Crossderry Blog

Better Leadership + Business Skills = Better Projects

Crossderry Blog

What drives project success? Research has consistently shown that it’s having an effective project manager. Results from PM College’s latest research, “ Project Manager Skills Benchmark 2015 ,” confirms this, showing that organizations with highly skilled project managers get significantly better project results. Project managers at high skill levels outperform those with project managers at low skill levels – almost 50% better.

Find Your Best Project Leaders

Crossderry Blog

Any competency improvement plan starts with identifying what the “truly competent” project or program manager looks like for the particular organization. And there is strong evidence for that intuition: it’s in our Building Project Manager Competency white paper ( request here ). Measure Competency and Project Delivery Outcomes Before and After Training. FYI: For more reading on competency-based management, check out Optimizing Human Capital with A Strategic Project Office.

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Where Did The Money Go? — Making Project Benefits Happen

Crossderry Blog

The biggest misconception about benefit and value management is that the process happens after the project. You can’t decide after the project: “gee, we need to show the boss the benefits…let’s figure out how to collect, measure, and present them.”

PMI Requires Business and Leadership Training

Crossderry Blog

Well, it’s now official: the Project Management Institute (PMI) demands strategy, business, and leadership skills from its certification holders. contact-form] Filed under: Leadership , People Development , Project Management , Skills vs. competencies , Strategy Management , Training.

High performing project management orgs are more agile — PMI

Crossderry Blog

The Project Management Institute’s latest “ Pulse of the Profession ” report just came out, and it’s full of provoking findings. It clarifies the benefits of high-performing project management, and it highlights what the top organizations do differently. So what does it mean to your organization if it’s a project management top performer? Agile principles have a been a lifesaver on a number of my projects and programs.

Now THIS Is What I Mean By “Advanced” Training

Crossderry Blog

We’ve had a ton of discussions with clients after the Project Management Institute (PMI)announcement that it would soon demand business and leadership training from its certification holders. Courses like Project Cost & Schedule Management ; Project Risk Management ; Strategies for Effective Stakeholder Engagement ; and Vendor Relationship Management take one to the next level.

The Biotech IT PMO 2.0

Crossderry Blog

As a CIO, you have either made – or heard – recommendations to create an IT project management office. Perhaps you have implemented one, and your department is reaping the benefits of project planning, monitoring, and controlling. IT delivers its projects on time, on budget, and to spec. Agile Innovation IT Strategy PMO Portfolio Management Project Management agile IT project management and portfolio management

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Sportsfolio Management: What Project Executives Can Learn From the Draft

Crossderry Blog

The result is well-reasoned, yet approachable opinions and projections of football drafts, rosters, and of course, game performance. Filed under: PMO Tagged: Differentiation , NFL Draft , Patriots , Portfolio Management , Project Management , Strategy , Valuation. PMO Differentiation NFL Draft Patriots Portfolio Management Project Management Strategy Valuation

Agile Prep for the PMI-ACP®: Tips from Personal Experience

Crossderry Blog

First, it turned out that I was just in time: my live project experience would’ve aged out in six months! If you’re like me, a practitioner who gets sucked into management every so often, I suggest applying straightaway after you complete a relevant agile project. PM College has upped its agile game over the last few months.

Troubled Projects and Root Causes

Crossderry Blog

UPDATE: Our Troubled Projects webinar is scheduled for 12 April 2016. Our colleagues at PM Solutions just put out another great white paper: Troubled Projects? It synthesizes multiple project research studies into a straightforward approach to project review and recovery. Which, not so coincidentally, is the title of our course on the topic: Project Review and Recovery. The second comes from our own research, Strategies for Project Recovery.

Are Organizations Hiring for Leadership and Business Skills?

Crossderry Blog

My first post discussed how to hire for the right project, leadership, and business skills. However, where the PMP used to signify total project management excellence, it now signifies tools and techniques mastery. Describe the last change control process you ran on a major project.

How Do I Hire The Right People?

Crossderry Blog

We had a great webinar on project, leadership, and business skills. The program has three components: a multi-level project skills knowledge assessment, a personality and cognitive behavior assessment, and a multi-rater survey reviewing the current performance of project managers. In our experience, project management knowledge is a straightforward matter. The challenge was to hire project and program leaders who got this.

PM Skills Benchmark Study

Crossderry Blog

PM Solutions and PM College are pleased to announce our latest research initiative: The Project Manager Skills Benchmark Study. This study is designed to help us understand current skill levels of project managers in the areas of project management, leadership, and business. What skills do project managers have, and how do these skills impact project and organizational success?

Project’s End: The Career Progress Dilemma

Crossderry Blog

In more than one project, there’s been lots of happy talk about people’s future roles in the organization. Yet everyone knew that some colleagues simply wouldn’t have a place after the project, including themselves. Beyond the formal career path discussions — if such things exist in your firm — I suggest that one should be very clear about the fact that this is a project.

