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Episode 347: Every Project Leader Needs a Project Plan

Episode 346: Weight Loss For Risky Projects

Episode 345: My Project is Failing, It is Not My Fault

Episode 344: Achieving the Elusive Work-Life Balance

Episode 343: Managing Virtual Teams

Episode 347: Every Project Leader Needs a Project Plan

Categories: Project Planning

Listen to this free interview and earn 0.50 PDUs (Leadership):

(Click to download MP3...)

David Hillson

This interview with Ron Black (www.linkedin.com/in/ronblack) is based on chapters two and three of his new book Leadership - The Everyday Superhero's Action Guide to Plan and Deliver High-Stakes Projects. Here is how Ron introduces the need for a project plan:

You're going to need a plan. No matter how urgent the moment may appear—stopping killer comet collisions, derailing evil tyrants from world domination, or dashing through security, grabbing a latte, and boarding your 5:31 AM flight in time to stow your roll-aboard in the last available space—you'll be more successful, more of the time, if you have a plan.

Leadership by Ron Black

In our discussion, Ron and I will focus on introducing you to his "Super Power Points". These are poignant one-liners (i.e. "To finish faster, start a little slower") that he offers at the end of each chapter to summarize the message.

We review each of the 15 points from the opening chapters and Ron gives us his insights and recommendations that show why even the best project leader needs a plan.

(This interview was originally published on The Project Management Podcast.)

Posted on: January 25, 2016 07:03 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)

Episode 346: Weight Loss For Risky Projects

Categories: Risky Projects

Listen to this free interview and earn 0.25 PDUs (Technical PM):

(Click to download MP3...)

David Hillson

This interview with Dr. David Hillson was recorded at the 2015 PMI Global Congress in Orlando, Florida. We discuss his paper and presentation "Weight Loss For Risky Projects". Here is the paper's definition of Risk Obesity:

“Risk obesity” occurs when there is too much risk in the system, resulting from uncontrolled risk appetite (Hillson, 2014). This can affect the business as a whole if strategic risk-taking decisions by the senior management team lead to risk exposure that is greater than the organization can manage. But risk obesity can also occur at the project level, when a particular project is carrying levels of risk that are too high, posing a significant threat to the project’s success.

Each of the characteristics of physical obesity has parallels in risk obesity, where we accumulate excessive risk exposure that threatens the ongoing health of our project, and that may ultimately be terminal. Risk obesity also makes other risk ailments more likely, as high levels of risk exposure challenge the ability of our risk management processes to cope.

The main cause of risk obesity is an uncontrolled or inappropriate risk appetite (Hillson and Murray-Webster, 2012), leading us to take on too much risk without the ability to digest it and deal with it effectively. It is also possible in some cases that there is a built-in tendency to risk obesity arising from the “organizational DNA,” with a corporate ethos and culture that lead to excessive risk-taking.

The good news for projects suffering from risk obesity is that it is both treatable and preventable. This paper provides clear diagnostic symptoms to determine whether a project is risk obese, as well as proven treatment options.

(This interview was originally published on The Project Management Podcast.)

Posted on: January 18, 2016 10:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Episode 345: My Project is Failing, It is Not My Fault

Categories: Project Leadership

Listen to this free interview and earn 0.25 PDUs (Strategic & Business):

(Click to download MP3...)

Peter Monkhouse

This interview with Peter Monkhouse was recorded at the 2015 PMI Global Congress in Orlando, Florida. We discuss his paper and presentation "My Project is Failing, It is Not My Fault". Here is the paper's abstract:

Projects fail. This is not new; projects having been failing for years. Studies have been done on why projects fail. The Project Management Institute (PMI) reported in the Pulse of the Profession® (2013a) that poor communication is the number one reason why projects fail. In fact, PMI states that poor communications is a contributing factor in 56% of the projects that failed.

But is this the fault of the project manager? A good project manager follows the appropriate methodology for the project, including using a variety of communication tools. But it is not just the method of communication that matters, it is the also the content of the communication that is important. The project manager needs to communicate with the project sponsor and stakeholders in the language of the business. The project manager needs to take the project data and convert it into business information that is actionable for the project sponsor and key stakeholders.

To do this, there are two tools the project manager can use. The first is to determine how the product or service of the project supports the organizational strategy. Knowing how the project supports the strategy of the organization will provide the language of why it is important for the project sponsor to support the project.

The second tool is the business model canvas which uses nine building blocks to describe how the strategy of the organization is implemented through organizational structures, processes, and systems. Knowing which block the project impacts will provide the project manager with the context to describe the project in the language of the business.

A project manager that speaks the language of the business will communicate more effectively with the project sponsor and project stakeholders, and improve the chances of the project meeting its objectives.

(This interview was originally published on The Project Management Podcast.)

Posted on: January 17, 2016 07:39 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)

Episode 344: Achieving the Elusive Work-Life Balance

Categories: Work-Life Balance

Listen to this free interview and earn 0.25 PDUs (Technical PM):

(Click to download MP3...)

Neal Whitten

This interview with Neal Whitten was recorded at the 2015 PMI Global Congress in Orlando, Florida. We discuss his paper and presentation "Achieving the Elusive Work-Life Balance". Here is the paper's abstract:

If you have difficulty in juggling the demands of your job and your non-work life, you’re not alone. Many people feel like their lives are overcommitted and see no relief in sight. Nowadays, work-life balance can seem like an unrealistic objective and can seem more elusive than ever.

I have personally wrestled with my own work-life balance issues for most of my adult life, but—as a senior-aged person—I have learned a massive amount of knowledge and, dare I say, wisdom, about the highly important subject of finding a satisfactory harmony across all aspects of life. I have also read the research and musings from many valuable contributors that have opened my eyes even wider on maintaining a healthy work-life balance. My mission here is to sift through the data and present to you meaningful information that can help you to not only better understand your work-life balance, but can also give you ideas that can help you to achieve the integration that is most important to you.

(This interview was originally published on The Project Management Podcast.)

Posted on: January 17, 2016 07:31 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)

Episode 343: Managing Virtual Teams

Categories: Leadership, Management

Listen to this free interview and earn 0.25 PDUs (Technical PM):

(Click to download MP3...)

Elizabet Larson

This interview with Jesse Fewell was recorded at the 2015 PMI Global Congress in Orlando, Florida. We discuss his paper and presentation "Can You Hear Me Now? Working with Global, Distributed, Virtual Teams". Here is the paper's abstract:

Today's work world has changed radically. Whether video chatting with China or taking a call at from home, more and more professional work is no longer in person. It can be frustrating, but a deeper look reveals some surprises: Everyone is doing it, and not just for costs; many organizations are thriving with it. Most pain points have simple work-arounds. This paper will walk you through tips and benefits for working with people outside your office.

With the rise of the Internet, emerging economies, and the trend of working from home, today’s professionals are dealing with a workplace that is very different from anything the world has ever seen. Never before in the history of mankind have we been able to conduct so much work, so quickly, with so many people outside our own location.

Of course, it’s not all rainbows and unicorns. We struggle with time zone issues, language barriers, limited visibility, poor infrastructure, and so on and so on. Sometimes we choose remote teams intentionally for their benefits. But often, this kind of organizational structure is handed to managers and team members without choice.

This paper is about how to deal with all those issues and strengthen your teams.

(This interview was originally published on The Project Management Podcast.)

Posted on: January 17, 2016 07:21 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)
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