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Project Management Blog

firemanThe very worst fire plan is no plan.  The next worse is two plans.  ~Author Unknown

Let no man's ghost return to say his training let him down.  ~Firefighters Saying

Soon after being accepted as a member of a fire department, cadets are typically enrolled into training classes. Their training regime may consist of basic classes, hazardous material teaching, awareness classes, and several others that are relevant to the challenging role of being a firefighter.

New firefighters also are trained early in their career on communications protocols, the chain of command, and standard operating procedures. The need for a common communication language in the fire service is arguably more critical than many other professions, as the cost of a miscommunication can have serious consequences in an urgent situation. In most situations, there are procedures that every firefighter should know, and there are guidelines and processes that establish the chain of command. A system of protocols, chain of command, and standard operating procedures is needed so that, when called into duty, regardless of the department(s) or personnel responding, everyone knows what to do and who is accountable so that the teams can go straight into the “performing” stage of their activity. Being able to perform under the tightest of pressures does not occur by accident nor by luck. Many fire services, especially volunteer services, employ an almost continuous training model where as much as 50% or more of their scheduled meetings are dedicated to training. Career firefighters also spend an abundance of time training especially when first hired. Recent publications suggest on average 600 hours in formal training are required of new hires. These men and women are not just walking through motions in training exercises. To most, their motto is “train as you work” where every event is run as if it were a real live situation. When planning a response to a fire, the approach is to “Plan your work, and work your plan”.

Published in Blogs
Saturday, 10 July 2010 05:00

Anatomy of an Effective Project Manager

projmgtIt’s first thing in the morning, and you are preparing to interview prospective project managers for an open position on your team. Whether it is your first candidate interview or you have conducted many before in your career, you are likely to be contemplating the line of questioning you will ask of the prospective candidates. Perhaps you are thinking of questions from a “Strengths and Weaknesses: Project Manager Profile” that you typically use, however, any line of questioning can only provide a limited insight about the candidate and their potential to be an effective project manager for your organization.  Understand that a skilled candidate may well have sat through similar interviews recently, researched your organization, and prepared competent answers to what they believe are the most typical interview questions. Or maybe they haven’t, because this is the first interview they are going to – although they are a first-rate project manager that is well thought of in their existing organization. In order to assess whether a person has the potential to be an effective project manager in your organization, we contend that you need to conduct specific assessments beyond interviews and references of previous work assignments.
Published in Blogs
Monday, 21 June 2010 14:24

Put Others First

"It is literally true that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed." - Napoleon Hill

Not a lot of people always get the above concept.  Some people become so focused on themselves and their own needs that they forget about the people around them.

 

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Tuesday, 15 June 2010 17:59

What is Motivation?

motivation-cartoonMotivation is the most important determinant for individual performance; yet, it is also the most difficult to analyze and define. Though behavior can be observed, motivational impact cannot be studied directly. The conceptual nature of motivation has given rise to the need for theories and models to help organizations better understand motivation. These theories have been divided into two categories: Content and Process.

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Happiness is the full use of your powers along lines of excellence in a life affording scope…’ John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 35th President of the United States

An Analogy… Years ago as kids, when we all didn’t know (or worry about) what project management was, our PMBOK’s were comic books (we acknowledge that many adults read such material today). We couldn’t wait for the next monthly or weekly issue to come out of Superman or X-Men, or the Fantastic Four, or Spiderman to name just a few. Of course, not all comic books involved superheroes, but many of them did. Each superhero in our imaginary worlds has at least one or more special skills or powers that made them champions for justice and “the greater good”.  Let’s not forget the arch nemesis and villains like Lex Luthor, Magneto, or Dr. Doom that had similar powers but used them for the wrong intent.

Today we probably all know some of our colleagues as ‘superheroes’ for the efforts they give or the results they achieve individually and/or with their team.  Are they considered our champions or Olympians in program and project management? Do you admire them for their strength the same way one might respect a person who can undertake admirable feats of physical endurance or run at incredible speeds?

Published in Blogs
Wednesday, 14 January 2009 01:44

Facing Risk

All managers especially project managers are faced with risk at one time or another as the future cannot be  predicted accurately managers have to take a position when facing risk.  I looked at some real life situations from the past and found that the examples set by these persons is very similar to the responsibilities that project managers are faced with.

Published in Blogs
Monday, 22 December 2008 12:18

5 tips to manage your manager

As a project manager, you are responsible for managing the efforts of your team to insure that your project deliverables are met.  But how do you manage one of your most important project stakeholders - your own manager?
Published in Blogs
I wrote this in response to a friends inquiry about Outsourcing. The basic risks, concerns and strategy of outsourcing as I see them today are: The basic risks, concerns and strategy of outsourcing as I see them today are:

1.    Language Barrier - this often makes requirements gathering sessions harder. It takes longer which is more costly both in terms of capital dollars and opportunity costs.
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As a head of PMO and a senior Project manager, I have worked with many Project managers and many senior managers of different organizations throughout my career.  How ever this is one of the biggest challenges which I have ever come through so far. 

We all are project managers.. We are humans.. We have our own personal beliefs and practices of different management methodologies.. How did we adopt to them. It can be due to many reasons; 

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