Published here July 2018.
Short articles I have written from time to time.
- The Political Dangers of Large Projects
and why don't we do something about it?
- Owning part of a large project through the taxes we pay is one thing, but the politics surrounding their creation when undertaken by government is quite another. In short, everyone wants a piece of the action, regardless of cost and schedule - July 2018
Actions to be an Exceptional Listener - by Stacey Hanke
Communications Management, or variant versions thereof, is an area of study amongst
standards, but is often given short shrift. As for listening, there is barely
a mention. Yet listening is a completely different bodily function that is just
as important and requires just as much careful attention and learning. In this
short article, Stacey contributes eight valuable listening insights - May 2018
A Simple Stairway to, Well, More Trouble A Case Study Postscript of an
Actual Simple Project - Part 2
- Remember the Simple
Stairway project we reported last September? Well, that was not the end of
the story. The Mayor of Toronto got involved, and the City dismantled the homemade
stairs and built their own - but not without recrimination - March 2018
Bad News on Your Project
- Surprisingly, I have not dealt with this
topic before, but this Musings covers the best advice I can find. But you can
find related and more useful information by using the Search Engine on this web
site. In particular, this article: Conveying Bad News on
your project - Febuary 2018
Project Administration in this Digital Age Are You Doing Enough?
article is adapted from Xerox Canada guest column, circa July2017, and offers
Five Suggestions as to how to find out, based on the findings of a Digitization
at Work report by Xerox - January 2018
10 Rules of Holiday Party Etiquette
- A timely reminder of appropriate
etiquette at formal Christmas business parties and an opportunity to wish
all our Musings readers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year - December 2017
Way of the Leader - Greatness is Not Found under a Rock
- You want to
be a great project management leader? In this Musings, Marianne Clyde shows the
way. As she observes: "[We need] leaders that think for themselves, leaders who
can validate one's right to an opinion while holding a conflicting or opposing
belief. This is the kind of thinking that can lead to compromise and solutions
- December 2017
- Training Your Brian to Handle
- Today,the pace of information delivery is overwhelming to
our brains that have not adapted to cope. As a result, we become easily fatigued
and more forgetful. Lisa Evans recommends four significant steps to ease the load
and enable you to perform more effectively - November 2017
Big is Your Project? Interesting LinkedIn Responses
- Have you ever
asked this question? If so, what answers did you get? Here are a variety of responses
found on the Internet. But perhaps you asked the wrong question! - October 2017
A Simple Stairway to, Well, Trouble A Case Study Account of an Actual Simple
- Project management written by yours truly, with tongue in
cheek - September 2017. Now more to follow, see March
- Going from Public to Private Project
- These are two very different working environments because
the inherent purposes are very different. That can make you feel very uncomfortable
until you accept a different slant on project objectives. The remedy? Only accept
assignments relevant to your new environment - August 2017
in Project Management: Darya's Daydreams
- In case anyone may not have
noticed, I hold strong views about the relevance of "sustainability"
in the context of project management, and its relationship to the population at
large. My friend Darya Duma set out to put me straight in a piece she chose to
call Darya Duma's Daydreams - June 2017
Really, What's That?
- A newcomer in project management standards. A
framework that encompasses three groups of five interconnected elements ranging
from knowledge content to practical experience from the pm community. All free!
- May 2017
- Another Accolade for maxwideman.com
Bronson writes to say: "It has been a few years since I've used your website.
It is like returning to an old friend. ... maxwideman.com is like an elixir. I
can find the information I need on Project Management ..." - April 2017
- An educational exchange from a LinkedIn discussion
on a process that is much maligned in the IT world - March 2017
Importance of Reading Body Language: And What it Means to Project Teams
Musings describes how to read both positive and negative body language and hence
how much valuable information may be lost in virtual team communications compared
to face-to-face meetings - February 2017
Is a Project a Process?
- Where do projects come from, why are they
complex and how do management processes fit together? We conclude that a project
in itself is a process, though a process is not necessarily a project - January 2017
on Project Management Hierarchies
- Hierarchies seem to pop up everywhere.
