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.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Working Definition of Project Management -- From a Series in Managment Excellence
Check out Lesson 1 in the series.

posted by Frank - Permanent Link - |

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Figures Never Lie, but Liars...

An episode of Penn And Teller's Bullshit!, in which our brave boys go after numbers and statistics, and how people and organizations skew them. Settle back, watch, and learn.

(via Clarke Ching)

posted by Frank - Permanent Link - |

2000 Bloggers -- For some reason, the guy who put 2000 Bloggers: Links To Popular Bloggers (A-List), Not So Popular Bloggers (C-List), And More Blogs together found me on my relatively unread Unfocused personal blog, and not this original and longer-lived business-oriented one you're reading now.


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Saturday, January 20, 2007

Ideas for Slowing Down - Just Say No! -- Dave Pollard share his merge of Covey's important/unimportant/urgent/not urgent quadrant with Allen's "Getting Things Done" system, and arrives at the conclusion that we should Just Say No to Urgent Unimportant Tasks, and offers a three-step process for avoiding those unimportant time-wasters:
1. Lower others' expectations: Essentially you need to train other people not to give you urgent unimportant tasks, and, when they do, not to expect you to do them...

2. Ask yourself this question: Five years from now, what will the consequences turn out to be if I simply don't do this urgent unimportant task -- not today, not ever? If the answer is 'not much', that should give you the courage (and it takes courage!) to 'just say no' to these time-burning, stressful, distracting tasks. Don't put them on your list. Don't do them. Don't give them another thought...

3. Delegate these tasks to people who think they are important: If you have admin staff, or junior staff itching to get into your good books, or friends or acquaintances who like this kind of 'busy' work and really find it meaningful, or just want to help you out, give it to them. Some people like doing paperwork. Don't feel guilty about it. Don't give them extra compensation or feel obligated. Just let them do it. Or find ways to automate these tasks or otherwise make them simpler and less time consuming.
Important: Just Do It!

Unimportant: Just Say No!

posted by Frank - Permanent Link - |

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Slow Down to Get More Done -- Jeffery Phillips writes about "busyness":
"It's the 17th of January and I am already officially at my limit of tolerance for 'how fast' everything is moving. Everyone I know talks about how fast things are moving - their lives, their work, their commitments. Yep, I know everyone is busy and we are expected to be very busy. In fact I think we often look askance at people who don't appear to be busy.

But amidst all of this busyness, I don't notice that much gets done. In fact with all of the busyness, much gets left out."
Sounds familiar. One of my compatriots complained recently "I didn't have time to plan." Of course, she was complaining about that a bit too late -- when the effects of things getting dropped were being felt. Even I this week felt the pressure to fast track a piece of a project before I had a chance to get the whole thing worked out to a reasonable extent. Succumbed to it. Felt totally out of control as another unrelated emergency reared it's ugly head in the midst of fast-tracking.

Time to step back, and as Phillips goes on to prescribe, prioritize, plan, and communicate.

Slow done and get something done...Frank.

posted by Frank - Permanent Link - |

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

An Older Gentleman -- Recently, on a conference call with a DG client - a follow up to our first face-to-face pitch meeting - the client contact, trying to confirm his memory, asked if I were "the older gentleman with the beard."

A milestone in my 56-year-long life being referred to as...

"...the older gentleman..."

At least he called me a gentleman.

posted by Frank - Permanent Link - |

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Logistics Porn -- Xmas at Amazon.

posted by Frank - Permanent Link - |

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Roles and Responsibilities for Projects -- From Stephen Seay at projectsteps, a good, quick-and-dirty list of roles with descriptions from Executive Steering Committee to Technical Manager/Liason and Business Analyst. I like the inclusion of Functional Manager, sometimes left out of such lists.


posted by Frank - Permanent Link - |

Monday, January 01, 2007

Give Someone Else a Chance -- Here's a thought, insane and idealistic, triggered partially by the recent headlines associated with compensation and bonuses...

If $1,000,000 per year can pretty much cover anyone's needs (not to mention a fair amount of more than reasonable wants), and if even the most prudent, conservative investing should be able to produce 5% per year, then as soon as a hired hand (CEO, not business owner, for example) goes through their first year of $45,000,000 of income (to allow for netting $30,000,000 after taxes, which would then also allow after tax $1,000,000 investment income), s/he has to step aside, retire from that position, and give someone else a shot.

To be fair, s/he would be free to pursue another position and use their skills (if they really do exist - I'm one who believes that the "skills" of most headliner executives are 40% luck and 50% the skills of those under them) to improve the success of another organization, allow the amassing of more personal fortune, but only until the year of another $20,000,000 net.

Truly effective managers would be compensated well, if they wished, by switching horses. If rationality ever kicked in, and they felt they had enough to survive, being forced out every once in a while would give them an opportunity to think about the possibility of doing more with their skills other than just running up the score in terms of dollars.

If they choose to take on a valid philanthropic position, pro bono, their investment income becomes tax-free, thus encouraging the minds that succeeded in the commercial world to apply their skills for the greater good.

posted by Frank - Permanent Link - |

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FP's Recommended Reading
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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"
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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