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Just a Reminder June 13, 2010

Posted by Jason in Insider's View Relapses.
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How do you justify your capital expenditures or budget decisions? If yours is a typical firm, management should undertake at least an informal cost/benefit assessment, but there are undoubtedly also many (more…)

Engagement, Support, Sponsorship December 6, 2009

Posted by Jason in Daily PM.
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Any organizational endeavor requires some degree of involvement from leadership.  Without this, it is much more difficult to obtain buy-in from line managers, staff, and others who will actually be performing the work.

But it is not enough to simply engage leadership in conversation and notify them of the proposal.  Just because someone is aware of your project, it does not imply that they have been captivated and won over.  It takes much more effort to get over the hurdles when times are tough, money is tight, and people are happy just to have their jobs.

Nonetheless, as you move ahead with the project (it is a worthwhile project, with appropriate cost-benefit analysis, right?) it is critical to obtain support from corporate leaders.  Not just any support either.  Real, bona fide sponsorship — someone willing to step forward, defend the reasons for the project, and take on partial ownership of its success.

Like any business venture, there is an element of partnership inherent in this transaction.  There is also an element of politics.  That’s life.  Engineers cringe at the thought, but try selling some “equity” in your project to the proper levels of authority.  Without it, the endeavor may die a slow death, withering on the vine for lack of real passion from the people who write the checks.

Consultant Value May 30, 2009

Posted by Jason in Daily PM.
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Buyers will always be looking for the “good deal”.  In fact, I recently had a conversation during which it was stated (not by me) that, “Each party has to think they are ‘winning’.  The buyer has to believe that he is getting something worth more than he is paying, and the seller needs to feel that the buyer is somehow getting less than he is paying for.”  First off, while it may be true that we need a psychological motivation to justify a transaction, I don’t think it can be distilled down to that kind of emotion.  Sometimes, though, a different perspective is all that is needed to see how silly some of our attitudes can be. (more…)

Beware of Low Budgets April 26, 2009

Posted by Jason in Insider's View Relapses.
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Since 1972, federal regulations have required qualification-based selection for federal projects requiring professional services such as architecture or engineering. The legislation had the effect of taking price out of the selection criteria, maintaining professional qualifications as the primary focus. This certainly seems logical, but what about our professional ethics that dictate our regard for public safety, duty to the client, and duty to the employer? Are we to believe that a low bid for a juicy project could somehow affect our professional judgment? (more…)