Squaring the Triangle

Topics and trends in the world of program and project management

Making meetings work for you and your project

business-meeting-with-project-manager

I can remember very clearly the worst meeting I was ever involved in. A “flagship” municipal project with the potential to bring world admiration to a city. This new project needed new IT systems. So 44 of us sat in a room together — architects, engineers, program and project managers, business analysts, change managers, release […]

Introducing creativity to achieve better project outcomes

creativity-for-project-managers

A new book, ‘How to steal fire’ , reveals some of the fallacies behind creativity. The truth is that creativity doesn’t come from teams, it comes from team members. In fact, group work can have a negative effect on a project’s outcome. It is good to remember that smaller groups are often much better at […]

Program managers, are you checking your critical success factors?

checklist

Many of us monitor our steps using smartwatch to check our fitness levels. And coctors and nurses routinely check a patient’s heart rate and blood pressure as the first part of the consultation. But how often do we, as program and project managers, check the critical success factors of our projects? Not as much as […]

Time-traveling back to the 1995 software development industry

1995-on-Back-to-the-Future-style-flipboard

Remember the heady days of 1995? Toy Story was released, Jagged Little Pill was the album of the year, The Grateful Dead disbanded, this time for good. For the tech industry, eBay was founded (“an online flea market”), and Windows 95, Java 1.0, and JavaScript (no relation) were all released. There was also a book published, Software […]

How to break the Iron Law of Megaprojects

Sydney-Opera-House-close-up

Have you ever been across the Brooklyn Bridge? Or flown in through Denver? Or visited the Sydney Opera House? If so, you were experiencing the results of a “megaproject” — and one that had failed in its original intent. The Brooklyn Bridge was completed 100% over budget. Denver International Airport was completed 200% over budget. […]

Want to improve job performance? Take a walk, take a hike … no, seriously

hikers-on-trail

The International Labour Organization estimated in 2012 that 50% to 60% of all workdays lost were caused by factors associated with work stress. Improvements in technology, and especially mobile technology, may not be helping this. Stress is not always bad. For example, it can provide drive, energy and focus. However, too much stress or the […]

Learn to ‘Manage with Power’ from these historical examples

executive-leading-strategy-session

Walking, talking and managing with ‘Power’ is not an innate ability. It is a skill that can be learned and practiced. It can help us deliver on our projects and programs. Here are some examples: General Patton General George S. Patton (1885-1945) was one of the most decorated military officers in World War II.  A […]

Project management: How conflict can be used to improve team performance

team-whitewater-rafting

Forming, storming, norming and performing is a well-known team building process. But can we harness the disruptive power of conflict to produce better outcomes for our business? The answer, surprisingly, is yes. There are legitimate ways to use conflict. The 4 types of conflict We know from academic research that there exist four types of […]

It’s time to get certified (and get recognised) in project management

rubber-stamp

With the Program Management Improvement and Accountability Act signed into law in the U.S. and the awarding of a Royal Charter to the Association of Project Management, there has never been a better time to get certified within the project management industry. Recognition within our PM practice can be hard and sometimes daunting. Getting certified […]

Managing information flow: How much is enough?

waterfall

Controlling the flow of information for projects, programs and portfolios is a key core competency of a program manager. Too much information, and tasks can spiral out of control, meetings can cascade down rabbit holes and deadlines can recede into the distance. Too little information, and team members can start to feel isolated, decisions need […]