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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Project Management -- Trust but Verify

One of the most startling things about Project Management is that it demands complete honesty and sensitive diplomacy – both at the same time, and from the same person: The Project Manager.

This refers, of course, to Project Management properly executed, not the inexact and ineffective performance we often see around us in the name of our distinctive art/science.

First, the complete honesty part. What is the most common flaw of damaged projects? Failure of clear understanding, agreement and follow-through on the responsibilities of the various stakeholders. This cripples projects. If they are to succeed, everyone involved must be clear on what is expected, and on commitments as well as on intended payoffs.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

How to Argue

You never know whether your opinion is right until you get into an argument about it. And, if you don’t argue properly, you may never know.

People talk a lot of foolishness about arguing. Some say it’s a bad thing and should be avoided. They believe it accomplishes nothing except to hurt people, damage relationships and harden attitudes. Others say it’s a lost art because of “political correctness.” They are convinced that people tiptoe around each other, letting good ideas as well as error and misinformation slide by because they don’t want conflict.

So here’s a question for you: How much progress is possible without disagreement?

Competition is disagreement. Coke vs. Pepsi. The two flavors have competed for about a century, and their respective proponents have been known to disagree – sometimes vociferously – about their relative merits.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Life Is a Project: How Are You Managing?

Think of a typical day at work. Have you ever tracked your hour-by-hour activities (forget minute-by-minute – that’s too fragmented)?

Did any random occurrence that day advance your progress toward where you want to be in life? Did some person do that for you?

How about your own conscious actions? Did you do work, or conduct conversations, or make decisions, that put you further ahead in life?

How about your days away from the job? Where do they go?