Here the focus is on those inside the domain of project management, especially
those that should help us to develop project management further - November 2016
- If there is one thing to get us worked up, that
is any discussion of "green" project management. Read here what Max
thinks about it, and who he thinks is really responsible - October 2016
Failure means Project Failure
- How so? Getting a project to its objective
requires work. Work requires people. They must know what to do. That requires
a plan that is communicated. If poorly communicated, no project success - September 2016
and Program Management A Challenging Standard
- What ISO is,
does and why – in brief. Similarly, a realistic definition of Program Management
and why it is difficult to tie it down into a standard - August 2016
the Sector Expertise Chasm
- So you want to take your project management
skills to another industry? Kiron Bondale presents some warnings and advice while
Max does a reality check - July 2016
into Project Management An Answer to a Visitor's Inquiry
you want to become a project manager? Max Wideman offers his advice and recommendations
- Febuary 2016
- Project Governance What's
all the fuss about?
- Let's get serious: The implications of "governance"
in the project domain is not that difficult to follow, nor is it that new. But
the detail does differ with the level of application. Read this Musing for the
what, who and how of "governance" in project management - January 2016
Hierarchies in Project Management Part 2
- Starting with the
intriguing Data-Wisdom hierarchy, we offer another six such relationships that
help to put project management parts into their place - December 2015
Hierarchies in Project Management - It's all a matter of opinion based on individual
experience Part 1
- In developing a project paper or report,
ever wondered about the next size up or down? Perhaps the most significant is
from project to portfolio management. See the full scale and other comments in
this Musings - November 2015
Project Management Practices in Construction
- What does this mean?
Is this a realistic idea and, if so, under what circumstances? Our thoughts on
the issue - October 2015
- A Wonderful Testimonial
appreciation for an unsolicited applause spanning the last 25 years, received
by Email from a follower - August 2015
the Business/Project Divide
- There are two generally accepted approaches
to management within organizations today. The oldest is characterized as "Business-As-Usual"
and the other is "Project Management". As most of us well know, the
two are not exactly compatible. Author John Brinkworth describes the viewpoint
of each and the effects of the resulting "Divide". We add our own views
from our own experiences - July 2015
of Project Success - How Soon and What Do You Measure?
- Simple questions
difficult to answer. But the subject is much larger than these questions suggest.
Read more to learn more - June 2015
- How Do Project
Risks Impact Programs and Portfolios?
- The risk assessment of multiple
related projects is not that simple. Here's why. Executives beware! - March 2015
by the Word "Scope"? - Part 2
- This month I really do get to grips
with the meanings of "scope", "project scope" and "product
scope" and conclude that people do not have to slavishly follow "official"
glossaries — provided they say what they mean before they speak or write
- February 2015
- Challenged by the Word "Scope"?
- Part 1
- I try to answer a reader's question about the meaning
of "scope" and find myself questioning whether we should even have an
"official" glossary of terms and consequently issue a warning to all
PM authors! - January 2015
- PMOs Challenge:
Achieving Project Process Compliance
- Some advice with which we disagree.
The PMO is not a ruler, it is a leader through providing a management service
- December 2014
- Implementing a Standard
Project Management Methodology: Part 3
on an Interesting Discussion
- Larry sees some of Max's suggestions
differently. For example, the project life span is not the project, it is the
project that travels through the required life span. When does a project start?
Well, it's before the Business Case. And more ... - November 2014
a Standard Project Management Methodology: Part 2
on an Interesting Discussion
- Encouraged by Larry's responses,
Max suggests other lessons such as: Not everyone understands the word "project"
the same way; even "project management" is seen differently; and when
does a "project" actually start? We seem to have a problem with labeling
terms - October 2014
- Implementing a Standard
Project Management Methodology: Part 1
on an Interesting Discussion
- Following a lengthy but interesting
discussion on LinkedIn on the merits of settling on a standardize PM methodology,
Max invites one of the participants, Larry Moore, to describe what he learned
from the discussion - September 2014
- Is it Time
to Scrap Project Status Reports?
