March 2007

Lacking Senior Leadership Support NOTE: This is one of the most common – and critical – challenges. CAUSES Many projects fail not because they lack senior management sponsorship, but because they have only passive senior management support. Conflicting priorities – other projects, regulatory compliance and reporting, etc. – often interfere with senior managers’ ability to […]

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This month, Exchange, the monthly magazine of the Association of Financial Professionals (AFP), published a handy A to Z glossary of payment acronyms. Some are obvious, some were a stretch (K and Q),  and you may already be familiar with most of these terms, but you just might learn something new: Payment Acronyms, A-Z ACH  […]

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Poor Design NOTE: This is the only purely technical challenge. CAUSES Poor design is usually caused by vague or incomplete requirements (garbage in, garbage out). But sometimes the problem is simply hubris. REMEDIES Effective design requires talented technical leadership. Business leaders can support their technical colleagues by asking the right questions and promoting a flexible […]

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Recent research demonstrates that multitasking is less effective than previously thought – and in fact, slows you down. A front-page article in Sunday's New York Times summarizes the [compelling] research: “Multitasking is going to slow you down, increasing the chances of mistakes,” said David E. Meyer, a cognitive scientist and director of the Brain, Cognition […]

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Skill Mismatch & Lean Staffing CAUSES It is tempting to tap resources that are available, regardless of individual skills and experience. Yet the wrong choice of team members can seriously hamper process improvement efforts. Managers often choose lower cost resources in order to stay within budget. But less skilled and experienced team members may take […]

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Glenbrook’s Bryan Derman filed the following report after his participation in March 2007 on a panel titled “Hype or Reality – Anti-Money Laundering Risks from Prepaid Payment Products and What Can Be Done About Them” at the Spring Meeting of the American Bar Association’s Business Law Section in Washington, DC.

Does your company develop rules and policies in order to address a minority of employees that are disengaged and underperforming? If so, 98% of your workforce are subjected to unnecessary and belittling policies that are in place because 2% of the team aren't pulling their weight. So what is the fall out of this behavior? […]

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The spring issue of Strategy+Business wonders what corporations are going to do with the mountain of cash they've accumulated and evaluates options for spending/investing the cash: Until recently, excess liquidity seemed like a smart strategy. It was insurance against risk and provided capital for growth. But now, with balance sheets largely mended, cash flow volatility […]

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Poor Cost & Schedule Estimation CAUSES Unattainable deadlines are often imposed on project teams. Unrealistic budget estimates are a direct result of poor planning and vague requirements definition. Some projects are plagued by intentional underbidding by vendors in a competitive RFP. REMEDIES One very effective solution is to phase projects. When early phases include “big […]

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Failure to Plan CAUSES Many project teams are so eager to get on with the “real work” that they short change the planning phase. Managers that lack experience leading process improvement projects often underestimate the planning effort. Many leaders fear that a realistic plan won’t fulfill a mandated deadline or expected budget so they simply […]

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CFO.com reports that a diverse group of institutional investors, government treasurers and controllers, and corporations is calling for federal legislation and SEC clarification to help address global warming. Excerpt from story at CFO.com: "Global warming presents enormous risks and opportunities for U.S. businesses and investors," said Fred R. Buenrostro, chief executive officer of Calpers, in […]

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Scott Berkun – the well regarded project management thoughtleader – observes that managers may be missing out by not treating contract/short-term workers well. He isn't advocating that short-timers deserve special or better treatment than full time employees, but he does suggest that there are three important reasons to treat contractors well: Contracts are scouting missions. […]

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The Association of Financial Professionals new Payments Fraud Survey finds that corporate payments fraud is on the rise.  Seventy-two percent of corporations experienced fraud (or attempted fraud) in 2006, up from 68% in 2005. Thirty-nine percent of organizations reported an increase in fraud incidents since 2005, 47% reported that the prevalence of fraud remained about […]

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Jim Bruene, at NetBanker, expresses his frustration that the Freakonomics duo offered little new insight on Identity Theft. I too, was underwhelmed by the recent NYTimes article (see my post here) but did not express my frustration as eloquently as Jim. Read his post here.

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Vague Requirements & Scope Creep CAUSES Projects that are too ambitious in scope often fail. Similarly, if project requirements are not detailed enough the effort is spread too thin, lacking focus on core features that drive success metrics. “Scope creep” occurs when project requirements are not specific enough. Features and benefits are gradually added over […]

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