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Hassan Osman of Cisco: kickoff meetings, project closures, and hybrid work

Host Jeff Plumblee interviews Hassan Osman, PMO Director at Cisco. Hassan is the author of 16 non-fiction books on project management and general interests. The discussion centers on the steps to go through for a successful kickoff meeting and why you need to hold an internal kickoff meeting first. Jeff and Hassan discuss knowing the stakeholders individually. They consider how projects go wrong because of gray areas in the scope and how to salvage the client relationship. Hassan shares his incentive for writing and his advice for those who would like to write non-fiction while working full-time: write for 30 minutes every weekday!

Disclaimer: Hassan's views are his own and not those of Cisco.

Listen to the podcast episode: Apple | Spotify


Key Takeaways:

  • Hassan tells of the 18 steps of a project kickoff meeting. Hold an internal kickoff meeting before the client kickoff meeting. Follow the agenda. After the meeting, follow up on action items. Preparation makes a good meeting. Know your stakeholders! Hassan justifies the value of the internal kickoff.

  • At project closure, verify that all the work that was agreed to has been completed, formally recognize that the project has been completed with a signoff, and document lessons learned for the future. A clean handoff needs a transition plan. Conduct handoff meetings and stay in contact for a time to handle issues.

  • Over-communicate with operations about product completion. Everything is not always understood the same way by all parties. Poor communication is a recipe for disaster. Tackle head-on any gray areas around the scope. Be crystal clear. Hassan suggests ways to salvage projects where there were gray areas.

  • Hassan has published 16 books. Writing his thoughts and publishing them for others is enjoyable for him. Hassan dedicates 30 minutes a day, five days a week, to writing or researching the book. He now writes in longer blocks when he is inspired. He writes about things that excite him that have an existing market.

  • Hassan has written about remote work for over 10 years. At EY, he worked some days from home and then started a blog about working remotely. In 2014, he wrote Influencing Virtual Teams. Later, he wrote Hybrid Work Management. Hybrid is the future of work. Soft skills are needed to manage remote teams.



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