“People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.”
1. Where there’s a will, I want to be in it.
2. The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it’s still on my list.
3. Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
4. If I agreed with you, we’d both be wrong.
5. We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.
6. War does not determine who is right – only who is left.
7. Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit.. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
8. To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.
9. I didn’t say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.
10. In filling out an application, where it says, ‘In case of emergency, Notify:’ I put “DOCTOR”
11. You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
12. I used to be indecisive. Now I’m not so sure..
13. To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.
14. Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.
15. You’re never too old to learn something stupid.
16. I’m supposed to respect my elders, but now it’s getting harder and harder for me to find one.
From: Wicked Thoughts
Programs can often span many years from start to finish. Completion for a program manager takes many levels and many forms. When you think about it, there are four possible program closure scenarios you may need to address as a program manager. Two of the scenarios are pretty good things and the other two address premature termination of a program or one of its constituent projects. The four scenarios are:
- The program is complete
- A component of the program is complete
- A component of the program has been terminated
- The program has been terminated
Ultimately, completing your entire program means that all program work is completed and your program benefits are accruing. This means you are in the last phase of the program and ready to “shut ‘er down” for good. Program closure is its own phase in the program management life cycle, and is ideally performed after all program components have been completed and successfully transitioned to operations.
Of course, closure also occurs for the program components. Along the program life cycle, its component projects and other work are started up, worked on, completed and transitioned to operations. Completing a program component means that a constituent project or non-project activities of the program are complete and the incremental benefits from them may be accruing.
There are many things taking place when a program or a component project within a program closes. The Transition Plan, developed as part of program planning and updated as individual projects are selected, is where you plan for both program and project hand-off and closure. It is always amazing how many times the transition plan is incomplete or not followed at the end of a program. It’s kind of like wrapping a gift and then not adding the ribbon and a card to the recipient. Low quality program closure impacts everyone and everything downstream, including operations as well as subsequent programs that cannot build on your experiences.
When a program is complete and ready to be transitioned into operations, there are a number of deliverables to produce and some meetings to schedule as well. At a minimum, you should expect to build a program closure report, hold final performance reviews with the team and stakeholders, populate your program archives, document and report on your lessons learned.
I am a big fan of getting formal sign-off and acceptance of the program outcome by the program sponsor and/or customer as well. Any remaining program-level contracts will need to be closed out as well. A post-review meeting should be scheduled with your key program stakeholders to review program performance and benefits realization. On most programs using today’s technology, many if not all of these activities will have to be performed and shared electronically since your key program team members and stakeholders may not be in the same physical location.
When closing a component project of the program, your project managers will have some work to complete as well. They will update their project archives, reassign their remaining available resources, make sure all project deliverables are accepted and report on lessons learned. Formal sign-off and acceptance of the project outcomes by the program manager is also required. How do you make sure they complete all these activities in a timely fashion as your program marches forward?
Additional things you will need to do when wrapping things up includes returning or reassigning your program and project resources, evaluating individual and team performance and making sure to initiate benefits realization measurement for the program now that everything is operational.
Here is an example of a program checklist to use as guidance for activities required while you are closing a program or component project:
- Are all program or project deliverables complete?
- Are all lessons learned log and reported on?
- Is the end program or project report complete and reviewed?
- Has the customer accepted all program or project results and other associated deliverables?
- Have all costs been appropriately charged to the program or project?
- Are all work packages and work orders complete?
- Do any incomplete work packages exist?
- Are incomplete work packages documented?
- Are all administrative closure activities done?
- Is the program or project management plan archived with supporting data?
- Are stakeholders aware that the program, project or phase is ending?
- Are auditing, support, and maintenance procedures in place?
- Are program or project team members reassigned or pending reassignment?
Don’t forget those lessons learned when you are closing your program! Lessons learned tell us what worked well and what didn’t work at all as well as everything in-between we feel future teams and the business needs to know. Lessons learned offer opportunities for us to gather, document and apply lessons on future programs and projects and do things better (or differently) next time. At a minimum, it is recommended that you gather and document lessons at the end of every program phase and at the completion of each project. The contents of your lessons learned log should be used to create your program’s lessons learned report.
