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Project Management Blog
Thursday, 17 May 2007 15:32

Deming's 4th Point in Project Management

Consider Costs and Benefits of the Entire System and Deliverable Lifetime

The textbook wording of this point varies, but is usually something like “Stop making decisions purely on the basis of cost.” When I read the various descriptions however, I believe the textbook title is not an adequate summary.

When Deming talks about not making decisions purely on the basis of cost, he is referring to a plant perspective and talks about the importance of having regular suppliers.

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Saturday, 12 May 2007 10:43

Deming's 3rd Point in Project Management

Inspection is a Tool for Improvement, Not a Whip

Deming's third point urges practitioners to design quality into processes, using inspection as an information-gathering tool to do so. In project management, the processes and systems make up a methodology. Does your organization have a consistent methodology, or does everyone run projects their own way?

Inspecting project performance through the lens of continuous improvement facilitates applying lessons learned to a consistent and ever-improving methodology. This can not be done effectively unless there is a consistent system of managing projects in the first place.

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Adopt a Philosophy of Cooperation Where Everyone Wins and Teach it to Everyone

Often, projects can become battlegrounds where the project manager and team are at odds with the sponsor and other stakeholders. These conflicts can arise when the project environment is not conducive to a win-win approach.

In project planning and initiation, clearly define the WIIFM (What’s in it for me) for everyone on the project.

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Dr. W. Edwards Deming was recently re-introduced to me in my Project Performance and Quality Assurance class. I have heard of him before and touched on some of his philosophy in other classes, but focused much more in-depth this time. The majority of his philosophy around quality and organizational management resonates with me. So, I've decided to do a series of articles on Deming's 14 points, and how they relate specifically to the field of project management.

Here are Deming's 14 points, paraphrased in my words:

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Saturday, 28 April 2007 09:08

Cargo Cult Project Management

During World War II, the Allied forces occupied many of the Pacific islands.  Up until that point, the inhabitants of these islands had never seen manufactured goods.  With the military occupation, goods such as sunglasses, chocolate and coca-cola literally fell from the sky.  To islanders unfamiliar with manufacturing or powered flight this bounty was a delivery from the gods. 
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Petra Goltz, PMP asks: How do you see the role of a project or program manager changing to keep pace with today's fast moving commercial environments?

I say: That's an very interesting question. Without giving it too much thought, I can see the following trends taking place:

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Thursday, 29 March 2007 09:48

Band-Aids and Merry-go-Rounds

As I child I had a lot of experience with both of these.  I assume everyone is familiar with band-aids, the merry-go-round I’m referring to is the kind you find on a playground.  These are basically a large dish parallel to the ground mounted on a central axis with some handle bars to hold on to - here is a picture of one.  Aside from a trip down memory lane, what do these two things have to do with managing a PMO or even project management or even work?   I’m glad you asked – both of these items and their lessons from childhood give us insight into change.  First, I want to look at each type of change and then talk about which is better (or not)?  
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Thursday, 22 March 2007 17:35

The Accidental Project Manager

This article is intended for a particular kind of project management (PM) newbie...someone I call the "accidental project manager." Are you an accidental project manager? Here are some tell-tale signs:

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I'm a Theory of Constraints (TOC) enthusiast. So what exactly is TOC? Here's a short, short summary. In short, it's a method of identifying and strengthening the weakest link (constraint) in any process, in an iterative approach to ongoing improvement. There are also tools that go along with it to help identify assumptions and constraints, etc. TOC was developed by Eli Goldratt. The Avraham Y. Goldratt Institute is the organization that maintains the TOC body of knowledge.

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Sunday, 18 March 2007 04:16

So, what about knowledge

From an epistemological perspective, a dictionary definition is "knowledge or science, the branch of philosophy that is directed toward theories of the sources, nature, and limits of knowledge.

In today's world, knowledge is the asset many organizations started to recognize as being the most important aspect for creating a competitive edge in a highly volatile business environment.

Refraining from buzz words and terminology often used by management and research, knowledge is the accumulation of thoughts and skills that give a person or an organization its ability to survive, compete and prosper in the this changing and challenging world.

Work by many researchers like Nonaka in his book 'The Knowledge Creating Company' and many other researchers worldwide, has given a new dimension for knowledge management in organizations.

The research went into the details of human interaction which generates and promotes the dessimination of knowledge. Unlike manothers who advocate an Information Technology infracstructure as being the fundamental core of a knowledge system, Nonaka thinks that it more a human issue and culture than mere computers and databases.

 

 

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