The Portfolio of Programs and Projects as a Network

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This is an incredible time and an incredibly challenging time for project, program, and portfolio managers. If this sounds a little like Charles Dickens’ opening line for A Tale of Two Cities, then you’re spot on. It is the best of times for innovations (big data and data analytics, quantifying risks, and organizational analysis, to name a few) in project, program, and portfolio management and managing a project or a portfolio of programs and projects that can harness these and other innovations, but it’s also the worst of times because project, program, and portfolio managers are expected to deliver successful outcomes for their companies, stakeholders, and constituencies despite managing in an environment of financial and resource austerity. The mantra is not so much “Do more with less” as it is “Do a lot more with what you have because that’s all you’re getting, and we need results.” (more…)

Russia, the Ukraine, and the Escalation to Cyber War

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Russia is at it again – fighting with its neighbors and encouraging others to join the fray. In addition to the fighting on the ground, the conflict has spread into cyberspace. Is this cyber conflict, cyber-attacks, or a prelude to cyber war? The international community and security experts have made progress towards defining cyber war, but are not quite there yet. Despite the gravity of the attacks between the nation states of Russia and Ukraine, experts have yet to agree on what to call the cyber activity that occurs whenever Russia is involved in a conflict with one of the former members of the Soviet Union. (more…)

Risk or Uncertainty?

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Risk is associated with most everything we do. The future is always unknown but does that make it “uncertain”? When we do not know what a future outcome will be, yet we understand the probability associated with a particular outcome, we have risk but we do not have uncertainty. For example, we never know what exactly what the roll of a dice will be, but we do know it will be one of six choices. Does this make the outcome uncertain? Of course not, we know the result will be a 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6. Call that risk but do not call that uncertainty. (more…)

The Evolution of GRC

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“Was all this legal? Absolutely not.” – Jordan Belfort, The Wolf of Wall Street.

For those who haven’t seen Leonardo DiCaprio’s latest film, The Wolf of Wall Street – the premise of the movie could be summed up in that sentence alone. The film tells the story of the rise and fall of Jordan Belfort – Wall Street tycoon who made and lost his millions creating an  incredibly corrupt stock brokering organization – Stratton Oakmont.

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How I Met…Cask

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One of the things that fascinates me the most about ServiceNow is not the tool or the platform, neither the applications nor the power of the technology. What truly fascinates me  is the ServiceNow community. ServiceNow created technology where the foundation of the platform is all about collaboration within the tool, but they have extended this notion far beyond the platform. There are going to be over 6000, (yes you read that correctly) over 6000 people in attendance for the upcoming Knowledge 14 conference next week in San Francisco! This is the biggest conference focused on Service Management, period. Why are all of these people coming?

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Economic Benefits Analysis? Where do I Start?

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In my last post on March 5, 2014, I discussed the differences and similarities between Cost Estimation/Analysis and Economic Benefits Analysis. Further, I introduced the concept of Capabilities Based Benefits Analysis (CBBA) and how estimating the economic and non-economic benefits of a program, project, or other investment presents its own challenges in contrast to those facing the cost estimator. Ok, so this all sounds great, but where do I start? (more…)

Project in Progress

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Project Management best practices such as PMBOK and PRINCE2 encourage the creation of important artifacts during early stages of a project’s life. These artifacts, such as a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), Project Management Plan, or Project Controls are intended to be referenced and updated throughout the project lifecycle, guiding the execution.

BUT…What happens if you are assigned to work on a project in progress and these foundational project elements do not exist, are incomplete, or lack fidelity?

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Cyber Security: Is There a Recipe?

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Department of Defense (DoD) Acquisition professionals continue to be challenged with integrating cyber security in their programs. If you’ve heard the cliché once, you’ve heard it 678 times: “cyber security should be baked in from the beginning, not bolted on at the end.” Baked not bolted…that’s certainly a catchy, albeit overused, analogy that we can all agree with, right? It just makes sense… and there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that it saves money too. Well then, why do we continue to see trends of cyber professionals employed as cyber mechanics instead of cyber chefs? (more…)

Communication, Engagement, and Enrollment – Three Components for Successful Change

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In too many engagements over the past few years I’ve run across “Organizational Change Management Plans” that are more so communication plans with a marketing spin. It’s as if we can create change just by telling people in a convincing enough way that the new behaviors the organization seeks are cutting edge, best-practice compliant, and successfully used everywhere but here. If that were true, no one would smoke and no one would drink. Over the years, evidence has continued to be communicated that quitting smoking and moderating alcohol intake are best practices for good health, yet many people still smoke and drink… some of us with great gusto! It’s not January 1st, so I’m not trying to solve the smoking and drinking challenge, but that challenge is similar to organizational change – both require people to do behave differently. The point above applies to both challenges – telling people what they need to do, however convincing you can be, isn’t enough. (more…)