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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Bottom Fed 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 : Bottom Fed Failure  In brief : Substandard work at the implementation level results in poor quality deliverables that lead to project failure Description : A product is only as good as its implementation and bottom fed failure occurs when the quality of the deliverables being created is allowed t...
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Transitional 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 : Transitional Failure  In brief : Deliverables are created, but the value the project hoped to create is lost due to an ineffective transition into the operational world and a failure to track outcomes Description : Rather than creating direct business value many projects create "enabler deliverab...
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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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Focal Imbalance 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 : Focal Imbalance Failure  In brief : Project team focuses their energies into certain parts of the project while paying insufficient attention to other critical aspects of the project. Description : Project success requires all critical aspects of the project be addressed. Failure to address one o...
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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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