Photo Niels Malotaux
Niels Malotaux
Project Coach

Services

The basic service is to help:

  • teams, projects and organizations
  • to be more predictable
  • and more successful in shorter time
  • with a huge economic value improvement

Who do we help?

  • CIO: How to get a better grip on the organization
  • Steering committee: How to get a better grip on a project
  • Business manager: How to make the business function (even) better
  • R&D manager: How to make the developers perform (even) better
  • Portfolio manager: How to make sure that we select the right projects in the right order
  • Program manager: How to optimize the coherence of all sub-projects
  • Resource manager: How to optimize the use and efforts of the available people
  • Project manager: How to guarantee a better project result in much shorter time
  • Project teams as well as Agile teams: How to guarantee a better result in shorter time

We don't write reports full of recommendations.
We rather provide pragmatic hands-on advice and support how to deal with issues and we actively assist with implementing solutions that work.

We call this "Coaching", or "Just In Time Training", sometimes acting as "Flying QA person".

We have a lot of experience and practices at our disposal, like:

  • Business and Project Coaching
    Football teams don't win an important match without a good coach. How about projects?
    It's not that the Project Manager or the team don't know what they're doing. After all, they are professionals. However, having trained or coached some 200 projects in about 40 organizations in 13 countries, we collected so much experience about improving the performance of projects, that any project can benefit. Within a few weeks of coaching (and usually not even many days of my time!), projects typically produce better results in 30% less time. Unbelievable? That's what many people thought until they actually did it!
    Example: 40-person project saved about one year, using 15 days of my time (I must admit: they were very clever!)
  • Project Rescue
    Is a project going astray? We help to quickly put the project back on track and to keep it there (or help you kill the project, if that's a better option!).
    Example: Software project found out that they wouldn't meet the deadline; after one day of coaching (plus some guidance of a colleague of mine) changed immediately to meet the deadline successfully (no overtime!)
  • Project Startup
    During the "fuzzy front-end" of a project, many important decisions are made, which have a major impact on the duration and the success of the project. We can help you to focus on the important issues and to give your project a good and efficient start.
  • Defining clear Goals
    One of the reasons for developments taking longer than necessary is unclear goals.
    We help to clearly define the goals, so that you can focus better and hence reach these goals faster.
  • Defining the real Requirements
    Requirements are what the project is supposed to achieve. We'll provide Just in Time Training and help you to uncover the "real" Requirements, rather than a bulky document of so-called Requirements, which are solutions for often unspecified goals. Let's talk about your actual work and you'll see what we mean. Of course one of the first questions to ask is: "Why are we running this project at all?"
    An example of a requirements technique is Planguage.
    Look here to read what I use as the top-level requirement of any work we are supposed to do.
  • Design
    Often, especially in software development, we see a lot of implementation, with hardly any proper design. This is an important cause of project delays.
    We have pages about Design Logging and cases showing how going back to the design saved a lot of time.
  • Project Planning and Scheduling
    Evolutionary Project Planning and Scheduling consists of several elements to continuously optimize the efficiency of what we do, to check whether what we do is what is needed, and to quite accurately predict what will be done at a certain date, or when 'it' is done. We also help you define better what 'it' is. This saves time.
    The planning technique also quickly reveals issues hindering our performance so that we proactively can address these issues, rather than waiting until they hit us.
  • Program/Portfolio/Resource (PPR) Management
    If projects or teams don't provide forecasts we can rely on, PPR Management is more like playing games, as they are 'relying' on fake data. However, once projects have learnt to promise what they can deliver and then deliver what they promised, PPR Management becomes real management. Normally people can learn this within a few weeks, and then on the project or team level this starts soon after.
  • Risk Management
    Everything we do is Risk Management. However, a lot of so-called project-risks are not really risks because they happen in every project. If we don't do the Right Things at the Right Time, there is a risk that the project won't be successful.
    See Booklet 4: Controlling Project Risk by Design (pdf, 604 kb).
  • Reviews & Inspections
    Inspections are said to be one of the most economic ways to vastly improve the quality of our results. You can learn how to make Reviews and Inspections a lot more productive than you ever thought possible. It will show you a different way of looking at documents.
    Warning! You will very probably throw away the first document that is Inspected. This happens almost every time we start with Inspections. But don't despair: you will learn quickly to produce much better quality.
    We use 'Early Inspections' to help people to prevent most of the issues to be caused in the first place. Quality costs less.
    Using Inspections is also a good technique to let people to themselves reveal weaknesses in what they do, so that we actively can address these. If a coach or consultant tells them about these weaknesses, it creates resistance. If they tell themselves, they may do something about it. See for an example DesignLog case 1.
  • Dependable Embedded Systems
    I have years of dependable embedded systems design experience and can help embedded systems development teams to avoid a lot of pitfalls. Reliability improvement. Review of electronic circuit design (hardware). Review of firmware architecture and design. Coaching of hardware, firmware, and hard-real-time design techniques. Letting hardware/firmware/software people work together. Quickly easing out interface issues.
  • Zero Defects
    Using Zero Defects concepts can instantly significantly improve the quality of the project deliveries, and that's just the beginning!