Culture’s Cogs

Synopsis: Imperatives, expectations and feedback are the mechanisms through which management's desire for high performance are translated into a functioning corporate culture. Regular readers will know that I've been studying corporate cultures over recent months. My goal is to understand how corporate cultures come to be and what management teams can do to shape positive cultures (i.e. cultures that improve quality and productivity while simultaneously lifting employee engagement, morale and...
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Decision Defending

The following entry is a part of the Pattern Library. The Pattern Library illustrates some of the common patterns of events that have the potential to lead to project failure. Name : Decision Defending Type: Decision making / behavioral pattern In brief : A person locks in their answer to a question and shifts from trying to understand the ideas and opinions of others to promoting and defending their own idea. Description : Decision making in a group setting can be a frustrating ...
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The Vanishing Visionary

The following entry is a part of the Pattern Library.  The Pattern Library illustrates some of the common patterns of events that have the potential to lead to project failure. Name : Vanishing Visionary (aka dump and run) In brief : A Project Sponsor conceptualizes and initiates a project, but fails to follow through to ensure successful delivery. They provide the vision, assign the project to a Project Manager (dump) and then wash their hands of any further responsibility for the pr...
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Desperate for Done

The following entry is a part of the Pattern Library. The Pattern Library records the common patterns of events that have the potential to lead to project failure. Name : Desperate for done Scope : Behavioral pattern (patterns that influence the actions of an individual or group) Outline : Tracking the status of tasks is a key responsibility for the Project Manager. As part of that responsibility, Project Managers interact with the team to monitor the completion of each individual ac...
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The Fast Forward Freeze-Out

The following entry is a part of the Pattern Library. The library records samples of the common patterns of behaviour that set the context within which the chances of project failure are increased. Name : The Fast Forward Freeze Out In brief : A sponsor accelerates progress in the planning of a project by freezing out the stakeholders. Failure to engage and understand stakeholder requirements however results in products being produced that fail to meet the needs of the stakeholders....
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Schedule Pressure Failure

The following entry is part of the Pattern Library. The Pattern Library records the common patterns of behaviours and events that have the potential to lead to project failure. Pattern name : Schedule Pressure Failure In brief : An excessively aggressive schedule results in mistakes being made from which the project never recovers. Description : Excessive schedule pressure  can cause an otherwise capable team to make mistakes that ultimately end up causing serious damage to a pr...
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Top Led Failure

The following entry is part of the Pattern Library. The Pattern Library records the common patterns of behaviours and events that have the potential to lead to project failure. Pattern name : Top Led Failure In brief : Strategic blunders by Senior Executives at the start of the project put the project on a course to disaster.  Because the flawed decisions were made at the most senior of levels, the problems is never corrected resulting in a project pursuing a path that will eventual...
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Quality Kaboom

The following entry is a part of the Pattern Library. The Pattern Library records the common patterns of events that have the potential to lead to project failure. Name : Quality Kaboom Type : Behavioral pattern (patterns that shape the sequence or flow of events) In brief : Quality activities are pushed to the end of the development cycle allowing hidden problems to grow in magnitude.  High levels of rework only become apparent late in the project cycle. Description : All projec...
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Alignment Failures

The following entry is a part of the Pattern Library. The Pattern Library records the common patterns of events that have the potential to lead to project failure. Pattern name : Alignment Failures  In brief : Different parties are focused on different goals resulting in conflicts and poorly alinged efforts Description : Although the need for a formal project goal is firmly established in the Project Management literature, in practice other forms of goals also influence a project's ...
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Navigational Failure

The following entry is a part of the Pattern Library. The Pattern Library records the common patterns of events that have the potential to lead to project failure. Pattern name : Navigational Failure In brief : Team lacks leadership and oversight in one or more dimensions resulting in errors and omissions. Description : Technology projects require decision making in three primary domains; the business domain, the technology domain and the organizational (or management) domain.  Wh...
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