Even though we’ve regulated play to children, wannabe children and employee training scenarios, there is a lot of value in promoting play in the workforce.
Consultants can be a helpful resource on a project or they can take up valuable space. Here are some ideas for the best way to deal with consultants and make sure they are beneficial to the project.
Many consulting engagements see frustrated consultants because they are not allowed to do what they feel is needed to maximize the chances of success. Here, we look at how these scenarios can be avoided--something that starts with trust.
What comes to mind when you ponder the possibility of engaging a consultant? Dread or excitement? The high cost or opportunity for growth? Most of us have heard good things and bad things about using consultants, most of which are true.
If we want better projects, we need to be better at our project management. But is consistency and formality the answer? Is demanding adherence to a common process what is required to get to “better”? The evidence here is mixed.
There is no exact science for people. Just as our project processes should be context-specific, so too should our team processes. Depending on whether your team is brand new, establishing itself or stable, the way we interact as managers and leaders should be tailored to fit the circumstances. Here are some pointers.
On an agile project, we often must accomplish the extraordinary. Yet how can we do so when we must work with such…ahem…ordinary people? Here are some suggestions for helping your group of ordinary individuals to accomplish the extraordinary on your agile project.
What is your PMO’s reputation among the PMs it serves? There could be a lot of distrust. Through experience, one manager discovered some potential problem areas that you may want to look at in your own organization.
Organizational charts can become a tangled mess of lines and overlapping boxes. The project manager must untangle this mess so the project can progress. Sounds like a little R&R is what we all need...
“Governance” is one of those words that consultants and managers like to throw around to make it sound like they know what they're talking about. It is also one of the most widely misused words--if not concepts--currently employed in organizations. Why this is, what it means (and doesn’t) and what it should represent are what this article explores.
It doesn’t seem to matter what methodologies are used--success is not a guarantee. While eyes always turn to the PM for blame, isn’t it time we examined why another significant party should also be sharing that burden?
Agile methods suggest replacing top-down, command-and-control management with empowered teams and shared leadership. That all sounds nice, but what exactly is shared leadership and how do you get it to happen?
While “blame” is not a constructive term to use in establishing where things went wrong, every element of a project should have clearly defined owners. If it isn’t clear where that ownership lies, there's a fundamental problem in the way your project is structured. Here we look at how we can establish that ownership--and ensure that the model is applied effectively.
Question: I work for a non-profit organization and am leading a five-year project supported by a grant. Four years in, I’m still unable to get cooperation from the participants (paid). How do I get them committed so that we have something to show for the five years of work?
|A.||There is no way to achieve performance goals in only five years unless you have full authority over these people. Ask the funder for another three years of funding.|
|B.||Find a few participants who you can pay extra to cooperate, and then use them as examples to shame the rest of the group into compliance.|
|C.||Create a clear performance structure with an irresistible payoff at the end, but be prepared to abide by your own rules if you want to change the participant’s behavior.|
|D.||Non-profit organizations are not planning to receive the expected outcomes promised, as they know from experience that only profit-driven projects can be successful.|
Governance is concerned with the best use of an organizations’ resources. Thus, effective IT planning processes are essential. Organizations must gain insight into (and ultimately retain control over) the demands being made on IT.
The stress of dealing with the governance committee can quickly cause the word “governance” to become a four-letter word. Learn how to work the system to make governance effective and actually helpful to the project.
As our two-part series concludes, we look at the three most common approaches to selecting PMs that one expert has seen in the business world: assigning the in-house subject matter expert, hiring a project management specialist and hiring a project management generalist. Warning: These aren't always best practices...
There are many ways that a project manager can find or create a community of support--and it extends beyond the project management office. Here we offer a few suggestions and starting points for finding communities for project managers.
When creating a project schedule, most project managers use templates or old project plans that can be repurposed for the new project. There are times, however, when it is necessary to build a schedule from scratch--a task that is far more difficult
Question: We are totally committed to agile in our production teams, but is there any way to use the agile philosophy for a sales team?
|A.||Agile was written by software developers, and any attempt to move it outside of that sweet spot has proven unsuccessful.|
|B.||The agile philosophy is appropriate for any group that needs a flexible approach to providing increased value to the organization through a collaborative approach.|
|C.||Since the Scrum methodology includes software prototyping, testing and rework, salespeople must learn enough code to experience those parts of the agile process to use it.|
|D.||The agile philosophy is appropriate for any group that needs a step-by-step solution that can be replicated by each team in the organization to provide product consistency.|
For a company and its associates to act responsibly and minimize exposure of data on mobile devices, the following actions need to be considered as a component of a collaborative agreement.
Meetings are the lifeblood of projects, but they can quickly dissolve into chaos if not facilitated correctly. A few tricks will keep things on track and the meeting finished on time.
Question: My project “teams” are random, siloed people housed all over the building. We never meet, and multiple project managers all use the same departmentalized individuals to complete activities. How do I get them to prioritize my work requests?
|A.||Ask your organization to restructure from a traditional hierarchy to a projectized organization.|
|B.||Offer free coffee mugs, t-shirts and award certificates each time someone completes an activity for your project.|
|C.||Show your manager that having these people moved to a common workspace for the duration of your project will add value to the project deliverables.|
|D.||Transition yourself from a project manager to a project leader and create a sense of connection and personal relationships between these random, siloed workers.|
It would be simple for a development team to use agile software development practices to improve their development process, likely reducing the injection of defects and possibly increasing their productivity. But what happens if they don’t? A lesson in communication and human behavior may help.