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Author Archives: Ashley Marron

Ashley Marron
Ashley Marron is a Scottish based CEO with a proven record of creating and growing both manufacturing and software businesses in domestic and international markets. Ashley has been a CEO for over 20 years initially within the hugely competitive manufacturing domain before moving to Gael to manage the team that propelled the growth of the software business. Gael specialised in providing Quality, Safety and Risk solutions for Aviation, Healthcare, Defence and Manufacturing organisations across 93 countries. Following the sale of Gael to Ideagen plc he then moved to focus his attention on developing MindGenius Ltd as a leading player in Project Management solutions, contributing to the strategic development of a new application called Barvas. Barvas is a visual and collaborative tool that helps teams capture ideas, determine and prioritise what needs done and stay organised during project delivery.

An Effective Project Kick-Off Meeting Needs Preparation

The initial project kick-off meeting is a key stage in helping to deliver a successful project outcome and provides an opportunity to share the plan with the team and stakeholders. However, as with the remainder of your project the meeting will only be a success if you dedicate sufficient time to actually planning to achieve a successful outcome from the meeting. Failure to prepare for this meeting will put the project at risk right from the start. So, let’s look at the key steps in the preparation for the project kick-off meeting Step 1: Develop the project objectives, goals and ...

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Project Management 101 – Objectives and Deliverables

2+2= ½? When a project takes twice the time, costs twice the budget and you get only half of what you expect then it’s hardly surprising that the project close out meeting becomes feisty and confrontational. So, what is key to preventing the unwelcome project outcome and that awkward final meeting. One of the key rules is to ensure that the Project Deliverables are directly aligned to the Project Objectives and Goals. Firstly, let’s clarify the meaning of these terms: Project Objectives and Goals: Objectives and goals are statements that describe what the project will accomplish, or the business value ...

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Do Start-Ups Need Project Management?

Start-ups are definitely an exciting somewhat trailblazing type of organisation to be involved in or with. But they are definitely not for everyone and not those with a nervous disposition. It may just be me, but I like working with and running start-ups and get particularly invigorated being involved in the first steps of a product launch or a new business venture. It’s amazingly energetic, you own your own multifaceted role, you often make your own rules and the outcome can be extremely rewarding. Take it and run with it is usually the mentality of a start-up and with the ...

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What Is Strategy?

Most CEOs are aware of the importance of formulating a strategic plan within their business. But what exactly is strategy? Wikipedia defines strategy as a “high level plan to achieve one or more goals under conditions of uncertainty”. Yet strategy is different from vision, mission, goals, priorities, and plans. However, strategy is commonly misunderstood and often confused.  Sometimes it is used to denote importance or criticality, for example, a “strategic program.” Other times, it may be used to convey an action plan—an organisation may say that their strategy is to launch a new key product. However, for me the business ...

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Project Success Hinges on Identifying, Engaging and Managing your Project Stakeholders

Most advice for improving project management skills targets such factors as aligning your project deliverables to your objectives, holding productive meetings and delegating workloads. While all are important criteria to ensure project success, the most critical impact over the long run still comes down to managing the communication with Project Stakeholders. By engaging the right people in the right way in your project, you can make a big difference to its success….and to your career. Who Is A Project Stakeholder? According to the Project Management Institute (PMI), the term project stakeholder refers to, ‘an individual, group, or organisation, who may ...

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The Five W’s of Project Planning

Project planning activities really benefit from the 5W questions - who, what, why, when, where before getting into the detail of how. Here Ashley Marron from Barvas talks about them and how using a mind mapping tool can also help.

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President Trump and The Need for Accurate Information

As the world watches President Donald Trump and his team try and control the media agenda I am struck that being oblivious to unethical or illegal behaviour happening within an organisation is not an acceptable excuse for allowing it to occur. Leaders will be held responsible – even when they claim to have no knowledge of the situation. Recently Michael Flynn, the national security adviser to President Trump, resigned over revelations about his potentially illegal contacts with the Russian ambassador to the United States, and his misleading statements about the matter to senior Trump administration officials. Whilst there are undoubtedly ...

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