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, October 25, 2006

The Death of Best Practices --
"Most marketers look at implementing best practices as executing standards to make improvement. Unfortunately, this one-way, one-size fits all standardization mentality is not an effective practice for digital marketers. It’s lazy marketing. Old school. Our world needs to be ruled by looking at our audience as different segments, not homogenous masses, and delivering relevance. What we learn from doing segmentation is that what is best for one audience does not always work for another. There are no standards. There really is no such thing as a best practice."
I've written a lot in the blog about the need to create new unique solutions for performance and problem solving in an operations context. This piece extends it to marketing.

posted by Frank - Permanent Link - |

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Off Topic - Something to Consider --

Something to consider with election day coming up.

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Friday, October 13, 2006

Does process matter? -- Yes, but...
"I believe that it's crucial for developers to understand more than just their team processes and start learning about business process in general. Two positive things will result from this. First, they will learn how to better interface their process with the higher-level processes. Second, they will get an appreciation for the more strategic efforts of the company and how their development teams can, and do, contribute to higher goals. This knowledge will make them more valuable to their company. For new hires working within lower-level processes, this understanding will help them quickly discover whether they are compatible with the company. There is no shame in admitting that the way you prefer, or are willing, to work is so incompatible with your personal process that neither you nor the company will benefit with you on board. I would rather know this as soon as possible, rather than having it pointed out to me at my performance review, or worse, at my exit interview.

"Process is important, but there is not just one process for all. An enterprise has many processes, at several levels. Understanding how these processes need to work together is a critical awareness, one that is too often ignored. When you understand real process needs, you understand that the specific process you follow is not as important as whether it plays well with the others."
From a paper by Gary Pollice in IBM's developerWorks site.

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Thursday, October 12, 2006

Thinking Alike, But Not -- Back in a May, I posted a "Friday Fun" piece that observed a similarity between a structure in New York and one in Mecca, especially with the pictures of the throngs around them at the time. It seems that some others have noticed the same thing and are none too happy.

We're living in an overly sensitive, way too easily offended world.


posted by Frank - Permanent Link - |

Friday, October 06, 2006

Friday Fun: Fitting In -- I really hate the idea of returning to the old fashioned days of suits, jackets, and ties. This guy, who teaches public speaking, apparently needs to wear a jacket and tie to fit in, even in a university setting.

posted by Frank - Permanent Link - |

Crowdsourcing -- Reaching out to "the community" for help has gotten some press recently, in Wired, Radio Open Source, and a couple newspapers (those last two via Buzzmachine.)

Interesting new source of capability and capacity, or "fresh eyes, open minds, and extra hands."

posted by Frank - Permanent Link - |

The Ten Commandments of Project Management -- Or at least ten more commandments, from Computerworld...
  • Thou Shalt Narrow Project Scope
  • Thou Shalt Not Suffer a Fat Team
  • Thou Shalt Require Full-Time Business Participation
  • Thou Shalt Establish Project Review Panels
  • Thou Shalt Not Provoke Burnout
  • Thou Shalt Seek Outside Assistance as Needed
  • Thou Shalt Empower Project Teams
  • Thou Shalt Use Project Management Tools
  • Thou Shalt Reward Success
  • Thou Shalt Not Tolerate Quick-and-Dirty Work Efforts
Read the whole thing.


posted by Frank - Permanent Link - |

Thursday, October 05, 2006

The Project Management Game -- Or rather, Game Project Management. Chris Williams of Lucasarts dicusses the role of PM in video game production.
"Problem-solving is the number one skill you need in project management in games," he says. "Game development is just one long series of problems."

"From a career fair point of view, there are a lot of opportunities for managers," says Williams.

The LucasArts veteran outlined some of the producer-level titles a employee might hold as a project manager, such as associate producer or executive; the roles vary somewhat from company to company. How managers interact with a publisher can also vary, depending on the studio's relationship to the publisher, the title in development, and the history between the publisher and studio.

Williams also took some time to explain the difference between working for a large, well-established company (where many project management and producers are hired specifically) to the small "scrappy start-ups" (where project managers tend to be people who rise to the occasion). He also explained Scrum-style development and other current working methods that would-be producers should have a clear understanding of before applying for a job.
He suggests that potential game developers and managers face the reality of the industry...
...When asked about crunch time, Williams outlined the following rule: "If you lose two weeks of your life to crunching and making games, then that's what you signed up for when you decided you wanted to make games."
But he's realistic about the reality as well...
...crunching for more than two weeks out of an eight-week period is a failure on the part of the project manager. "If we’re smart about our development tactics, then we can deliver the game on time," he says. "It shouldn't be typical that you’re working 60 or 70 hours per week on a regular basis," he says, recommending that developers who are in that situation ought to look for another job.
Game over.


posted by Frank - Permanent Link - |

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Only Fifteen Years? -- From the BBC, a look back at the fifteen years of the web. I remember playing with Lynx at Bell Labs around 93, then coming across a Mosiac browser at the Princeton Plasma Physics Lab on a consulting gig around then.

Guess it feels longer since Compuserve, GEnie (Does anyone remember the icon and speech to text interfaces - rrrr = laughter (say it out loud), before LOL, BBSs and my AOL account (which dates back far enough that my AOL screen name is fsp - no numbers, just my initials) from the 80s were pre-web.

posted by Frank - Permanent Link - |

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Creative Think -- Roger von Oech, creativity guru and author of "A Whack on the Side of the Head" and "A Kick in the Seat of the Pants" (among others) and who I met a number of years ago at Nabisco, and who I've mentioned from time to time in this blog, has started a blog of his own. Check it out.

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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"
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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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