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The Importance of Trust in Business

The Importance of Trust in Business
By Timothy Prosser

Trust is essential to getting anything done. How it is expressed makes a huge difference in how things go, however, and it’s one of those things you can ignore (though you may do this at your peril). I always told my kids “trust, but verify”. Trust is earned through consistently following through on your commitments, and trust grows stronger over time if it is not betrayed. While it is often spoken of as if it was an absolute, it is actually a continuum stretching from complete and absolute trust to complete distrust. Even the heinous criminal is trusted to an extent, though it may only be that we trust that they are untrustworthy. High levels of trust are required for effective business relationships, however.

If you hire someone you often expect them to do work you cannot, and micromanaging them (a common response to a lack of trust) reduces your productivity as well as theirs. Read the Complete Article

Why Do Projects Fail Miserably

Why Do Projects Fail Miserably
By Patricia Goh

Project management tools are great for the use of one single project. But with multiple projects in hand? That requires more than brains and skills to juggle. Multi-project management calls for a good resource planning tool. When using a resource planning software, you are allowing yourself to focus on the project in a more efficient way.

A whopping 90% of projects costing over $10 million fail. Why is that? With the amount of resources and budget available to these projects, why do most fail so miserably? Just this year, the PM Institute published their statistics on the top contributors to large IT project failure. Of which the four main categories of reasons were unclear objectives, unrealistic schedule, shifting requirements and unaligned team.

Top contributors to large IT project failure

Figure 1: Top contributors to large IT project failure

All these reasons trickle from one common factor – leadership. A project leader or manager is required to have everything regarding the project inline. Read the Complete Article

Custom Software Development Is Dead

Custom Software Development Is Dead
By Terry Bunio

Haven’t you heard? Custom Software Development is dead. No one should have any reason to do Custom Software Development unless you are building a product to resell to clients. The creation of a novel solution created to address a specific client or problem is definitely passé.

Custom Software Development is much too risky. It is much less risky to take an existing product that has been created by an established vendor and just configure it to fit your needs. This is far less risky and quicker.

Custom Software Development is too costly. With our expert outsourced development team in some far way land, we can quickly develop software with inexpensive resources that will do everything you require.

Sound familiar?

The truth is that Custom Software Development is not dead. Custom Software Development just needs to hire better marketing. For the longest time the product vendors have been selling Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt about Custom Software Development. Read the Complete Article

Overworking Can Kill You

Overworking Can Kill You
By Patricia Goh

Just this year in March, a 26 year old factory worker abruptly died after working for 12 hours every single day assembling Apple iPhones. Two years ago, a 24 year old advertising employee from China suffered a sudden cardiac arrest at his desk and died, having working overtime the month prior to his death. Going back another two years in Los Angeles, a 51 year old employee died in her cubicle due to work over-exhaustion and wasn’t found until two days later.

With overworking increasingly becoming the norm, this topic is discussed extensively to not only raise awareness but to administer the right methods to achieve better productivity without overworking.

Why Is Overworking So Common

Overworking is the common factor found in all three real-life examples shown above. Whether or not profitability, pride, or ambition are incentives that keeps them going, they are always found to put their job first before anything else. Read the Complete Article

Project Managers: Are You Looking for a Red Herring?

Project Managers: Are You Looking for a Red Herring?
By Ammar W. Mango

Here is a picture to help you find it. For those not familiar with the term, a red herring does not exist, except in someone’s imagination. This is why in business lingo, when someone says, for example, that “throw him a red herring,” it means that ask him for something that does not exist and impossible to achieve. Usually the request is made for a few reasons:

  1. to use you as a free resource.
  2. to get you busy and keep you away hunting for the impossible.

  3. to prove that you are incapable of getting the job done.

  4. to try to get you to achieve something that is almost impossible.

It is not only customers that ask for red herrings in the workplace. Managers do this to their subordinates quite often. Professionals even do this to themselves.

