Reconn Radio – Podcast #9 (Week of 02/03/2014)

ReconnRadio

 

Reconn Radio brings you its second guest in as many weeks. Also, we’re announcing our joint venture with strategic partner Structure First. Please check out the headquarters planning and facility development collaborative at myhq1.com.

Go!

 

 

 

 

Reconn Radio – Podcast #7 (Week of 01/20/2014)

Reconn Radio is here. We are three weeks into 2014. Can you believe it? This week on the program:

  • Macroeconomics – domestic and global
  • Financial institutions – are you managing the plan?
  • Non-profits – global prosperity and giving
  • Our pop culture take of the week - Doctor Who

We hope you enjoy it.

Executing your strategy: 2014 Project Management Office – Your PMO tools and talent

People use hammers to encourage nails into a solid material, such as wood. Not always easy. Not always successful. And it is not always without pain. Practicing good project management requires good tools. Executing great project management requires dedicated talent. Success is not always painless as you steer a project to completion. Thinking through tools and talent helps. So, let us explore in more detail.

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Tools

  • Methodology
    • The PMBOK is the classic methodology used in the project management universe.
    • I studied something slightly different, VPIC. Originally offered by the folks at Franklin Covey, this has since been modified into something that resembles the PMBOK.
      • Visualization – using information gleaned from key stakeholders, develop a vision for the project that includes qualitative and quantitative goals and objectives. Be sure there is a specific tie-in with the strategic plan.
      • Plan – create a work breakdown structure (WBS), identify hot spots, and automate all that is the plan.
      • Implement – get to work, holding everyone accountable.
      • Close – determine success and failure by conducting a post-mortem; identify changes to be implemented into the next round of projects.
  • Technology
    • Choose a tool that will enable better project management. The tools should provide for collaboration, document management, and reporting.
    • Provide the tool to the organization. In doing so, the tool should be easy-to-use and intuitive.

Talent

  • Dedication

In choosing your project manager, there are two items to consider in the context of dedication: your own and that of the person you’re putting in this role. Dedication to, if not downright enthusiasm for, the strategic plan as well as the project management office are paramount. To that degree, this individual or team must be brought into the strategic plan communication loop (see our posts regarding communication here and here).

  • Organization

The individual or team for this job must be organized. Now, they don’t need to be militaristic about their organization. However, they must a particular mindset for living a clutter-free life. This also extends to their minds.

  • Candor

This is likely the most important factor of all. Candor. We talked about it earlier (see our post on communications here). Action is the mainstay of the project manager and/or project management team. To get action out of others, sometimes there must be straightforward communication. Demands must be put forward. Demands must be met. If not, then things falter.

This is the last in our series on the project management office. If you’d like to see our earlier posts, then please proceed here for information on driving strategy to projects. For information on PMO philosophy and culture, click here. If we can help your firm execute a project or assist with setting up a PMO, then please reach out to Beth Bumgarner via our contact form.

Reconn Radio – Podcast #2 (Week of 12/16/2013)

Welcome back, folks, to Reconn Radio. This week we discuss:

  • Focus. Urgency. Organization. Communication. From 2013 to 2014 and beyond.
  • Dashboarding. No, not snowboarding.
  • A tribute to Peter O’Toole.
  • Thinking about and creating around your purpose during the upcoming holidays.

Enjoy!

Executing your strategy: 2014 Strategic Plan Review – The Living Plan

There it sits. Shelf #2, row #5. Doesn’t it look nice? Isn’t the cover the tops? Isn’t it grand? And what about the weight?

We’ve all written them or seen them. The strategic business plan. Dead on arrival? I hope not.

In the first two installments on this particular topic – the close out meeting, which can be found here, and the welcome back meeting, which can be found here - I discussed closing out the planning continuum as you head into 2014. Executing in 2014 requires that the plan be a living plan.

Here are four guidelines for keeping the plan alive:

  1. Hold the two meetings discussed. It’s simple and doesn’t take an inordinate amount of time.
  2. Transfer critical projects and tasks to a project management office. And then follow through with it. Put some one in charge.
  3. Refer back to the plan in at least every other management meeting and/or staff meeting (assuming you are having weekly staff meetings).
  4. If you are really daring, have your supervisory committee or a third-party consultant review the plan to date and report back to the board monthly, or worst case, quarterly.

It is my belief that planning is just the beginning. Quality should prevail over quantity. However, the arc of quality should not forestall the advancement of the plan. Where will you be in 2016? 2020? It is imperative that there be an urgency to your business planning. Whether your are on top or whether you are climbing back from the edge, there must be an urgency. This will give your plan life.