Project Management Articles > Chris Hill

Chris Hill

Chris HillChris Hill is a Senior Project Manager in the IT PMO at Univar USA, where he delivers enterprise facing large, diverse, highly complex projects and programs. Chris's interests revolve around bringing form and structure using sound best industry practices and methodology, whether the environment is waterfall, agile, or something in between. As part of his PMO role he develops tools, authors and teaches classes on methodology knowledge areas. In addition to his PMP certification, Chris is a GE Six Sigma Black belt, Stanford University Certified PM (SCPM), and a Certified Scrum Master (CSM). He also holds an ITIL Foundation certification.

Voices from Unexpected Places, Part 2 - Sources
A difference between the customers and stakeholders needs to be explained: Customers are users of the product of the project, and can be internal or external. Stakeholders are a broader category that also includes customers… Read more ...
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Voices from Unexpected Places, Part 1
Everyone has an opinion, but not all opinions agree and lead you to the same conclusion. Who do you listen to get to the truth? Read more ...

Measurement System Analysis (MSA)
The maturity of an organization can be measured by its ability to use metrics and statistics from its core processes. These statistics can then be used to make tactical and strategic decisions, also known as data-driven decision making. We will explore why the art and science of gathering metrics and statistics is critical, and how variance is the true enemy of the credibility of your information supporting your value proposition. Read more ...

Value Stream Mapping (VSM)
A Value Stream Map (VSM) makes it possible to quantify the value or capacity of the business process. VSM will also validate the value your application can provide to improve capacity and/or cycle time reduction. A VSM can also be used to set success goals and capability levels for the process, and provide a quantifiable baseline to demonstrate value and eliminate waste. Read more ...

From Backlog to Acceptance and In Between – The Value of Cycle Time Analysis
Have you ever wondered if there is a science to determining how long a customer will wait on hold or stand in a line/queue waiting for something until they just hang up or give up? Actually there are quite a few analogs regarding cycle time that we could delve into. The common denominator in all these examples is time verses the delivery of customer value, with cost reduction through reduced cycle time and increased capacity, capability, and performance.
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Project or Process? That Is the Question!
In a label-centric world where we try to find the right boxes to put things in, there is a tendency to use a label that fits for convenience or other corporate cultural reasons.
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TPM – Total Productive Maintenance
Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) focuses on increasing the productivity of a plant and its equipment while making appropriate (small) investments to maintain productivity and process health. These philosophies are just as applicable to IT and software processes as they are to lean manufacturing.
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Special K (Kaizen, Kano Model Delivered through Kanban)
This article explains how Kaizen and Kano can be used in conjunction with Kanban. Building on the previous discussion on Poka Yoke, we will explore additional continuous improvement topics and how they relate to software development or operational support of a legacy environment. Let's start with defining each of the components and how they support each other.
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Poka-Yoke without Getting Egg on Your Face
Why are wall power outlet receptacles in the wall carrying dangerous voltages recessed versus protruding? Why are guards put in front of moving parts on a machine? What may seem like an obvious question may not have been so obvious before some accident happened to drive a specific design change.
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Why Oh Y Does X Mark the Spot?
So what is the right question to ask when trying to get to the root cause of why a variance [occurs]? I do not have the right answer for a specific circumstance, but hopefully this article can provide you with some ideas to ask the right questions in a more systematic fashion.
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Quality Function Deployment (QFD) - The House of Quality
Have you ever looked at your requirements catalog or product backlog and felt there were some missing pieces? Like you were searching for clues that would lead to a holistic set of requirements or the ability to show a graphical representation of them? This should not be a mystery or a whodunit. (Professor Plum in the Testing Lab with the Poison -- or was it the Lead Pipe?) In this article, we explore some clues and methods that you may not have thought about when working with your customer to pull together a set of diverse requirements.
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Design of Experiments (DOE)
It has been said that one of the first signs of madness is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. If you have worked on a scrum team or used some other iterative methodology this concept will be familiar. Outwardly, iterative teams may appear to be doing the same thing over and over again, but in fact successful teams are making changes -- sometimes very small changes -- that can make dramatic differences in their results.
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The Softer Side of Change – GE CAP Model
Have you ever been in a situation where the solution to a business problem requires a significant rethink of the current process or product? In a nutshell, Organizational Change Management, where the solution being advocated is so clear to you, but others may not see it that way? The GE CAP model explores the psychological lifecycle we all go through when change is thrust upon us in our lives, welcomed or not.
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Entity Forcefield Analysis
How do you build consensus on a product delivery? Typically, the answer is one customer/stakeholder at a time. When you go for broad consensus and sign off on what to build there should be no surprises. However, along the way a straight answer may not always be forthcoming, or you may get an answer with a passive aggressive response. Perhaps it is more benign; the customer simply doesn't know what they want until they see it.
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Projects all have one thing in common: They all have customers or stakeholders that use some product of the project. It could be a report, feature, or an indirect enhancement to the primary business process they are actors within. Regardless of their role, the product has some impact on these customers or suppliers. It is important to note that some of these customers may also be suppliers. Customers and suppliers can also be external to the team or company.
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Failure Modes and Effect Analysis (FMEA)
Fundamentally, FMEA and Project Risk Management are one and the same, but FMEA uses a more systematic approach to failure modes analysis. While traditional risk management does cover failure modes, typically it's concerned with the inherent risk of project execution on a more holistic level.
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Six Sigma and PMLC/SDLC Are Odd Partners, But Harmonious Relatives
Even when companies use Six Sigma methods in the problem resolution lifecycle, there is still a tendency to stereotype tools as belonging only within their distinct methodology. This can lead to the tools not being used to their full potential across methodologies. This series explores adapting some Six Sigma tools for your toolbox and applying them to your projects.
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