Monday, December 22, 2014

Top PW&WCBA Blog Posts of 2014

We’ve published a lot of inspiring and thought-provoking posts this year about project management, business analysis, leadership and more, so we wanted to take a moment to look back on the most popular posts of 2014. Here are the topics our readers enjoyed the most this year:

Leadership Lessons: Paul R. Williams: Paul R. Williams, Leader of Project Management, PAi, talked to us about how PMOs add value to the organization. Today, PMOs are a strategic imperative for the C-Suite to deliver projects aligned with key strategic initiatives. Project Managers are in high demand today; Williams will give us keen insight into recruiting, training and retaining key program staff. To read the full post, click here.

Here Comes The Boom! An NFL Champion Illustrates Key Business Analysis Skills: As business analysis practitioners, we certainly appreciate the analytical style of Richard Sherman and his LOB brothers.   In addition to conducting a sort of pre-game analysis, we too must be able to conduct game-time analysis and make adjustments, where needed.  For example, it is important for practitioners to understand stakeholders early on. Whether by talking to the actual stakeholder, consulting with other practitioners who have worked with them, or some other method, we need to understand certain things about our stakeholders, including (but not limited to) the stakeholder's view of the problem or opportunity at hand, expectations of a solution, and anticipated level of involvement with the initiative. To read the full post, click here.

Leadership Lessons to Live By: In virtually every industry that exists today, leaders must set aside more time to reflect and assess their thinking, capabilities, and strategies. It is crucial that they evaluate how their leadership brand is being perceived by others and whether or not it requires a tune-up.  We highlighted some key leadership lessons that you should live by. To read the full post, click here.

The 5 Best Free Project Management Tools: There are effective free project management tools out there - some are more robust than others, but all of them provide ways to collaborate and complete projects quicker. We found five of the best free project management tools that may make your job easier. To read the full post, click here.

Big Data and Project Management: Today, organizations are taking strategic risks to add business value through innovative big data initiatives. Big data is a blanket term for any collection of data sets so large and complex that it becomes difficult to process using available data management tools or conventional data processing applications. Tom Davenport, author of “Big Data at Work” has worked with many companies and he’s uncovered key principles around five key areas to be successful at big data projects. To read the full post, click here.

Agile State of Mind: Are you wondering how to choose which project management method to deliver a successful project? Organizations today have to be more competitive in the marketplace so choosing the best practices and methods for your organization and projects is important. Agile is a set of values and principles, not a pre-defined process with obvious areas of limitation. Waterfall is a model based on development method that is linear and sequential.  We put together the top four criteria to choose the best fit of methodologies at the right time for the right customer. To read the full post, click here.

Women in Leadership: Jo Miller: Jo Miller, CEO Women’s Leadership Coaching Inc. sat down with us to talk about women in leadership. Today, women make up over 50 percent of the workforce, are entrepreneurs, hold key leadership positions and serve on board of directors. Miller will give us her insight into the challenges women face in the workplace, how to overcome these obstacles and become a more empowered leader. To read the full post, click here.

Leadership Lessons: Dr. Alicia Aitken:  Dr. Alicia Aitken, managing director Asia Pacific, Human Systems International (HSI), sat with us to talk about the ins and outs of leadership in today’s competitive business landscape. According to Aitken, being authentic makes great leader stand out in a crows these days. Today’s world is full of leadership models, business school taught methods and processes. Leaders stand out by being authentic and true to who they are and who they are leading. To read the full post, click here.

About the Author: Amanda Ciccatelli, Social Media Strategist of the Marketing Division at IIR USA, has a background in digital and print journalism, covering a variety of topics in business strategy, marketing, and technology. Amanda is the Editor at Large for several of IIR’s blogs including Next Big DesignCustomers 1stDigital Impact, STEAM Accelerator and ProjectWorld and World Congress for Business Analysts, and a regular contributor to Front End of Innovation and The Market Research Event,. She previously worked at Technology Marketing Corporation as a Web Editor where she covered breaking news and feature stories in the technology industry. She can be reached at Follow her at @AmandaCicc.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Become a Better Leader and Secure Your Organization’s Future

"Companies with high leadership qualities were six times more likely to be among the top 20 financial performers of all organizations."

