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December - Harford Site Dinner - Tony Gruebl

This meeting will qualify for 1 hour of Leadership credit.

The impact of Culture on Project Management Success:

When Think started consulting in operations in 2003, we entered an industry with a massive 68% project fail rate that kept sliding downward. Why would a system with such a dismal record continue unchanged? Even then, fifteen years ago, we knew that something was missing. Something was off balance.

We looked at the Triple Constraint Model and found the parameters of time, cost, and scope/quality left out the critical component of business value. We determined that the true purpose of operations is adding value to the company.  Business Value = Benefit – Cost.

We looked at the value of individual initiatives as the primary indicator for whether to move forward or not and we advocated for free exchange of information from the board room to the conference room, so we knew the true value equation and could speak out whenever costs loomed larger than benefits—regardless of how far along the operation had progressed. Strategic Alignment was also a factor. Only initiatives in alignment with the company’s purpose and goals were worth pursuing.  With the goal of capturing the maximum Business Value we softened the walls of the Iron Triangle. To capture more value, the time, cost and scope must adjust as opportunity demands. We developed the concept of the three-sided table and gave more ownership to project leaders.  We adapted to empower Agile and counter those who rejected project management.

We turned to the human element and focused on improving our team. We identified key traits of high achievers, trained them in Limbic Learning and built a kick-ass group of operators.   Effectiveness acted as currency. Effective people carried weight that could alter the course of events within the company.  However, on occasion, even effectiveness currency wasn’t enough. Push too hard and that person felt a recoil that could land them on the sidewalk, regardless if they were the Chairman of the Board or the CEO.  

Why?  Some force held everything within an invisible framework, like the glass on an aquarium. Finally, we got it. That glass was culture.  See it clearly and you’ll be empowered.  Ignore it and 68% of the time, you’ll go down with the ship.

In this presentation, I’ll share the journey that every project manager must take to recognize and use culture as a tool to finally unlock project success.


Tony Gruebl

President, Executive Advisor – Operations and PMO, Strategic Project Manager, co-author of Bare Knuckled Project Management (13k copies in circulation)

Tony is founder and President, leads Think’s BKPM Operations Consulting team and is coauthor of Bare Knuckled Project Management (BKPM); how to succeed at every project, available on Amazon and Smashwords.   He is a Six Sigma Master Black Belt, and former COO and VP, with 25 years of operationally focused experience in and around technology, especially Business Intelligence.  Tony has built and managed many teams, led hundreds of technology deployments, crafted effective, outsourced PMOs for customers, and improved the business processes of dozens of companies.


Event Properties

Event Date 12-12-2018 5:30 pm
Event End Date 12-12-2018 8:00 pm
Registration Start Date 02-15-2018
Cut off date 12-12-2018 11:55 pm
Individual Price $32.00
No. of Strategic PDUs 1.0
PMI Event Number C078-20181212
Location (Click link for address) Harford Site - Green Turtle - Harford Mall

Group Rate

#Registrants Rate/Person($)
10 28.00
11 28.00
12 28.00





We are no longer accepting registration for this event