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IT Project Leadership #1: How to stop corridor conversations becoming business expectations

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IT Project Leadership has never been more challenging and complex. In this, the first of a short series, I'm going to look at some of the issues that you and I face and share some solutions. If nothing, else let's acknowledge that the challenges are universal and take solace from the fact that it's ...
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Be an IT Project Marie Kondo - declutter your Portfolio

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When we're called in to rescue AWOL IT Projects we come across a lot of the usual suspects: scope creep; unrealistic budgets; overambitious timescales; etc. More recently though, we are seeing a new trend. Projects are failing just because they are heaving under unnecessary layers of CLUTTER! As IT ...
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Conflict - your greatest IT project opportunity?

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It's great when an IT Project progresses from implementation to delivery without a hitch, an event free ride from start to finish with no bumps in the road. Or is it? How does the word “Conflict” make YOU feel? I asked a few colleagues and their responses ranged from anxiety to aggression, from some...
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Successful IT Project Teams Watch Their Language

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"What can we do better?" "What's going wrong?" Both these questions were asked by different Project Managers leading IT Projects that were failing this year. Both had identified issues, both were keen to sort those issues out, both held almost identical team meetings to address the challenges. One w...
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Cultural fit is not a PMaaS luxury. It's a pillar of your partnership

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"As luck would have it, they fitted in perfectly!" This is one of my favourite bits of client feedback! It refers to a particularly successful deployment of Project Management as a Service resources. The email as a whole talks about the effectiveness of the talent, the extra experience and skills th...
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IT Project Perception and how misuse of '&' really lets you down

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Guest blog by Nicol Cutts – Stoneseed Head of Projects      I reviewed an initial project scope document for a Project Manager last week. In the four pages of text, there were 37 ‘&’s. So what? '&' or the ampersand is often misused and misunderstood. Largely thanks to social media communicat...
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IR35 and Private Sector IT. You Are Here!

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The Private Sector IR35 countdown clock is ticking louder and louder. Before you can say "non-compliant off-payroll Project Manager", it will be time for private firms to follow the Public Sector pioneers into this new world. It's come around quick, hasn't it? One of my accountant friends drily comm...
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Time for greater emphasis on IT Project WOMANagement?

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Guest blog by Nicol Cutts – Stoneseed Head of Projects        May 2019 sees the fifth, annual 'Women in Tech Festival' in Silicon Valley. Aptly, my invitation to attend dropped into my inbox at the same time as a reply to a question that I'd asked a CIO friend whose organisation has consistently hig...
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When riding your IT project cycle - do you know how or when to get off? The value of closeout

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When discussing Stoneseed's Project Management as a Service (PMaaS) solutions with clients I am always intrigued by the way they manage IT projects. In almost every case, the client will walk us through some form of lifecycle, typically composing four stages that can be loosely labelled along the fo...
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Knock, knock. Who's there? The no joke approach to improving IT Project performance

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At a wedding recently, the nephew of the bride was a bit of a comedian. He was about nine years old, with a cheeky smile and we genuinely laughed when he bounded up and delivered this joke! "Knock, knock!" "Who’s there?" we replied. "Hatch" "Hatch who?" "Bless you!" he said drily, handing us a handk...
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Is IT Project Management doing enough to make Tim Berners-Lee proud?

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I started to write this on the day that the world's media declared that the "internet turned 30". OK, without getting nerdy, although the terms are often used interchangeably, March 12, was actually the 30th anniversary of the World Wide Web. But hey, semantics – right?! Whatever you want to call it...
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Which IT Project Methodology? Waterfall – why and why not?

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In a recent 'flyover' of IT Project Methodologies, I promised that I would return to each individually and assess their advantages and disadvantages. In this, the first in a series of posts, let's take a look at Waterfall.  Waterfall. What Is It, When Should You Use It? 1970 was quite a year for fir...
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IT Project Portfolio Management. Less is more. Now isn't that ironic. Don't you think?

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My friend tells the story of a 4x4 SSV he used to own. Famous marque, I won't name them, but not a cheap car AT ALL! The vehicle developed a fault, the reverse light wasn't working and there was a considerable delay between changing gear and the dashboard display registering the gear you were in. He...
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The rising value of the IT Business Analyst

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The evolution of the IT Business Analyst role is increasingly seeing the job description stretch beyond the "IT" further into the "Business" territory. This means greater career prospects for analysts but also real challenges for businesses who do not have a character like this on their team. It's a...
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Five shortcuts to managing IT Project stakeholder expectation

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I've noticed a bit of a trend. Of the IT Projects that I've seen fall into ‘special measures’ of late, they've all had something in common - a gap between stakeholder expectation and reality. It's actually (paradoxically) both easy and hard to nail this. Some project teams struggle but, like with mo...
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IT Project Leaders must be quick off the blocks, on your marks ...

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Oh my!! Have you seen the video of 7-year-old runner Rudolph 'Blaze' Ingram who sprinted 100 metres in just 13.48 seconds? It's fascinating to watch this young Florida athlete speed out of the blocks; and after clocking up thousands and thousands of Instagram views, as I write this, he has made the ...
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The IT PMO type that delivers most value is ...

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For a Project Management Office (PMO) to deliver peak value it needs to be designed to support the unique needs of its parent organisation and also to operate at a level that the organisation can easily understand and work with. Even as I wrote the sentence above it felt such an obvious thing to say...
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Reframing dysfunctional beliefs could save your IT project

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Working with IT project teams for many years now, I've noticed an easily fixed issue that crops up in struggling projects year after year. I'm sure that I've written about it before, probably more than once and as it just happened again, I thought it worth a fresh reminder. IT Projects are being cho...
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IT Projects and business value – The importance of a Strategic PMO

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Business strategic alignment. This is a drum that I've been banging for a long time. If the outcomes of your IT projects do not translate into benefits for your business - what's the point? Sounds so obvious but time after time project management teams end up not working in cohesion with their paren...
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Decisions, Decisions, Decisions. What IT Project Management methodology is best?

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Decisions, decisions, decisions. Life is all about choices. Some are more important than others and choosing the right Project Management methodology, for instance, is crucial. I am often asked what methodology is best and my answer is always - it depends. Each project is different and therefore the...
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Latest Blog Posts

June 2019
IT Project Leadership has never been more challenging and complex.In this, the first of a short series, I'm going to look at some of the issues that you and I face a...

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