The Project Management Office (PMO) as a pop-up shop (Book Review)

Overview

  • This book aims to help PMO people to set up and manage a temporary PMO that effectively supports the associated project or programme.
  • The book targets anyone involved in setting up or running a temporary PMO, based on IPMA and P3O.

Continue reading “The Project Management Office (PMO) as a pop-up shop (Book Review)”

5 Lessons I learned writing a book about learning lessons

I recently published my book Learning Lessons from Projects: How it works, why it goes wrong, and how you can do it better.


My former colleague Andrew Fleming commented “Well done on the book. What lessons did you learn from writing it?”

As that’s a really good question, I thought I’d answer it properly in the form of this blog post.

So what did I learn? Here are my top five learning points. Continue reading “5 Lessons I learned writing a book about learning lessons”

Learning lessons from projects

I have been working on writing a book on learning lessons from projects, and various resources to accompany it.

I’m delighted to be able to tell you that the book Learning Lessons from Projects: How it works, how it goes wrong, and how you can do it better is now finished and available to buy in both Kindle and paperback formats on Amazon.

I’ve always had something of a bee in my bonnet about lessons learned.

It saddens me to think that many organisations don’t fully exploit the learning that passes under their noses every day from running projects. I have long thought that there must be something we can do to improve the situation.

So I wrote this book, to provide to project managers and PMO people some pragmatic pointers on (mostly simple) things they can do right now to improve the way that their organisation learns from running projects.

As part of the process, I have:

  • Created three prototypes of lessons learned databases that you can build yourself (in a spreadsheet, in Trello®, and in Microsoft® SharePoint®) with instructions on how to do it yourself.
  • Created a companion web page to host some of the resources I talk about in the book.
  • Proposed a simple video interview format as an alternative to the traditional Lessons Learned report
  • Recorded a series of videos using that format so you can see what they look like, and
  • Made the audio from the interviews available as a podcast that you can download and listen to

So that you can judge for yourself whether they would be useful.

You can take a sneak peek inside the book using this Kindle previewer:

I hope you find the book interesting, and a useful addition to your PMO bookshelf.

Book Launch – “Learning Lessons from Projects: How it works, how it goes wrong, and how you can do it better”

I’m delighted to announce the launch of my new book at London’s premier free project management show Project Challenge.

Organisations that run projects have experience and useful knowledge passing right under their noses every day, but so often the value in this experience goes to waste because of a failure to take appropriate action.

This book looks at how organisations learn from the experience of running projects, and how this can go wrong. It looks into how failures can creep in at the various stages of the learning process, and offers to project managers and project management office (PMO) people some practical suggestions as to how to make things better.

Including how to create your own Lessons Learned repository in each of three different platforms, and some social approaches to take.

It’s available exclusively from Amazon in both paperback and Kindle versions:

You can preview the content here:

Agile Retrospectives: Making good teams great (Book Review)

Overview

  • The aim of the book is to introduce a structure for retrospectives and to walk the reader through planning, designing and leading a retrospective, with activities and guidance on how to use them
  • The book appears to be aimed at people who want to use retrospectives in their organizations, whether these organisations are currently using Agile techniques or not.

Continue reading “Agile Retrospectives: Making good teams great (Book Review)”

Black Box Thinking: Marginal Gains and the Secrets of High Performance (Book Review)

Overview

  • This very popular book looks at the relationships between success, failure, and improvement.

  • Drawing from approaches used by aviation and sport, it suggests ways to improve how we think about our experience to learn how to do things better.
  • Unusually for a book review on this blog, this book is not aimed at project management professionals particularly, but falls more into the category of “general self help”. I reviewed it because so many of my project management professional friends told me that I should read it (including the PMO Flashmob Book Club night)!

Continue reading “Black Box Thinking: Marginal Gains and the Secrets of High Performance (Book Review)”

How to trace predecessors and successors in MS-Project ®

Part of a series on customising Microsoft® Project® to make working with project schedules more useful.

How to trace predecessors and successors in MS-Project

This post describes how to trace predecessors and successors in MS-Project using a clever little VBA macro.

Continue reading “How to trace predecessors and successors in MS-Project ®”

How to set up time-boxed look-ahead views in MS-Project ® using compound task filters

Part of a series on customising Microsoft® Project® to make working with project schedules more useful.

How to set up time-boxed look-ahead views in MS-Project using compound task filters

This post describes how to set up time-boxed “look-ahead” views in Microsoft® Project® (schedule extracts showing upcoming tasks), by customising filters to use an OR operator between criteria.

Continue reading “How to set up time-boxed look-ahead views in MS-Project ® using compound task filters”

How to set up custom Gantt chart views in MS-Project ®

Part of a series on customising Microsoft® Project® to make working with project schedules more useful.

This post describes how to set up custom Gantt chart views to present schedule extracts based on the Live project schedule data, filtered and formatted to suit particular stakeholder audiences.

So why would you want to use this approach, how do you do it, and what’s in it for you as a result? Continue reading “How to set up custom Gantt chart views in MS-Project ®”

How to create PDF Gantt chart extracts with dynamic labels in MS-Project ®

Part of a series on customising Microsoft® Project® to make working with project schedules more useful.

This post describes how to generate universally-readable “soft” PDF Gantt charts to circulate to stakeholders, with dynamically generated labels that provide them with useful information about the view, and provide you with useful information about how you might re-create the view.

How to create PDF Gantt chart extracts with dynamic labels in MS-Project®

So why would you want to use this approach, how do you do it, and what’s in it for you as a result? Continue reading “How to create PDF Gantt chart extracts with dynamic labels in MS-Project ®”