G8, meeting, project management, community persona, Toby Elwin, blog

Community persona for project management

A project is an intentional effort to deliver a product or service that creates an opportunity – intended or otherwise. Projects have multiple stakeholders with multiple needs for, or against, project realization.

Typical project steps include initial scope design, organization impact assessment, stakeholder identification, communications planning, risk, and a second iteration of scope, delving into user community goals serves project and stakeholders more accurately.

identify, managing, project risk, Toby Elwin, blog, Tom Kendrick

Identifying and Managing Project Risk by the book

The ability to scope, manage, and view a project, from concept to delivery, through a risk lens, presents the essence of organization competitive advantage.

The opposite of project effectiveness bogs down organization capital, both human and financial, through a cycle of change requests that drain human and financial resources and staff motivation who now need to focus how to get a wrong project right.

wile, coyote, murphy's law, Toby Elwin, blog

The failure of Murphy’s Law

When things get bent Murphy’s Law takes too much credit (blame) when the more likely result being a symptom of poor planning and failures further upstream and earlier than Murphy ever came on the scene. The only law I do believe in is the law of gravity.

eddie obeng, TED, talk, fast changing world, Toby Elwin, blog

Fast Start — Smart failure for a fast-changing world

Fast Start conversation: The pace of change overtakes the pace of learning. In a short list of continually inspiring sites TED, stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design, devotes themselves to ideas worth spreading. In this, I want to spread an inspiring talk and introduce you to someone I, before TED, was not aware of: Eddie Obeng. Mr. Obeng’s 12-minute presentation talks us through the world we learned that has transformed into a 21st century world of rules we have not yet grasped. Or, as he puts it other ways: “We spend our time responding rationally to a world which we understand and recognize, but which no longer exists.” “If you haven’t understood the world your living in, it’s almost impossible to be absolutely certain on what you are going to deliver fits” — Eddie Obeng Today, Mr. Obeng rightfully points out, our …

Top blog post 2012, Toby Elwin,

Top 10 blog posts for 2012, 5 to 1

Top blog posts from 2012, from number 5 to number 1, a follow-up from Top 10 blog posts for 2012, 10 to 6 5. Scope or: how to manage projects for organization success; stakeholder analysis template — If I was to chart the blog like a top 40 countdown I would say, “moving up one spot from last year: stakeholder analysis … “. This is 1 of 3 blogs on Scope that lands in the 10 most read of the 2012. This post is 1 of 5 posts in the Scope or: how to manage projects for organization success. I have built SharePoint portals to manage change and project work. I have turned my three Excel templates for impact, stakeholder, and communication planning into SharePoint lists and forms. These same templates in SharePoint are easier to work with and allow more …

Toby Elwin, Three Stooges, hygiene, top blog, 2012

Top 10 blog posts for 2012, 10 to 6

  Closing out 2012, I look back at the year’s most viewed posts as a chance to reflect on different blogs topics of interest and what people most view.  Here as part one, 2012 top blogs, 10 to 6. Why were some viewed over others: topic, time-of-year, day-of-week? In descending order: 10. The 2 most important learning metrics — Quantify learning? It is a tall task, but one necessary for any professional who deserves a seat at the business table. Of course metrics to measure impact are important: money spent on training is money unavailable for another opportunity. If you had time with your CEO would you know the most important items on their wish list? No worries, the the ROI Institute and Chief Learning Officer magazine have a study recap I’ve referenced. As this post was originally written in 2010, looks like learning …

Led Zeppelin, project management, communication, template, Toby Elwin, blog

Scope or: how to manage projects for organization success; communication template

Project communication is far bigger than the project team. No project succeeds without stakeholder motivation and a proper communication plan to address their motivations, needs, and goals. Project communication is an effort to build commitment, understanding, and ownership around the project impact to people, process, and technology.

This template provides a planning tool to meet stakeholder communication needs. With this you can plan what to communicate, when to communicate, how to communicate, and measure communication performance.

