Video – Introduction to Project Management

I had to break this video into four parts due to YouTube constraints. I notice that my lack of editing and rehearsing has meant one or two errors, but nothing too bad. If I had Sir Peter Jackson-type ambitions, I might have gone for another take, but let’s say I’m practising “good enough” rather than “gold-plated.”


The Valley of Death

Projects are meant to solve problems, but sometimes the bigger problem is the project itself.

The troubled Novopay or “no pay” project as we might call it, is our Ministry of Education’s unpopular payroll venture, undertaken by relative newcomer, Aussie contractor Talent2.  Novopay is New Zealand’s largest payroll project to date. The project has been plagued with widespread and ongoing transition problems as the implementers charge ahead, as did the suicidal Light Brigade of the British cavalry into “the valley of death” during the Crimean war in 1854 – hence the title of this blog entry.  Well, actually the Novopay project is also way behind schedule.  It’s over-spent, behind time, not working properly and definitely not user-friendly, which is a bad combination, but not uncommon for complex IT projects.

As a taxpayer I’d like to know the cost of this dubious investment.  … Read More »


A Cardboard Cathedral for Christchurch

Cardboard isn’t a material usually associated with cutting-edge building design, but Japanese architect Shigeru Ban is changing that.  His work is known worldwide for its innovation and beauty.

This Transitional Cathedral is the first substantial rebuild in the wake of the big quake and a very welcome project at a time when hundreds of other buildings in Christchurch are being removed.  It’s a symbol of rebuild hope being erected by Naylor Love.

The design of the Transitional Cathedral is deceptively simple.  It’s an A-frame structure based on a concrete foundation on which a group of us admirers are standing.

You would imagine that cardboard pillars might lack the requisite strength.  However, at the assembly site we noticed that the cardboard tubes were actually containers or outside shells covering very substantial laminated timber pillars.  We concluded that the cardboard was of mainly esthetic … Read More »



Blog

My latest thoughts on Project Management and life.

BOOK LAUNCH – “Managing Smaller and Medium-Sized Projects”

Authors launching their books sometimes find themselves at a bookstore or other venue surrounded by empty seats except perhaps for their loyal family members,...

Project Durations and Contingencies

Predicting project completion times is one of the challenges of Project Managers. Project schedule overruns are quite common due to uncertainty in estimating task durations,...

Project Cost Estimating

Estimation is notoriously difficult. Projects by definition are unique ventures. We do not have the luxury of “having done it before” enjoyed by our...