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Barb@Vyrtunet's Blog (22)

Project Managers are Solution Partners

A project manager agrees to manage a technical project that was two years old and had two previous project managers.  Given repeated failures and lack of progress, the assigned engineering team had little faith that the new project manager would make a difference.  But the project had the attention of the executive steering committee and canceling it was not an option.  So the project manager went on a mission to turn things around, and discovered that disruptions and other work requests…


Added by Barb@Vyrtunet on April 21, 2013 at 3:49pm — No Comments

Project Managers are Strategic Enablers

The project manager says to the PMO manager, “2013 is going to be a busy year for us, with all of the new projects starting in just a few short weeks.  I hope we have enough project managers to handle the workload.”  The boss agrees, “Yeah, I just received this year’s list of projects and I think we are in for a busy year too.  We may…


Added by Barb@Vyrtunet on April 13, 2013 at 5:49pm — No Comments

Charting a Path to Change: Lead by Example

Change events impact the business processes that folks are comfortable using.  So we ask our managers to plan and lead by example and we ask the people involved to make it happen.  But we also ask everyone to consider the future. 

How many times have you experienced a company or department reorganization?  Did it go well and result in immediate productivity or did it go sideways and result in delays or even rework?  Companies surveyed lose billions of dollars a year from failed change…


Added by Barb@Vyrtunet on May 25, 2012 at 5:54am — No Comments

Charting a Path to Change: Pick Your Target and Go For It!

You Recognize that something’s not quite right and change is needed.  You have taken the steps necessary to Realize your business culture so you can plan change.  The Business Culture Questionnaire helped classify organizational values and behaviors at the source with responses being a snapshot of the current business principles and practices.  Compiling questionnaire results is pretty straightforward but what to do with those results is the next challenge.

To Aim for change…


Added by Barb@Vyrtunet on May 25, 2012 at 5:52am — No Comments

Charting a Path to Change: Get to Know the Business Culture

The path of least resistance towards change starts with an understanding of the business culture and knowledge of the types of changes that need to take place.

Realize the business culture, how things get done and why certain things don’t seem to get done. 

Particularly for large organizations, a lack of process can impact how things get done and why certain things never get done.  Process does not resolve all disconnects because the impact of process…


Added by Barb@Vyrtunet on May 25, 2012 at 5:49am — No Comments

Charting a Path to Change

We live and work in a world of constant change and we’re told in order to succeed, or perhaps even survive, one must be flexible and adaptable.  This applies to companies too.  Many methods exist to help us plan and implement business change, but few focus on the human impacts of change. 

Every business has a culture or set of management principles and processes that become routine for people over time.  People comfortable with these dynamics are more confident in their ability of…


Added by Barb@Vyrtunet on May 25, 2012 at 5:44am — No Comments

Strategy to Action Control - A Method for Statistical Control of Business Processes

Metrics and measures are a significant part of a good Business Value Framework because when used they are the most effective tool to evaluate and control performance to plan.  If you are following a Business Value Framework, you know how to establish metrics and measures for strategic objectives, portfolios and action plans.  But how will you know how well these objectives, portfolios and action plans actually perform; how will you know if they actually meet expectations and stay within…


Added by Barb@Vyrtunet on February 25, 2012 at 3:24am — No Comments

Business Strategy to Action Plan

Another addition to the Business Value Toolkit!


Are you ready to turn your business strategy into action?  We have a new guide and template that you can use to develop an Action Plan that links directly to your Balanced Scorecard and strategic objectives.  Learn how to establish strategic, portfolio and action plan metrics and measures to evaluate performance to plan.  This download includes a template and step-by-step process to develop a complete action plan for any…


Added by Barb@Vyrtunet on February 4, 2012 at 5:29am — No Comments

Business Value Toolkit & Balanced Scorecard

Understanding the total cost of IT is all about understanding the cost and business impact of new and existing IT investments.  Business leaders want to see how IT investments link to business strategy and want to know which investments lower costs and have a higher impact.  Strategic alignment, value measurements and prioritization helps company’s make good investment decisions.  Don’t waste your money on expensive software!   This toolkit gives you everything you need…


Added by Barb@Vyrtunet on January 22, 2012 at 4:34am — No Comments

There’s a Method to the Madness: From Business Strategy to IT Project Portfolio Management

For IT organizations with tight budgets and scarce resources, new projects are difficult to justify as most of the available funding goes to keep existing applications and systems performing.  But IT can enable businesses to meet strategic objectives through innovation and continuous improvement.  Today’s IT organization is a major contributor to corporate strategy development and execution through IT as a service.

