Monthly Archives: April 2011

The Critical Path In Practise

This video shows the Canadian Army Engineers disassembling and reassembling a jeep in under 4 minutes.  It can be hard to describe what the result of efficient project scheduling looks like, this video does it nicely.

from Product by Process via kottke.org

The Value of Redundant Communication

A recent academic study has shown that project managers without direct (managerial) authority over project teams are more likely to use redundant communication to get their message across.

For example, they might use both an email and an IM to transmit the same message to the same person. The redundancy doesn’t necessarily achieve better results, but the work gets done faster. See the full article here.

Visualization Of A Troubled Project

In case you haven’t seen it previously, this is a clever visualization of the problems of project management communications.

Being Generous With The Credit

“It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” Harry S. Truman

What do you care more about: getting results or retaining ownership?

Characteristics of Great Projects

Professors Driv and Shenhar recently performed an analysis of what makes a great projects, which you can see here. Much of what they found is expected around culture, comprehensive planning, clear goals, and management support. However, although they identify a great project as creating something new, it was surprising how many of these projects leveraged ideas from other areas.

For example:

  • Boeing 777 (pictured below) used custom software from Dassault Systems.
  • World Trade Center used Italian technology to manage bedrock water levels.
  • iPod/iTunes design used existing technology from Fuse/PortalPlayer.

This reinforces the idea that what is new is often a clever combination of existing ideas.