We all have heard about the disruptions that are impacting our society and the business world: robotics, machine learning, artificial intelligence, shared economy, blockchain, big data, augmented reality, and so on.

But, there is one disruption affecting our world that media and academia seem to have completely missed.

The Project Economy

For decades organizations have been run and structured in a very similar way: hierarchical; in which power, budgets and resources are divided over departments, the so-called “silos”.

Management and management theory was focused on how to run and optimize the business best in an ever during quest for efficiency. …


We’ve all witnessed projects in trouble-the ones that required a quick and firm intervention in need of help from a task force to bring it back on track.

No executive wants to be in such a difficult situation, especially not with one of his or her own projects.

But how do we, as the executive sponsor, handle saving a troubled project? Can it be as simple as mandating a task force?

Let’s start with exploring what a project task force is and when it could be useful.

A project task force starts with a mandate given by the organization’s project sponsor or senior leadership to an experienced leader with the goal of finding the best option for resolving a particular problem in a very short amount of time. …


A new year has just started, but also in 2021 companies will be talking about digital transformation often. I think digital transformation is a terrible description for what is just another transformation. See my article “ Digital Strategy Does Not Exist “ on why that is.

But we shall use the term for a moment to analyze the situation. Digital transformation is nothing new. It is a daily reality for all companies. Some are the disruptors and others are disrupted. And Covid made this even more clear.

All understand that digital transformation-not evolution-is required to maintain a competitive edge. …


I have had many heated discussions around these terms. People mix these up and it confuses your organization and its people.

This is my take on it.

If an organization is running many projects at the same time it is impossible to make the right decisions if all projects are performed in isolation. Therefore projects are managed in logical groups to use resources efficiently and effectively.

There are two kinds of such groups. Programs and portfolios.

The distribution of projects under a program or portfolio depends on the nature and the type of project. …


For many years, organizations, researchers, and practitioners have analyzed how to manage technology projects successfully.

Among them is the Standish Group, which regularly publishes its findings in its Chaos reports. In 1994, Standish reported a shocking project success rate of only 16 percent; another 53 percent of the projects were challenged, and 31 percent failed outright. In subsequent reports, Standish updated its findings, yet the numbers remained troublesome.

The numbers indicate large problems with technology projects and have had an enormous impact on software development and project management.

They suggest that the many efforts and best practices put forward to improve how companies manage and deliver technology projects are hardly successful. …


Any system is only as good as how well it is used. If it’s a CRM, ERP, or any other system, when users don’t know how to use the system effectively the benefits of the new system for your organization will be small, or even negative.

This means user enablement is critical to the success of a project.

It is not enough to simply have your new system in place two weeks before your go-live date.

Your users need to know:

1) Why you’re implementing the new system. When it comes to organizational changes and operational logistics, many employees will be instrumental in the change you’re promoting. …


Throughout the past 15 years that I’ve been working as an independent project recovery consultant and interim CIO, I have observed executives’ frustration — even exasperation — with information technology and their IT departments generally. Some of the more common refrains are:

“I don’t understand IT well enough to manage it.” “Although they work hard, my IT people don’t seem to understand the very real business problems we’re facing.”

In fact, the complaint I hear most often from CEOs, COOs, CFOs, and other high-ranking officers, is that they haven’t reaped the business value of their high-priced technology. …


After investing $367.5 million in a child support enforcement system, the only thing that the state of Texas has to show for is some hard-won lessons.

Initiated by the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) in 2007, “T2” aimed to deliver a secure, web-based system to automate manual functions, streamline daily operations, enable staff to manage case information online, and offer multiple platforms for parents to communicate with the Child Support Division (CSD). …


I work exclusively with executives and when there is one thing that I have learned over the years is that effective executives have at least a basic understanding about project management and their roles in it.

When you look in a dictionary for the word “executive” you will find an entry similar to the one below.

noun — a person with senior managerial responsibility in a business.

adjective — relating to or having the power to put plans or actions into effect.

An executive directs, plans, and coordinates operational activities for their organization and are normally responsible for devising policies and strategies to meet the organization’s goals. …


Many people and organizations seem to have serious trouble separating between the inputs, activities, outputs, outcomes, impact, and the results of a project.

This leads to lot’s of confusion, bad communication, disappointed project teams, and disappointed stakeholders.

Below you will find my take on these terms and their relevance for your project.

Inputs

Inputs are very often confused to be synonymous with activities. However, these terms are not interchangeable.

Inputs, in simple terms, are those things that we use in the project to implement it.

For example, in any project, inputs would include things like time of internal and/or external employees, finances in the form of money, hardware and/or software, office space, and so on. …

About

Henrico Dolfing

I help C-level executives in the financial service industry with interim management and recovering troubled technology projects.

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