From time to time we'll add new articles, papers which we have written and any new happenings in Thomsett INTERNATIONAL and it's clients.
Project Pathology: Causes and Symptoms of Project Failure
Sick projects die the same way as other projects die. If you are interested in the four stages of "project death" and other macabre behaviors, read our new article.
Indy Risk School
Organizations have been practicing risk management for many years. For
example, in the financial sector, there is a highly formalized process of
risk assessment and risk control in lending. But what about the risks surrounding
the management of projects? See this article to gain a clearer understanding of
the management of project risks.
Managing Large Projects
There are three major criteria and two secondary criteria involved in
defining project size. The major criteria are development effort,
development time-scale and, for software projects, application size. The
secondary criteria are technology risk and organization impact.
In the 1990's, many of the project management practices being applied in
business and administrative projects are still based on traditional
engineering and construction project management concepts unchanged from
While, the underlying concepts of project management such as estimating
and scheduling of tasks via Gantt charts are still valid, many of the
traditional project management concepts are blindly implemented in
contemporary organisations without little critical evaluation of their
relevance to the complex and dynamic projects of the 1990's.
the Sponsor You Need
One of the most difficult problems for a project manager is to find the
correct project sponsor and to have that person undertake the role of a
project sponsor effectively. This new article covers a series of tips and
tricks for getting a more powerful sponsor for your project. It's very
controversial .. as usual.
The Team is dead... long live the Virtual
We have made available Robs presentation at the American Programmer Summit in
Boston earlier this year on a new phenomenon "The Virtual Team". As usual, the
presentation and paper created quite a stir. However, it is our experience that the
majority of project teams in the late 1990s are Virtual Teams. Read, digest, discuss
with your team and enjoy.
Into the Twilight Zone
Most of the project managers we meet in workshops have been promoted from technical work
to project management. In this article, we examine the apparent inability of most
organisations to value the unique nature of project management. We also discuss what we
feel should be key skills of project managers.
The apparent inability of I.T. people to accurately estimate the effort, time and cost of
I.T. projects has remained an insolvable problem. In interview after interview with
business people, our group has found that poor estimation is one of the major factors in
the breakdown of relationships between I.T. people and their clients.
OUTSOURCING: The Great Debate
Hardly a day goes by without some news article about another mega outsourcing deal.
Typically, the coverage of the issues of outsourcing [especially within IT] reflects the
"sound bite" mentality of most popular media. Trivial and biased. Well, if you
want to read an independent and heavily researched view on the pros and cons of
outsourcing check out our new article. For dummies who are too busy, the short answer is
that "outsourcing IT is a disaster waiting to happen".
Out of the Pit
The image of the quiet achiever has always been something that many Australians treasure.
However, in the computing and general project area, the quiet achiever syndrome has become
dysfunctional. For most people, the image of computing is the beaming face of Bill Gates.
While we admire both Gates and his company, we believe that it is time that we get
aggressive and promote another set of "icons". The hard working project manager
and his or her team.
Crossing the line
Have you ever had that sinking and really bad feeling that what you're about to do at work
is not quite "proper"? It happens a lot, doesn't it? Your boss is pressuring you
for an estimate and you know that you are about to make up a number. What do you do? Check
out our new article on ethics and other messy stuff.
What turns on a team?
So how do you motivate a team?
You can't ... team members decide to motivate themselves. This article explains how you
can use a project's objectives and benefits to help team members get motivated.
Business and Information Technology Professionals:
An Evolutionary Perspective
What is HAPPENING to your clients or users? Why are they threatening you with outsourcing?
Why are they pushing impossible deadlines on you? Have they been abducted by aliens? This
article explains the cultural wars that have been seething between IT and their business
clients over the past 30 years?
It's the expectations, stupid!
Having trouble with your clients and their difficulty in specifying their requirements?
JOIN THE CLUB! In this article, we discuss various tricks and techniques for getting a
better handle on your client's expectations.