The only time Crossderry will beat Herding Cats

I found out that Crossderry was named to another one of those best PM blog lists (here).  Thanks Nicole…

One must, however, wonder about a list that has me listed above Glen, Bas, Rich, Elizabeth, and Craig.  I appreciate the mention, but I’m afraid my ranking may overpromise and I’ll underdeliver!

People factors in managing consultants

Elizabeth at A Girl’s Guide to Managing Projects blogs (here) on a recent Forrester report (report abstract here) on people management in large IT implementations in Australia and New Zealand (ANZ).  As she notes, it is a useful twist that they focused on the challenges of managing third-party consultants.

I haven’t read the report, but it looks like it has some sound recommendations.  In particular, this suggestion may sound obvious: one should provide an “[i]ntroduction to your processes and procedures to ensure that the external consultants know how to raise issues and track progress.”  It can’t be that obvious, because I’ve seen exactly one customer who did so.

One caution about the study: the ANZ SAP consulting market is white hot.  It is probably useful that Forrester looked at such a challenging market.  However, keep in mind that some of the issues they describe may be driven by the tight market itself.

Leading, not managing, complexity

One of the pleasures of blogging are the parallels I find between and among various bloggers’ themes.  As I was prepping for my WSJ interview last Friday, I reviewed the posts on my Complexity Set page.  I realized that Elizabeth’s review of the book Leadership Skills for Project and Programme Managers (here) provided a nice counterpart to my post on a Harvard Business Review article The Experience Trap (sorry subscribers only) — Set Goals for Behavior.

My post highlights the power of goals that don’t simply replicate planning and control targets.  Rather, one should put the focus on behaviors that support project deliverables and outcomes.  This differentiation is one of the key differences between managing and leading.  Elizabeth’s post had a nice table from the book that outlined these differences really well, which I though was worth spiffing up and reformatting (below).

NOTE: Table manually copied and reformatted from Elizabeth’s post.  Credit: Adapted from Franklin, M. and Tuttle, S. (2008) Leadership Skills for Project and Programme Managers, TSO: London, p. 9.

New Poll — Corner Cutting in Project Management

Inspired by a post on Sharp End Training’s blog (here), my post (here), and a comment by PM Hut

FYI, moved to right sidebar

Corner-cutting in Project Management

Elizabeth included this post from Sharp End Training’s blog (here).  I agree with her assessment of the post.  It is a good question but I would have like to seen a take on which corners are typically cut, not why corners were cut.  FWIW, here are my top ten corners typically cut:

  1. Stakeholder management planning
  2. Executing planned communications with senior management
  3. Executing planned communications with non-project stakeholders
  4. On-going risk monitoring and control
  5. Communications planning
  6. Risk response planning
  7. Integrated change control, especially for changes in resources
  8. Performance appraisals for project team members
  9. Quality planning
  10. Contract administration

I’d appreciate any comments on where “corners are cut”…  Perhaps this will make a good poll question?

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