Principles of Expert Program Management

Thoughts on Leadership, Project Management, and more...

Herding Cats

What is the role of a Program Manager in the modern landscape of technology and product development?  Many people jokingly liken it to Herding Cats.  Why?  Because almost every PM has to figuratively wrangle a large group of independent, opinionated, and sometimes stubborn team members towards a common goal.  That

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Walking into wind

F*%! Friction

In Project Management, the real F-word is Friction…   Always be on the lookout for friction within your team.  Aside from a negative company culture, friction is one of the most counter productive elements your team can encounter. What is friction and why is it so dangerous? Friction is anything

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The Margin Manifesto

Margin – give yourself some now, you may need it later… Ask yourself this: How often has something gone exactly, perfectly to plan without a bump, hiccup, or delay along the way?  Basically never, right?  So then, why would we ever create a plan without margin?  Why plot a course with

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Sean Connery Cool

Be Cool

In business, as in life, it helps to be cool.   Let’s be honest, there is little to no value in losing your temper and engaging in an emotional or spiteful exchange.  It may feel good, and right, and justified in the moment – but the other person will feel

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Helping Out

Collaboration vs ‘Not my Job’

Offers to help yield exponentially greater results, here is why… We’ve all been in this situation – you are swamped with work, too much to do and too little time, and then someone (perhaps a manager, a co-worker, or someone from another group) asks if you can help pull together

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Is it really a problem?

Sometimes when you feel like the sky is falling it is only a drop of rain…  One of the hardest things about developing something new (in basically any field) is the shear number and variety of issues, setbacks and obstacles you will encounter along the way. Thus, a real challenge

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How to be Lucky

What is luck?  My definition of Luck is the occurrence of an event that is generally unlikely.  Luck is not a miracle, it is not the occurrence of the impossible.  It is merely the happening of something with (much) less than 50% probability of occurrence.  From this probabilistic context, Luck

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Taking Risks

Are you taking big enough risks? Mark Twain famously said; “I am an old man and known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.”  What Twain is saying here is that most of the risks we perceive are unlikely to happen.  Think of the many things you

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Why don’t we read more?

I heard a very successful person say, that the difference between you and those that you admire, is that the people you admire read.  They educate themselves.  They are perpetually curious and striving to learn more.  They want to be inspired, to have their thoughts challenged, to see the world

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Building Relationships

How do you build relationships in business?  Empathy In-person one on one engagement Camaraderie outside of work Displays of trustworthiness Shared struggles Empathy.  Simple enough but often overlooked and/or too rarely practiced.  Try to understand the other.  What are they struggling with, how can you help, what pain points or frustrations

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What is Leadership

What is leadership?  What does leadership look like?  Is it knowing the ‘right’ answer.  Is it having years of experience.  Is it being in a position of power, influence or authority.  No, I think leadership is a combination of courage, respect, and selflessness. Courage to face head on the challenges

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