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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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Day of Gratitude 2014

We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in the UK but somehow we’ve managed to adopt the Black Friday sales madness and the shops were full of deals and people. Still, I can’t quite bring myself to post this on Thanksgiving, even though this show of appreciation has become a bit of an annual thing on A Girl’s… Continue Reading->

Get Your Projects Fit with The Lazy Project Manager

I am not fit. Since having my two boys I am heavier than I have ever been, except while pregnant. My only exercise is balancing in small spaces while standing on the train to work. I fuel getting up for the night feeds with cereal bars and chocolate croissants. Luckily, my projects are healthier than… Continue Reading->

Managing change on projects: James T. Brown at Synergy 2014

“We have to get them to want what we have to deliver,” said Dr. James T. Brown at the PMI UK Chapter event Synergy earlier this month. “We have to go through this process to prove you are a good person and to make them anticipate the deliverable.” He was talking about wooing. It’s what… Continue Reading->

Project Managing the Freezer [The Parent Project Month 21]

The house is in crisis. The middle pages of Percy And The Kite have fallen out. Without the mid-section, you have no way of knowing how Percy fares in the kite contest although he does look (spoiler alert) very pleased on the final page. The final page is sticky-taped to the back cover. That one… Continue Reading->

Synergy 2014: Conference Highlights

“When what you do is not unique, the way that you do it makes the difference.” That’s how Ricardo Triana, Chair of the 2014 PMI Board of Directors opened Synergy last Thursday. Synergy, organised by PMI’s UK Chapter, was attended by around 600 project managers from around Europe. “Project management,” Ricardo went on to say… Continue Reading->

Why Project Management Is Like Surviving The Hunger Games

**Spoiler alerts** Don’t read this if you haven’t read the first book of The Hunger Games series. It’s the UK general release of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 this week. Selecting the team for the District, planning for the Games, sharing a clear objective. Sounds like project management, doesn’t it? Here’s why project management… Continue Reading->