What are the identifiers of a bad project?

bad project

To answer this question (asked on Quora), we need to define the meaning of “bad” in “bad project.”  As an old project management bit of wisdom goes, there are three main reasons why projects fail (and thus may be identified as “bad projects”):

  1. Requirements
  2. Requirements
  3. Requirements

Continue reading “What are the identifiers of a bad project?”

Dan Ponterfract: “FLAT ARMY”

Required Reading

Over the weekend, I have read Dan Pontefract’s book “Flat Army.” I was looking forward to reading an inspirational text about change management, corporate culture improvement and employee engagement, but the book appears to take the reader further. Continue reading “Dan Ponterfract: “FLAT ARMY””

Why Most Lean Six Sigma Projects Fail?

why lean projects fail


Stats indicate that the success rate for Lean initiatives is hardly over 5%. That means that up to 95% of continuous improvement programs fail to rescue the operation and have no sustainable effect.

The data and my analysis do not claim to be exhaustive but I believe the TRUE ANSWER to the question is provided indirectly by the Lean Six Sigma group on LinkedIn.

Here’s what I discovered today. Continue reading “Why Most Lean Six Sigma Projects Fail?”

How do we hire the best professional Project Manager?

Law 7

Look at it this way: you are hiring a temporary General Manager who will run your business for some predefined period of time and deliver certain results.

Regardless of the nature of your business, you will expect your General Manager, above all, to be proficient in making things happen. If what bothers you the most is the candidate’s technical competence, then you must be looking for a technical lead, team coordinator, or some kind of a technician – but not for a real project manager. Continue reading “How do we hire the best professional Project Manager?”

Was Starbucks’ venture into Lean useless?

Lean Six Sigma vs Starbucks

I received a few messages with this question in reply to my original article.

My answer: Not at all. Continue reading “Was Starbucks’ venture into Lean useless?”

Here’s how to make your worklife better:


Offer more help than you ask for.

When parents help their children grow up, they do not ask for anything in return. Nor do they expect to have a good return on this investment in the future. If they do, the ROI is often negative in the long run.

Good teachers are excited and overjoyed with their students’ success. They see themselves behind the scenes watching their students receive a standing ovation from the academia. If laughing all the way to the bank in front of their student is all they can see, never will there be a standing ovation in their lives.

Lovers want to comfort each other. Continue reading “Here’s how to make your worklife better:”

What’s More Important to You?

gender bias

Grammatically correct – or politically correct?

I always thought that expressing oneself clearly and concisely is the No.1 priority in a professional environment.

I was wrong.

Today, everybody is obsessed with gender equality. These confusing “he or she,” “he/she,” or the incredible “s/he” and singular “they” are now inserted everywhere. Like in this great example of verbal gender-affirmation surgery:

“Prepare to watch a charging bull stop in his or her tracks with a confused look on their face.”

Continue reading “What’s More Important to You?”

A Gentleman’s Manual for Becoming a Good Man

Required Reading

“Read before bed every night.”

If you want to read something really special this weekend and perhaps be able to share it with your kids, try “Rules for My Unborn Son” by Walker Lamond.

Published a few years ago, the book has never made it to a bestseller list. This is what happens to the real gems. I would suggest that if “The  Shades of Gray” has never been on your reading list, you will love this book.

As an Appendix, the book has the list of Essential Reading for Boys – which makes another good reason to buy it for your son and write a dedication on the first page. The list will help you to check if you are up to snuff yourself.

Below are 100 quotes from the book widely circulated on the internet. Driven by one of the Rules –

“If you’re going to quote someone, get it right.”

– I have updated the list – corrected the misquotes and added my favorites. You may disagree with some of the Rules, but in any case, the Rules are inspiring and will make you think. Continue reading “A Gentleman’s Manual for Becoming a Good Man”

“Am I Paranoid?” Client Seeking Advice

Who Is Your Boss?

What would be your advice to this client? This story sounds like a job-interview business case – but it is not.

My client Alex (not his real name) is asking me for advice. He thinks that his boss, a senior manager in their company, has lied about his background and experience.

Connecting on LinkedIn, Alex noticed that the boss does not have ANY connections in the companies that are listed as his past employers. His graduation year on LI profile is different from what is stated on the corporate “Management Team” page. His name is not in his school yearbook for either of the graduation years.

He believes that his relations with the boss have changed after Alex had jokingly noticed his boss wiping his fingerprints off the cocktail glass.

Since then, Alex feels continuous pressure and considers looking for a “Plan B.”

Have you had a similar experience? Doubts about your manager’s integrity? What would you do in his case?

Please share your experience. Ask your peers to chip in. 

What Do Starbucks and Lean Six Sigma Have In Common?

Lean Six Sigma vs Starbucks

In essence, both are not new. They are derivatives from older businesses or trends that have been in existence for at least some decades: Lean is a mass-market Toyota Production System and Starbucks is a mass-market coffee retailer. Continue reading “What Do Starbucks and Lean Six Sigma Have In Common?”