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I get this request on a semi-regular basis and given the work I’ve done with Microsoft, Oracle and other technical partners over the years, I’ve been involved in a number of early-release software programs.  So, let’s talk about what people mean when they talk about Beta Test Programs.  The first thing to know is that the perspectives of what the vendor is hoping for and wants are often different than what the users want. First…

I have an expression that my staff and clients have heard me use often.  It’s a favorite of mine.  “If you are a hammer, then everything looks like a nail.”  It’s a paraphrase I know and as I was writing this article, I thought it behooved me to look up the source.  It wasn’t much of a surprise that the author was someone who I read a lot of a long time ago, Abraham Maslow. …

I admit it.  I’m a black-hat thinker.  I think I always have been but many years ago, my first partner gave me a copy of Edward de Bono’s “Six Thinking Hats”.  The book is tiny but the impact was profound.  De Bono was interested in how people think and in how people could train themselves to think more creatively; more laterally.  There’s no one hat that’s perfect of the six, each has its own attraction…

In Canada, operating a private motorboat requires having a Pleasure Craft Operator’s Card.  Now, after you get over chuckling about which bureaucrat made up the term, the basic principle is quite sound.  If you are running a boat with a motor, you need to get this competency card.  I’m proud to say I’m the holder of such a card to use my Chaparral motorboat during the summer. Getting my operator’s card required passing an exam…

My staff have heard me use the expression all too often. “Tail wags dog! Film at 11.” As though it were a breaking news headline on CNN. I use the expression though to talk about organizations that approach our company with an interest in deploying our enterprise timesheet system or an enterprise project management system but have somehow gotten the cart ahead of the horse (Yes, I know. It’s another expression). The conversation usually starts…

Perhaps you’ve heard the proverb “Give a man a fish, feed him for a day.  Teach him to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”  The expression can be traced back to a novel from the early 1800’s called Mrs. Dymond but the sentiment of the expression is understood by everyone.  If you do something for someone else that’s a good thing but teaching them to do it for themselves is a much greater…

Many years ago I was forced to take an Economics Statistics course at McGill University in Montreal.  It was a requirement for my Economics Major and one of the most miserably tough math classes I’d ever encountered. The class was taught by an older gentleman who was maybe 150 or maybe 160 years of age.  He had tenure, he immediately informed us so there was no one we could complain to when he would fail…

There I am at the PMI 2016 Global Congress in San Diego listening to keynote speaker Sue Gardner.  Ms. Gardner’s resume is enough to make you pause and take notice.  She has worked with numerous Silicon Valley companies including Wikimedia who run the famous Wikipedia.  She has been on Fortune Magazine’s 100 Most Powerful Women list and that alone is saying quite a bit.  So, I was interested to hear her views on the future…

Next week I’ll have the pleasure of visiting the Minneapolis/St-Paul area to speak at the Minnesota chapter of the PMI as they host their Professional Development Days event.  I’ve been asked to speak on two subjects and I’m only too happy to do so.  On Wednesday, September 14th I’ll be talking about Creating Business Prioritization for Projects and Portfolios where we’ll discuss how creating priorities for our projects is more about understanding our business imperatives than it is…

In project management, that last 1% before you can say. “We’re really complete now… Honest!” can be a long leap from 99%. I’ve talked about the Ivory Snow project syndrome before where the project becomes almost instantly 99.4 percent complete and then stays there the rest of its life. That’s a condition that often happens in the heady heyday of the early phase of a project. There’s another more sinister scenario when you’re near the…