Features concepts to guide your analysis of possibilities:
Raise standards • Accelerate growth • Avert disasters
The intersection of project management and business creativity is explored
in Creative Project Management by Michael Dobson,
coming summer 2010 from McGraw-Hill.
Sewell Avery, chairman of Montgomery Ward, believed the consensus of economists after World War II that we would immediately relapse into the Great Depression. He hoarded cash while others expanded. Meantime, the United States entered into the Long Boom of the 1950s. Avery was wrong. But was he stupid?
“Lessons learned” are arguably the most valuable part of the project management lifecycle. They are definitely the most neglected. While age often correlates with experience, it does not necessarily correlate with wisdom. Wisdom involves learning from those experiences. There are two ways to learn from experience: have an experience and learn from it, or find someone else who’s had that experience, and learn from that. The latter is cheaper.
Thinking about the past, however, has one important difference: we know the outcome. But what if we didn’t? Michael, former head of game development for simulation giant TSR, Inc., has spent years probing at the intricacies of history to ask one vital question: what if?
A plan is a model of a possible future. Murphy’s Law reminds us that it’s not the only possible future - your mileage may vary. The outcome of the decision does not automatically confirm its validity. If you do something stupid, and you get lucky, that doesn’t make it any less stupid. Equally, if you act responsibly and intelligently, you don’t necessarily guarantee success. Sometimes the dice go against you.
Whether Schrödinger’s cat turns out to be alive or dead, project managers still have to manage the aftermath. That’s why you need to think SideWise™ — peering into the space where planning, risk, creativity, and decision-making intersect. SideWise™ thinking involves not one possible future, but many, probing the unknown unknowns for threat and opportunity.
In this entertaining and insightful journey through histories that might have been, you’ll learn SideWise™ principles that help you predict and analyze the range of futures in your planning environment. You’ll learn how the laws of physics shape organizations and people. Come explore the world of “what if” - and learn to think SideWise™.
Project managers all know the triple constraints: the triangle of time, cost, and performance that bounds the universe of your project. Experienced project managers know that the interplay of the triple constraints is a subtle source of risk… and opportunity.
You can optimize a project for fastest time, lowest cost, or optimal performance - but usually something has to give. Figuring out the difference between the driver and the weak constraint is essential for making the right strategic and tactical choices on your project.
Within the balance of the triple constraints, however, risk is always a factor. Not only is the severity of a risk affected by whether it impacts the driver, middle, or weak constraint, but the very nature of the risk itself is changed by the project of which it is a part. Optimizing a project plan for risk must be done in balance with the other constraints.
Michael has probed the mysteries of the triple constraints in two books - The Six Dimensions of Project Management and Project Management Essentials Library: The Triple Constraints - making him one of the true experts on the subject.
In this witty and insightful presentation, Michael will take you through the first six dimensions – the six possible hierarchies of time, cost, and performance – then penetrate the mysterious seventh dimension, the world of risk, illustrated with stories ranging from Apollo 13 to Butch Cassidy.
You’ll learn new strategies for managing risk in addition to the classic PMBOK® four (avoid, transfer, mitigate, or accept), you’ll discover the single most overlooked question in project management…and you’ll learn why making a bad decision requires more talent than making a good one.
Surprising insights and vivid stories make this a presentation you’ll never forget.
What makes work difficult? There are three main types of difficulty: hard, complex, and uncertain.
Hard work is challenging. It taxes your mind and sometimes your body. Your experience, your stamina, your smarts, your creativity, and your skills determine your personal level of challenge. To a novice, it may be back-breakingly hard; to an expert, it may be easy.
Complicated work needs taming. Scheduling, logistics, systems engineering, project management, and time management are just some of the tools you can use to turn chaos into relative order.
But uncertainty either by itself, or combined with the other two is the real challenge. Of the four kinds of risk (known knowns, known unknowns, unknown knowns, and unknown unknowns), three have uncertainty at the core.
Michael is an authority on project uncertainty. The author of numerous books on project management, leadership, and alternate history, and an award-winning designer and developer of simulation games, will share with you the operational secrets and skills of a lifetime spent on the edge of project uncertainty.
You’ll gain essential insights into the three forms of uncertainty risk, including how to do a proper perimeter check, the strategies for preparing for “unknown unknowns,” and how to overcome your own assumptions and biases that create your blind spots, the “unknown knowns.”
You’ll never see things the same way again.