When Realistic Estimates and Aggressive Goals Collide

By Gary Hinkle
I’d be surprised if anyone reading this hasn’t witnessed this problem: estimates from the experts doing the work don’t align with management’s expectations. Why? Because management, committed to ambitious business goals, has dictated an unachievable schedule. Or they’ve made premature commitments to customers. The experts’ estimates are often realistic, but the reality isn’t acceptable to management.

Never Postpone the Chicken Test!

By Steve Wetterling
When I manage projects, and when I teach project management, I know it’s important to understand project risk and to evaluate, plan for and mitigate risk. When I’m teaching, sometimes a class participant stares back at me in puzzlement when we get to discussing project risk. “What’s so risky about doing a project?” The Chicken Test helps them understand.

Time-Tested and Erroneous Project Management Assumptions

By Steve Wetterling
Back when the Project Management Institute was an unheard-of start-up organization, I took my first project management course. The instructor was Ron LaFleur, a dynamic teacher who had managed all sorts of military and aerospace projects for Raytheon during the height of the Cold War. In the three-day course, he shared with us what he had learned during his long and varied career.

We Fool Ourselves: The Planning Fallacy

By Steve Wetterling
Don’t you just love optimism? By that I mean, for example, when we see the possibility for success rather than failure. That’s optimism. Or when we see a glass that’s half full rather than half empty. That’s optimism, too. To some extent, it’s a matter of perspective. We can choose to see the world as a place stacked with opportunity or loaded with problems.