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The Art of Enterprise Thinking

Article | Oct. 22, 2013

Enterprise thinking, simply put, is the practice of considering the entire enterprise in decision-making, not just a given group or department. This style of thinking makes the organization both leaner and more agile—lean by reducing the waste and inefficiencies that come from blinkered and siloed thinking and agile by increasing everyone’s understanding of enterprise goals, vision, and functions.

Military Orders Process vs. Project Management Methodology, Part 2

Article | Sep. 10, 2013

Now that we have looked at the similarities and differences between the first two steps of the military decision-making process (MDMP) and the project management processes from the planning process group that align with them, it’s time to take a look at the third ste...

Military Orders Process vs. Project Management Methodology, Part 1

Article | Aug. 13, 2013

For a project manager (PM) who has served as a military officer on a battalion or higher staff, the parallels between the military decision-making process (MDMP), the orders production process, and project management doctrine prescribed by the Project Management Institute (PMI) are difficult to ignore. Both the MDMP and the processes outlined in A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge—Fifth Edition (PMBOK® Guide) are iterative in nature, allow for the introduction of changes to the original plan, assign tasks and responsibilities, and involve the concept of managing the scope of the operation or project.

A Unified Model for Describing a Project Plan

White Paper | June 05, 2013

This paper proposes a unifying model for project plans. A distinction will be made between the outputs of project planning and the project plan itself. The significance of this distinction is to allow projects of all types to be described at a high level, in a common language, regardless of the type of analysis used to develop the plan.

How To Improve Purchasing Performance By Categorizing Suppliers

Article | Feb. 20, 2013

As mentioned earlier, one of the most useful pieces of guidance that ITIL provides relates to the categorization of suppliers. ITIL describes four categories of suppliers:

The Business Process Analysis for a Project Manager

Article | Feb. 15, 2013

Enterprises, whether they are commercial, non-profit, or government entities, are operational organizations that operate through the execution of hundreds of processes. The quality of these processes affects every aspect of the enterprise and these processes are rarely static. Business Process Analysis (BPA) is the discipline of examining processes so that they may be changed to align with enterprise objectives.

Service Portfolio Real World Example – Cloud Services Provider

Article | Nov. 28, 2012

In a recent post, I gave an overall description of a service portfolio and the key components of a portfolio. Here, I will describe how a cloud services provider might implement an ITIL service portfolio. A cloud services provider will regularly have a set of services under development, a set of service in live operation, and a set of services that are retired.

What is a Service Portfolio?

Article | Nov. 14, 2012

ITIL describes a service portfolio as a collection of the overall set of services managed by a service provider. A service portfolio describes a service provider’s boundaries and promises across all of the customers and market spaces it serves. I like to think of a service portfolio as describing the past, present, and future collection of services offered by a service provider. The figure below shows a high-level view of a service portfolio.

Meet Customers' Needs Through Agile Team Development

Article | Oct. 26, 2012

We already covered the first three of the twelve advantages of Agile software development. These three advantages focus on team development and refining the process. Advantage #4: Motivated Development Team The positive relationship with a reasonable and satisfied customer is only one of the reasons why many developers prefer to work on Agile projects. The other main contributor is that they tend to value working in self directed teams (which the Agile methods require for success).

Meeting Customer's Needs Through Agile Development

Article | Oct. 12, 2012

There is a reason why the Agile methods are becoming mainstream. They can work! Although every Agile practice is not necessarily appropriate for every organization, each practice has delivered real value to many organizations, and some Agile practices can be used by anyone! This four part series explores twelve ways in which the Agile methods are valuable. I’ll bet that you will find more than a few that could be valuable for you!

How to Apply Knowledge Management to Project Management

Article | Aug. 24, 2012

Knowledge Management examines how we acquire, organize, manage, share, and utilize knowledge and information. The Internet gives us an overwhelming amount of information on a daily basis — and the volume of information available is growing rapidly! One of the biggest challenges for individuals and organizations involved in project management is to make the best use of this knowledge and information so they can operate more efficiently, improve decision making, and sustain a competitive advantage.

Importance of Lessons Learned in Project Management

Article | July 27, 2012

Lessons learned is a theory, or conclusion, based on evidence at a given time and describes what went wrong (as well as what went right) throughout the lifecycle of a project. Although it’s completed during the project closeout process, it should occur during the entire project lifecycle to ensure all information is captured and documented. Consequences of not having a project review of lessons learned are the increased likelihood of repeating actions that might have caused:

When Learning Fails: Six Classic Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Webinar – Recorded | May 12, 2012

Everyone has been involved in a learning program or project that has not delivered its intended impact. Across organizations, remarkably similar but preventable missteps are made in needs identification, learning strategies, program development and implementation.  Instructor Tom Gram, Senior Director of Professional Services at Global Knowledge, will present six classic mistakes learning professionals make that reduce chances for success along with evidence-based practices to help prevent them. 

The Difference Between a Project and a Service

Article | April 11, 2012

During a recent ITIL foundation class, a student asked an interesting question. She wanted to know: “What is the difference between a project and a service?” To be honest, I haven’t spent much time thinking about this distinction. However, I think that those of us who practice ITIL consulting and training should have good answers to questions such as this. Here’s how I answered this question.

An Introduction to PMI’s Project Management Life Cycle

Article | April 06, 2012

The term "life cycle" implies two things: that a process is perpetual and that the sequence of events is obligatory or uni-directional. There is no beginning or end to a life cycle and the sequence of events cannot change. A seed cannot go directly to being a mature plant nor revert back to the blossom stage.

Incidents and Problems - Workarounds

Article | March 14, 2012

In my last post I discussed aspects of problem management in the context of a real-life situation regarding the first vehicle I owned. In that scenario, and throughout this series of posts, I’ve demonstrated a real-life situation from a standpoint of the incident and problem management processes that ITIL describes.

13 Skills Every IT Pro Should Know

Article | Nov. 12, 2010

No matter which IT field you're working in, there are several skills that are useful for every IT professional to know. Here, seven experienced IT professionals working in the networking, programming, project management, and security fields, share what they believe a...

An Introduction to Procurement Management

Article | Jan. 14, 2010

Project procurement activities are often managed by specialists. By this I mean that the procurement department takes over responsibility for purchasing and contract management from the project manager. As a result of this separation of responsibilities, the steps and stages of procurement are often poorly understood by PMs. In this and the next few blog submissions, I will attempt to shed light on procurement activities and relate these activities to the PMI PMBOK.

What’s an RFC and what can they do for me?

Article | Sep. 16, 2009

No matter what book or manual you use to study for the CCNA examination, you will see various protocols and processes referencing an RFC. And, although frequently referenced, the RFCs are seldom actually included in the documentation. So, the logical question becomes...

Triple Constraints Model

Article | June 01, 2009

The triple constraints model has been one of the main staples for teaching project management for as long as I can remember. The model is generally represented by a triangle with Scope on the horizontal leg, Time on the left leg, Cost or Resources on the right leg an...