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Showing posts from September, 2011

The End Game: Jerusalem Light Rail

The Jerusalem Light Rail is once again in the news: The drivers all had temporary licenses - all of them expired 3 days ago. Only 12 of them have been renewed. Somebody forgot to take care of renewing all of them...


So now we have the train running once every 30 minutes; even at once every 4 minutes it was crowded...


The Jerusalem Light Rail project is a fascinating one to study; it was running way behind schedule and budget until the current mayor Nir Barkat took charge.


His first question :Where's the schedule and the Project Manager? Yes, he comes from the world of software. :-)


The answer? Well, hum, there were a lot of people in charge; one for the infrastructure, one for the electricity, one for the actually trains, one for the software, one for the traffic lights and the list goes on. But there was nobody in charge of everything.


Result: Everybody could blame everybody else for delaying the project. (The initial launch date was January 2009!)


Nir changed that, and the project sta…

Broken Telephone

A Project Manager spends a lot of time finding out what people are doing and what is preventing them from progressing.


Removing impediments is one of the undocumented roles of a Project Manager; maybe it's time to change that.


Impediments come in a variety of flavors:


Sometimes it's a missing piece from a 3rd party. If the Project Manager can follow up with the 3rd party, then the engineer can  continue doing what she does best, while the Project Manager "wastes his time" chasing the culprit.


Sometimes a lot of non-engineering work needs to be done, like entering a lot of data or editing a lot of existing data. Once again, if the Project Manager can take care of it, the engineer can go back to doing real work. The Project Manager can either do the work or outsource it to somebody who is available; a visiting child or a bored QA member waiting for the project to progress.


Sometimes the Project Manager will discover that the engineer is waiting for a component or informatio…

PMO: Not the prime Minister's office

So, if PMO is not the Prime Minister's Office, what is it?


From Answers.com
The Project Management Office (PMO) in a business or professional enterprise is the department or group that defines and maintains the standards of process, generally related to project management, within the organization. The PMO strives to standardize and introduce economies of repetition in the execution of projects. The PMO is the source of documentation, guidance and metrics on the practice of project management and execution. In some organisations this is known as the Program Management Office (sometimes abbreviated to PgMO to differentiate); the subtle difference is that program management relates to governing the management of several related projects.PMOs may take other functions beyond standards and methodology, and participate in Strategic Project Management either as faciliator or actively as owner of the Portfolio Management process. Tasks may include Monitoring and Reporting on active projects …

Internal Competition

Competition is healthy because it's human nature to want to be the winner. Competition is the incentive to work harder - or smarter, and to come out ahead of the other competitors.


That's useful in many areas of life. For example, in schools it drives the serious students to study a little harder, and in business it helps drive prices down and improve service.


When team work is needed, then competition between team members is almost always destructive.


This is true for families; a guaranteed recipe for a disastrous marriage is to have husband and wife compete with one another instead of working together as a team.


In the workplace, the same applies. It's counterproductive when employees see each other as people to compete against. I've worked at many places, and the less internal competition, the more efficient the business will be and more fun it is to work there.


People who are having fun at work are happy to come to work every day and to do a full day's work.


Teams me…