- Danielle Smallwood explains and maybe
she is right! We need a new perspective. How about "Project Expectation Report"?
- August 2014
- What is Project Success?
about "success" without qualification is fruitless, and practitioners
should know better. By what measure, and from whose perspective, should be established
at the outset of any conversation as described in this Musing - July 2014
Do Corporate Hiring Practices Affect You?
- Further thoughts by Jim
Brosseau on project manager hiring practices, and by Luis Alarcon on the glacial
pace towards implementing more progressive employee-hiring techniques in the engineering
and construction industry (see Motivate
Your Project Team) - June 2014
- What Was
Your Last Salary?
- An unnerving question early in an interview. What
does it mean and how do you handle it? Simple. You ask the questions and let the
inteviewer answer. Liz Ryan elaborates on this theme, although Max begs to differ
somewhat - May 2014
- Knowing your People: Loyalty,
Value and Coercion
- We asked the author of our Guest paper: Know
Your People to describe his experience and got his thoughts comparing the
value of a "good worker" with that of machinery, robotics, automation
and technology - April 2014
- The Origins of the Project
Management Body of Knowledge
- We call it "PMBOK". How and
when did it start and why is it different from ordinary Operations Management?
- March 2014
- Do PMP Boot Camp Classes Help Pass
- According to one LinkedIn group, they think that this is
not the best approach - February 2014
- Are Project
Management Guides Useful?
- An interesting LinkedIn discussion on the
relative merits between a Pocket Guide [giving a brief high-level summary on]
ISO 21500 Guidance on project management and PMI's PMBOK Guides - January
- Reinventing the Project Management Wheel
do we keep doing this? It should not be so. Every effort should be made to build
on the work that has been done in the past. We provide a number of key examples.
Note to researchers: It's called "lessons learned" - December 2013
Management in Lehmann's Terms A Q&A session with Oliver Lehmann
Lehmann lives in Germany, across the Atlantic from us. His perspectives and our
rejoinders display different views - November 2013
Team Members Show Appreciation to Their Leader?
- In attempting to answer
this question, the discussion contributors not only summarize what you already
know but probably do not do, but also add things you may not have thought of.
Either way, as a leader, do not necessarily expect expressions of gratitude -
- More Powerful Than Just Listening
only 7% of a total message is conveyed by words, how can we read the rest of the
non-verbal message. Read up on a number of our typical inadvertent western signals
- September 2013
- Motivating Your Project Team
do you mean by "motivation"? Enthusiasm, gusto, zest? There's much more
to turning on a project team! - August 2013
- Do We
Have Enough Innovative Projects?
- Terry Jones is the innovative baby
boomer that transformed the U.S. travel industry by creating Travelocity
in 1996. He offers 4 definite steps to get from ideas to execution - July 2013
Critical is the WBS to Project Scheduling?
- And what is a Work Breakdown
Structure (WBS) anyway? We set out to answer these questions by working through
the logic starting from a real understanding of "project" - June 2013
Power of Definitions
- If you want to be understood, using the right
words is essential. But even then, do your readers or listeners really understand
your technical terms? Always define your special terms before you
start! - May 2013
- Having Trouble with the Latest PM
- This is not surprising because the acronyms are getting progressively
more obscure. We have a proposal to make many of them more self-evident, based
on recent developments - April 2013
- Project Management
Issues for Discussion and Research
- The title says it all. Here are
twenty suggestions. If you just want an argument, try defining project management
success! - March 2013
- Thoughts on a Global
System for Categorizing Projects:
Have we really learned anything new?
we really not learned in the past 25 years that managing the project is not the
same as managing the technology and that it is the latter that is different for
different project categories and not project management? - February 2013
Advice from an Experienced Project Manager
- How popular music helped
to resolve conflict with a difficult sponsor by being determined - January 2013
Max's Scope-Pak Project Planning Serious?
- An avid reader, Al Johnsons,
questions the sincerity of Max's Scope-Pak exercise for getting a project going.
