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Scoring my COVID Predictions Part 2 – Remote Medicine

“Doctors are great–as long as you don’t need them.” Edward E. Rosenbaum “Don’t misinform your doctor nor your lawyer.” Unknown As I reviewed this prediction, I realized this was one of my best researched posts. There were multiple examples of how technology was positively impacting healthcare delivery, and all of the data led to the logical conclusion that both experience and technology were driving us to more efficient and cost-effective delivery of healthcare services. M

Scoring my COVID Predictions Part 1 – The Rise of the Remote Worker

“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.” Michael Jordan “We like to give people the freedom to work where they want, safe in the knowledge that they have the drive and expertise to perform excellently, whether they are at their desk or in their kitchen. Yours truly has never worked out of an office, and never will.” Richard Branson The COVID-19 pandemic taught us that for the right type of work, working remotely can be incredibly ef

My Experience with COVID-19

“I'm just a little bit sicker than the average individual I think.” Eminem “The wolf was sick, he vowed a monk to be - But when he got well, a wolf once more was he.” Walter Bower Disclaimer! This is not medical advice! You should never take advice from someone you only know over the internet. I am just sharing our experience. My wife and I just recovered from COVID-19. We have three daughters still living in our home and my wife is a nurse, so we both knew that we woul

The Science of the Trashcan Fire

“He who works with his hands is a laborer. He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman. He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist.” Saint Francis of Assisi “If any man tells you he loves America, yet hates labor, he is a liar. If any man tells you he trusts America, yet fears labor, he is a fool.” Abraham Lincoln My mother and father were forged in hard times. My father lived through the Great Depression and joined the US Army when he

Project Management Basics – Chapter 15 – Agile Rituals – Shu Ha Ri

“Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.” Bruce Lee “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” Aristotle I first heard of Shu Ha Ri in an Aikido Dojo. I was taking Taekwondo under Master Choi in a small school in Augusta, GA. My friends and I were consumed by the sport for several years, training constantly and regularly competing in local tournaments. I was attending a tournament in Columbia, SC, where I m

Project Management Basics – Chapter 14 – Agile Rituals – The Daily Scrum

“The human soul can always use a new tradition. Sometimes we require them.” Pat Conroy, The Lords of Discipline “We are our culture and tradition; if there is no culture or tradition we are no one.” Tamerlan A Kuzgov The rituals of agile matter. Several weeks ago there was a survey posted on LinkedIn that asked about the daily scrum. It specifically asked if the daily scrum was necessary for agile development. I can’t recall the survey results, but one my colleagues commented

Project Management Basics – Chapter 8 – Predictive, Iterative, Incremental, Adaptive

"Let our advance worrying become advance thinking and planning." Winston Churchill "Plans are worthless. Planning is essential." Dwight D. Eisenhower I think this is one of the topics that the PMBOK® makes unnecessarily complicated. Here is a quote from page 19 of the PMBOK, 6th Edition: “Project life cycles can be predictive or adaptive. Within a project life cycle, there are generally one or more phases that are associated with the development of the product, service, or r

Project Management Basics – Chapter 6 – The Benefits Management Plan

“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” Sun Tzu “Strategy is a commodity; execution is an art.” Peter Drucker Organizations should have a strategic planning process and use that to identify threats and opportunities. The threats and opportunities are used to develop a “to be” state, and a gap analysis should be conducted to identify the delta between that and the current state. Projects are then initiate

Project Management Basics – Chapter 4 – Product Metrics

“Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts” Albert Einstein “What gets measured, gets managed.” Peter Drucker Last week I asked the question “Can I have a well-run project that delivers an unwanted product?” Sadly, the answer is “yes”. It happens all the time because organizations either don’t know project management basics or because management intentionally rejects good practices. Project should be initiated because someone has

Chaos isn’t a pit, it’s a ladder

“Chaos isn’t a pit. Chaos is the ladder, and the climb is all there is.” Petyr Baelish, Game of Thrones “In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity.” Sun Tzu How many of you have people in your lives that thrive on chaos? I know that I do! They seem to create disruption and turmoil everywhere they go, and they seem completely unaware of what they are doing. But they are aware. Why do they create chaos? As a project manager, I love predictability! In fact, predictability

