led zeppelin, project management, hindenburg, Toby Elwin, blog

A Led Zeppelin page of project management

Time impacts a project business need. How a project team identifies the impact decides if time is a resource waste or resource investment.

Before you sink costs into a project and well before your project looks more like sunk costs invest time for a better appreciation.

A review of what was, what is, and what should never be, is critical to identify risk to resource commitment.

Take a page from Led Zeppelin, who borrowed heavily from others, at times, without acknowledgment, to create something grand from what was tried.

social media, strategy, cover, design, Toby Elwin, blog

Social media strategy review for Project Management Institute — New York

Yesterday worked with Project Management Institute New York City chapter in an all-day retreat with focus on communication and collaboration.

Offsite objectives included how the chapter shares events and activities that improve community persona need.

The presentation is included within and was used for discussion on integrated communication and what social media support might look like.

riddler, batman, knowledge, Toby Elwin, blog

Who knows? Many times not many people do

In a healthy environment, admitting what you don’t know is part of the process to come to a shared understanding.

In an unhealthy environment sticking to a point you think you know, but do not really know, drives people to defend positions from a point of weakness that can easily turn into an indefensible point of embarrassment.

The separation from noise to decision is about want to know and who you know. Here are 8 steps to go from noise to decision.

business, failure, project, management

Business strategy failures are project management failures

The essence of strategic change is not a new direction, but a series of directives. What to start, what to stop, and what to continue comes from the strategic plan. That plan really acts as a road map or charter for change.  A plan not carried out is a project failure for the business. The difficulty of strategy implementation is a recognized challenge and a Booz Allen* study concluded that 73% of managers believe that the difficulty of implementing strategy far surpasses that of formulating it. Plan, Do, Check, Fact Business strategies that fail are really project management failures and the essence to manage a successful project is as much about managing behavioral change as operational change.  Planned change refers to a premeditated, agent-facilitated intervention intended to modify organizational functioning for a more favorable outcome (Lippit, Watson, and Westley 1958). While an …

Fistful of beans 01/12/2011

5 things I’ve seen, read, or thought might seed results: 1. New Year, New Measurement Challenges — Talent Management Magazine Measuring talent management effectiveness requires knowing the answer to questions such as “Is the organization attracting better quality applicants?” or “Is the organization retaining its most productive employees?” While relatively few organizations measure the effectiveness of talent management, there are positive correlations between high-performing organizations, specific measures, and measurement practices that could and should be approached. 2. Testing, Testing:  The New Innovation Game — CFO Magazine A look at how an MIT view at Harrah’s partners to use mass-experimentation with information-technology advances to allow more precise experiments and measurements.  What does a culture that encourage number crunching and marketing to join the CFO and an information-technology backbone to enable analysis that connects the dots among various sources of information — primarily the company’s …

oliver twist, buyer persona, strategy, development, Toby Elwin, blog

The pain with change management

A leader’s job is to not create a space that causes so much pain that people must move, but to create a compelling future vision people are drawn to.

If leadership starts their focus on what did not work or what you do not want to happen then effort goes into putting procedures in place that constrain. If leadership focus starts on what worked or what it looks like when it worked and the focus shifts to how it worked to and what is achievable, what is possible.

Appreciative Inquiry, as a principle for design and change management, allows organizations to change the focus. Where we inquire, we move and Appreciative Inquiry changes the change.

tasmanian devil, strategic plan, Toby Elwin, blog

The devil in the details — the strategic plan

I find people have a tendency to become too involved too quickly with tactics. Tactics include what to buy, what to build, what to move. Strategy is why build, why buy, why move.

Much of your organization is involved in the detail of execution, it is illogical they are not strategically aligned. When your team discovers tactics they deliver align to organization goals there is clear purpose in what they do.

Purpose provides motivation.

The meat of the strategic planning process is the goals-objectives-actions value chain. People may have other definitions for goals, objectives, and actions, and bristle at the rigidity of the definitions, however, a single use for each term will remove interpretation and confusion.

against the gods, bernstein, book, cover, Toby Elwin, blog

Statistically, your strategy will fail

I recently ran across a statistics book and began to think about similarities to strategic planning. Statistics:  a mathematical science pertaining to the collection, analysis, interpretation or explanation, and presentation of data.  It also provides tools for prediction and forecasting based on data. Until this week, I had not thought statistics had much in common with strategic planning. It became evident there is far more linkage then seemed. Strategic planning analyzes probable outcomes with uncertainty of future events – a constant challenge. We make decisions with limited data.  Our reliance on past experiences and our hope for the future deeply colors our ability to predict and plan. As it remains hard, see: impossible, to sample the future, we constantly sample the present and the past to guess about the future. In statistics, mathematical odds estimate probability outcomes.  Since outcomes are in the future they are …