The Art of Project Management: Expert advice from experienced project managers in Silicon Valley, and around the world

Can You Color?

whiteboardToday, it’s all about doing things differently and doing different things. Did you know Google runs 50 to 200 search experiments at any given time? Innovation and creativity is the lifeblood of growth – organizations who think differently and act quickly are the ones who will break from the pack.

Today, while companies focus on cost cutting, people cutting, and project cutting, the new business frontier requires organizations to identify and test new ideas to differentiate themselves in the market—new products, new solutions, new steps in a process—all areas are open game for how we conduct business in a world that now operates at high-velocity and within lean boundaries.

While Lessons Learned workshops produce the information you need to address what worked and did not work for each project, it does not produce honest feedback throughout the life of the project or on an ongoing basis. So line up the white boards and ditch the judgment. Create an area for your project team members to exchange ideas and solutions.

Make sure there are plenty of ways for people to externalize their ideas. Hang a white board in a common area, offer a few guidelines, a bunch of markers, and let folks at it. Remind staff no idea is a bad one and encourage drawings, pictures and color. Make sure there are plenty of ways for people to externalize their ideas by providing other mediums such as Post-it Notes, an easy and inexpensive way to promote expression.

Lisa DiTullio, Principal, Your Project Office,


About the Author

Lisa is a leading force in project and business management. She is the founder of Your Project Office, a PMI©Registered Education Provider, and consulting practice dedicated to introducing project management as a business competency. She is the editor of ProjectBestPractices, a quarterly newsletter from ProjectWorld, and a contributor to PM Network Magazine. She's also the author of Simple Solutions: How "Enterprise Project Management" Supported Harvard Pilgrim Health Care's Journey from Near Collapse to #1 and Project Team Dynamics: Enhancing Performance, Improving Results. Scores of organizations – from college campuses to governmental agencies to Fortune 100 companies have gained from Lisa's insights and tell-it-like-it-is keynotes and programs. She offers a variety of topics, ranging from technical project management practices to teambuilding and business leadership. Audience members and workshop participants leave educated, engaged, and energized – armed with actionable practices for immediate success., e-mail
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