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When I arrived at the beach the sun was just cracking the sky. I was rolling my beach cart “battle wagon” down the ramp to the ocean. This beach ramp also served cars and at the bottom of the ramp orange pylons mark boundaries to make the ramp clear to cars. As I approached the bottom I could see the unmistakable tracks of a sea turtle where she had come out of the ocean, laid her eggs, and went back into the ocean. If the turtle’s goal had been to lay her eggs at the base of the southernmost pylon, she could not have done any better.

The individual responsible for turtle nests for this area of beach is a park ranger who walks it on foot because the beach south of the ramp is an environmentally sensitive area and vehicles are not allowed.

Posted by Dr. James Brown in accountability, Discpline, Leadership Training.

Project Portfolio Management – Understanding Where Your Program is Today

There are three commonsense categories of past, present, and future when dealing with the basics of project portfolio management: (a) assessing where your program has been, (b) understanding where your program is today, and (c) driving where your program is going.

Understanding Where Your Program is Today

Posted by Dr. James Brown in Portfolio Management, Program Management.

Project Portfolio Management – Assessing Where Your Program Has Been

There are three commonsense categories of past, present, and future when dealing with the basics of project portfolio management: (a) assessing where your program has been, (b) understanding where your program is today, and (c) driving where your program is going.

Assessing Where Your Program Has Been

Spanish philosopher George Santayana said, “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Unfortunately, many organizations do not look back at the preceding year with enough thoroughness. The leader should look back at the preceding year and document the following:

  1. What were the business’s goals and targets for the year?
  2. What was the variance of actual results compared with those goals?
  3. What was the root cause of each variance?

Posted by Dr. James Brown in Portfolio Management, Program Management.

Project Reserve: Eight Tips You Should Know

Project Reserve: Eight Tips You Should Know

A key aspect leading to  a successful project outcome is having adequate project reserve.  Adequate project reserve also ensures a smoother, less stressful journey to the successful project outcome.  Inadequate project reserve is rarely cited as a cause of project failure, but it is a contributing factor to the failure of many projects. Having adequate reserve is just common sense.  Below are eight tips you should know about project reserve.

1.       Make sure you have it. –  Ask for project reserve.  Use all your pervasive influence skills (Influence the Psychology of Persuasion, How to Get People To Do Stuff, Magic Words) to get the reserve.  If you cannot get adequate reserve through influence of the proper channels, then sneak it in.

Posted by Dr. James Brown in Leadership Skills, Program Management, Project Management.

Accountability – Do You Work with Sideline Vultures?

An armadillo had been struck by a car near my house. I live in Florida and anything that dies, quickly has vultures on its remains.  I was close enough to the carnage to hear the vultures and the sliding of the Armadillo’s carcass, as it was being dragged on the street as the vultures pulled and tugged on it.  As I watched from my garage, it was apparent that a few vultures were doing the majority of the work, while some just observed from the sideline.  These sideline vultures did nothing but position themselves near the Armadillo’s carcass, while the other vultures worked on it.  However, as soon as one of the working vultures pulled out a large chunk of fresh Armadillo, the sideline vultures sprang into action by trying to steal the meat from the vulture that had worked to remove it.

Posted by Dr. James Brown in accountability.