Why Projects Succeed: Take Corrective Action

Slalom Consulting Roger Kastner

A Consultant Manager with Slalom Consulting, Roger works with clients and other consultants in the delivery of Organizational Effectiveness and Project Leadership services and helps practitioners achieve greater success than previously possible.

Everyone has a plan, until they get punched in the mouth.” —Mike Tyson

Maybe you’ve heard the project manager axiom “plan the work, work the plan,” which suggests there’s value in both creating a plan and then closely managing that plan. But to Mike Tyson’s point, shouldn’t you also have a plan for when the original plan unexpectedly doesn’t work?

I’ve had the privilege to speak to over 1,000 practitioners over the years at project management presentations and classes, and in almost every instance I ask each audience to, “raise your hand if you’ve ever been on a project that did not have some unforeseen problem knock the project sideways to the point of putting the objectives at significant risk?” How many hands do you think I’ve seen over the years?

(Well, OK, there was one, but the person was referring to a two-week “project.” So I’ve learned to phrase the question differently.) Read more of this post

Change Is Good: I Is for Integrity

Slalom Consulting Roger Kastner

A Consultant Manager with Slalom Consulting, Roger works with clients and other consultants in the delivery of Organizational Effectiveness and Project Leadership services and helps practitioners achieve greater success than previously possible.

Several years ago I worked for a large, matrixed company that was going through some restructuring, which included the centralization of a couple program management offices (meaning that my boss had a new boss). The new boss’s boss came out to our campus to hold her first all-hands where she was attempting to build enthusiasm for her new organization.

In her presentation, she used a drawing of an iceberg to illustrate that she was aware that 3/4s of what a project manager does is not visible to all stakeholders, thus potentially creating a lack of appreciation for the work we do. But she was different—she appreciated the full course of work we did and it was her number-one priority to help the larger organization have a better appreciation for project management.

Unfortunately, her message was lost at sea. You see, behind the iceberg, there was a ship labeled with the company’s name. While she was attempting to articulate an appreciation for her new team, the message received was that project management was going to do to the company what an iceberg did to the Titanic. Read more of this post

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