Organizations – processes or habits?

Goals vs Systems   The best way to accomplish a goal is to not have a goal at all. In his book How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life Scott Adams talks about goals vs systems as a personal philosophy. Instead of obsessing over personal goals like …

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Project Management – the simplest profession

Project Management is probably the simplest profession there is. Yet, like all things simple, it is also the most difficult skill to execute. A project manager’s task is simple – define the parameters of the project (scope, cost, schedule), get the team together and track the project to closure. There is no code to be …

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Are managers spending their time wisely ?

What are managers focusing on ? One of my biggest pet peeves over the years has been that managers in most organizations do not spend their time on the right things. Managers swing between  micro-management and too little engagement. This is true for most mid-level managers in companies but is especially true for project managers. …

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The elevator pitch equivalent of project communication

What does the executive need to know about your project Imagine this scenario: You are managing a multimillion dollar project for your unit which has just run into a minor crisis. You do not yet know what the impact of the crisis is. You walk into the restroom and you come face-to-face with your unit’s …

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Is there really such a thing as an “unknown unknown”

In 2002, David Rumsfield inspired a months-long comedy show by giving his now-famous comment about “unknown unknowns”. Reports that say that something hasn’t happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say …

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Leadership does not come with a title

The lament… Among people who report to me, a common complaint I have heard is: “I know you keep talking about demonstrating leadership, but you never appointed me a leader for any team…how do I demonstrate leadership without a designation”. To be fair, I have spoken the same lament to my bosses in the past. …

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How to deliver an effective annual performance feedback

The annual appraisal: tips for managers The second side of the feedback coin is delivering it to people who report to you or work for you. For most managers, this is only slightly better than having to fire someone. This is especially true if the feedback that you are about to deliver is not very …

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Dealing with the dreaded annual appraisal

The Dreaded Annual Appraisal Year-end performance appraisals are hard on everyone — the person giving the feedback and the one receiving it. There are horror stories on both sides … of sweaty palms, of the feeling of disgust and loathing, of self-pity, of the “why me !” and of the “not again !”. So what …

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Basics of project estimations and scheduling

The way I was taught software estimations was that you do the following in sequence: Figure out all the work items/deliverables that your project is expected to generate (artifacts, manuals, final working code etc) Figure out the estimates for building each of those work-items Figure out the sequence/network for all the deliverables i.e which work-items …

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