Latest "Discpline" Posts

Are You in a Git-R-Done or Is-It-Done Organization?

Are You in a Git-R-Done or Is-It-Done Organization?

One of the good things about Linkedin is that it can facilitate discussion of professional challenges as they relate to project management. This is also a source of frustration for me as some of the discussions expose a major problem in the project management community. That problem is an over focus on terminology, tools, and process. Recently there was a Linkedin discussion posted about the meaning of a certain project management term with strong opinions from project management “experts” on both sides. The reality of the discussion that these experts did not see, was that it really didn’t matter which side was correct, as the work still had to get done. If I was high level leader in an organization, and my staff was having this discussion, they would no longer be my staff.

Posted by Dr. James Brown in accountability, Discpline.

Simple-minded Organizations Create Project Failure

Having lived in Florida 30 years, I have had encounters with all kinds of snakes and even had a five-foot alligator that occasionally sunned itself by one of my palm trees. I asked my new neighbor how long he had lived in Florida. He replied that he had lived in Florida before and this surprised me because he leaves his garage door open hours at a time. I told him that I have already caught four small snakes this year in my garage with glue traps and I keep my garage door closed, only leaving a very small crack on the side of the door at its base, because like most garage doors it doesn’t seal perfectly. He thanked me, but still keeps his garage door open for hours at a time.  

Posted by Dr. James Brown in Discpline, Program Management, Project Management, Stakeholder Management.

Peer Reviews

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.

The 4-C Failure Cycle™

The 4-C Failure Cycle™ – Correction, Conformance, Confidence, Casualness

Early in the Space Shuttle Program after a string of unlikely and unfortunate operational incidents, I was one of many tasked to look at the log of these incidents to determine if there was a pattern or story. One interesting characteristic popped out at me that I now call “The 4-C Failure Cycle™ – Correction, Conformance, Confidence, Casualness.

The incident that demonstrated this cycle best was “technician ran bridge bucket into Orbiter.” Meaning the technician while working on or near a Space Shuttle Orbiter accidentally bumped it and those heat protection tiles are easily damaged by impact. The review of the log showed this incident occurred approximately every 18 months to two years – A two year 4-C Failure Cycle.

Posted by Dr. James Brown in accountability, Discpline, Project Management Training.

Hurrying to Project Failure

Hurrying to Project Failure

I was in Atlanta’s airport for a connecting flight and had to go to another terminal.  This meant jockeying with and through the masses of fellow travelers and down the escalator to the “plane train.”  Once on board, as the door was about to close, just as the door was closing three people came running and the first guy stepped in even though the door was closing.  Plane TrainThis created a lot of interest from the regular travelers since the doors on the Atlanta airport’s tram are not friendly.  I would willfully stick my arm or leg in many elevator doors about to close and not worry about my personal safety.  I would even jump in closing doors in the Orlando airport tram, but not Atlanta. 

Posted by Dr. James Brown in Discpline, Program Management, Project Management.