Tag Archives: project management templates

Dashboards and Pumpkin Muffins: A Confession

Meaningful dashboard metrics

Wake Up And Smell The Metrics!

I have a confession to make.  It’s from the days when I was still working for a large corporation and leading part of an enterprise-wide strategic IT change initiative. It was huge and encompassed dozens of programs and sub-projects, all aimed at transforming the global IT organization. It was driven top-down and had strict reporting requirements including a mega-metric that tracked who didn’t submit their weekly report. That particular metric got a lot of attention from the Steering Committee of VPs, who were being held accountable by the CIO to submit a consolidated dashboard.

Every week, I dutifully, painfully, and manually composed the required PowerPoint dashboard slide, doing my best to force-fit my program status into the pre-ordained format—which didn’t really work. I had to choose one color—Red, Yellow, or Green, to characterize the current status of my entire program, which was global and massive in itself. I had already been warned by my leadership that there were no “Reds” allowed, and no getting creative with “Oranges” as some do… so my choices were Green or Yellow. There was a tiny box for a 6 pt. font paragraph commentary on that status, which made me feel a bit better, since I could at least qualify the color rating.

Well, feeling rushed and cranky one November Friday, I decided to try a little experiment. Continue reading

Q&A with The Project Whisperer, part one

What a thrill and honor it was on December 14th to present a Project Whisperer webinar to 660 attendees! Many thanks to the wonderful team at The Project Management Bookstore for sponsoring this great event.

We spent about 15 minutes on Q&A, and some good questions were emailed afterward. In this Q&A series, I’ll recap questions that were asked during and after the webinar.  My grateful thanks to all who attended and sent in rave reviews. It was truly my pleasure! Stay tuned for announcements of future webinars, which are eligible for PDU credit to maintain PMI certifications.

Q: How do you change the Firefighter approach people take to projects?

A: As with most behavior of teams or individuals, I look for the underlying cause or driver. I define “firefighters” as those types who thrive in situations of great urgency and visibility requiring quick thinking and sometimes heroics. With that said, firefighting is an extremely useful quality when the circumstances truly call for it. Continue reading