Max explains how it is serious and when - November 2012
- LinkedIn is an excellent way of finding people you may not
know but wish to contact anyway. Extraordinary conversations can result. This
one is about Weighted Average Cost of Capital or "WACC" as
applied to projects - October 2012
- Project View
of Bank Robbery
- Even bank robberies need to be properly project managed,
and the successful ones usually are, even though the benefits are questionable!
- September 2012
- Showering, Window Washing and
- How to manage the project is well established. This is
a lesson in managing the technology, and knowing the difference - August 2012
and Estimating Progress
- We borrow from Joseph Heagney's book Fundamentals
of Project Management reviewed this month in our Papers
to target "Brain work versus Brawn work" and the added challenges of
estimating progress in the IT industry - July 2012
the Right Vocabulary
- Need to Communicate? Then choose the Right Vocabulary!
It so happens that we have just released the Wideman
Comparative Glossary of Project Management Terms v.5.5. This Musing's Appendix
A lists the most recent labels added - June 2012
Honest About Failure - "Call a Spade a Spade"!
- Use failure as a strategy?
Doesn't sound like a good idea – unless you choose to redefine "failure". In "Agile"
it seems you can, if you accept the risk - May 2012
Requirements Documents - Why Bother?
- Max questions current thinking
about requirements gathering and has his own suggestions on what to focus on -
- The Trouble with Continuous Multi-tasking
entertains three authors to talk about multi-tasking and why it is so difficulty
to get things done. The authors offer eight helpful suggestions and conclude that
"How we choose to allocate time to our tasks determines what we are able to get
done." - March 2012
- Sightings of Lessons
- A collection of experiences and what we might, or might not,
learn from them - February 2012
- Defining Project Success
within a Range
- In most cases, absolute success is bound to be a failure
because the ultimate is bound to take longer. In most cases, it is better to get
near enough and deliver. How close is "near enough"? Consider adopting Tom Mochal's
concept of success tolerances - January 2012
to PM Basics in Education
- Max suggests it is time to get back to project
basics and clearly establish that management is both an art and a science. He
explains why and the practical implications - November 2011
Significant Shift in Intellectual Property Policy
- Authors now retain
intellectual property ownership to their contributions to AACE's publications.
But could they do more? - October 2011
Lesson Learned in Project Management: Transportation Charges
- The importance
of knowing exactly what you are buying - October 2011
- Max takes aim at Bud Baker's quote that "[Project] people
want to be with [project] people" as well as writers who talk about "project success"
without explaining what it means in their context - September 2011
Lecturers need Real Experience on Real Projects
- "To teach a practical
subject you must have practical experience in it" so said an eminent UK civil
engineer. Should this not also apply in project management? - August 2011
Minister - A Lesson for Project Managers?
- This hilarious BBC-TV series
has serious overtones for project managers - December 2010
These Common Estimating Errors
- Tom Mochal of TenStep highlights eight
sources of estimating errors that you should consciously avoid, especially in
IT, with a footnote from Max's experience - November 2010
Does a Project Really Start and Finish?
- Tom Mochal of TenStep fame
poses the question and provides a variety of answers. Then Max expresses his opinion
- October 2010
- Why is Good Project
Decision-Making So Difficult?
- Project management involves a complex
sequence of decision-making, and our batting average is apparently not good. Perhaps
because of so many biasesthere are just so many of them - September 2010
- Are you a "bucket carrier" or a "pipeline builder"?
Learn how rich people get very rich - August 2010
to the Top
- Valuable information for aspiring program managers - if
only you could understand the jargon - July 2010
- A new project management discipline, a new field of study,
a new body of knowledge! Settle down to a comfortable read about the CUMBOK
- June 2010
- That Dam Case Study Again
their project planning, those dam construction beavers overlooked one important
stakeholder - the Regulatory Authority! But the Authority went after the land
owner and not the perpetrators. Read how the issue was resolved - May 2010
- Steve Jenkin, Australia, advocates for "skin in the
game" which implies that project managers should have some personal financial
responsibility for their projects. Good idea or not? - April 2010
Corporate Man-hours and the Place of Emails
- A conversation with my
friend Tom Mochal of TenStep on the issue of lost productivity due to Email interruptions
and who should pay: the project or corporate administration? - March 2010
Projects: A New Vision of Education
- The Wideman Education Foundation
(WEF) introduces high school students to project management, and author Jeremy
Schneider shows how these pm techniques could improve efficiency and effectiveness
in education - February 2010
- Managing Small
Change Requests - An Alternative Process
- A stream of changes on a
project, especially small ones, can be a serious disruption to organized planning
and scope control. Tom Mochal suggests three ways of coping and Max points to
the downsides - January 2010
- 30 Ways to Avoid being
- More suggestions, albeit tongue-in-cheek - December 2009
You've Been Fired!
