Tuesday, 14 October 2014 00:00

Uncommon Common Sense Project Management

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Why is everyone searching for the latest and greatest technology and fad when common sense will drive bottom line business results? It seems that it is an exciting conversation piece to talk about potentially intriguing technology or concepts such as agile, and so we all get caught up in it. However, when I look across the hundreds of projects implemented by my clients, the key to success boils down to uncommon common sense.

For example, one of my large manufacturing clients is running multiple projects simultaneously. They have been using lean techniques and bringing in consultants who are gurus in utilizing the latest technologies and processes. Of course, none of this is “bad” as results will occur; however, it doesn’t have the same impact as utilizing uncommon common sense.

In one area, there is an overload of work on specific machines which they can see by looking at the visual signals on the plant floor. If you go to the production board, you can see immediately which items and machines are overloaded because they are highlighted and obviously overflowing. After sifting through loads of system data to review the problem through the best and brightest analytical formulas, it was determined that a select few products were best to move to a new production area for focus on improving output.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014 00:00

Why Your Project Needs Momentum

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Does your project have momentum? That sense of movement – and confidence – that you will deliver the project on time? If so, congratulations! Momentum is important in sustaining motivation in projects and other fields.

It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop. — Confucius

Momentum Matters In Political Campaigns.

In American presidential elections, momentum has played an important factor. According to Winning Campaigns, new ideas are a key ingredient in fostering momentum. In the early 1990s, Newt Gingrich pioneered two new ideas: a nationally unified campaign for Congress and the “Contract with America.” Both of these concepts were new to the world of Congressional politics. Whether you agree or disagree with the Gingrich’s objectives, his campaign’s creative approach created a sense of momentum quite distinct from his opponents.

Lesson: New ideas can give your project team a renewed sense of energy.

Lack of Momentum Slows Productivity in IT Projects

The early days and weeks of your project set the tone for the rest of the project. Slow starts on projects have many explanations: poor leadership, anxiety about embarking on a difficult project or project ambiguity. If a project suffers from a combination of all of those factors, the likelihood of project failure increases substantially.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014 00:00

The Godfather's Agile Approach

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With no doubt The Godfather is one of most popular films of the 20th century.  Inspired by Mario Puzo’s famous novel, winner of many awards and directed by Francis Ford Coppola in 1972, the film featured actors like Marlon Brando and a young Al Pacino as the leaders of a fictional Mafia family based in New York.

I have seen this film several times, maybe because I am a Southerner Italian (not a Sicilian though, sorry to disappoint) and there are so many stereotypes in the movie that made me giggle - the accent of the different characters, the gestures, the big wedding with many people having loads of food and wine and dancing the regional songs.

After seeing the movie for the 10th or 11th time, I have realised that the Corleone family can be seen as a proper business and its members as the members of a Scrum Team.

Why do I think the Corleone family operates in an Agile way of working?

The Values

When you see the movie, you can easily recognise in the Corleone family the typical Scrum's values: courage, respect, openness, commitment and focus.

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