Category Archives: PM Risks

Progress and Risk Quote

“Progress always involves risk; you can’t steal second base and keep your foot on first.”— Frederick Wilcox. 

This great quote was brought to my attention on Twitter by Royce Williard, Lean Enterprise consultant, author, and educator.  There has been a great boom of Lean practitioners on Twitter lately and I have been finding a ton of value in reading their Tweets!

If you liked this post, then try:

My 2009 Hansei: Scarcity inspires creativity and innovation.  How can I help harness that inspiration?


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Filed under Business, Encouragement, Improvements, Learn Leadership, PM Risks, Quotes, Reflection

An “A-HA Moment” In Project Management

I recently completed a project that solved a problem that no longer exists due to the current economic times.  Many times I look at risks around the project completing on time, schedule, and on budget.  Never have I looked at the risks to the organization if the project is a success.   

Barry Shore, PhD. wrote a few articles  which reinforce my developing belief we need to keep assessing the client need for the product of our project.  The articles are: NO ONE WANTS TO KILL A PROJECT, What We Learn from Case Studies, and Why It’s So Hard to Pull the Plug on a Failing Project.  This last article hit close to home since I am a continuous improvement project manager:

How many times have I heard the mantra of “continuous improvement” not only to keep hope alive for the Red Sox but to keep projects alive? How many times have project managers wanted more time to turn things around? How many times have they asked for more time to give their improvements a chance to show results!

I discovered Dr. Shore from his amazing article for the PMI Member Project Management Journal: Systematic biases and culture in project failures.

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Filed under Business, Communication, Improvements, Learn Leadership, PM Risks, Project Management, Reflection, Waste

Funny Project Picture


This is from an ad for Deltek.  I have been involved in a project where this was my reaction!  How about you?

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Filed under PM Risks, Project Management

Stack Your Deck

Have you ever had the threat of potential lay-off?  The threat may be real or just office folklore, but there are things you can do to stack the deck in your favor.

I worked at a company where the management announced lay-offs may happen due to divestiture shopping.  It was also possible the affected employees would have no change except for a different name on the paycheck.  The management team’s repeated phrase was “Wait to see the other card before you make a decision”.

I took umbrage at this.  So should you.

Their comment implies management controls the deck and your career.  This is not true.  As knowledge workers, we all control our career. 

To deal with the threat of being laid off, I recommend the same steps Project Managers use to deal with risks.  You can only choose one response to the threat and it will be based on your level of tolerance:

  1. Avoidance – Don’t put up with it.  Get your resume up-to-date, circulate it, and take the steps to leave your organization.
  2. Mitigation – Reduce the impact of the threat and increase your value.  I have seen valuable people get telecommuting or relocation offers within the new organization and they generally are the last people to be let go.
  3. Acceptance– Wait it out and see what if there is an offer or a nice severance.  Just remember to avoid a victim mentality.

I suggest reading Robert Scoble’s recent post What to do if you’re laid off in 2008 recession for some excellent advice.  A lot of his tips can be utilized as a way to keep yourself portable.

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Filed under Encouragement, Personal Development, PM Risks, Project Management