- Be ready and "recession-proof" yourself.
Fifteen tips on how to do that - November 2009
You Be an Alpha to Be a Good Project Manager?
- What is an "alpha",
what is a "good project manager" and what you can do about either - October 2009
Examining the Start to Finish Relationship
- Norris Goff argues for
a more accurate definition in the PMBOK® Guide - Fourth Edition. We agree
- September 2009
- Information Technology: Management
and Oversight of Projects Totaling Billions of Dollars Need Attention
Government Accountability Office director reports: in 2008, 42% of 840 projects
worth $23.4 billion (36% of $65 billion annual budget) were poorly planned based
on cost, schedule, performance or other issues. But, we think, recommends the
wrong solution - August 2009
- The Most Important
Senior Project Manager Characteristics
- Have you ever wondered what
best makes a senior project manager? You'd be surprised - July 2009
Way with Numbers in Life Cycles and Percentage Progress
- A humorous
look at the reality of how we look at our personal life cycles compared to project
life spans - June 2009
- Is Your Project At Risk
From the "Economic Downturn"?
- The chances are that it is, not just
from the loss of key workers but also from the loss of the critical information
that they may take with them - May 2009
Institutions, Collaboration and Projects
- Ed Fern's personal story
demonstrates how the Internet has revolutionized virtual project collaboration,
and provides a valuable lesson - April 2009
on Professionalism and Professions
- Steve Jenkin likes to define "Professional"
as "Paid Practitioner" and draws on aviation and health care to explain why -
- Comments on "The Top 10 Ways Software
Projects are Different"
- Steve Jenkin, a Systems and Design Specialist,
reflects on James Bullock's piece: The Top 10 Ways Software Projects are Different
and offers a different perspective - February 2009
Effects of Institutionalization
- History demonstrates how institutionalization
can stifle project management progress - January 2009
Demonstrates Cultural Differences
- Does the North American culture
inhibit communication in multicultural teams? - December 2008
Ten Trends in Project Management for 2008
- We found ESI International's
2008 top ten PM trends, as presented by Diane Johnson, most interesting — but
we didn't always concur - November 2008
Governance and Project Teamwork
- Peter Halas's amusing allegory of
body management shows how confrontation in IT can quickly get out of control -
- About PMOs and their Responsibilities
list 10 critical questions about Portfolio Management Offices, and ask for your
response - September 2008
- Going Green: Is Your
Project a Part of the Great Con Game?
- Many so-called "green" ideas
are just good housekeeping as demonstrated by aphids. But are people just climbing
on the latest bandwagon and making a killing – literally?! We provide some examples
- August 2008
- The Curse of Knowledge and Making Decisions
many buttons do you have on your TV remote and how many of them do you understand?
See how this relates to quality decision-making and your current project! - July
- The Value of Project Management
didn't exactly write this one. Instead, Tom Mochal allowed us to quote a very
simple and lucid description he wrote a few months earlier. We just added our
comments - June 2008
- Identifying a Client's Project
- I try to answer a visitor's question: "How do you identify
a Client’s Sponsor, whether internal or external, when one is not identified,
is reluctant to come forward, or is unwilling to take responsibility?" - May 2008
Little Bit of PMI History
- In a serious attempt at "decluttering",
we came across our own forecast for PMI, exactly two decades ago. Were we right?
