razor cuts - a blog about managing projects, people, and the communication between them.

Shared Language – the Key to the Kingdom

‘I like it’, or more often; ‘I don’t like it’ – we hear these two phrases more than any others when we’re presenting solutions / proposals / ideas to colleagues, clients, and managers. But what does it mean? Even the famously creative and design-literate Steve Jobs was renowned for saying ‘I know it when I […]

People are flexible – Systems are not

People are flexible – Systems are not

People are flexible – Systems are not, but conversely: systems scale – people do not. Pick up a pen and you’re ready to write. You can use your hands to wield a hammer, play a piano, or sooth a sick child. Building and coding a robot arm just to pick up a pen and hold […]

The Search for Meaning

Problems in projects arise from a lack of shared understanding, not (necessarily) a lack of governance. This absence of understanding leads to a lack of meaning for those managing a project; meaning being exactly what is needed to decide how to manage the work effectively.  In our experience, successful implementation is enabled by understanding a […]

Lost in Translation

Lost in Translation

The more parties there are in a project, the greater the translation overhead. When someone commissions a piece of work, they have a vision in their mind’s eye of what they’ll be getting at the end of the process. When you’re commissioning a painting or a sculpture, you want to be surprised and delighted by […]

Progress Abstraction

Methodologies can be great – they can provide a framework for progress and success, but they are not guarantees. PRINCE2, MSP, PMP, APM are all frameworks that provide the disciplines to manage projects and programmes effectively through definition (scope, plans), logs (risks, issues, dependencies), and governance (meetings, reports, and so on). At the water cooler […]