Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Thinking in Terms of Projects and Systems

As you may have guessed – my thinking tends to bias towards “systems thinking”.  (And in Wendy’s utopian fantasyland – these systems result in projects. Because I like clean end points.)
What does this look like?  Read More

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Using Plans for Learning

In my last post, I mentioned that project plans (and the changes to them) can be used for capturing information as plans change and potentially identifying trends if things go off the rails.
We can use these plans for learning!
What do I mean by this?  Read More

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Folly of Plans

Project plans, to me, are a rough estimate of what the project team thinks should be done to get from point A to point B. It’s a living document, not carved in stone.
In my experience, the real value in the project plan is in getting the steps and “to do” list out of people’s heads and onto paper.
Once I have that “paper” (or, in many cases, a computerized project plan), I can:

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Focusing on the Process

Eric Nehrlich’s post on the Island meta-narrative got me thinking about goals, results and achievement.
So much of my life (and my business) is about goals and results.
Get the application launched by x date.
Desired result [add business objective here]....  Read More

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Evaluating Requests

Recently, a system administrator acquaintance was asked to add a bar code to attendee badges for their big meeting.
They wanted to collect information on which sessions people attended during their conference.
On the surface, seems simple....   Read More

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Initiatives Resulting from Projects

I’ve noticed that successfully implemented large projects create more work.  From my experience, this work surfaces in the following ways:  Read More

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Finishing

You are working on a project.
You are tantalizingly close to finishing. To shipping. To going into production.
There’s just one more thing you need to do that takes just a little bit of time.... Read More

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Tributaries

Imagine a high-stakes, politically sensitive IT implementation.
During the project, things go wrong. Really wrong. As in – having more than half of your risk register come true wrong....  Read More

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Heart, Soul and Clinging

In my previous job, I was an LMS Administrator (among other things).
I spent a LOT of time with that LMS.
Creating programs, configuring the LMS to support those programs, negotiating with my organization and the vendor for customizations, occasionally going into the code myself to make things work for my organization.
The more work I put into something, the more ownership I feel.... Read More

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Onboarding Cost

The executive impulse to “throw people at a project”, though well-intentioned, can cause more problems and slow things down.  Why?  Read More

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

To-Do Boards

I love To Do boards.  Trello, Dotstorming, Post-It Notes and whiteboards.
Completing tasks makes my heart sing! I also know that it is personal and that not everyone shares my enthusiasm....  Read More

Thursday, June 08, 2017

The Valley of Despair

The excitement of learning something new, then the really big hill careening towards Depression.
Most organizations don’t account for this natural process. Everything is supposed to be “up”  all…the…time.
Or….if they do think about it…they work desperately to avoid it..... Read More

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Uncovering the Exceptions

Defined processes, documentation and a solid training program are all parts of a good foundation for doing process improvement and implementing the tools to support that improvement. However, before we start, we need to uncover what is REALLY happening in your environment. The most elegantly designed process isn’t a process if no one follows it....  Read More

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Technical vs Business

The executives see an opportunity to improve their sales processes by implementing a new enterprise customer management system. So they go out and find a system that promises to do so. All of the features are there. They pressure the IT team to get everything running in an absurdly tight timeline....  Read More