There is a method to the madness and the first step involves a clear…


Added by Barb@Vyrtunet on December 6, 2011 at 1:51am — No Comments

Act Now! Stop "The Urkel Effect"

The Urkel Effect:  A syndrome that often consumes certain key members of a project team, whereas they are often seen spinning seamlessly in multiple directions until they disappear altogether.  One begins to observe this phenomenon when certain delusional symptoms appear, often followed by the words “Did I do that?”  More details about these strange symptoms and behaviors have…


Added by Barb@Vyrtunet on September 7, 2011 at 4:51pm — No Comments

SaaS Migration Plan

Are you ready to start using Software as a Service in the cloud?  We've launched a new template that provides everything you need to develop a plan and schedule to migrate users and data to any cloud-based SaaS solution regardless of the service provider.  Use it to establish a scope and process that describes how user access, authentication and data are moved to SaaS in the cloud.

  • Technical Solution & Access/Authentication Requirements
  • Service & Configuration…

Added by Barb@Vyrtunet on August 5, 2011 at 12:52am — No Comments

Thokk Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Barb:  Great follow up story to “The Lost Art of Teamwork”.  And what a sad series of events that taught you a lesson in doing your homework before making a commitment.  Most of us have made mistakes just starting out but the good news is we learn from them and become better at what we do.

Thokk:  Some do, but some don’t…The dysfunctional PMO quickly becomes an afterthought once dismembered but bad impressions lead to lingering bad perceptions.  PMO…


Added by Barb@Vyrtunet on July 26, 2011 at 12:22pm — No Comments

Thokk Learns a Lesson…And the Conversation Continues

Thokk:  I mentioned before that a lessons learned exercise provides important feedback about projects, but the problem with the lessons is that they are learned after the fact.  Remember that one?


Barb:  Something about capturing important elements early and managing them right so projects and people work better before the fact.


Thokk:  Yup.  Back in the day before blogs and cyberspace, we PMs learned things the hard way.  Trial and error my friend and that’s…


Added by Barb@Vyrtunet on May 25, 2011 at 3:33pm — No Comments

Implementation Plan

You’ve done the strategy, the technical requirements, the project plan and the schedule.  Your project gets design approval and you purchase equipment.  The equipment arrives on site and your technical team builds the platform according to design specifications.  They configure and test the equipment.  With a few tweaks here and there everything works and you can sleep at night.  But what if you need to deploy this platform to multiple sites using technical resources from different…


Added by Barb@Vyrtunet on May 16, 2011 at 5:39pm — No Comments

Project Scorecards Add Value

Scorecards are growing in popularity as companies begin to realize the benefits of linking project investments to strategic goals.  Value measurements and prioritization through scorecards helps businesses make good investment decisions, validating that what funnels into the pipeline is manageable, cost effective and aligned with business strategy and desired business outcomes.  Project teams use scorecards to define shared goals and success criteria/measures for projects.  Studies show that…


Added by Barb@Vyrtunet on May 3, 2011 at 7:49pm — No Comments

Thokk Seeks the Lost Art of Teamwork

Barb:  Sorry to hear that your colleague is still among the unemployed but I think he made the right decision.  And I regret that I too have seen PMOs going in the wrong direction.

Thokk:  Dysfunctional PMOs are still out there and it’s a wonder we still have any integrity left.  There is a very fine line between healthy competition and outright combativeness and it goes against the primal nature of a PM to work in an environment that does not encourage teamwork.  One should question…


Added by Barb@Vyrtunet on April 26, 2011 at 3:50pm — 2 Comments

Another Conversation with Thokk…this time it’s about PM Value Share

Barb:  Interesting insights about PM value so far Thokk.  And you’re right, just because you’re able to meet the numbers, doesn’t mean you are totally out of the woods.  Performance metrics and quality management practices should provide enough evidence to validate PM value but that’s truly not the case as some PM survey results show.

Thokk:  When you get right down to it, the not-so-good things about projects are usually linked to other things besides metrics and measures.  That’s…


Added by Barb@Vyrtunet on March 29, 2011 at 2:19pm — No Comments

A Conversation with Thokk About the Equation for PM Innovation

Barb:  So I read you latest blog article and have to say I was intrigued.  Job title: Program Manager (consultant).  Experience level: 5 years.  Primary responsibilities:  (1) develop all project related documentation, (2) collect project information from project streams and consolidate it into status reports delivered to various audiences, (3) establish a regular rhythm for project updates, (4) help develop clear and concise status reports, (5) produce status reports for status meetings,…


Added by Barb@Vyrtunet on March 2, 2011 at 3:31pm — No Comments

A Tale of Thokk the Project Troll

Are you stuck in the land of Project Trolls or having difficulty getting a good PM job?  The recession had an impact on our industry and Thokk may have the answers we need to turn things around.  Follow Thokk as he talks about what he learned as a troll and how he believes changes in our industry may be necessary to meet the business needs of the future. 


This article is the first in a series about the value of project management: …


Added by Barb@Vyrtunet on February 22, 2011 at 3:44pm — No Comments

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