Want to do your part to launch your organization into the top 20?

We are excited to announce that NACCM and the Windsor Leadership Group have partnered together to bring you a truly unique learning event: Creating Magic through Leadership & Service Excellence. This learning event offers the skills and insights you need to further develop your leadership skills (based on best practices from Lee Cockerell's Disney Great Leader Strategies - used to train over 7,000 leaders at Walt Disney World!) and secure your organization's spot at the top.

Visit the website for more information:

Facilitator William Greenwald, Founder & Chief Neuroleaderologist, Windsor Leadership Group will lead attendees through self-exploration, Disney-based leadership and service case studies, hands-on learning exercises and group experiences in the Disney theme parks. This experiential journey will lead to personal discovery, authentic leadership development and the ability to design and sustain high performing leadership teams and service cultures.

New Registration Savings Just Announced!
We're happy to extend a special $500 savings for you to join us at Creating Magic.
Register by Wednesday, December 17th to lock in your special savings

Your registration includes:

·         2 days of experiential learning at Hollywood Studios and Epcot Theme Parks
·         3-day Disney Park Hopper Pass
·         Breakfast, lunch and snacks each day
·         A signed copy of Lee Cockerell's book, Creating Magic 
·         Optional Pre-Workshop Tour: Half Day Disney Backstage Tour of the Magic Kingdom
·         Discounted room rates for those wishing to extend their stay before or after the event
·         And more!

Download the full event details or check out the agenda here:

"William's energetic presentation style and mastery of storytelling make my books come alive. I highly recommend this workshop for anyone aspiring to create a little magic in life, both personally and professionally.” - Lee Cockerell

Register by Wednesday, December 17th to lock in your special savings of $500. Register today:  

 William Greenwald & The Creating Magic Team

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

How to Avoid Project Management Failures

These days, project management can be a touchy subject, especially when it comes to project failures. But, knowledge, strategy and precautionary tactics can help project managers avoid serious project management pitfalls.

Here’s what leaders in the industry shared with Fierce CIO recently about tips for avoiding project management pitfalls.

Don't expect immediate results.

"If you're a tried and true waterfall type of project management shop and you go in and change to an agile shop, that's a big change… in principles and also asking a lot of people to partake in that change. Some folks are resistant to it, especially if there's not an immediate payoff. The immediate impact will actually be less effectiveness, maybe less efficiency, but you have to hold true to the fact that long term, it's going to pay off." - Randy McGraw, SVP of technology and operational services at service provider West IP Communications

Have a project leader to provide feedback.

"You may know the technology and service inside and out--but it is still important to have someone on your side who can actively participate and provide insight and things of nature change management." - McGraw

Don’t let deadlines run your project.

"Let's focus on the right solution [first] and then figure out how to get it done in the time frame we have to. Whether we have to [divide it], phase it, or defer some work. Taking that approach of what's the right end game and making sure you set your project and your approach up to get you there ultimately is most important…Help people from falling into those pitfalls of time-driven decision making." - Kevin Riley, CTO of Sonus Networks

Approach project management one step at a time.

"When you do these projects, they can be very complex [and] you can get caught up in looking at the full body of work and all the details, and it becomes hard to wrap your head around the plan.” - Riley

Stay detail-oriented and streamlined.

"Make sure you minimize details, but also make sure your plans around those [finite number of] details are perfect."  - Bill Scudder, CIO of Sonus Networks

Avoid bureaucracy. 

"I try not to have a lot of bureaucracy around project management because I think that can actually slow things down." - Scudder

Provide feedback throughout the process.

"We do start with a process where we have an exec review board for large project.  We call it the IPAC. IT project approval board.  They come and present the problems they're trying to solve, the resources they need, etc.  If they're stuck, we also do a traffic-light review… so we have a funnel of large projects that go through that.” - Scudder