Latest Posts

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.

The Program Manager’s Risk Environment

The program manager’s risk environment is complex, because risks at the business level, program level, or project level can impact the program. That’s why categorization of risks facilitates better risk identification activities.

Additionally, the program manager must scrutinize which business- and program-level risks project manager’s should address. It would be too burdensome and unnecessary for project managers to try to address all the risks that exist at each of these levels. Just as the program manager filters and decides what project managers need to address, the project manager also has to filter and decide what project-level risks are shown or escalated to the business level. Realize that the business level would be overwhelmed if its managers saw or even knew about every project-level risk.

So what are the various risks in each category?

Posted by Dr. James Brown in Risk Management Strategies and Tactics, Risk Mitigation.

Visioning – A Change Management Tool

Visioning is a powerful method for getting an organization to adapt to change.  Visioning is when you create a vision of the future state and the organization changes to adapt to the vision.

With visioning, the vision must be unique and short enough to be both memorable and repeatable in the absence of the leader.  Memorable and repeatable!  People should be able to see themselves and the organization in the vision.  Once the vision is defined the goals and objectives should naturally fall out of it

In the famous book “As a Man Thinketh” by James Allen he makes the premise that a man eventually changes to match his thoughts, if your thoughts are noble you become noble, if your thoughts are impure you become impure. 

Posted by Dr. James Brown in Team Building.

Portfolio Management Tools

As the project management profession matures, the number of automated portfolio management tools that claim to control and maximize the value of the organization’s portfolio of projects increases dramatically. While there is nothing wrong with these tools, my observations and experience lead me to believe that…

Many organizations are not ready for sophisticated portfolio management tools.

Why? It is because a lot of organizations haven’t yet mastered the basics of portfolio management. Before portfolio management tools are purchased and rolled out, the basics must be in place.  Basics like putting all the projects in priority order does not require a fancy tool.

Let’s quickly define a portfolio. A portfolio can include multiple programs, and/or the projects within a single program can be a portfolio. A portfolio is just a logical grouping of projects under a common leadership structure.

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