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Featured Blog Posts (358)

Henry Gantt – Debunking the myths

It may come as a big surprise to many, but Henry L. Gantt did not invent bar charts despite many people miss labeling them ‘Gantt Charts’ and he had nothing to do with developing project management!

This definitive paper highlights the origins of bar charts in Scotland in the 18th century and looks at Gantt’s real work in manufacturing – when you have finished reading it, I hope you will agree the following myths should be ‘busted’ once and for all:

Misconception #1…


Added by Patrick Weaver on December 16, 2012 at 4:40am — No Comments

Project Management and the Enviroment

Where do we begin with regards to environmental project management?

I am not referring to projects specifically focused on the environment, but rather construction related projects and there impact on the environment.

The reality is that protecting the environment has a price tag, one which in the end is passed onto the customer.

So from the start, planning the environment into the project already has a huge obstacle - cost, then the next item is time, both from a…


Added by Adrian Lamond on December 19, 2012 at 4:11am — No Comments

5 Questions Project Managers must ask

Projects are inherently risky endeavours and require plenty of shepherding to ensure successful completion and the desired results. Key to successful project management is clarity of understanding on what you are trying to deliver. It is easier said than done. Different people can read the same requirements and have different impressions of deliverables. I’ve been thinking about some of the strategies I have used and seen successfully applied. Following is a set that I have found very…


Added by Shoaib Ahmed on December 11, 2012 at 4:31am — No Comments

The Cultural Dimension of Project Communication

The importance of understanding culture in designing successful communications to influence and inform stakeholders cannot be understated. Exactly the same words or diagrams can be interpreted differently depending on the culture of the receiver, but culture is multi-dimensional. Some of the facets that influence how information is received and interpreted include:

  • corporate culture – how the organisation works
  • industry/professional culture – the way people in a…

Added by Patrick Weaver on December 3, 2012 at 5:24am — 2 Comments

Proof of Concept, Prototype, Pilot, Agile … confused?

Every industry sector has its own jargon that users or system developers use. IT is no different and plenty of words are used interchangeably that different stakeholders take to mean different things. This often makes for difficult conversations down the track. My colleague Nathan Heazlewood recently put in some effort in defining some of these. Thought he did an excellent job, well worth sharing.…


Added by Shoaib Ahmed on November 30, 2012 at 2:03am — No Comments

The Demise of the Iron Triangle

The iron triangle was invented by Dr Martin Barnes in 1969 to demonstrate the connection between time, cost and output (correct scope at the correct quality) – see The Origins of Modern Project Management. The correlation remains but the concept of the triangle is fading and becoming more complex.

The problem with the triangle is whilst the three…


Added by Patrick Weaver on November 23, 2012 at 2:12am — 5 Comments

How much do you think it'll cost?

How many times have you heard that? “Oh, I’m not going to hold you to this, but just a ball park figure?” Sounds even more familiar? And now the clincher, “You know our systems, surely you have an idea.” Trying to answer this sort of question from the client too soon causes enormous headaches in projects.

Re-published from my blog Project Management in Practice.…


Added by Shoaib Ahmed on November 26, 2012 at 2:52am — 2 Comments

5 things a tech lead can do that a Project Manager cannot

I was talking to a former colleague and reminiscing about some of the projects we had worked together. He is still in a technical role and enjoying it. I have long since moved into project management and have been enjoying that. As friends would banter, we started talking about how our different roles give us different flexibilities and constraints in…


Added by Shoaib Ahmed on November 21, 2012 at 3:31am — No Comments

How do I trade off between cost and capacity?

In every organisation that I have worked in there has never been any argument that additional capacity can help better delivery of projects. But seldom are organisations in a position of luxury to have additional resources, which may not be contributing to the bottom line. For every staff hire, there is an expectation of revenue if it is aprofessional…


Added by Shoaib Ahmed on November 14, 2012 at 3:56am — No Comments

PMP Exam Tip: Leads, Lags and... Hammocks??

The terms leads and lags are used to identify and control the timing of various activities within the project. It is important to accurately document leads and lags.

