Archive for the ‘ Hot Topics ’ Category

The PMO – What’s In It For You

Posted on: June 13th, 2017 by Jim

I was recently asked to do a talk on the Project Management Office (PMO) and how it is “here to help you but not do your job.” As part of that, I spoke on the state of the PMO (based on studies) and where it is going in the future. Before we talk about who the “you” is here, let’s talk about some statistics. According to a study done by PM Solutions, in 2016, 85% of companies had

Join my Introduction to Agile (Scrum) webinar

Posted on: March 29th, 2017 by Jim

Join me on Thursday, 4/20 at 2pm EDT for an “Introduction to Agile (Scrum) webinar. This 45-minute presentation will serve as an introduction to Agile, specifically the Scrum variant. I will provide a quick overview of the other types and then delve more deeply into Scrum. We’ll look at the various roles involved, what a daily scrum is like, challenges in implementing Agile, including transitioning

Announcing webinar – Lessons Learned in Establishing a PMO

Posted on: March 7th, 2017 by Jim

I’ve given this webinar a number of times successfully to various groups including PMI chapters. These lessons came not only from a couple of Project Management Offices I established last year but also from many years of providing best practices to organizations. Join me on Monday, March 27th at 2pm EST (11 am PST) for an interesting presentation on, and discussion of, the pros and cons of setting

Project Communications in a Multigenerational World

Posted on: February 14th, 2017 by Jim

I’ve published an article in Project-management.com Please see my article Project Communications in a multgenerational world here.

How to Run a More Effective Project Meeting

Posted on: November 22nd, 2016 by Jim

I read an article a while back regarding the topic of meetings. According to a study, the typical American professional attends over 60 meetings per month, approximately 50% of meeting time is wasted and – my favorite – 39% of people doze off during the meeting! The reason I’m writing this article today is simple – yesterday, once again, someone had to apologize to me for being

A Few Thoughts on Establishing the Agile PMO

Posted on: November 7th, 2016 by Jim

A while ago, I posted an article entitled Lessons Learned in Establishing a Project Management Office (PMO.) That article was largely freighted towards discussion of plan-driven projects, typically manifested by the waterfall methodology. I subsequently spoke on this topic at a Project Management Institute (PMI) chapter and was asked to incorporate some thoughts on how the PMO might support adaptive

Lessons Learned In Establishing a Proect Management Office (PMO)

Posted on: March 12th, 2016 by Jim 3 Comments

I recently did a consulting assignment wherein I helped a well-known insurance company create a Project Management Office (PMO). I will likely have some more thoughts/posts on this down the road but I thought I’d share some lessons learned while they were fresh in my mind: Make sure you have a sponsor – A senior executive in the organization has got to sponsor this and be willing to stay with it.

The Denver International Airport Story or Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About How Not To Run A Project (final)

Posted on: September 26th, 2015 by Jim

Project Management Expertise As previously mentioned, the person in charge was in fact not a project manager at all but a Chief Engineer. Now, this is not to say that a technical person cannot manage a project. But I would argue that this is a classic case of the “accidental project manager,” or someone who is put into a PM position due to his or her success in a technical field. The problem very

Scope Creep or Death by a Thousand Cuts

Posted on: September 14th, 2015 by Jim

Imagine this scenario: You and your significant other decide to build a house. Let’s say it’s a split-level with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a one-car garage, no frills. And so you hire an architect and she gets to work on a blueprint. And after she’s been building the house for a couple of months, you approach her and tell her you want to make some changes. Specifically you tell her you now

Lessons in Bad Stakeholder Management

Posted on: September 4th, 2015 by Jim

Stakeholders can make or break your project so it’s crucial to involve them early, understand their needs, buy them into the project and set expectations. The project management literature is riddled with examples of poor stakeholder management. (See, e.g.,  Denver International Airport.) But it has recently occurred to me that one of the most egregious examples of this happened in my own backyard

Solving the right problem – training as panacea

Posted on: May 12th, 2015 by Jim

One of the things I’ve personally identified as a top ten reason for projects failing is using training to solve other institutional problems. I ran into this situation recently and it provides a perfect example of what I mean. I am going to briefly describe a prospect’s situation but I’ll disguise the industry the customer comes from. The company is a firm that makes software for