Project Management in Real Life

Sharing my Project Management adventures and some tips. I try to keep my articles brief and to the point. Project Management is an Art, Science, and Discipline.

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Recent Posts

The Project Presentation

The Problem Solver

My Project Management Zen Moment

The Project Manager with dirty hands

I need to make this Meeting happen

Bring in the Business Analyst

We live in a world with technology to give businesses the ability to run an efficient operation. Well that's not going to happen if the wrong components and processes are in place or it's time for a technology refresh.  

The Business Analyst is the person that needs to understand how the business operates to meet their objectives now and into the future. A good Business Analyst needs to roll up their sleeves and get dirty digging for information. A Business Analyst needs to work with the business units by documenting the process flow by observation and asking a lot of questions. Spend a week with the business unit that is targeted for improvement to get a good feel on how they operate.

Something to remember when you work on improving a process. I was told by an instructor in a class I attended on process improvement, "If you can measure it, you can manage it."

(Note - this article was originally written by Drake Settsu and published on in January 2016)

Posted on: June 12, 2018 09:13 AM | Permalink | Comments (13)

Good Morning Hawaii - Seek Shelter

Hawaii Civil Defense

Hawaii gets a nice Saturday morning wake up alert on their phone.

Words cannot describe the initial reaction you get when you receive an alert that you need to seek immediate shelter because a ballistic missile is on it's way. You only have about 20 minutes to find your hiding place. 

Project Management failed on setting up the new civil defense preparedness for a ballistic missile attack on Hawaii. The failure caused panic and pain. Your life could be ending in 20 minutes. You keep waiting for the all clear and nothing happens. It took over 38 minutes for the Hawaii Civil Defense to send out an alert that there is no threat.

Some lessons learned:

  1. There was no leadership from the top to bottom that day. Just confusion. They knew immediately that the alert was and error.

  2. Step up, no one had the guts to take charge of the situation to immediately send out an alert that there is no missile on it's way.

  3. How does one person have access to such a critical life and death alert without management authorizing the alert to be sent out.

  4. Training and safeguards was obviously missing in the project plan.

  5. No contingency plan was properly developed to execute in the event of an erroneous alert going out to the public.

My final thoughts on the incident is that Project Management and Leadership play such an import part no matter what type of project it is. In this case the residents and visitors in Hawaii will never forget this date 01-13-2018 because a Project Manager and lack of Leadership really really messed up bad.

Posted on: January 16, 2018 06:20 AM | Permalink | Comments (21)

Project Managers and Quarterbacks

Running projects and playing football have similarities you are working toward a goal. Projects have milestones and football has touchdowns. The project manager will direct and manage project execution making adjustments along the way to keep the project moving. The quarterback will run plays and make adjustments to guide the team down the field.

Project Managers and Quarterbacks are leaders that your teams depends on and looks up to for guidance. Both positions are in the spotlight requiring charisma and professionalism. Both positions will take the fall for any failures of the team.

Your key to success is motivating your team that everyone has an important role on it. Continuous process improvement to find better ways to execute.

Communication is so critical that you need to be a good listener and follow up with any concerns or issues brought to your attention. Always follow-up.

Take care of your team and they will follow you.

(Note - this article was originally written by Drake Settsu and published on in January 2015)

Posted on: January 12, 2018 09:50 PM | Permalink | Comments (6)

"It isn't necessary to be rich and famous to be happy. It's only necessary to be rich."

- Alan Alda