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PMI ® Global Congress 2011—North America. From Ostrich to Canary: Declaring Trouble Before It’s Too Late Brian H. Munroe, PMP Senior Trainer & Consultant Corporate Education Group. Quotes to Ponder. “It isn’t that they can’t see the solution; it’s that they can’t see the problem.”

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PMI ® Global Congress 2011—North America

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Pmi global congress 2011 north america

PMI® Global Congress 2011—North America

  • From Ostrich to Canary: Declaring Trouble Before It’s Too Late

  • Brian H. Munroe, PMP

  • Senior Trainer & Consultant

  • Corporate Education Group


Quotes to ponder

Quotes to Ponder

“It isn’t that they can’t see the solution; it’s that they can’t see the problem.”

– G.K. Chesterton

(1874 - 1936)

Turning an Ostrich into a Canary - MTI Learning Inc. 2011


Suppression factors

Suppression Factors

Conditions that cause project team members to either knowingly or unknowingly ignore signs that a project is troubled and avoid bringing the issues to the attention of management, stakeholders and other key decision makers.

  • Hide true project status

  • Prevent timely identification of a situation needing corrective action

  • Deprive management of critical information

  • Decisions are not made with accurate input

Turning an Ostrich into a Canary - MTI Learning Inc. 2011


Quotes to ponder1

Quotes to Ponder

“Bad news isn’t wine. It doesn’t improve with age.”

– General Colin Powell (b. 1937)

Turning an Ostrich into a Canary - MTI Learning Inc. 2011


Suppression factor categories

Suppression Factor Categories

Fear

Belief System

Blame or judgment

Job security

Personal safety

Past experiences

Commitment

Denial

Cognitive dissonance

Group mentality

Apathy

Lack of responsibility

Lack of accountability

Performance Based

Personality Based

Incentives

Promotions

Performance ratings

Unwillingness to admit mistakes

Reluctance to ask for help

Turning an Ostrich into a Canary - MTI Learning Inc. 2011


Questions for you

Questions For You…

What suppression factors do you think are most influential at your organization?

Are there different suppression factors at play on your projects?

Take a moment and consider what suppression factors you personally are susceptible to.

Turning an Ostrich into a Canary - MTI Learning Inc. 2011


What can be done

What Can Be Done?

Know yourself; know your team.

Create a culture that encourages team members to raise issues and concerns as soon as they become evident.

Don’t just solve problems; actively find them.

Turning an Ostrich into a Canary - MTI Learning Inc. 2011


Belief systems

Belief Systems

A belief system is the knowledge and experiences that directly influence our perceptions, motivations, actions, and reactions.

  • Foundation of everything we do

  • Beliefs will govern reaction to signs of trouble

  • Greatest impact of belief systems on troubled projects is denial

    • Cognitive dissonance

    • Group mentality

Turning an Ostrich into a Canary - MTI Learning Inc. 2011


Pmi global congress 2011 north america

Fear

Fear: A distressing emotion arising from impending danger, evil, pain or other negative state, whether the threat is real or imagined.

  • Range of fear responses – mild anxiety to terror

  • Many sources of fear:

    • Blame, judgment

    • Job security

    • Personal safety (physical or emotional)

    • Past personal experiences

  • Fear of negative repercussions motivates people to hide problems

Turning an Ostrich into a Canary - MTI Learning Inc. 2011


Quotes to ponder2

Quotes to Ponder

“In NASA, we never punish error. We only punish concealment of error.”

– Al Siepert

(b. 1915)

Turning an Ostrich into a Canary - MTI Learning Inc. 2011


Summary

Summary

  • Problems won’t go away by themselves; they need to be identified and actively resolved

  • Be aware of suppression factors in team members as well as yourself

  • Proactively work to remove those factors:

    • Create an environment that encourages and expects early admission of problems

    • Establish a committed team

    • Make people feel safe and trusting

Turning an Ostrich into a Canary - MTI Learning Inc. 2011


Thank you

Thank You!

Brian H. Munroe, PMP

[email protected]

1.800.288.7246 (US only) or +1.978.649.8200

www.corpedgroup.com


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