ten reasons projects fail

reason two: lack of visibility into the project

Following is a list of common problems I have encountered repeatedly in the software industry. Checkmark or mentally note each scenario below that is similar to one you have observed or encountered in your own industry: Continue reading

issue management

Have you ever voiced a concern to your boss, only to have her chastise you for bringing it up or worse, put you in charge of resolving it? Or maybe you ARE the boss and people are traipsing in and out of your office all day with every manner of issues and complaints. Neither situation is enviable or likely to make you feel appreciated and happy with your day.

I have experienced the bad end of both scenarios during my career, so I figured out a way to approach the situation that satisfies everyone involved and ensures issues are addressed more productively. Continue reading

10 reasons projects fail: CYA

We gathered for the teleconference call at the scheduled time. Everyone we expected from both locations was on time and connected in a matter of seconds. Excellent. I briefly reminded everyone of the purpose for the call and the issues we would address in the next half-hour. There were no questions, so I proceeded to the first issue: a small software application that still needed to be created before we could deliver our product to the customer. Continue reading

running efficient meetings

Meetings are one of the most time-consuming and costly activities in which we engage. How many times have you attended a meeting that was suppose to last 30 minutes, but you did not leave until 2 hours later? As an Executive or Manager, calculate how much money you are paying each individual in the room for that 1.5 hours of wasted time. How many times per week does this occur? Continue reading

grooming your next manager

Give Them a Management Compatibility Self-Test

Don walked into my office and told me he wanted to be a Manager. Although surprised, I was also excited to help my most dependable Senior Software Engineer make this transition, because I once stood in his shoes. We mapped out a transition plan and it only took a few weeks before the perfect opportunity surfaced to get us started. Continue reading

ten reasons projects fail

I have turned around numerous failing software projects in my career, each of which has been unique in terms of what was at stake, the technologies used, the type of product being developed, and of course the interpersonal dynamics of everyone connected to the project. However, the causal issues that drive these projects off track are often the same. This article will focus at a high level on ten (10) of the most common reasons I have found that projects fail. Continue reading

diffusing tense situations

It usually catches you by surprise. At its worst, someone is in your face with raised voice and threatening body language while you are frantically trying to work out in your mind exactly what happened to get you in this embarrassing and offensive situation. Less of a spectacle, but often just as troubling, is the person who shuts down and walks out. Even if you are simply a witness to a tense exchange, that exchange affects everyone within hearing or eyesight negatively. Continue reading

A software engineer’s definition of complete

A Software Engineer’s definition of “complete” is different from a Manager’s.

When you ask a Software Engineer (developer) if he has “completed” his work, do not walk away satisfied with an answer of “yes,” “almost,” or “90%.” You must be clear on what has been or is almost complete.

To understand a developer’s language, you have to understand the different phases of software product development. Continue reading