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Showing posts from 2012

4 Dysfunctional Behaviors and Scrum Framework

In "4 Behaviors That Can Save or Destroy a Project" blog post, I described four behavior which they can impact a project delivery time, quality and cost. These behaviors are: Student Syndrome, No Early Work Transfers, Parkinson's Law, Polychronicity. However, project management frameworks such as Scrum provides simple and effective tools and techniques to deal with these type of behaviors. Such tools and techniques are: Time-boxing, Volunteerism, Continues Self-Inspection, Transparency, Continues ordering (prioritization) and Team Estimation.

Everything in Scrum framework is time-boxed. Every meeting is time-boxed, every sprint or iteration is time-boxed. There is no deadline, but there are many time-boxes! Teams using time-boxing are way more productive than teams using deadlines. There is a shift in mindset from "We need to work hard to meet our deadline" to "How much we can get done in the given time". This is very basic but very powerful change in …

What do Old GM, Amazon and Apple have in common?

Alfred Sloan is the one who actually made General Motors a strong brand and a market dominant for decades. One of the strategies he implemented was a simple multi-brand strategy. He reduced the number of GM cars to five and categories them by price. As Jack Trout stated at Big Brands Big Troubles, "The policy was to mass-produce a full line of different cars that were graded upwards in quality and price. The concept was to get people into GM family and move them up. It was one of the earliest examples of market segmentation"

Chevrolet $450 - $600
Pontiac    $600 - $900
Buick      $900 - $1,700
Oldsmobile $1,700 - $ 2,700
Cadilac      $2,700 - $3,500

More than a half century past from those glorious days of GM, and companies who do not learn from history continue to have irrational product lines and they all ask why do we loose market share. They look into their marketing budget, sales force, technology and many areas but not the root cause of their failure. However, there ar…

Co-opetitive Virtual Teams - An Introduction Part 2 - Project Manager Challenges -

I have described in Co-opetitive Virtual Teams - An Introduction the current trend of many companies, who try to cooperate and compete globally to retain their current clients and win more businesses. At this blog, I will open the discussion of the role of the project manager who has a Co-opetitive Virtual Team. (Let's call her Mrs.PM)

Mrs. PM has different challenges than her colleague who work in a non-copetitive virtual team:
She needs to balance client stakeholders and a team of competitors!She has to balance the sales team passion of winning more businesses to be able to keep the overall Co-opetitive strategy healthy, But she does not have enough position or coercive power over account/sales team.She has to be able to manage a pool of resources, but these resources are from competing companies , so she need to balance the usage of resources and try to minimize conflict between competing teams!She has to keep all team members - from all groups - motivated and she must to be abl…

Co-opetitive Virtual Teams - An Introduction

Global economy demanded experts to solve the dilemma of distributed teams productivity over the past several years and there are still many researches going on regarding workflow and productivity of such teams. Technology evolved and resolved many problems of distributed teams. Virtual teams enhanced productivity by applying new technologies and companies invested fortunes on infrastructure. However, the global economy demands more solutions for an even more complex problem, I would like to call it Co-opetitive Virtual Teams. 

In today's open society and competitive business environment, competitors realized that creating coalition serves them the best in winning businesses. Such coalition happens between companies in different geographical locations and mostly in service industries. They are at different offices in one city or country, sometimes they are in different countries, sometimes they are in different continent and often it is a hybrid of all above!

While these companies …

4 Behaviors That Can Save or Destroy a Project

There are four behaviors (for sure out of many) that can easily destroy or save a project. Many scientific researches have been done on these dysfunctional behaviors and many new frameworks have been presented by gurus in management to deal with these dysfunctional behaviors, but still 99% of employees from top to bottom waste productivity and resources because of these behaviors. It is very interesting to know that many will not admit or accept it , despite all scientific researches and experiments, and will hate to read the rest of this blog ;) These dysfunctional behaviors are: Student Syndrome, No Early Work Transfers, Parkinson's Law, Polychronicity.

When was the best time to study for exam or write your homework when you were in school? or to put it in a better way, how many times have you prepared for your exam days/weeks/months before the exam? when did you start studying, after your teacher announced that there will be an exam in 2 weeks? From the same day or couple of day…

Teach How to Swim First, Then Push into the Water!

Many companies hire people for certain jobs for many reasons, and sometimes those poor employees become the victim  of mismanagement and poor leadership. They usually end up hating the job and loosing their self-steam  or getting fired.

Isn't this an extra cost? Waste of Money and Time?
Is it a hiring problem or it is the individuals who got hired?
Is it the recruitment process?
Is the management and leadership? or is it the shortage of right people?
or is it the whole system?

All these companies have certain process for hiring, recruiters have enough skills (hopefully!) to lead the recruitment process. A person who applies for a job usually believes he/she can handle the task (minus those who apply for everything due to many other reasons!).

Therefore, the process is kinda standard and somehow fine, although as many other standard processes, it can be done much better, and applicants believe in their capability. For the sake of short this short blog, let's assume that there i…