thor's hammer, 2013, top post, Toby Elwin, blog

Top 10 blog posts for 2013, 5 to 1

top 10 blog post, 2013, the mighty hammer of impact, Toby Elwin

And yea project brethren, heed me well, the sponsor may, indeed, descend from their Valhalla and smite your pate with the full gravity of project impact

Top blog posts from 2013, from number 5 to number 1, a follow-up from Top 10 blog posts for 2013, 10 to 6

5. The cost of culture, a 50% turnover of the Fortune 500

Culture can create havoc for organizations.  Some folks feel culture dictates how an organization gets things done, other folks only factor culture into yogurt discussions.  If you can talk about culture what do you define as culture?

In my years of post-merger integration I promote culture identification as a trigger for organization excellence.  In 2010 I reviewed the Fortune 500 list of companies through 10-year periods to identify resilience:  how many who started the decade on the list finished the decade on the list.

Change is constant and competitive pressure knows no relief, culture may get you there, but that culture may not keep you there.  What becomes of organizations relies on strategy through cultural context:

  • Ethics: the dominant characteristics of the organization;
  • Risk: the explicit values foundational for decisions and actions;
  • Trust: the dominant work environment;
  • Accountability: the unwritten performance expectations;
  • Integrity: specific valued behaviors;
  • Alignment: leaders who walk the walk and who talk the talk; and
  • Rewards: criteria of people success evaluation

This post has picked up momentum in books who cite this post as a either compelling source or a tad light in correlation in books such as:

And further citations from position or white paper topics:

Am I name-dropping? perhaps?

4. Impact Analysis — project management SharePoint template

To understand a project you need to understand project impact.  An impact assessment is a project tool to outline the scope of project impact.  True impact reveals stakeholders along the entire project and product life cycle.  Without a view of impact you have no clear view of risk.

I am never one to rely on form over function and a host of forms and tools to launch and manage a project, but recent use of SharePoint lends a collaborative solution, a critical success factor for project teams.  In this post I take an earlier Excel-based template and convert it to a SharePoint template; suitable for downloads.

Just as it takes a village to raise a child it takes stakeholder interaction to deliver a project and this SharePoint template enables you to:

  • share assessments and templates,
  • schedule feedback,
  • foster collaboration,
  • Gantt charts,
  • KPI (Key Performance Indicators) dashboard,
  • collect data,
  • view data,
  • analyze data,
  • filter data, and
  • update data

This post is one of three on 2013’s top 5 from the larger Project Scope Management series and takes a deeper view of the integrated approach to scope planning.

As the only post from 2013 to make this Top 10 list it looks like there are a lot of other folks open to deliver projects with SharePoint.

3. The 2 most important learning metrics

Fortune 500 CEOs and CEOs of the top 50, privately held firms responded to a survey to find out how executives view learning programs:

  • 4% of CEOs avoid learning and development investments
  • 20% of CEOs invest only in the minimum
  • 10% of CEOs invest in all learning and development needs
  • 18% of CEOs invest when they see value

Another post I wrote in 2010 that seems to just continue to find relevance.  If you are in any learning role here was what CEOs are telling surveys about your metrics:

  • “inadequate”
  • “incomplete”
  • “doesn’t have all the data”
  • “doesn’t really connect to the business”

Organizations only develop when people develop, time for those who develop people to develop better analytic skills.

2. Scope or: how to manage projects for organization success; stakeholder analysis template

Participation presents the difference between getting a project done and getting a project accomplished.  Identification of those needed to get a project accomplished is the beginning of risk management and managing stakeholder engagement through the scope management means risk management.

The only way to manage projects for organization success is to identify and manage the stakeholders that the project impacts.  To move stakeholders from awareness to commitment first identify stakeholder risk prior to final scope.  This excel file provides a template to identify stakeholders and to concentrate effort proper engagement.

The total views on this post made up ~21% of the views from this site’s top 10 blog posts.

1. Scope or: how to manage projects for organization success; impact analysis template

In 2011 this post was the 4th most read and in 2012 the 2nd most read.

Two years ago I posted the impact analysis file on SlideShare and at more than 16,000 views and 1,000 downloads enough signals lend reveal project impact assessments present a need; enough that total slide views put my account within 2013 Top 5% of most viewed on SlideShare.

I created this template as a trio of connected tools to improve project perspective.  The three:  impact assessment, stakeholder assessment and communication plan are the intended guide to more realistic interaction with those who’s work or challenges change from the project or product and those expecting the project to get delivered:  sponsors.

The total views on this post made up ~45% of the top 10 views this site’s top 10 blog posts.

Top 10 postscript:  Culture, change management, mergers and acquisitions, learning, and projects, seems a fair proxy for most organization issues in 2013.

That this is the second year both project templates make the top 5 does not surprise.  What interests me is that both on this site and on SlideShare, the communication assessment, the springboard to project success, does not amount to the close number of views or downloads of the impact assessment or stakeholder assessment.  Why does the communication plan not ascend into a holy trinity of project scope?

I have 2014 to find an opportunity to dig into that.

Compare to: Top 10 blog posts for 2012, 5 to 1

Compare to: Top 10 blog posts for 2014, 5 to 1

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