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© Copyright 2008 Sapient Corporation Examining the Courageous Project Manager November 6, 2008
© Copyright 2008 Sapient Corporation 2 Agenda Background and context (5 minutes) 3 Characteristics of the Courageous Project Manager (10 minutes) How organizations drive away Courageous Project Managers (10 minutes) Questions (5 minutes)
© Copyright 2008 Sapient Corporation 3 Sapient Company Information Sapient Today people 23 offices worldwide (13 North America, 7 Europe, 3 Asia) 2007 revenue of $546M 2007 highest client win rates in history 35% year over year service revenue growth rate Two groups: Interactive and Consulting Engagement success rate nearly 3x industry average In 1990, we founded Sapient on a single promise – To do whatever it takes to deliver the right business results, on time and on budget. To deliver on that promise “We leverage a unique approach, breakthrough thinking, and disciplined execution.”
© Copyright 2008 Sapient Corporation 4 Sapient is a global services firm that finds opportunities for clients at the intersection of business, marketing and technology. Sapient Consulting Business & IT Strategy Business Applications Business Intelligence Package Implementation Outsourcing Sapient Interactive Interactive Marketing & Creative Services Web Design & Interactive Development Media Planning, Buying and Optimization Marketing Technologies Strategic Planning and Marketing Analytics
© Copyright 2008 Sapient Corporation 3 Characteristics of the Courageous Project Manager
© Copyright 2008 Sapient Corporation 6 Transparency Courageous Project Managers (CPM) practice near* complete transparency with stakeholders, team members, and the organization at large CPMs understand transparency can be painful but that it reduces barriers to communication, builds trust, and accelerates consensus building & decision making
© Copyright 2008 Sapient Corporation 7 Good versus Evil – Knowing what is good and doing it Most IT managers we see understand what they should be doing and choose*, or are compelled, to do the wrong thing CPMs focus on: Setting expectations that requirements will change, problems will occur, and that to be successful stakeholders have to commit Investing time upfront to setup the project or program for success Quality is something that is practiced every day and not done at the end (or not at all) Delivering software quickly and iteratively, at high quality, and with frequent changes is possible if you zealously focus on the basics, but impossible if you don’t In a recent survey CIOs were asked, “What is the Perceived Importance of Software Quality Assurance (SQA) in Your Organization?” – Only 29% said it was part of their fundamental processes – Even worse 40% said it was a nice to have or that it didn’t have a defined importance
© Copyright 2008 Sapient Corporation 8 Failing Fast Not all projects or programs get approved based on a valid set of assumptions or workable business case The courageous project manager knows that: Their project may be a loser They must vocally advocate the project be cancelled as soon as the last reasonable chance for success has pasted If their project is destined to fail the organization must find out as quickly as possible in order to minimize the investment lost A healthy trend to see in a maturing organization is an increase in the number of projects cancelled but the investment lost per cancelled project shrinking significantly
© Copyright 2008 Sapient Corporation How organizations drive away Courageous Project Managers
© Copyright 2008 Sapient Corporation 10 How organizations drive away CPMs Lack of emotional maturity How does an organization take bad news or setbacks? How many projects get cancelled? Is there always a negative stigma attached to the people associated with cancelled projects? Is complete transparency something that stakeholders can stomach? Organizing people and projects into functional silos Analysts pass it to Architects who pass it to Developers who pass it to Testers Taking on too many projects People split their time between 3, 4, or more projects. Work in progress swells, productivity drops Perpetuates “loser” projects – project cancelation comes too slowly or not at all Acceptance of mediocrity – what is an organization willing to tolerate?
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