Project Management

Articles on how to run projects, using project management techniques

Seven Tips on Designing & Implementing Methodologies

I have been involved in the development and implementation of many methods in my career. Often these are related to project management or change management, but I have also been involved in the development and rollout of consulting engagement management processes, new product development processes and improved software development approaches.

Obviously I have learned a great deal about this subject. I would like to share some tips about how it is best to approach the design and implementation of different methodologies, inside your business organisation(s), so that you are more successful in achieving your real goals.

Project Management Methodologies: Guidance or Rules?

The development of standardised approaches, the capturing of best practices and the creation of project management accreditations have improved the project management profession significantly over the past few decades. Arguably, it is only since we have these things that we can really call ourselves a profession rather than just a loose affiliation of people with a relatively similar role to perform.

Anyone who has read much of my project management writings will soon realise that whilst I welcome standards, best practice and accreditation – it is a somewhat cautious welcome that I give to them. In this article I want to talk a little more about methodologies. There are three things I want to mention specifically: the source of methodologies, the danger of a “one size fits all” mentality and the application of methods as rules and the consequences of doing that.

The high performance project teams - How to prepare the team

I would like to continue the discussion I started last month on highly performing project teams. This is a topic that I think is very important, but one that we do not discuss often enough as project managers. In this article I want to focus in on preparing team members for a project. In a future article, which I will post soon, I will look at the wider aspects of a highly performing project team. In both cases I am as interested in your comments and views as sharing mine. This is an area we can all learn more about, and if you have any great advice or ideas, please share it!

The high performance project team - How to create, sustain and disband one

Project teams create deliverables and achieve outcomes, not project managers. As in an orchestra - the project manager may be the essential conductor, but the players make the music. The project manager’s work is forgotten once the project completes. What is left and of value, are the outputs from the project team - the deliverables.

There are huge variations between the effectiveness of different teams. High performance team deliver substantially more than poorly performing or even average teams, sometimes several times as much. Experiencing truly high performing teams is exciting, fun, and provides real learning. But... how can you create such teams? In this article I will try to explore this subject and share my view on how such teams work, how they can be developed, sustained and, when the time comes, disbanded.

4 Project Management Lessons Learned from Lean and Six Sigma

Two of the biggest recent trends in management have been Six Sigma and Lean. These were originally separate approaches, but they are often conflated nowadays into Lean Six Sigma. In this article I treat them as one discipline, although each brings different tools, areas of focus and value.

I do not see Lean Six Sigma as a panacea for all business problems, as some of its staunchest advocates present it, but it has proven its value. Lean Six Sigma is not exactly leading edge thinking, but it has powerful lessons for project managers and project teams which are new to many practitioners.

Thoughts on Reorganising Businesses for Projects

Recently, I wrote about the problems re-organisations and management power struggles cause for projects and project managers. The article can be read in its entirety here: Come the Revolution - Managing Projects Through Revolutions.

To continue the discussion, I would like to consider a different question: Is there a way re-organisations in businesses can benefit projects and project managers?

Come the Revolution - Managing Projects Through Revolutions

Revolutions and counter revolutions are a central and often repeated part of history. They stretch into the current times, and will no doubt continue to happen in future. Revolutions pitch one group with existing powers, against another group who want to seize power. The stakes are usually high for both sides. And, managing projects in the middle of revolutions is, all of a sudden, a very tough challenge. That’s why, in this article, I would like to talk about the impact revolutions have on projects and how I think is best to manage your way through a revolution, as successfully as possible.

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