Posts from the “Project Management” Category

Thresholds

Posted on June 22, 2019

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A yoga teacher once told me: practice really starts to change once you do it three to four times per week. It’s a general threshold to more meaningful results, and a point to consider more broadly. What is the input necessary to get our desired output? When can we expect to see a difference? Is there a minimum effective dose? Some things won’t change until we reach a certain threshold, some things are impacted by thresholds of others (see Granovetter’s model and Malcolm Gladwell), some things require maintenance to stay within a threshold, and some things might even be irreversible after reaching a certain threshold. It helps to know what moves the elevator. “The difference between success and failure typically depends on the number of…

Fingerprints

Posted on July 22, 2018

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Whose fingerprints are on the gun? When an outcome is reached, there is a natural tendency to look for the primary influencer in order to impart blame or direct praise. It’s an interesting exercise considering the complexities of most performance environments and the nuances of human behavior. Sure, focusing on the closest trigger and the freshest fingerprints is an easy start, just recognize those may not tell the full story. *

Seamless Change

Posted on April 6, 2018

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Seamless change must be enabled change: Whether with physical moves, job rotations, system upgrades, financial changes, or any other transitions that come to mind, we often expect change to come with a flip of a switch or through a series of basic handoffs. Out with the old, in with the new. And have it done by the end of the day. For complex change, transitions require more thought and attention to be seamless. Consider motivation, capacity, capabilities, relationships, interdependencies, scope, sequence, timing, measurement, etc. Paraphrasing David Chase: we can all sit around and decide we want a new normal, but eventually somebody has to do the changing. *

Linearity

Posted on January 6, 2018

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As I look back on 2017, I notice the distinct absence of linearity. Progress comes in fits and starts. Certain decisions and certain moments have bigger impacts, just like certain periods in the stock market dramatically swing investment returns. Challenges and opportunities often arise in unpredictable ways. Like a sprinter in training, long months of unnoticed preparation can lead to a short visible accomplishment. The absence of linearity is exactly why recurring analysis and recurring improvement are so important to advancing in a changing ecosystem, and we all live in one. Let’s all make intentional progress in 2018, even if it’s not linear. “Design does not progress in a straight line. Design grows in response to the same essential forces of breaking down and building up that inform all innovation.” -Esperanza Emily Spalding *

Watermelon Day

Posted on August 3, 2017

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In basic red-yellow-green project status reporting, a watermelon is a project that is reporting its status as green when it is actually red at its core. Green on the outside, red in the middle. It is superficially showing on track when it’s really at risk. What is seen on the outside doesn’t match the reality of the content. On National Watermelon Day, resolve to go below the surface, have substantive conversations, and solve real issues. Let’s go cut into some watermelons. *