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What is OTOBOS?

OTOBOS is On Time, On Budget, On Scope. This definition of what makes a project successful misses out quality, happy stakeholders and a whole host of stuff, but it’s a good starting point.

If you can deliver OTOBOS, chances are that you are doing something right.

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OTOBOS and nems au chocolat

Part of a PMs role is to educate our colleagues in what PM means as a discipline. That you can’t just change the scope and give us no more resources. That you have to sign of a plan before we can start work on it. I had someone email me this week with comments on a requirements document asking me to include project deliverables, the budget and the schedule. In a requirements document. I’m not usually abrupt (although my French tends to make me come across that way!) but I sent a clear message back saying that those things were in the project initiation document. Or would be, if we could agree on what this project was supposed to do, who was running it and who was paying for it. But that’s another story…

I had dinner this week with the CEO of Frantec, a Dutch interim management and PM consultancy company. He and I met on a training course in Bordeaux a few years back, and have stayed in contact. His company is doing OK, and we talked about all the normal things PMs talk about: family, sailing, moving house. It was great to have a conversation in English with someone fluent and not have to slow down or use straightforward sentence construction so he could understand – and dinner out not eating French food. The Thai round the corner from the office is really good, although I thought the portions were a bit on the small side. The nems au chocolat were worth it though.

It’s been a hectic week (trying to put a procedure in place so we don’t accidentally delete countries from our database any more) and I was pleased to get out. My ‘network’, although that’s a bit of a grand phrase, is important to me as it constantly makes me realise that being OTOBOS is a challenge, and that other people are out there doing it to. And that there are some real dinosaurs in the business world that we have to work with like it or not – everyone seems to have colleagues who don’t understand PM and what we are trying to do for them.

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Reinventing Communication [Book review]

"If we spend 90 percent of our time on communication, it makes sense to have a method to figure out if we are spending out time wisely and, if we are not, what we can do to improve communication," writes Mark Phillips in his book, Reinventing Communication. That sounds sensible, so I was keen to… Continue Reading->

Free project status report template

As project managers, we have a lot of reporting to do. So why not make life a bit easier? Here’s a free project status report template based on one I use myself for weekly updates. You can adapt it as you see fit to ensure it covers things your stakeholders would like to hear about… Continue Reading->

Coaching: Buy 4 weeks, get one free

  If you have been thinking about how to boost your project management career in 2015, then this might help. I'm offering new coaching sign ups a week free when you buy 4 weeks. I offer an online, e-coaching service. I'm your online coach and you’ll get all your project-related questions answered on a daily… Continue Reading->

15 Communication Hacks to try in 2015

Want to get ahead with your project communications this year? Here are 15 hacks to try in the coming months. The milestone tracker I use is a simple Excel spreadsheet. It lists the milestones in one column, organised by project phase. It also includes the name of the person responsible, the target date and any… Continue Reading->

10 Must-Attend Project Management Conferences for 2015

Is your diary blossoming with project management events yet? Here are a few conferences that I think it's worth packing a bag for. This is the third year that Project Zone Congress has been held in Germany and I’ve been fortunate enough to interview some of the speakers (like Kevin Baker and Wilhelm Kross) –… Continue Reading->

15 Ways to Stay Organised at Work During 2015

This post is part of a blogger link up with my friends at Elite Blogging Academy, which is a blogging course I'm currently taking (and that's my affiliate link). Start 2015 as you mean to go on with these tips for getting organised at work. Make this your most organised work year ever! Well, you… Continue Reading->