Tuesday, 13 October 2015 07:00

Build a Ladder

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Over the last seventeen years, I have been blessed to work with some of the most talented people in the Canadian and US banking, energy, high tech, retail and real estate industries. As I moved through these experiences, I realized that success is not easy and involves both hard work and others occasionally opening and holding the door for you. I learned that a true leader internalizes the obligation to spend a good portion of their time building a ladder so that they may help those who are travelling with them climb the next rung in their career.

I frequently get asked about the dynamics of building Agile organizations from an organization structure point of view.

The most important point is that you don’t create a high-performance Agile organization by the defined structure. Managers don’t do it; neither do VP’s or Directors.

Wednesday, 07 October 2015 06:30

4 Key Project Monitoring Steps to Help You Succeed

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Trust, but verify.

Whether you believe this sound piece of advice first came from former President Ronald Reagan or derives from an old Russian proverb, the fact is that for decades these three words have become a mantra for both corporations and government agencies that want to affect meaningful change in their organizations and need to know that it is really and truly taking place.

Process Mapping is a group activity performed by teams of subject matter experts that gather to draw step-by-step diagrams to document how work is processed (see Figure 1).  This invaluable tool is mostly used by consultants and business professionals to capture the current state of business operations in preparation for business improvement initiatives.

The most successful project managers are those who can persistently deliver on time and within budget, with projects that match or exceed stakeholders’ expectations and who can effectively oversee a project from beginning to end. They are highly skilled leaders who can bring together all the stakeholders in the project and lead the team to completion of their goals. They understand that leadership and people skills are even more important to good project management than any other attribute.

Sustained demand for skilled project managers continues to attract newcomers to the profession – some are just starting their careers while others are looking to start a new phase of their working life.

In today’s world, it’s iterate or die. Companies can no longer afford to sit and make changes every few years and expect to stay relevant. This pressure yields to an ever-increasing number of new projects. Data from a variety of sources show that projects continue to fail at an alarming rate.

Friday, 25 September 2015 10:26

Cyber Security: Legitimate Project Concern?

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We have lots of risks on the projects we manage.  Sometimes we set aside a decent amount of planning time to identify potential risks and plan for their mitigation or better yet, their avoidance.  Sometimes we don’t.  

We often fail to see parallels in life that can provide valuable insights and meaningful direction. Sometimes, stepping outside the box of our usual personal and professional lives can provide that Ah-Ha moment that helps set a new and successful course. 

Companies are in growth. Every single client is growing – many quite dramatically while others a bit slower, yet growth just the same. Although rapid growth is exciting, it can also be one of the most challenging. Systems can provide the perfect tool to leverage for success – and project management is your ticket to ensure success.

Integrating ECPM Artifacts to Improve PRINCE2 Performance

Since its introduction in 1996 PRINCE2 has expanded to where it is now being used in more than 150 countries including the U.S. It has established itself as the de facto project management standard in the EU and elsewhere. It is now gaining a footprint in the U.S. as validated by the growing number of training offerings available. As the PRINCE2 community grows in the U.S. there is an unmet need to share with them how some of the agile artifacts that have worked so well in the U.S. can improve PRINCE2 performance. PRINCE2 predates the agile movement and, while adaptable, it is not based on agile, lean principles. There is a clear synergy to be gained from that integration.

You may be entering the job market, either for the first time or to make an exciting new career change or looking to learn project management online. If you are looking to enter a career in project management, you will probably be wondering how to make your project manager CV stand out.

As project managers, you have to maintain a view of the “big picture” and guide the project to success, whilst handling the day-to-day tasks, and dealing with any crises that may arise. So, what are the most important qualities of an effective project manager?

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