How Do I Interview for Soft Skills?

Crossderry Blog

If your organization struggles to hire the right project management talent, PM College assessment services are just the ticket. Filed under: Hiring , Human Resources , Interviewing , Leadership , Project Management , Talent Management. Hiring Human Resources Interviewing Leadership Project Management Talent Management

More on why projects fail

Crossderry Blog

This post on top reasons for IT project failure by Ron Sheldrick has up on LinkedIn for a while. Back in my SAP days we found that poor knowledge of the contract and SOW — especially among the project team and contractors — was a common thread among troubled projects. The strategic assumptions that underpinned the initiative were lost as the project devolved into satifying immediate, tactical needs…which deviated from the original plan.

Winning with Talent Management: Three Real-Life Examples

Crossderry Blog

And when it comes to the cost of a bad project manager, look at it this way: , what was the size of your last failed project: $1 million, $10 million, $100 million? PM College has a tried-and-tested Competency Assessment Program that helps you find and develop the best project managers. These are the sweet spots for our assessments: to develop and sustain superior project management performance. We need to make sure that new hires can deliver our projects.”.

Good meeting “rules” seed list and its use in practice

Crossderry Blog

end agenda at 9:50 AM vs. 10:00 AM)” One process tip: if this meeting will be an ongoing event or part of a project, have the participants make up the ground rules. Filed under: PMO Tagged: communications management , Effective Meetings , Leadership Skills for Project and Programme Managers , meeting etiquette. PMO communications management Effective Meetings Leadership Skills for Project and Programme Managers meeting etiquette

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Talent Development for Complex IT Programs

Crossderry Blog

I just received a McKinsey brief on “ Developing talent for large IT projects ” that has the usual recommendations, but adds two useful insights. Attract talent by improving culture, benefits, and career paths : I really like the recommendation around career paths, because it identifies the biggest barrier to nurturing project-oriented staff. ” Build IT project-management capabilities : a.k.a.,

What Specific Training Do You Suggest for Increasing Leadership Skills?

Crossderry Blog

Managing Relationships for Project Success. Uses SDI to determine, manage and motivate when projects and good and when conflict occurs; team dynamics. Workplace simulation on project team leadership. NOTE: I’m cross posting a PM College blog piece from Debbie Crawford from our recent webinar on the PM Skills Benchmark. – What specific training efforts do you suggest for increasing leadership skills?

How personal shortcomings undermine recovery (Mini Case Part 2)

Crossderry Blog

Filed under: PMO Tagged: Accountability , Leadership , Test Management , Testing , Things Fall Apart , Troubled Projects. PMO Accountability Leadership Test Management Testing Things Fall Apart Troubled ProjectsUnfortunately, our quality control processes didn’t fare so well. We did get sufficient testing resources for the first rollout, but a couple of process owners only delivered under protest.

Bad Choices Underpin Most Problem Projects

Crossderry Blog

In my last post I asserted that failed projects often have at their roots “neglect or damage in [the leaders'] personal and professional lives”, not ignorance of project management principles. If the claim is true, then shouldn’t we find evidence in problem projects of “good thought, bad action?” ” Bad projects don’t just happen, we make them happen. were reluctant to escalate projects quickly enough.

Preparing the Agile Kool-Aid

Crossderry Blog

The risk of a failed project must be mitigated. — From PM College’s Agile Project Management. That’s why, before you dive into pilot projects, software spend, or a large-scale agile rollout, you should begin with a bit of discovery. I highlighted our Agile Project Management course above because it’s a great way to start. After a long hike at Scout camp, there’s nothing like seeing a cooler with bug juice on tap.

Can personal shortcomings undermine recovery? (Mini Case Part 1)

Crossderry Blog

I concede that projects can recover — at least for a time — without sustainable personal and professional behaviors in place. What happens is that the project risks a slide back into the abyss.

Do PM Job Descriptions Address the Skill Gap?

Crossderry Blog

My last post addressed the first question from our webinar: how to hire for the right project, leadership, and business skills. As I noted, that question is at the heart of sustainable talent management for your project managers.

The Benefits of Career-Oriented Education

Crossderry Blog

PM College creates and delivers learning for strategy execution topics such as strategy, leadership, portfolio and project management. Here’s an extract of an interview I did for Central Connecticut State University’s Continuing Education Blog. Tell us about PM College. What educational opportunities do you offer? What sets you apart from other schools or organizations offering career-oriented training programs? Our programs don’t simply deliver pre-packaged content.

Turnkey Courseware from PM College

Crossderry Blog

Does your institution need to offer project management or leadership training? Are employers asking for project management certifications from your business and engineering students? PM College delivers a full, turnkey Project Management Essentials and PMP Exam Review curriculum, which prepares students to lead projects. Project Management Essentials textbook. Do you have faculty who has the qualifications, but not the curricula?

The Apple 8.0.1 Debacle: Whom to blame?

