3 things you need to make better, faster, project decisions (Part 1)

3 things you need to make better, faster, project decisions (Part 1)

What do you need to make better, faster, project decisions? I think there are 3 essential “things” if I can call them that. They are: Good data, at regular intervals, from trustworthy people (or sources) The ability to make a timely decision under uncertain conditions A project governance structure that allows decision-making at the appropriate level In this, and in two subsequent posts, I will explain what I mean by each one. That said, let’s begin with the first— Good data, at regular intervals, from trustworthy people. Good data…… What does good data tell us, and, where do we find it?  Good data tells us about the Past , the Present , and the Future . We typically find data about the past in project reports.

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Want more innovation on your project team? Ask the right questions

Want more innovation on your project team? Ask the right questions

On a vacation in 1943 in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Edwin Land took a picture of his young daughter. When she asked if she could see the photo immediately he, of course, said no, he had to take the film to be developed. He then asked himself something along the lines of “why not?” “Why can’t someone invent a way to take pictures that you could see right away?” It changed photography until the digital camera changed it! As you probably have surmised this was the very beginning of what became known as the Polaroid Land Camera, an invention that changed photography forever. In fact, the company he started had tremendous success, so much so, it was placed it on what was known as the Nifty-fifty , a group of high-flying growth companies that dominated trading on the New York Stock Exchange in the 1960s. In his highly readable work entitled A More Beautiful Question, Warren Berger points out that it’s not just asking questions that leads to innovation; it’s asking the right kinds of questions. What kind are those? The ones that Edwin Land’s daughter asked; namely, open questions

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PM leadership tips from someone who buries people for a living

PM leadership tips from someone who buries people for a living

That someone is Steve Muro who heads the National Cemetery Administration (NCA) responsible for 131 U.S. national cemeteries where more than 3 million veterans and their families are buried. The NCA is part of the Department of Veterans Affairs headquartered in Washington, DC. whose motto reads “for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan. These words were spoken by Abraham Lincoln during his Gettysburg Address and are now on a pair of metal plaques at the entrance to the VA. Next time you’re in Washington, take a short stroll down Vermont Ave NW. They’re really quite inspiring.

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Think Agile is a fad? Think again

Think Agile is a fad? Think again

What’s in your wallet? At Cap One plenty since they started using agile! In 2011, Capital One (the “what’s in your wallet? ” company) delivered only 1% of its development projects using agile. Today, it’s 85%. Here are some facts to get your (or your executives’) attention. Using an agile development methodology Capital One has 400 product releases per month 95% of products meet expectations on the first release delivery times have been cut by 3-6 months they have decreased costs significantly While you might think that Capital One has a pilot test of agile going on the fact is they have trained more than 3,000 developers and business users on this innovative development approach. This is no small feat.

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PM training through MOOCs? It’s just a matter of time

PM training through MOOCs? It’s just a matter of time

Coursera , one of the relatively new companies offering MOOCs (Massive Open On-line Courses) recently announced a couple of very interesting bits of news. First, the former President of Yale University, Richard C. Levin, who stepped down this past June, will become its chief executive next month. And, second, the company recently introduced what it calls “specializations” where an individual who completes several related courses will earn a certificate, all for the low price of between $250-$500! I’m sure Levin had his choice of jobs upon leaving Yale; most ex-presidents of Yale do. And yet, he chose to jump headfirst into this rapidly evolving, and somewhat controversial,  form of on-line learning.  Coursera sees rapid growth, especially in China, and Levin, with a great deal of experience in working with Chinese universities throughout his career, can help spur that growth, and grow his compensation as well. As regards certificates, this is another interesting development.

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