Project Manager – The DIRECT(or)

So I learned this cool acronym for the roles of a project manager:


The project manager directs the project (similar to a director who is the project manager of a movie).

Here is how the project manager DIRECTs the project:

Define – Identify the opportunity or issue that the project will address including, the vision, scope, resources, and measures of success. (i.e. the “Charter”).

Investigate – Explore options and pros/cons for each (i.e. an “Analysis of Alternatives”).

Resolve – Solve and resolve (i.e. commit to) the course of action that will be pursued (i.e. “Project Plan”).

Execute -Do the project and track/manage cost, schedule, scope, quality, risks, and actions items (i.e. “Scorecard”).

Change – Identify process and technology techniology changes, test these, fix outstanding items, and make the cutover (i.e. “User Acceptance Testing,” “Punch List,” and “Go Live Plan”).

Transition – Migrate people to the new solution, communicate the changes, overcome resistance, and conclude the project (i.e. “Communications Plan” and “Lessons Learned”).

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)


Worth The Squeeze

I like this saying that I heard.

“The juice has to be worth the squeeze.”

It’s a little like the corollary to “If something is worth doing, then it’s worth doing right.”

Spending time and effort has to show commensurate results or why the heck are you doing it?

Probably always good to reevaluate where you’re getting the “most bang for the buck,” so you’re not “just spinning your wheels.”

With all the sayings about what we do and whether it’s really worth it, there is probably some good reason to be concerned about whether or not you spending your time productively or just acting insane, because: 

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Results matter–so make sure your achieving them or go do something else you enjoy and that’s ultimately worth the squeeze! 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The View From Upfront and Behind

Thought this was a smart saying from a colleague:

“If you ain’t the lead dog, the view doesn’t change.”

What the dogs upfront and those behind them see are quite a different view. 

It’s important for the lead dogs to guide the other dogs in a good direction and stay clear from obstacles. 

We may not all see the same thing, but whatever our viewpoints are, we all have to work together and pull our hardest towards progress. 

It’s a race to the finish–and finish strong and together we all must. 😉

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Natalia Kollegova)

Anything Is Possible

So you’re all aware of the 3 legs of project management:

– Cost

– Schedule

– Scope

I remember learning the adage that if you change any one of these then there is an impact on the others. 

For example, if you “crash” the timeline on a project to finish more quickly, then you either need more money or you need to reduce the scope. 

Similarly, if you want to cut costs on the project then you may have to extend the timeline or scale back on the requirements. 

Recently, I heard someone says the following:

“We can do anything with enough time and resources.”

And when I thought about this, it’s true enough.

If you provide more money and time for a project then, of course, you can do more in terms of the scope of the project.

Pour enough bucks and time into something and conceptually, we really can do anything. 

Technically, we can do the proverbial “anything,” but that’s only if the politics and infighting don’t get in the way of  progress. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Supervisors vs. Team Leaders

Supervisors vs Team Leaders.jpeg

Here is a comparison of the roles and responsibilities of supervisors and team leaders. 

Often there can be confusion over who is supposed to do what. 

This table should help clarify what supervisors and team leaders do in terms of strategic planning, work assignments, resource management, employee training, and performance management. 

I hope you find this a helpful resource, and that you can organize your staff more efficiently and productively 😉

(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)

People, Process, and Technology Lifecycles


The table describes the alignment of the various people, process, and technology lifecycles commonly used in Information Technology to the CIO Support Services Framework (CSSF).

The CIO Support Services Framework describes the six key functional roles of the Office of Chief Information Officer (OCIO)–it includes:

1) Enterprise Architecture (Architect)

2) Capital Planning and Investment Control (Invest)

3) Project Management Office (Execute)

4) CyberSecurity (Secure)

5) Business Performance Management (Measure)

6) IT Service (and Customer Relationship) Management (Service)

All these OCIO Functions align to the lifecycles for process improvement (Process), project management (People), and systems development (Technology).

– The Deming Life Cycle describes the steps of total quality management and continuous process improvement (Kaizen) in the organization.

– The Project Management Life Cycle describes the phases of managing (IT) projects.

– The Systems Development Life Cycle describes the stages for developing, operating and maintaining application systems.

Note: I aligned cybersecurity primarily with doing processes, executing projects, and designing/developing/implementing systems.  However, cybersecurity really runs through all phases of the lifecycles!

My hope is that this alignment of people, process, and technology life cycles with the roles/functions of the OCIO will help bridge the disciplines and make it easier for people to understand the underlying commonalities between them and how to leverage the phases of each with the others, so that we get more success for our organizations! 😉

(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)

Reading Your Emails


So you know you typically get a message when you log on your computer at work that there is “no expectation of privacy.”

Meaning…you’re on the corporate network and so remember that you can be monitored. 

Well we all read that warning and sort of know it by heart.

But do you really think that someone is watching you.

Well be assured that they are!

Talking to one of my colleagues and friends recently and this is what happened.

He had to fire one of his senior guys. 

And I asked him why?

He said:

“Because he was dead wood.”

I asked what he meant as this was a senior person in the organization that was being let go.

So he said:

“Well I read the last few days of his emails on his account and he was doing absolutely nothing!”

And I was like hmm, that’s amazing that you actually go into his account and read his stuff.

Yeah, I know it’s not really his employees–the guy is at work–but still it’s his email account that he uses, seriously.

So it’s not just some corporate spooks sitting in the bowls of the building in a darkened security operations center behind a lot of cool looking screens monitoring your accounts for suspicious activity.

It’s your management too that can logon and see and read your stuff, whenever.

So this guy that was fired wasn’t just dead wood, he was actually dead meat. 

“Smile you’re on camera” in more ways then one.

So if you decide to write some juicy emails today or save some salacious files on “your” computer or on the network, the expectation surely is that they are being read–you can take that to your privacy bank. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)