McKinsey: Simulation key to how effective organizations build staff capabilities

I’ve seen the impact of leadership development on organizations: it’s why I joined PM College. One of the challenges is to determine which methods work best to drive transformation, or accelerate improvements one has already reaped. Our firm has experience and research that pins this down, but it’s always nice to find a third-party that confirms what […]

Don’t PMs get that they’re “business” people yet?

I saw a somewhat depressing article in this month’s PM Network about the need for project managers to get business-savvy.  Not that there’s anything wrong with what Gary Heerkens writes (the article itself is here).  What saddens me is what this article implies about the mindset of project managers: Too many project managers don’t see “business understanding” […]

BI, Deliverables, and Change Control

This post may court the Business Week curse, but I’m highlighting this story on BI and the recession (here) as the jumping off point for a couple of observations.  Rob T.’s comment in the piece (sorry, but I can’t link directly) notes that: Unlike ERP, BI can be implemented step-wise, first in targeted, strategic areas, and […]

Business Value Game — Prioritizing Requirements

While I haven’t gone through a live simulation of the game, I like a number of the concepts behind The Business Value Game (post here, game here).  Of course, I love learning through simulation (entire Complexity Set here).  The game also has players assume the role of salespeople who have to prioritize the backlog that developers will have […]

Berkun on PMs and Respect

Since I riffed on Manny Ramirez and Theo Epstein earlier (here), let’s continue the baseball metaphor.  Scott Berkun drives a “hanger” a long way when he highlights how PMs sabotage their personal brands (here).  The money quote: Many PMs unintentionally reinforce this view by trying to get everyone to pay attention to the work they do […]

Mis-using Management by Exception

Mike Chitty’s post on “Whack a Mole Management” (here) prompted me to think about how I position and coach on management by exception. Whack-a-mole is an arcade game in which you try to hit ‘moles’ that pop up randomly on a board using a rubber mallet….  Whack-a-mole management is based on the same principles.  The […]

The squeaky wheel knows it is about to get changed…

Patti Choby has a nice anecdote about change resistance (here).  A very wise man once said: “Dinosaurs screamed the loudest right before going extinct.” And so do leaders who fear change….  They create a persona that is “larger than life” and then proceed to create noise, distractions, and even traps designed to neutralize the changes […]

Ensure Strong Executive Sponsorship — Tips from Project Failure Blog

I’m commenting on the project success checklist at Michael Krigsman’s Project Failure Blog.. My comments are scattered among his notes (excerpted below). I’d love to hear your comments on the details behind some of these factors as we go … 3. Ensure strong executive sponsorship — Even after achieving buy-in from the three key stakeholder […]

Scrooge vs. The Grinch

This sounds like a late round Celebrity Death Match battle, but it refers to a contrast drawn by Jonathan Becher in his “Manage by Walking Around” blog. He uses the stories as a parable of sustainable performance management. Becher’s fear is that Scrooge’s epiphany will be fleeting because he was scared straight by the “Ghost […]