Project management as a fulcrum and lever

Archimedes famously said “give me a lever, a place to stand, and I will move the world.” Although since 2008 the idea of leverage has lost some of its appeal, at least in the financial sector, the original concept is still true and sound. Is there a scheme of thought or accumulated knowledge base which stands to offer our endeavors greater leverage than Project Management?

I once had the opportunity to listen to a speech by Greg Ballesteros, the then President of the Project Management Institute. Greg was discussing the impact of project management globally; in business, government, and humanitarian efforts. It struck me while I listened to his speech that project management is perhaps our best opportunity to accelerate the progress of mankind. Greg’s speech made me realize that the discipline of project management yields better results, not just in business, but in life. As a matter of fact, our firm has trademarked the phrase, “life is a project”, and this phrase gets to the heart of my passion for project management.
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Interactive graphical project planning, why it matters

Ever been in a project meeting where everyone is talking past each other, pointing fingers, evading accountability? If not, then you haven’t been in a project planning meeting.

Talk is cheap. Wait, no, it’s not; talk is really expensive. The cost of everyone sitting around the table spins up faster than a taxi meter in Manhattan. Talk is ephemeral, imprecise, and inconclusive. As Ludwig Wittgenstein famously intoned “You learned the concept ‘pain’ when you learned language”. He also said “What can be shown, cannot be said.”, and “A picture is a fact.”

The interpersonal dynamic of the project planning session completely changes when a time-scaled, interactive model of the projects displayed on the wall for all to see. Interdependencies, activity durations, and resource allocations are all plainly shown. Issues of accountability and responsibility are no longer vague concepts for debate, they are a picture. And not a still shot, but a dynamic motion picture, reflecting the impact of suggested changes in the project plan in real time. Read More

The Genesis of visualized collaborative planning

The daily cost to run construction sites can amass to tens of thousands of dollars. That is why businesses in the construction industry require such strict enforcement of schedules. A day over could literally cost clients and/or vendors thousands of dollars. In the construction industry, a critical path schedule is one of the fundamental documents. When a discrepancy arises about who is responsible for a negative impact on the schedule, experts perform forensic schedule analysis Experts testify on matters that would be difficult to translate to the laymen. Often they would have to hire graphic artist to illustrate the schedule impact being described by the experts testimony. This was costly, extremely time consuming, and not mathematically grounded. Thus, the Genesis of Netpoint.

Schedules are created to serve as communication tools and to allow projects to be managed proactively. But scheduling is an ineffective process when only the scheduler can comprehend the result. NetPoint transforms scheduling into an engaging and interactive planning-centric experience. The resulting plan is a unique visual tool that can be understood by the entire project team, regardless of their level of expertise. In addition, NetPoint can toggle between Critical path method ( CPM) and Graphical path method ( GPM) , so the transition is easy for experienced CPM schedulers. Read More