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Monday, August 22, 2011

What is Your Leadership Competency

Pass this out to your peers and have them send you their feedback. 

RATING SCALE - 1 – Strongly Disagree, 2 – Disagree, 3 – Neither Agree or Disagree, 4 – Agree, 5 – Strongly Agree

1. Effectively engages others to improve service delivery and follow-through on problem resolution. (Service Delivery)

2. Positively influences the team to translate customer needs into valued deliverables (i.e. work products and services. (Action Focus)

3. Ensures that agreed-upon commitments to internal and external customers are fulfilled. (Customer commitment)

4. Develops strong partnerships throughout the enterprise that foster positive customer relationships. (Organizational Relationships)

5. Stays calm and even-tempered when handling crises, stressful situations, or unexpected developments; does not become cynical, moody, or hostile when times are tough. (Composure)

6. Brings conflict into the open by encouraging constructive two-way communication, focusing on solutions and maintaining positive working relationship with those who disagree. (Conflict Resolution)

7. Builds effective teams by modeling open communication, providing constructive feedback, and encouraging different viewpoints. (Building Effective Teams)

8. Effectively facilitates group discussion by helping groups to define objectives, staying on task, soliciting diverse input, summarizing accomplishments and outlining next steps. (Group Facilitation)

9. Encourages a sense of job ownership by routinely soliciting input from team members, incorporating ideas into actions and holding the team accountable for results. (Empowering Teams)

10. Listens attentively and actively to both what is said and to non-verbal cues; has the patience to hear people out; accurately restates the opinions of others even when he/she disagrees. (Listening)

11. Demonstrates integrity in difficult situations by maintaining a balance between constructively identifying concerns, being upfront and honest, and maintaining respectful work relations. (Acting with Integrity)

12. Consistently acts in line with the best interest of the organization as well as in accordance with organizational policies during both good and tough times. (Ethics)

13. Builds and maintains trusting work relationships by being candid and upfront in a respectful and helpful manner, keeping confidences, following through on commitments, and practicing what is preached. (Building Trust)

14. Listens to complaints, suggestions, concerns, or requests; demonstrates consistency, impartiality, and even-handedness in making decisions. (Fairness)

15. Seeks opportunities to learn and actively works to continuously improve him/herself. Stays up-to-date on current practices and trends in his/her field. (Self Development)

16. Regularly solicits feedback on opportunities to improve oneself or delivery of products and services; implements ideas and suggestions to improve results. (Continual improvement)

17. Manages projects by breaking the work into process steps, establishing appropriate project teams, measuring performance against goals, and evaluating results. (Project Management)

18. Builds individual capacity by providing stretch tasks and assignments. Encourages others to learn and grow. Developing Others)

19. Creates focus by establishing priorities based on business needs; quickly zeros in on the critical few. (Prioritizing)

20. Seeks out and optimizes all available resources to achieve the best results efficiently, consistent with organization objectives. Knows who to involve and when. (Resourcefulness)

21. Effectively aligns fiscal resources to support strategic and business plans. (Fiscal Planning)

22. Effectively aligns technology resources to support strategic and business plans. (Technological planning)

23. Originates new and unique ideas; moves beyond the status quo and looks for better ways of doing things. (Innovation/Creativity)

24. Identifies obstacles and generates potential solutions to achieve challenges. (Problem-Solving)

25. Willing to try unconventional methods and/or to take personal risks to achieve desired outcomes that are consistent with organization objectives. (Risk Taking)

26. Accurately anticipates future trends and consequences. Sees the long-range implications of tactical decisions made today. Has broad knowledge and perspective. Can create competitive and breakthrough strategies and plans. (Strategic Thinking)

27. Considers various resources, obstacles, risks, perspectives, adverse reactions and financial impact when making recommendations and committing to action. (Critical Thinking)

28. Addresses performance issues by providing current, direct, complete, actionable, and developmental feedback to others; lets people know where they stand and supports others with ideas for continual improvement. (Coaching)

29. Takes responsibility and tackles difficult situations without passing them off to someone else; after making a mistake, admits it and either personally makes corrections or seeks assistance from others. (Ownership)

30. Drives for results; pushes ahead and maintains focus when confronted with obstacles. (Results Oriented)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Project Sponsors Are a Risk

Enterprise information technology (IT) applications can be difficult to implement, and often don’t deliver on their promises.  Why is this?  I believe the number one reason these projects fail to deliver on their promises is the lack of a strong, engaged, focused, and available executive sponsor.

IT customers are demanding more from their technology, and want results that help them reduce their bottom line, gain efficiencies, and do more with less.  Line managers have a justified fear of giving up control of their legacy applications because of past IT miscues and screw-ups.

A project manager’s job is to help understand and integrate departmental business processes to help ensure the technology will meet the customer’s needs.  A project manager can’t accomplish this task by themself.  Implementing an enterprise technology solution can be a daunting task and requires the skills and talents of many people.  When these projects fail, the blame falls equally between the project manager and the project sponsor.

PM FOR DUMMIES 101 - In order to successfully implement enterprise IT applications organizations first need to create the culture and climate that ensures investments in information technology contribute to a desired future outcome rather than continuing past practices.

Project Manager Tip – PLAN carefully then DO quickly.  The just “do it” culture is usually fraught with project failures and ruined careers.  Run from a project that requires the project manager to follow the failed mantra that says “Ready, Fire, Aim”!

Project Sponsor Tip - The sponsor must understand the technology being implemented, the culture where the change is taking place, and the benefits of implementing the desired solution.  He or she must be willing to “kick some ass” to get the solution implemented in a timely fashion, and ensure the solution provides the required benefits to the organization.

The sponsor articulates the project vision, objectives and goals, and drives the change to the culture, PERIOD.  NEVER forget this fact.  Also, an invisible project sponsor is your project’s biggest risk.

Monday, August 01, 2011

In Search of Excellence

Good post by Tom Peters the author of the blockbuster book "In Search of Excellence".  Tom writes:

"In response to a Tweet, I summarized In Search of Excellence—and thence the last 30 years of my professional life—in less than 140 characters.

In Search of Excellence basics in 127 characters including quotation marks and spaces:

"Cherish your people, cuddle your customers, wander around, 'try it' beats 'talk about it,' pursue excellence, tell the truth."