Fast Start, bias

Fast Start — Is your project doomed?

Fast Start conversation:   Most projects fail.  Well, greater than 50% do. So, If the majority fail, why do they fail? They are impossible, from the start. They have too many constraints. They are not competently managed. So, what do you think about your project now?

Kauffman Foundation, Fortune 500, Toby Elwin, blog

Cited and noted: What Does Fortune 500 Turnover Mean?

Since 1955, the Fortune 500 list represents the 500 largest US corporations by gross revenue.  Making the Fortune 500 is a mark of prestige for the company. But what got you there does not necessarily keep you there. In 10 short years almost 40% to 50% of the Fortune 500 club are no longer found on the list and in The cost of culture, a 50% turnover of the Fortune 500 I took 10-year window to note the role organization culture has to get and keep a company fit. Points I made within the post became cited in the Kauffman Foundation report What Does Fortune 500 Turnover Mean?  I chose to look at culture as a siren call for failure and a reason these former market-leading companies fail to maintain excellence. Where I looked at the list through 10-year increments, the authors, Dane Stangler and Samuel Arbesman, note year-over-year turnover. Fortune 500: Diver …

failure, learning, Toby Elwin, blog

Fast Start — Flummoxed by Failure?

Fast Start conversation:  Ah, failure.  Happens to all of us; the reason pencils come with erasures. Intelligent people fail. Though there remains belief intelligence is static, what you are born with, you have. Successful people fail. Though an even more ill-informed belief is that intelligence determines success. However, what intelligent people have studied is how successful people overcome unsuccessful moments.  In success, it is not how you fail, but how you successfully recover, that matters. The key is your reaction to failure stems from your attitude to learning, not your intelligence.  In Flummoxed by Failure  — or Focused?, posted in the Wall Street Journal, Ken Bain highlights how people’s attitudes help them recover from failure.  Psychologists found people have two alternatives: Helpless mindset Mastery or growth mindset Anyone can change their theory about intelligence, because as failures accumulate, changing your theory on how you recover provides a …

ostrich, appreciative inquiry, change management, Toby Elwin, blog

Highlight change management — an introduction to Appreciative Inquiry

The ability to change comes from the desire to change. The key to positive change is a person’s intrinsic motivation to change. Appreciative Inquiry works around a premise that we move and change in the direction we inquire.

Inquiries into problems will find problems.

Inquiries into what is working or what is best shines a light onto what works and possibilities of how it could work. Almost anyone can appreciate a switch that turns on a highlight of possibilities.

Games Primates Play, book, Dario Maestripieri, Toby Elwin, blog

Games Primates Play by the book

If the title does not intrigue enough, how about the subtitle:  Undercover Investigation of the Evolution and Economics of Human Relations. Ok, I might admit it seems the book and the content a bit off-center or, perhaps, too … academic.  But really, truly, the book is a great view into how, despite our iPads, our suits, and our underarm deodorant, we are not too terribly evolved in our social interactions from fellow primates. I wrote a quick post on an article, found at Fast Start – Why your boss really is an ape and then picked the book up. Fascinating, and strange, way to view office politics, meeting interactions, and email threads, as exchanges and interactions, not far afield, or evolved, so-to-speak, from monkeys. Consider this both an opportunity for your very own field study as well as a terribly, fascinating read deep on analogy and stories …

judging, risk, Toby Elwin, blog

Fast Start — How to Beat the Odds Judging Risk

Fast Start conversation:  People overestimate their ability to judge risk.  Both the upside potential as well as the downside loss. Incomplete data plagues all who make decisions, but a weatherman and a doctor, highlighted in How to Beat the Odds at Judging Risk, differ in how they manage bias. There are keys to estimate probabilities more accurately and prompt feedback is at the heart.  What other keys are shown to help? Where does your overconfidence to evaluate incomplete information cause the greatest risk to success?