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Frank Patrick's Focused Performance Business Blog
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.

Saturday, May 10, 2003

Matching People and Jobs -- From the McKinsey Quarterly, via CNet News.com, a discussion of tools to help management assign and develop personnel slips into the subject of project management...
"As for the IT firm, it could benefit from an emerging class of analytical tools that use complex algorithms and artificial-intelligence techniques to shorten project completion times. By sifting through a database of employee skill sets, the tools generate staffing solutions to meet current demand and to anticipate priorities for emerging projects. The deployment of these solutions at a technology-consulting firm has cut project completion times by 10 percent to 40 percent and overall resource requirements by 25 percent to 40 percent.

A leading provider of data storage used one such software tool to examine a competitive product-development bid that had previously been running significantly behind schedule. Among other things, the tool helped the company anticipate when management intervention would be required, thus all but eliminating the frequent and time-consuming scramble to get management to sign off on major decisions. Indeed, it speeded up the company's bidding process so much that the prototype was delivered on time, ahead of those from competitors, which were forced to drop out of the running for a $300 million contract."
This latter example sounds intriguingly familiar, like Seagate and their use of Critical Chain-based project management with the supporting Concerto software, as reported in rdmag.com...
"Until recently, most of the systems that supported RandD management processes had a distinctly mechanical approach. They captured and cataloged all the tasks, deadlines, budgets, priorities, and so on. Seagate, Scotts Valley, Calif., chose Concerto from Speed to Market because it was decidedly different. It uses proprietary algorithms and artificial intelligence to predict the few tasks or resources that require management attention. As a test, Seagate implemented Concerto on a product development project that was five months behind with five months to go. When the product was delivered on its original target date, lagging competitors dropped out and left Seagate with 100% share--about $300 million in additional revenue. Needless to say, Seagate immediately implemented Concerto throughout the firm."
The original CNet/Mckinsey article chalks up the success to the software, but we all know it's only software that supports superior processes that will deliver superior results. Those "few tasks or resources that require management attention..." should sound familiar to readers of this weblog as the constraints of the project.

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