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, January 28, 2009

Rob Newbold on Agile and Critical Chain -- I'm not going to quote it. You should read the whole piece on Agile and Critical Chain from a guy who was there at the beginning of Critical Chain.

I've written enough on the subject anyhow.

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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Hope and Change -- Sherwin Nuland, at TED 2003, spoke of the relationship between "hope" and "change". You can't really have the former without the latter, and probably won't bother with the latter without some amount of the former.
Interesting aside: the indo-european root, according to Nuland, of hope is the same root for curve, as in change in direction.

From a personal perspective, I know my recent "change in direction" has enhanced my hopes/expectations for the future.


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Saturday, January 24, 2009

Again Mobile - Beginning Again -- I've just finished up my first week in my new position as Director of Account Operations at Again Mobile, and I am jazzed. I'm working with a great group of people on a marketing technology that is both proven and in early days. We were there at the beginning of the commercial web, and now we have a chance to do it "again" in the mobile arena. There's also the aspect of doing it "again" with a team of people I've worked with before and in whom I have immense confidence that in a little while, we'll be a premier player in the mobile arena.

Again Mobile [Whoops/Note: As of Jan 24, the website is suffering from a DNS glitch. It should be up sometime the week of Jan 26.] is a full service mobile marketing agency dedicated to helping companies of all sizes leverage the incredible one-to-one marketing opportunities within the mobile channel, offering complete end-to-end solutions including:
Mobile Marketing & Advertising
 * Mobile Text Messaging Campaigns
 * Mobile Search Placement and Optimization
 * Mobile Web Advertising
 * Mobile Near-Field Marketing Campaigns

Mobile Technology & Development
 * iPhone Application Development
 * Smart Phone Application Development
 * Mobile Site Development
 * Analytics & Reporting
My role will involve the project management of mobile and interactive projects serving the needs of clients and partners. I will also be responsible for the development and management of operational processes related to Short code management, SMS campaigns, eMail campaigns, Search campaigns. Projects and processes - yes - "again".

However, in the start-up mode of this new firm, made up for now of a small group of seasoned interactive professionals from DigitalGrit, Temel, and Adverb Media (great people all), we'll all be involved in most aspects of getting the business up and running.

If you know of anyone thinking about adding carefully designed and implemented mobile aspects to their marketing mix, either as an agency or PR firm looking to partner with mobile experts, or as a B2B or B2C firm that wants to communicate with their customers and/or field staff wherever they are, reach out to me and we'll explore the possibilities.

Actually, as I think of it, the laser-like nature and impressive results of mobile marketing may very well layer a new meaning on the name of this Focused Performance blog.

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

My resume would need updating...if I hadn't just started an exciting gig. (More details in a couple days when our website goes up.) According to 6 Words That Make Your Resume Suck, when I close out the previous position and add the new one, I should get rid of...
* Responsible for
* Experienced
* Excellent written communication skills
* Team player
* Detail oriented
* Successful


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Monday, January 19, 2009

Project Managers -- From ProjectSteps: When Project Managers Attack! (Rewind)...
"Project managers wear many hats. We are members of teams, leaders of teams, we are followers, we are stakeholders, we are fiscal planners, we are risk managers, risk takers, planners, schedulers, mentors, quality assurance reps, writers, motivators, listeners, we are empathetic, we are sympathetic, we demonstrate common sense when others don't, we demonstrate a fair and balanced approach to problems, and lots more.... You get the idea. You can see why we are sometimes frustrated. You can see why we need to be as professional as we can all the time."
Great piece.


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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Project Monogamy, Revisted - Serial Monogamy Project Participation is an important post from Johanna Rothman. Success in projects in an organization is less about how the individual projects are managed than about how the multi-project system of shared resources are managed.
What I’m finding interesting in my work is that people who have some slack can commit to one project much more easily than people who are 100% “committed” to a project. The people who are 100% committed have no slack to provide other projects some consulting or provide future projects some thinking. The people who are only 80% committed to one project (and not committed to something else, slack is key) are more able to finish their work and accommodate the inevitable interruptions.

When people multitask, they are not committed to a project. They have no slack. They have no time to innovate. They are always behind."
Not only do resources need slack, but project promises need to me made in a way that includes "slack", allowing for those times when things don't go as planned and for those times when one project impinges on the progress of another.

The behaviors and expectations that Johanna describe allow that latter situation to happen less frequently.

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Saturday, January 10, 2009

Example of a Policy Constraint --

Curtailing Success - Shutting down Wind Farms...

If (and it's a big if) the larger goal is independence from fossil fuels in production of electricity, we need to be able to shut down and start up coal and gas plants more efficiently so there won't be a conflict between making money now and sustainability.

Of course, we could just subordinate the money making to the need to move into the future.

[via a George Dearing tweet]

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Earned Budget Management - In Herding Cats: Some Serious Misunderstandings About Earned Value, Glen sets the record straight. It's about budget associated with work, not "value", unless you think of value (of the contract) earned by the delivering entity. In the agency world, a reasonable corollary is "recognized revenue".

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Friday, January 09, 2009

Epiphany: Virtual Teams And Social Media Tribes Are The Same -- Just a quick link to a piece from a blog I've been recently following (closely) on a subject I've been thinking about in terms of managing/growing a startup that is yet to assemble a tech staff.

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Charles Handy on Slowing Down -- On last night's Marketplace radio show, business philosopher Charles Handy got into the economic situation, and ended the interview with a very appealing scenario for the future...
Ryssdal: So now what then? I mean, if Adam Smith -- who wrote "The Wealth of Nations" that we all know about -- if he's right, and we got it wrong 250 years later, now what do we do?

Handy: Well, I think governments are faced with a difficult problem. They are trying to get people to spend. But it does seem a rather un-Adam Smith idea to get people to go out shopping in order to get the economy going again. More "useless things," in other words. But in order to get that happening, they have reduced the base rate from the Federal Reserve or the Bank of England, in order to get people finding it easier to borrow. But actually there are more savers than borrowers in society. And so, of course, now the savers are not going to save because there's no incentive to it. So, I'm not sure that the solution is going to be easy to get by, and I think it'll take about three years for things to bottom out. But there may be some good news in all of that. I mean we may get back to a saner kind of world -- what Adam Smith called "cultivation" or "civilization" -- where we don't all sort of spend our life trying to make money, to buy things we don't really need to impress the neighbors, and so on. Where we actually do work -- not 60 hours a week, but 40 hours a week. Where we actually do take holidays. Where we actually get to know our kids again. Where it actually becomes smart to have a tiny car, to walk and bicycle and these sorts of things. And we may find we enjoy it actually just as much as the hectic pace that we've seen in recent years. I've often said that capitalism, particularly in America, is a very exhausting business. It tires people out.
Along the same lines, David Armano also talks about slowing down.

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Monday, January 05, 2009

Face Reality and Live With It -- From Seth's Blog: Is everything okay?...
"We spend so much time smoothing things out, we lose the opportunity for change, or for texture or creativity."
Live with a little roughness. You'll never get away from it.

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PMI Congress Notes: Using Risk Management for Strategic Advantage

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

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Why Can't We All Just Get Along?

Why TOC Works
Project and Multi-Project Management
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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)

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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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Invisible Dogma - Perpetuating Paradigms

Nothing But Value

On Assumption Busting

Personal Productivity - An Excuse?

The Psychology of Change Management

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