Lead Time: Let's assume a project has two pieces that need to be completed at the same time. Work package A will take 4 weeks to complete, but work package B only takes one week. B would show in the project plan as a finish to start (FS)…


Added by Cornelius Fichtner on October 20, 2012 at 5:14am — No Comments

The Ideologue, the Zealot, the Practitioner, the Secular and the Non-believer

I am preparing to deliver part of a day long project management workshop at a conference. As I was thinking through the content I wanted to cover and reading some references, the BBC was covering the …


Added by Shoaib Ahmed on October 16, 2012 at 11:41pm — No Comments

Stakeholder Management with apologies to Dr. Seuss

When beetles battle beetles in a puddle paddle battle and the beetle battle puddle is a puddle in a bottle…

…they call this a tweetle beetle bottle puddle paddle battle muddle.

Excerpted from: Tweetle Beetles, ‘The Fox in Socks’, by Dr Seuss

The connection between a book written to be read to under 5s and business stakeholder management is the ‘puddle muddle’ otherwise known as the stakeholder pool. The challenge of managing…


Added by Patrick Weaver on October 16, 2012 at 5:49am — No Comments

Five project manager's behavior you would like to avoid

If project succeeds then it is the result of collective team effort however if project fails, it may fail due to various reasons but the failure is largely attributed to project manager.

Project Manager

They say – Project team can be interesting group of people, wherein project manager promises customer “Don’t worry, we will deliver it. Nothing is…


Added by Dhan on October 11, 2012 at 3:41am — No Comments

Resourcing Schedules – A Conundrum

I have been thinking about the value of incorporating resources into schedules for some time. At one level it’s not too hard to do but is it useful?

From one aspect, it is impossible to schedule at any level without the active consideration of resources. Resources do the work in a given time and changing either the quality or quantity of the resource has some inevitable impact on the duration of the work. Consequently, it is critical to know the resource assumptions used in planning…


Added by Patrick Weaver on October 6, 2012 at 3:05am — 4 Comments

Light at the end of the tunnel

Ever feel like there is too much to do and not enough hours in the day? I have just had a couple of weeks like that. Each day I worried how I’m going to get through the tasks at hand without dropping the ball on something else. It is not uncommon in professional services. Work is lumpy in nature and you have to ride the rough with the…


Added by Shoaib Ahmed on October 8, 2012 at 9:30pm — No Comments

10 Things That Make a Good Project Manager Great

By Christopher Scordo (PMP, ITIL) of 


When it comes to being a leader, it takes a special set of skills to take charge and manage a group of people.  Leaders need to get the best out of their team, no matter how grouchy, difficult or different they all are from each other.  The same concept applies to project management.

As project managers, there are…


Added by Chris on October 3, 2012 at 5:36pm — 8 Comments

Building capability in organisations

My personal reflection time during the week is on Saturday mornings, when I take my children to the local swimming pool for lessons. I was looking at the pool this week, with children of various abilities learning to swim – all in separate lanes. I recalled how my children had gone through the grades. It occured to me that building …


Added by Shoaib Ahmed on September 29, 2012 at 5:30am — No Comments

Expectation is reality

We hear about perception being reality in service management space. When you are dealing with projects, expectation become the be all and and end all. How your project is perceived is proportional to the level of expectation about the outcomes that you have built.…


Added by Shoaib Ahmed on September 24, 2012 at 7:41pm — No Comments

Is Project Management 2.0 Dead?

Project Management 2.0 (PM 2.0) seemed to be going the same way some Agile anarchists were trying to take software development which was essentially not to do project management and hope a group of people with good will and good luck will create something useful.  Agile anarchists have largely been supplanted by Agile pragmatists who recognize an appropriate amount o management control is needed to achieve the best outcomes for the client; but what if anything is happening to PM…


Added by Patrick Weaver on September 22, 2012 at 3:34am — 1 Comment

Do procurement processes allow Agile software delivery?

Longer projects run, higher likelihood of project failure. One of the moves in recent times to reduce complexity in software development is to adopt Agile delivery approaches. The desire to build confidence and leave tangible benefits even if projects are cancelled has provided further impetus to adoption of Agile practices. This approach has delivered good…


Added by Shoaib Ahmed on September 19, 2012 at 5:30pm — No Comments



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