The Importance of “framing” Part 5 – Getting it Wrong – The Challenger

“After the Challenger accident, NASA put in a lot of time to improve the safety of the space shuttle to fix the things that had gone wrong.” Sally Ride “In 1986, the space shuttle Challenger exploded and crashed down to Earth less than two minutes after takeoff. The cause of that crash, it turned out, was an inexpensive rubber O-ring in the booster rocket that had frozen on the launchpad the night before and failed catastrophically moments after takeoff.” David Autor I can

Friction changes things

“Friction changes everything” Scott Adams periscope broadcast “It's not the work which kills people, it's the worry. It's not the revolution that destroys machinery it's the friction.” Henry Ward Beecher The other day a friend of mine called to complain about how things were going in his organization. He works in a completely different organization and normally the conversation turns to tales of bureaucratic ineptness. On this particular call he told me that “leadership” iss

Management Lessons from Movies, Chapter 7: Resident Evil

“You’re all going to die down here!” Red Queen “I'm not sure I want to remember what went on down here.” Alice Resident Evil is a 2002 movie based on a wildly popular first shooter video game of the same name. The plot begins by informing us that the Umbrella Corporation is a huge multinational corporation that has the public image as a consumer goods manufacturer, but really makes most of its profits on weapons, including biological warfare. Espionage occurs in an undergroun

Project Communications Part 2 – Assessing Key Stakeholders Temperament

“Invariably, micromanaging results in four problems: deceit, disloyalty, conflict, and communication problems.” John Rosemond “Team members need to feel trusted and valued, and micromanaging communicates the opposite. Founders who are prone to manage every detail of their businesses will ultimately kill themselves as well as lose the support of team members. Learn to delegate key tasks and give credit.” Martin Zwilling In my last post I began a series on project communication

Project Communications Part 1 – Assessing Key Stakeholders as a Function of Project Length

“Don't use words too big for the subject. Don't say infinitely when you mean very; otherwise you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite.” C.S. Lewis “If you can't convince them, confuse them.” Harry S Truman I thought it would be interesting to do a series on project communications. A disclaimer for anyone who is prepping for the PMP® exam. My thoughts in this area differ from PMI® in several areas, so make sure you know and understand the

Standing up the Portfolio Management Office (PfMO) Part 12 – Bringing it all Together

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” George Bernard Shaw “A mass of data is not the same as a report.” Simon Moore In my previous blogs I described what a portfolio was and the need to explain Portfolio Management to the leaders of your organization. I described the types of PfMO’s and we analyzed the usefulness of a Results Management Office, the PfMO’s role in resource allocation and we spent several posts discussing “measur

Standing up the Portfolio Management Office (PfMO) Part 11 – Measures (Part 4)

“Consistency is the hallmark of the unimaginative.” Oscar Wilde “It's not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives. It's what we do consistently.” Anthony Robbins With all due respect to the great Oscar Wilde, when it comes to Project Management consistency of process is everything. The project itself can be innovative, cutting edge and incredibly complex, but it is the responsibility of the Project Manager to ensure that processes are followed and that the work is go

Standing up the Portfolio Management Office (PfMO) Part 10 – Measures (Part 3)

“Lots of folks confuse bad management with destiny.” Kin Hubbard “Management by objective works - if you know the objectives. Ninety percent of the time you don't.” Peter F Drucker The management genius Peter Drucker certainly has this right! How many times do we begin an activity without knowing what we are actually doing, what it will cost or how long it will take? In my last post I discussed measures as they relate to the PfMO. I stated that developing measures should be o

Standing up the Portfolio Management Office (PfMO) Part 8 – Measures (Part 1)

“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” Peter Drucker “The first rule of management is delegation. Don't try and do everything yourself because you can't.” Anthea Turner Developing measures will most likely be one of the easiest activities in standing up the PfMO from a technical perspective, but one of the most difficult politically. And make no mistake, the politics will be extraordinarily challenging! The basis of the PfMO’s measures shou