The Model T Ford Project: A “Model” for Product and Process Innovation

20 July 2017
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Up until the early 20th century the world viewed the automobile as a luxury item built for the elite of society.  Cars were complicated in their use and required a significant investment that the average person could not afford.  Then in 1908, Henry Ford introduced the Model T Ford that did not only revolutionize the world’s perspective on personal transportation for the masses but also re-invented the manufacturing process still applied over 100 years later.  Although we have seen improvements to his original process, with the development of lean manufacturing, JIT, Six Sigma, Kanban, and others, the core philosophy of […]

Managing Bottlenecks. Good Project Management is a lot like avoiding traffic

12 May 2017
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Living in one of Canada’s largest metropolitan areas, Montreal is infamous for its traffic jams caused by never ending construction and growing population.  In a recent report it confirmed that the typical Montrealer that has a 30 minute commute loses 92 hours a year to traffic. The reality of this loss is astronomical impacting businesses, the environment and in some cases health issues that result from increased stressed levels and the broadened carbon footprint.  Although strategies to mitigate traffic issues  exist, similar to the project management world, it only takes one unexpected change of event to occur and you will […]

The Power of Demand in Project Management

4 March 2017
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The other day I read an article on how Charlie Sheen set a new Guinness World record by reaching 1 million followers in the shortest amount of time.  With the power of technology, Sheen opened a Twitter account and hit the “1 million” milestone in 25 hours and 17 minutes.  My first thought was – it is amazing the incredible appetite people have to be connected to latest news covering their topic(s) of interest.  Although the Sheen example is an extreme scenario, it does provide insight into the cyclical nature of humanity and the dynamic between people’s wants and needs […]

Monitoring project costs. A penny saved is a penny earned. Or is it?

15 February 2017
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I recently read an article where it described the U.S. Mint’s challenge in producing pennies and nickels at a cost more than their actual value.  In 2011 it cost the US Mint 2.4 Cents to produce a penny and 11.2 cents for every nickel produced.  I guess the old adage “A penny saved is a penny earned” does not apply to the US Mint.  Ironically, every penny has put the Mint 1.4 pennies in the hole.

Project Managers Beware! It can take less than a minute to kill your entire project

6 April 2015
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In a world where overnight fame or infamy can happen to anyone with a webcam and internet connection, more than ever project managers need to carefully design a communication and collaboration strategy that will positively impact their projects while preventing the damaging effects of a potential negative broadcasting of information that can instantly shut them down at a moments notice.  Social media can  be used as a powerful tool to help drive a project quickly to success. Leveraging Twitter-like functionality and social collaboration can help quickly move your project by instantly shoring up the necessary support from your stakeholders to […]

Sun Tzu and the Art of Project Management Part 1: The Essentials

26 August 2014
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It’s been referred to as one of the most timeless pieces of military literature ever written and can be found in both the Military History AND Business section of many bookstores. It’s been directly alluded to in both movies and television series, including Wall Street, where it was touted as the corporate raider’s bible and The Sopranos, where Tony himself uses some of Sun Tzu’s principles to better manage his “other family”. Some even go as far as saying that it was the inspiration behind Georges Lucas’ concept of “The Force” in Star Wars. But can the principles found in […]

The FIFA World Cup 2014 Project: “All in one (Brazilian) rhythm”

13 June 2014
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Millions of worldwide fans eagerly await this year’s top football event, the FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil, which is currently on its way. To understand this gigantic project, we don’t have to look to far, to recognize that the planning and organization of the project conforms to this World Cup’s slogan: “All in one rhythm” – although a Brazilian rhythm. From the perspective of a Project Manager, the project is a disaster, especially when considering the fact that the opening match on June 12 in Sao Paolo will take place in an unfinished stadium with the budget increased by […]

The International Space Station Project: Where no project manager has gone before

25 April 2014
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Any one of the seven wonders of the world can claim the title of most famous project on our planet, however probably the most famous project out of this world would be the International Space Station (ISS).  Although to be honest with you, there is not much competition beside the many orbiting satellites and their space junk friends which can qualify as potential candidates.  The ISS completion is a true example of an international project in which the vision, execution and outcome has evolved as the needs and wants of the many stakeholders involved has changed over time. The IIS […]

When did a Plan stop being a Plan? Not Sure? Blame the iPhone!

14 March 2014
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I remember a simpler time when someone asked to use the telephone you knew it was to actually make a phone call.  Today, when you see kids begging their parents to use their “Phone” 99% of the time it’s to play video games.  In the last 7 years, the “Phone” has been redefined as an all purpose device ranging from communication via voice, text, SMS and email to browsing the web, taking photos/videos, listening to music and watching YouTube.  Today’s phone’s are mobile computers keeping you connected and entertained on the go.  Although smart phone technology has been available since […]

The 2014 Sochi Olympic Project: The prize of gold had gone up!

14 February 2014
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As we are in the thick of it following our favorite athletes grace the Olympic stage and podium at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, I’m always amazed at the enormity, sweat equity, planning and cost that result in the Winter Games capturing the world’s attention every four years.  From a project manager’s point of view each and every Olympic project has become an amazing case study in what works and fails in planning and managing large-scale projects, and nothing remains more true in this statement than with these current games in Sochi.