403.605.2800 | email Ken Hanley, M. Eng.


Getting Over the FUDs: Fears, Uncertainties, and Doubts
Being Done Doesn't Mean You've Won
The Three Key Questions
I'm Sick of The Analogy Too, But...
A Date With Dave

When do we agree a project is done? How do we know if it's a success? If we gather all the stakeholder expectations, document every step, and work backwards with the end goal in mind, everyone can leave happy. Now, what role does the project sponsor play in all of this?

There's a Reason IT PMOs Fail

Why do most IT PMOs fail? 'Cause most IT PMOs are set up for the wrong reasons. How do you make them work? "It's just one thing." Look at the PMO from the perspective of the project teams first, and management second. Project tools that work first, reporting controls, and tracking mechanisms second. read more >>

Good IT Equals Good IF: Intestinal Fortitude

Would you turn up your nose at an $8 million systems contract? You would if you knew it would cost you $8 million to deliver. How do you analyze the tradeoffs between cot, scope, duration, and clarify a change in baseline with a client? Say no to ridiculous requests with confidence. read more >>

Heading Down the Fast Track to Disaster

"This is an important project. We'll have to fast-track it." Although it might be a legitimate approach to project with a tight deadline, fast tracking often means insufficient planning and poor controls. In reality: going much faster and still being successful means a whole lot more planning and it demands better reporting controls. Learn what tradeoffs need to be made, without sacrificing the quality of the project. read more >>

Judge Projects By Their Covers

Simple rule - every single one of the projects that you have on your books should have a long, awkward, results-describing, non-technical, non-version-numbered name. The mistake that everyone makes - naming a project based on the tool or process used to get there. And if you haven't got the result nailed down in the name, you've got the start of a big problem... read more >>

A Question That Sadly, We Still Ask

How do we know if we're on track? How do we know if our project's a success so far? And what performance metrics do we use to tell? Performance metrics should be directly related to why a project was selected in the first place. A project should never be started until the metrics are formally agreed to. Why start a project without a clear idea of what success looks like? read more >>

IT Projects That Work: Pre-death Pathology

Flavour of the month, or focus and finish? Strike to kill: There are too many projects that get killed too early - too little patience. So then we're forced to consider -would it be better to never start some projects in the first place? read more >>

It's the End, Not the Means

It's the end that matters, not the way that we get there. Here's the crime: believing in a single solution to every problem. Push past the means of project management, and focus on the end result. That's when it'll all fall into place. read more >>

Five Easy Tough Questions You Should Ask

The save my backside checklist - five simple questions that have a big impact. They're easy to answer, but all too often passed over. Ask them and avoid the consequences. What are they? Read on. read more >>

Methodology, Schmethodology

"Big methodologies" seem to take on a life of their own. Rather than committing yourself to one methodology to solve every single problem, how do you defend yourself against the madness of the committed? Learn to ask the right questions... read more >>

Dumb, Dumb, and Damnably Dumb

In Search of the Anti-hero

Committing ourselves to a fixed end date, and a fixed budget before we have a clear idea of what we're doing exactly - dumb. Liquidated damages for late delivery - also dumb. The dumb proposal: the lowest price, the earliest finish date. Now wonder there are so many "impossible, but not demonstrably so" projects that people kill themselves to complete. How to do it differently next time...

The Price of Thinking Out Loud

The CIO asked for a cup of coffee and the IT group ended up buying a small, South American nation. Remember, senior executives think out loud too, which means that we have to ask questions. Asking the right questions can eliminate many wild (and expensive) goose chases. read more >>

Faster, Better is Marketeer Speak:

Speed costs. Speed Kills. A far cry form the "faster and better" promises of 'marketeers', speed means compromise or quality, control, or cost. So, how to balance quality with the need for speed? read more >>

Out-driving the Headlights

The world changes fast, and so do project requirements. Why would you plan more than six months down the road, when the context of the project will be completely different by that time? A big, long-term project requires a cautious approach... read more >>

Closing the Door You Came In Through

Close the door behind you. What happens when there aren't any incentives to change to new processes, and no downside to sticking with the old ones? That project that you just finished seems quite a waste of time now, doesn't it? So, how do you fix it? read more >>

It's Always Groundhog Day

Didn't learn your lesson the first time? You're gonna make the same mistake again. We still estimate the lowest budget, earliest finish date, even though we know in our guts how wildly optimistic we're being. Unless we can specifically tell how our estimating has improved, why should it be any different this time? read more >>

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