Home | Author Archives: Ashley Marron

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.

Managing Your First Strategic Initiative

Strategic initiatives aren’t the same as typical projects—they tend to be considerably more complex and at times have hands on involvement from the top-level of management in the business. Dependent on the type of project being tackled the involvement and engagement of executive stakeholders varies. For a project like rolling out a new windows operating system lots of the stakeholders would be relatively neutral. They understand the business need, they would like to be kept aware of status and progress but have little involvement in the outcome. For other projects like the rolling out of new employment contracts some of ...

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Managing Conflict as a Project Manager

Conflict within most project teams is inevitable and effectively managing conflict is arguably the hardest thing a project manager has to do. How the project manager manages and resolves this conflict will make the difference between creating a better team or creating a bigger chasm within the team dynamics. As annoying and time-consuming managing conflict is, it is an important part of being a Project Manager. Don’t waste energy worrying about it just accept it comes with the territory. Looking back now over my own career I can recall conflicts with many people I managed over just about everything: other team ...

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Get Everyone on the Same Page with A Project Kick-off Meeting

Sometimes projects don’t go through an organised sequence of planning and execution and before you know it team members and stakeholders have varying levels of understanding about the purpose and scope of the project. To prevent this scenario, it is key to hold a kickoff meeting for a new project which will provide you the best opportunity to energise the group and establish a common purpose toward completing the work. I’ve found that a great kickoff is the result of good planning as described in a recent blog – An Effective Project Kick-off Meeting Needs Preparation  So take advantage of ...

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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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