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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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Free project action log template

My To Do list is massive. So I have developed an action log to control my tasks. I copy and paste actions from conference calls, steering group meetings, team meetings and those chance conversations you have in the corridor into this. I can filter it by task owner when I am talking to someone and… Continue Reading->

Giveaway: Get Fit with the Lazy Project Manager

I interviewed Peter Taylor, otherwise known as The Lazy Project Manager, last month. He shared some tips on how to manage project health checks. I have a copy of his book, Get Fit with the Lazy Project Manager, to give away. Contact me with the phrase, "I'm a bit fit" and I'll add you to… Continue Reading->

What George Orwell Can Teach Us About Project Management

This is a guest contribution by Mark Phillips, PMP. “What is above all needed is to let the meaning choose the word, and not the other way about.” George Orwell George Orwell’s essay, Politics and the English Language, is the last essay in his wonderful Penguin Book called “[amazon text=Why I Write&asin=014101900X]” In the essay… Continue Reading->

Women in IT Awards: the results

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What I’m reading: January 2015

This post contains affiliate links.                 I’ve complained before about not having much time to read but things are getting better now I have shifted my commute so I actually get a seat on the train in the mornings. I cannot adequately explain how much better this makes my day, even though it means leaving the… Continue Reading->

5 Things Better Than Conference Calls

I spend a lot of time on conference calls, especially now I am lucky enough to work from home. If I’m completely honest, I know how to use my mute button without even looking at the phone. It’s useful for blowing my nose and slurping tea but also for making sure other people can’t hear… Continue Reading->