Rethinking Project Governance (and the PMO)

February 11, 2019

This week’s Rethinking Professional Services webinar (click for replay) was focused on Rethinking Project Governance which gave us a great opportunity to discuss many tactics for managing project portfolios, but in particular we discussed the very unique PS Principles’ tool we call the Proactive Alignment Review (PAR).

Rethinking the Statement of Work

January 28, 2019

On this week’s Rethinking Professional Services webinar series, we discussed rethinking the much-maligned Statement of Work. This document has served as a pain-point for professional services teams for decades. My opinion is that our lack of understanding of the intent of this document is a key reasons why projects find themselves in trouble.  My experience has been, that rewriting it with a different focus can led to greater project success and better customer references.

Project Consultant Dependency Theory

January 10, 2019

Can a customer get addicted to the presence of its paid consultants?

Taking the Risk out of the Risky Business of Professional Services

December 12, 2018

How should professional services organizations manage risk? In the second of his PS Insights podcasts, services industry guru Shane Anastasi discusses how to identify projects that are heading off track and the kinds of actions that can be taken to keep them in the black. Listen now!

Everybody Wants the A-Team

November 27, 2018

In researching the value of our corporate certification program, I spoke with senior professional services buyers to assess how they perceive the value of service provider during the sales cycle. I asked the question, "What do you want your service provider to prove to you?" One of the answer's given was, “I want them to prove that I am going to get the ‘A-Team’” This statement, in question form, is very difficult to answer during the sales cycle.  "Are we getting your A-Team on this project?" Many of us take extra care when answering this question because it is delicately loaded with powerful explosives. One errant comment while answering it might sink the deal completely. My own fear and apprehension about it seemed like a good enough reason to explore it further.

Building a Consultant Acquisition Strategy: Part II

October 30, 2018
Last week I posted Part I of this article and focused on the Consultant-Centric ideas relating to professional services culture. Here is Part II that takes many of the usual, best practice techniques, but details them in terms of professional services organizations .

Building a Consultant Acquisition Strategy

October 22, 2018

ARE YOU YOUR CONSULTANT'S KEEPER?

Kimble Podcast: Talking Tough to Customers

October 14, 2018

Is the customer always right? Not in the view of Shane Anastasi. In the latest Kimble-sponsored PS insights podcast, the consulting services thought leader and entrepreneur argues that service professionals are often too eager to keep customers happy. He argues instead they should stand ready to “be the expert” in their engagements, ready to point out problems in customers’ plans and tell them that “they can’t get everything they want”.

We Need "Project Managers" not "Project Managers"

October 14, 2018

Originally, I thought it was just me. My success rate for hiring high performing project managers was not that good. I started to voice my failures with my peers to see what I was doing wrong and to my surprise I received similar frustration rather than answers. What I learned was that the role of project manager is both poorly defined and misunderstood by both those who employ them and those who carry the title. Nowadays, I am frequently asked, “What tips do you have for hiring and developing great project managers?” To answer this correctly, I believe we must both redefine what we’re looking for in a project manager and how we should set them up for success.

Avoiding Brain Drain and Consultant Burnout

October 14, 2018

Published January 11th, 2017 on PS Village

Many years ago, hiring and retaining good talent was not my strength. My first attempt at building a services team was a disaster. Out of my first five hires, two of them were practically insane, one had to be removed for telling me that he wasn’t afraid to use the gun he had in his briefcase and the next two secretly embroiled themselves into a sordid affair that finally erupted into a bloody brawl at the end of year Christmas party.