Project Management

Information and discussion on best practices, communications, and keeping your wits about you

Exiting Gracefully Now Can Land You a Job Later

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Sometimes you and a client must part ways, maybe even before your projects are completed. If you’ve decided that you’re leaving, what do you do? How do you leave gracefully? First and foremost, you want to make sure that your reputation—a good one, if you’ve managed it right—will stay intact. This means you need to ensure that you depart on a positive note and remain a positive influence even after you’re gone. Here are some things that I do in… continue…

How Do You Apply Integrated Design?

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When people think about design they often visualize Apple’s products or a user interface. But design in IT is much more than that. While many pieces of an overall lifecycle are concerned with design tasks, say like the UI, the process itself is also driven by the need to create functional systems. This holds true for both hardware and software, as well as complex enterprise initiatives like ERP or even cyber security. If we consider “design” as a verb—the activity… continue…

5 Reasons ERP Projects Fail

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Enterprise Resource Planning projects tend to be rather large, risky affairs. For many organizations an ERP roll-out or migration will represent the single largest IT investment they’re likely to make. ERP projects, however, have a well-deserved reputation for high rates of failure. Just this month, the U.S. Air Force finally canceled the remnants of the Expeditionary Combat Support System (ECSS) program after about eight years and $1 billion dollars invested. The challenges and risks associated with deploying an ERP are… continue…

How to Be Brilliant Without Alienating Anyone

Angry Man
Brilliance can get you only so far. Just ask Apple’s ousted senior VP of iOS Scott Forstall, or Microsoft’s former President of Windows and Windows Live Steven Sinofsky. Both reportedly clashed with other executives and employees, which factored into their departures. For rock star engineers on a management track, or talented IT managers, there are lessons to be learned here, especially for people who are aggressive to the point of being difficult. George Hallenbeck, Vice President of Intellectual Property Development… continue…

How to Be Brilliant Without Pissing People Off

Angry Man
Brilliance can get you only so far. Just ask Apple’s ousted senior VP of iOS Scott Forstall, or Microsoft’s former President of Windows and Windows Live Steven Sinofsky. Both reportedly clashed with other executives and employees, which factored into their departures. For rock star engineers on a management track, or talented IT managers, there are lessons to be learned here, especially for people who are aggressive to the point of being difficult. George Hallenbeck, Vice President of Intellectual Property Development… continue…

5 Tips for Creating High Performing Product Teams

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You’ve got a team, but the group’s got some quirks. That’s all okay if they’ve got the stuff that will make them high performing. Actuation Consulting’s study, the “five factors of high performing product teams,” was a must attend at the 2012 Silicon Valley Code Camp conference at Foothill College in Los Altos, Ca. You can request a full copy of it; it’s worth the read. We also had a chance to speak with Greg Geracie, Actuation’s president. Here are… continue…

10 Traits of Inspiring Managers

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Are you a good manager or a bad manager? Good managers inspire and motivate. Their employees are satisfied, committed, and productive. Employees who work under bad managers are usually dissatisfied and often hate their jobs enough to walk out, which then creates turmoil for the team. At the 2012 Silicon Valley Code Camp executive coach Mary Mills encouraged bosses  to “focus on solutions, not problems.” During her presentation, “For New Managers: How to Be a ‘Good’ Boss,” Mills covered SCARF, the… continue…

How to Manage Testy Programmers

Mad Programmer
There’s tons of  training to become a developer but developers who become managers  often have little or no training. That’s a big problem.  Software people are notoriously difficult to corral. Ron Lichty is an expert on the subject and co-authored the book, “Managing the Unmanageable: Rules, Tools, and Insights for Managing Software People and Teams.” I spoke with him at the 2012 Silicon Valley Code Camp conference. His number one rule for managing software teams is to connect with them… continue…

How to Make Project Retrospectives Work

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Each place that I’ve worked, I have always seen a “Lessons Learned” step as a part of the standard process for projects. It’s always baked into the methodology with an expectation that it’ll get done. In reality, I’ve them to be a step that doesn’t produce much more than  negative feelings across teams and a bunch of finger-pointing. Maybe that’s only my experience but as a project manager, I’m always looking for ways to focus on the positive and to… continue…

How Project and Program Management Compare

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In my Project Management career I’ve been asked, why don’t I become a Program Manager? You could say it’s the same thing, just bigger. Let’s spend a little time defining and illustrating the difference. By the Project Management Institute’s standards, a project is: Temporary, in that it has a defined beginning and end in time, and therefore defined scope and resources. Unique, in that it is not a routine operation, but a specific set of operations designed to accomplish a… continue…