Implementation · Leading change

Analysing stakeholders – beyond the basic communication plan

A basic map of our stakeholders Quite some time ago, I wrote an article on "creating a basic communication plan" and for many projects that is all you need. But sometimes it is worth analysing your stakeholders in more detail. This article explores a couple of approaches that I like to use when I need… Continue reading Analysing stakeholders – beyond the basic communication plan

Implementation

Collaborative problem solving with affinity diagrams

Not many people seem to know what an affinity diagram is, but most project teams seem to have used them. So maybe I am using the wrong term for the process of "writing ideas on a post-it note and then whacking them up on a wall". In my defence though, most seem to have mixed… Continue reading Collaborative problem solving with affinity diagrams

Implementation · Leading change · Observations

Defining the value of your internal consulting team part 2 – your services

In my last article, I described an approach that you can use to define the purpose of an internal consulting team. I used Sophie and her BA team as an example and I will continue to do so here. This time I will talk about the "Service catalogue" or list of services that your team… Continue reading Defining the value of your internal consulting team part 2 – your services

Agile development · Implementation

Who knew the race condition (or racetrack problem) could blow up your project schedule?

Like every other cool project manager these days I like to be agile.  But I used to be a pretty good waterfall project manager before I found out how uncool it was. One of the common things I used to do was called "crashing the project schedule".  In fact it is probably the most fun… Continue reading Who knew the race condition (or racetrack problem) could blow up your project schedule?

Arguing · Idea management · Implementation

Can I add more scope and still deliver on time? Or should I Scamper

I often seem to face the same problem - how can I reduce my resources, increase my scope, improve quality and go faster? The best answer is - be clear on what you really want and decrease your scope.  Sadly that is the opposite of what people want to hear, but usually delivering the right… Continue reading Can I add more scope and still deliver on time? Or should I Scamper

Agile development · Implementation · Observations

Going live on agile projects – where is Machiavelli when you need him?

Niccolò Machiavelli is famous for saying things like: “At this point one may note that men must be either pampered or annihilated. They avenge light offenses; they cannot avenge severe ones; hence, the harm one does to a man must be such as to obviate any fear of revenge” I will let you be the… Continue reading Going live on agile projects – where is Machiavelli when you need him?

Agile development · Implementation · Observations

Updating the trough of despair – Do projects always double dip?

When I first learned project management we were really into waterfall concepts like crashing the schedule and EVA.  In fact I really enjoyed the process of Pert charts and planning. But I stated to notice that many difficult things ended up being deferred to “release 2” then “release 2.1” and then “post-release business as usual”. … Continue reading Updating the trough of despair – Do projects always double dip?

Implementation · Risk

A prophets of doom workshop

In the past I have used some pretty dodgy approaches to defining risks in a project, from formal approaches like fault tree analysis through to informal approaches like "the evil genius" and "an international standard for being scared". So this article is not really a new one.  It is more a combination of evil geniuses… Continue reading A prophets of doom workshop

Implementation · Investigation · Leading change

Using a moments of truth analysis to assess a team’s readiness for change

I have previously blogged about a number of approaches to assessing a team's readiness for change, including the 7-S framework and the arenas of change approach, but today I thought I would explain a less well known approach - the "moments of truth" assessment. Actually I made it up so it is not too well… Continue reading Using a moments of truth analysis to assess a team’s readiness for change

Agile development · Implementation

What if people thought meetings were actually work?

Every retrospective I do on every project seems to include the conclusion that "we need less meetings, less emails and more communication". In fact SCRUM and agile approaches even try to define the bare minimum number of meetings that are needed and only have them (Actually one of my friends claims that they have removed all… Continue reading What if people thought meetings were actually work?