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Latest "Project Management" Posts

Risk Response Planning – Getting Beyond Obvious



For risk response planning a good project manager ensures that thorough, executable, and approved risk response plans are in place before the risk occurs.

  • Thorough means there should be no unexpected ramifications of the risk response planning like unforeseen costs or impacts on other parts of the project.
  • Executable means the budget, people and capability exists to implement the response plan when it is necessary.
  • Approved means the project manager has ensured pre-approval of the response plan so that it can be implemented with a minimum of delay as required. It is agonizing to be a part of a project where a risk occurs, and you have a response plan that your leadership or steering committee then discusses for two weeks before acting. (Note, I did not assume that a steering committee was leadership and you should never make that assumption, as a steering committee may be made up of leaders, its actions are often the opposite of leadership).

Posted by Dr. James Brown in Project Management, Risk Management Strategies and Tactics, Risk Response Planning.

The Thinking Leader’s Project Management Process Maturity Model

Organizations and people strive to be mature. The question is how do you assess maturity? Some in the project management community strongly believe that creation and adherence to many processes equates to maturity.

Project management process maturity is in the eye of the beholder.

This means the amount of process should be dependent upon the context of the organization and more process does not necessarily result in more maturity.

Presuming the organizational leaders have identified the right amount of processes that best fit their organizational context, the thinking leader’s project management process maturity model can be characterized with three simple questions.

  1. Do we have a process?
  2. Do we follow the process to execute the work?
  3. Do we improve the process?

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

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.

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.

Project Managers or Bean Counters?

A second-career program manager (who retired as program manager for one company and came out of retirement for another company) confided in me that he believed his organization would perform better program management without any of the automated project management tools on the market today.

He further stated that too many people think the tool is the solution—that the tool will solve all the communication problems and virtually run the project as if it is on cruise control. His point was that he thinks many project managers today have become simple administrators, essentially bean counters rather than implementers of the project. As such, the bean-counting project managers rely on the tool to send automated e-mail messages to team members informing them that a task is behind schedule or completed.

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