From: Learning Tree International
Managers who complain about slacking staff without examining their work environment are deluded. Being a slacker is not an innate human quality, it’s a product of the habitat. Fundamentally, everyone wants to do a good job (the statistical outliers who do not follow this are not worth focusing policy on).
The problem is that deluded managers expect unreasonable returns from their investment. They think you can get the best from people by thinking the worst of them. It just doesn’t work like that. You can’t crack the whip with one hand and expect a firm handshake with the other.
If you want star quality effort, you need to provide a star quality environment. No, window dressing like a free meal is not it. It can serve as a cherry on top, but if the rest of the cake is full of shit, that’s not going to make it any more appealing.
A star environment is based on trust, vision, and congruent behavior. Make people proud to work where they work by involving them in projects that matter and ignite a fire of urgency about your purpose. Find out who you are as a company and be the very best you. Give people a strategic plan that’s coherent and believable and then leave the bulk of the tactical implementation to their ingenuity.
If you’re doing work in a less than star environment, you owe less than star effort. Quid pro quo. By all means, do yours to affect and change the environment. Nudge it towards the stars. But also, accept the limitations of your power. You can drag a horse to the water, but you can’t make it drink.
So ration your will and determination. Invest what’s left over, after meeting the bar of your work environment, in your own projects, skills, and future. The dividends is what’s going to lead you to the next, better thing.
Everyone deserves to work at a place that inspires them to give their very best. Don’t stop reaching until you have that.
From: Signal vs. Noise
- Learn to say, “I don’t know.” If used when appropriate, it will be often.
- It is easier to get into something than it is to get out of it.
- If you are not criticized, you may not be doing much.
- Look for what is missing. Many know how to improve what’s there, but few can see what isn’t there.
- Viewgraph rule: When something appears on a viewgraph (an overhead transparency), assume the world knows about it, and deal with it accordingly.
- Work for a boss with whom you are comfortable telling it like it is. Remember that you can’t pick your relatives, but you can pick your boss.
- Constantly review developments to make sure that the actual benefits are what they are supposed to be. Avoid Newton’s Law.
- However menial and trivial your early assignments may appear, give them your best efforts.
- Persistence or tenacity is the disposition to persevere in spite of difficulties, discouragement, or indifference. Don’t be known as a good starter but a poor finisher.
- In completing a project, don’t wait for others; go after them, and make sure it gets done.
- Confirm your instructions and the commitments of others in writing. Don’t assume it will get done!
- Don’t be timid; speak up. Express yourself, and promote your ideas.
- Practice shows that those who speak the most knowingly and confidently often end up with the assignment to get it done.
- Strive for brevity and clarity in oral and written reports.
- Be extremely careful of the accuracy of your statements.
- Don’t overlook the fact that you are working for a boss.
- Keep him or her informed. Avoid surprises!
- Whatever the boss wants takes top priority.
- Promises, schedules, and estimates are important instruments in a well-ordered business.
- You must make promises. Don’t lean on the often-used phrase, “I can’t estimate it because it depends upon many uncertain factors.”
- Never direct a complaint to the top. A serious offense is to “cc” a person’s boss.
- When dealing with outsiders, remember that you represent the company. Be careful of your commitments.
- Cultivate the habit of “boiling matters down” to the simplest terms. An elevator speech is the best way.
- Don’t get excited in engineering emergencies. Keep your feet on the ground.
- Cultivate the habit of making quick, clean-cut decisions.
- When making decisions, the pros are much easier to deal with than the cons. Your boss wants to see the cons also.
- Don’t ever lose your sense of humor.
- Have fun at what you do. It will reflect in your work. No one likes a grump except another grump.
- Treat the name of you company as if it were your own.
- Beg for the bad news.
- You remember 1/3 of what you read, 1/2 of what people tell you, but 100% of what you feel.
- You can’t polish a sneaker.
- When facing issues or problems that are becoming drawn-out, “short them to the ground.”
- When faced with decisions, try to look at them as if you were one level up in the organization. Your perspective will change quickly.
- A person who is nice to you but rude to the waiter, or to others, is not a nice person. (This rule never fails).
- Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, an amateur built an ark that survived a flood while a large group of professionals built the Titanic.
From: Ian’s Messy Desk
“The junk drawer is the enemy of understanding.”
From: Seth’s Blog
“Diplomacy is the art of letting other people have your way.”
“Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain – and most fools do. But it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving”.
“Calling an illegal alien an ‘undocumented immigrant’ is like calling a drug dealer an ‘unlicensed pharmacist’”.
“There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all”.
“Everyone has something to hide and usually no one cares. By surveilling everyone, you catch the benign breaches of law and taboo. If the public are all guilty, the executive part of the government can selectively enforce laws, essentially giving them both judicial and legislative power, which defeats the whole point of separation of powers.”
From: Saturday Morning Breakfast
“You can always count on Americans to do the right thing — after they’ve tried everything else.”
“The highest form of ignorance is to reject something you know nothing about.”
From: Herding Cats
Here are 11 activities that contribute to that goal [planning work and controlling cost] on the non-technical side of the project. The odd numbering system will be revealed at the end
1. Define the deliverables – what does the customer want? Do we know this at a level of detail so we and the customer will recognize it when it arrives?
2. Define who is going to produce these items – do we have the people needed to produce them? Do we know the skills needed to do this work? Do we know something about how this work effort is going to be organized?
5. Put these two thing together - so the people on the project know who is doing what. Who is accountable for producing the outcomes of the project? How will they communicate this to the customer?
6. Plan the sequence of work – so everyone is not doing anything and everything out of order. Einstein’s quote that the purpose of time is to keep everything from happening at once is applicable here.
7. Define when you need things to be produced – what day do I need something? The order of the deliverables is usually important to the assembly of the parts of the product. Spoilage is actually an issue when developing software, since emergent requirements many times result in rework.
8. Figure out how much money you’ll need for producing things – do we have enough time and money to produce what was asked for at the time it is needed? If you’re spending other peoples money, you’ll likely have to explain how much money you need and when you need it. Open checkbooks are rare these days.
16. Capture how much you spent – who spent what on what outcome at what time? The people giving you the money, will probably like to know what you spent it on.
23. Determine if there is a difference between what you planned and what you spent – why did we not follow our plan? When spending other peoples money, they like to know you’ve got their interest at heart. This can be done with a budget versus actuals discussion. Just like any business process (or even in life), having and budget and trying to stay on budget is a demonstration that you’re trusted to spend the money.
25. Add up all these variances – do we have enough time and money remaining to do what the customer wants? This is a quetsion you probably ask yourself every month as you’re paying bills. Same goes for managing other people’s money on your project. The surprise of we have no more money (or time) is unpleasant in all circumstances.
26. Take action to stay on budget and schedule – either way, yes or no, what should we do about it. If we’re on budget and on schedule, what do you need to do to keep it that way? If you’re off budget or schedule, what are you going to do to get back?
28. Implement your actions – with the knowledge from #26 do it, Project Management is a verb, do something about the variances.
These 11 activities are simply good project management. These are what project managers should be doing on the Programmatic side of the project. The Technical management of the project can be done in a variety of ways, and of course they will influence the programmatic side. Add to that the people management and you’ve got the picture of what a project manager should be doing.
By the way, these 11 activities are numbered from the 32 Guidelines of ANSI-748-B - Earned Value Management. So when you hear someone say - we can’t do EVM on our project or EVM is a waste of time in our domain usually spoken by the IT folks and even by the senior thought leaders of IT, ask yourself - are these 11 activities missing? If so, what’s the chance your project is in the ditch and you don’t even know it?
From: Herding Cats
You know you live in a country run by idiots if…
- You can get arrested for expired tags on your car but not for being in the country illegally.
- Your government believes that the best way to eradicate trillions of dollars of debt is to spend trillions more of our, or borrowed, money.
- A seven year-old boy can be thrown out of school for calling his teacher “cute” but hosting a sexual exploration or diversity class in grade school is perfectly acceptable.
- The Supreme Court of the United States can rule that lower courts cannot display the 10 Commandments in their courtroom, while sitting in front of a display of the 10 Commandments.
