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There is only one way to describe this scenario and that is via a story.  Consider the organization that is coming to the end of the project.  The product is a complicated subassembly that goes into a larger system and has numerous interactions and incarnations of the design.  They are late in the delivery of […]

Risks can have origins in communications and are not the sole province of the stakeholders and sponsors of the project. Sometimes the organization damages itself via the structure.  We are all familiar with the functional organization, often referred to as a line organization or stove pipe organization in which we group the company by discipline. […]

This blog post is born out of a response to the Named Risk post from Ed Arnold on   He left the reply below: In my experience, a lot of time/effort is wasted when project owners change. The knowledge gets lost, even if they leave their spreadsheets and power points behind. The answer: a collaborative […]

We addressed the issue of the modular FMEA in a previous blog. We also suggest that the FMEA in its various guises is also a great place to capture lessons learned. In the medical, aerospace, automotive, and food industries, some kind of FMEA is a required document. Since we already must create these documents, why […]

We have heard executive complain when an employee they put through external training left the company to pursue a better-paying job somewhere else. Our question has always been “Why didn’t you take care of your investment?” Training employees is an investment of time and money in much the same way as tilling and seeding the […]

Over the years, we have heard executive level individuals cry out for cultural change in their organizations without understanding the ramifications of what they are saying. With cultural transformation as usually touted, we are talking about massive levels of upheaval. The upheaval approach can be counterproductive if it does little more than produce a culture […]

Project managers need to be able to assess product quickly with an intelligible set of quality metrics. In general, we recommend paired metrics; for example, in software development we can look at lines of code versus errors per line to keep both metrics “honest.” In the automotive world we like to see Cpk, which is […]

To reduce the chances of going too far down the wrong road, we qualify our projects with some sort of business analysis, for example internal rate of return or return on investment or some other fiduciary measurement.  If we are working from a staged-gate project management system, we will relentlessly review our project condition against […]

Not all risks are associated with technology, processes, or missing resources.    Sometimes an individual assigned to your project can be the riskiest aspect of your entire project.  Technology and processes are predictable by their very nature.  And finding resources may be difficult, but the lead-time and process are well understood.  But humans are, in the […]

I have been having a running discussion with one of my colleagues regarding project and cost, specifically the cost of a project that is under consideration for termination.  A project is going through a gate review. During this review we find that the objectives are not met by this phase and further action has little […]