Technical debt: we've all written about it; I've described it in my book, Project Management the Agile Way (see below), but I guess the industry has never settled on a formal definition. I've always thought of it as a "punch list" that is a "debt" that must be retired in the future. stuff that needs to get DONE or fixed so that we can say to the sponsor: hey, it's DONE and the QUALITY is. agile

2019 170

Getting "reskilled"

Musings on Project Management

Dispatches from Davos 2019 There's a revolution afoot The panel discussions are about "human-centered A.I", and the "Fourth Industrial Revolution" in an article reported by Kevin Roose And, thinking about it, would you want A.I. to be other than human-centered? Strategic thinking: “Earlier they had incremental, 5 to 10 percent goals in reducing their work force. Now they’re saying, ‘Why. human factors pmo

2019 170

Shakespeare on project management

Musings on Project Management

When we mean to build, We first survey the plot, then draw the model; and when we see the figure of the house, Then must we rate the cost of the erection which if we find outweighs ability, What do we then but draw anew the model In fewer offices, or at least desist To build at all? William Shakespeare Henry IV, Part2, I.iii,1598 First seen at heardingcats Buy them at any online book. estimate Quotations

2019 179

The Business Opportunity of Embedded Analytics: New Findings from 500+ Application Teams

Speaker: Josh Martin, Director of Product Marketing, Logi Analytics

Embedded analytics has evolved from an afterthought to a necessity. But most companies don’t realize that the features they embed and how they develop have a lasting impact on revenue, customer churn, and competitive differentiation. The state of embedded analytics in 2018 is in flux. Learn from the experiences of 500+ application teams embedding analytics—including which features actually move the needle, how analytics benefits their companies, and what development approach yields the best results.

Kanban at the Kitchen Table

Musings on Project Management

Dana Rousmaniere and Frank Saucier collaborate in an interview to talk about kanban methods for the home. And, of course, it's all built around a kitchen table white board with some sticky notes. Have you done this at home? I have; and it works. you wouldn't expect otherwise. But, Frank carries it a bit further than I want to go. He has structured family meetings with a checklist agenda, kanban process

2019 170

Dangling participle

Musings on Project Management

Still, as Hanson Baldwin summed up the Italian campaign, “All roads led to Rome, but Rome led nowhere.” Hanson Baldwin, Historian describing the WW II campaign in Italy, 1943 - 44. Accomplishment without purpose -- a dangling achievement And, the lesson for project managers is: Beware the strategic objective that isn't actually strategic at all. It looks strategic at the moment It's called. Project Management Quotations

2019 179

LeCarre and project mangement

Musings on Project Management

As a former intelligence professional, John LeCarre is one of my favorite authors, to say nothing of the dry British wit and sparkling prose that supports some quite challenging plots. Nonetheless, I didn't expect to find this wisdom on the pages of "Our kind of traitor" In operational planning there are two opportunities only for flexibility: One, when you've drawn up your plan. Two, when. Project Management

2018 179

Bigger pie, or more slices?

Musings on Project Management

Leadership v Followership I've been revisiting Michael Porter this week here at "Musings". I was struck by Porter's description of leadership v followership in technology: About that pie: Leadership increases the size of the "pie", but Followership only reslices the pie. Followers accept "zero-sum"; Leaders change the sum. Buy them at any online book retailer! leadership

2019 170

A Guide to Designing Delightful Dashboards

Speaker: Daniel O'Sullivan, Product Designer, nCino and Jeff Hudock, Senior Product Manager, nCino

We’ve all seen the increasing industry trend of artificial intelligence and big data analytics. In a world of information overload, it's more important than ever to have a dashboard that provides data that's not only interesting but actually relevant and timely. Dashboards assist decision makers facilitate new ideas and business opportunities, increase customer approval rates, and analyze current business process. All of these activities play a vital role in providing the superior experience your customers demand.

