This episode is sponsored by The Agile PrepCast. Earn 37 PDUs:
In June of 2013 Bryan Barrow (http://nova-consulting.co.uk - http://uk.linkedin.com/in/bryanbarrow) gave the project management presentation that he always wanted to give. It is titled The Project Manager’s Play Book and it compares many of the tactics and approaches used in American Football to what all of us do on our projects. Except that we project managers wear a lot less protective gear.
Bryan says that once you have seen his presentation “You will learn how to take a new project and deliver it with greater confidence, sense of purpose and sheer fun than you thought possible”. And of course we hope to get that kind of motivation across to you as well in this discussion.
And don’t forget that Bryan Barrow will be speaking on April 29th at the 2014 Project Zone Congress in Frankfurt Germany. So if you hear this before April 2014 you can find out more at http://projectzonecongress.com/
When it comes to identifying a reason for why so many projects fail then Bryan Barrow (http://nova-consulting.co.uk - http://uk.linkedin.com/in/bryanbarrow) has a simple answer for you. He says that a root cause of poor project delivery is poor planning. But he also says that this is not a failure of project management, but instead this is a failure of project leadership.
So if poor planning is the culprit then there has to be a better way to plan our projects. Right? Right!
Bryan is an advocate of planning your project with index cards. So in our interview we are going to first discuss what the problem is with planning your project using sticky notes, and then we’ll look at the benefits of index card planning for your project, in particular on improved leadership, greater financial control, improved project governance and improved cross-department team-working and collaboration.
And by the way… Bryan Barrow will be speaking on the topic of Index Card Planning on April 29th at the 2014 Project Zone Congress in Frankfurt Germany. So if you are listening to this interview before April 2014 you can find out more at http://projectzonecongress.com/
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This episode is sponsored by The Agile PrepCast. Earn 37 PDUs:
A couple of episodes ago we welcomed Todd C Williams and talked about rescuing the problem project. We continue this discussion today with Dr. Emad Rahim, DM, PMP (http://www.linkedin.com/in/erahim, @DrEmadRahim) by looking at how to avoid failure and achieve project success on information technology (IT) projects.
In particular, we discuss the findings on this topic that he and his co-author describe in a white paper, which begins as follows:
Communication and information technology has developed rapidly within the last decade.As a result, project managers must be prepared to manage the current and future challenges within the project management field, as well as within the IT industry. Rapid globalization of business means organizations must significantly increase its capacity to accurately manage information and data. In response to this growing capacity demand, more discussion is needed to develop effective IT project management processes and approaches
It’s imperative that you know your project’s stakeholders. After all, to satisfy a stakeholder need is usually the reason why we undertake projects. That’s why we define stakeholders as a person or organization with an interest in the project’s completion. Think of influential customers, sponsors, the public or your own company that are all involved in the project.
Our guest today is Dr. Emad Rahim, DM, PMP (http://www.linkedin.com/in/erahim, @DrEmadRahim) who says that because your stakeholders require you to understand the specifications of a project and to meet their expectations, performing an analysis of who they are is essential.
And so our interview focuses on a single activity: Identifying all the stakeholders we have on the project. This is a time-consuming process, and you want to ensure no important stakeholder is missed. And to help you with that, Emad and Cornelius review eight areas that require your attention.
It seemed that in the final weeks of 2013, project management was on everyone’s mind. And not in a good way. The roll-out of the affordable care act website really brought to light that substandard project performance can have a disastrous effect on public perception. While we often hear about failed government projects, failed private sector projects seem to fly under the radar.
We begin the interview by looking at what makes government projects uniquely susceptible to a higher failure rate than private sector projects and then move into seven steps that Todd recommends for recovering a troubled project.
Happy New Year! This is a short notice to all listeners to let you know what's happening to The PM Podcast and our website: Over the coming 2-3 weeks we are going to be completely redeploying our website. After that Cornelius is heading out the door to Philadelphia, Sydney and Manila. We do have a few interviews recorded (they will be published as soon as the new website is up) and we have some interviews scheduled for recording after he returns from his trip. So we should be back to "normal programming" starting March.
This interview with Dave Cornelius was recorded at the Southland Technology Conference 2013 in Long Beach. It is, however, about the presentation he gave at the PMI North American Congress in New Orleans.
Dave Cornelius (http://www.linkedin.com/in/daveauck) argues that social media, mobile devices, analytics and cloud computing (SMAC) have combined to create a technology ecosystem that supports disruptive and sustaining innovation. The ready availability of the SMAC ecosystem connects customers to new innovations and supports shopping on e-commerce sites and in brick-and-mortar stores. Importantly, the SMAC application has transcended retail and consumer marketing activities, and also has significant relevance in banking, healthcare, and other business functions.
