Posts By Bill Brantley

Drupal Gov Days: Government By the Platform, For the Platform, and As the Platform

You hear a lot about platforms and how companies like Apple, Facebook, Google, and Amazon harnessed the power of the platform to become amazingly successful companies. O’Reilly, the tech publisher and visionary, argues that government should be a platform. So, what exactly is a platform? I think the best definition comes from Phil Simon’s TheRead… Read more »

How Do You Analyze Stakeholders?

Every project manager is advised to do a stakeholder analysis and there are several tools for analysis. I like to use the PRINCE Accounting System because it helps in understanding the stakeholders’ political motivations. As I discussed in my last project management posting, project managers need to be politically proficient to be successful in deliveringRead… Read more »

How Organizations Could Be More Successful – (Part Three of How Organizations Fail)

To understand how organizations can succeed, let’s briefly recap the lessons from the first two parts of this series on organizational failure. Part One –Framework for Analyzing Organizational Failure1) Every decision has unintended consequences for the future – latent conditions.2) Leaders often make decisions without a thorough analysis of the effects of their decisions.3) EmployeesRead… Read more »

How Organizations Fail (Part Two) – Drifting into Failure

In part one of this series, I wrote about my research that lead to the Framework for Analyzing Organizational Failure. Since I created the Framework back in 2005, I have seen it validated in a number of organizational failures. So, in 2010, I started work on expanding the paper into a book. During the courseRead… Read more »

The Politically Proficient Project Manager

If you are a project manager, you will have to deal with organizational politics in virtually every part of your work. Whether it’s trying to attract a sponsor, grab a star performer for your project team, or compete with another project manager for scarce resources, every decision you make will have a political impact. IfRead… Read more »

How Organizations Fail (Part One): The Framework for Analyzing Organizational Failure

Back in 2005, I presented a “Framework for Analyzing Organizational Failure” after my dissertation adviser doubted that I could find a general explanation for how government organizations fail. After an extensive review of the literature and an in-depth study of four major government failures (the Oakland Development Authority, the Navy’s A-12 project, the Challenger accident,Read… Read more »

What Skills Does A Good Project Team Member Need?

There are many training options for training project managers, but you don’t often see a similar effort on training project team members. Project team members are usually subject matter experts and the prevailing belief is that the subject matter expertise is all that is required to be a good project team member. Based on myRead… Read more »

Middle of the Project Blues: Why You Need to Use Earned Value Management and the Work Breakdown Structure

For those of you who have tackled a home improvement project, you will come to a point where semi-assembled parts are scattered all around you. This is usually when someone comments on how it looks like you will never finish what you started. With some of the more complex projects, even you doubt that youRead… Read more »

Making Large-Scale Collaborations Effective: Lessons from “Reinventing Discovery: The New Era of Networked Science”

In 1999, the reigning world chess champion played against 50,000 people through the Internet. Entitled “Kasparov versus the World,” chess players (experts and amateurs) collaborated to play the black pieces while Kasparov alone played the white pieces. Anyone can suggest a move, discuss the moves, and vote on moves. Whichever move received the highest voteRead… Read more »