Behavior v Outcome

Musings on Project Management

You have to give Jurgen Appelo high marks for imaginative illustrations that catch the eye and convey the thought. He says this is one of his best illustrations ever; he may be right. He calls it his "celebration grid". I imagine Jurgen will be telling us a lot more about this if it catches on. But what he says about these grid points is the more important take away: “Celebrate. human factors

2018 184

F.W. Taylor: should we care?

Musings on Project Management

How many project managers are still laboring with the aftermath of Fredrick Winslow Taylor, more popularly known as F.W. Taylor? Taylor Who? You might ask: Who was Taylor? Good question F.W. Taylor was one of the first to study business systematically -- an original "operations research" guy. He brought 'Taylorism" into the business culture in the years leading up to World War I. By 1915, agile human factors process Quality

2019 170

Agile C.R.A.C.K. customers

Musings on Project Management

Barry Boehm, a noted software methodologist with a long and illustrative career at TRW, DARPA, and USC, and author of the COCOMO model and Spiral methodology, writes about the ideal customer for agile projects. Boehm's perspective: -- Collaborative: they will engage with their customer peers and with the development team -- Representative: they know the product or system requirements. agile customer

2019 170

F.W.

Musings on Project Management

How many project managers are still laboring with the aftermath of Fredrick Winslow Taylor, more popularly known as F.W. Taylor? You might ask: Who was Taylor? Taylor was one of the first to study business systematically. He brought 'Taylorism" into the business culture in the years leading up to World War I. By 1915, his ideas were considered quite advanced, and they had significant

2018 170

Turning Metrics into Dollars: How to Turn Your Analytics Data into a Real Financial Model for your Startup

Speaker: Tristan Kromer, Lean Agile Coach, Kromatic

Some teams struggle to constantly optimize conversion rates without understanding the financial impact of those conversion rates. Sometimes that 0.1% increase isn't worth the engineering time we're spending! Early stage startups in particular may not need a four year business plan, but they need to start building out a model which will show how they can someday be profitable. At the very least, they need to be able to see the impact of a change in retention rates to their user growth.

The Fiduciary and the PM

Musings on Project Management

Consider this explanation of a fiduciary: In a fiduciary relationship, one person, in a position of vulnerability, justifiably vests confidence, good faith, reliance, and trust in another whose aid, advice or protection is sought in some matter. In such a relation good conscience requires the fiduciary to act at all times for the sole benefit and interest of the one who trust So, what are we. Project Management

2018 170

8 Administrative Professional Conferences You Can’t Miss in 2018

Musings on Project Management

8 Administrative Professional Conferences You Can’t Miss in 2018. Have you ever noticed the amazing ideas and inspiration that come from connecting with other like-minded people who have the same profession as you? We want administrative professionals to feel that invigorating spark again and again!

2018 269

Meeting the customer's standards

Musings on Project Management

"They" say about Agile: You don't have to bother with gathering requirements; requirements just emerge You don't have to have any documentation; it's all in the code You can do away with V&V: verification and validation, because that's like QA tacked onto the end You don't really have to have an architect, because (somehow) the best architecture emerges Taking responsibility for business. agile

2018 170

Faces of risk

Musings on Project Management

1 When you say "risk management" to most PMs, what jumps to mind is the quite orthodox conception of risk as the duality of an uncertain future event and the probability of that event happening. Around these two ideas -- impact and frequency -- we've discussed in this blog and elsewhere the conventional management approaches. This conception is commonly called the "frequentist" view/ Risk Management

Risk 170

How Agile Approaches Change Project, Program, and Product Measures

Speaker: Johanna Rothman, Management Consultant, Rothman Consulting Group

Before agile approaches took the world by storm, we used Gantt charts and defects to measure project and program progress. We had trouble measuring product progress until just before release—often too late to change anything. Join Johanna as she discusses how agile approaches change what we measure, and possible measures you might use in projects, programs, and to assess the product as the team(s) build it.