The Standish Institute has been publishing the Chaos Report for years which basically says that project outcomes fall short despite our best efforts to manage it. Proponents of PMI and Prince2 will debate their conclusions, and there are others out there who say that Agile is the answer to better project outcomes. While I’m a advocate of project management methodologies, perhaps we’re looking in the wrong place and the answer lies somewhere else.
When you think about life, one of the life’s truisms is that “stuff” happens. That whatever you plan for will likely not come out exactly the way you want it to. For those of you not familiar with the Butterfly Effect, it was developed by Edward Lorenz who is a big proponent of the Chaos Theory. The term comes from the suggestion that the flapping of a butterfly’s wings in South America could affect the weather somewhere else in the world. Basically it is a term used to describe how small changes to a seemingly insignificant thing can affect large, complex systems. When we think about projects, there are so many things that could impact the success of a project that fall outside the general framework of project management. Perhaps successful project outcomes don’t depend upon your methodology, but on how you react to what happens?
Continue reading Rethinking Project Management and Chaos (The Butterfly Effect)
Thomas Juli – Contributing Expert
Project managers all need and thrive for successful projects. But what exactly does project success mean? Is project success the successful and timely delivery within budget? Or is it the path to glory? Do results always matter the most? What else does project success mean? And what does it take to achieve project success? Does success fall from heaven? Is it limited to a lucky few who happen to be in the right place at the right time? Is it coincidence? Or can we actually plan success?
Continue reading The Five Principles of Effective Project Leadership
Greetings Leaders, Project Managers and Future Project Managers….
I had a colleague ask me for some advice the other day. He is a supervisor, acting as a project manager and he doesn’t like it. Most of the projects he manages are fairly small and he spends most of his time chasing paperwork and going to meetings. He was bored and frustrated and wanted to know if all project managers worked like this.
Continue reading Project Management As A Career
In the January 2010 issue of PM Network published by the Project Management Institute (PMI), there was an article written by Jesse Fewell, PMP that stated that project methodology didn’t matter. His basic premise was that sometimes project managers get caught up discussing methodology instead of getting the project done. I understand his perspective as I’ve seen project managers waste valuable time trying to define something as simple as a “phase” of the project. Or, perhaps it was a subproject? Of perhaps it wasn’t either but separate projects. I’ve also seen them debate the project schedule. Should it be a waterfall or should it be iterative? Should it be Agile, or for software development a form of Rapid Application Development (RAD).
Continue reading Does Project Methology Matter?
Greetings Project Managers!
I often get asked, “should a project manager (PM) become certified as a Project Management Professional (PMP) by the Project Management Institute (PMI)?” There are several ways of approaching this, but let me give you some background before getting into specifics.
Continue reading Should a Project Manager Become PMI Certified?