Beyond Execution

Making a difference in project management by training, speaking and writing


Thinking at a Higher Level

Posted by beyondexecution on March 6, 2012 at 12:10 AM Comments comments ()


Have you every worked with people who can't see the forest for the trees? That is, folks who tend to deal with the details and not think about the higher level principles or strategies that drive the lower level tasks? If you think in the opposite way, or if you need to determine the high level first, then this can be become frustrating if you are not able to overcome the difference.


Fortunately, I've found a way around it, which seems to work fairly effectiv...

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Building in Iterations in a Waterfall Environment

Posted by beyondexecution on November 15, 2010 at 8:03 AM Comments comments ()


I'm currently working on a project within the provincial government as a program manager.  Part of my working style is to not wait for information to all be available before I start.  I like to get started, build in iterations, and refine as I go along.  I don’t mind being wrong and having people point that out to me, as it helps me get the right info much faster, as opposed to waiting for it.  It’s a bit riskier, and some of my team do not fell as...

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Numbers That Are Overestimated Yet Understimated !?!

Posted by beyondexecution on August 19, 2010 at 11:16 AM Comments comments ()


This topic came up in one of my classes.  Here is the conundrum:

Project managers pretty much know that the estimates we receive from team members have padding in them. There's a mixture of CYA and pride involved; people don't want to fail by giving a number that is too low, so they tack on a bit extra.  And while we know that, PM's generally d...

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The Underutilization of Tools: Checklists

Posted by beyondexecution on August 12, 2010 at 12:51 PM Comments comments ()

I'll start off with an example:

When I was working with Bombardier Aerospace, I started off my project management career within the Engineering Project Office.  In Engineering, designers are always trying to improve the performance and reliability of the areas they are responsible for.  So, it's not uncommon for an engineer to pick up a parts catalogue from an approved vendor, find a newer part that has better specs, and include it in a new design.  What ...

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Strategic Project Management

Posted by beyondexecution on May 14, 2010 at 9:15 AM Comments comments ()

I recently joined a group on LinkedIn called "Strategic Project Managers". It was an intriguing topic, since I've always considered myself a 'strategic project manager' (I also believe that pretty much every other project manager in the world also thinks of themselves as a strategic project manager!). It's also organized by a good virtual colleague of mine, Alex Brown (you can find his LinkedIn profile here).


The discussio...

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The Art of War

Posted by beyondexecution on February 9, 2010 at 11:17 AM Comments comments ()
The Art of War by Sun Tzu is one of my favourite books (not that I read many - I'm actually a very slow reader). But the Art of War is something I like to pick up and re-read from time to time, to remember the tactics that it espouses. Now, that does not mean I intend to physically pick up arms and start to lay siege against my enemies (although there are times I'd like to LOL).

Even thought this book has been read by millions of people, the question for me always was - who are my en...

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Begin With the End in Mind

Posted by beyondexecution on December 21, 2009 at 8:30 AM Comments comments ()

"Begin with the end in mind"


I love this quote.  It defines everything I do.  In case you haven't heard it before, it's one of the key 7 habits of successful people, from the book by Stephen Covey.  I certainly don't downplay any of the other habits, but this is the one that resonates with me the most.  Whenever I take on a task, project or endeavor, I always take the time to imagine what the end result looks like.


The story of profess...

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