26/01/2020

A few avenues to explore​

Marakoudja has four core values that permeate everything we do: pragmatism, passion, transparency and perseverance. In this article I’ll be looking at pragmatism, which is an extremely useful attitude to adopt whenever you find yourself having to manage change.

Each episode of change will bring opposing forces into play. And without pragmatism, nothing can be achieved.

Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about pragmatism (translated from the French-language article):

“Pragmatism is an American school of philosophy. Accord...

“Finding good players is easy. Getting them to play as a team is another story.” - Casey Stengel

Teamwork is essential to project management. But the team setting is the place where personal and collective interests most often clash. Various initiatives have been used to strengthen team spirit, homing in on various key issues. The most helpful comparison is with the world of sports.

Is it possible to function well in a team without a background in team-based sports? There is no causal link. Flourishing in a team setting requires the kind of a...

How to avoid being slowed down by resistance to change.

"She believed she could, so she did.” - R. S. Grey

Successfully bringing a project to fruition often means overcoming resistance and helping your team to see things in a different light. It means not giving up when facing doubt. Uncertainty is normal in a project and will help you pinpoint the challenges which you must rise above.

I sincerely believe that one success factor in project management is not being stopped in one’s tracks by remarks such as “Sounds nice in theory, but it won’t w...

Is your organisation sagging under a mountain of requests? Then the Kanban method may be just the thing for you!

How do you react when you need to take a ‘wait-your-turn’ ticket at the post office, the bank or the pharmacy? Personally, I’m a fan of these queuing systems. At the very least, I’m sure I will not be waiting in the wrong line. The approach, which here helps regulate waiting time for customers, is also used in the Kanban method to process service requests in organisations, ranging from invoice approvals, permit applications and in...

Hearing a lot of grumbling when you try to implement changes? Disappointed by the lack of recognition for your efforts? Don’t lose hope.Use these tips to better take stock of the situation and ease the transition.

You know that a lobster’s shell is hard. When it has finally outgrown it, it has to hide from predators while growing a new one. And at what point does a lobster decide to go through all this trouble? Only when its shell is so uncomfortable it can’t stand it anymore!

With people, it’s the same thing, only more complicated.  Even whe...

25/01/2019

Creating synergy between an internal team and an external consultant – a winning strategy!

Your board of directors engages an external consultant. You wonder about the added value, what this person will contribute, and what is a fair price to pay them. Here are some answers.

A few years ago, I was confronted with an attempted mutiny by an IT manager. His bone of contention was that with the money set aside for my assignment as project director, he could have one or two more developers working for him. Fortunately, the company’s management tea...

09/01/2019

Yes, but what are they managing?

Last week I ran a workshop on project management with the management team of a company. Together we studied the role of the two agents in the project manager/sponsor tandem.

Everyone agreed that the project vision was the sole preserve of the project sponsor, while the project manager was responsible for seeing it through. This responsibility gives him de facto control of the project budget as well as the leadership of the individuals assigned to carry out the project tasks.

Everything was going well, and conse...

Help! My boss confides me which does not interest me – or that I don’t even believe in! This is a serious issue.

The success of a project implies that different people all work towards the same direction.

It’s the manager’s task to point towards that direction.

Along the way, some will get tired of working towards the common goal. It’s the manager who gives sense to the demanded efforts.

To succeed implies that the helm is kept to the right bearing even through the storm. It’s the manager who keeps a leveled head and remains hopeful.

Taking resp...

Managing a project is like preparing a meal. Just about anyone can get food on the table. But pulling off a five-course meal for a large group of guests is another story. If you really want it to be a success, you’ll turn to a professional.

The same goes for projects. Anyone with a minimum of organisational skills can see a project through. But when the project gets more complex, you can increase your chances of success – and reduce your chances of getting an ulcer – by handing it to a professional project manager.

A project manager stands ou...

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Michèle Richard | +41 79 770 65 86 | michele.richard@marakoudja.com