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This Focused Performance Weblog started life as a "business management blog" containing links and commentary related primarily to organizational effectiveness with a "Theory of Constraints" perspective, but is in the process of evolving towards primary content on interactive and mobile marketing. Think of it as about Focusing marketing messages for enhanced Performance. If you are on an archive page, current postings are found here.

Friday, July 19, 2002

Project Management, Its Past And Its Future "Another important change, not yet complete, has been the change from the predictable model of project management to the unpredictable. In the early days we assumed that projects could be carried out in accordance with the original plan if the planning was good enough. We assumed that project clients would not change their minds about what they wanted. If they did, it messed up our projects and it was their fault. We tried to impose design freezes. We assumed that the client's objectives, his organisation and his people would not change whilst we did their project. We assumed that our own objectives, organisation and people would not change. We did not do risk management because we had thought of everything and everything was predictable.

"The rejection of this stable model has begun in project management but still has a way to go. I still find people who feel upset if we change the original plan and if the client changes his mind about his objectives. The unstable model says that a real project manager will change the plan whenever a better one for finishing the project can be established. A really good project manager will happily accommodate as many changes as the client wants in his objectives. It's his project and he can do whatever the changes in his world dictate. Every project is somebody else's sub-project. Our project is only a sub-project for him.

"A project plan is a series of forecasts, all of which are likely to be wrong - some not so far wrong that it matters, but many quite a lot wrong. And every project will get its ration of unexpected problems. We must manage the risks effectively and expect our project to change. The unstable model is the real one. "


This link is the text of the same keynote that I saw in Hong Kong in March, 2002 at World Project Management Week. Read it, it's worth it.

posted by Frank - Permanent Link - |

Wednesday, July 03, 2002

Why software is so bad ... An article that appeals to my sense that projects need to be understood from the point of view of their objectives. An excerpt: "Unfortunately, critics say, the components are often glued together with no real central plan -- as if contractors tried to erect large structures with no blueprints. Incredibly, Humphrey says, the design for large software projects is sometimes nothing but a couple bubbles on the back of an envelope. Worse, for marketing reasons companies wire as many features as possible into new software, counteracting the benefits of modular construction."

posted by Frank - Permanent Link - |

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