You be the judge - April 2008
- Change in Project
Method Sparks Litigation
- New public transit line causes uninvited
hardship to shopkeepers - March 2008
- Old Wine in
- A PRE-mortem before a post-mortem? Sounds like project
risk management to us - February 2008
- Oil Industry Leadership
and the Price of Gas
- Oil industry chiefs may be on the defensive,
but the problem is not that the price of oil is too high, but rather that it is
too low - January 2008
- Should Project Managers Retire?
place of elders in our community, respect for their knowledge and wisdom and the
data to wisdom hierarchy - December 2007
- Five-step brainstorming may be the default approach,
but now you can supercharge your sessions with the Kishore Dharmarajan's Eight-step
INNOVATE approach - November 2007
- Scope Changes,
Good or Bad?
- How constructive opportunities switch to destructive
interventions - October 2007
- The Duties of a Project
- A missing job description is explained - September 2007
- Managing Project Metrics
- A popular
word these days, but what does it really mean and which are most important? -
- Formatting Project Templates
I provide "Issacons" and not Word templates for standard forms (because
I want you to think!) Instead, I offer some helpful tips on formatting
your own templates - July 2007
- Am I a Good Project
- A good question for any project manager to ask. This writer
obviously is - June 2007
- The Role of a Leader
recent email criticizing "leaders" generally, prompted my thoughts about
the project manager - May 2007
- Is the Project Manager's
Job Really Any Different?
- A site visitor asks us whether the project
manager's job is really any different from a line manager. We think it is - April
- Estimating Task Durations
Levine thinks it's like catching fish. It's anybody's guess, but that's not good
enough - March 2007
- Project Start Date
does a project really start? Well apparently, it all depends . . . - February
- Career Change Decision: To Be or Not To Be
a Project Manger?
- Our thoughts on this tantalizing question - January
- Planning and Construction - Dam Case Study
light-hearted case study from the environment somewhere in Ontario - December
- Projects to Green Vancouver
versus cars in greening Vancouver, BC - November 2006
Sustainable Development an Oxymoron?
- A tongue-in-cheek look at the
implications of sustainable development in our local area of Vancouver, BC, and
the real problem facing the world's environment - October 2006
Over an Existing Project: Things You Can Do
- Some useful tips - September 2006
Lesson in Simplicity - Case Study
- It's fun to poke fun at management
but these examples are not so far from reality, just not all on the same project
as this is - August 2006
- PMBOK® Guide
2004 and PRINCE2 2005 Compared
- This month's Guest paper by
Colin Bentley comparing PRINCE2™ (UK) and the PMBOK® Guide (US) is a
major contribution to this web site. We couldn't help adding our own comments
on the merits and shortcomings of both documents - July 2006
Selection for Infrastructure versus Software/Hardware
- We try to answer
two more questions raised by readers: How do you outsource management of multiple
contracts? and How do you create a contract template for software/hardware installation
and training services? - June 2006
Management and Cost or Time to Projects
- We try to answer two questions
raised by readers: Can a project manager manage a project remotely? and How much
time should a project manager be allocating to a project? - May 2006
is the Answer When You Don't Know the Question? (aka Fiscal Budgeting for Project
- Each fiscal year organizations involved in IT project
portfolios face a conundrum: how many projects can they undertake and how much
will each cost for budgeting purposes when all they have is need statements. We
present some ideas - April 2006
Good or Bad?
- A reader expresses his difficulty over dealing with groupthink
and seeks our opinion - March 2006
- The Way
to Get Ahead
- We reflect on how a thirteen-year-old prediction by Dr.
Martin Barnes has come true that project management would explode into the corporate
business world - February 2006
Vision: Yes or No?
- Does your project have a vision? A vision that
everyone in your team is familiar with, inspired by, and focused on? What is a
"vision" anyway? - January 2006
Groups and the Profession - Part II
- In spite of people's claims, this
article explains why project management is a long way from being recognized as
a true profession - December 2005
Groups and the Profession - Part I
- A persuasive argument for changing
the labels of the so-called project management process groups, a plea to stop
perpetuating further confusion! - November 2005
Management: An Ever-Changing Flux of Messy Situations?
