Opportunity within End-Of-Year Performance Reviews

I'm working this holiday week to get the majority of the written work completed for my 2013 Performance Reviews; I realize it's something that folks do not enjoy doing, but I see it as an incredibly important effort. I like to think my organization and I are doing a fairly good job of communicating on a regular basis, but the structure and the formality of the annual Review process ensures that we are "on the same page" regarding the critical…

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Quantifying Business Benefit of Collaboration Tools (or, What Is This Meeting Costing Me?)

This post started off as an excuse to experiment with Google Docs, and this really neat feature I discovered - embedding a spreadsheet in a web page as a sharing method. However, it struck me as a potential way to cost justify the time, effort, and expense of implementing collaboration systems with the Most Cynical Among Us. We've all been in large meetings, with tens of people from the project team, along with the expensive consultants, sitting around a table…

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Technical Debt and the Cost/Benefit of Knowledge Retention

A rather rigorous, Financial-sounding title for a high-concept line of thought ... Thanks to Jeff Atwood at Coding Horror, for calling my attention to this article by Martin Fowler on Technical Debt: Technical Debt is a wonderful metaphor developed by Ward Cunningham¬†to help us think about this problem. In this metaphor, doing things the quick and dirty way sets us up with a technical debt, which is similar to a financial debt. Like a financial debt, the technical debt incurs…

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How to Win at the PMO Prioritization Game

Last time I talked about "cheating" at the PMO prioritization game. Ok, it wasn't cheating, more like a trick to keep your projects small, fast - and easy to fit into a crowded schedule. Totally above board, but some might call it manipulative. Remember the old management hack ... how do eat an elephant? If that's too cliche for you, let's talk about ways to consistently win at the prioritization game. How can you make sure your projects are legitimately…

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Measuring and Reporting IT Value (2 of 2)

My last post generated some interest, so here's the rest of the examples. Last time, I wrote about the simplistic approach to measure and report on IT value: Is your IT group working on the right things? Are they working on the right things well? Is your IT spend comparable to industry norms? Is your IT spend comparable to other measures of company performance? A bit more detail ... balancing quantitative and qualitative ... (Quantitative) To make sure you have…

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Chargebacks Redux – Some Good May Come Of It

Okay - to be fair, that really wasn't the end of the chargebacks conversation. One of my cohorts suggested that we each come up with an argument counter to our position; I needed to come up with something "good" about chargebacks. Actually, it's quite easy to come up with the one good thing; the only problem is that it's something that most IT departments can't take advantage of ... Transparency Many business units, dissatisfied with the speed, efficiency, general business…

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