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You Are Going to Love the Changes. Really?

By Eileen Strider Employees can sniff out the real impact of a change.  They realize that a change might be good for some but not necessarily for all. Customers and the company might benefit. The executives might benefit. Even some employees might benefit. But individual employees and specific parts of the organization may not benefit. Read More »

If your organization isn’t good at project management, Agile practices will make you worse

Dr. Fred Brooks. When he says there’s no Silver Bullet, he means it. If you are reading all the hype surrounding Agile, you’d have to think it’s that illusive Silver Bullet that Fred Brooks wrote about in his 1986 landmark article entitled No Silver Bullet: Essence and Accident in Software Engineering .  Most people, when in a logical and rational state, would agree that excellence in project management, and specifically in the field of software development, takes time, discipline, training, tools, and the right level of executive support. However, many try to shortcut their way to excellence by jumping on any bandwagon that happens to be rolling by; and, today, that bandwagon’s got Agile written all over it. Read More »

As a Project Manager would you rather your team be more innovative or more productive? Marissa Mayer has definite ideas

Yahoo! remote employee contemplating his future Marissa Mayer , the new head of Yahoo! , has just caused a major brouhaha by abolishing the company’s work-at-home policy and ordering everyone to work in the office. Why? Because she believes that working face-to-face fosters a more collaborative culture for the simple, yet powerful reason, that people simply talk to one another more. And when they do get back to work, they’ll work in an office environment physically configured (lots of open spaces, no private offices or cubes, etc. ) to promote dialogue, not just among those who work together on teams, but with as many people as possible. All for the objective of encouraging better communication and having impromptu, serendipitous chance encounters with colleagues that may yield greater innovation. Read More »

The Project Observer – What Do You See?

by Marie Benesh In our most recent podcast, How To Know Your Project is in Trouble , we mentioned the role of observer. This is a person who is charged with looking at the project from a different perspective – from an observer point of view. This doesn’t have to be a full-time role, and usually isn’t. It can be you, the project manager, who decides to sit back and observe the project and team without interjecting. Or it can be a shared role, something that everyone on the team takes on at one time or another. But what are you looking for? Read More »

Three tips for dealing with “cotton mouth” when presenting to key stakeholders

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio gave the Republican response to President Obama’s State of the Union speech on February 18. As he progressed in his speech it’s clear the nerves kicked in sucking all the moisture out his mouth giving him the dreaded “cotton mouth,” or dry mouth as medical professionals call it. In fact, it was so bad, he wiped his mouth and slurred his words, and then basically lunged for a bottle of water to lubricate his jaw. He was laughed at all over the Internet. Watch this YouTube video and you’ll see exactly what the poor guy was going through.   I’m not making fun of Rubio, although I certainly chuckled when watching him because I know exactly what that’s like. Read More »