- My observations
on serious research by two authors who compare "hard" and "soft"
systems perspectives of project management - October 2005
Practice: The Holy Grail of Project Management, or Fallacious Argument?
Practice" is touted as the benchmark by which your project should be judged,
but how reliable is it really? - September 2005
- Just another word for design of project life span? Much
more important than that! Jason Charvat writes a whole book on Project Management
Methodologies - August 2005
- Project Management
as a Professional Career
- Is project management really for you? Some
helpful suggestions on this all-important question in response to an email inquiry
- July 2005
- Fixing Bad Projects
main causes of failure and six practices designed to fix the underlying causes
for large projects in deep trouble - June 2005
Trade Show Exhibits Count as Projects?
- My views prompted by one of
a steady stream of inquiries. Some projects are only projects if you decide to
make them so and manage them as such - May 2005
Proposition: Real Value or Muddled Math?
- Some time ago we received
a beguiling sales pitch that did not bear close examination. Nevertheless, it
did raise important issues about the asset values of the products we produce from
our projects - April 2005
- Jellyfish and Tadpoles
somewhat irreverent look at two serious PM diagrams, and a short lesson on the
metamorphic life of a tadpole - March 2005
- Micro Managing
and Two Cans of Beer
- A fun object lesson in project management - February
- PMBoK, Order and Six-Sigma
Project Management Institute's Body of Knowledge has eight management specialist
areas. Have you ever considered their logical sequence? Todd Just raises the issue
together with the merits of six-sigma - January 2005
Question on Real-Life Contract Closure
- Barbara White and Dr. David
Frame exchange thoughts on problems associated with closing a contract - December
- Where Do Projects Come From?
Lines of Queensland, Australia, asks about problem solving and decision-making
particularly associated with project selection — and we try to answer it!
- November 2004
- An Interesting Exchange on Managing
Software Development Projects
- Joe Marasco and Max Wideman discuss
Key Success Indicators as a vehicle for control of technically challenging projects
such as software development - September 2004
Exciting New Model of Project Management
- Who says project management
never makes any progress? Joe Marasco picks up on an article we wrote and publishes
a ground-breaking paper about modeling project management in IBM's premier software
magazine. This musing provides a brief overview - June 2004
Politics and Process: Lesson Learned? Large Projects and the 2010 Olympics
practical example of the importance of designing a sound project life span and
how not to start off a big project - May 2004
Risk Management and Unexpected Outcomes
- Much has been written about
project risks, yet relatively little seems to have been written about unexpected
outcomes. Here is an actual example - April 2004
Sexy Triangles Again
- A revisit to Triangles,
Sex and Simplicity. This time I demonstrate the problem with graphics and,
at last, have found the perfect solution! - March 2004
Voyage of Discovery Project
- A personal example of why a traditional
project management approach doesn't work - February 2004
Top 10 Ways Software Projects are Different
- James Bullock's thoughtful
comments arose out of a question posed to the NewGrange discussion list; Max responds
- January 2004
- Triangles, Sex and Simplicity
should be the reason to bury that wretched triangle once and for all in favor
of a square, but we rather doubt it will - December 2003
- Every project should have adequate contingency or risk management
funds in its budget but this is the antithesis of general management practice
- November 2003
- A Question of Attitude
the aggressive competition between project management consultants, "inventing"
new project management techniques should not come as a surprise - October 2003
- Twelve years after Desert Storm it seems pertinent
to ask: Was it really such a success? And what lessons have we really learned
from it? - September 2003
- Project Management as
a Profession: Lost Vision, Take-over or New Direction?
- A decade has
passed since "The O&M Study" was presented to the Project Management Institute.
Much has changed since then. The question is: Is it for the better? You decide.
- August 2003
- Two into One Won't Go
water supply is a problem, and so are big water supply projects - December 2002
Case for a Software Architect's Profession
- The number of software
projects outstrips those in construction, yet results are disappointing. Is it
the fault of project management or of technology management? - January 2003
- Maybe we should start rethinking our systems approach
to project management and begin presenting a better methodology - October 2002
Requirements (software project managers beware!)
