Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Project Management and the Eightfold Path

I was recently reflecting on some Buddhist teachings and started seeing how some of those teaching can apply to project management. The first step in the Eightfold Path is Right Understanding. The Buddhist teaching is that we should look at things from other people's perspectives and not try to judge.

This concept should be familiar to people, even if they haven't studied Buddhism. Christian teaching says "Judge not that you might not be judged" (Matthew 7:1). Same idea, don't look at people from your point of view. Stephen Covey, as one of his 7 Habits has "Seek first to Understand."

So how does this apply to project management. It's how we deal with our stakeholders (among other things). Do we really take time to listen to what they want. Do we communicate with them often and really try to understand their perspective? So next time you're in a meeting with your stakeholder and you start to think "What an idiot, he/she doesn't know what they're asking for..." take some time and really try to see things from his/her perspective.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

The Second Internet?

A recent Gartner report warns CIOs that they need to pay attention to how new technologies such as blogging and podcasting can impact business. Read about it here. On a related note, podcasting was recently added to the New Oxford dictionary.

So is podcasting really a business tool of the future? I recall one project I was on where we provided verbal status updates every few hours during an implementation. At that time, we were limited to voicemail. Our system let us set up a voicemail distribution list. The update would be recorded and sent to everyone on the list. Now with podcasting, this same approach can be done in a podcast.

This stuff might be fun to play with for those of us who consider ourselves techies, but what about those outside the techie arena? I've worked with some sales & marketing folks that were pretty technically capable, I could see them using these new tools. I've also worked with folks that were pretty technically challenged (you know the type; "where's the 'any' key?"). Are they going to be left behind?

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

FireFox 1.5

The newest version of FireFox is out and so far the review are great. If you're reading about it here first, you're probably behind the times. If you're still using Explorer, the real question is why? FireFox is faster, safer, and free! It has features the Microsoft may have by the next release.

This brings up an interesting point. How is it that this open source product took such a bite out of Microsoft's market share in such a short time? Is it that Microsoft has gotten to big to be nimble? Have they lost touch with what customers really want?

The other interesting part is that this release was delivered on time. Pretty good for being developed in an open source environment. I wonder what the rest of us project managers can learn from this team?