I want to return to the topic of my last post, prioritisation, and I’m going to extend some of the thinking from it.

Published in Blog
Sunday, 03 September 2017 18:39

Do more by saying "no"

I briefly highlight this point to raise one of the major challenges with prioritisation. It is not the activity deciding of what you are going to do, but the decision not to do something. These may simply seem to be the inverse of each other. Perhaps. But psychologically it seems easier to say “yes I’ll do this”, than “no I will not do that”.

Published in Blog
Saturday, 01 April 2017 08:14

Building Change Capabilities - Step 1

If you are the sort of person who follows my posts, here or elsewhere, the chances are that you are interested in organisational change. The chances are also fairly high that you have been involved in several change initiatives. I expect that at many times your organisation has struggled with change.

I feel confident enough to say, if you have never struggled with change, then that’s because you have never been involved in a change of any complexity.

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This is an example of an introductory talk I gave to an organisation’s internal change network. These were willing and interested participants in change, but mostly people with limited experience. The specific project was an ERP implementation in an organisation that had just gone through a major merger. However, this talk could be adapted to any change situation. It was first used in Spring 2017.

Hi everyone, and thanks for the introduction. I’m going to be working with the company over the next few months to help us get ready for the transition from where we are now to where we want to be. My focus is really the XYZ Project, but like any change you cannot really deal with changes independently and need to think about the wider perspective. 

Published in Articles
Thursday, 10 November 2016 10:18

Change Management: time for a new vocabulary?

I want to talk about some words – specific words, but in order to do this I’m going to start with a big generalisation. 

The important thing about words is that they have meanings. Because words have meanings we are able to communicate about all sorts of objects, ideas, concepts and whatever other entities, things or stuff we want to talk about. 

Published in Blog
Monday, 06 June 2016 07:57

Towards better programme assurance

I have been involved in projects and programmes for a long time. Long enough that I sometimes think I can smell the state of a programme when I am first engaged on it. By smell of course, I really mean pick up certain small aspects of behaviour that give me a feeling of confidence or concern.

Published in Blog
Saturday, 16 April 2016 06:39

Aspirations and reality

Imagine you are working on a project and it is going to finish late. It is a scenario that many of us will be familiar with. Is the project a failure? That depends. There are many situations in which a project is late. There are many situations in which a project – or at least a properly defined and well run project looks late, but isn’t. This happens when we confuse aspirations with plans.

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There are many reasons projects and programs get in trouble. Problems we are all familiar with include: poorly defined goals, lack of sponsorship, ineffective prioritisation and access to resources, and when there is no drive to make progress. I have been involved in lots of projects in my career, and I’d love to say every one of them was a success, but it would be a lie. Quite a big lie. I have been in projects with every one of these problems, sometimes all of them.

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I was at a project management conference a while ago. As usual, I ended up making a number of new acquaintances. Several times I did that normal introductory dance when you tell each other your name, where you come from and what you do for a living.

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The librarians with a hammer

A couple of years ago I was asked to speak at a one day conference for librarians. After speaking I stayed on and helped with some breakout workshops. It was not an audience I was used to working with. I liked that. I am always interested in working with people I don’t normally engage with. I find I often learn to see things from different angles. Overall, I had a very good day and I did learn some new things. But most of all it reinforced a lesson about hammers and nails.

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