In our interview we discuss SMAC technologies and their use in and impact on various industries. Using the SMAC platform, project managers can develop new products and services by renting technology capability without owning the infrastruc.ture, software, and support staff. Project management information systems (PMIS) can leverage the SMAC platform over a secure Internet connection to support collaboration between team members and enable transparency about a project 's health. Social media, mobile devices, analytics, and cloud computing are the amalgamation of mature technologies for the 21st century.
This interview with Mark Layton was recorded at the Southland Technology Conference 2013 in Long Beach.
Mark Layton (https://platinumedge.com/) has been an entrepreneur, consultant, and trainer in project management for the last 20 years. (And as it so happens, Cornelius Fichtner was a student in one of his Scrum Master classes.)
Mark and Cornelius got together in Long Beach to talk about Agile estimation. Mark says that traditional requirement estimation techniques are a frustrating combination of wild guesses and false precision. While estimates are given down to the exact hour of effort, the accuracy of those predictions vary wildly and provide no opportunity to self-correct based on actual performance. This inaccuracy problem is then intentionally masked by an even more inefficient tool - contingency reserve.
In our interview, Mark describes how using agile estimation techniques is faster, easier, more informed, more honest, and ultimately, more accurate than guessing to the hour how long tasks months in the future will take to complete.
This interview with Sarita Maybin was recorded at the Southland Technology Conference 2013 in Long Beach.
Sarita Maybin (http://www.saritamaybin.com/) gave us a high energy presentation at this year's SoTeC Conference. We discovered how to get done the things that matter most and set limits with people who make unreasonable demands, including three ways to say “no” nicely.
We recorded this interview right after she finished her presentation and discuss: How to determine which tasks are urgent, important…or neither; Three strategies for identifying priorities; How to spend more time on the tasks that relate to your goals; How to identify and eliminate your most common time wasters; How and when you procrastinate; Top five techniques for overcoming procrastination; How guilt, perfectionism and other personal traits stress you out and waste your time; Clues that you are on stress overload…and what to do about it; And some real life stress strategies.
This interview with Alicia McLain was recorded at the Southland Technology Conference 2013 in Long Beach.
High performing teams don’t happen "auto-magically". Instead, Alicia McLain (http://www.linkedin.com/in/aliciarmclain) says that it takes a nuanced leadership style, consistency, persistence, patience, a structured approach and support to create the team culture necessary to bring the most out of people.
In this interview Alicia takes us on the journey through the steps to building high performing teams. We also discuss the important elements that contribute to building and sustaining high performing teams.
This episode is sponsored by The PM PrepCast for The PMP Exam:
Note: In the opening I say "Welcome to episode 246". Don't worry... it's 255 and I simply mis-spoke. Sorry about that...
According to Harold Kerzner 90% of what we project managers do is communicating. And a lot of this communication is done during project meetings. It can sometimes feel like you are running from one meeting to another and that your time is often wasted. Meetings don’t start on time, the issues aren’t dealt with, there is no agenda, there is no focus, nobody assigns any follow ups or tasks and of course then they also don’t end on time.
But what if there were a way to make meetings much more productive?
Jeffrey Steinke (http://www.lessmeeting.com) thinks there is and he has a lot of good suggestions for you. It all starts by not having a meeting at all and taking things offline. And then if you need to actually have a meeting, it requires planning and follow through. You can look forward to our usual bucket full of recommendations that you can apply on your project meetings tomorrow.
This interview with Jack P. Ferraro was recorded at the PMI Global Congress 2013 North America in New Orleans.
In his congress paper and presentation, Jack P. Ferraro, PMP (http://www.myprojectadvisor.com/) argues that due to three, seemingly beneficial policies, some widely accepted project management practices, and the prevailing organizational structure, most businesses that continually share resources across projects experience enough multitasking to cut their productivity in half.
In our interview we look at the root cause of project portfolio underperformance and ways to increase the speed of benefit recognition through improved productivity of portfolio components. We start out by looking at what exactly the problem is with multitasking on your portfolio, why it is still so prevalent, how to double your project throughput and we look at the "What You Can Do" section from Jack's paper that discusses what everyone involved on a project can do in order to help achieve this 100% increase in throughput.
This interview with Ricardo Viana Vargas was recorded at the PMI Global Congress 2013 North America in New Orleans.
At this year's PMI Global Congress Ricardo Viana Vargas (http://www.ricardo-vargas.com) proposed a mathematical process to turn the results of a qualitative risk analysis into numeric indicators to support better decision making regarding response strategies. It was titled "Adopting the Quadratic Mean Process to Quantify the Qualitative Risk Analysis". Or in short... Quantifying the Qualitative Risk Analysis.
We review the five-level scale for probability, the mathematical "quadratic mean" process involved to calculate the numerical exposure, and how you can quite easily apply this on your own projects.