Project Management Operational Problem Solving Implementation & Change Management Strategy & Alignment

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.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

WTF? -- I don't know what ad or ads Google has served up over to the right as you are reading this, but there was a strange unrelated on there tonight. I can't click on it, but I wonder what it's all about.

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A Possible Reason For Light Blogging --
Too much input, not enough output. Wonder where it's going to. By the way, the two PM podcasts on the list have not really impressed me yet.

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Monday, November 21, 2005

Three Bad Habits that some people think are positive attributes...
- Multi-tasking
- Competitiveness
- High Utilization
...only get in the way of clarity of thought required for effective efficiency.


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I'm the Boss...for now.

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Saturday, November 19, 2005

Just and Only: Famous Last Words --
"Just and only are two of the most insidious words in the English language."
Like Jason at 37 Signals, I cringe when I hear those words attached to something that the speaker is not going to be involved in doing.


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Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Looking for: Info on Blog Platforms -- Looking for comments on ExpressionEngine (nee' pmachine) as the basis for a "corporate blog." I'm relatively familiar with Wordpress and Movable Type, but ExpressionEngine is new to me. Any users out there with strong yeas or nays?

Any suggestions about other platforms suitable for "corporate" blogging (multiple blogs, good admin capabilities, ease of integration into corp sites) appreciated as well.


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React, Respond, Anticipate -- Laurent suggests how to watch out for those bad decisions I mentioned yesterday, which can only really be identified in retrospect...
"How do we act on problems early, before they become crises ? A nifty phrase I've heard recently is 'weak signals'. Devote some attention to spotting weak signals and amplifying them."
On the other hand, maybe during the decision process there's a weak signal to be detected...
"A good way to spot weak signals is to embed your objectives in a system of values. Then weak signals will manifest as feelings that something is slightly, vaguely wrong."
Read the whole thing at Incipient(thoughts).

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Off-topic News: Sony Recalling CDs -- Too many people are unaware of this, so spreading it here. (Another nail in the coffin of recording industry stemming from their tone-deafness regarding the reality of their market.)

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Tuesday, November 15, 2005

"A 5S Exercise for Mental Clutter" -- Great description of GTD, Joe.

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Great Advice -- "Decisions are temporary so make the call and move on." Read the whole absolution from Jason at Signal vs. Noise.

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Monday, November 14, 2005

On Monday Mornings --
"Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for - in order to get to the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car, and the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it."
   -- Ellen Goodman, American journalist (1941 - )
via Quotes of the Day - The Quotations Page

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Saturday, November 12, 2005

Communication: Keep it Simple -- My blogging style seems to be getting leaner and leaner. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as demonstrated in these comparisons.

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The Myth of Multitasking --

The Myth of Multitasking
Originally uploaded by Tim Morgan.

Via 43 Folders and's not just for photos of the kids.

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Friday, November 11, 2005

How to Satisfy Your Project Manager --
From you know who

posted by Frank - Permanent Link - |

Thursday, November 03, 2005

My Appearance on "The Cranky Middle Manager" Podcast -- A couple weeks ago, I had an interesting chat with Wayne Turmel, host of the Cranky Middle Manager blog and podcast, one of the few management-related podcasts out there that I not only subscribe to, but heartily recommend.

The subject was supposed to be Theory of Constraints, but he also got me into talking about the differences between working in the externally constrained Fortune 100 environment versus an internally constrained fast growing company with about 50 employees. He had a recorder going and tells me that the podcast of our conversation should be available this week is now available.

If you listen to the podcast, which I hope you do, you'll notice that I recommend a few resources, both book- and web-based. They included...
Books I mentioned...
The Goal by Eli Goldratt
Critical Chain by Eli Goldratt
The Cash Machine - Using TOC for Sales Management by Richard Klapholz and Alex Klarman

A book I should have mentioned...
Deming and Goldratt by Domenico Lepore and Oded Cohen -- A great introduction to TOC concepts and thinking processes.

The blogs I mentioned...
Joe Ely's Learning About Lean
Hal Macomber's Reforming Project Management
Merlin Mann's 43 Folders

A site (not a blog) I definitely should have mentioned - the best online source for info on the Theory Of Constraints (other than my site for its application to project management)...
Kelvyn Youngman's A Guide to Implementing the Theory of Constraints
If you're visiting my Focused Performance weblog for the first time as a result of listening to the podcast (or if you've been doing so for a while, but haven't dug into posts from before your initial visit or RSS subscription), I encourage you to not only peruse the recent postings here, but also check out the "Best of the FP Blog Archive" over in the right hand column. Recent postings have been of the "link and brief comment" kind. The older pieces in the "best of" list o' links have a lot more "meat" to them. In addition, if you're a first time visitor, you might want to wander beyond the blog to the bigger papers found in the site's Project Management section.

Thanks go out to Wayne for the opportunity to be included in his podcast offerings. Add this to my appearances on Jeopardy and The Ed Sullivan Show, and one could say I'm getting around, media-wise.

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FP's Recommended Reading
- From the FP Bookshelf...

...from My AStore

...and some ideas from Amazon...

Best of the FP Blog Archive
- The really good stuff...

Strategic Thinking and Improvement

Enterprise PM - It Starts with Strategic Interdependence

Face Reality

How to Think With Your Gut

Hugger-Mugger and Helter-Skelter

Managing for Murphy, Satan, and Yourself

More of the Same (Local/Global)

PMI Congress Notes: Using Risk Management for Strategic Advantage

Tell Me How You'll Measure Me and Ah, But What to Measure?

What's in Your Strategy?

Why Can't We All Just Get Along?

Why TOC Works
Project and Multi-Project Management
Critical Chain and (not or) XP

Defining Project Success (But for Whom?)

Down 'n Dirty w/TOC and PM (Part 1 of 5 consecutive posts)

End of Project Review

If Project Management is the Answer, What's the Question?

In Defense of Planning

It Ain't the Tools

Lessons Learned, Revisited

Predicting Uncertain Futures

Project Conflicts

Project Determinism (and other myths)

Project Portfolio Management

Promises, Predictions, and Planning

Removing Bottlenecks - A Core Systems Design Principle

Stage Gates and Critical Chain

Ten Top Sources of Project Failure (The Executive Version)

The Meaning of "Schedule"
Leadership and Change Management
Consistent Leadership Behavior

Invisible Dogma - Perpetuating Paradigms

Nothing But Value

On Assumption Busting

Personal Productivity - An Excuse?

The Psychology of Change Management

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