Project reporting is an important aspect of project delivery. There are many reasons to develop regular project reports. Project reports create a focal point for clarifying the precise status of a project and for providing information which helps key stakeholders to perform necessary supporting actions as well as manage customer expectations.

Ronald Coase the Nobel prize winning economist died recently at the ripe old age of 103. I have an economics degree and remember, very vaguely, having his theories explained. 

Sunday, 06 October 2013 09:58

Management thinking and the will to believe

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The American philosopher Thomas Nagel ends his short book “Mind and Cosmos” with these words:

“The empirical evidence can be interpreted to accommodate different comprehensive theories, but in this case the cost in conceptual and probabilistic contortions is prohibitive. I would be willing to bet that the present right-thinking consensus will come to seem laughable in a generation or two – though of course it may be replaced by a new consensus that is just as invalid. The human will to believe is inexhaustible.”

Saturday, 14 September 2013 16:12

No one knows I am an external

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This is a piece about consultancy and the ethics of consultants in one specific area.

I was in one of my client offices the other day, sitting at my desk ploughing through some work, developing a thought piece for the client. Next to me were a couple of people I do not know, who were engaged in a little light banter. They were talking about the company, the work they were doing, and how things were going – but nothing too deep or serious, just chit-chat. At one point one of the people said “of course, no one here knows I am not an employee.”

Wednesday, 04 September 2013 17:56

Meaningless job titles

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Does anyone care about job titles? I think the answer should be no, but it seems to me that lots of people still worry about their job title. Yet pretty much any job title is increasingly meaningless outside of a very specific context.

Thursday, 15 August 2013 18:35

No, not here – we are different!

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As a consultant I have worked in a lot of organizations. Those organizations have varied in terms of culture, location, scale and sector. During my time in all these organizations there is one phrase which I hear most often. I suspect it is one that every other consultant, business advisor or contractor hears. And that phrase is “we are different”.

One of the things we all spend a lot of time in business doing is reviewing other people’s documents. They may be text documents or slide decks. We can spend huge amounts of time trying to get our head around what the writer(s) meant. Sometimes, for example in responding to a tender, really understanding the document is critical to ongoing success.

Wednesday, 31 July 2013 15:33

The characteristics of great project managers

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I am often asked what makes a great project manager. Like any question of this sort the asker is looking for some simple mantra that is universally true. Life’s a bit more complex than that, but I can give an indication. I think there are five personal characteristics that are fundamental to any delivery role: 

Wednesday, 17 July 2013 16:29

Cultural sensitivity - care with words

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I have worked in over 10 different quite varied countries in Europe, Asia, North America and Australasia. I have travelled in many more. I have friends all over the world. I am also a change management professional. Bring all this together and I tend to think I am fairly aware of cultural sensitivities in different environments.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013 07:39

The trouble with blogs

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I go through fads of reading lots of blogs and then ignoring them for a while. At one level I think the short style of a blog encourages precise thinking - it’s hard to write something value adding in a very few words.

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