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Even Data Needs a Green Mentality

Even Data Needs a Green Mentality
By Dave Gordon

A while back, I watched an interview with Kate Parson, a Senior Director at EMC. She was talking about Project Propel, which replaced their two decade-old ERP solution with a nice, shiny new SAP solution. The part that really caught my attention was her statement that, early in 2012, they had to start deleting tables in their database, because they ran into “an integer limit.” They had accumulated so many records that even Oracle couldn’t handle them. Yes, you read that correctly: EMC, provider of massive storage solutions, couldn’t handle the sheer volume of data records they had accumulated.

I make my living moving customers off of old HR, payroll, and benefits administration solutions and onto a nice, shiny new one in the Cloud. Naturally, a big chunk of every project is moving records from the old solution to the new one. Read the Complete Article

Make or Buy: The Blacksmith and the Toothpick

Make or Buy: The Blacksmith and the Toothpick
By Dave Gordon

Under a spreading chestnut tree, the village blacksmith and I stand talking after lunch. “Man, that was great! I’ve never had forge-roasted corn before – say, do you have a toothpick?”

Smitty grinned. “Glad you liked it. I’ve got some scrap metal here, and the forge is still hot; give me a minute and I’ll make you one.”

I did a double-take. “I don’t think a steel toothpick would be good for my teeth. Do you have a wooden one?”

Smitty rubbed his jaw. “I can make a small dowel jig, to shape a chunk of wood into a toothpick. It should be ready in time for dinner.”

I shook my head. “No, I just want a simple toothpick. Don’t you have any toothpicks in your kitchen? They sell ’em at Safeway for $1.29 a box.”

Smitty jeered, “Why the Hell would I buy toothpicks, when they’re so easy to make?”

“Birds fly, fish swim, and even during sharp downturns in housing, builders keep building.” – Tom LaRocque, The Denver Post, 2008

The Make or Buy Decision

The make or buy decision is an economic analysis, comparing different product life cycles and their financial implications. Read the Complete Article

Roles and Responsibilities

Roles and Responsibilities
By Dave Gordon

My wife and I recently traveled to Seattle for a wedding. Our daughter-in-law was the matron of honor, and our granddaughter was one of the flower girls. Since Abbie is only two and a half years old, this was her first wedding. Fortunately, there was another flower girl, who went first and modeled the appropriate behavior. She walked the length of the aisle, scattering rose petals along the way. Abbie followed for a few steps, and then stopped to look at the rose petals on the floor. Being OCD (like her Dad), she started picking them up and putting them in her basket. Not quite what Mom had expected when she gave her the job, but the audience loved it.

Roles and Responsibilities

For many people, being assigned to work on a project is a novelty. They have regular jobs, where they have well-understood, routine practices and procedures. Read the Complete Article

Measuring Project Success

Measuring Project Success
By Dave Gordon

I recently saw a question on Reddit, asking for insights on how organizations measured project success.

I work for a large company who has it’s own internal PM consulting team. I have a question for all the external PM consultants. How does your company measure success? Is it customer satisfaction? Specifically what metrics do you use? We are having difficulty creating a baseline for the programs/projects we consult on and looking for feedback. Most of our projects that need consulting are referred to us from higher management so sometimes they can be difficult to work with if that makes sense.

It’s a good question. This was my reply:

The users of the delivered product will define success in terms of whether it meets their needs. Their usage level is generally a pretty good gauge of project success, but it’s only available after the project is completed. Read the Complete Article

Leadership Lessons Learned from Bridgegate

Leadership Lessons Learned from Bridgegate
By Dave Gordon

If you don’t follow the news in the United States, you might not have heard about the growing “Bridgegate” political scandal involving New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. To recap: a traffic jam was “engineered” by a senior member of his staff and several government appointees, allegedly as revenge for the mayor of Fort Lee, the city on the New Jersey side of the George Washington Bridge, refusing to endorse his re-election bid. Initially, the Governor laughed it off, but after Emails subpoenaed by the New Jersey legislature showed his deputy chief of staff had initiated the request, Christie fired her and several other key staff members. More investigations and subpoenas have followed, and the Governor, who no longer looks like a 2016 Presidential candidate, is spending much of his energy dealing with them.

While few project managers will ever get the kind of public scrutiny the Governor of New Jersey is receiving, there are some important lessons we should learn from his experience:

  • When a team member is accused of some wrongful act or abuse of power, take it seriously

    You owe it to your customer and your team to respond professionally.

Read the Complete Article

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