Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Just don't do it

Don't do what?

Why, use PowerPoint of course.

This evening I was at a formal inauguration of an academic scholarship in honour of a deceased professor of the school (professor means head of department, not just lecturer, as in the USA).

We had PowerPoint for some images related to him and his work...about three I think. During a speech the computer decided time was up and switched itself off. The image projectors declared that there was 'no signal' and joined the sleep circus.

The technical man ran down, woke up the computer, that woke up the projectors, and of course, he had to restart PowerPoint in edit mode, switch to show mode and flick through to the right slide. Pathetic.

Lessons  (or 'learnings', as we like to say today)?
  1. turn off the power saving features of computers before the presentation
  2. make sure the projectors don't go to sleep
  3. save the  PowerPoint in 'show' mode so you don't look like a dork when you start or re-start it, frigging around with the mouse to turn to a slide show (F5 does it better, by the way)
  4. convert the PowerPoint to a video (Quicktime?) and just run it in a loop.
This was at a university with 'technology' in its name...unbelievable!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Guiding Principles 8: Time management

Encourage project managers (PMs) to value time—both stakeholders’ and their own—when making project execution decisions and managing meetings.

Worth mentioning, but I’ve not come across any competent project manager who doesn’t move at an intense pace: tightly run meetings, concise communications, and clear advice.

This topic is often discussed as 'time management', but do we manage time? No. Time passes. What we manage is delivery or project performance (distinct from technical performance, or how the project object does its job).

Good delivery management comes from good information management. And if there is a primary element of project management, it is managing the flow of information to keep abreast of the state of the project, its dependencies and interfaces.

The communication system that moves information through the project team and documents the movement of information makes time management efficient and effective. Without it information is unreliable and its value to the project drops, imperiling the project outturn value.