Agile Thinking: Lisa’s Blog

  • Who is the Project Sponsor?

    The project sponsor is the senior leader accountable for the project’s success. The sponsor usually has financial responsibility for the project. He is placed high enough in the organization to be able to resolve inter-department disputes. He should represent the recipients of the project’s results. For example, if the project will result in a tool…

  • Blaming the Stakeholders

    I often hear technical people say: “my customer won’t make a decision and therefore I can’t begin work.” Our job is to make it easy for our customers and stakeholders to make decisions. Try asking them questions to figure out where they are stuck. Can you prototype an interface so that they have something to…

  • Jeff’s Rule of Email

    I’m teaching a course in Managing Projects for Healthcare Administration at the Marlboro College Graduate Center. We were discussing communication and specifically email. Jeff mentioned the frustration that results whenever he sends out an email that includes more than one request, but invariably the replies only include responses to the first request — any other…

  • Curriculum for a Consulting Project Manager 101 Class

    The Project Management Institute (PMI) has many different Special Interest Groups (SIGs) in order to meet the needs of its 250,000 members. PMI has asked the question: What should be the curriculum if we had a Consulting Project Manager 101 Class? Here are my thoughts: The book “Flawless Consulting” by Peter Block should be a…

  • Are team building exercises bad for introverts?

    Here’s an interesting discussion from Tech Republic about the value of team building exercises. http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/career/?p=119 Several self-described nerds wrote in to say that they find the team building exercises that have been designed by extroverts to be truly horrific for introverts. One contributer, who calls herself Server Queen, said I find that kind of thing…

  • Meetings are not Deliverables

    When I ask my project management students to develop their first work breakdown structure, there are inevitably a few meetings listed as deliverables. I feel strongly that a meeting itself should never be considered a deliverable. Meetings are held in order to achieve an objective. Therefore, we can list the desired outcome of the meeting…

  • Writing the Work Breakdown Structure

    The WBS is a mythic document in Project Management. Every text reminds us that the WBS is the foundation of the project plan. But what the heck is it? Perhaps appropriately, I’ve found a lot of mythology on this topic. So let’s talk about what it is and how to build it. I should begin…

  • Involve Your Customers

    First and foremost, this means listening to your customers. Early on in the project, your team must spend time with customers and end users. Make sure the project team understands the requirements from the users’ point of view. As you move from planning into project development, try to create prototypes of the end product. If…

  • Inspirational Thoughts on Leadership

    My friend, Jack Perron, sent me this excerpt from a sweet book called The Willows and Beyond by William Horwood. The book is a sequel to Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows. For best comic effect, take a moment to read these inspirational words on leadership out loud. In this scene, Toad (who has…

  • Project Risk and Task Estimation

    It’s common knowledge that I love Liquid Planner. In my opinion, it allows me to to do magic and foresee the future. ::geek mode on:: Liquid Planner allows you to use probabalistic modeling for any or every task in your schedule. This means that instead of saying that a task will take 5 days, you…

Got any book recommendations?