The natural growth of processes

All of us have had the opportunity to see how a person, for instance Sam, with some technical skills and desire (or need) of implementing some technical tool that avoids them doing some repetitive task.

Sam is responsible of doing it manually, but he quickly creates a spreadsheet where he implements all needs he has. In this process a simple data model and basic business rules are created, in addition the way the spreadsheet is managed in his mind contains some more rules.

One day this spreadsheet is too big to be handled or there are some technical barriers that do not allow continuing working in that way. In addition he needs some colleague has seen the spreadsheet and also wants to save time using it.

Then he says “…I need other tool…”, so he gets some database tool and he learns all about that easy tool that allows him to face new business needs. They idea is growing and he wants to manage some procedures policies through the tool and add some other entities that should be very useful to manage there.

Once the new database is finished and it’s working and used not just by Sam and friends, but all department, one day the chief says, “…I need a report!…”

Then that tedious work that always was performed manually… again is automated by Sam.

One day the chief is surprised when discovers the existence of that tool; usually it’s an embarrassing circumstance: a quality audit, another department wants to use that incredible tool they have…

Then it’s time to integrate what this tool makes into the corporate map of applications. One thing is sure: the processes have survived to process of growth, probably they are right.

Web Trainings

This week I have assited to a Web training where all participants connect to different virtual places with Sametime and with the phone.

The course was composed by 2 teams: red & blue. Once a explanationwas finished, we have to change to our team room in order to do the exercises. After that, we check the results with the other team in the main room.

The training session was about project methodology, so diverse oppinions were exposed depending the perspective and the background of the person. There were good discussions about the difference to a infrastructure & application project in the initiation phase, so the composition of a mixed team was key to enrich the session.

The sessions were 2 hours in the morning each day so after that you can continue working without problems: to easy to fit in the schedule.

I’m happy with this method, is very “agile”.

Motivations

Discover the motivations that each member of the team has with respect the team, him/her self, the company… is a complex process that takes time.

With some of the people is easier than others but nevertheless when you think that you know somebody, suddenly you can note you are wrong.

After these 4 months working in this new position, I have tried to invest a lot of time with the new team, but is not enough.

At team level we have some issues I have to delegate to other team members in order to launch these initiatives. Some of these initiatives are easy to assign but other takes more time or that the person really wants to get it.

There has been one of the assignments that I would not assign directly because it was not so much motivating, but there was a person who fits very well in that initiative. Finnally, after a month the person came to me telling “…I think I can be the best one with this issue…”

I have a delay in the execution of this initiative (it’s something I can handle), but now I have the right person with the right motivation to do it.

Project Office Manager Archetype

I have been researching information from different places about the role of the PMO in an organization.

This article simplifies the roles in 4 archetypes:
  • Scorekeeper,
  • Facilitator,
  • Quarterback,
  • Perfectionist.

Other point of view and a simplification that now, looking at the square, I see me jumping from one box to the other, depending of the project I am reviewing.

Taking into account the low maturity of the PMO, Really I have a leg as scorekeeper and other as facilitator.

Scheduling in age of Complexity (by Mosaic)

One of the recommendations well described in the previous commented paper:

“…If the worker beleives an activity’s duration is reasonable even if it’s optimistic and the person remains properly motivated, they will change their behaviour to achieve the strech target and consequently change the outcome…”


About the role of the schedule in a project:

“The problem with expecting project scheduling to produce an accurate forecast of the future is it is impossible to accurately forecast or control the future. The solution to effective project delivery lies in a different direction; using the schedule to influence the future actions and decisions of people.”

The paragraph called “the role of the Schedule in a 21C Project” is very valuable.