What Is the Data that Drives Performance?
By Joe Hessmiller
Research indicates despite everything we’ve tried, project success rates have hardly budged in 30 years.
A McKinsey & Company study of 5,400 large scale IT projects (projects with initial budgets greater than $15M) found that the well-known challenges with IT Project Management are persisting. Among the key findings quoted from the report: “17 percent of large IT projects go so badly that they can threaten the very existence of the company. On average, large IT projects run 45 percent over budget and 7 percent over time, while delivering 56 percent less value than predicted”.
Additionally, IBM found only 40% of projects ever met schedule, budget and quality goals.
Looking at the numbers, we can see there is plenty of opportunity for improving challenged project success rates. In 2012, the CHAOS report found that only 39% of projects were deemed successful, and 18% were just plain failures. Read the Complete Article
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
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.
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
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.
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
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?
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:
- to use you as a free resource.
to get you busy and keep you away hunting for the impossible.
to prove that you are incapable of getting the job done.
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
How Well Are You Using Your Project Managers and Business Analysts?
By Dan Stober, PMP, Global Knowledge
The Trifecta: BA + PM + IT = WIN!
How well does your organization leverage institutional business analysis (BA) and project management (PM) experience within IT projects? From an enterprise perspective, most organizations recognize that there is a disconnect between knowledge of processes and the effective application of that knowledge. It has been talked about and written about for years within the PM and BA communities. So how can organizations bridge the gap between institutional knowledge and project results? The answer is to synchronize IT, project management and business analysis competencies so that those skills translate into capabilities.
IT departments and staff do project work. This is not a mystery. Projects (in a perfect world) have a project manager who is expected to do what project managers do: plan, monitor and control projects. Read the Complete Article
Are You a Bulldozer or the Boulder Impeding Your Team’s Progress?
By Kiron D. Bondale
There are many aspects to the job of a project manager including a planner, a leader, and a conductor. However, one of the most important roles which a project manager can play is to remove obstacles to unleashing the creativity and productivity of their teams. Without that, the best planned project will still encounter delays and cost overruns.
Sponsors might introduce hurdles by imposing perceived constraints on the team such as due dates without clearly indicating that those are just targets. These can then reduce the confidence and increase the stress level of team members resulting in reduced velocity. Sponsors can also drag their heels on making key directional or funding decisions. A good project manager can avoid the realization of such risks through effective sponsor onboarding and ongoing engagement.
One of the many attributes of a stakeholder is their ability to hurt a project. Read the Complete Article
Trust in Business: If You Can’t Trust Me, Why Did You Hire Me?
By Timothy Prosser
This question is often asked by employees, mostly because good management practices are not prevalent in American society, and most are not taught in business schools either. (That’s the reason I write these blog articles – Tim.) Managers who were not properly trained or who simply haven’t the right personality, principles, and understandings for the job will not understand the importance of trust, or when it is most effective to give an employee the authority and autonomy needed to carry out necessary work. Micromanagement – overly close supervision of employees – makes them think they are not trusted to do the work they were hired for, and results in diminished respect for the manager and reduced loyalty to the company. It also wastes both the manager’s and employee’s time in needless communications often including unnecessarily effort-consuming details. Read the Complete Article
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