With U.S. and Canadian vehicle sales heating up, Mexico’s automobile industry is shifting into overdrive. As the export-oriented sector produces record numbers of cars—more than 3 million units in 2014 and more than 4 million expected by 2016, according to PwC—many of the world’s major automakers are launching projects to meet demand.
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The U.S. appetite for food free of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) has gone from a growing fad to a trend. Sales of non-GMO-labeled products grew 28 percent in 2013 to about US$3 billion, according to market research firm Nielsen. The project teams tasked with shepherding these products to market must negotiate a tricky, time-consuming process of securing—and verifying—the right ingredients.
The future of banking is digital. Yet despite the rapidly growing demand for online products and services, many U.S. and European retail banks have struggled to fund the projects necessary to modernize all front- and back-office operations. It’s not just about digitizing loan applications to speed up the approval process. Transitioning from legacy systems at individual bank branches to one digital system spanning the entire organization has proven especially difficult.
Recent projects aim to provide a solution to power outages by treating energy less like a bottomless ATM and more like a savings account--storing it when we don’t need it so we can spend it when we do.
Many people are surprised to learn the full extent of the costs of poor quality in all aspects of business. This article explores how the cost of quality in management work affects the relationships with key stakeholders, managers and customers. In doing so, it overviews how fit-for-purpose project communications provide each stakeholder with the information he or she needs. It lists four consequences of failing to provide quality information. It then identifies two sources of cost associated with quality in communication and stakeholder management: losses experienced because of poor quality or failure costs and investments made to improve quality or prevention costs.
When a project management office (PMO) is leveraged to its full potential, it can foster strategic alignment, improve project performance, develop future project leaders and support the success of the entire organization. But if the same PMO is left to languish without leadership and support, it can become a burden on the bottom line. This article examines how a successful PMO can be the difference between an average and a world-class organization. In doing so, it reports the results of a 2012 survey conducted by The Hackett Group, showing that of 200 large global organizations those with high PMO use had higher IT costs and failed to deliver projects with higher ROI. It describes the challenges facing organizations including implementing a PMO as well as implementing a PMO that works. It defines a successful PMO as one that works toward delivering concrete strategic benefits to the organization. The article discusses how engaging with business owners to ensure the PMO's work aligns with the organization's strategic goals and reviews how leaders need to outline the standards, processes and practices that projects across the organization will follow. It notes how to measure a PMO's effectiveness and discusses how measurement and accountability are the primary drivers of an effective PMO. It also notes how top-performing organizations invest in the training and development of their project talent, which can help increase an organization's project management maturity and boost its bottom line.
Lean practices have been working miracles in manufacturing for decades, driving early adopters, most notably Toyota, to the top of their markets. Given that track record, lean processes are now cropping up in project management across industries. This article examines how using lean principles can drive waste and inefficiencies out of programs and save millions in the process.
Communication allows us to exchange ideas, solve problems and reach our intended goals. Yet one kind of interaction makes us all sweat, even though it's a necessity in project management: providing feedback to team members. This article discusses how to make providing constructive criticism easier to swallow. It examines the popular 1990s management-training model called the "feedback sandwich," and identifies its three components: base bread, filling and top bread. Then it discusses a newer model named for the communication tool's three middle layers, all beginning with the letter "F"--the "F3 Burger." The article explains how the F3 burger is based on layering information that's effective and easy to digest and discusses how it captures both positive and negative. It then lists the layers of the F3 burger: base bun; facts (meat); feelings (cheese); future performance (vegetables); and top bun.
Poor communication drives all sorts of inefficiencies, and the disconnect can be especially costly in the workplace. This article discusses how mobile technology can dramatically reduce communication gaps, helping organizations run projects more sustainably and efficiently and transforming the way they do business. It begins by explaining how these new technologies have the potential to help project managers collect data, lead teams and operate equipment at maximum efficiency. Then it identifies several ways mobile technology can enhance a project team's work by enabling decision-makers to act before resources are squandered. It explains how running tight ships, monitoring remotely, keeping workers safe, wiring the developing world, and tracking smarter data will improve the project team's work and boost their efficiency.
Project managers expect project management executives to be more than bosses. They expect people who can guide them