Courageous management of priorities, projects, and people

ProjectConnectionsHow do you keep an organization innovative, fast-moving, and productive when facing the relentless parallel needs of ongoing operations, servicing customers, sound project decision-making among opportunities, developing incremental product enhancements, and creating major new offerings – all in the face of inevitable resource constraints?

In a time when so many dot-coms went dot-bust, Cinda Voegtli, CEO of ProjectConnections.com, Cinda V.not only survived but  prospered.  Her company faced many challenges as the company grew its customer base, products, and revenue.  After launching in the dicey times of 2000 and surviving the dot-com bust, the company has grown a global member base of over 250,000 worldwide, achieved 1200% subscription revenue growth across the 7 years since, reached profitability, and maintained 37% average subscription revenue growth over the last few years.

How did she do that?  The simple answer is probably that she offered value needed by many and developed relationships with key people who could support her efforts.  The real answer is much more.

Some clues involve key leverage points from experimenting with management approaches on the fly, and  evolving how she handled organizational priorities, processes, and people.   Her message includes:

  • why it’s worth significant executive time (and harder than it looks) to achieve a pervasive and visceral understanding of the company’s business goals
  • practical techniques for setting individual and project goals in a way that drives personal ownership, time management, and productivity
  • the importance of watching for overload-induced “victim mode” and ways to deal with it
  • how to account for investigate-and-innovate cycles in project timelines and portfolio planning to allow thinking time and breakthroughs; and
  • why courageous priority-setting is needed to put a stop to how we sabotage our own goals.

Cinda has experienced all sides of the above challenges during a career that has included developing hardware and software, managing technical and other functional groups, building a hardware and manufacturing engineering department in a data communication startup, managing projects and releases in both untitled and titled PM roles, and consulting on technical development, project management, and portfolio processes across multiple industries.

She founded the ProjectConnections.com (www.projectconnections.com) business to provide fast-ramp-up and ongoing support to organizations and their projects, through a variety of practical online resources and programs for managers and teams.  The company continues to “live in the world it desires to serve,” executing its own non-trivial project landscape to meet the next round of aggressive growth targets.

Cinda presents her case study at the PMI Norcal Symposium 2008 at Stanford University on September 4th.  Register and get more information about the two day Symposium at www.pmisv.org/symposium08.

Be inspired: be challenged: transform!
Randy Englund, Englund Project Management Consultancy, www.englundpmc.com

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