Do you have the courage to face up to your project?

Do you have the courage to face up to your project?

We all know that managing a project can be emotionally draining. On a bad day we spend most of our time resolving issues, mitigating risks and dealing with conflict. This can be draining because the stakes are high and because we want to do our best to protect the schedule. After all, our job is to remove blockages and fix problems so that the project can be delivered without delays. But might there be another reason why we’d want to find a solution to a risk or an issue? Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net Could it be, for instance, that we subconsciously find conflict, uncertainty and question marks so uncomfortable that we intuitively want to move away from them? Could it be that we hurry to find a ‘quick fix’ simple because we want to get away from an emotionally difficult situation

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5 ways to boost your AND your PMO’s value (Part 1)

5 ways to boost your AND your PMO’s value (Part 1)

Many PMO Directors want to provide value and actually think they are based on their “inside-out” view of the world. The “outside-in” perspective tells a completely different story, one that for many unsuspecting PMO Directors will have a very bad ending: their PMO will be disbanded and they will be looking for work. For the past two years, ESI International has conducted comprehensive global surveys of the State of the PMO, and analyzed scores of others. For more than four years it has engaged PMO Heads from every industry sector in round table events. And what the surveys reveal will startle, and educate, PMO Heads in every geography and industry sector. In short, what a PMO Head thinks they should be doing is, in fact, the last thing they should be spending your time on. I’ve taken those findings and boiled them down to 5 key takeaways; ways, in which value can be boosted

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Are you making any of these 10 process-related mistakes?

Are you making any of these 10 process-related mistakes?

Good project management is so much more than the application of processes – we know that. But although it’s people who deliver projects, processes support them in doing so and certainly have a place. Even with the best people it’s hard to deliver a successful project without a solid method for defining and controlling the project’s scope, requirements, benefits, costs, quality and risks. How unfortunate then, that many project managers make basic mistakes and fail to put in place a solid foundation based on which the project can progress.  Are you at risk of making any of the below process-related mistakes? 1. You fail to see the bigger commercial picture of the project: You assume that the sponsor or someone more senior has already produced a strong and viable business case and that costs and benefits stack up. 2

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Who determines the PMO’s value?

Who determines the PMO’s value?

It is clear from my work in the area of PMO startup and development that there are three key stakeholder groups that determine the PMO’s value. They are the─ Executive(s) under whose organization the PMO function and responsibility reside Project and program managers who either directly report to the PMO or who are heavily influenced by it Clients (internal or external) who are serviced by the project and program managers who deliver the new product or service resulting from their effort What does each group value? The key question each PMO Head has to answer is “what do each of these groups value?” In other words, what are they looking for from the PMO to facilitate their work and provide contributions to the organization?  In my experience, PMO Heads often fail to answer this question either because they think they know what each group needs, or, they assume that all key stakeholder groups’ needs are the same. In fact, this is not the case. The needs of the executive are entirely different from those of the project and program managers; in fact, the executive’s perspective is actually more aligned with those of the clients than with the project and program managers whose view tends to be somewhat more focused on the work effort itself rather than broad organizational goals and outcomes.  Thus, this difference of perspective is where we can look to gain helpful insight into ways that the PMO Head can boost not only his or her own value in the organization, but the PMO’s as well. In fact, the two are generally considered inseparable. Which group is the most important

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Will PMI’s new requirements credential prevent problems like these?

Will PMI’s new requirements credential prevent problems like these?

By “these” I am referring to the Mars Climate Orbiter mission failure of 1995. The pics below tell it’s sad tale. Designed to help scientists understand Mar’s water history and potential for life, the $125 m spacecraft completed a nearly 10 month journey to Mars where it was to go into orbit around the “red planet.”   It was launched on 11 December 1998 at 18:45:51 UTC aboard a Delta II 7425 rocket from Cape Canaveral SLC-17A   It was a successful launch and everyone at Mission Control congratulated themselves on the beginning of such an exciting mission.   On September 23, 1999 all communications with the spacecraft was lost.   The spacecraft encountered Mars on a trajectory that brought it too close to the planet, causing it to pass through the upper atmosphere and disintegrate. In NASA’s language it “unintentionally deorbited.” The question was “Why?”   The ground based software, developed by Lockheed, a contractor, was written using English foot-pound units, instead of the metric units specified by NASA in its contract. A classic case of failure to meet the requirements otherwise known as a pretty big screw up!   NASA did a complete investigation and lessons learned to uncover why such a critical requirement was completely missed.

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