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The Powerful Are Lousy Planners

Forrest ChristianProject Management, Reviews - Articles Leave a Comment

The University of Kent is reporting a forthcoming research article by social psychologists Mario Weick and Ana Guinote of University College London on how feeling powerful affects one’s estimates. The more people felt powerful, the more optimistic their completion dates were. And it’s not just a small effect: “power drastically reduced the accuracy of forecasts with error rates soaring up …

Roadside stand near Birmingham Alabama (1936). FSA photograph by Walker Evans. Via Library of Congress collection.

Requisite Organization Lens On Software Development vs Maintenance

Forrest ChristianManaging, Project Management, Theory 3 Comments

Some time ago, Gordon had an interesting comment about a couple of posts (see “Getting Work Done at the Right Level” and “Ready, Fire, Aim”: Intuition, Analysis and Tacit vs. Explicit Knowledge). I wanted to finally get around to addressing some of his points. I’m reading this just after reading your “Ready, Fire, Aim…” post, and just wondering “how do …

Some Change Management articles

Forrest ChristianProject Management Leave a Comment

When I did the work for CSC, I boned up on these issues because I knew absolutely nothing. I actually read all of this so that I could put together a working change control process for the IT environment. Really. I could have simply made the guess without reading and would have produced the same process. But this was pretty …

Start with opinions

Forrest ChristianProject Management 1 Comment

I hope that this citation is correct. I think this comes from Peter Drucker’s Effective Executive (1967): Most books on decision making tell the reader: “First find the facts.” But executives who make effective decisions know that one does not start with facts. One starts with opinions.

Mountains near Ch√Ęteau-d'Oex. (c) E. Forrest Christian

Project Portfolios Require High-Level Capability

Forrest ChristianOrganizations, Project Management, Risk Management Leave a Comment

In Waltzing With Bears, Lister and DeMarco describe the benefits of running IT projects within a portfolio. Not every one of them would have to succeed: you could take on several very high-risk (but high-payoff) projects and balance it with several low risk / low payoff projects. Having low-risk/high pay-off projects would be great, but most of the time those …

The April 12 launch at Pad 39A of STS-1, just seconds past 7 a.m., carries astronauts John Young and Robert Crippen into an Earth orbital mission (STS-1. 1981). NASA

You Need All Levels of People For Success

Forrest ChristianProject Management 3 Comments

People who can see the whole complexity of the project “need to be paired with people that can deal with the details at other levels,” says Jack Vinson. Absolutely. Looking back on what I have written, I haven’t made that entirely clear. Everyone is important and necessary for the group to succeed. We need each other, each of us working …