Articles

by | Feb 1, 2016

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Articles

These articles are typically longer and more heavily researched and/or edited than the posts in the Blog part of this site.  They mainly focus on the genesis and use of Principle-based Project Leadership

 

Contents

The Nine Teaming Principles

The Nine Teaming Principles

Have you ever worked in a high-performance team? A team that really “clicked”? A team which was harmonious, complementary and truly greater than the sum of its parts. It’s a wonderful feeling to have had this experience. Anecdotally, and from personal exper...
Project Team Principle #1: Understanding ”there’s no ‘I’ in team

Project Team Principle #1: Understanding ”there’s no ‘I’ in team

The most fundamental element of putting together a great project team is the unambiguous and explicit commitment to the right team behaviours. Individuals can be in a team without putting aside their individuality. The more the group deviates from basic...
Project Team Principle #2: Delivering fast and furious value

Project Team Principle #2: Delivering fast and furious value

We need to ensure that the project moves forward at the desired rate, and delivers real value to its customers. This needs to be a clear expectation for every team member.
Project Team Principle #3: Share the dream. Build Models!

Project Team Principle #3: Share the dream. Build Models!

A common mental model of success will help form a team, guide its efforts, and even in the absence of a plan, keep it on track as problems and gaps emerge. In Project Action Principle #2  and also in Clause #2 of this Charter  we established that c...
Project Team Principle #4: Play your position, but do the needful

Project Team Principle #4: Play your position, but do the needful

One powerful way to destroy or limit a team is to add constraints that aren’t really part of the problem they are trying to solve. Bringing in fixed ideas about who you represent, how you do things or what you deliver causes friction and gaps in the t...
Project Team Principle #5: Demanding accountability

Project Team Principle #5: Demanding accountability

Projects move forward by the accumulation of outcomes: decisions, completed tasks, successful milestones and so forth. Each outcome is achieved based on someone taking accountability for its completion. A team must enthusiastically embrace accountability,...
Project Team Principle #6: Leaving footprints

Project Team Principle #6: Leaving footprints

Every team needs to leave footprints. Anyone who doesn’t document their work in a project, or actively participates in helping create a persistent record of the project, is a Project Asshole. The whole concept of project documentation seems to generate a...
Project Team Principle #7: Disrupting respectfully

Project Team Principle #7: Disrupting respectfully

Doing things the same way, or allowing habits to constrain the team’s creativity or opportunity will lead to disaster; and allowing complacency or personal problems to evolve disrupts harmony and builds contempt not trust.
Project Team Principle #8: Undermining Bureaucracy

Project Team Principle #8: Undermining Bureaucracy

All organisations develop their own ways of doing business. Their internal systems, processes, rules and management style can evolve organically or under the direction of the company strategy. But every organisation will eventually end up with a certain...
Project Team Principle #9: Practising awesomization

Project Team Principle #9: Practising awesomization

Teams that are open to being excellent will often surprise you with what they can achieve.  Allow teams to become too comfortable and they will starts an inward spiral to mediocrity, corner-cutting and, ultimately, failure. When was the last time ...
What is the Single Most Important Skill for a Project Manager?

What is the Single Most Important Skill for a Project Manager?

“What is the most important skill that a Project Manager needs to be successful?” This question is asked endlessly in articles, blog posts, discussion groups and polls. The usual answers are skills such as: “Leadership”, “Communication”, “Team-build...
Why do projects fail?

Why do projects fail?

Why do so many projects fail?  Because we make them fail! There have been many studies that assess the failure rates of software and technology projects. One, the “McKinsey Oxford Reference Class Forecasting for IT Projects Study” indicated that 64% ...
Principle-based Project Leadership

Principle-based Project Leadership

So many project failures and impairments, which I've covered in detail in the article called “Why do Projects Fail ?”. (Please review that article before reading this one). So what’s wrong? Our business environments have become more complex, but t...

How to use the Project Action Principles

For me, these Action Principles have no guaranteed outcomes in terms of specific execution steps. The principles frame an approach that puts you in the right place to see, hear and understand the project. And, once understanding clearly what is happening,...
Project Action Principle #2: Enable Customer Value, Interactively

Project Action Principle #2: Enable Customer Value, Interactively

Any activity, resource investment, or outcome that does not service a customer value proposition is waste and probably avoidable. The definition of value must be obtained directly from the customer, not an intermediary. Project deliverables must be repeatedly...

Project Action Principle #3: Build Shared Models, Verifiably

Following on from the article outlining my five Project Action Principles , this article expands the third Principle: Use vivid and graphic models for all project concepts, and constantly validate and update those models. Invest the time to share and...

Project Action Principle #4: Eliminate Teaming Threats, Ruthlessly

Following on from the article outlining my five Project Management Principles , this article expands the fourth Principle: Allow the first three principles to provide the environment for self-teaming to naturally occur, instead of forcing popularised...

Project Action Principle #5: Suppress Project Entropy, Selectively

Following on from the article outlining my five Project Management Principles , this article expands the fifth Principle: Trust the implementation and guidance for the first 4 project management principles to significantly reduce the entropy in your...

Building a “No Asshole” project team

Have you ever worked in a high-performance team? A team that really “clicked”? A team which was harmonious, complementary and truly greater than the sum of its parts. Have you ever worked in a real “self-organising team”? A team that could quickly...

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Each week Adam writes about interesting and varied topics for Project Managers everywhere and curates useful articles, books and papers from other sources.