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Why is communication so hard?

The 1965 Single by The Animals summed it up well: “But I’m just a soul whose intentions are good: Oh Lord! Please don’t let me be misunderstood …”  All of us have been frustrated from time to time by miscommunication both in our personal and professional lives.  Even with face to face things can get lost in translation.   This should not be that surprising if you think about each individual being both a sender and receiver of messages that get filtered through each individuals world view.

The Formula


I have seen and given a lot of training in my career from being an acting Drill Sergeant at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, to running a $40M training business, and delivering training to consulting clients as part of larger projects. My personal experience has proven the value of good training. It has also shown that training is not always the best answer.

Is training the best approach?

The objective of training should be to improve performance and bring measurable results.  Sometimes training is not the best approach to improving performance.  Often, better results can be found by combining training with other interventions (job aids, process improvements, policy changes). The more effective approach is to apply HPT. (more…)

Does project management maturity matter?

Are you leaving $26M on the table?  That’s the difference in project risk between high performers and low performers according to PMI’s Pulse of the Profession 2013. We looked at project statistics in detail last week with “Do your projects stink?” and saw that there are big-time financial benefits to improving your project capability.  PMI identified three steps to get there:

  • Talent Development
  • Standardization
  • Alignment with Strategy

These improve your project capability and improve maturity.  The best way to take these steps is with a Project Management Office (PMO). (more…)

47th Earth Day

Today is the 47th anniversary of the first Earth Day in 1970.  Much has been done, but more is needed. Fortunately there is someone with the skills to make a difference: the project manager.


Five Ways Project Managers Save the Planet

OK, maybe a bit dramatic but good project managers and good project management skills do a make a difference. Here are five ways:

  1. Manage Stakeholders
  2. Ideas to Action
  3. New Technology
  4. Better Deployment
  5. Eliminate Waste/Reduce Risk


Does your project performance stink?

If the studies below are correct, then the answer is probably yes:

1. Only eight out of 100 organizations have a project success rate greater than 80%-Project Management Institute
2. Only 2.5% of companies successfully complete 100% of their projects – Price Waterhouse Coopers
The average cost overrun for IT projects is 27% – Harvard Business Review
One in six IT projects had cost overruns of 200% on average and a schedule overrun of almost 70%-Harvard Business Review
Cost overruns increased to 59% of all projects in 2012 from 46% in 2010- the Standish group
In 2014 $109 million was lost for every $1 billion spent on projects – Project Management Institute