Friday, January 25, 2002

The topic of the day is process improvement, with a good dose of project management wisdom tossed in for good measure. Starting off, Performance Architecture: Aligning the Work, Worker and Workplace is a PDF document that lays out how to accomplish just what the title promises. As IT professionals the People Capability Maturity Model (P-CMM) is another resource that provides specific guidance for organizational excellence. The P-CMM is currently in version 2.0. Two additional documents that I recommend are:
  1. Improving Business Performance Through the Use of Statistical Thinking, which is a PowerPoint presentation that introduces statistical thinking as an organizational discipline
  2. Total Quality Management in Projects - this article bridges organizational excellence and my next topic
Most IT organizations are focused on projects. Many IT professionals, however, are not trained in project management. The remedy for that glaring problem is well beyond the scope of a weblog entry, but this PowerPoint presentation titled Minimal Project Management for IT Professionals is a step in the right direction. Project Screening: How to say no without hurting your career is another gem that all project managers should read because having projects that are doomed from the start rammed down our throats is an all-too-common occurrence. Along those lines, Six Ways IT Projects Fail also points out some of the pitfalls we face and how to avoid them, and Patterns of Project Management Risk Reduction is valuable, especially if you're familiar with design patterns. Learning from the best reinforces good practices. NASA is one organization that is unarguably world-class. Their 100 Rules for Project Managers has been publicly available for years and most seasoned PMs have a copy tucked away. It is also one of the most comprehensive PM checklists you'll find. When all else fails, however, you might find Kym Henderson's presentation on Project Recovery helpful. Let's hope you never need to read this one in a panic state.

Two additional resources that I like that fit the theme of this entry are The Shangrila of ROI, which is slanted towards SQA, but is applicable to other activities, and a quick article about business case analysis.

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