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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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Giveaway: Supercommunicator

Earlier this year I reviewed Supercommunicator: Explaining The Complicated So Anyone Can Understand by Frank J. Pietrucha. Now I have a copy to give away. Use the contact form to get in touch with the phrase "I'm a supercommunicator" by Wednesday 12 November 2014 and I will enter you into the draw. Normal giveaway rules… Continue Reading->

Book review: Trust in Virtual Teams

Trust matters because it helps build a resilient project team. It helps get things done. Trusted team members not only do only what is asked, but what the project needs them to do, because they know that the project manager will trust their decisions and actions.  Trust is a shortcut to better working relationships and… Continue Reading->

The Mr Tumble Approach to Project Management (The Parent Project Month 20)

I said we’d never resort to television while Jack is still under 2, it’s not good for his development, language learning, he’s too young, blah blah blah. But we’ve soon found out that the gap between the end of his nap around 4pm and tea at 5.30pm is awful. So hello, Mr Tumble. You are… Continue Reading->

Better stakeholder engagement: Interview with Oana Krogh-Nielsen

Oana Krogh-Nielsen, Head of PMO for the National Electrification Program at Banedanmark, is speaking at Nordic Project Zone next week and I was lucky enough to catch up with her to ask about the amazing projects she is working on. Here’s what she had to say. Hello Oana! Let’s get started: can you explain your… Continue Reading->

How to build your project management network

This is a guest post by Bruce Harpham. In the project management world, people come and go. In a matter of a few weeks, you can become close with your project team. In some cases, you may see more of your project team than your family on particularly demanding projects. But what happens when the… Continue Reading->

5 Steps for identifying project dependencies and constraints

Earlier this week I looked briefly at an introduction to dependencies and constraints on project and why they matter. Today I’m going to share a 5-step approach to identifying and reviewing all the dependencies and constraints on your project. If that sounds daunting, don’t worry. It’s a much faster task than you think. Now you… Continue Reading->