To demonstrate, here is a personal example: A long time ago, a friend called me urgently, telling me that he has a great opportunity that he wants to pull me in on. Read the Complete Article

You Should Know This, But You Don’t

You Should Know This, But You Don’t
By John Steinmetz

How many different places have you worked in the last ten years? One? Two? Maybe three? This means that most of your recent experience is based on working at only a couple of places. Yet you would probably say you know a lot about your area of expertise. But think about this – you are basing your conclusion that you know what you are doing on just a couple of personal experiences. What if you had worked in places other than the ones you have – in that case, what you now know and do would be different. And if that were the case, maybe you’d be even better at what you do.

Of course since you can’t work everywhere, your experiences will be limited. So what are you doing to learn about what others are doing? Reading books? Reading blogs and magazines? Read the Complete Article

#1 Quality of a Great Team Mate

#1 Quality of a Great Team Mate
By Terry Bunio

Recently I have read a lot of articles and listened to many conversations that seem to place the individual ahead of the team. Frequently when we talk about group activities like meetings, paired activities, working from home, and co-located work spaces, the issue invariably comes up on how some people don’t see value in those activities. Some discussions take it a step farther and the state that people shouldn’t attend/perform those activities if they don’t see the value in them.

I believe we need to be careful that the focus on the individual doesn’t replace the focus on the team.

Meeting Value

I always thought that you get the most value from meetings when you are at the middle of your career. That is when you have enough confidence to speak up and still have a good amount to learn. When you are less experienced, you primarily just sit in the meetings and don’t want to be noticed. Read the Complete Article

Why Lean Methodology Fails: All Planning and No Execution

Why Lean Methodology Fails: All Planning and No Execution
By Aaron Lalvani

Most people know how to plan a dream vacation. All the sights they want to see, the places to go, the restaurants, the shops, the nightlife. You map and plot it all out – mark the special spots and connect them in the most efficient way. You figure out how to have a great vacation because you planned it with the added benefit of saving a lot money doing it that way. So exciting, so much anticipation -and then… you stay at home.

Why would you do all that work without the reward? That is a question a lot of Business Intelligence experts ask after putting a company through an exhaustive implementation of lean methodology. When we say exhaustive, we mean exhausting. A good analysis process is going to start with:

  1. An assessment of processes, methods and people.
  2. Data will be generated.

Read the Complete Article

Project Failures, By the Numbers

Project Failures, By the Numbers
By Kerry Wills

Every year, the Standish Group comes out with their “Chaos Report” which surveys projects and companies to determine project success and failures. The 2014 version came out and has some pretty dismal results…

  • 31% of projects will be cancelled before they get completed
  • 7% of projects will cost nearly double (189%) of their original estimates

  • Only 16% of projects get completed on time and on budget; with a rate of 9% for large companies

  • Completed projects have only approximately 42% of originally planned features

I truly believe that the failure of projects is a direct result of increasing business, organizational and technology complexity. Programs have more stakeholders, integration points, applications, technology solutions, activities and challenges than ever before. I also believe that the only way to manage this complexity is through diligence, structure and attention to detail. My second book, Applying Guiding Principles of Effective Program Delivery focused on these principles and how to apply them. Read the Complete Article

Utilization of Project Sentiment Analysis as a Project Performance Predictor

Utilization of Project Sentiment Analysis as a Project Performance Predictor
By Robert Prieto

The growth in project complexity and scale provides growing challenges for today’s project managers1. Equally, these challenges provide increased challenges for program and portfolio managers who must look at not only the “sum” of individual project performance but also broader portfolio wide performance patterns2. Improvements in traditional project management tools must be coupled with advanced analytics3,4 and newer tools geared to detection of negative performance precursors. In this paper we examine one possible tool, sentiment analysis, and its application to detection of negative performance precursors.

Semantic Analysis

Early prediction of potential negative trends in project performance is aided by early identification of precursors to sustained negative performance5, 6. Among the sources of potential precursors that can be utilized is a wide range of project electronic correspondence and reports. Read the Complete Article

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