- Children are forcibly removed from parents who appropriately discipline them while children of “underprivileged” drug addicts are left to rot in filth-infested cesspools of a “home.”
- Hard work and success are rewarded with higher taxes and government intrusion, while slothful, lazy behavior is rewarded with EBT cards, WIC checks, Medicaid, subsidized housing, and free cell phones.
- The government’s plan for getting people back to work is to provide 99 weeks of unemployment checks (to not work.)
- Being self-sufficient is considered a threat to the government.
- Politicians think that stripping away the amendments to the constitution is really protecting the rights of the people.
- The rights of the Government come before the rights of the individual.
- You can write a post like this just by reading the news headlines.
- You pay your mortgage faithfully, denying yourself the newest big screen TV, while your neighbor defaults on his mortgage (while buying iPhones, TV’s and new cars) and the government forgives his debt and reduces his mortgage (with your tax dollars.)
- Being stripped of the ability to defend yourself makes you “safe.”
- You have to have your parents’ signature to go on a school field trip, but not to get an abortion.
- An 80 year old woman can be stripped-searched by the TSA, but a Muslim woman in a burka is only subject to having her neck and head searched.
- Using the “N” word by anyone but Blacks is considered “hate speech,” but writing and singing songs about raping women and killing cops is considered “art.”
On Monday, June 25, 2012, the following occurred: The Supreme Court unanimously—yes, UNANIMOUSLY—upheld the portion of Arizona ‘s Immigration Law that directs law enforcement officers to check the immigration status of EVERYONE who is ARRESTED for a crime. It not just “ALLOWS” them to check, but “DIRECTS” them to check. That means it’s mandatory.
Less than three hours later, the President of the United States issued an executive order BLOCKING THE ENTIRE STATE OF ARIZONA’S ACCESS to the Federal Database that would allow such checks, the only State or Local entity EVER to be blocked.
One hour after that (which means they had it all ready in advance), the Department of Justice went live with a toll-free number, a web site, and ads, ASKING FOR PEOPLE TO REPORT BEING “RACIALLY PROFILED” because of this ruling, so they—THE U.S. JUSTICE DEPARTMENT—can file “Civil Rights” lawsuits against the Police Departments, Sheriffs, Cities, Counties and State of Arizona .
In other words, the American Citizens of the State of Arizona are going to be sued for vast sums of money, BY THEIR OWN FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, for enforcing a law that The Supreme Court UNANIMOUSLY held as constitutional.
Is it just me, or is this getting ridiculous?
Source: unknown, thanks Jim Coursey
“Something must be done. This is something. Therefore, we must do it.”
Thanks to Bruce Schneier
It doesn’t show fear to plan your retreat ahead of time. It is just plain good strategy.
- I can see your point, but I still think you’re full of s**t.
- I don’t know what your problem is, but I’ll bet it’s hard to pronounce.
- How about never? Is never good for you?
- I see you’ve set aside this special time to humiliate yourself in public.
- I’m really easy to get along with once you people learn to see it my way.
- I’ll try being nicer if you try being smarter.
- I’m out of my mind, but feel free to leave a message.
- I don’t work here, I’m a consultant.
- It sounds like English, but I can’t understand a word you’re saying.
- Ahhhh…I see the screw-up fairy has visited us again.
- I like you. You remind me of myself when I was young and stupid.
- You are validating my inherent mistrust of strangers.
- I have plenty of talent and vision; I just don’t give a damn.
- I’m already visualizing the duct tape over your mouth.
- I’m not being rude, you’re just insignificant.
- Yes, I am an agent of Satan, but my duties are largely ceremonial.
- And your cry-baby, whiny-assed opinion would be…?
- Sarcasm is just one more service we offer.
- If I throw a stick, will you leave?
- Errors have been made. Others will be blamed.
- Too many freaks, not enough circuses.
- Nice perfume. Must you marinate in it?
- Chaos, panic, and disorder. My work here is done.
- I though I wanted a career. Turns out I just wanted a salary.
- Who lit the fuse on your tampon?
“You can’t fix stupid, but you can vote it out.”
“Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounding yourself with a$$holes.”