Posted by: kerrywills | April 24, 2015

Getting to Tian Tan

I am part of a global leadership program where I work and in the final year of the program we take a global journey. So I am writing this posting from my hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia. Before going to Indonesia, we took a day-long layover in Hong Kong. As I did research for what to do there, I came across the Po Lin Monastary which houses a 100+ foot bronze Buddha and determined that was something I wanted to see.

Like any other project I have run, I had to create a plan to meet my objective. So I created my plan and understood the activities to get there…

  • Walk from hotel to Ferry dock
  • One water ferry from Kowloon Island to Hong Kong Island
  • One water ferry from Central pier to Lantau Island
  • One bus ride from Lantau Island/Mui Wo to the Monastery
  • Climb 200 stairs to get to Buddha


I researched the ferry schedule, fees, and other logistics and came up with a plan. As we proceded along the plan, like any, there were a few challenges that we didnt plan for (e.g. exact change for bus, none of us spoke Cantonese, etc) but we were successful and it was worth it.

So having a good plan made us succesful!


Posted by: kerrywills | April 17, 2015

Mutli-dimentional people

In today’s business landscape I believe that the most successful people are the ones who are “multi-dimensional.” That is, they can work in many different facets are not just a “one trick pony.” For example, in IT there are people who many know a technology well, know the business well, can drive work or are good analysts. To be successful today, I believe that people need at least two of those attributes.

For example, a Project Manager who knows the business or a technology but can not drive work will not be effective at meeting dates. Conversely, a Project Manager who can drive work but doesn’t understand their business may not understand context or implications of decisions.



So when we look to hire Project Managers or resources we should understand what dimensions we value and look to see those qualities in our team members. Highly visible projects may need someone who can drive work but who also understands the business so they can explain challenges in the appropriate context. More technical projects may require a PM with a more technical background. In any scenario, the PM should have more than one dimension if you don’t want “flat” results.


Posted by: kerrywills | April 10, 2015

The Batman Syndrome

In the movies, Batman learns to overcome his fear which makes him a great superhero because he no longer lets fear get in his way or control his actions. I wonder if, in the corporate world, people made decisions and took actions without any fear. There are plenty of places where fear creeps in…

  • Acceptance – people want the approval of their managers and peers and may not speak up because they may not be accepted
  • Performance – people are reviewed and get rewarded based on performance so there may be a fear of not being rewarded
  • Stability – there can be the fear of losing one’s job due to uncertainty, performance or changes
  • Being wrong – people may not want to make decisions in the case where it is wrong or has a bad consequence




I think the main message for us is to be aware of when fear may be creeping into our decision making process and recognize it. This may cause us to make different decisions or act differently, which may be a good thing.

So, on one hand Batman would make a great business leader since he would make decisions and take actions without any fear. On the other hand, I am not sure that a mask and cape would comply with a corporate dress code.


Posted by: kerrywills | April 3, 2015

Spring is finally here

After months of cold and feet of snow, I can finally start seeing signs of spring…and of my yard. Since I am a project manager and a planner by nature, that means it is time to organize my project plan around the work…

  • Clean up leaves
  • Mulch the playscape and trees
  • Dethatch the yard
  • Put out the patio furniture
  • Fertilize the grass
  • Turn on the sprinklers
  • Clean out the mud and salt from the garage


Beyond just having a plan I am also tracking new risks and issues…

  • New cracks in the driveway that need repair
  • Granite step cracked (I didnt think Granite could crack)
  • Animals tearing up yard in winter
  • Shrubs crushed from the weight of the snow and ice this year

Oh and don’t forget my project budget of seed, mulch, lawn mower repair, and other assorted products.

Well as you can tell, Spring is a full project for me with plenty of actions, risks and issues already. Hope everyone else has a better plan and less risks than I do!


Posted by: kerrywills | March 27, 2015

Playing Escalation Stratego

I used to love playing Stratego when I was a kid – this is the game where you send out different armies to attack your opponent. The strategy was that some pieces could “beat” other pieces and that you have to guess which pieces they had.  For example a General could beat a Colonel, but then the spy could beat the General.

Sometimes on projects I feel like I am watching people play Stratego at during an issue or escalation. One person may send out an e-mail which then gets replied by someone else who copies someone higher in the organization. Then the other person may reply copying in their higher ups and so on.  This game of management escalation is always interesting to watch – my Director beats your PM…well my Senior Director beats your Director…and on and on.

“Hmmm should I play my Director piece or my VP piece?”

How about instead of the escalation Stratego game we just figure out how to solve things ourselves! Then there would only be one ‘team’ on the game and therefore everyone would win. Unless we have a spy…

Older Posts »



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 69 other followers