Crossderry Blog

So all you Apple fans, just remember the joke we used to make late in a project: “What’s another name for the release milestone? Marc Andreessen drew my attention to a Bloomberg article that laid out what it purported to be “links” with the failed Maps launch. pmarca was properly skeptical of the article: General principle: Quality problems in software are not the fault of the quality assurance team.

Meet The New PMCollege.com!

Crossderry Blog

Moreover, we have new PM College courses and services: Spotlight Course : Managing Multiple Projects prepares project managers who need to step up to leading more than one initiative, but who can’t rely upon the structure of an overarching program to organize priorities and stakeholders. Expanded Virtual Course Options : In addition to Managing Multiple Projects , we added our popular Risk , Cost & Schedule , and How to Lead A Team courses to our stable of virtual offerings.

Benefits Realization: Demonstrating Initiatives’ Value

Crossderry Blog

Filed under: benefits realization , Business Case , PMO , value management Tagged: benefits realization , business alignment , Business Transformation , capability building , PMO , Value of Project Management. benefits realization Business Case PMO value management business alignment Business Transformation capability building Value of Project ManagementDebbie Crawford just taught a refreshed version of our Benefits Realization class.

Poll: Project Success Measures

Crossderry Blog

Note that multiple answers are acceptable. Filed under: PMO.

Before, During, and After Trouble

Crossderry Blog

Like projects themselves, recovery from project challenges follows a definite lifecycle. Todd Williams , in his Rescue the Problem Project , identifies one prerequisite and four steps in the recovery process. Before recovering a project, the project sponsor, executive management, or steering committee must realize that the project has a problem and needs new direction. Discovery: How well do you know your project?

Interview: Project Mgmt and Software Dev Best Practice

Crossderry Blog

Filed under: PMO Tagged: best practices , Project Management , Ruthlessly Helpful , software development. PMO best practices Project Management Ruthlessly Helpful software developmentContinuing my interview with Stephen Ritchie (@ruthlesshelp, blog here ). author of Pro.NET Best Practices (Amazon paperback & Kindle , Barnes & Noble ). Also, Stephen describes a promotion to get 40-percent-off his book at his blog here. .

The Value of Domain Expertise: Football By Football

Crossderry Blog

One of the “old chestnuts” I heard when I started to consort with project management professionals was the “functional vs. project skills” chestnut. I used to hear from many project pros that all that was really needed for project leadership success was command of the project management body of knowledge (PMBOK).

Personal and professional lives fail before the project does

Crossderry Blog

Personal, professional, and project problems grow and cascade into a torrent of trouble. In other words, project problems don’t remain confined to the project; they innundate every part of one’s life. Many excellent writers and thinkers have laid the foundation of project management and project recovery. However, my experience is that projects rarely fail because the initiative’s leaders were ignorant of tools and techniques.

Own your project’s story (HT @MelanieDuzyj and @mkrigsman)

Crossderry Blog

We all should know how critical project communication is to project success. A compelling story can build strong sponsorship and sustain stakeholder commitment , even in the most challenging of circumstances (also see Michael Krigsman’s project success checklist ) . However, many project managers assume that their audiences — or even worse, key influencers and “re-communicators” — understand the story as well as they do.

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Crossderry Podcast #2 — 16 November 2014

Crossderry Blog

The topics are: Best and Worst Project Names. Links: My posts on Best and Worst Project Names here and here. Filed under: Podcasts Tagged: Car Talk , Disney Institute , influence without authority , Phoenix , project names , storytelling. The topics are: Best and Worst Project Names Tweet review: CIOs must influence CEO behavior, storytelling quote, RIP Tom Magliozzi Enjoy! Links: My posts on Best and Worst Project Names here and here.

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How effective organizations build staff capabilities — Insight from McKinsey

Crossderry Blog

” To that end, several popular PM College offerings — Managing by Project , its construction-specific flavor, and Leadership in High Performance Teams — use simulations to bring project and leadership challenges alive…without risking real initiatives. I’ve seen the impact of leadership development on organizations: it’s why I joined PM College.

Things fall apart

Crossderry Blog

You can’t sleep because your life is a mess, you can’t sleep because your job is a mess, and you can’t sleep because your project is a mess. More later… Filed under: PMO Tagged: Change , Leadership , Recovery , Things Fall Apart , Troubled Projects. PMO Change Leadership Recovery Things Fall Apart Troubled ProjectsAnother sleepless night. It’s 4:25 AM and you’re wide-awake. Check that.

How can cloud computing help transformation projects?

Crossderry Blog

Also, per David Kerr [a fellow commenter], the idea that the cloud will solve “speed bumps” driven by topics external to the project is dubious. If nothing else, you have to have this specific contingency in place during the project contract discussions. You’ll then have to navigate the flood of change orders that will cascade from invoking that contingency mid-project. I commented on a LinkedIn post re: cloud and “innovative” financing models.