Corporate Culture – Part 3

In parts one and two of this series, we've looked how corporate cultures affect the outcomes a project attains and where cultures come from. In this final post in the series we'll look at the mechanisms through which cultures spread and what organizations can do to promote a healthy culture. Pretty much every business leader understands the value of having a positive corporate culture. The state of many businesses however illustrates that not every business leader understands how to shape...
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Corporate Culture – Part 2

Last week I posted thread that outlined some of the different types of corporate culture and started the process of looking into how corporate culture influences project outcomes. In this week's post we'll look at where cultures come from. Part of the reason corporate culture is so poorly understood is because few organizations appreciate how cultures form. Cultures are invisible and they are hard to define. They develop out of ongoing interactions rather than a single moment in time and ...
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Corporate Culture – Part 1

Culture is a powerful force in any human system. It establishes the norms of behavior and acts as a reference point for the expectations we have of each other and ourselves. While we are all used to the idea of culture in our public societies (cultures driven by national identity, religious affiliation, generational groups and /or fashion), culture in the workplace gets less attention. While the phase "corporate culture" is banded around, few organizations really have a grasp of what it is, how ...
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What is Project Success?

"As Project Manager, juggling all of the balls is important, but keeping your eye on the right ball is the key to delivering truly successful projects" - RG While understanding the causes of project failure is important, without a common definition of "success", there is no clear basis for differentiating a success from a failure. Clearly none of the projects in the Catalogue of Catastrophe can be regarded as great successes (some resulted in bankruptcies, many were cancelled before completio...
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Attitudes for Altitude

Lesson learned: Hire for attitude and potential, not just experience. Category: Person skills development / hiring. The following post is a "Lesson Learned" that comes from the analysis of the failed projects documented in the “Catalogue of Catastrophe” or from the experiences the editorial team have had working with clients around the world. The post is published here to spark discussion and help individuals and organizations think about what it takes to improve project success rates. ...
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The Bean Counter’s Blind Spot

Lesson learned: Be careful what you measure and how you measure it. Category: Project objectives / Decision making. The following post is a “Lesson Learned” that comes from the analysis of the failed projects documented in the “Catalogue of Catastrophe” or from the experiences the editorial team have had working with clients around the world. The post is published here to spark discussion and help individuals and organizations think about what it takes to improve project success rates. ...
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Say it with Samples

Lesson learned: Use real life samples to make training more effective. Category: Training / skills development. The following post is a “Lesson Learned” that comes from the analysis of the failed projects documented in the “Catalogue of Catastrophe” or from the experiences the editorial team have had working with clients around the world. The post is published here to spark discussion and help individuals and organizations think about what it takes to improve project success rates. In...
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Social Learning

Being something of a Systems Thinker, I often find myself reflecting on events to see if I can understand the cause and effect relationships that drive the outcomes we attain. Working in the field of education, that interest has caused me to look deeply into the way individuals learn and how different modes of teaching achieve different outcomes. When we think about training we typically think in terms of training classes, academic courses and the ubiquitous two day workshop. Despite the prom...
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Revisisting Deming

Most people who have been through basic management or quality management training will have been exposed to the work of Edwards Deming. Known particularly for his work in helping Japanese companies establish a quality culture, Deming is regarded as a founding father of the quality movement. Although Deming is best known for his use of process improvement as a tool for improving quality, Deming’s thinking covered a considerably broader view of the organization. One of Deming’s greatest contrib...
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The Process Fallacy

As many readers will know, the idea of “continual process improvement” is a pillar of the quality management movement. By improving processes, the root cause of problems that allow mistakes to be made can be eliminated, thereby allowing the organization to produce higher quality goods and services. Although the idea of continual improvement started in the manufacturing sector, in the mid 1990’s the idea gained ground in the IT sector as well. Models such as the Capability Maturity Model (CMM)...
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