Gordians, PGMOpen and 200 Success HealthChecks

All the best to  Gordians who are launching a new project and program management dashboard. One that allows real insight into management of projects, not simply control. It’s at the PGMOpen Conference, Netherlands 2nd February 2012. All 200 conference participants will receive a copy of the Success Healthcheck for IT Projects.

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Simple, Complex, Messy and how to tell the difference for IT projects

Thanks to a Best Practices Paper written for ESI late in 2011, the opportunity to reflect and distill: Keeping it simple.

  1. Are there many parties involved?
  2. Are there many parts/modules/systems?
  3. Would you describe the functionality/services expected from the system as more complex that a good Mercedes?
  4. Do you expect people to use the IT systems?

If you answered ‘Yes’ to any of these, your project is likely to be complex. If you answered ‘Yes’ to the 4th question, your project is also messy. For more, send me an email and I’ll share the highlights of the Best Practices Report.

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Joanne and MIS Asia

At the Annual Regional IT Awards Ceremony for MIS Asia – the challenges of managing new style projects – the land of iPad, Cloud and apps.

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Invited to Asian Banker Summit

The Success Healthcheck will be in Hong Kong April 2011 presenting at the Technology and Innovation:

  • Avoiding project failure
  • Improving real value
  • Improving investment

Given the size of the Asian banking portfolios, much good can be done!

See you there.

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Positioning

Here at last! I’ve found the Success Healthcheck in a book store – my favorite

the SHC in hand

even before it stocked me as an author. Books Kinokuniya. Better yet, in the hands of a buyer! Get your copy now!

Book reviews are coming in from all over the world. Three continents so far. Radio interviews too! This virtual world is fun.

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Proof

From contracting to getting to the galleys and final proofed layouts. A 7 month process of detailed reading, copy editing, more reviewers. Responding to their comments.

I was lucky enough to be at Shelton and have this inspirational view as my editor and I discussed what we needed to focus on next.

Getting to a final version that felt right and then one last huge edit. This time to really prune the book. I wanted wider margins so that there was room for a reader to make notes… yet we didn’t want the book to be too large.

More copy editing, then to layout. And another round of copy editing. It’s amazing that even with this number of eyes on it ( 5 people) numerous times (4 each), it is still possible to pick up typos.

I hope I found my last one today. In all places, on the dust jacket inside cover.

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A Perfect Publisher

It’s happened! Today Wiley and I have signed a contract to publish “Success” as a cover for reviewersdiagnostic based book.

A single proposal, acceptance. Success in Action!!

An object lesson for me: I can either focus on the result I want – a great publisher and a contract that works for both of us or time.

I created a summary of the book for book reviewers. Tom who designed the visuals, based this on the colors and style of the Olympic archery target. Gold surround the white clarity of perfection in the center. Red outlining the gold. A blue band, then later still, black and white.

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It’s done!

I don’t think I knew what I’d decided when I innocently decided to write a book.

However, today I’ve done it! 90,000 words, 40 case studies, some pretty cool analogies and a 3 part structure… I have written a book.

This makes me an author. A new label.

A fantastic end to the year. Off now to celebrate with fireworks and bubbles.

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On reflection

Just what does it take to be successful? After significant amounts of meditating, reading, discussion and life experience, I’ve come to the conclusion (subject to new experiences) that it is:

  • Having a goal that inspires me. One that is clear in my mind. Or when consulting, to my client and myself.
  • A process that while I might not know each step of the way, I’m willing to trust. As a great man once said, ‘change is a journey not a station’.
  • Companions on the way. To share stories, motivate and connect with.
  • On a personal level, to be willing to step into the unknown, to be present to myself and to who I need to be. I think Ghandi said ‘to be the change I wish to be’.

Stepping into the unknown world of writing a book on what does it take for projects to succeed. After 15+ years of working with projects (both successful and not), researching it, and applying the next level of ‘just what does it take’, now a personal goal: to create something in book format that others can use, that reflects reality and allows people (be they a CEO, CFO, CIO or sponsor, or project manager, team member or person affected by a project) to be more effective in the changing world of projects.

By more effective – that each person is clearer in what it takes to succeed. And more at ease with the natural uncertainties that change seems to create in most of us.

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A beautiful mind

Working with a global finance team as we designed the next phase of their shared services projects, one member asked me why I kept referring to organisational systems when our focus was improving shared services.

A reflective moment later, I responded… as performance or for that matter, productivity improvements come from all parts of a system working together. If we focused on one factor and got it ‘perfect’ there was no guarantee that it would be effective with the rest of the business system.

(Burke-Litwin’s organisational performance model covers this in great depth. I may post a practical summary one of these days).

It’s the challenge that John Nash (in the movie ‘A Beautiful Mind’) called local optimisation. When in practice, results come from optimising the full system. In organisations, that’s technology, people and processes.

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