Project Notes

Plan for Reality

Posted on April 29th, 2014
by PeterD in Project Notes

In a recent post elsewhere, someone posed the question: “How do you stop production issues from spoiling your plans”. To which I say – try as I might, I can’t get reality to bend to my needs – I’ve learned to plan for reality. If a team is truly responsible for both production support AND project work, and that is a fact of the organization, then plan for both.   Over time, you can collect information to know how muchRead More →

Engineered Value

Posted on May 2nd, 2012
by PeterD in Project Notes

We all know projects undertaken to deliver something (new features, widgets or whatever) – the goal is almost invariably increased business value – to make our products or services more valuable to our customers. As a project manager, we facilitate that goal (plan, organize, lead, control). But what is engineered value and why is it important? At its origin, engineering is the application of the scientific method to achieve some specific outcome: en·gi·neer·ing (nj-nîrng) n.  1. a. The application ofRead More →

When are we going to be Agile?

Posted on October 20th, 2011
by PeterD in Project Notes

Wow, what a question!   Reflecting on that a bit, early thoughts ran to prescriptive conclusions – do x, y, z and you’ll be Agile.    That just didn’t ring true… No.  To me, Agile is set of practices/techniques/patterns that we use to collectively deliver our project.    Each project is different, with different challenges and risks. Each team is different, with their own combination of talents and skills, made more unique because, on any day, team members bring their “self” into theRead More →

Building Trust

Posted on September 22nd, 2010
by PeterD in Project Notes

We all know about trust in our personal relationships – absolutely critical for the long-term viability of the relationship. But what about our professional relationships – amongst our peers, the relationships between our functional groups? Nearly all of us can relate to a situation in which a project fell behind, a deadline was missed, or a meeting was more acrimonious than necessary. Often the discussions degrade into blaming or some other anti-pattern, nearly always with an us vs. them theme.Read More →

Today was a good day

Posted on March 1st, 2010
by PeterD in Project Notes

Today was a good day… but you’ll have to bear with me, this is my first blog… Why a good day? Because today I learned something. Today I learned about blogging. I’d been wanting to set up my own blog, partly because it’s the way I learn – set the goal, achieve the goal. In this case, creating a blog for myself. In the words of a long-ago mentor “the road to smart goes through dumb”, I knew I didn’tRead More →