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Category Archives for Important ideas

Your Introduction to Capabilities Based Planning (CBP)

Intro to Capabilities Based Planning - CBP

The familiar way to start defining your project is with a set of functional requirements. But increasingly, this approach is not meeting the needs of the business or organization; especially with IT projects. A  new approach has emerged that is far more rooted into the strategic context. It’s called Capabilities Based Planning (CBP). And one of the leading practitioners is Glen Alleman.

Glen is a heavyweight project manager. He has served on some of the largest, most complex projects. He is also a serious thinker about how we can practice our profession rigorously. It is a privilege to have Glen contribute this introductory article.

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How to Make a Good Project into a Brilliant Project

How to make a Good Project into a Brilliant Project

Projects make change happen. And they create things and add value to our organizations. In a very real sense, the outcome of your project dictates the future of your organization. So maybe running a good project is not enough. I want to focus on some of the things that will make a merely good project into a brilliant project experience.

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Project Management Reading List for Christmas

Project Management Reading List

I’d like to offer you my Project Management reading list for this Christmas season. But I have realised something. This year, it’ll be tricky.

There are a lot of pious bloggers out there who will tell you about all the fabulous books you must read. And they’ve read them all, of course, and they want to make you feel inferior, if you haven’t. That’s not me. Not this year, anyway.

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Use Kurt Lewin’s Freeze Phases to Guide Change

Use Kurt Lewin's Freeze Phases to Guide Change

Kurt Lewin’s Freeze Phases is one of those models that every change agent and Project Manager should be aware of.

Three Steps on the Journey of Change

Change is never-ending. Furthermore, it is a necessary part of Project Management. Yet managing it effectively is one of the principal challenges for organisations and their managers. So what is the process to support effective change in the people who make up our organisations?

This was a question addressed by one of the twentieth century’s leading thinkers in workplace psychology; Kurt Lewin. Among his many contributions to our understanding of organisational life is a three-part model of change. It has come to be known as the Freeze Phases model.Continue reading

12 Essential Project Management Trends

12 Essential Project Management Trends

If you search on ‘Project Management Trends’, you will find lots of articles and reports. Each of these will detail its own list of Project Management trends. However, some of them will overlap, while other will be contradictory. I have pored over as many of these as I can find, and extracted the twelve project management trends that I think are most interesting.Continue reading

Why To-Do is so Old Fashioned

Convenient To-Do List

Do you use a To Do list?

Of course you do. Almost everyone in project management does.

What tends to differ is the form: a clean sheet from a memo pad, a running list in the back of a notebook, scraps of paper, sticky notes stuck everywhere, an app on your phone, your computer or your tablet… or all three, or even an astonishing feat of daily memorisation.

And there is nothing wrong with a To Do list

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Find the Key: What are the Basics?

Oak Sapling

Here is something that has always been one of the most important insights, for me:

“Focus on the basics, do them well, and do them relentlessly.”

The Project Management Elements

I have always applied this rule to project management and, through a series of projects, I have recognised a pattern of behaviour in myself that has allowed me to apply it effectively. Let’s start, though, with something that I speak about, in one way or another, in just about every project management talk I give or course I run: the project management elements. These are the unique “types of stuff” that a project is made of.Continue reading

Cycle Times and the Monitor and Control Loop

Loop

In my last blog: Project Multi-tasking: the Multi-Tasking Fallacy” I discussed the need to allocate chunks of time to each task you are working on – and to each project you are managing.

Good Project Control

The post was primarily about managing more than one project in parallel.  At the end of that post, I commented that you still need to switch from one project to another fast enough to maintain good project control over each.  This is a real challenge – dwelling long enough to stay efficient and make a contribution; yet switching fast enough to keep control of each.Continue reading

Project Multi-tasking: The Multi-tasking Fallacy

Multi-tasking - Photo Credit Ryan Ritchie: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ryantron/4453018910

One of the most common topics that comes up in a talk or training session about project management is Multi-tasking.

Managing Several Projects at the Same Time

A common form of the multi-tasking question is this:

“How do I juggle managing of several projects at the same time?”

I have been getting this question at talks, seminars and training sessions for many years and I can remember clearly how I first dealt with question many years ago.Continue reading