- Three short anecdotes
to give software leaders pause for thought - November 2002
- How does a team reach agreement on contentious issues?
- September 2002
- What Does a PM Do?
would think that by now the answer is well established, but apparently not - August
- What's in a Name?
- Considering the
vital part that projects play in our modern society today, you would have thought
that by now a clear definition would have emerged - June 2002 (updated)
Management, PMBoK and Order
- It seems that the thoughtful observations
of Philip Nunn some fifteen years ago constitute a concept too erudite to be given
serious consideration - even today - February 2002 (updated)
New Project Management Standard?
- Rumor has it that work has started
on an update of PMBoK to be published in 2005 - December 2001 (updated)
We Added a Site Map - and Why It Is the Way It Is
- Our web site now
contains a considerable amount of useful reference material. The time had come
for some sort of indexing, but on what basis? - October 2002
Eleven: All Else Pales by Comparison
- After all the pontification is
over we must ask ourselves the serious question of what to do? - August 2002
is a Project Not a Project?
- How many projects are there that, for
the team members, are not projects at all, but just regular operational routine?
- July 2002
- Will They Never Learn?
that we have anything against five phases but we believe the most fundamental
principle behind project management is two periods - October 2001
Project Teamwork Overblown?
- By all means develop a project plan but
the object of the exercise is not to hold a tea party but to get an item of work
delivered! - September 2001
- Licensing Project
Managers: Good or Bad Idea?
- The subject of licensing or certification
of project managers warrants much discussion - August 2001
and Sustainable Development Initiatives in Construction
- What can
we do given our current "political-correctness" constraints - June 2001
Biggest Project of All
- Now that the short-lived dust has settled
over the demise of the Kyoto Accord we can say that it should have come as no
surprise to anyone - June 2001
- A Case
for Risk Management
- A gaping hole suddenly appeared and continued
to enlarge for several days; arguably the worst civil engineering disaster in
the UK in the last quarter century - May 2001
for Very Large Projects
- IPMA and PMI have adopted different standards;
which do you use? - April 2001
- Real Progress
title could be referring to progress in any field, but we are focusing here on
real progress in the understanding of the PM discipline - March 2001
the WBS War About to Break Out Again?
- Should a Work Breakdown Structure
decomposition be in terms of the activities of the project or of its deliverables?
- December 2000
- Is the Approach to Scientific
Development Appropriate for Project Management?
- A position paper that
I presented to the Education Track of the Project Management Institute - 1994
Life Cycle One Size Fits All
- What PLC is appropriate? Can
they be standardized? And is there one that fits all projects? - October 2000
Work and Projects Around the World
- For those of us who enjoy a
'western' life style wherever we may live, we should be thankful - and mindful
of the excessive waste we create - September 2000
- What is the origin of project management and where is
its theoretical foundation? - July 2000
Top Management on Side
- Project management is found in almost all industries,
but this expansion has not come without its difficulties - June 2000
The Project Life Blood
- Without people nothing gets done and without
communication nobody knows what to do - May 2000
- Apparently, a well-known project management
association has seen fit to sue some of its own most productive members - February 2000
PM Associations Contemplate Licensing of Project Managers
thirty years ago I wrote this article but upon reviewing its content recently
I might just as well have been writing today.
Questions from an Overseas Web-site Visitor
- Q&A with an overseas
visitor to our web site - January 2000
Associations and the Balance of Power
- There is strength in numbers.
Associations and not-for-profit associations are formed by groups seeking to gain
support for their particular practices by collective action - August 2000
Management Globalization Two Points of View?
- Only freedom of
intellectual thought and expression will benefit professional advancement and
enable technical progress to be made - March 2000
Project Success and Failure
- Lessons learned, starting as a small boy
- February 2001
- Project Management for the
- Project management is a discipline. There is a lot
of work to be done before we can call ourselves a profession - January 2000
Failure or Opportunity?
- A classic project failure that became a huge
success, lasting for centuries - December 1999
- Disagreement and disarray in project management. What
is needed is a set of basic project management principles providing a universal
reference baseline - November 1999