Coupling & Crosstalk: Project Management – What me worry?

Courtesy of Mr. Murphy!

Coupling & Crosstalk is my column in the MEPTEC Report. This column appears in the Summer 2018 edition on pages 8-9.

Electronic coupling is the transfer of energy from one circuit or medium to another. Sometimes it is intentional and sometimes not (crosstalk). I hope that this column, by mixing technology and general observations, is thought provoking and “couples” with your thinking. Most of the time I will stick to technology but occasional crosstalk diversions may deliver a message closer to home.

Project Management – What me worry?

Alfred E Neuman’s famous “What me worry?” quote should always be in your thoughts at the optimistic beginning of any project. As reality kicks in and the project grinds on-and-on you will finally start remembering Andy Rooney’s somber, pragmatic quotes.  Project success will depend on your team’s ability to Continue reading “Coupling & Crosstalk: Project Management – What me worry?”

Preparing to Succeed

Two fatal management extremes:
“Analysis Paralysis” and “Just Do It”

Analysis Paralysis” – over-analyzing the situation resulting in no action – prevents progress when overly detailed plans are made. It can be caused by corporate culture (no action = no criticism of possible failure), budget restraints (study costs are minimal; action costs are major), and/or no confidence in the outcome.

Just Do It“, the other extreme, may be the response to a protracted case of analysis paralysis or “full speed ahead” management style. Regardless of the cause, proper preparation is often neglected especially when budget and/or time are constrained.

What is the proper balance between the two? How does one change default behavior?

Continue reading “Preparing to Succeed”

Shinkansen =”Train Envy”

The California High-Speed Rail Authority made the news after their monthly public meeting last Thursday in San Francisco. They rotate cities throughout the state each month to obtain a wider range of public input. And the Bay Area didn’t fail to deliver, especially on the contentious issue of how the trains would be routed in the existing Caltrain rail corridor along the peninsula from San Jose to San Francisco.

Fundamentally everyone Continue reading “Shinkansen =”Train Envy””

The Worthwhile Cost of Customer Satisfaction – Building “Bridges to Nowhere”…

Can a project that is three years late after fourteen years in the making and costing $23.5 M instead of the $3 M originally budgeted be a success?

With numbers like this one would guess it was a “public works” project. Not quite a “bridge to nowhere” but more like a bridge that is somewhere… It is a small bridge that pales in comparison to the size and scope of the new $5.5 B East Span of the Bay Bridge (currently scheduled for completion in 2013). And unlike replacing the East Span, one could argue about the necessity of building this pedestrian and bicycle bridge in the first place.

Having visited the Sundial Bridge at Turtle Bay which crosses the Sacramento River in Redding, California last week and read some of the criticisms of the bridge, it made me stop and think “What are the true measures of success?”

Continue reading “The Worthwhile Cost of Customer Satisfaction – Building “Bridges to Nowhere”…”