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Q. What is Project Management?

A. Project management is the science (and art) of organizing the components of a project, whether the project is the development of a new product, the launch of a new service, a marketing campaign, or a wedding.

A project isn’t something that’s part of normal business operations. It’s typically created once, it’s temporary, and it’s specific. As one expert notes, “It has a beginning and an end.” A project consumes resources (whether people, cash, materials, or time), and it has funding limits.

Project Management Basics: No matter what the type of project, project management typically follows the same pattern:

  1. Definition
  2. Planning
  3. Execution
  4. Control
  5. Closure

1.Defining the Project

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Change is a common thread that runs through all businesses regardless of size, industry and age.

Our world is changing fast and, as such, organisations must change quickly too and be agile in the marketplace they operate in. Organisations that handle change well thrive, while those that do not may struggle to survive. The concept of "change management" is a familiar one in most businesses today.

But how businesses manage change (and how successful they are at it) varies enormously depending on the nature of the business, the change and the people involved. And a key part of this depends on how far people within it understand the change process.

One of the cornerstone models for understanding organisational change was developed by Kurt Lewin back in the 1940s and still holds true to some extent today. His model is known as Unfreeze – Change – Refreeze, which refers to a three-stage process of change.

However, some 70 years on, the model may appear dated to today's agile organisation because, by its very nature, 'refreezing' isn't appropriate as change is an everyday event and the 'refreezing' of processes and mindsets goes against their culture and business model

 LEWIN'S CHANGE MANAGEMENT MODEL


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In this 'Thoughts on Leadership' video, Paul Bridle talks more about technology and how it impacts on the world of work.


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There are plenty of legendary bad business decisions: Blockbuster passing up the chance to buy Netflix and Kodak sitting on the digital camera just two that spring to mind.

But there are also some legendary smart moves: "I'll have the merchandising rights in exchange for a smaller pay packet," said a certain George Lucas.

What separates good companies from great companies, and good leaders from great leaders is decision-making.

And there are four key decisions that you need to nail if you want to see your business grow.

  1. Decide… on the right people to work with

No company can work towards growth without good employees. Google's recruitment processes and incentives, for instance, are geared towards attracting and retaining the best available talent. Hammocks, arcade games and free ice-cream may not be your thing, but just like Google, your staff are vital to your company's growth, and just like Google, you want the best available talent.

To find the best-fit candidates, you need a process; you don't want to make up your recruitment drive as you go along. But that process doesn't need to be protracted; but it does need to consider the values and behaviours you are looking for needs to be considered – not just the skills and knowledge. (more…)


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Many well known Japanese companies such as Toyota and Canon use Kaizen, with a group approach which includes everyone from CEOs to janitors on the factory floor - but is it still a relevant approach in today's ever-changing business world?

Kaizen means literally: change (kai) to become good (zen).

Japanese companies distinguish between innovation, a radical form of change, and Kaizen, a continuous form of change.

This group approach has been adopted successfully in other regions of the world as well, but Japanese workers have refined it to an art form.

It is Kaizen mindset and process-oriented thinking, as opposed to the result-oriented thinking favoured by most Western firms, that has over the years, enabled Japanese industry to attain its competitive edge in the world markets.

It has been suggested that Kaizen works particularly well because Japan is a collective culture, and Kaizen relies on collective values. People in more individualistic cultures may struggle with some of the basic principles of Kaizen.

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The Boston Matrix or Boston Box – so called because it was developed by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) – is a tool that may help you to analyse potential routes forward and discuss strategic options.

Developed by BCG’s founder, Bruce D. Henderson and his colleagues, the Boston Box offers a simple technique for assessing your organisation’s position relative to others in terms of its product range.

THE BOSTON BOX


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