How to Be a Productive Project Manager: 7 Tips
By Harry Hall
Many project managers feel overwhelmed with emails, phone calls, and meetings. They often work overtime, but few feel as though they are making progress. Although we are all given the same amount of time each day, some project managers are able to produce greater value for their organizations. Some are more engaged.
Imagine yourself as a more productive project manager, one with greater capacity and energy to complete each day’s tasks. Let’s look at common problems that impede our progress and what to do about each:
Read the Complete Article
- The problem: I am spending more time managing issues than managing upcoming project activities.
Susan, the project manager, had a gnawing feeling that the network team might fall behind schedule on a high profile project. The network manager failed to order the network cable and routers on time, and now the team is scrambling to make ends meet.
From Responsibility to Independence: 3 Lessons from Project Management
By Michelle LaBrosse, PMP, Founder, Cheetah Learning
Having more independence requires taking on more responsibility: it’s a lesson teenagers hear again and again from their parents, and yet it rarely seems to result in teenagers actually bearing the burden of more responsibility. Fast forward to these imagined teenagers’ adult lives. As their parents promised, they now have a range of new freedoms and shoulder many new responsibilities. The more they become accustomed to each of these, however, the easier it is to forget the old lesson: that independence and responsibility are related.
In this article, we will be discussing independence, responsibility, and doing good Project Management. Whether or not you hold the title of Project Manager in your current work, adopting good Project Management practices can allow you to take on more responsibility in your career and personal life, and, in turn, bring you greater independence. Read the Complete Article
Managing Project Expectations
By Diana Eskander
How to define and organize project scope
Projects range in size, complexity, duration, resources, stakeholders – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Defining the scope of a given project – what the intended result is, and what’s required to bring it to completion – is not only important, it’s necessary.
It creates clarity and accountability, and carves out the path for success. Establishing project scope can prove to be difficult. It requires you to step back and have a global understanding of the project environment and to be analytical.
You have to get intimate with the specific details. There are plenty of elements to take into account in order to scope the main lines of a program or project.
This white paper examines how to define the scope of a project and consequently, how to organize the information in a comprehensive way that can be referred to by all stakeholders, at any time. Read the Complete Article
Becoming an Effective Manager
By Howard Shore
Many successful people get promoted into management and quickly find the pressure to be higher than anything they felt in the past. As an individual contributor, it is much easier to control the outcomes of your work. It may not seem like that at times, but you have a lot more control than when you are a manager of people. I am not referring to people that receive a management title and have nobody to manage. A real manager has the authority and responsibility to manage: financial performance (includes holding others accountable), people activities (hire, keep and grow people), and positioning/strategizing the firm or department in a way that provides a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
One key issue a manager faces is that there are always detractors within the larger organization and the smaller team. These people may have been detractors all along, felt they should have gotten your position, or do not know you well enough to realize you are qualified for your position. Read the Complete Article
Mindful Project Management
By Diana Eskander
What is mindfulness?
Well, one thing we know for sure is that it’s a pretty hot topic these days.
A simple definition of mindfulness is being present and aware of what’s happening internally and externally in our surrounding environments, right now, in this very moment.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as “the practice of maintaining a nonjudgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of one’s thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis.”
So the question begs, how can mindfulness relate to – and better yet improve – project management? Here are a few side effects of mindfulness and ways they can transcend into your professional role as a project manager.
Read the Complete Article
The first and most obvious benefit relates to being present. When you’re meeting with your team and key stakeholders, the ability to remain in the present moment, while not focusing on the past which is gone, or the future which doesn’t yet exist (and which will largely depend on what you do in THIS moment), means you can be fully engaged in the discussion.
How to Manage a Demanding Workload
By Susanne Madsen
As a project management coach and facilitator I often come across project managers who find their workload overwhelming. They want to do a good job and don’t want to appear “weak” by saying no to more work. But in spite of working long hours, there is so much on their plate that only the most urgent requests get their attention. At the bottom of the pile are the more proactive and strategic activities that they never get around to. In the long run, it’s dissatisfying and overwhelming and can cause their projects to fail! If you recognize yourself in the above description, here are some tips:
Asking for help is OK
Fortunately there are several things you can do to improve the situation, but to reap the benefits you must be prepared to review your working patterns and even some of your beliefs. Read the Complete Article
Three Things You Should Do Whenever Someone Leaves Your Project
By Kiron D. Bondale
We start our projects with a small core team but as we proceed further down the rabbit hole we add team members to support planning and delivery activities. Then as work streams get completed, team size shrinks until we reach project closure where we are back to the original core team. On large, multi-phase projects, team expansion and contraction occurs frequently but even with much smaller projects, it is common to have team members exit before the project itself is completed. Some times this could be the result of their assigned activities being completed, but it can also be caused by external factors such as their being required on a higher priority project or a financially motivated decision to shift their work to a cheaper resource.
There are three things which you should do before any team member departs. Read the Complete Article
How to Improve Business Processes with Mind Mapping
By Joel Roberts
Mind mapping is not a new technique. People have been creating visual diagrams that explain the relationship between ideas for centuries. Now new developments in mind mapping software have made this method accessible, however. Many different types of thought maps can be created easily and shared across a variety of platforms. Nowhere is this more important than the business world, where success often depends on making a connection between data and ideas.
The Process of Planning
Effective planning is one of the most important processes for any business, whether it’s a large company, or a small family owned operation.
Read the Complete Article
- Business model – a business model is the basic design by which a company will generate revenue. It includes the goods or services offered, the methods clients use to obtain these goods and services, and the need or niche the product can fill.
Who Killed Project Management? A Baker’s Dozen of Project Management Do’s and Don’ts
By Rebecca Staton-Reinstein
Being a Project Manager is not for the faint of heart. If you don’t enjoy nearly impossible challenges, lots of criticism, the ground constantly shifting under your feet, and contradictory demands from powerful people, consider another way to make a living.
When downsizing/re-sizing/right-sizing became the norm, companies eliminated whole departments of folks who took care of all sorts of important work. The work still needed doing and outsourcing/off-shoring/on-shoring/in-sourcing didn’t always work.
What to do? Turn everything into a project! Assign someone to be in charge and call the person a project manager. It didn’t matter what the person’s position on the org chart was or whether he or she had any training or experience; just assign the project.
Needless to say, lots of projects took a nose dive. Even with all the information available today, sophisticated project management tools, and organizations, conferences, and books dedicated to the subject, many projects and their mangers still fail. Read the Complete Article
Enhance Strategy Execution by Making Better Decisions
By Richard Lepsinger
We’ve all made a bad decision.
Everyone is subject to biases that impact our judgment and cause us to make mistakes. A recent study recent found that Major League Baseball umpires demonstrated biases and frequently made errors when determining whether a pitch that is not swung at is a ball or a strike. It seems umpires tend to favor the home team, calling a strike when the pitch was actually a ball more frequently for the home team than for visitors. An umpire was also about 16 percent more likely to erroneously call a pitch outside the zone a strike for an All-Star than for a pitcher who never appeared in an All-Star Game. This bias toward All-Stars was even stronger when the pitcher had a reputation for precise control as measured by the career percentage of batters walked.
You may be surprised to learn that these biases and shortcuts are not all bad – they help us make sense of a complex world with more information than we can handle. Read the Complete Article